Posted in Book Blitz, New Adult

***One Year Blogiversary GIVEAWAY participants***

Heey everyone!!

The Book Lovers is turning one year old at the end of the month (28th October) and I have an awesome giveaway planned for you all to enter which will be running for one week, and one week only!

Some of my dear friends and my favourite authors have been kind enough to donate their ebooks to my giveaway for all you lovely people to try and win.

So as a thank you for being amazing supporters of my blog, here are a list of the authors and the books you can enter to win. Just click on the ebook titles to go through to the GoodReads page of it to see what the book is about and click on ‘my reviews’ to check out what i said about them.

The giveaway will run from tomorrow (19th) – 28th where i will then randomize the winners so please specify in the comments which book(s) you would like to win 😉

Begins at 12am GMT on the 19th

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Karli Perrin – April Showers (#1) | My review

L.M Augustine – Two Roads |My review

Anna Bloom – The Art Of Letting Go – Year One | My review

Kerry Heavens – 3X a pair of Just Human and Still Human | JH review | SH review

Laura Beege – 2X These Things About Us | My review

Emma Hart – Second Chance Summer | My review

Emme Burton – Better Than Me

Terri Anne Browning – The Rocker series (4 ebooks) | My reviews

Christina Lee – All Of You

Tessa Bailey – Lovers Unmasked Anthology

Rachel Brookes – Just Breathe | My review

Jade C Jamison – 3 prizes you can choose from – Signed ‘Rock Bottom‘, packet of 3 eBooks – Bullet, Rock Bottom and Nikki Sosebee forsome and Jade SWAG. | My Reviews

Clare James – Before You Go | My review

Elle Field – Geli Voyante’s Hot or Not

Mary Palmerin – Signed Copies of Succumbing To Scars

Serenity Woods  – Seven Sexy Sins | My Review

Courtney Cross – Barely Surviving – Coupons for her novel.

Ella James – Taming Cross

Posted in Top posts

Top 3 posts

Every Sunday I will be highlighting the top three posts that you have all viewed during the past week.

1) Waiting on Wednesday: The Rocker That Loves Me – Terri Anne Browning

You can check out my post HERE

2) Ten reasons to LOVE ‘The Art Of Letting Go’ – Anna Bloom (+ Excerpt)

You can check out my post HERE

3) Mancandy Monday – Woods Kerrington

You can check out my post HERE

Posted in Anna Bloom, Notes

Ten reasons to LOVE ‘The Art Of Letting Go’ – Anna Bloom (+ Excerpt)

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Ten reasons to love The Art Of Letting Go

Anna Bloom’s debut novel – The Art Of Letting Go (the Uni Files, Year One) is released TODAY! YAAAY! I had the pleasure of reading this awesome book a few weeks ago…and it’s definitely 5 STAR material.

So I have put together ten reasons why you should buy The Art of Letting Go and why you should love it.

1) Ben Chambers. No further comment, jut Ben *sigh*

2) Lilah – Although you will want to kill her at times, she’s pretty damn cool!

3) Lilah and her drinking- you WILL buy wine in the bucket loads.

4) Ben’s cuteness – You will most definitely find that out!!

5) Tristan the arse – hes an arse but a nice arse 😉

6) How Lilah lives by Taylor Swift songs

7) Ben singing a Taylor Swift song.

8) Ben and Lilah together

9) BEN’S IN A BAND!!!

10) Ben singing this…..

And now here is the excerpt from Ben and Lilah’s first date: there may be a song involved….

6th October

12.45 a.m.

I have just managed to say a chaste goodbye to Ben at my door. By chaste I mean there was definitely kissing and fumbling but clothes remained intact and fastened. That’s chaste, right?

What a date!

Seriously, if that was a first date, then what would a second date be like, or a third? Or, I don’t know, what would forever be like, if I got to wake up with him every day?

I can’t think now. Need to sleep. Sleep good. Think tomorrow.

The Date

A date done Ben-style is unlike any I have ever known. It blows any other first date completely out of the water.

It’s a good thing I said yes. He made it sound spontaneous, but I think he must have gone to a lot of effort. Well, a lot of organising effort.

