Recipes For Disaster by Sheryl Browne

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Published in January 2012

“She’s a single. He’s a widower. She wants him. He wants her. She wants to impress. So does he. There’s just one catch – she can’t cook.

To get him, she needs to get past the big fish – his mother. Lucky her, she’s got an Ace up her sleeve and all she’s got to do is impress this one time. Bad luck, though, her new guy can’t cook either, her dog Rambo is on the loose and now they’ve got to pull off the big lunch at the club.

Will it be a match made in heaven? Will they be able to pull off a culinary miracle? Will their combined efforts result in love at first bite? Or is it simply a Recipe for Disaster?”

MY REVIEW

Firstly I’d like to thank Janice from Loveahappyending for sending me this eBook to read and give an honest review.  I always enjoy Sheryl’s books (previous reviews here) and the idea of this one thoroughly intrigued me. I was curious to see if a cookbook within a story would work for me and if Sheryl could achieve the right balance of both elements.

Other than the recipes, one of the stand-out parts of this book was the comedy  – I was laughing out loud after just a few pages at Lisa’s kitchen disasters.  Once again Sheryl’s sense of humour spoke to me and I found that I was able to connect with the storyline easily.  There were plenty of funny and, at times, crazy antics to keep me entertained and on top of all that were lots of yummy recipes and useful cooking tips which I shall definitely be using myself!

Reading from the perspective of different characters meant that I got a full picture of what was going on in each of their minds, this is something that I always find enjoyable when I read.

A pinch of lust and a spoonful of misunderstandings added yet more twists to this addictive book and I simply can’t write this review without mentioning Rambo the dog and Flint the parrot who were particular favourites of mine – their scenes were so funny!

This book was light-hearted, fun to read and full of delicious recipes. A big thumbs-up from me.

CONNECT WITH THE AUTHOR 

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A Little Bit of Madness – Sheryl Browne – Blog Tour Including Giveaway

Today I’m excited to be taking part in the blog tour for A Little Bit of Madness by Sheryl Browne.  Thank you to Sharon from Fiction Addiction Book Tours for sending me the ARC.

Cover Front

No rest for the wicked

Saving Charlton Hall will burrow into your heart.

Celia Summers, intrepid mother of two, is too cuddly for sweatpants, she suspects. But then, her class at The Harbour Rest Home are similarly clad. Celia loves her work as an art therapist. She’s proud that she gives her elderly independents something to look forward to, even if her partner, Martin, disapproves of her efforts. He also has other things on his mind – telling complicated lies to Celia so he can sell Charlton Hall, his mum’s house, to pay off his debts.

Meanwhile, Celia fights to secure gallery space for her geriatric charges’ artwork, and to keep The Harbour from being closed. She’s even ready to abseil from a church steeple to bring attention to the plight of her old people, no matter that she might fall and end up splattered all over the flagstones. When she does fall, however, it’s much more painful – in love with PC Alex Burrows. Will he be her white knight in blue and ride to her rescue?”

I’ve read and enjoyed other books by this author (reviews here) and was looking forward to getting stuck into her latest release.

Straight away I got a sense of Celia’s caring nature as she taught therapeutic art to the elderly residents at The Harbour Rest Home.  On this particular day they were doing aerobics and I couldn’t help but laugh as I pictured the scene.

Martin didn’t get off to a great start in my eyes, I found that I really disliked him – I was amazed that Celia would be with someone like that considering how lovely she was.  The rest home residents on the other hand were absolutely delightful and I loved them all, they were a fabulously fun and outspoken bunch of characters who will stay in my mind for a long time!  Thanks to the natural writing style I quickly became part of the storyline and felt genuinely annoyed at the thought of the council closing down the rest home (cue very serious, annoyed face).

A scary accident led to Celia meeting the lovely Alex, a policeman (oh yes, in a uniform), and the two of them quickly became friends.  Alex was gorgeous (did I mention he wore a uniform) but he also had some personal issues that he was trying to cope with, quite honestly this just made me love him more and later on when everything came spilling out in a rather intense and dramatic way I was absolutely glued to the pages.

I began picking up clues of something that I thought might be revealed and when it turned out that my predictions had been correct I felt very pleased with myself!  This was a great twist in the storyline and I loved where it took the characters.

