The very much awaited sequel to Laura Barnard‘s ‘The Debt & the Doormat’ has been released today, 1st March 2014. I am thrilled to introduce ‘The Baby & the Bride’. Not only are we lucky enough to post the fantastic cover, blurb and review this hilarious chick-lit/rom-com, but we also take pride in interviewing Laura. This is certainly not one to be missed! We hope you enjoy! (Please scroll down for Laura’s interview and our review below). Caroline 🙂
Poppy and Jazz’s lives sound perfect on paper. Jazz has a new baby and Poppy’s getting married. But their realities are very different.
Poppy must strive to keep her cool new job with crazy hours, while trying to keep Ryan happy. Before she knows it her wedding has got out of control, thanks to her mother, the runners at work are bullying her, her parents are in financial difficulty and she’s doubting everything and everyone she ever knew.
Meanwhile Jazz is struggling with motherhood, something a credit card won’t fix. Why won’t this baby give her a break? Will Jazz be able to cope before she loses it?
And will Poppy make it down the aisle? Will Ryan even be waiting?
INTERVIEW with Laura Barnard:
Hi Laura and welcome to A Reader’s Review Blog. I would like to thank you in advance for taking the time out for answering some questions in regard to your new release, ‘The Baby & the Bride’, sequel to ‘The Debt & the Doormat’!
When did you realise there was going to be a sequel to The Debt & the Doormat, or was it planned before you began writing the first novel?
I never actually planned on writing a sequel. When I released The Debt & the Doormat I never had any idea of how popular it was going to be. It was only when book bloggers and fans started messaging me begging for one, I thought why not!
Does the comedy in your work reflect your personality? If so, would you say you were like Poppy, Jazz or any other character from your books?
I love all things comedy, although I didn’t exactly set out to make the book ‘funny.’ I just wanted it to be embarrassing and amusing; I definitely wasn’t expecting it to reach #1 Amazon best seller in free humour!
I’d say I’m definitely like Poppy. I’m so accident prone it’s ridiculous! My husband is constantly saying things like ‘What is wrong with you? Why can’t you get through the day without getting another bruise?!’ I think I just have no co-ordination and I don’t realise how wide my hips are – I’m constantly just walking into walls, window sills, door handles. It’s a wonder I survive at all! I also have a serious problem with saying ‘no’ to people, which lands me doing all kinds of ridiculous things. I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve started a story and my friends have said ‘having problem saying no again, Laura? Stop saying yes!’ I’m just a people pleaser! But I’m trying to be better.
And have you written about any of your own experiences in your novels?
Yes, some of them have actually happened to me, some have happened to friends and some are pure imagination. I won’t embarrass myself and tell you which ones!
Both book covers look great! Could you let us know who designed them and how much input you had?
My friend Karis Staniforth from Deer Beth (www.deerbeth.co.uk) designed both. I had a lot of input and am naturally bossy. It’s hard when it’s a friend, as I can feel bad asking for things to be re-done, etc, but she’s always given me amazing covers. I’d definitely recommend her to everyone.
What influenced you to become a writer, and in particular to write a rom-com?
I’m obviously a massive reader and also enjoy watching loads of films. It’s naturally the genre I go towards. I don’t like the idea of writing something so ridiculously deep that it would depress me. I want to write something with a happy ending that will put a smile on someone’s face. That’s what I want when I escape into a book. Unless I fancy some book porn ha ha!
When taking a break from writing what do you like to do?
Take a break? What is that? Ha ha! I like to hang out with my family, who I’m very close to. My friends are also a tonic. We go see movies, talk about how much weight we want to lose and discuss the filthy books we’ve read. I know I can always call them and whinge down the phone ‘I think this book is going to be crap,’ and they’ll tell me to shut the hell up and get on with it. It’s the smack back to reality I need. Other than that I love to sleep! I could seriously sleep twelve hours a night if allowed to.
Will there be a third book in the series?
No. This is definitely the last instalment for the foreseeable future. I’ve wrapped everything up at the end and want to concentrate on my next stand-alone book. As a reader I can get frustrated with a series, as you don’t feel closure until the next book, which you normally have to wait a year for. Although never say never. Jazz does inherit her trust fund money when she turns thirty and this could change a lot of dynamics within her relationships, which could be fun to look into.