Ben navigates us through the public transport system, the whole time not telling me where we are going. We end up outside a pub that looks a little on the dodgy side, right in the heart of Borough Market. He walks calmly up to the door and pushes through, exuding an air of confidence that I could only ever dream of, while pulling me through the door after him, holding me close to his side.

The first thing I am surprised by is the sight of Meredith and Tristan, more so by Tristan, but it seems these two are a double act these days, so I choose to ignore it.

The second thing I am surprised by is the sight of the rest of his band mates all standing over in the corner with their instruments behind them. I have seen them in passing at Fez Club, but we never talk. I swing back around to Ben and find him watching me closely, gauging my reaction.

Wow!

“I told you, I am going to make you mine. Figure I can help you make up your mind,” he explains.

He is grinning like a Cheshire Cat, completely in his element and looking so incredibly hot it is taking every ounce of willpower not to jump him right now.

This is amazingly perfect. I love live music and now the sexy boy from next door is going to sing live—to me! It does not get any better than that. All thoughts of John, and where I should be, completely run from my mind. They do not just run, they leg it on a 100-meter sprint.

I jump up and plant my lips on his. He smiles and kisses me back. My hands are in his hair and I can feel my body start to melt inch by inch towards him when there is a sarcastic cough behind us. Tristan.

Wanker.

Ben makes a show of dragging over a stool into the centre of the room and placing me on it before walking over to the rest of the band who all greet him with bro-hugs, you know the kind that proclaim, “Yeah, we are guys, but we hug. So what?”

Ben slides out of his jacket and heads towards the microphone. My knees are practically jack-hammering up and down with anticipation as I stare at him. His blue check shirt is catching against the lights, and his hair is almost jet black in contrast.

“So anyway, this is a date of sorts,” he speaks into the microphone.

His voice sounds so outrageously sexy that it’s a sheer miracle my knickers don’t just explode right there and then.

Ping.

He gives me a nod, which I return, beaming like a bloody idiot.

“This is for Delilah,” he announces and laughs into the microphone as he starts to pick out the notes to “Hey There, Delilah.”

No, he really is going to play it. Funny-funny!

I can feel Meredith and Tristan pull up chairs alongside me but I don’t take my eyes off Ben as the band start to play.

Forty-five minutes later, after playing a completely off-the-cuff acoustic set, Ben tells the bemused crowd at the pub that he needs to have a break to snog the sexy brunette sitting in the middle. I duck my head down to avoid the stares as the whole place breaks out into cheers and clapping. He strides towards me and I jump out of my seat like a thirteen-year-old at her first concert. I wrap my arms around his neck and place my lips against his. He is hot and sweaty, but if anything, that makes him even sexier.

Damn that man!

The rest of the pub all start to cheer or maybe jeer, but I just keep my eyes closed and ignore the jibes and calls.

This may possibly be the single best date ever.

Taylor is singing “Fearless” in my head. I am feeling pretty fearless.

Nothing can ruin this. Well, nothing apart from a girl dressed only in a scarf.

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Art-Letting-Uni-Files-ebook/dp/B00FEX0OB8/ref=sr_1_sc_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1380092920&sr=1-1-spell&keywords=the+art+of+letting+go+annabloom

Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/The-Art-Letting-Files-ebook/dp/B00FEX0OB8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1380092946&sr=8-1&keywords=the+art+of+letting+go+anna+bloom

Posted in Book Tours, Cover Reveal

COVER/TEASER of The Art Of Letting Go – Anna Bloom

The Art of Letting Go by Anna Bloom is a Mature NA Romantic Comedy set in England (and is full of British charm and humor!). We’re excited to present you with the cover, an excerpt and a giveaway in anticipation of the release of this fantastic book on September 25th!

PS. I have already read this book and I can fully say you will all love it. It’s such an awesome book but hands off because Ben is mine 😉

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The Uni Files: Year One- The Art of Letting Go by Anna Bloom
Due to Release September 25th, 2013 by Soul Mate Publishing

Synopsis

One year. One woman. One Diary. One question: can you ever stop history from repeating itself
and if you could what would you do to stop it?

When Lilah McCannon
realises at the age of twenty-five that history is going to repeat itself and she is going to become her mother—bored, drunk and wearing a twinset—there is only one thing to do: take drastic action.