There were so many laughs to be had throughout the book but some of my favourites included a peonies misunderstanding, an abseiling nightmare, a hilarious protest (I was crying with laughter at this) and a house siege adventure.  I just loved how the author tackled many sensitive and difficult subjects but still managed to make it fun.

The further I read the more attached I got to all the characters, they were so real, relatable and with a hunky policeman thrown in for good measure – it never hurts to include a uniformed hunk in my opinion :).  I simply didn’t want the book to end, I wanted more from these wonderful characters so I’d be very happy to read a sequel!

A wonderful reminder of just how great the older generation can be, A Little Bit of Madness was just what I needed to brighten my day.

A Little Bit of Madness is available to buy now in the following formats: Amazon UK (Kindle Edition), Amazon US (Kindle Edition), Amazon US (Paperback) or from Safkhet Publishing.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sheryl Browne grew up in Birmingham, UK, where she studied Art & Design.

A partner in her own business, a mother and a foster parent to disabled dogs, Sheryl has also been writing for many years, the road along the way often bumpy.  She was therefore thrilled beyond words when Safkhet Publishing loved her writing style and commissioned her to write her debut novel.

RECIPES FOR DISASTER – combining deliciously different and fun recipes with sexilicious romantic comedy, is garnering some fabulous reviews and was shortlisted for the Innovation in Romantic Fiction Festival of Romance Award.  Sheryl has since been offered a further three-book contract under the Safkhet Publishing Soul imprint.  SOMEBODY TO LOVE – a romantic comedy centering around a single father’s search for love and his autistic little boy, launched July 1.  WARRANT FOR LOVE – blackmail, lies, adultery, entrapment – three couples in a twisting story that resolves perfectly – released August 1.  A LITTLE BIT OF MADNESS – white knight in blue rescues the Harbour Rest Home – released Valentine’s Day 2013.

AUTHOR LINKS

Sheryl’s Website

Safkhet Publishing

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

Author Facebook     

Romantic Novelists’ Association

Sheryl is a loveahappyending featured Author and Editor.

Twitter: @sherylbrowne

GIVEAWAY

As an extra for the book tour the author is offering either a paperback copy or an ecopy of the book to one person who comments on any of the participating blogs – so if you leave a comment then you’ll be in with a chance!  The winner will be chosen by the author a week after the tour ends.

A Little Bit of Madness – Sheryl Browne – Cover Reveal Including Giveaway

GIVEAWAY CLOSED

Today I’m excited to be taking part in the cover reveal for Sheryl Browne’s new book A Little Bit of Madness, and here it is:

Cover Front

No rest for the wicked.

Saving Charlton hall will burrow into your heart.

Celia Summers loves her job as an art therapist at The Harbour Rest Home, even if her partner, Martin, is disparaging of her efforts.

Martin, a solicitor, made speculative investments and needs to get his hands on his mother’s assets, her home, Charlton Hall, to bail himself out of debt. In order to sell the house, he has to get Rosemary re-housed at The Harbour Rest Home and tries to get Celia on his side with a fabrication of lies.

Meanwhile, Celia fights for gallery space for her charges’ artwork, and to keep The Harbour from being closed.

Police Constable Alex Burrows, son of Colonel Burrows, comes to her rescue when she crashes her car. Alex turns out to be considerate and caring with a witty, wicked, sense of humour, which makes Celia laugh, though when she learns of the circumstances surrounding his the loss of his wife, she wants to cry. She ignores his reputation as a womaniser. His trying to influence his father’s Will though, she can’t.  Alex, who little by little has stolen her heart, appears to be just as much a liar as Martin.

Despite all efforts, The Harbour is doomed to closure. Celia decides to take Rosemary home and forestall Martin’s plan to sell Charlton Hall. Celia is soon joined by the rest of her elderly independents, who rally together to stop Martin evicting them. Colonel Burrows is ready to thrash the enemy to death with his walking stick when his son arrives in his uniform. Alex explains that Colonel Burrows is the buyer of Charlton Hall and finally does what he’s been trying to do for ages: ask Celia to marry him.

