Lilah McCannon’s Top Ten

In four weeks Lilah McCannon will be landing on Kindle’s and e-readers the world over (primarily where my friends and family live).

It’ been suggested that I should offer a little ‘get to know you’ post so you can all get an insight into the ever so slightly crazy world of Lilah McCannon. I finally managed to pin her down after days of trying and asked her some insightful questions to find out what makes Lilah McCannon tick.

  1.  Favourite Colour? Blue. It used to be red but I have recently changed it.
  2. Favourite Food? Ho-Fun noodles.  There is a place on the Old Brompton Road which makes the best Ho—Fun in the word. Sadly I cannot show my face in there at the moment.
  3. Favourite Song? The Promise by Tracy Chapman – but sung much better by Benjamin Chambers. I find most things are.
  4. Favourite book? Jane Austen’s Persuasion. I have to skip large chunks of text because it makes me cry. I still read it though, at least twice a year.
  5. Favourite Film? This is a bit embarrassing but I don’t have one. Okay, um. Uh, definitely not Bambi. Can I think about this one?
  6. Favourite TV Moment? Mr Darcy wet and in a shirt…Elizabeth Bennett looking like she is munching soap because she is about to be caught snooping around his gigantic estate and has realised just how loaded he is and therefore will appear a money  grabbing bimbo…oh okay – just Mr Darcy in a wet shirt.
  7. Favourite Childhood Memory? My Mum once got so drunk on gin over Christmas Lunch that she slid off her chair under the table. Dad picked her up eventually but only after we had taken numerous photo’s and Gemma our Golden Labrador had licked the brandy butter off her face. Oh such fond memories.
  8. Favourite bar/pub? The pub that smells of old farts on Putney High Street. At least it will be when they let me back in again.
  9. Favourite flower?   Wild cornflowers.
  10. Favourite Drink? Sorry, do you want me to narrow it down to one? Can I break it into categories?

White wine = A fun night out with the girls.

Bottles of beer = Boredom alleviation.

Sherry =Christmas breakfast.

Vodka =Extreme emotional situations.

Gin = For when vodka no longer works

 Hold on! I’ve just thought of my favourite film. The Way We Were…

Why? You want to know why?

Because  when I first watched it I thought about it every day for a week afterwards and I knew I never wanted to be a grown up.

 I also knew from the age of fifteen that I would never ever be able to let go of someone that I loved as much as Barbra loved Robert in that movie. That moment at the end where they bump into each other in the street and she brushes his hair out of his eyes nearly killed me.

It was the first time I ever swore in front of my mum because when they walked away from each other I screamed “What the fuck? Are they not going to get back together again?” at the telly.

Mum just gave me a Gin and Tonic to get over the shock.

There you go that’s me and my Top Ten

 

For those of you who don’t know Lilah’s favourite song – here it is. I  guess you will have to read The Uni Files  to find out when Ben sings it!

 

MANCANDY MONDAY – The place where all the hot guys go

Ben Chambers = Mancandy Monday

Z. Elizabeth

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Every Monday, Blame It On The Book Lovers will be discussing their favourite book boyfriend of that week in a new meme called MANCANDY MONDAY!

We all love book boyfriends, so Man Candy Monday is all about sharing the love…and the hot guys around by letting everyone know the book boyfriend you have been swooning over this last week, and why!

Once you’ve posted your mancandy on your own blog, come back and post the link. We all want to know WHO your mancandy is this week and swoon right along with you.

This week The Book Lovers is featuring Ben Chambers from The Art of Letting Go – Anna Bloom

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Sean O’Pry is my Ben Chambers

So The Art Of letting Go is out on September 25th 2013 and because Anna is blooming (see what i did there) amazing and she is a lover of my blog and a…

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April Showers

Yesterday something happened that has not occurred for rather a long time. I read a book…a whole book…in one day.

This used to be a frequent event in my life but it hasn’t for a long time and I thought my days of one day love affairs with books were truly in the past. 

It seems they are not.

Now I don’t write reviews, I’m terrible at them but I wanted to take time out of my own work to tell you about someone else’s.

First I need to give you a bit of background. Now you see i’ve had a bit of a shit week, we have had some family news which has pretty much fried my brain and I have been very much in a place where I can’t really think about too much because if I do then I will need to acknowledge that things can not always stay the same. Whilst we all know that I like to work with the tag line about not repeating history etc, it has become apparent to me that you can’t stop the future from happening either – maybe one day I will write a book about that.

So anyway, this week sucks. End of.

