Book Review: How Do You Like Me Now? By Holly Bourne

How Do You Like Me Now? By Holly Bourne
Release Date: 14th June 2018
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Buy: Hardback  Kindle

'Turning thirty is like playing musical chairs. The music stops, and everyone just marries whoever they happen to be sitting on.'

Who the f*ck is Tori Bailey?
There's no doubt that Tori is winning the game of life. She's inspired millions of women to stick two fingers up at convention with her bestselling memoir, and she has the perfect relationship to boot.
But Tori Bailey has been living a lie.
Everyone around her is getting married and having babies, but her long-term boyfriend won't even talk about getting engaged. And when her best friend Dee - her plus one, the only person who understands the madness - falls in love, suddenly Tori's in terrifying danger of being left behind.
When the world tells you to be one thing and turning thirty brings with it a loud ticking clock, it takes courage to walk your own path.
It's time for Tori to practise what she's preached, but the question is: is she brave enough?


Guest Post: Jill Mansell

Hello Holly, and thanks so much for inviting me to write a post for your brilliant blog!

When I first started writing books, no one knew what the internet was, and life for a writer could quite often be pretty lonely. I didn’t know any other novelists and the only way we could meet each other was when we were invited up to That Big London for publishing events once every couple of years.

But all that’s changed now, and honestly, it’s made such a world of difference. We can all chat to writers and readers everywhere, and I now have lots of novelist friends I can chat with at any time of the day or night, depending on where in the world they live.

I also know that reading my books has helped to get people through hard times, as well as entertaining them whenever they needed a distraction. But I’ve only recently realised that my work has brought strangers together, and it’s such a delightful idea that I’m now wondering if there are more examples out there that I haven’t heard about yet!

Several years back, two ladies won a competition run by my publisher to travel to Birmingham and join me for high tea in a posh hotel. We were all strangers to each other, but had a wonderfully gossipy afternoon eating gorgeous cakes and drinking Champagne. Best of all, these two ladies went on to become good friends who still often meet up, and if they hadn’t both entered the competition, they would never have met! (Hello, Juliette and Debs!)

Another lady wrote to tell me that she replied to a comment I’d made on Facebook some time ago, and another lady then replied to her comment. They then got chatting together about my books, friended each other on Facebook...and now they are great friends! Isn’t that just fab?

The third story was again told to me on Facebook (where would we be without it?!) A reader told me she was on holiday when she saw another girl sunbathing by the pool with one of my books. She couldn’t resist going over and telling her that she enjoyed reading my novels too. They bonded over this, carried on meeting up throughout the holiday and have also ended up being real-life best friends. I was so thrilled to hear this!

This Could Change Everything is just out in paperback. The theme of the book is that even the tiniest gesture or action can have life-changing results. Every day, we have the ability to change our lives for the better, sometimes in the unlikeliest of ways. And I can’t think of anything nicer than gaining a really lovely new friend.

If anyone reading this has a similar story, please do leave a comment - I’d love to hear about it!


Jill xx

One little mistake and nothing will ever be the same again!

On the one hand, if Essie hadn't written that letter - the one that only her best friend was meant to see - then she'd still be living like an actual proper grown-up, tucked up with Paul in his picture-perfect cottage, maybe even planning their wedding...
On the other hand (if her true feelings hadn't accidentally taken the internet by storm, that is) she wouldn't have moved into the attic flat on the square. She would never have met Conor. Or got to know Lucas...
And she wouldn't have found herself falling in love with someone she really, really shouldn't fall in love with...
Released in paperback on the 12th July 2018. Click to pre-order.

A huge thank you to to Jill Mansell for writing this wonderful blog post & to the fabulous Anne Carter.


Extract: The Mum Who Had Enough by Fiona Gibson

Weekends are usually an opportunity to kick back, read the papers, walk Scout, maybe meet up with Eric and Sarah. Or Sinead and I would just go out for a drink ourselves: all the ordinary (but now, I realise, intensely pleasurable) stuff I’ve taken for granted all these years. Without Sinead here on Saturday morning – and with no work to go to – I simply don’t know what to do with myself.
Still, I can’t fall apart. I’m still Flynn’s dad and, if nothing else, I’m going to prove that I can run this home, this family, by myself.
Things start off pretty well, considering. Flynn emerges from his room a little before 10 a.m. There are no visible signs of tears or anger; on the contrary, he utters a gruff, ‘Morning’ as we pass on the stairs. I even dish up a proper breakfast – not that I’m expecting some kind of World’s Best Dad accolade for scrambling some eggs. However, we are coping, in that we are dressed, and nourished, and I have only checked my phone a handful of times to see if Sinead has been trying to contact me.
Of course she hasn’t. Idiot, I chastise myself.
Aware of behaving a little manically – in order to prove just how fucking fine I am – I suggest to Flynn that he fetches his guitar and we have a go at some new techniques. ‘Okay,’ he says warily. Minutes later, we’re sitting together in the living room while I show him a new take on the traditional twelve-bar blues he knows already.
He’s strumming away, albeit rather mechanically, as if he’s keen to get on with something else.
‘Hang on,’ I say, motioning him to stop. ‘It’d be good to change your emphasis, give it some whack on the second and fourth beat …’
‘What?’ he asks crossly, brow furrowing.
‘Let me show you.’ On my own guitar, I start to play a riff, aware of Flynn’s gradually flattening expression, his mouth setting in a firm line. I stop and look at him. ‘That was Chuck Berry. You can hear how he played about with the timing, the emphasis – that’s what gave him that unique sound—’
‘Dad,’ Flynn interrupts, placing his own guitar carefully on the sofa beside him.