Turning her back on her old life, Lilah’s plan is to enrol at university, get a degree and prove she is a grown-up.
As plans go, it is a good one. There are rules to follow: no alcohol, no cigarettes, no boys and no going home. But when Lilah meets the lead singer of a local band and finds herself unexpectedly falling in love, she realises her rules are not going to be the only things hard to keep.

With the academic year slipping by too quickly, Lilah faces a barrage of new challenges: will she ever make it up the Library stairs without having a heart attack? Can she handle a day on campus without drinking vodka?

Will she ever manage to read a history book without falling asleep? And most importantly, can she become the grown-up that she desperately wants to be.

With her head and her heart pulling her in different directions can Lilah learn the hardest lesson that her first year of
university has to teach her: The Art of Letting Go?

Find the book: Goodreads

About the Author:

Anna Bloom is a contemporary romance writer
who writes about life as it happens. Combining a busy schedule of looking after
two small children whilst working in a local school and completing The Uni
Files series she also spends a lot of time imagining
kissing hot guys – all in the name of her art.

Find the author: Website/Blog | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads

Excerpt

Last night.
By the time there was a knock on my door, I was ready and completely geared up. I enhanced my normal minimal makeup routine with smoky eyes and lashings of eyeliner. The crazy fuzz cut was managing to look quite funky. I could not guarantee it would hold.
I am rewarded for my efforts by Meredith dropping her drink all over the floor and Beth announcing very loudly that she may fancy me after all. I cringe at her loud voice, shushing her with my hand, which they both think is hilarious.
“Don’t worry, Lil, he has already walked over with Jayne. You would have heard them leave had you not been so busy singing. “
“Bite me. “
“You look lovely, Lilah,” Meredith says, seeming very sincere, and I give her a big hug.
I should own up to the fact that I have had a few sneaky drinkies in my room whilst getting ready.
We head out of the door and run across to Digby. Well, I totter, but at a reasonable pace despite the stilettos.
As we push through the doors, I have the immense satisfaction of seeing Ben, who is sitting in the corner, choke on his beer. I give a little half-interested wave of my hand, acknowledging that I have seen him, and saunter over to the bar.
Trev gives a low whistle when he sees me, and proceeds to give me a drink on the house.
Blimey! Who would have thought that getting dressed up would have had this much effect? I should have done it ages ago. There is a DJ playing, but as yet there is no one on the dance floor, so we stand at the bar and make girly chitchat.
Jayne comes over from her table and high fives me. “Well done. Lilah! The whole football team wants to give you a shot. “
I blush furiously and swat her away. Shame for them, there is only one member of the team from which I would be open to offers.
After a while, Tristan arrives. He actually spends so much time on campus I don’t know why he does not enrol and just study here as well. He gives me a wink as he leans in to say hi.
“Going all out, Lil?”
“Better believe it,” I respond with a wink of my own.
I feel completely amazing. For the first time in my entire life, my confidence is at an all-time high. I grab a drink and start mingling around, greeting people I recognise. It takes them all a moment to register who I am, and then I get a lot of hugs. It’s great, but then again it’s a bit worrying. Do I walk around looking like scruffy moose the rest of the time? The only person who doesn’t come and speak to me is Ben. I maturely decide to ignore this. Out of the corner of my eye, I can see the blues flash as he watches me talk to a couple of the guys from History class. Ha! Stick that, sucker.
Five vodkas later and the Lilah dancing machine is out in full force. There are not that many people on the dance floor but I don’t care. I dance away quite merrily until I realise that the room is spinning rather a lot. I try to slow my pace but the room is still spinning which makes me realise that it must be my head and not the crazy dance I am performing.
“I am going out for a smoke,” I tell Meredith, who is doing something I would rather not witness with Tristan on the dance floor.
Outside, I lean against my tree (yes, it is mine) and merrily smoke away. As I smoke I start to sober up a little bit. What on earth am I doing? My whole reasoning for the day begins to make no sense to me at all.
I don’t want to get back together with Ben because I want him to go to the States and have his great career.
It was me who suggested being friends.
It is me who has enjoyed the last week of being friends and the casual flirting that has been simmering under the surface.
It is me who knows that eventually I am just going to have to let go of him being a part of my life.
So why the fuck am I dressed up to the nines attempting to get his attention?
By the time I am on my second cigarette, leaning against the tree with my eyes shut, I am feeling like a complete idiot and just want to go back home and get changed into my comfy jeans and a hoodie.
I feel a hand slide down my arm. I don’t have to open my eyes to know who it is. I would know that touch anywhere.
“What are you doing out here, Lilah? It is freezing. “
I don’t bother opening my eyes, but wave my cigarette in the general direction of his voice, hoping I don’t set his hair alight.
“Look at me,” he says, his voice soft and very close to my ear.
I open my eyes and meet his. “Hey,” I say.
“Hey,” he whispers back

