Book Jacket


rank 292
word count 17046
date submitted 26.10.2011
date updated 08.04.2013
genres: Fiction, Chick Lit, Romance
classification: moderate

Undertaking Love

Kat French

When a funeral director opens next door to her wedding chapel, Marla Jacobs declares war.
Who will win the battle for Beckleberry High Street?


Love phobic Marla Jacobs is horrified when a funeral parlour tries to open up next door to her Little White Wedding Chapel, and declares all out war. The chapel in the sleepy Shropshire countryside has been a national smash hit for the last few years, but the arrival of Gabriel Ryan's Funeral Parlour threatens everything.

She can picture the scene. Wedding limos fighting for space in the street with hearses. Brides bumping into widows. Wreaths instead of bouquets. And really, how many happy couples would run the risk of ending up with a party of sobbing relatives huddled in the back of their wedding photos?

Throw in the fact that Gabriel is off the scale gorgeous with his gypsy curls and irish lilt, and Marla is in all kinds of trouble. It infuriates her that he makes her stomach fizz and her throat desert dry - she spends half of her time hating him, and the other half wanting to rip the shirt off his back.

Factor in a motley crew of weird and wonderful local supporters, and the battle lines are drawn.

So... Team Marla, or Team Gabe?

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bigmouth wrote 906 days ago

I thought this was great. An amusing premise, some fine writing and easily as good as some of the published chicklit out there. I would be keen to read more to see if you keep it up.

whoster wrote 906 days ago

Hi Millie,

Well, your first comment was from Scott (Bigmouth) - and he's the big cheese authonomy scout. That's fine praise indeed! Your writing is fluent, written in a charming and likeable voice, has some very funny moments, and some lovely descriptive terms. This'll get plenty of support, because your narrative is warm and engaging, on top of the excellent writing.

Not so scary now is it?

PS. If you're replying to any comments left below, make sure you message the person directly (if you press 'reply' it'll only be visible to them if they return to your comment page). Just thought I'd mention that in case someone thinks you haven't said 'thanks' and turns into a raging unloved psychopath! Anyway, I can see you're still a little wet behind the ears and a touch trembly with the workings of this site. You've made an impact already, so onward and upward. Six stars and a touch of admiration to help you on your way.


Jedye wrote 900 days ago

This is brilliant! The part where they have the meeting to discuss what to do about the funeral director is genius! Really laugh out loud funny. How did you think of the CSI quip? Excellent! I also think this would make a great film or comedy drama. Thanks for brightning up my day!
Jane (Jedye)

Geowonderland wrote 236 days ago

You pull the reader into the story with your first sentence :) and continue doing it with fun character of Jonny, great conversation between Marla and Guinness Guts, Marla and Gabe... It's a really fun read with good flow.
Good luck,

Nicky_Eyre wrote 375 days ago

I'm loving your book. I must say you had me at Irish Lilt! I delghtfully enjoyed chapter 4: the community meeting. It was hilarous. I have this feeling that Tom (Emily's husband) is gonna die. Don't know why, but i do. Hope you load more, chapters soon.

Seringapatam wrote 377 days ago

Jodie, This is good writing and very funny. I like this kind of humour. You have balanced the writing and the descriptive voice out so well. I think this is probably the reason why the reader will become hooked. Well done. Nice pace to the book, quirky when it should be and very well thought out.
Sean Connolly. British Army on the Rampage. (B.A.O.R) Please consider me for a read or watch list wont you?? Many thanks. Sean

Andrea Taylor wrote 443 days ago

Really well written, the dialogue is superb and the action is described with verve and maturity. Its also a great idea to write a romance around; the love/hate thing. Excellent work!
The de Amerley Affair

Amy Q. wrote 444 days ago

I was hooked as soon as I read the "possessed windmill" line. Awesome. You are very clever and use words unlike I've ever read. Looking forward to reading more! Congratulations on your book deal! VERY WELL DESERVED!

Cheryl Henderson wrote 465 days ago

I am really enjoying reading this, and although I am not an experienced writer, I am an experienced chicklit reader. This is definitely as good as some of the published writing out there, and better than a lot of it.
Some books I put down without reading beyond page two, but I don't want to put this down.
Can't wait to see the outcome of this story.
Well done!