My little buddy Zoe at https://lovebookreviews.wordpress.com has been raving about her twinnie Karli Perrin’s book April Showers, and because I always do what Zoe says I dutifully downloaded it on release day.

I opened it, started reading it and then closed it again. Not because it is bad….Nope…not at all. It is really really good, but I was worried because Karli and I have a similar tone to our writing, lots of sarcasm, normally in italics and April Showers is a book about a girl starting University……. so I decided to leave reading it until I had finished Year Two as I was worried I would lose a bit of faith in my own book whilst reading hers! WHAT if I preferred her book to mine??? I am paranoid at the best of times…

Anyway yesterday after a gentle prompt I picked it up again and started to read and then I did not stop.

I can’t remember the last time I read and read and read until there was nothing left. I can’t remember the last time I shouted at a book (in a public place) – well not one that I was not writing myself. 

And yes I love it, love it love it love – do you get my drift? I spammed Karli the whole way through it. Every time I got to a favourite line I just had to let her know.

I needn’t have worried about it being too close to my own, it is in fact completely different. April it seems has morals and knows the different between right and wrong something that my character struggles with. 

April is torn between two guys (um hot ones at that) my Lilah just has to battle her own demons to get what she wants.

So how would I summarise April Showers in just a few words: well it is fun, refreshing, sexy and a huge package of goodness that i can’t urge you all enough to read.

If you want something that will suck you in so you can lose yourself and your own reality for a while, then this my friends is the book to do it in.

The best thing that Karli gave me yesterday was a whole four and a half hours where I forgot everything around me. I forgot my troubles and my woes and just had a right laugh at Manchester University instead. For that I will be eternally grateful.

I asked Karli to give me a writing song, here it is, and I love this almost as much as I love the book. 

 

Image

 

 

Synopsis

What happens when your head and your heart pull you in completely opposite directions?

April Adams is about to find out the hard way.

When April enrols at Manchester University, it feels like a whole new life. New city, new house, new friends…new crush.

Isaac Sharpe is the hottest guy on campus – with an even hotter reputation. After a chance meeting, April quickly finds herself wrapped up in all that he is. But what if all that he is isn’t what it seems?

Caught up in a battle between what she wants and what she thinks she needs, April meets Lukas Roberts. Lukas is the security blanket that she craves so desperately and she finds solace in their friendship. But what happens when she finds more than she bargained for?

April has always been a big believer of fate, but will she learn that she’s in control of her own destiny before it’s too late?

Join April as she embarks on a life changing journey of love and loss, which will have you laughing and crying until the very end

Bacon for Breakfast: Cooked by a hottie

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Somehow I have been talked into another teaser… I am weak I know! Although saying that I have hesitated about this one because not only is it a teaser but it is also a bit of a plot giveaway.  After a bit of consultation it has been decided: who cares? We all know Ben is here to stay! At least I hope he is.

So for all the Ben Chambers admirers out there here is breakfast cooked by a hottie. However breakfast cooked by a hottie is not all that great if you have just survived the Fresher’s Ball….

 

Bacon

 8.30 a.m.

Shit.

I’ve come around again to the smell of bacon.

Mm, bacon. I don’t care who is cooking I just need some of the crispy goodness. Easing out of bed with very little crying or moaning I fling on the first clothes to hand and creep down the hallway attempting to keep my head as still as possible. Actually I ache all over, what on earth was I doing last night?

Oh yes that’s right. Dancing, snogging, dying.

Lock me up now.

I shuffle into the kitchen. I don’t think I have even been in this room yet, but that is not what stops me in my tracks.

“What the hell?” the words are out of my mouth before I can stop them. I wish I had, then I could turn away and do a high speed shuffle to safety before being seen.

Standing at the cooker with his back to me is Ben the Singer Guy. I know who it is before he has even turned around.

He is just as tall as I remember, all long legs and defined back muscles, wearing jeans with bare-feet, his T-shirt damp around the neck where his just washed hair has been dripping as it dries. For the second time in twenty-four hours my brain fails to compute anything, anything at all.

He turns to face me and flashes me a cocky grin; one side of his smile lifting slightly higher than the other.

“Morning,” he says smooth as you like, sliding bacon out of a pan and onto a plate.

“What are you doing here?” I ask, but also really don’t want to know the answer. Did he sleep in one of the other girl’s bedrooms? Good god, did he sleep in my bedroom?

He grabs another plate from a cupboard and dishes some more bacon onto it, then sets about buttering some toast.

