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Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Saving Saffron Sweeting by Pauline Wiles (Author Guest Post / Book Review / Contest Giveaway)

In association with Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours, Jersey Girl Book Reviews welcomes Pauline Wiles, author of Saving Saffron Sweeting!

Author Guest Post

“Divided by a Common Language” ~ Pauline Wiles

The ink was barely dry on the first draft of Saving Saffron Sweeting when I realized I had a problem on my hands.

As a British-born author now living in California, I was writing a contemporary women’s novel set in England with a British narrator, but aimed largely at readers from outside that small island. Which language should I use? American English, which would have the best chance of being understood, or British English, which might confuse readers? Could I bear to get reviews telling me I had spelled color incorrectly and used the “wrong” kind of punctuation? As the Brits would say, I got my knickers well and truly in a twist.

After a couple of days of stewing, I sought advice from readers of my blog. Fortunately, their response was clear: they valued authenticity above all else and if the main character was British, she should speak in that way and use British spellings. They generously told me that learning new words was part of the pleasure of reading from another culture, and that if the context didn’t give the meaning away, they would skip it or look it up.

Phew. I allowed my main character to use the voice she wanted to use, and later hired an English proofreader to eradicate any unwitting slips caused by my eight years in the USA. The result is a book which is thoroughly, genuinely British, which I’m hoping will delight women who like their reading sprinkled with tea, cake and rhyming slang.

Here, as a taster, are a few quirky phrases to discover:

· Zebra crossing - Unless something has escaped from the local wildlife park, this is a pedestrian crosswalk, where black and white stripes have been painted on the road.

· Beavering away - In British English, this simply means working feverishly. It does not, as a judge in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award (Link: wondered, have any rude implications whatsoever.

· Spotted Dick - Again, nothing rude about this, although most school children will snicker when offered this steamed cake-like dessert, which includes liberal amounts of raisins (the aforementioned spots). You’re more likely to come across this in a country pub than in a modern London restaurant.

· Spend a penny - This means you’re making a quick trip to the restroom. At one point in history, using a public restroom would cost around one penny. These days, your wallet is more likely to incur thirty pence worth of damage.

· Lovely Jubbly - Use this with any Brits you meet and they’ll be amazed and impressed. It’s an expression of approval or agreement, coined from the popular TV show Only Fools and Horses.

In the hope of minimizing confusion and giving my readers a fun bonus, I created a free guide to the British expressions in the book and it’s available here: 

I invite you to browse it and hope you enjoy discovering bumpers, car bonnets, boilers, Bakewell tarts and Blighty.

Extra notes:

Saving Saffron Sweeting has reached the quarter finals in the Romance category of this year’s Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award 

For more info, author photo etc, a full media kit is available here: 


Amazon page:

About The Author

British by birth, Pauline Wiles moved to California eight years ago and, apart from a yearning for afternoon tea and historic homes, has never looked back. Her work has been published by House of Fifty, Open Exchange and Alfie Dog Fiction. Saving Saffron Sweeting is her first novel.

Saving Saffron Sweeting by Pauline Wiles ~ Virtual Book Tour Page: Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours

Book Review

Saving Saffron Sweeting by Pauline Wiles
Publisher: Independent Self-Publishing
Publication Date: April 2, 2013
Format: Paperback - 309 pages / Kindle - 477 KB 
ISBN: 0988973103
Genre: Chick Lit / Contemporary Romantic Comedy / Women's Fiction 

BUY THE BOOK: Saving Saffron Sweeting 

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours.

Book Description:

Quarter finalist, 2013 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award

Grace Palmer's British friends all think she's living the American Dream. But her design business is floundering and when she discovers her husband is cheating with her best client, she panics and flees home to England.

The tranquil village of Saffron Sweeting appears to be a good place for Grace to lick her wounds, but the community is battling its own changes. Reluctantly, Grace finds herself helping her new neighbours as they struggle to adjust and save their businesses. However, not everyone has the same opinion on what's good for the village. The charismatic new man in her life may have one speculative eye on Grace, but the other is firmly on profit. How will she navigate the tricky path between her home and her happiness?

With gentle humour and generous helpings of British tea and cake, Saving Saffron Sweeting explores one woman's need to define herself through her career and community, before she can figure out who should be by her side.

Book Excerpt:

Later, after we’d microwaved a Tesco’s lasagne and I had unwisely downed my share of a bottle from Harry’s wine collection, I asked for a map. This sparked a hunt down the sides of the bookcases, during which we found a baby rattle and a dusty relic that had started life as a sock. Eventually, we unearthed an out-of-date road atlas. It seemed the straight line from my parent’s home to Ealing ran just east of Cambridge.

‘There you go.’ Jem stabbed an unsteady finger at the page. ‘That’s halfway. Go and lick your wounds there.’

‘Where?’ I hoped it was only jet lag that was making the map so fuzzy.

‘I dunno, it’s upside down. Under my finger.’ We had clearly overdone the Pinot Noir as both of us were struggling with the small font.

