Monday, 19 May 2014



Today I would like to welcome Sam Birch author of The High-Street Brides Guide. Welcome Sam so glad you could join me. 

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Listen to your gut. You know when what you’re writing is and isn’t working, and if it’s not, be brave enough to cut a section out, to edit a story arc or do what’s necessary to make you feel right about it again, even if it’s a big job. Slogging on writing something you know you’re not happy with because it’s daunting to make changes won’t bring out your best work. Just make sure you save and back up the original version before you make sweeping changes—knowing you can always go back frees you up to move forward.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

I hope The High-Street Bride’s Guide helps to make planning your wedding cheaper, easier and more fun. When I wrote the book I wanted it to be practical, but also to be a laugh—none of this dry bullet-pointing or terrifying deadline-setting you sometimes get in wedding guidebooks—but one of the other great things brides and bridesmaids are telling me so far is that it’s been helping the woman of the hour relax and feel in control too, which I think is exactly what you need at what can be a pretty stressful time.

What were the challenges (research, literary, psychological, and logistical) in bringing it to life?

To be honest, The High-Street Bride’s Guide came kind of naturally. I’d been writing about wedding planning for about four years when I started it, and I finished it in a month. I had a really clear plan for the book from the off, since it was non-fiction and I wanted to make sure I covered everything I could think of. Then I just sat down and went at it until it was done!

What books have most influenced your life most?

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland has been one of my favourite books the longest—I’ve loved it to bits ever since I was little, and I’ve even acted in the play twice. The first time I played the dodo and one of the Queen of Hearts’ card soldiers, but by the second time around I’d been promoted to Alice! My husband knows how much I love the book, and for one of our anniversaries he got me a reprint of the original handwritten version with Lewis Carroll’s own drawings—it’s one of the most precious things I own. I read it with awe, noticing even the tiniest differences between that and the published book.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

Terry Pratchett, I think, because it kind of fits into the narrative of my writing career so far: I interviewed him back when I was Books Editor at my uni paper, York Vision, and that interview was what got me my first paid writing job, as Features Editor on a business magazine. It would make a weird kind of sense if he mentored me through my transition from journalism into books, and non-fiction into fiction.

What book are you reading now?

A couple by my fellow HarperImpulse authors: The Best Thing I Never Had by Erin Lawless, and The Right Side of Mr Wrong by Jane Linfoot. Two very different books, and quite a change from what I usually read—you might have noticed I’m a fan of J.K. Rowling, Douglas Adams, Terry Pratchett and co.—but I love trying new things! Erin’s book makes me all nostalgic for my uni years and Jane’s is my first foray into something a bit steamy!

Who is your favourite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

Don’t make me choose! I love Lewis Carroll, as you know by now, because of the crazy unexpectedness of his stories and the strange beauty of the world he creates—he can capture your imagination in such a unique way. I also love Terry Pratchett because I think we’ve got a really similar sense of humour—his books make me laugh more than any others—and Douglas Adams for his skewed logic, like what he says about dolphins in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy:

For instance, on the planet Earth, man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much—the wheel, New York, wars and so on—whilst all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man—for precisely the same reasons.”

Brides-to-be, this one’s for you!
You can say your vows in a catwalk gown so beautiful it reduces your mum to tears (and not because she paid for it).
You can style a reception so stunning your guests won’t believe you didn’t hire an A-list planner.
And you can sprinkle the day with personal touches that make everyone feel like you gave them special attention before they even got there. Without spending a house deposit on it. Honest.

Samantha Birch has written for GLAMOUR, Brides, You & Your Wedding and Cosmopolitan Bride. She knows a thing or two about planning a wedding on a budget, how much you can expect to pay for everything and where to go to get it for less. And she’s put it all down here.

Author Bio

So far I’m the author of one book: The High-Street Bride’s Guide. I’ve written about dresses, bridesmaids and cake toppers for Brides and You & Your Wedding, and regularly contribute to the likes of GLAMOUR and Love Baking – often while eating cake in my pyjamas. I live with my husband in a chaotically untidy flat in Letchworth, which I pretend is an artfully unkempt writer’s loft in St. Albans.

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Follow on Twitter: @SamBirchWriter (me) and @HighStreetBride (wedding tips)
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Thursday, 1 May 2014

How to Win a Guy in Ten Dates

The 10 Date Challenge
Day 1: Take one loaded commitment-phobe explosives expert, embarking on the impossible–a challenge to have ten dates with one woman.
Day 5: Add in a fiercely independent and feisty burlesque teacher who has sworn off men.
Day 10: She’s so not his type and he’s so not in her life-plan. But the heat is sizzling and the attraction is explosive. And they’re fighting it all the way….
“For those that like Sophie Kinsella style books, this is a cute story about a guy determined to prove he won’t fall for a woman…” –

Neither Ed nor Millie want a relationship. yet a bet from Ed's mother and sister set's our hero and ex playboy on a path he's unsure he wants to take. The head of an explosive firm our hero is not one to turn a bet down.
Over a series of dates Ed and Millie slowly fall in love but i was left until the end of the book wondering if they would get a HEA. I was not disappointed. I dont want to give to much away so you will have to read it for yourself. :)

Jane's writing is fresh and funny, I'm looking forward to reading more of Janes work in the future

5 Star review