A Little bit of Madness is due to be released on 14th February 2013 and will appear here on Me, My Books and I on 16th February 2013 as part of the fantastic book tour to celebrate its release.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sheryl Browne grew up in Birmingham, UK, where she studied Art & Design.

A partner in her own business, a mother and a foster parent to disabled dogs, Sheryl has also been writing for many years, the road along the way often bumpy. She was therefore thrilled beyond words when Safkhet Publishing loved her writing style and commissioned her to write her debut novel.

RECIPES FOR DISASTER – combining deliciously different and fun recipes with sexilicious romantic comedy, is garnering some fabulous reviews and was shortlisted for the Innovation in Romantic Fiction Festival of Romance Award. Sheryl has since been offered a further three-book contract under the Safkhet Publishing Soul imprint. SOMEBODY TO LOVE, a romantic comedy centring around a single father’s search for love and his autistic little boy, launched July 1. WARRANT FOR LOVE, Blackmail, lies, adultery, entrapment – three couples in a twisting story that resolves perfectly – released August 1.

To find out more about Sheryl Browne click the following links:

Sheryl’s Website

Safkhet Publishing

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

Author Facebook

Romantic Novelists Association

Sheryl is a loveahappyending featured Author and Editor.

Twitter: @sherylbrowne

LOVE QUESTION

As part of this cover reveal the author and hosts have been answering questions related to love, my question was:

What is the silliest thing you’ve done to impress a man?

Sheryl – Boarded the loft. Picture the scene: 5ft 2ins me, heaving 40 panels of tongue and groove chipboard (each one the equivalent of my own bodyweight) up a ladder and through a 3ft x 4ft hole in the ceiling (Please note ladder is propped precariously at entrance in absence of actual loft-ladder, which is a job on man’s To-Do-sometime list). Yes, I completed the task solo, each panel neatly screwed and fixed, loft insulation not too squished. No pipes or wires punctured. Good job, well done. Ahhh, sweet satisfaction. Then I knocked myself out on a beam.

Later: Man appears and pokes his head around lounge door, where I sit on the sofa incapable of moving anything but my eyeballs. ‘You all right?’ he asks, his brow furrowed in puzzlement.

‘No,’ I mumble and wince, speaking almost too strenuous for my battered body. ‘I boarded the loft.’

‘Oh,’ he says, obviously noting the pain etched into my face. ‘So what’s wrong?’

Moral of story: If a plug needs changing, girls, bat your eyelashes and pass him the screwdriver.

Me – I was 17 and about to enjoy a takeaway Chinese meal with my boyfriend of a few weeks.  At this point in our relationship everything I did when he was around was aimed to impress him so in hindsight maybe leaving my plate of food on the floor wasn’t the best idea (can you see where this is going?).

I went out of the room to get us some drinks and had been considering how I could walk in a more sexy/seductive way.  When I returned I was strutting my stuff with a sexy new walk so imagine my horror when I stood straight in the middle of my food!

My boyfriend thought it was hilarious but being a gentleman he did offer to share his food with me. Needless to say I dropped the idea of a sexy walk and never again left a plate of food on the floor.  The shameful episode clearly didn’t do our relationship too much harm though as we went on to get married and 13 years later we still laugh about it 🙂

The lesson to be learned from this – a sexy walk is fine as long as there are no plates of food on the floor!

Visit Fiction Addiction Book Tours to find out where the next stop on the tour is!

GIVEAWAY

As an extra for the cover reveal the author is offering either a paperback copy or an ecopy of the book to one person who comments on any of the participating blogs – so if you leave a comment then you’ll be in with a chance!  The winner will be chosen by the author a week after the tour ends.

Warrant For Love – Sheryl Browne

“Life for Paul sounds like your typical country song. He comes from a broken home, his wife is divorcing him, he’s got no place to live, he’s losing custody of his son, and his sergeant, who’s sleeping with his wife, is a loud-mouthed braggart who won’t let up on him – not even at work.

Leanne’s caught her (now) ex cheating on her again, but before she can give him the what-for, she’s wrongfully arrested for soliciting – by Paul and his partner. One thing leads to another and things could be looking up for Paul, except for Leanne’s friends – quarrelling mom Nicky and financial goddess Jade – have it out for her ex.