SallyXB wrote 625 days ago

Hi Jodie,

This starts really nicely - I love the phrase "shoulder to shoulder in duplicate horror" in the opening few lines. A great use of language! It's a good premise and you have a good eye for character details. Well done!

Should you find you have a spare moment, do take a few mins to have a look at my book, Four Movements :)

Well done again


Andrew Esposito wrote 626 days ago

The Lighthouse is an instantly amusing read. I really liked the immediate quandary of a funeral parlour next to a wedding chapel. The encounter with the Irish was also funny. The novel also has a good early sub-plot with Emily and Tom trying to concieve a baby. The Lighthouse is an enticing read, the narrative is nicely descriptive and I thought the dialogue flowed effortlessly. It's a feel-good novel bordering on farce and can't fail to make the reader smile. Jodie, I think this is a winner that will travel far on authonomy. Best regards, Andrew Esposito / Killing Paradise

Sara Stinson wrote 661 days ago

What a delightful and lovely book! It brought and smile to my face! I am already hooked! I have always loved a good chic flick! Your writing is professional and your ready for to be published! You yourself seem to bubble with personality and it fits your writing style and theme!

I know I will hear much more from you! High ratings from me!

Sara Stinson

ljsnowdon wrote 664 days ago

I've read a lot of chiklit over the years but found your plot to be quite refreshing. I love the fact that it is set in the Midlands (coming as I do from Wolverhampton). I have given you 4 stars and put you on my shelf because your writing made me laugh out loud, which is reason enough for me to want to read on. Best of luck. Lesley

Dr Peter Scottney-Turbill wrote 666 days ago

From what I've read so far, and I am no expert, your talent in writing must be nurtured. You have a gift of drawing the reader into your story and its characters, the whole engagement a wonderful experience. I would expect that your novel be published. 6 stars.

grahamwhittaker wrote 667 days ago

Nice well paced writing. Initially a little heavy on the dialogue but then the book began to slow down a little for me and became an interesting and addictive read. Editing is something you will be picked up on, but that can be the last thing you do. I would be happier to read a longer version, perhaps 40-60k words would be more satisfactory for a "solid" crit. However, if you keep up the style and the voice then you have no problems. I've put you on my WL and will come back for a further read and a more detailed crit when you have a little more posted. From me it's fivev stars. Nice, sometimes sarcastic or 'dry' sense of humour. Keep that up! We have a similar "lighthouse" in both our books (which led me to this story.) Well done. Will surely back if I can read a bit more.
Graham Whittaker The Girl From Kosovo. (return read would always be appreciated.)

La Marmonie wrote 695 days ago

I don't normally read chiclit, but your writing is compelling. It moves and is full of activity and keeps the reader interested. I like the start - full on activity. Love the dialogue, which flows and is natural. I could imagine the words being said. It is comic and full of lines that are sarcastically funny. Easy to read too. Will back this because it seems to be something I want keep reading.

Would you like to look at The Jeweller's Daughter and let me know what you think?

Best wishes

Rebecca Tester wrote 698 days ago

Narrative moves quick. If anything, it moves too quickly.

You might want to try setting up the wedding chapel sooner (have the sister brush some wedding garlands out of the way as she comes to the window), then it’s more apparent why the women are upset. First glance though is just two women horrified by a man with a beer belly. Describe the sign that’s so horrifying. Have one of the men heft a coffin inside.

Were the women told it was supposed to be a cupcake bakery? Have one of them mention that (But he said it was cupcakes! Where’s the cupcakes? Lying sonofabitch….”)

“Tea stained” should probably be hyphenated. You’ll want to watch out for words that are capitalized that shouldn’t be, and words that should be possessive that aren’t [especially the words ‘funeral director(s)’]. Bona fide (not bone-fide), Gaffer-taped (put in a hyphen).

Overall, the story has the look of something over-edited after someone told you about ‘Show, don’t tell”. Either that or you may be having problems translating what you see into what goes on the page and therefore leave out key details more by accident than any desire not to insult my intelligence. Have other readers complained about over-wordiness? I think you’ve hacked words out in the wrong places. Fill in some blanks, show some scenery, pack a lot of punch with a few choice details instead.

