Books are food for my soul! Pull up a beach chair and stick your toes in the sand as the Jersey surf rolls in and out, now open your book and let your imagination take you away.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Conditional Love by Cathy Bramley (Author Guest Post / Book Review / Contest Giveaway)

In association with Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the virtual book tour event for Conditional Love by Author Cathy Bramley!

Author Guest Post

Welcome to my Village!

Thank you so much to Kathleen for taking part in the Conditional Love blog tour, I’m so happy to be here on Jersey Girl Book Reviews today!

Conditional Love is my debut novel, a romantic comedy centering around a girl called Sophie Stone who inherits her Great Aunt’s estate when she dies. The old lady leaves her a house in a small village on the outskirts of Nottinghamshire – Robin Hood country!

The village in the story is fictional – honestly! But I have combined elements of my own village, Lambley and neighbouring village, Woodborough to create Woodby! And now I’d like to show you around…

The first picture shows Main Street. As you can see it’s not very busy! There are lots of old cottages in the village, some dating back to the seventeenth century!

Our village pub is called the Robin Hood Inn. This is probably the busiest place in the village on a Friday night. Although I prefer Wednesday night – curry and glass of wine for £8!

Although my village is only five miles from the center of Nottingham, we have lots of green space. This is my friend Julie’s horse grazing in the field in front of her farm house. You can just spot the pub in the background!

We are very lucky to still have our red phonebox, many of them have been replaced with modern phoneboxes. But this one doesn’t have a phone in it – it houses our book exchange!

In October last year, our parish council very kindly allowed me to take over the phonebox for the day for the launch of Conditional Love. I held a book signing, the Mayor came along and cut the ribbon and we celebrated with tea and cake. It was a wonderful day.

I hope this has given you a taste for the location of Conditional Love!

About The Author

Cathy Bramley is a British author of women’s feel-good fiction. Conditional Love, a romantic comedy is her debut novel. Her new title, Ivy Lane is being serialized as four ebooks this year and will be released as a paperback in 2015.

Cathy has spent most of her working career in the crazy world of marketing. After graduating from University in Nottingham, she plunged herself into corporate world, working on high-powered projects such as testing the firing range of SuperSoaker water guns and perfecting the weeing action of Tiny Tears. In 1995 she set up her own marketing agency, Apples & Pears Marketing, but now most of her marketing activities involve promoting her books.

She lives in an idyllic Nottinghamshire village with her husband, two daughters and a dog called Pearl.


Book Review

Conditional Love Cathy Bramley
Publisher: Independent Self Publishing
Publication Date: October 4, 2013 Paperback / December 26, 2013 eBook
Format: Paperback - 366 pages
             Kindle - 2810 KB
ISBN: 1490923764
Genre: Chick Lit / Romantic Comedy / Women's Fiction

BUY THE BOOK: Conditional Love

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:

Meet Sophie Stone, a thirty-something serial procrastinator. Tesco knickers, Take That and tea with two sugars is about as exciting as it gets. Sophie’s life is safe and predictable, which is just the way she likes it, thank you very much.

But when her boyfriend dumps her on Valentine’s Day and a mysterious benefactor leaves her an inheritance, Sophie has to accept that change is afoot. There is a catch: in order to inherit, Sophie must agree to meet the father she has never seen.

With interference from an evil boss, bickering flat mates, warring parents and a sexy ex-boyfriend, Sophie has plenty to contend with without an architect who puts his foot in it every time he opens his mouth.

She will have to face the past and learn some uncomfortable home truths before she can finally build a future on her own terms.

Book Excerpt:

Extract from Chapter Four

In the centre of the desk, lay an open file. I shuffled forward to the edge of my seat and managed to read my own name at the top of the page. I inched closer still, squinting to read more.

‘And you are?’

The deep voice made me jump so much that I panicked, slid off the chair and down onto one knee, thus greeting the tall, thin man with dark hair, glasses and a bushy beard in some sort of weird marriage proposal stance.

I scrambled up off the floor, mortified, and sat back down. ‘Nothing! Just waiting for Mr Whelan.’

His lips twitched and he gave his beard a scratch.

‘I’m Thomas Whelan.’ He extended a hand towards me. ‘And you are?’

‘Oh! Sophie Stone.’ I shook his hand and pulled up the collar of my coat to hide my glowing cheeks.

‘Ah yes,’ he said settling himself at his desk. He glanced at the file that I’d had been trying to read. ‘You’ve come about your aunt’s will.’

I processed this new information, hitherto unaware I had an aunt. Alive or dead.

‘My aunt?’

Mr Whelan blinked furiously, referred back to the manila file and adjusted his glasses.

‘My apologies, Miss Stone, your great aunt.’

Well that was that then. She had to be one of my father’s relations. There were definitely no great aunts in Mum’s family. There was no one at all in her family. I sighed. I had been hoping… well, I wasn’t sure exactly what I’d been hoping. Maybe that she was an old lady I’d done a good deed for once when I was in the Brownies or something. Although, I couldn’t think what I’d done to warrant a mention in anybody’s will.

But any tenuous link would be better than being a relative of Terry Stone’s. Still, I’d better be absolutely sure.

‘Would you mind just running me through the family tree?’

‘Of course not,’ said Mr Whelan, pushing his chair back and standing up abruptly. ‘But first, have you brought your passport?’

I jumped to my feet too. ‘Why? Where are we going?’ I had been told on the phone to bring my passport when I arranged the appointment and the request had been troubling me ever since.

‘Only to the photocopier,’ he chuckled. ‘Need to verify you are who you say you are before we continue with the reading of the will.’