‘Saffron Sheeping?’ I asked.

I wasn’t sure I wanted a load of smelly sheep in my scenic Jane Austen fields. But the area around Cambridge was worth considering: we’d lived in the city when I was young and I remembered it was pleasant enough. Presumably, it was also less costly for visitors than the picture-perfect Cotswolds.

‘No, wait, it’s Saffron Sleeping.’ She peered at it and I’m sure her eyes crossed slightly.

‘That sounds better. Maybe if I sleep for long enough, I’ll wake up and find this is all a horrible dream.’

‘Yeah,’ she agreed. ‘And I can bring Seb up there to visit. He might learn how to go through the night without terrorising me every three hours. We should Google it, see what it’s like.’

We failed completely to find Saffron Sleeping on the internet and I assumed that was the end of the idea. Jem, however, consulted the map again, which took a couple of minutes as she still had it the wrong way up and began her quest in Cornwall. ‘Hah!’ she announced. ‘It’s not Sleeping, it’s Sweeting!’

‘What?’ I was digging through my suitcase, wondering if my frenzied packing had included anything that could pass as pyjamas. It was a good job Harry was away, as it seemed I might have to sleep in an Alcatraz T-shirt and my knickers.

‘We had it wrong, it’s Saffron Sweeting. Well, that’s an excellent omen,’ she declared.

One thing I find amusing about Jem is her belief in omens, horoscopes and reading tea leaves. ‘It is?’ I yawned back, starting to arrange pillows on the sofa.

‘Grace, it’s perfect! It’s a village named after sugar. Definitely give it a try. After all,’ she beamed at me, ‘how bad can it be?’

My Book Review:

Grace Palmer is living the American Dream, the young Brit has a fledgling interior design business that she is building in Silicon Valley, California. But her dreams are shattered when her husband James sleeps with her client. Humiliated and heartbroken, Grace flees back to her homeland where she starts her life anew in the quaint little English village of Saffron Sweeting. While Grace gets settled in her new surroundings, the community of Saffron Sweeting is fighting their own battles against the greed of developers who want to change its tranquility and destroy the village's landmarks. Grace is encouraged to become active in the village community and help them adapt to the changes coming to Saffron Sweeting. Grace embarks on a journey of self-discovery that will guide her to live a new life, find her passion, and have a second chance at love.

In her debut novel, Saving Saffron Sweeting, author Pauline Wiles weaves a delightful tale written in the first person narrative of one woman's journey of self-discovery while helping a community save its quaint village from greedy developers.

The reader is transported between Silicon Valley, California and the village of Saffron Sweeting in Great Britain, where they follow Grace Palmer as she picks up the pieces of her life and forms a strong bond with the community of Saffron Sweeting as they navigate the changes to their village.

This entertaining story has a nice mixture of humor, charm, sass and romance. The author provides her readers with a story full of witty British phrases and mouth watering treats that makes you want to visit the village of Saffron Sweeting.

Grace's story draws the reader in as she starts her life over with a sassy sense of humor and independence that is admirable. I loved the portrayal of life in the quaint English village setting, and its quirky inhabitants are colorful and provided a lot of laugh-out-loud moments.

Saving Saffron Sweeting is a lighthearted, witty, fun and thoroughly enjoyable romantic comedy that will leave a smile on your face.


Virtual Book Tour Contest Giveaway

Win Gourmet Home-Baked Cookies

Everyone who leaves a comment on Saving Saffron Sweeting by Pauline Wiles ~ Virtual Book Tour Page: Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours will be entered to win gourmet home-baked cookies! Anyone who purchases their copy of Saving Saffron Sweeting before May 6 and sends their receipt to, will get five bonus entries.

Tour Participants

April 22- Chick Lit Plus – Review
April 23- Curling Up with a Good Book – Guest Post, Q&A & Excerpt
April 24 – The 21st Century Housewife – Review & Q&A
April 26 – Storm Goddess Book Reviews – Review & Excerpt
April 29- Chick Lit Chit Chat – Review & Excerpt
April 30 – Samantha March – Q&A & Excerpt
May 1 – Jersey Girl Book Reviews – Review, Guest Post & Excerpt
May 2 – Book Reviews by Dee – Excerpt 
May 3 – Casa de Berry – Review, Guest Post, Q&A & Excerpt
May 6 – Karma For Life- Review
May 6 – Lavender & Camomile Press – Review & Excerpt


  1. Replies
    1. Hi Samantha! I really enjoyed this reading this story, it was such a fun read. Thank you for the opportunity to host the virtual book tour event.

  2. Thanks so much for hosting me here today, and for the thoughtful review.

    Oh, and I love your scrolling excerpt box - really neat!

    1. Hi Pauline! Thank you for the opportunity to host your virtual book tour event. I really enjoyed reading the book, it was a fun read and I really loved the British narration. :)

    2. Lovely jubbly! Thanks, Kathleen.