Place dialogue on the same paragraph as the person’s narrative or the story looks choppy and speakers are harder to identify. You know who’s talking, but I don’t and have to guess at it. Put ‘em on the same line, and there isn’t any guessing (plus the story is more aesthetically pleasing).

Thoughts are strange things. Some you have in italics, some you don’t. I prefer to not use italics at all, but some say my stuff is confusing because they’re used to seeing italics everywhere. However, to my way of thinking: a) italics ‘sound funny’; and b) speech has quotes, thoughts don’t.

Prior to written notes, use a colon (:), then center the next line. Make sure to give it plenty of room to separate it from the narrative.

You may also want to vary your sentence structure-especially within regards to dialogue. Numerous short choppy sentences make the work seem less adult and move the narrative like a bullet train.

That said, you have a great quick-read chick-lit romance going on. It's not a groundbreaking amazing read, but for what it is, it's good and moves quickly, which is a great help when the readership is so frequently pulled from the pages. Easy to get into, easy to pick up later, requires very little brainpower to enjoy so it makes for light, fun reading.

Still don't know where the lighthouse fits in as the title concerning the book is apparently about a funeral parlor and a wedding chapel clashing. What's the name of her chapel and would you consider using that as the title? Perhaps, Til Death Do Us Part?

Shelby Z. wrote 712 days ago

Talk about creative. This is really a well thought out idea for a book.
You write it very well. It flows and develops super well.
This is such a new idea for a book.
It is fun and has a lot of wit to it.
I think this will go far.
Best wishes.
Amazing work!

Shelby Z./Driving Winds

P.S. Please take a look at my pirate adventure Driving Winds.

DebCharisma wrote 733 days ago

Thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining.

S Norman wrote 738 days ago

This is entertaining and really funny - good luck.

Rose Tulip wrote 744 days ago

This is exactly my type of book.. It makes me want to go on a holiday so I can relax at the pool and read all day.

scargirl wrote 747 days ago

this could be a romance flick. really a pleasant read.
what every woman should know

nealdoran wrote 769 days ago

Hi there, this is my romance writers crit group review.

I’ve read 3 chapters, but I expect I’ll keep going -- you’ve written a really entertaining story with some great ideas and a brilliant situation. If the rest is like the start it deserves to do really well...

1) Pitch. Now, I wanted to read The Lighthouse because I loved the idea of the wedding chapel/funeral parlour love/hate thing, so I guess you could say the pitch did its job. But I can’t help feeling you could sell the idea a bit more. The short pitch felt like it could use a bit more of Marla’s spark, and the long pitch felt more like a fairly functional summary of the first chapter and could have been bigger on the themes. Something else I wasn’t entirely sure about was the ‘she can picture the scene’ paragraph. I guess I’d like to read about things that might actually happen in the story, rather than things the main character imagines might happen. Does that make sense? It felt a bit too hypothetical. Hate to start off critically, but it’s only because I think the rest of the writing puts it in the shade...

2) Plot. As I said, I loved the idea of the conflict in the town, the two businesses and their incompatibility, the two owners and the magnetism alternately repelling and attracting them. That it’s not cut and dried who’s the good guy or in the right gives plenty of space to develop and flip things around. And the sub-plot with Emily and her husband looks set to add some depth and change of tone.

3) Pacing. Moved along at a decent clip without feeling rushed. Plenty of characters introduced in the first three chapters, but that’s handled really well so you get a good feel for them and their individuality, and aren’t overwhelmed.

4) Spelling/Grammar: Didn’t spot anything major worth noting spelling or grammar-wise. There were some stray characters at the start of a sentence somewhere, but I didn’t think to note where they were. And also there might have been a ‘whose’ when there should have been a ‘who’s’ somewhere. Or it might have been the other way around. And I might be wrong anyway...I was too busy enjoying the story to check details!