Participate in the Read-Along! Anna Bloom and other bloggers are hosting a read-along for this great book from September 27th to October 13th.  Be sure to stop by http://annabloomwrites.com/ for all the details and to sign up!

Giveaway:

In celebration of the release Anna Bloom is giving away a $20 Gift Card, open worldwide! You can choose which place you’d like it to be for since Amazon isn’t available everywhere.

Please read the terms and conditions at the bottom of the rafflecopter before entering.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Posted in Top posts

Top 3 posts

Every sunday I will posting the top three post of my blog throughout the week.

1) Mancandy Monday – Griffin

tumblr_miteosbnHM1s715eao1_500

https://lovebookreviews.wordpress.com/2013/08/05/mancandy-monday-the-place-where-all-the-hot-guys-go-2/

 

178522612) The Rocker That Needs Me (#3) – Terri Anne Browning

https://lovebookreviews.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/the-rocker-that-needs-me-3-terri-anne-browning/

Synopsis

The Demon…

I’ve been fighting my own demons for most of my life. The alcohol seems to numb the pain, but it never makes the nightmares go away. All I want in life is a little peace. When I met my angel it felt like I found it, but there is so much standing between us. Why does she have to be so young…?

The Demon’s Angel…

Meeting Drake was the best thing to ever happen to me. I found my friend, my soul mate. But he lets my age stand between us. There is something that haunts him, and I selfishly want to be the one that helps him conquer his ghosts. If he would just let me in, let me closer, I think I could help him…

 

182713143) Author Interview with Anna Bloom

https://lovebookreviews.wordpress.com/2013/08/08/author-interview-with-anna-bloom/

 

Posted in Anna Bloom, Author Interviews, Interviews

AUTHOR INTERVIEW with Anna Bloom

Today I have a very truthful interview with the lovely Anna Bloom!

If you have yet to know of her and her awesome book (Which i am currently reading. Sorry guys, Ben is mine and has been for a few months now ;)) then maybe this will get you interested and click that button on 25th September 😉

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18271314Synopsis

One year. One woman. One Diary. One question: can you ever stop history from repeating itself and if you could what would you do to stop it?
When Lilah McCannon realises at the age of twenty-five that history is going to repeat itself and she is going to become her mother—bored, drunk and wearing a twinset—there is only one thing to do: take drastic action.
Turning her back on her old life, Lilah’s plan is to enrol at university, get a degree and prove she is a grown-up.
As plans go, it is a good one. There are rules to follow: no alcohol, no cigarettes, no boys and no going home. But when Lilah meets the lead singer of a local band and finds herself unexpectedly falling in love, she realises her rules are not going to be the only things hard to keep.
With the academic year slipping by too quickly, Lilah faces a barrage of new challenges: will she ever make it up the Library stairs without having a heart attack? Can she handle a day on campus without drinking vodka? Will she ever manage to read a history book without falling asleep? And most importantly, can she become the grown-up that she desperately wants to be.
With her head and her heart pulling her in different directions can Lilah learn the hardest lesson that her first year of university has to teach her: The Art of Letting Go?

