Friday, 18 May 2012

Summer Daydreams by Carole Matthews - Blog Tour - Guest Post


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

 Paperback: 464 pages 
Publisher: Sphere (24 May 2012)

My Review

Wow, Summer Daydreams was just the warm fun read that I was looking for. I really won't be able to praise this book enough, but I will give it a go. The storyline is so relate-able on so many levels and I think it will be for most people in one way or another. It is perfectly balanced with highs, lows, love, heartache, disappointment, it really did have a whirlwind of emotions throughout. I fell in love with the well developed characters and I ended up staying up all night just to get the book finished. I am sad to say this is the first Carole Matthews book I have had the pleasure of reading, but I am pleased to announce it will definitely not be the last, I am now a new fan of the author. 

Nell Mc Namara is happily struggling along in life, she has a beautiful 4 year old daughter called Petal & a great boyfriend who adores her called Olly. She works in a chippy and she really does love it. When her boss Phil OK's the make-over on the chippy Nell is delighted and instantly starts to work.

Everyone tells Nell what a fantastic job she has done and Phil tells her she should go do something more with her life. Nell is soon waving goodbye to the chip shop, she is starting up her own business making handbags. But everything is such hard work and it puts a strain on Nell's relationship as well as her bank balance.. With her handbags flying off the shelves it seems her dreams are finally coming true.

But nothing in life ever runs smoothly and there will be lots of bumps along the road. Can everything Nell ever dreamt of come true? Well the ending for me was very satisfying and I was more than happy with how everything panned out. 

If you fancy some summer daydreams of your own, take a break, relax and pick up this fabulous book. You will definitely not be disappointed, this is a real winner that I won't soon forget. 

My favourite characters:

Nell: She is down-to-earth, like-able, relate-able, and ambitious. I clicked with her very early on and I genuinely cared what happened to her. I think most people will love her too. 

Phil: He is a fatherly type of figure, he is also a genuine nice guy who is both caring and like-able. I would love to read more about him and his new love interest, Constance.

*Special thanks to Sphere for the review copy*

5/5 Stars

Carly :)

I am so pleased to welcome Carole Matthews to Fiction Fascination today. Please enjoy her wonderful guest post below. There is also a fantastic giveaway to design your own handbag over here that is definitely worth checking out.  -Carly :)

Author Bio 

Born in St Helens, Merseyside, Carole began writing after she entered a short story competition in Writing Magazine and won a thousand pounds.  Then – to her and everyone else’s amazement – she spent the money, not on shoes and handbags, but on a writing course.  The tutor on the course liked what she was writing and recommended an agent who took her on straight away.  She got her first book deal, for Let’s Meet on Platform 8, a week later. Carole lives with her partner, Kevin, near Milton Keynes.

Guest Post 
My Top Ten All-Time Favourite Books 

The Other Boleyn Girl - Philippa Gregory 

I probably could have had any of Philippa Gregory’s books on my top ten list really! I am a massive fan of her books and she’s the only author who’ll I’ll buy in hardback as I want her books the second they come out. She is the Queen of Historical Fiction in my eyes. When I read her books, I can just picture myself in the Tudor courts or wherever they are set. They just draw you in to the scandal and intrigue of the age and I trust her historical research implicitly.

One Day - David Nicholls 

My current favourite book. I just thought this was beautifully written and portrayed its time period so well. My ex-husband was also very much a ‘Dexter’ and I think that’s why I empathised with it so much! I did get slightly cross that it was so lauded in the press. I’m sure if a woman had written the book it wouldn’t have got nearly so much attention from the media and would probably have been put in a pink cover. For me it’s great chicklit but written by a bloke. Jim Sturgess wasn’t too shabby as Dexter in the film either.

The Time Travellers’ Wife - Audrey Niffenegger 

This is probably the book I wish I’d written. It’s a love story about a man who travels backwards and forwards in time to be with the person he loves. It’s complicated and heart-breaking and I can’t imagine how on earth Ms Niffenegger kept track of what she was writing. I loved it.

Notes From a Small Island - Bill Bryson 

I was on a flight years ago and throughout the plane there were people giggling. I made it my business to have a look at what they were reading as I went backwards and forwards to the loo! Without exception they were reading Bill Bryson books and, as soon as we landed, I dashed to the nearest bookshop and bought a copy of Notes From a Small Island. I’ve read all of his travel books since and they’re great. I’d love to be able to produce a travel book like that. I do admit though that I’m having to read his last book, At Home, in bite-sized chunks. It’s just a bit too dense and factual for me to cope with in one sitting. I like him when he’s being lighter and more humorous. I think he’s the author I’d most like to invite to dinner.

Bridget Jones’ Diary - Helen Fielding 

I feel that I owe Bridget a lot. My very first book - Let’s Meet on Platform 8 - hit the shelves just as Bridget was becoming popular and started the whole chicklit wave. When Bridget hit America, she took me with her and I had a television book club pick and a USA Today bestseller over there. I think Bridge Jones’ Diary is a great book. Just perfect for the time. She’s endearing and funny. A great character and the films did the books proud.

Twilight - Stephenie Meyer

I love vampires! A few years ago I wanted to write a vampire novel and my agent told me that there was no market for them. Then along came Stephenie Meyer! This, in my opinion, is by far the best book in the series and I love how the various relationships are portrayed. Though I do find myself frequently wanting to slap Bella. A love story with bite. And... er... Team Edward, by the way.

The Thorn Birds - Colleen McCullough 

An oldie but a goodie. It’s the heartbreaking story of Meggie Cleary and the magnificent priest, Father Ralph de Bricassart, whose passionate and forbidden love affair lasts a lifetime. A real tear-jerker. It was published in the late 1970s and was the book of the time. It’s still a great read.

The Silence of the Lambs - Thomas Harris 

I love a book that keeps me up all night. And this is one of them. I started Silence of the Lambs one night when I went to bed and finished it, red-eyed, somewhere around dawn. It’s fabulous and terrifying. And I wish someone would write something just like it.

Fabulous Things - Kelly Braffet 

This book was published a few years ago now - 2005 in the UK. It’s a great story, gripping and unsettling. It’s about the claustrophobic relationship between sister and brother, Josie and Jack Raeburn and reminded me very much of a contemporary version of Flowers in the Attic by Virginia Andrews. Another book that was fantastic in its day. Braffet had one other book published - Last Seen Leaving - which I didn’t enjoy quite so much. But I can’t find anything else written by her. Shame.

Lucy Sullivan is Getting Married - Marian Keyes 

From the Queen of Chicklit. I think this, Marian’s first novel, is still her best. It’s an engaging and funny tale. I do love it when my own books are compared to Marian’s. To me, that’s the ultimate compliment. She hasn’t been writing for a few years due to crippling depression but she’s just bounced back with a recipe book Saved By Cake - which is a colourful and funny book featuring Marian’s very own take on the joys of baking.


  1. Thanks for a lovely review and for having me to guest post on your blog! Best wishes. Carole Matthews : ) xx

  2. I love Carole Matthews! ^_^

    Have you heard of The Only Way is Up? It's the first of her books that I read and still my favourite(:


  3. I love the cover of this book! It sounds so lovely. :)

    Great guest post. I loved Bridget Jones's Diary! So funny.

    Brilliant review, Carly!

  4. Carly, I am totally in the mood for and easy breezy summer read. This sounds like fun. I liked Carole's list...I have read many of the books on there but a few I need to research.

  5. @Eustacia No I haven't read it, but I will definitely check it out. Thanks =)


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