5) Dialogue The dialogue flowed and felt natural, and was light and witty. I liked it. Maybe it’s just me and reading accents (I know I can’t write them) but I didn’t get Irish from Phil the Drill. I tried to hear him as a Dub, but he kept coming through cockney... I also hadn’t realised Marla was American until quite far into chapter one, and I’d already got an impression of her as English (although I’d thought it odd for her to say frickin’ I’d figured that was too many US TV dramas). I had to go back and readjust her in my mind then a bit after that. Again, probably me.

6) Voice/Style. Clear style, fresh voice. I can’t think of anything to add here really beyond reiterating the reasons why I think the story works so well...

7) Characterization. Marla’s a great character, full of this energy that crackles as she stomps about at the start. I liked her and her commitment. I did wonder if in the 2nd chapter she lost a lot of her feistiness when meeting Gabe. I could see she obviously fancied him, but I would’ve thought she’d put up more of a fight. I was expecting fireworks. Gabe comes across well as a bit of a drifter, but with solid principles. Emily and Tom felt real, and again you could sympathise with both of their points of view.

So there you go. Reading back it feels like I’m picking nits a bit, because nothing I’ve mentioned here that might be seen as a criticism in any way took away from my enjoying the story. I look forward to reading it all/seeing it in shops/watching the ITV mini-series/despairing at the US re-make/etc etc etc...

All the best


JMF wrote 783 days ago

Hi MIllie
This is a delightful, easy, addictive read. I loved it. I have read the first two chapters and will be back for more. I have found nothing I didn't like, from the characterisation, the storyline, dialogue to style of writing, everything is pitch perfect for me. Thank you for a great read. I will be back for more and I hope to see this in the bookshops soon! Lots of stars and I will place on my WL until I can place on my shelf.
All the best
Shadow Jumper (a children's adventure story)

davidston wrote 789 days ago

A nice read which deserves readership. Well done

Kelbean wrote 789 days ago

Romance Crit Group Review

1) Pitch
I like both pitches. They are amusing as well as intriguing and that immediately gets my attention and I want to read the book to find out what happens. Love the Team Marla/Team Gabe bit at the bottom, made me laugh and my parents gave me an extremely strange look! I’m not sure about your title though – where does the lighthouse come from? Of course that may be explained further on as you have only put six chapters up so far.
2) Plot.
Your plot is very clear from the outset, simple and effective. I can really picture the scene in my head which is unusual for me. When Marla and Emily are talking over wine and ice cream, Emily mentions Gabe and says that she thinks he likes Marla but as the reader I wasn’t aware that Emily had met him yet (which is further backed up when Emily isn’t sure who Gabe is when she goes over to the funeral parlour and meets Dan instead).
3) Pacing.
Nice and steady, nothing happens too fast for the reader to keep up with or so slowly that they might lose interest. I must admit that I am totally hooked on this and will be waiting for you to post more so that I can read it
4) Spelling/Grammar
In the first chapter I noticed that when Marla and Emily were saying the funeral parlour should have been a cupcake bakery you say that Marla’s head ‘spun’. I think it should be span but I’m not 100% sure so don’t just take my word for it! However it was the only thing that I did notice so really well done on that.
5) Dialogue
I found all your dialogue easy to read and nothing made me have to re-read which I often have to do as I’m a very fast reader and tend to miss things unless I slow down. Since using this site I have slowed down significantly but I still sometimes miss things but that didn’t happen in this case. You characters’ individual dialogue is strong, I can tell who is speaking without tags and that is hard to do in my experience so really well done.
6) Voice/Style
Very clear voice. I love your style as well, I read a lot of chick lit and I must say that you remind me a little of Jill Mansell – in fact I think you are better than her. Can’t really think of anything to add to that except that I totally love your work
7) Characterization.
Well firstly I must say that I am totally in love with Gabe! I love him almost as the men in my book! I can easily imagine that Irish lilt when reading his words and the same for Marla, I can hear an American accent slightly diluted by her time living over here. Gay Jonny is hilarious, I have a friend not dissimilar to him and it makes me chuckle whenever he appears. I also have a couple of gay characters in my book and it is nice to be able to compare how other people write them. Emily is a sweetie and I am currently mentally shouting at her to avoid Dan! Bless her, but then again Tom seems a complete arse so she deserves a bit of fun. I also like Dan’s character, I think we all know someone like that and you have captured him really well.
8) Other thoughts.
I must say that I think you’ve put some really clever lines into this, subtle, but clever. Especially like in chapter two when Marla sees Gabe for the first time and she reminds herself that he’s a funeral director and that he’s in grave danger of killing her business. Love the use of the word grave – it fits really well and made me laugh. I like the vampire glamour reference too as I read a lot of vampire fiction. I also enjoyed the tennis match analogy at the meeting. Gabe definitely won that! I’ve had to give job interviews not that far from Gabe’s experience – you have captured real life events so well.
This is easily as good as other chick-lit/romance books that I own and I would buy it if I came across it in a shop. My best friend would love this too, right up her street. If you get published I would definitely recommend to others.
Backed and highly rated.