“Making breakfast,” he slides a plate towards me, which my hand automatically reaches for. Curse my stomach and its hunger pains.

“I see that, but why are you in my kitchen making breakfast?” I try not to make it sound accusatory but fail miserably.

“Technically, I think six people live here, of which you are one,” he smarts back. “So I think only one sixth of the kitchen is yours, which sixth would you like? The sink?”

Ha! Bloody ha in the morning.

“Actually, for your information,” I pause for effect….”Only five of us live here. Question is: which room did you sleep in?” I sound like a nut case. He should just walk out and leave me to be crazy by myself.

Hopefully he will leave me with the bacon.

“Um, nope. There are six of us that live here.”

His eyes, which really are an extraordinary blue, gaze on me as he observes me processing this information. It must be funny to watch, as by the time I have come to realise that the ‘us’ he is referring to means that he is going to be living here as well … in this flat … under the same roof … with me for the whole academic year … His lips are fighting the urge to break into a grin.

You have got to be kidding me!

I glare at him. Go on, laugh.

“You know I think you’re a dick, right?”

He laughs out loud.

“Well, then my job here is done,” he sniggers as he flicks on the kettle. “Coffee?” he asks, grabbing two mugs out of another mysterious cupboard.

How come he knows where everything is and I have not even been in the kitchen before? I can’t be bothered to ask though.

“White two, sugars please,” I say with a sigh as I slide my bum onto one of the stools under the counter. It’s only when I feel the cool plastic material against my bare leg that I realise I am standing there with practically no clothes on.

Like nothing.

Just skimpy shorts, made out of ridiculously miniscule scraps of material, not intended to cover essentials, and a camisole. No underwear or anything.

He is still watching my face and I don’t want to look like a complete prude so I just sit there trying to cross my arms over my chest. It is a bit cold. There is sure to be nipple rise.

“So how’s the hangover?” he smirks, and I can’t really blame him. Last time he saw me I was passed out over his shoulder. I almost join in until I remember that I have not brushed my teeth yet.

God I am such a treat!

“It’s cracking actually,” I end up smiling; I can’t help it. He smiles, too. Blue eyes holding mine for the briefest moment; just long enough for my cheeks to warm up.

“What was with the kissing?”

Did I just say that?

The blues stare at me.

“Seemed like a good idea.”

“Seemed like?”

“Yeah.”

“That’s nice.”

“Listen, Lilah. I saw you from across the room and recognised you from last year. I have been kind of trying to spot you again since then. I just grabbed my opportunity when it arose.”

I try to think of a suitable response, but the only thing I can come up with is, “Huh.”

Very clever.

“Well, now we live together, I shall try not to kiss you again,” he smirks a little more, which just pisses me off. Like I would let him do that again.

“Should not be a problem. I won’t be getting that drunk again,” I retort, grabbing my plate and heading for the door.

Pissed off or not, there is no way I am not eating that bacon.

 

The Uni File – teaser / excerpt – The Fresher’s Ball

I’ve been inspired into a teaser / excerpt by some Twitter buddies. Zoe @ Thebooklovers assures me I should share the Fresher’s Ball with you all. So I am.  Don’t forget The Uni Files goes out for sale on the 25th September 2013 and you can also add it to you Goodreads want to read list – right now!

Here goes…

Cinderella Will Go to the Ball

  All of my stuff from the flat is dumped on the floor of the guinea pig cage; this has reduced my floor space even more.

I have checked myself in the mirror. I have been playing a little game of dress up – I kind of look okay. Well as okay as I am going to get.

The boring hair is still there. The boring eyes are still there and so are all the squidgy bits that I wish did not exist. They never used to; they have crept up on me. I am squidgy where I once used to be firm.

The dress looks good though, and hides a multitude of sins as it skims over my body and lands by my feet in a waterfall of white silk. It’s my Gucci and my most favourite item of clothing that I own.

It will be perfect. The sun has been glaring down providing a fabulous Indian summer, and the campus is alive with beautiful trees and vivid green grass. I feel so inspired, I have gone all out and put my faith in the slinky white sheathe dress.

I am about to break another one of my rules, but sod it. The shock of hearing that John is still planning a wedding that I resolutely do not want is reverberating around my brain. That my arse of a brother is helping him relieves me of any guilt I may have felt over half-inching three bottles of champagne from his supply this afternoon.

Rule One: I will not drink. Oh well, it can start again tomorrow. I am sure I can keep a handle on it and maintain my mature dignity.

 16th September

 6.00 a.m.

Holy shit! My head.

