It’s a real pleasure today to join the publication day push for the latest book from Liz Davies, The Ticklemore Tattler: independently published, it’s now available for kindle (free through Kindle Unlimited) and in paperback. My thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for the invitation and support, and to the author for my advance reading copy.
Liz is one of those wonderful authors who produces books faster than I can read them – but I was quite surprised to see that I hadn’t read one since The Cottage on Wildflower Lane in February last year (which I thoroughly enjoyed – you’ll find my review here). Before that I also really enjoyed The Summer of Going Topless – very funny, but also really touching (you’ll find my review here). So it was a real joy to pick up another of Liz’s lovely books…
Sometimes you have to write your own future…
The life of former journalist Juliette Seymour has been quiet and unassuming. Up until now, she’s been concentrating on running the local newspaper and raising her daughter.
But all that is about to change when Juliette is informed that the Ticklemore Tattler is to fold and that she’ll be out of a job. She begins to wonder whether she can buy the newspaper and try to make a go of it herself.
Aware that she needs some advice she contacts Oliver Pascoe, little knowing that when her old colleague re-enters her life, his help isn’t the only thing she wants him for!
As she begins to fall in love, however, what she doesn’t realise is that Oliver has something he’s keeping from her.
A gorgeously uplifting story, perfect for fans of Holly Hepburn, Heidi Swain, and Isabelle Broom.
Well, this might be my first visit to Ticklemore, but I really like it there. And I certainly very much enjoyed this lovely story, with those rather older characters that I always enjoy and the strong sense of community. The location is quite wonderfully drawn too, and I was completely at home in no time at all, joining the great cast of characters and friends in The Treasure Trove, Bookylicious and the Tavern.
Juliette left her job as a political reporter on a London newspaper when she became a single mother, the father always a secret she hasn’t shared, and took over the Ticklemore Tattler – circulation around a thousand, some delivered by hand – with more of a focus on local events and cats up trees than the high-powered world she’d left behind. Her daughter Brooke has now left for university – and the empty nest syndrome that Juliette’s feeling is really well handled – but there’s even more going on to threaten her fairly comfortable life. The new owner of the paper – the obnoxious Ralph Trudge-Smythe – wants to close it down, and the only way of saving it is if she manages to convince him to sell it to her at a price she can afford.
She needs an ally, someone who knows the newspaper business, and contacts former colleague Oliver – who now works as a writer of biographies, but is more than willing to help her out, particularly remembering the spark that he’d once felt between them. When the pair meet, Juliette certainly feels the spark again too – and while he lends his support at some of the difficult meetings with Ralph and his minions, and tries to come up with fresh ideas for the paper, we see the slow kindling of a rather lovely second chance romance. But Oliver does have a rather significant secret, that the reader shares but that Juliette doesn’t – and when it’s uncovered, there’s really not much chance of her ever trusting him again.
While I loved the relationship story – with the lovely use of the viewpoints of both characters, and a nice bit of chemistry between them – I also thoroughly enjoyed the way the Ticklemore residents responded to Juliette’s crisis. In the last book – which I missed out on, but very quickly caught up on what had happened – they’d all pulled together to set up The Treasure Trove, and they’re soon on the case once more, seeing what they can do about saving their local newspaper. The redoubtable Hattie is a particular force of nature, bossy, gloriously inappropriate and indiscreet, but every individual is really well drawn – a group of friends who’ve supported her over the years and don’t plan to give up without a fight.
This was a thoroughly lovely read – filled with warmth and cosiness, a nice bit of conflict over the Tattler’s future, a romance I entirely believed in, a gentle thread of humour and fun running through it, but with that big secret always lurking that might just change everything. And things certainly don’t go quite the way you might expect them to – there are a few real surprises, a few twists and turns you really won’t see coming – and it’s a story quite beautifully told. I was so delighted to see that there are to be more Ticklemore books – I’m really looking forward to my next visit already.
About the author
Liz Davies writes feel-good, light-hearted stories with a hefty dose of romance, a smattering of humour, and a great deal of love.
She’s married to her best friend, has one grown-up daughter, and when she isn’t scribbling away in the notepad she carries with her everywhere (just in case inspiration strikes), you’ll find her searching for that perfect pair of shoes. She loves to cook but isn’t very good at it, and loves to eat – she’s much better at that! Liz also enjoys walking (preferably on the flat), cycling (also on the flat), and lots of sitting around in the garden on warm, sunny days.
She currently lives with her family in Wales, but would ideally love to buy a camper van and travel the world in it.