Kelly - Hearts and Minds

Greenleaf wrote 791 days ago

Hi Millie,
Your book has been on my watchlist for a while. Sorry it took me so long to start reading. I've only read the first chapter, but I'll be back to read more. I love The Lighthouse. I'm really surprised at how similar our writing styles are. I don't find that very often. You pulled me straight into the story with dialogue, and kept me reading. I sense this will be a lively and fun story. Marla is spunky and likable right away.

Good job. Highly starred, and I will try to back it when I have spots available.

Susan/Greenleaf (Chameleon)

TheConstantReader wrote 794 days ago

Dear Millie, I love your book and found parts of it delightfully funny. Glad to back it. High stars. cheers, Jane

chuckylivesinme wrote 797 days ago

The lighthouse

These are just my thoughts as I read through your work...Please use, enjoy, or disregard as you wish, mine is just another opinion in a sea of plenty...This has been on my watch list for ages, so glad to finally get a chance to give it a read.

Cover & Title – Yep original, but I’m not sure where the snow globe or indeed the Lighthouse comes into it but cover is eye catching. Does make me wonder as ur story takes place somewhere that’s land locked. Maybe there is a big twist we don’t see,

Short Pitch – Yep good, draws me in.

Long Pitch – Doesn’t give too much away, not sure about the team Gabe / team Marla question at the end as you should leave that to the reader to decide who’s side they want to route for and when pitting one character against another its normal for a reader to take a side. 1 little thing to point out would also be starting paras with throw in the fact and factor in, its jarring and to similar. To me it makes me think of a business proposition rather than a book pitch

Chapter 1 – Good opening chapter, nice introduction to the main characters and the various smaller ones.

Certain niggles jump out, you say the character we learn is Phil the drill bellows at the top of his Irish lungs, but he doesn’t say anything specifically Irish, and nothing about him is described as particularly Irish, with a big beer belly he’s a usual builder, you almost need his dialogue to be Irish to sell us on that fact. None of his following on dialogue is said with a remoteness of Irishness either.

The introduction to Jonny where you say “he looked every inch the gay icon he was- in their sedate corner of Shropshire, anyway.” This feels too much like narrator intrusion. We get his gay icon-ish from the way he acts and dresses, but by tagging the bit of where they live into it, although ur injecting humour it’s not coming directly from the character.

Also you use too many exclamation marks in the dialogue. The actions of each character should show us instead.

I maybe being hyper critical but to me it stuck out and shouldn’t because this is a good chapter.

Chapter 2 – In the first three paras you tell us gabe has marla’s business in the palm of her hand twice... its over kill.

After their introduction and she tells him her name, you have either a couple of extra letters or a part missing word. AyOh God.

Another good chapter, nothing more sticks out, flows pretty well and the POV switch between Emily to Tom at the end of the chapter is well handled,

There are some great one liners in both these chapters, to make any reader smile. Yes its chick lit but its chick lit with a huge slice of humanity and humour. These are 2 very good opening chapters, yes there are a few bits that didn’t sit well with me and made me stop reading to think about then but on the whole I enjoyed the two chapters and I will be back to read the rest.

leeconnor wrote 798 days ago

Hey Millie,

I've read the first chapters and I have to admit you've hooked me. I love your writing style and i find the scenerio of a funeral business opening up next door to a chapel TOTALLY believable in todays England!

