A romance novel you just have to read...


Kate and Becca are cousins and best friends. They have grown up together and shared all the most important milestones in their lives: childhood birthday parties, eighteenth birthdays, and now a wedding day as they each marry their childhood sweethearts, Charlie and Julian. 
Kate has always loved Charlie - they were meant to be. Then she discovers that life never turns out quite how you expect it to. And love doesn't always follow the journey it should. 
But best friends are forever, and true love will find a way, won't it…?

I'm a sucker for a pretty book cover. I'm also a sucker for, and I've said this many times, books where fate intervenes early on and sends the characters in the book on a completely different path to what you'd expect. These Days of Ours ticked both these boxes so I was hooked instantly. 

We meet Kate and Becca when they are just children and then are taken on a journey throughout their lives as they reach major milestones. 

These Days of Ours is such brilliant storytelling and you can't help but have strong feelings for the characters (I loved Kate but found her a bit of a wet lettuce at times and I thought Becca needed a good slap but I couldn't help find her hilarious too!) 

It's a completely original novel and I was so engrossed from the start that I actually sailed past my tube stop! Early on I knew what I wanted to happen but I had no idea if it would pan out that way… And I'm not going to say anymore than that…!  

A 'Will they? Won't they?' romance novel that is just brilliant. I urge you to read it.  

And the author Juliet Ashton told me the top five things she does to beat writer's block...

Does Writer's Block exist? I believe it's a name given to a whole raft of situations. Tiredness, boredom, distraction, anxiety - all these help to build that block at the front of your mind. When I find myself sitting at the computer, deleting more than I write, tugging at my hair, these are my favourite ways to deal with it.

1 Do something physical. 
Writers are soooo indolent. We don't have to get dressed to go to work; that messes with your brain. So if I'm stuck in the midst of a scene, putting dull dialogue into my characters' mouths, I go for a walk. There are two parks nearby, one that hugs the river, so I take the spaniels for a trot. If I replay the scene in my head, nine times out of ten, it comes together by the time I'm home again.

2 Read
This one can be tricky. Reading something too similar to the work in progress can result in a kind of impersonation, as if writing style is catching, but if I wander off and bury myself in a meaty biography or a crime series, I find it refreshes my mojo. (Not sure what a mojo is, exactly, but its refreshed.)

3 Talk
Chat saves lives. A coffee with my chum who lives around the corner (and is usually up for coffee as she works from home herself) perks me up and takes me out of myself. Hearing about her day reminds me that there is life beyond the keyboard!

4 Eat
A dangerous one, this. A natural grazer, I find myself buttering toast and ravishing the Rich Tea biscuits far too often. Actually cooking something from scratch, however, is genuinely therapeutic. The book is pushed to the side, but it doesn't entirely disappear; as I'm chopping onions or grating cheese, little plot niggles resolve themselves. Plus I have an epic lunch to eat (usually it's just more toast).

5 Push through
Sometimes it's just lack of energy, or a disinclination to work that gets in the way. I try not to give in; if you downed tools every time you felt a little bleurgh no books would get written. Push, push, push - and suddenly you're freewheeling down a (metaphorical) hill, the wind in your (metaphorical) hair. There's no feeling quite like it.

6 (I know there should only be 5, but this one's a goodie)

Keeping a writing diary is a life saver. I can flick back and see that all these problems have cropped up before, but I've got through them. Writer's block can be smashed!

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