There are no words.

Just pain. Pounding. Pounding, pain.

Why? Oh why? Oh why?

Oh yes, that’s right. Champagne, Tequila, Beer, Wine.

That would do it.

Oh, God, the pain!

Water would be very good right now, but water means keeping my eyes open and using my legs, and I know that is going to hurt even more. Too much too cope with.

My mouth feels like the Sahara with no oasis in sight. I would do anything for an Oasis right now, or an Evian. Who am I kidding? I would do anything for tap water right now.

I wonder if I can crawl myself to the bathroom and just lay in the bath with my mouth positioned under the tap for an hour.

I wonder if the other girls got home okay?

I cannot for the life of me remember anything. I have just woken up in my bed. I am just thankful that it is my bed.

Wait a minute. How did I even get home?

I have no recollection of the walk across campus or the however many flights of stairs it is to the dorm, and I most certainly do not remember entering my room and getting into bed.

Shit.

I am definitely in my room, so that is good. My unpacked boxes are still scattered around and I can see remnants of last night’s whirlwind dress up scattered where I left them.

Wish I had not bothered.

I have just peaked under the duvet. I am also dressed, which I am pleased about, considering.

As slowly as I can manage without causing my brain to bleed or eyeballs to fall out, I sit up. I need to get out of the tangle of silk dress and cotton sheets, which are cutting off the blood supply to my legs.

Honest to god, I think my brain may be about to explode. There is a searing pain above my right eye, and a steady banging located in the back of my skull. It may be my brain attempting an escape.

Okay. That’s strange. There are three bottles of water lined up in a row next to my neatly placed shoes. Where the hell did they come from? Meredith perhaps?

Nope. It’s no good. I need to lie down again. I sat up way too soon.

 The Fresher’s Ball

 7.00 a.m.

OH, FUCK! Oh no, no, no, no, no.

I can’t believe it; I have woken up and can now remember the Fresher’s Ball, in all its high definition 3D glory.

This is all I can remember of how I broke every single one of my Uni rules. I am going to write it down and then I am going to forget about it until the day I die – which may very well be later today.

The Fresher’s Ball completely rocked, but that may be because I broke the no drinking rule by consuming:

Half a bottle of champagne

Three tequila shots

Three bottles of beer

Three glasses of water (to keep a balance)

Two glasses of wine

Note to self: This amount of alcohol causes significant pain and memory misplacement.

Halfway through the evening the room is spinning in an alarming fashion and I am using the wall as a support. I would like to move away from it and dance with my roommates, but I am scared that A. my legs will fall off, or B. I will be sick. So instead I just stand and lean, sipping some more water.

The live band is great, though, unfortunately, I have to look at them through one eye. If I open both eyes everything gets a bit blurry.

The lead singer is damn hot: tall and slim with a shock of dark hair and flashing blue eyes that I can see all the way over from my safety spot against the wall.

Ha ha! If I open both eyes there are two of him!

One eye, one singer. Two eyes, two singers. One eye, one singer. Two eyes, two singers.

I think he may be glancing in my direction, but cannot be sure. Maybe he is just working out if he needs to get someone to call an ambulance for me.

Oh no! He probably thought I was winking at him. I am such an idiot!

I decide to head back to the bar and get another bottle of water. Without a backwards glance at the stage — let’s be honest I am in no condition to be glancing anywhere — I make my way to the bar. Froebel college is an old mansion house made up of a rabbit warren of rooms that I stumble my way through until I find where they have hidden the bar. Once there I attempt to communicate with the barman for a bottle of overpriced water.

Sipping my drink, I turn from the bar, but someone is blocking my path back to the exit. I look up and see a pair of blue eyes twinkling down at me.

Ah, pretty, blue sparkly eyes like the sky at midday. I appear to be completely at a loss for words. Again.

A dark head lowers down to look at me closer.

“Ben,” he introduces, holding his hand out to me, blue eyes crinkling. On closer inspection I see they are surrounded by the cutest freckles I have ever seen.

“Lilah,” I respond taking his hand. I do not shake it, I just hold it.

That is so not cool.

At least my tongue still works.

I hope I am not still looking through just one eye.

“You’re the singer guy right?”

He flashes me a wicked smirk.

“Singer guy, I am,” he replies hand still holding mine; I have no urge to move it.

“You’re the girl in the knock out white dress,” he adds. I have nothing to say to this, but he laughs all the same.

“Would you like to go outside for some fresh air?” he asks, leaning forward slightly and talking right into my ear. It sends shivers down my arm and various other places.