My only worry is...I'm a 38 year old bloke whose been absorbed into what others are calling 'chic lit'. Oh no!

Brilliant read Millie.

Well done.

marcie8 wrote 804 days ago

Hi Millie,

A RWCG critique:

I'm so glad you joined this group. The Lighthouse has been on my WL for a while now, I just wasn't able to get to it.

I've read all 6 chapters posted. Overall I think you have some fun characters and an interesting setup. I would have liked to have more text available to read. As is, I'm having trouble seeing the big picture so I'm not sure how helpful my comments will be.

- I'm not getting the title. There is no mention of a lighthouse in the pitch or in any of the story I've read
- cover is fine but I'm not seeing the connection to romance
- Short pitch introduces Marla and the story problem, but again no hint at romance
- Long pitch is good. You've introduced the MC, the love interest, and the story problem. In terms of what's holding the romance back, you've hinted at Marla's issues but not Gabe's. Not sure if you want to include something about why Gabe might be holding back on love? Also, consider moving "Love phobic Marla" down to the third paragraph where the romance aspect is introduced. Consider leaving out the last line asking the reader to root for one or the other. In my opinion it's redundant and takes away from the romance aspect. The romance reader wants to root for team Marla + Gabe. He/she doesn't want to pick a side.

Story Opening
- Love the opening chapter!
- Story starts in the right place and starts with some action
- opening chapter introduces MC and love interest
- story problem is clear
- seeds of potential romance are sown
- all the major players are on the board, scene is set, oven door is closed, and the temperature is beginning to rise

- No major complaints on pacing. I think everything moves along at a good speed. Only real area of concern is with Emily's subplot; and Marla's romance backstory dump in chapter three
- Story problem conflict is excellent, but internal conflicts for Marla and Gabe could use some work. In chapter three you tell the reader flat out that Marla has had some bad relationships and isn't in a hurry to enter another one. Is there another way to get that information across? Is there some way to show Marla's internal conflict? Perhaps she and Emily can bet on how long the couples they are marrying will last? Perhaps throw in some snide comments from Marla alluding to her own past experiences with love gone wrong? And what about Gabe? By the end of chapter six, the reader still has no idea why that man's still single. Can he perhaps be just out of a bad relationship. Perhaps that's why he's moved here - for a fresh start?
- In general, plot is good. There were only a couple areas of confusion for me:
1) Emily's subplot. The reader seems to be learning more about Emily and Tom than they are about Marla and Gabe. Consider getting rid of Tom's POV altogether, and significantly limiting Emily's to just those things relevant to the potential relationship between Marla and Gabe. For example, the whole thing about the baby, in my opinion, is too much information. It's enough for the reader to know that Emily and her husband are having problems with their marriage stemming from an inability to get pregnant. I think going into further detail is taking away from the main story. I did like Emily's tryst with Dan. I think that fits in nicely because it puts Emily in a stronger position of match-maker or trouble-maker down the road.
2) I think the conversation between Marla and Emily over wine in chapter two (in the area of the backstory dump) is misplaced. Placed here, it feels forced to me. Consider moving that conversation later. Also, how can Emily have seen Gabe making eyes at Marla if Emily has never met him and doesn't know what he looks like (when Emily meets Dan later in the chapter, she asks him if he's Gabe)?

Voice/Writing Style
- Voice is very smooth and perfect for the genre. It has a fun, teasing manner to it but doesn't stick out.
- Writing style is clear and easy to read. Text flows nicely from scene to scene.
- Keep an eye out for poetic tendencies. For example, in chapter two, "invisible to the naked eye, a gossamer spider web of attraction spun around them, and undetectable to the human ear, Mother Nature's wicked laugh tinkled off the chapel's stained glass windows." That is brilliant. However, in this context it's redundant (because you've already shown it) and feels like author intrusion. Is there some way you can move those images someplace else? Perhaps break them up and use them separately as metaphors for something else?

