Tuesday 30 May 2017

The Cafe in Fir Tree Park by Katey Lovell #BlogTour @Katey5678 @harperimpulse #MyLifeInBooks

Maggie’s café is at the very heart of Fir Tree Park. Business is booming, her lemon drizzle is the stuff of legend, her children are happy and life is good. But she hasn’t had it easy. 
When her husband Clint was sent to prison, she had to raise Josh and Kelly alone. But Clint can’t hurt them now, and there’s no denying that Paolo, the Italian football coach she spies every weekend out on the green, is more than easy on the eye.
It may be summer outside, but a new arrival in Fir Tree Park sends an icy chill through the café…

The Cafe in Fir Tree Park by Katey Lovell is published by Harper Impulse on 26 May 2017 and is the author's second novel. I read and reviewed her first, The Singalong Society for Singletons here on Random Things   in December last year.

As part of the Blog Tour, I'm really delighted to welcome Katey here today. She's talking to us about the books that are special to her and make up her own 'My Life In Books'.

My Life In Books ~ Katey Lovell

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been an avid reader.  I can’t begin to estimate how many books I’ve read in all – thousands upon thousands, and that’s not including re-reads.  With that in mind, when Anne invited me to share the books that have most impacted my life, an impending panic took over.  How on earth would I choose? In the end I managed to whittle over thirty years of reading into four books that have changed me, my life and my outlook.  Here’s my selection…

As a child and a teen, I was a big fan of series reads.  Firstly it was Enid Blyton’s Famous Five and Secret Seven, then I moved onto Sweet Valley Twins.  Eventually I progressed to Sweet Valley High and so started a love affair with YA that endures to this day. 
Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield’s American life was so very different to my own in semi-rural Wales, and I now realise the escapism was a huge attraction to me.  The plots always centred around friendships, relationships and the insular nature of community living, yet the continual dramas and melodramas had me hooked despite the formulaic style.
I sadly gave my copies to charity shops when I left home, but have started collecting the series again over recent years.

I first read this book when I was in my first year at university, around the same time I read Bridget Jones’s Diary and William Sutcliffe’s Are You Experienced?  Commercial fiction was taking off and I was lapping it up. 
Looking back, it was this book that started me dreaming about writing a novel myself, because I wanted to create likeable, fun characters like Jack and Amy.  The dual narrative also really appealed to me and is something I’m exploring in my Christmas novel, Joe and Clara’s Christmas Countdown. 
I was fortunate enough to meet Josie Lloyd after winning a writing competition, and told her how much this book influenced me.  In fact, I think I’m due a re-read…

A non-fiction book about an independent midwife in America, this was recommended to me by the student midwife who looked after me during the later stages of my pregnancy and postnatally.  Throughout my pregnancy I’d found it difficult to focus on reading, but once Zachary arrived my mojo returned and this was the first book I read as a new mum. 
At a time when I was already battling my emotions, this book brought me to tears on more than one occasion with its heartfelt honesty.  It’s a powerful memoir which I’d highly recommend.

This book had to be included, because it got me a job!  Back in 2004 I applied for a role promoting reading to under 5s.  It was a dream position for me, working with Rotherham Libraries and two local Sure Start centres to promote beautiful books. 
Part of the interview process required me to choose a book I’d use with a group of pre-schoolers and develop activities I could run that linked into its themes.  This was an obvious choice – there’s growth and development, and healthy eating, and having worked in education I was confident it was age appropriate, visually appealing and a timeless classic.
I love Eric Carle, and although this isn’t my favourite of his books (Brown Bear is!), this one served me well and had to be included!

Katey Lovell ~ May 2017 

Katey Lovell is fanatical about words. An avid reader, writer and poet, she once auditioned for Countdown and still tapes the show every night. Getting the conundrum before the contestants is her ultimate thrill.

She loves love and strives to write feel-good romance that'll make you laugh and cry in equal measure. 

Originally from South Wales, Katey now lives in Yorkshire with her husband and son.

Follow Katey's blog: Books With Bunny
Find her Author page on Facebook
Follow her on Twitter @Katey5678

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