“I should find my friends,” I say. I don’t want to. I want to follow the blues outside, but there is a teeny tiny part of my inebriated brain that knows this may be a bad idea.

“Come on, Lilah,” he tugs at my hand and my willpower crumbles like a sandcastle in the tide and I follow him without a second thought.

 I Will Not Talk to Boys … Much

 Hold on a minute. It gets worse.

Outside he takes a crumpled packet of cigarettes out of his jeans pocket. I cannot help but focus on his hand sliding into the tight space of his dark blue jeans.

I am a dirty pervert.

He offers me one, and I automatically accept.

Well, that is a pile of Crap!

I have broken all four of my cardinal rules within twenty-four hours of starting Uni.

Well done, Delilah! I offer myself an imaginary clap on the back.

“I wasn’t winking at you, by the way.”

“What?”

“Um, nothing,”

“So you here as a guest or a student?” he asks, leaning in and lighting my ciggie for me.

“Student,” I reply, trying not to slur. He lifts an eyebrow at this. “Yes, I know I am old!” I retort. I should just walk away but my legs are not responding to any command my brain makes. Apart from the one that instructs me to stand there like a dick.

“Hardly,” the blues hold mine.

“Twenty-five is pretty old compared to all the spring chickens in there,” I motion my head to the hall behind me full of dancing teenagers.

Motioning of head is not such a great idea; my vision is about 5 seconds behind.

“I’m twenty five,” blue-eyed Ben informs me.

“Oh.”

“So what are you studying?”

He is standing really close, very close indeed. I seem to be staring at his lips as he speaks, they are all I can focus on. Everything else is blurred or doubled.

I take a long drag of my cigarette.

“History,” I tell him waiting for the laugh. None comes.

“So, have you been with the band long?”

“Ten years.”

“Wow! That’s a long time.” It really is.

“Yeah, I guess,” he throws his cigarette away and I follow suit. He still does not move away from me. This guy obviously does not follow the rules of etiquette regarding personal space.

“You don’t recognise me, do you?” Of all the questions I am expecting this one is not it.

“No. Should I?”

“I played at a Christmas party last year. You were there.” I stare at the blues as he speaks; they are a little mesmerising.

Let’s just hope I had my mouth closed.

I remember the band now, and I vaguely remember him. Well, not him exactly, but something about the colour blue. John had been a complete arsehole that evening, not leaving me alone for a minute. It had been suffocating and in the end we had left early.

“Sorry,” I offer. I kind of am.

“I think I prefer the white dress to the red.”

What?! He can remember the dress I was wearing nine months ago! I am about to say something… anything…

Then he is kissing me: mouth warm and firm on mine.

WHAT ON EARTH AM I DOING?

It should be strange, but it is not as strange as you’d think. I automatically lean in and slide my hands into his black hair, pulling him down closer. His hand grazes down my back and over my left butt cheek. I am not complaining though. Nope, no complaints here. None at all.

Just like that my knees start to go. His arms slide around me holding me up and I think he may be chuckling, but I am not sure. It is hard to hear anything above the roaring in my ears.

This is the point I realise I am going to be sick all over a complete stranger I have just snogged.

“I think I should help you home,” he says into my ear.

“What? No way! If you think I am going to let you take me home so I will have sex with you, you’re sorely mistaken! I am not some gir— ” my words are cut off by his lips. I try to protest but soon give up.  It is not the most convincing protest I have ever made. I have protested more over cold toast.

“I am not taking you home so I can take advantage of you,” he says after finally pulling away so I can gasp a breath.

“You are really rather drunk and I think you should let me help you home,” he continues, a smile playing on his lips. He is probably right. I can barely stand up, though I am not sure if that is through lack of oxygen whilst kissing or from too much booze.

“Besides,” he says with a twinkle of blues, “When I do have sex with you, I would rather you were a little more sober.”

I start to protest again but his arms lift me up and throw me over his shoulder in a very unflattering fireman lift.

“Where do you live, Lilah?” he asks.

He is never going to know, so I tell him, just so he has to admit he does not have a clue.

To my immense surprise he just starts striding off across campus.

I try to think of ways to get down, but in the end just give up and stare at his rather tidy arse as my eyesight starts to go black.

This is all I remember.

So kill me now.

I can’t believe that I got drunk enough to snog a stranger, even a hot one. What a complete bloody idiot. I may never, ever leave this room again. Ever.

I am going back to sleep. Hopefully when I wake up I will realise that this has all been a hideous nightmare.