sylvia ashby

“Watching the Detectives” by Julie Mulhern

I love the Country Club Murders Series by Julie Mulhern. I’ve read all of them, reviewed some of them and usually just can’t wait for the next instalment. With Julie Mulhern’s unexpected sense of humour cropping up amidst equally unexpected corpses littering her likeable heroin’s house, I can’t point out a single thing I dislike about those books. They are, in my mind, the epitome of cozy mysteries.

In her latest escapade Julie Mulhern’s heroin, Ellison, is not only feminine but also a budding feminist, which completely stole my heart. Standing up to her obnoxious mother is brave enough but standing up in defence of battered housewives in the 70’s country club society, when men went to work and women stayed home not necessarily by choice, is a whole of a lot braver. Domestic violence is never just domestic and easily spirals out of control and I’m glad that the 70’s attitude of police and hospitals alike, to turn a blind eye to it, is a thing of the past.

Julie Mulhern has found her voice with these books the same way Ellison Russell is finding her feet with each passing murder.

I recently watched an interview with the author, explaining that she gets up at 4:30 am every day to write before going to her full-time job. I find this extraordinary and can’t thank Julie enough for sacrificing her sleep for writing books for my enjoyment.

Thank you, Julie, and keep writing, please!

Are you a “chick who writes”?

Today I welcome Daniela from This Chick Writes Academy.

Welcome, Daniela!

I stumbled upon her gorgeous website recently and couldn’t get enough of the wonderful graphics and positive vibe of the place. There is always something happening. I recommend you visit it and fast. Happy readings!

Guest post by Daniela Pesconi-Arthur:

Let me guess…

  • You LOVE chick-lit and have your favourite heroines
  • You LOVE writing – even if you are a newbie to it
  • You have a blog (or a notebook, or dozens of them!) where you write your stories or about your daily life
  • You would love to write a chick-lit novel and have it published
  • You are not so sure how/where to start, you don’t know much about plotting, characterization, etc
  • You don’t have time to sit down and write
  • You get writer’s block
  • You’re afraid of eating a lot of rubbish/drinking too much/getting a square bum
  • You think I’ve made my point with this list 😉

Well, let me tell you something, ladies: until my late 30’s, I had no idea that I could write a novel – and see it published! was “conceived” during my one year living in Naples, Italy, and was inspired by my youngest sister. It was kept in the drawer for a couple of years until I used my MA to “nearly” finish writing it.

Then, in 2015, I participated in my first #NaNoWriMo and finished it. I gave myself a month to revise/edit, and off it went to six amazing beta-readers. I was terrified and so self-conscious you wouldn’t believe it. It all went well then – phew!

A few tweaks here, some more changes there and on 13th February 2016 was part of the Amazon Kindle bookshelves. The second novel, Mothers and Daughters, is on its way – watch this space – and it’s been so much fun writing it that I thought I should bring to you some of the excitement that is to write a chick lit novel.

This Chick Writes Academy is the perfect place for you to be, so you can finally get your novel(s) written and published!

By being a member of This Chick Writes Academy, you will have our support all the way through your writing journey, be it just writing that one novel, or many more, no matter what stage you are at (find out which stage you are at here).Once you identify your current stage, here’s how we can help:

Once you identify your current stage, here’s how we can help:

As a member of the Academy, you will have access to valuable tips and tricks for writing a chick-lit novel, as well as worksheets to help you organise your ideas. You’ll also have access to our closed community on Facebook, which will offer:

  • a safe environment for you to connect with other writers
  • a weekly hangout with me, where I will give feedback to a chapter of your writing (this will be for all members, on Facebook Live, but every week, I’ll pick three chapters to give feedback on)
  • tips on how to edit/self-publish your novel once it’s done

So, are you up for it? Are you ready to add some serious fun to your writing life!

Click here to find more about it and to enrol for only $1 for the first month!