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1)     Firstly, where did the inspiration for The Art of Letting Go come from?
So this is the honest answer…When I was at Uni I wrote a diary…no I promise you I am not taking the p*ss, I actually did. A long long time after I graduated I found the diary and gave it a quick re-read. I was shocked and horrified by just what a pile of drivel I had written. So I threw it away. Another few years passed and I started thinking about the diary again, I guess I no longer felt so sensitive about the stuff that was in there. I kind of regretted throwing it away and I felt bad that I had thrown away a bit of my past just because I felt it in that moment. The more I thought about it the more the idea grew that it would be so much fun to just re-write my Uni diary and make it much more exciting than anything that actually happened to me! Much much more exciting…. No one would want to read a book about my antics at Uni but hopefully everyone will want to read about my characters.

 

2)     How long did it take you to write it?
Well the overall writing with all the different versions took about two years, but when I first started writing I was not doing it seriously, I was just messing around. In fact I wrote a large percentage of the first version in long hand.

When I eventually started in earnest it was quite quick. My epithany for this version actually happened on the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee weekend I then wrote like a crazy person for two-three months solid and had pretty much finished the version I was going to keep by August when I handed it over to me editor. I am very spontaneous – if I hear it in my head then I just have to keep going until it is all down and I won’t stop until it is complete!

 

3)     From your guest post, you said there were many things that changed, how did you know that this was the final version?
This was just the version that I knew worked. It was everything that I wanted, funny, sarcastic, romantic and a little on the edge. I did not want to just write a straight forward romance I wanted to push the reader a little, I wanted to challenge them into liking my characters. There is one bit that my editor, was like, no seriously there are going to be a lot of women that complain about that, but I held firm. A book should challenge you. It should be fun and enjoyable but the reader should want to invest in you and your characters and I really hope I have achieved that. I want everyone to believe in the world I have created and I knew I had the version I wanted to keep when I knew I believed in it – I was no longer trying to hit a word count the words were just flying from my fingers.

 

4)     You’re book is unique, you use diary entries to mark the days/time of the events, what made you choose to do it this way?
I’ve touched on this above but I only really started the Diary idea after my Jubilee weekend epiphany. It just suddenly made sense – there I was trying to write a book based on this idea of an old diary of mine (remember not my actual diary) but I was not writing it as a Journal. The moment I started breaking it all up and looking at the academic year as a diary it all started to flow pretty fast. I love the fact that on some days Lilah has nothing at all to say but on another she has the one of the best days of her life. That’s what real life is actually like – it is not all drama every day! Well not for most people.

 

5)     Is Lilah based on you or traits of you? Come on, no lying now 😉
Um…this is a tricky one. Truth be known Lilah does have a few of my traits, mainly a deep love of wine. But I don’t rely on Vodka to see my way through emotional trauma and I can cook!

I think most people want to know if this book is based on what happened to me at Uni but sadly it’s not. However, I do take note of pretty much everything that goes on around me and I am known to slide the odd thing in.

The fountain pen gaff in the opening pages is something that I once said to someone (thirteen years later it’s still one of the more embarrassing things I have said) and I did have a friend at Uni who puked on a pub carpet after a trip to the Imperial War Museum. In the second book there are a few of the crazier things that my sister and I have done over the years but I will reveal them when the time is right!

 

6)     Ben is unique in the way he looks, black hair, blue eyes and freckles. Did you imagine anyone to look like him when you were writing him? It had taken us forever to find him.
The reason we can’t find a suitable picture of Ben, although I am rather pleased with the one we have found this week! Is basically because he only exists in my head. There is no Ben Chambers and he is not based look wise on anyone. The only thing I was determined to have were the cornflower blue eyes, that was very important to me but the rest just grew as I wrote him. I think that’s why his eyes are the first bit that Lilah see’s because that is the first bit I saw as well. I think his mannerisms are a culmination of many influences… but I can admit that I do love a man who can play guitar.

 

7)     Taylor Swift songs are a big part of the book. What was it about her songs that made Lilah think about which ones she followed that day/week?
I listened to A LOT of Taylor Swift when writing this book, and I truly love her writing. She can get down in a three minute song what it takes me a 100k word book to say.

I added the songs on my first read through. So I listened to it a lot when writing but not any song in particular but then when I went back through from the beginning every time I had a little giggle or something obvious jumped out at me I added it in. I used to sit there and think – what would Taylor sing about that?

