Friday, 14 February 2014

Brook Cottage Books is absolutely thrilled to help Sheryl Browne celebrate the paperback launch of Learning to Love. Sheryl has very kindly written a guest post in celebration of the launch. Take it away Sheryl!!!

Guest Post by Sheryl Browne

This year for Valentine’s Day, also the day before my birthday, I have a lovely present from my publisher. My book, Learning to Love, comes out in print. Dealing with extreme emotions, it will make you laugh, it will make you cry. To quote one reviewer, “Tissue box at the ready. Goes on my Top reads for 2013!” Thank you, Dizzy Little C’s Book Blog.

Not wanting to bore my readers to tears rather than move them, I don’t tend to share much about the person behind the story, namely me. Today, in celebration of a book that was definitely written from the heart, I thought I would risk it. 

OK, so once upon a time … I was a single mum, I worked full time, and then I decided to write a book (the therapy came later).  I then spent the next ten years trying to get published. TEN YEARS!! I’ll spare you the passionate and driven bit. Obviously, I was. True, being picked up by an agent with that first book fuelled my passion or, more honestly, my determination, but still, why?? Why put myself through the mill like that? Hadn’t I already got humungous enough balls to juggle? Moreover, why did I persist in writing humour, romantic comedy, chick-lit, call it what you will, when the ‘market’ was becoming saturated? Those who know me might have heard me say I like to write romantic comedy because I feel drawn to write about real people trying to overcome life’s little obstacles. Characters portraying people readers can relate to and laugh (and cry) with as they fall over those obstacles, because the reader is empathising with the character, because they’ve been there. So are readers empathising? Well, some people seem to be. I’m shamelessly quoting one or reviews here, which leave me glowing with pride: 

Deals with loss & betrayal in manner that lifts it far above an average 'chick-lit’.

Has perfectly captured the highs and lows of parenting a special needs child

An entertaining, easy read- a more mature style of chick-lit that might appeal to fans of Katie Fforde.

Fabulous, funny, heart-breaking. If you are a fan of Jill Mansell you will love SOMEBODY TO LOVE!

Fabulous entertainment! Brilliant rom com with serious undertones.

Tissue box at the ready reader! 5 out of 5!  On the Top reads for 2013 list!

As my writing has grown, and thanks to the wonderful comments of readers and reviewers, my books would now possibly be better described as poignant romantic comedy. In regard that poignancy, I’ve often been asked whether I draw on personal events in my own life. Honestly? Yes, I do. My writing is definitely a catharsis, exploring feelings around situations I’ve experienced and which many of us have. It’s also an attempt to celebrate the skill of human endurance, if you like, the ability of man/womankind to laugh in the face of adversity. Laughter might not take the pain of loss away, but if you can cherish the good memories, it eases definitely eases it. I truly believe laughter is the best medicine.

And so, the story behind the story: Learning to Love started life as a short - the theme of which was bereavement in childhood, which was accepted by the Birmingham City University to be published in their Anthology, Paper and Ink.

My reasons for needing to write this subject were feelings around loss. In my twenties, when I lost my mum, I was ‘grown up’ – though I wonder whether we ever really are. Sadly, I had also lost my second child by then. When I lost my brother a few years later, who left behind him a fiancĂ© and child, I suppose bereavement became something I felt driven to explore, when the time was right. Featuring a widowed father and his son, Learning to Love looks at the loss of a parent in childhood and how a child dealing with such a tragedy might be encouraged to grieve. Life events had fuelled the emotion, research – talking to children who had suffered in such a way and to the surviving spouse – provided the story I felt I needed to tell. What struck me above all was the coping mechanism devised by one lone parent. He called it The Memory Box: A simple shoebox, stuffed full of photographs of the child’s mother along with other personal trinkets that would remind him of her. Importantly, remind him of the good times, the positive things his mother brought to his life, the times they laughed together. It was easy to see how humour plays a great part in the healing process. I called my short The Memory Box, in honour of that father and his little boy.
So there you have it, my soul laid bare, some of my reasons for writing poignant, yet humorous, fiction – or as a reviewer put it: fiction that “deals with loss & betrayal in manner that lifts it far above average 'chick lit”.



Doctor David Adams has moved into the quiet village of Hibberton with his young son. Dr Adams appears to be a deep and moody character beneath his sexy good looks. He has moved opposite Andrea Kelly who isn't that keen on the good doctor. She's worried about his son, who appears less than happy in the company of his father.
Andrea herself however doesn't have an ideal home situation either. She is juggling a teaching career, caring for her family, which includes her mother, and a less than supportive man! Andrea wants to find some time for herself and that means a career change. However, that's not going to be an easy dream to achieve. Circumstances conspire to make life as difficult as possible for Andrea and she and her family find themselves having to rely on Doctor Adams when their house burns down. Is the dishy doctor all he seems? 
 Yet again Sheryl Browne has penned another hit book. Regular readers of the blog will know that I am a huge fan of Sheryl's work and that is simply because all of her books never fail to keep me glued to the pages and entertain me throughout. Learning to Love is just such a book. The characters in the book are all so likable, particularly Andrea's mum who I just loved! Some of her one-liners had me laughing out loud and the dynamics within Andrea's family are hugely entertaining. It sounds like a total madhouse in the Kelly home and so true to real life! The family dynamics and the interaction between characters make this such a good story. Its a book about love, fear and trust. It's about making that leap and taking a chance on another person when you are so afraid of a broken heart.

Andrea is a strong character who is doing what lots of women do and try to multi-task to superhuman levels! This book contains that magic mix of ingredients for a good rom-com - fun, laughter, romance, love, passion and that feel good factor! I couldn't help but swoon after the hunky doctor and some parts of the book left my pulse racing just a little! This book will have you smiling, grinning big soppy grins, going all mushy, gasping and laughing your socks off!  I'd highly recommend this book! Well done Sheryl Browne..............again!

FIND Sheryl Browne’s books via the links below:


Author LINKS:

Sheryl is a Loveahappyending Lifestyle Author and Feature Editor.  Twitter: @sherylbrowne

5 Responses so far.

  1. Woohoo congratulations, Sheryl! I loved this book so much and would absolutely recommend it to anyone. Peeps--if you don't own an ereader, rush out and get the paperback. It's amazing!

    :-) Thanks to JB for featuring this here today! XX

  2. Awww, thank you, Nicky. You're a lovely, supportive little angel! :) xx

  3. And thank you, JB!!! For allowing me to bare all on your fab blog! :) xx

  4. Congratulations on the publication of your paperback, Sheryl! Wishing you lots and lots of luck xxxx

  5. Congrats, Sheryl! Laying the soul bare can be a scary thing, so 'bravo'. :)

    JB, love the new cottage design for your blog!

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