Leanne wants closure, Paul wants a home, and Nicky and Jade want revenge. Blackmail, lies, adultery, entrapment. Will it all work out in the end or will Paul uphold the law? It sounds like he needs a Warrant for Love.”

I got this eBook when it was available as a free download from Amazon (current price £1.98), I’ve also read and enjoyed Somebody To Love by the same author.

I could tell straight away that the main character Leanne would be fun – she was likeable, a bit scatty and many of her ways reminded me of myself!  I’m crazy about animals so I love a book with pets in it and this one had a fabulous dog called Doorstep (what a brilliant name!).  I’m also rather partial to a man in uniform so this book certainly was a treat for me as there was also a dishy policeman involved.

The dishy policeman was called Paul, he clearly found it difficult to express himself and finding out more about his past gave the reason why.  The very difficult issue of physical abuse was dealt with sensitively and didn’t overshadow the rest of the story in any way.

Leanne and Paul’s first meeting was brilliant, I laughed so much as I pictured the scene.  I particularly enjoyed Leanne’s witty comments as she was being arrested, it wasn’t a great idea to insult the arresting police officer but I found it very entertaining as the reader 🙂

The other characters in the story were interesting – Nicky (Leanne’s sister) was having troubles at home with her husband and teenage children.  Jade was one of my favourite characters, she was a good friend to Leanne and Nicky and very feisty but she also had a sad past that hurt her and made her a tough nut to crack.  Her relationship with Saun was great to read and I would love to see them in a story of their own.

There were all sorts of ups and downs throughout the book, many of which I was able to predict but I enjoyed the journey nonetheless.  Later on there was a social services visit which had me crying with laughter, I really enjoyed this moment so make sure you look out for that part.

This was a lovely read, it had a feeling of realness to it and the message that no matter what life throws at you, it’s possible to overcome it.

To find out more about Sheryl Browne visit her website here.

Somebody To Love – Sheryl Browne

“After that idiot of a husband ran off with that broomstick of a girl, single-mom Donna thinks there’s no sunshine in her future. What she needs now is a hunk of a guy who loves her and her three-legged dog with no complications.

Solution? Call the police.

Mark is a single dad with two big worries – protect and serve, and his autistic son Karl. Desperately he wants someone who’ll love him and his son without question and with no complications. He’s been hurt before and Karl needs stability – not short dates. So he’ll do anything for his kid – even lie to protect him.

Can these two get it together and get together? Is Mark the hunk Donna needs? Is Donna the rock Mark can lean on? If they look hard enough, they’ll find Somebody to Love.”

I got this eBook when it was available as a free download from Amazon (its current price at the time of writing this review is £1.98).

I was quickly absorbed by the story and ended up staying awake until past midnight with the old ‘just one more chapter’ routine.  This meant that I finished the book in less than a day – I was just so engrossed in the characters lives that I had to know what would happen next for them.

When Donna and Mark met for the first time they got very friendly very quickly and I was a bit surprised when they began blurting out their feelings for one another – at that point I thought the story would be over before it had started!  Things soon cooled down and actually appeared to move backwards instead of forwards, this was one of the things that kept my interest so fully because I was wondering if or when they would get together.

The characters were all interesting, with the only exception being Donna’s ex-husband who was definitely the villain of the story.  There were also lots of pets in the story and this always gets a few extra points from me because I’m such an animal lover, Sadie the three-legged dog was a particular favourite.

Now to mention Mark, lovely lovely Mark, he was adorable and I have to confess to falling a little bit in love with him.  He was kind and caring but tough and gorgeous as well, I loved him and Donna as a couple because they were so much fun together.  His son Karl had autism spectrum disorder, something I didn’t really know much about so this side of the story I found incredibly interesting.  The story showed how the disorder affected the family as well as the child and Karl, the child in question, quickly became my favourite character.  I loved his interaction with Starbuck the dog, it was really touching to read, I had tears in my eyes and a big smile on my face many times whilst reading about Karl’s progression.

This book had funny and sad times, many misunderstandings, heart-warming moments and towards the end things even took a sinister turn.  All this combined made Somebody To Love a fantastic page-turner that I would definitely recommend.

To find out more about Sheryl Browne visit her website here.