There is one Taylor Swift song that started off my whole writing process and I do mention it in the book but it is not one of the songs she is living her life too. I will tell you the day the book comes out and it goes back to my first answer regarding the diary….haha cryptic!

 

8)     are Taylor’s songs a guilty pleasure on karaoke? 😉
I am far too old for Karaoke and I think the last thing I sang at Karaoke was an Abba song (I say no more) but I do have a feeling that one day…and maybe you will be there to sing it with me I will belt out All Too Well at the top of my lungs. I love that song and it is the sort of song that needs to be shouted…but I will need to be hideously drunk to do it!

 

9)     how many bottles of wine did you get through when writing The Art Of Letting Go?
Too many too remember!! In fact I hate to think….

 

10) what is your fav wine?
Depends what mood I am in. Either a perfect crisp Pinot Grigio, or a deep heavy Shiraz guaranteed to give you a cracking headache.

 

11)if I were to come visit you, what would the night consist of? This is a plan!
Well we would have to go to Putney…obviously… We would start at the top of the high street at the Wetherspoons with all the old men (cheap booze) and then work our way down the high street until hopefully ending up at the Half Moon where if our luck is in there will be a hottie singing live music. Or we could go to The Fez…but I am probably too old to get in these days!  

 

12)do you have more books in the line up? Like the second and third years? Spin-offs? Wink wink.
Yes, Year Two – The Art of keeping Faith is in editing right now. It is a bit of a shocker and even I cannot believe that I have taken the characters to those places, but it does have a good ending and that is all I am going to say!

Year Three – The Art of Growing Up is going to be my hardest one to write which is why I am putting it off for a moment until it is completely right in my head. The story line is going to go full circle but I already know how it is going to end, and believe me I cannot wait to write that scene.

Ben has his novella which I just love. There is this one line that makes me give a little squeal every time I read it. I love Ben maybe a little too much at times.

Alongside Year Two I am going to have another Novella based on a character called Zoe….a publishing assistant who helps Lilah out of a trick situation – twice (ha! You only know about the once). She is going to be around for the rest of the series and you never know may get a full novel of her own at some point when I have finished at Uni. Maybe a publishing house will be my next port of call! Actually I am going to finish a novel based in Cornwall first with a hot artist called Jude in it first but then maybe after that will head back to the big smoke and visit a publishing house.

 

13)You are an avid reader of my blog, and you always send me cute emails that make my day. I have to ask, what is it about my blog that keeps you reading?
I love your infectious love of books and your enthusiasm for supporting everyone. I like the fact that I think I can now read in between the lines of your reviews and know when you like a book and when you really love a book…I probably can’t but I like to think I can.

And I like the fact there is always an element of fun to the posts. It is not just a blog where you review books because that is what you say you are going to do. It is a blog you run because you love reading and you also love the art of writing and respect it.

 

14) if you were to pick one guy, other than your husband (don’t tell him I asked you this) to marry, who would it be?
Brandon Flowers. No hesitation whatsoever at all.

 

15) finally what scene are you most looking forward to people reading?
Oh that’s quite a tricky one. I think I like all the quiet moments between Lilah and Ben the best. I love it when they have conversations in the middle of the night. But if I had to narrow it down to one scene it would be Trafalgar Square or maybe the Leaver’s Ball. Or maybe Trafalgar Square, or maybe The Leavers Ball or maybe…

Follow Anna on Twitter @annabloombooks
Her Website: http://annabloomwrites.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AnnaBloomBooks

Posted in Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesday: The Art Of Letting Go – Anna Bloom

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers.

My Teaser

I think Roehampton actually chose me. In August, when i left my desk for the world’s longest cigarette break, i had no plan of what to do next.

Page 12, EARC of The Art of Letting go (The Uni Files) – Anna Bloom

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Posted in Anna Bloom, Guest Reviews

GUEST REVIEW by Anna Bloom

Before I post Anna’s review, you all seriously need to add The Uni Files to your TBR list.

Anna has become a good friend and I’ve had sneaky views of this book and it really looks amazing to read! It’s my next book to read after my tour book ;). But yesss, Anna has kindly written about The Uni Files for ya’ll to know what it is about 😀

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Synopsis

When Lilah McCannon realises at the age of twenty-five that history is going to repeat itself and she is going to become her mother—bored, drunk and wearing a twinset—there is only one thing to do: take drastic action.