Thank heavens for small mercies! I had had visions of having to jump on a plane at a moment’s notice to take ownership of some mystery item.

Identity checks complete, we resumed our positions either side of the desk. The solicitor took off his wristwatch, set it to one side and then, elbows on the desk, clasped his hands together and made a steeple with his forefingers, resting his long nose on the tip.

‘This office holds the last will and testament of Mrs Jane Kennedy. She was Terence Stone’s maternal aunt. Your great aunt.’

I stared at him, mesmerised by the end of his nose which was protruding over his fingers.

I should stop him from going any further. There was no point in hearing what he had to say. My father had been absent for all of my thirty- two years. Mum and I had managed perfectly well without his or his family’s help, thank you very much and I knew instinctively that she would resent any intervention at this stage in the game. Besides, why would the old dear leave anything to me? It didn’t make sense, we’d never even met.

‘Long and tedious documents, wills.’

My eyes must have glazed over for a moment. I shook myself and Mr Whelan’s eyes twinkled at me.

‘There’s been a misunderstanding,’ I said, scooping up my bag as I stood. ‘My mother is estranged from her ex-husband. I’ve never met Jane Kennedy; in fact, I’ve never met my father.’

‘I’m aware of all that,’ he said, not unkindly. ‘However, it falls to me to ensure that you are fully informed as to your inheritance. Please sit.’ He flapped a hand at the empty chair. ‘Would you like me to read the whole thing or cut to the chase?’

I blinked my green eyes at him. Was he allowed to say things like that? I sat back down obediently.

‘The main bits, please.’

‘Righto.’ Mr Whelan extracted a document and a small sealed envelope from the file. He pushed his glasses up his nose and cleared his throat. I held my breath.

‘Your great aunt Jane has bequeathed the bulk of her estate to you. You, Miss Stone are the main beneficiary of her will.’

An estate! Visions of strolling through manicured gardens like someone out of Pride and Predjudice, against a backdrop of a Chatsworth-style mansion, on Marc’s arm, were somewhat dimmed with Mr Whelan’s next sentence.

‘There’s a bungalow in Woodby and several thousand pounds. We haven’t finalised the amount yet.’

Woodby? That was a village in the sticks somewhere north of Nottingham. A bungalow and some money. I repeated the words in my head. That was a house and some actual money-in-the-bank type dosh.

My chest had been getting tighter and tighter with lack of oxygen and now I was all panicky. Breathe, Sophie, in out, in out. I probably looked like I was in labour: face all red, and puffing like Ivor the engine.

A house. My great aunt had given me a house. Of my own. And that meant a home. How long had I been dreaming of my own home? Only all my life, that was how long.

Mr Whelan’s lips were moving. He was still speaking and I hadn’t been listening. He was holding an envelope out to me and I took it automatically.

‘As I say, there is a condition to the inheritance, but I think it would be better if you read Mrs Kennedy’s letter yourself. I’ll leave you in private for a moment. Can I get you some coffee?’

‘Tea please, two sugars.’

Condition? I wasn’t sure I could take any more surprises. Life was so much gentler without them. My heart rate was already registering at least a seven on the Richter scale.

‘Actually, make it three!’

My Book Review:

A failed romance and an unexpected inheritance will change one British thirty-something woman's life ...

In her debut novel Conditional Love, author Cathy Bramley weaves a lighthearted tale that follows Sophie Stone's journey of self-discovery and finding happiness.

Thirty-two year old Sophie Stone feels like her life is stuck in a rut: she works at a dead end newspaper job; lives in a flat with her two best friends, sisters Jess and Em; laments about her dormant dream of becoming an interior designer; and has a boyfriend named Marc who walks all over her, and she lets him! Sophie expected Marc to propose to her on Valentine's Day, only to get dumped. A mysterious letter arrives notifying Sophie that her Great Aunt Jane Kennedy has died, a woman she never knew existed. Sophie has inherited her great aunt's cottage and money, on one condition – that she meet her estranged dad, whom she’s never met.

Sophie gets a chance at realizing her dream of becoming an interior designer when she plans to renovate the cottage, and a second chance at romance when she meets an architect named Nick. Sophie embarks on a journey of self-discovery: she has choices and decisions to make, past family issues to face, and a chance to find love and happiness.

Conditional Love is a British Chick Lit story that has just the right mixture of drama, humor, and romance that makes it a delightful and fun read. It is a story about life lessons, growing into one's own person, and finding happiness in life.

Written in the first person narrative, the reader can't help but get drawn into Sophie's life, her unexpected journey will change her life in ways that she never could have imagined. The author infuses the story with her British wit, humor and dialect, creating a tale filled with quirky characters; intriguing past family issues; romance drama; and enough twists and turns that will make you laugh, groan, and cheer Sophie on as she finally comes into her own, and finds a place to call home!

If you're looking for a fast-paced enjoyable romantic comedy, then look no further, Conditional Love is the book for you!


Contest Giveaway

Win A $10 Amazon Gift Card

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Virtual Book Tour Schedule

Tour Schedule:

April 28 – Shelf Pleasure – Guest Post
April 28 – The East Village – Review
April 29 – Novel Escapes – Q&A
April 30 – Samantha March – Q&A & Excerpt
April 30 – Confessions of the Unfaithful Widow– Guest Post & Excerpt 
May 1 – Book Suburbia – Excerpt
May 1- Annabel & Alice – Review 
May 5 – Jersey Girl Book Reviews – Review, Guest Post & Excerpt
May 5 – Book Referees – Review, Guest Post, Q&A & Excerpt


  1. Thanks for helping close out the tour!

    1. Thank you for the opportunity to host the virtual book tour event.