- Love the small town setting for this story
- Consider adding in a bit more description of Beckleberry High Street. By the end of chapter 6, the reader has a good sense of the chapel, the funeral director's, and the other merchants, but no real concept of the physical street. I think Emily's walk down the street in her PJs is a great opportunity for bringing in more of that detail

- Characters are fabulous! This area is definitely your writing strength. Each character came across as believable and different from the others. Personality came through both action and speech.
- By the end of chapter 6, I feel empathy for both Marla and Gabe and I am rooting for them to find a solution
- good balance of dialogue to narrative

I hope at least some of that was helpful. I'd be happy to read more should you post more, and add to my comments if needed.


Kim Padgett-Clarke wrote 812 days ago

When I want to buy a book if it is an author I don't know I always read the pitch to see if the novel will grab my interest. Your pitch would definitely make me want to buy the book. I love the dry humour in this. It's the kind of book I would want to take on holiday with me to get me in the mood for a good time. Marla is a good strong character. I can understand why she fancies Gabriel; he sounds positively yummy! I hope you add more chapters as I would like to see where this is going.

Kim (Pain)

Huey Winchester wrote 824 days ago

This is definitely an eye-catcher, the cover and the title. The synopsis is ever intriguing and I find this a book that I want to read. I haven't read any of it so far, bu I'm backing it based on the cover, title, and synopsis. That's the three things that attract me to a book.

Mrs PP wrote 831 days ago

This is a hoot! Superb characterisation, tight narrative and loads of laughs. Who would want more?

Wanttobeawriter wrote 841 days ago

This is a book with a clever premise: what’s a woman to do when a new business next door threatens her business? I liked Emily a lot; she’s feisty and knows how to attack a problem head first – although I wasn’t as convinced as she was a funeral parlor next door would totally ruin her business; maybe she should have given it a chance first. Either way, your writing style is fresh and lively. Makes this an easy and enjoyable read. I’m adding it to my shelf. Wanttobeawriter: Who Killed the President?

ArizonaBlue24 wrote 849 days ago

A total riot, I loved the premise. Tongue in check humor. Great girly book. I wished I had thought of this. This is a big money maker.

Bea Sinclair wrote 850 days ago

This book is just brilliant, the kind of story I scan the shops for but rarely find. High stars and on my watchlist awaiting promotion, Good luck Yours Bea

DaisyFitz wrote 852 days ago

I love Gabe. Do I need to say more? *sigh*

CH2 - love the bit re. Emily and Tom and TTC. Esp his "wasting semen". lol.
Ch3 - missing a " off Dora's line "We can be your moles." Oh, worried for Emily... stay away from Dan. Nice abs though...

Love it, love it, love it.


L_MC wrote 854 days ago

Just read the three new chapters, just as good as the original three and I thought you wrote the events in chapter six with Emily and Dan particularly well. I'm as intrigued where things are going to end up with Emily as I am with Marla and Gabe. Hope you'll be posting more.

OpheliaWrites wrote 855 days ago

Again, so excited to have the additional chapters up!! Great story and excellent writing, as with the opening. I must say I wasn't expecting the amount of detail and racy play-by-play in chapter six. Great characters and loved the interviews for receptionist!

orma wrote 859 days ago

A really witty piece of chick-lit Millie.
I read a couple of chapters and was immediately intrigued.
Characterization is great and dialogue runs smoothly.
A novel idea too.
Well done and good luck.

Sue50 wrote 859 days ago

Super dialogue! Quite funny. Happy to put your work on my shelf. Hope you have a chance to take a look at Dark Side by CC Brown,

kiwigirl2011 wrote 862 days ago

Hi Millie :-)
I loved this! Easy to read and hugely enjoyable.Fun characters, the right amount of tension and antagonism. I don't have much to say about this because I really couldn't find anything wrong with it! It's finished to a high standard. Only one teensy tiny thing, There’s a place where Jonny is speaking, ‘...For What? When? TTell me everything’ and I wasn’t sure if the double TT was supposed to be there, like a stutter or something?
Backed and starred
Tammy Robinson

Mademoiselle Nobel wrote 874 days ago

~The Lighthouse~

I can't begin to tell you just how much I enjoyed reading this!!! I absolutely loved the concept (genius), the descriptions, the characterisations, the dialogue...everything!!!

