Today I’m absolutely delighted to welcome debut novelist Cathy Bramley to the blog. Cathy’s book Conditional Love has just been released and you can read my review (yes, review!) at the end of Cathy’s post. I love the idea of the world’s smallest book launch so I hope you’ll read on and then take a minute to say hello to Cathy in the comments below. Over to you, Cathy!

The World’s Smallest Book Launch

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I’m so excited – this is my first ever guest blog post as a published author! Woo hoo! Thank you to the wonderful Jo Phillips, who has not only coaxed me gently towards the publication finishing line, but has also allowed me access to her fantastic and dedicated blog followers (no pressure not to let her down then! :))

I’m also excited about something else: tomorrow I am hosting the world’s smallest book launch in Lambley, the village where I live in Nottinghamshire. If everyone could just cross their fingers for me and wish for a bright, sunny Saturday morning, that would be marvellous – thank you.

Facebook, Twitter, blogs, Goodreads – I love ’em all and I use them all. But I can’t help it, I’m old school, for me you can’t beat a real touchy-feely party. No, not THAT sort of touchy-feely, I’m talking about a book launch with a real live VIP to cut the ribbon…

Some stroke-them-they’re-so-beautiful real books …

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And cake. It isn’t a proper party without cake…

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Of course being currently without the marketing services of Random House, Harper Collins or Simon and Schuster etc., a champagne launch at The Ivy attended by a who’s who in the literary world with guest appearance from Marian Keyes was sadly off-limits. So rather than have a big book bash, I have decided to go for the World’s smallest launch.

In a phone box

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Yes, I’ll be signing books, running a free prize draw and posing for photographs with the Mayor inside a converted red phone box. Let’s hope that the Mayor doesn’t suffer from claustrophobia (or garlic breath!).

When it’s not hosting literary events, the village phone box is the epicentre of our community; it’s the book exchange stuffed with second-hand books, which we all swap with each other with great enthusiasm and regularity. The phone box is my favourite village facility and that – coupled with its handy shelving – makes it the perfect venue for my Conditional Love party.

If you’re interested, there are details on my blog. I know that readers of Jo’s blog live all over the world, so it is unlikely that many of you would be able to come to the party. However, so that you don’t feel left out, I’ve got a box of very special Thornton’s truffles and a signed copy of Conditional Love to be won. Read on…

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I love the book cover for Conditional Love so much that I’ve had it printed on to a very special box of Thornton’s truffles! If you would like to win them and a signed copy of the book, please post onto my Facebook page or to tweet me on Twitter telling me what you would have printed onto a box of chocolates! I can’t wait to read your ideas!

The competition is open until Sunday 6 October at 20:00 GMT. I will choose the entry that I think is the best. I will wrap the parcel as carefully as I can, but cannot be held responsible for damage in transit.

Amazon link to Conditional Love


Jo: I want those truffles! I suppose because the competition is on my blog I can’t enter myself, but I hope you’ll enter and enjoy them on my behalf! Well, I loved the sound of Conditional Love so I asked Cathy for a review copy and set to reading. I can tell you right now I was blown away. I kept thinking ‘Why didn’t Cathy get a publishing deal for this?’ which is not really an appropriate thing for an indie author to say I suppose, proving that the old belief about great books getting picked up by trad houses is still hanging around, even in my head!

Anyway, on to my review. I loved this book. It was well written, well paced, with a fresh and engaging plot that had me hooked straight away. I loved the lead character Sophie, and her two best friends, and the way Cathy sketches out their characters is nothing short of brilliant. There is a serious side to the story, with Sophie’s relationship with her mother (who I wanted to strangle) and her estranged father, and this gave the book a depth I really enjoyed. Cathy tackles some big issues with a light touch, and there were real laugh out loud moments that bring a smile to my face even now when I think about them. I finished this book thinking – here is a new name to watch out for in the chick lit market! And it made me want to rush back to writing chick lit myself 🙂

Cathy Bramley Bio

After growing up in Birmingham, Cathy went to Nottingham Trent University at the ripe old age of eighteen and five days to study European Business. Upon graduating she spent the next few years in the corporate world of marketing working on high-powered projects such as testing the firing range of SuperSoaker waterguns, adding hair extensions to Girls’ World styling heads and perfecting the weeing action of Tiny Tears. After making it onto Timmy Mallet’s Christmas card list, she realised it was time to move on and so in 1995 set up her own agency, Apples & Pears Marketing.

Avid fans of the TV series, Cathy and her husband realised their Grand Designs’ dream of building their own house in 2011. They now live in rural Nottinghamshire with their two daughters and a bouncy dog called Pearl.

This project provided the inspiration for Cathy’s debut novel Conditional Love which will be launched on 4th October 2013. However, it is by no means autobiographical apart from one unfortunate incident in the boardroom! She shares her time between her marketing agency, writing and taxiing the girls endlessly from one activity to the next.

Cathy is a fan of Masterchef, strong coffee, chocolate brazils and Marian Keyes books. She is addicted to her Kindle and has an irrational fear of bananas.

Cathy Bramley can be found at:

Twitter @cathybramley




Cathy Bramley on Amazon UK

Cathy Bramley on