Offer valid until 31st May – 23:59 GMT (London time)


Mothers and Daughters will be launched on 11th June with pre-orderс from 5th June!

Sign up to be the first one to know and get as a thank you gift

a set of bookmarks!

#ChickLitMay Book Boyfriend Blog Hop

WELCOME to Book Boyfriend Blog Hop 2017!

Giacomo Gentili is my candidate for CLC HQ’s Best Book Boyfriend 2017!
If you’ve read my Pot Love Series and have fallen for Giacomo hard (like I have!) please, vote for him by dropping a quick email to simply copying “Giacomo Gentili” in the subject line.
Thank you!

If you haven’t met him yet, here is a glimpse of what Giacomo is like:
“‘So,’ Fabia starts casually. ‘Ashley really is your favourite girl then?’
‘Yep.’ I answer absently.
‘It’s been a long time, hasn’t it?’
‘What’s been a long time?’
‘Since you and Ashley became an item.’
‘Four years.’
‘Blimey!’ Fabia falls silent.
We are in the stock room of Il Luogo doing an inventory. Fabia is supposed to be taking notes, but it’s been slow at the restaurant lately, so she doesn’t have a lot of note-taking to do.
‘We’re running out of waste bags.’ I say. ‘Can you call Westminster council for me?’
She makes a note, then gnaws at the top of the pen in her hand and wonders if she could probe further. My relationship with Ashley has been a mystery for her for years. She is itching to pick it apart. It’s the same for many of my work colleagues. Since Ashley started her YouTube channel “The Sinking Chef” we’ve become kind of minor celebrities and of much interest for the people around us. God only knows why…
‘Why haven’t you popped the question then?’ Fabia blurts out. ‘If Ashley is as special as you say—’
I spin around and Fabia swallows the rest of her words at the sight of my darkened face.
‘How is this any of your business?’
She gives an insecure little laugh.
‘Come on, Giacomo! We are just talking—’
‘You are just talking,’ I say evenly. ‘I was hoping you’d stop eventually.’
Fabia looks away. She knows she should have stopped, but she’s young and unattached and likes to gossip. I might as well give her something juicy to chew on.
‘The first time I met Ashley she asked me to teach her to cook.’ Fabia looks up, startled. She can’t believe that I’m actually talking about it. ‘She wanted to audition for a cooking spot on primetime television. The only thing stopping her, apparently, was that she could only do toast.’
Fabia scoffs. She finds it incredulous. So did I all those years ago and now Ashley is about to publish a cookbook. She has come such a long way. She is my personal hero.
‘The first time we went to Sardinia – we weren’t together yet. Mum gave her the attic room and told her to slow down with the wine drinking, just to scare her off.’
‘Good God, Giacomo! Mama Gentili sounds rather vicious.’
‘Ashley just smiled and won everyone else on her side – Amalia, Nonno, and Paolo all love her.’
Nonno even though Ashley was his “long lost school love – Giovanna”. I feel warm at the memory.
‘Ashley is the bravest girl I’ve ever met,’ I say. ‘She’s not afraid of anyone. She once negotiated a cooking show for us on the same channel she previously got fired from. With the father of the person who fired her.’
Fabia opens her mouth, can’t think of anything to say and closes it.
‘If I’m ever in trouble, I want Ashley on my side.’
It’s another thing that I’m often in trouble because of Ashley. I nearly lost Il Luogo because of her. I shake my head. I should stop talking but my emotions override my common sense.
‘Even being in trouble with Ashley is fun. She is the woman I want to spend the rest of my life with. I will ask her to marry me, Fabia, but I want to pick the best moment for it. I’m going to do this once and I want to do it right.’

*More about Giacomo and Ashley in “Pot Love” & “The Sinking Chef: Pot Love 2

To WIN a Kindle Paperwhite + 30 free ebooks
HOP through the websites below
and COLLECT the names of all Book Boyfriends!
Best of luck! 💖💖💖