Turning her back on her old life, Lilah’s plan is to enrol at university, get a degree, prove she is a grown-up and blow a big fat raspberry at all those who doubt her, especially her dad.

As plans go, it is a good one. There are rules to follow: no alcohol, no cigarettes, no boys and no going home. But when Lilah meets the lead singer of a local band and finds herself unexpectedly falling in love, she realises her rules are not going to be the only things hard to keep.

With the academic year slipping by too quickly, Lilah faces a barrage of new challenges: will she ever make it up the Library stairs without having a heart attack? Can she handle a day on campus without drinking vodka? Will she ever manage to read a history book without falling asleep? And most importantly, can she become the grown-up that she desperately wants to be and learn the hardest lesson that her first year of university has to teach her: The Art of Letting Go?

The Uni File: Year One – The Art of Letting Go is the humorous diary of a young woman in the throes of a mid-twenties breakdown. It will leave you asking the question: can you ever stop history from repeating itself and if you could, what would you do to stop it?

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Anna’s guest post

Did you know that there were two versions of The Uni File – Year One before I finally finished one I was happy with? Of course you don’t. None of you know about The Uni File yet because we are still two months away from publication and you haven’t had a glimpse into the world of Ben and Lilah yet. It is a world to me, a world that I live and breathe and spend every waking moment thinking about.

So why did I end up with the version that I did? What did it have that the others didn’t? What made it set my imagination on fire to such an extent that it would become something that I would put my real life on hold for?

Well the truth is I don’t really know. It just evolved and my characters and the storyline changed along with it, every version took the characters one step further until I finally knew who I wanted them to be. For instance in my first draft Lilah was not called Lilah she was called Jessie and the Uni File was not a diary but a blog. Jessie used to have a diary but her brother Tristan who was also her best friend got drunk one night and read it out to the whole pub. Jessie left the diary at home and decided to have a blog instead on her first day at Uni.

I don’t know when Jessie became Lilah but I guess at some point she did and I am glad of that fact. The Uni File would just not be the same with a Jessie at the helm instead of a Delilah. Just the name Delilah speaks crazy for me and opens up so many different avenues to explore. For example Lilah hates it when people call her Delilah, but Ben does, normally when he is taking the piss out of her. All of her good friends call her Lil which I would never have thought works but it kind of does all the same.

Tristan did not remain in his cuddly best friend Brother role. He is Tristan the Arse in this version, but you will have to read it to find out why.

Now Ben. Ben was initially called Ben Chase and he did not play guitar. Yes that is right and I will repeat it just to make it clear, BEN DID NOT PLAY GUITAR! I know… I thought of a premise for a story where my Ben did not play guitar? I just can’t believe it, but the evidence is there so it must be true. Ben Chase was a member of the football team who seemed like an enigma to Jessie. Always warm and friendly but legged it at every available opportunity. I cannot even tell you how far this is from my Benjamin Chambers who is strong and solid, caring and thoughtful as well as super talented and outrageously hot (of course).

In my second draft I went the other way, Lilah was Lilah by that point but she was stuck in a dramatic storyline involving blackmail and family feuds. Ben was Ben Chambers but his band Sound Box were uber famous and it was Ben that was running away to University to escape the limelight and not Lilah who was changing her life in a bid to save herself.

I was halfway into this version when I woke up at five in the morning and had an epiphany. I knew exactly the kind of book I wanted to write. I stripped it all back to just Lilah and Ben and then I started to create a world around them, I gave them friends who all have their own stories, I gave them an environment where anything could be possible and I gave them the chance to create something that could be perfect. I wanted it to be laugh out loud funny, I wanted it to be beautiful and romantic. I wanted it to be a love story but a real one at the same time, one that people would read and fall in love with the characters but also understand and accept the decisions that they had to make. More than all of that I wanted to write a novel that people would believe, a love so right that it would feel it had actually happened, a world so convincing it would all feel real.

Have I succeeded? I hope so, but I guess I will be waiting for you guys to let me know when you finally get to enter the world of Lilah and Ben and The Uni Files.

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