I highly recommend this book to everyone!!! It's so good, I'm having withdrawal symptoms from not being able to read the rest! Highly starred, backed and watchlisted!!!!!


Iman xxx

Miss Manners:

ozhm wrote 877 days ago

Not only do I love this, I really admire it. It's a great premise bristling with possibilities - humour, drama, conflict, and of course sexual tension. All the characters are well-drawn and full of energy, and Marla's backstory and Emily's problems are thoroughly satisfying ballast to the lighter main story.

But as well as that, I really admire the writing. Not a glitch or a fumble. You're a natural, with a delightfully original turn of phrase to boot. I loved 'a bucket full of blarney stones', 'smile GBH', 'tea with a side order of formaldehyde' - well, all of it really. A joy to read.

One very small point - in Ch3, I think 'muted' should probably be 'mooted'.

I'm giving it six stars and keeping on my WL to promote to my shelf when there's more posted.

sheila cooper wrote 886 days ago

Thank you for brightening up my morning with your funny and clever book

jnbm63 wrote 897 days ago

Very cute and entertaining chick lit. Your story flows well and your dialougue is very humerous at times.
Backed with pleasure!

Hailey Graham and the Secrets of the Cobalt Eye
Jenny Micka

KGleeson wrote 899 days ago

I've read the rest of your posting now and can honestly say that this is top notch chick lit to me. You have just the right balance of information, action and dialogue. The dialogue especially stands out as authentic with a lovely bit of wry wit thrown in to give that Marion Keyes kind of feel to it that lifts it up from some of the mediocre romances out there. phrases like "grave danger of killing her business stone dead," with its sly allusions are sprinkled throughout along with more straightforward wit. The backstory is woven in seamlessly and is just enough to provide the reader with some depth to appreciate the ongoing story. Gabe and Marla are especially well drawn and Marla's struggles to conceive and its stress on her marriage give the story an extra depth that many women will sympathize with. I would be amazed if this didn't get picked up at some point if the rest of the novel is of this quality.

There was only a couple of bits that you might consider looking at, neither of which are critical in any way. The sentence in chapter 3 "having inadvertendly highlighted that she could only benefit from Gabe's arrival..." when the village are discussing what to do about Gabe, is a sentence that really only repeats what the dialogue told the reader before hand. I really think you can trust the reader to get , especially since she trailed off after she said about the flowers. The other was "he shook his head with a look of derision," when I first read it struck me that it was incomplete (on his face) because it seemed as if the derision is shaking along with the head. I only mention this because the rest of your work is so polished. These are only minor little nits.

Enjoyable, enjoyable funny read. Kristin

FRAN MACILVEY wrote 899 days ago


I like this very much. It makes me laugh. I think the dialogue works well. It is subtle, and fresh at the same time. It feels like a breath of fresh air in a genre that is becoming rather stale. When are you uploading the rest of this? Highly rated.
Fran Macilvey, "Trapped"

Su Dan wrote 900 days ago

easy to read story- narrative very effective as you take us along the journey...
read SEASONS...

KGleeson wrote 900 days ago

Novel Spotlight Review

I picked your book from Jack's novel spotlight for this week solely on the title. Then I read the pitch and thought this should be a good laugh. Just the right medicine for a dreary afternoon. After reading the opening I felt I my instincts are spot on right now. What a great opening. Very well timed and paced. It draws the reader in and gets cracking right from the get go. No overburdened backstory slowing things down. Lively dialogue that is witty and engaging and authentic. There's a strong sense of characterization here as well. We get the two main characters, Marla and Gabe introduced to the reader in the first chapter and we're just waiting for the sparks to fly. In Marla's case they started by proxy. This is nicely polished and publishable based on the first chapter and is as good as any Chick lit out there. Kristin

Jedye wrote 900 days ago

This is brilliant! The part where they have the meeting to discuss what to do about the funeral director is genius! Really laugh out loud funny. How did you think of the CSI quip? Excellent! I also think this would make a great film or comedy drama. Thanks for brightning up my day!
Jane (Jedye)

Sandy Fisher wrote 902 days ago

Just the intro encourages me to read it - funeral parlour and little white wedding chapel alongside each other.