To read our review of The Debt & the Doormat (Book 1) by Laura Barnard please click here. This first book is FREE on Amazon UK and Amazon US. The Debt & the Doormat was one of my Top Reads for 2013. Go grab a copy now!
REVIEW of The Baby & The Bride (Laura Barnard) by Caroline Barker:
She’s done it again! Another fantastic masterpiece in chick-lit/rom-com from Laura Barnard! Reading The Baby & the Bride is like meeting up with an old, close friend. Within seconds you become familiar with the characters you know and loved from Book 1, The Debt & the Doormat, and can easily relate to them, experiencing their roller-coaster of emotions. To read this book, you will need more wine, more choccies and be prepared for giggles throughout as Poppy and Jazz’s lives are turned upside down with some rather embarrassing moments along the way!
Oh dear, Poppy! Some things never change. She is still the doormat she always was, although trying not to be. It seems she’s running around after everyone like a headless chicken whilst Ryan is left waiting! Although very exciting, it can also be a disaster at times when your mother tries to plan your whole wedding for you and you haven’t a chance to express what you’d like! And Jazz, what trouble are you in this time? If it’s not debt, it’s a baby! What a fab start to the sequel, with great storylines for both characters and just as much excitement and tension as before. Laura Barnard has created a sequel that is just as good as the first.
In The Baby & the Bride Poppy and Jazz, although more grown up and settled in some ways, have their own crisis’ to deal with. At the same time they try to look out for each other, sometimes keeping secrets to protect the other from being hurt and yet always there to help each other when they are in need. We all need a Poppy and Jazz in our life, needing a pick up from time to time.
As a mother, I can completely relate to Jazz as early motherhood for her is exactly how I felt when I had my first – without too much exaggeration! In fact it was so precise, I thought that Laura Barnard was writing about me! The tiredness, the depression and the downright humiliating moments that childbirth and a baby can bring. But did I say depression? Well, yes, but Laura has a fantastic way of turning it around, uplifting these moments whilst at the same time still keeping them real. She makes it so natural for the reader to relate to the characters.
One of my favourite aspects of The Baby & the Bride is that Laura Barnard has kept all of the characters from The Debt & the Doormat. The reader can follow up Poppy and Jazz’s housemates, families and colleagues. Many of which have their own storylines which can interfere with Poppy and Jazz’s life at times, making their lives all the more topsy turvy! As Poppy hates to let anyone down she almost puts everybody else first, even before her own wedding!
The reader also has more of an incite into Ryan’s family (which brings along it’s own troubles which adds to all the chaos) and Poppy’s brother, Ollie. There is no mistake that Ryan is a hottie, handsome, sexy and affectionate. But as the reader discovers more about Ollie I’m sure there won’t be any disappointments there either!
As mentioned in my previous review of Book 1, this series is Bridget Jones meets Miranda Hart. As well as being heart-warming and sweet, one cannot escape the humour, the awkward moments and the slaptick. And when one sarky accusing question ends with ‘are we?‘ it reminded me of the Miranda tv series and I was in stitches. This is brilliant writing that had me laughing out loud so many times.
Due to the nature and fun style of Laura Barnard’s writing the series/book is a quick, fun read that leaves you feeling sparkly and energetic. It is completely uplifting. I strongly recommend that Book 1, The Debt & the Doormat, is read first, and at the moment there is no excuse as it is absolutely FREE on Amazon. However, The Baby & the Bride is written so well that new readers to this series could read this as a stand alone.
I cannot get enough of Laura Barnard’s writing. May she write many more wonderful, sweet and delightfully fun work in the future. This is an author not to be missed!
The Baby & the Bride was provided by the author for the purpose of an honest and fair review.
Laura would love you to check out her Facebook page at www.facebook.com/laurabarnardbooks and while you’re visiting please give her a ‘like’!
Laura also has her own website at www.laurabarnardbooks.co.uk and is available on Twitter: @BarnardLaura
Reviewed by Caroline Barker