The Things I Should Have Told you by Carmel Harrington

 

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Poignant yet immensely heartwarming.

Oh wow, where do I even begin with this one. Do you remember way back when, in the very beginning, just who it was that gently persuaded me (pushed me into 😉 ) starting this blog? Yep that’s right, it was no other than Carmel Harrington. She had self published Beyond Grace’s Rainbow and she was my first review and my very first author interview. Mmmm we should really see what we can do about getting a follow-up one of those, do you think she would oblige?

Anyway BGR as we affectionately call it was self published by Carmel back in 2012 and she has come a long way since then but if you want to know about all of that you can look back through my archives or on Carmel’s own Website.

There is something very special about following an author from the very beginning and reading their books in the order in which they are released. With every book you can see the author grow and the writing style develop and mature. I loved Carmel’s first book and the other two after it but this book, oh this book, is on another level entirely.  If I had to sum it up I would say it is a cross between Cecelia Ahern’s P.S I Love You and anything Sheila O’ Flannagan. The story flowed so naturally and at the perfect pace. At no time did I feel like I wanted a particular scene to be over or for the story to move on. It was fluid, and so extremely well told.

Map for The Things I Should Have Told You

Setting a book on a road trip is no easy feat, the research involved must have been overwhelming but it was certainly comprehensive. The detail used to describe each area was immense and made for a spectacular visual, adding to the beauty of reading.

I don’t often read a paperback, preferring instead to immerse myself in my kindle. There was nothing however going to keep me from reading this one. Right from the very beginning I was hooked, I literally could not put it down. I could tell right then that my emotions were going to be put to the test. I should have expected that really, it wouldn’t be the first time that a book by Carmel has broken me! It was funny too though. All the characters had their moments and gave me a giggle but the little boy Jamie just stole my heart and pops wasn’t far behind him!

I laughed and I cried, then I cried some more. That is how i spent my bank holiday weekend. Curled up reading a book and shutting the rest of the world out. There was food in the fridge – no one was going to starve. So as I lay on my bed today and finished this amazing book, balled up tissues in the bin beside me I felt like I had travelled Europe and had been through the mill along with the Guinness family and came out the other end a happier stronger version of myself. Why? Because while this book will make you laugh and  will definitely make you shed a tear it was also provoke many thoughts about how you can live your best life!

 

Preorder today

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Carmel Harrington

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Carmel Harrington is a bestselling & award winning Irish author from Co. Wexford, published with Harper CollinsUK. Like Maeve Binchy, Carmel writes with incredible compassion and warmth about characters so authentic, they could be sitting right beside you. Her page-turning novels are to be published worldwide, translated into eight different languages and are regular chart-toppers.

The Things I Should Have Told You, her fourth novel, will be published 8th September 2016.

Carmel is the Chairperson of Wexford Literary Festival. She is a panelist on TV3’s Midday Show, a book reviewer for South East Radio and writes feature articles for The Irish Independent & many other newspapers and magazines. A popular keynote speaker she has given talks in Ireland, UK & USA.

Carmel lives with her husband Roger and two children, Amelia and Nate, in Co. Wexford, Ireland, where she credits the rural idyll as a constant source of inspiration for her stories.

Her other bestsellers include Every Time A Bell Rings, The Life You Left and Kindle Book of The Year & Romantic eBook of the Year, Beyond Grace’s Rainbow.
Carmel is represented by Tracy Brennan. Follow Carmel on Twitter @HappyMrsH, or become friends with Carmel on Facebook/happymrsh.
For more information on Carmel, visit www.carmelharrington.com

 

 

 

 

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My favourites of 2013

Good morning to you all. Or afternoon / evening. You get my drift. Happy new year. I hope you were able to see out the old and bring in the new happily and peacefully. I went to my sister in laws with most of my in laws and had a great night. We weren’t going to go – we didn’t know if the kids would manage to stay awake. They are 3,4 & 6 and are usually in bed by 6.30 every night. At 23.50 we were gathering them all up to bring them in for the countdown when we realised one was missing. Poor Aidie (Aidan) had let himself into the ‘big sitting room’ and closed the door and curled up on the couch with his teddy and went to sleep. I of course went in at midnight and gave him a kiss anyway. Holly (3) and Jamie (6) welcomed in the new year but i’m not sure what they made of the flurry of hugs and kisses that came their way.

So yesterday I started a post of my Top books of 2013 but I am hopeless. I’m like a little puppy – just rub me under the chin and tickle my belly and I will be loyal forever. So instead of my brian setting off every nuclear reactor known to man due to overload with me trying to decide what to include, I am going to tell you a few of my favourites.

Tear jerker

Well this should go without saying really. I have read a few books this year that would bring a tear to a glass eye but there aren’t any that can hold a candle to my #1. Beyond Grace’s Rainbow

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Granted I didn’t read it for the first time last year but I did read it again and it had a new chapter. Anyway this is my post and I make the rules 😉 I am only delighted with the success Carmel Harrington has achieved with BGR and I can only wait for things to get better and better for her.

Biggest book hangover

This, beyond a shadow of a doubt, belongs to Elizabeth Reyes and Breaking Brandon.

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Ever since I read Forever Mine, I have been hooked on Elizabeth Reyes’ books. Every time I read one it becomes my new favourite. Though this one I think will hold that title for a long time to come. It took me two days to pick up another book after reading this – and it wasn’t for the want of trying. I just couldn’t get my head out of the story. I’d love a bit more….

A Little Teaser

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The book that made me spit out my coffee..

Haha this could only belong to M. Leighton and Everything for Us

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I can’t even begin to go in to what made me spit out my coffee. You will just have to read it and see 😉
This is a fantastic series of book from Michelle, you need to get on it!

The book that most surprised me

Is surprised the right word? Probably not. Maybe the book I wasn’t expecting? You see this is why I review and not write 😉 Anyway, whether or which this is Jane Lark‘s latest book I Found You

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CLICK ON IMAGE TO READ FIRST CHAPTER **WARNING, BE READY TO ONE CLICK**

From the very first page in this book I was hooked. I couldn’t read it fast enough. I had read Illicit Love from Jane which is a historical. I didn’t know what to expect in this genre and I was quite simply blown away. I cannot wait for more in this series.

The book that had the biggest personal impact

The wonderful wonderful Lauren Blakely and her amazing book The Thrill of It

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I adore Lauren and all of her books. When I started this blog almost a year ago she supported me 100% even though at the time she didn’t know me from Adam. She is absolutely fantastic with bloggers and just her fans in general. I am lucky enough to be part of Lauren’s street team now. Anyhooooo…

There was a part of The Thrill of It that struck home with me. It even had me in tears (no not the part about being a sex addict). Then it gave me an epiphany. Then I ended up with a tattoo. Still can’t quite believe that I did it. I am not a major fan, but it’s different when it means something, right?

I blame Lauren and this book though. Have you read it? If you haven’t then you really should. I am on pins waiting for the second one!

One of my favourites of the year, just because

Belle Aurora and her book Willing Captive

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The title of this book led me to believe certain things about it. I was thinking in and around Fifty Shades. I was wrong. You see I rarely read a blurb. I like the element of surprise. I have recommended this book to many people since I have read and they have all come back saying it is amazing. Thats’s because it is. I just loved it and that’s why it is up there with my best books of the year.

Another of my favourites because….

…who doesn’t like a bit of misery, right? Erin Lawless and The Best Thing I Never Had.

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** Click image to read an extract**

I absolutely loved this book from Erin Lawless. It’s about real life, coming of age, growing up and realising those people that you trust absolutely, think have your back and will always be there for you – maybe they won’t.

My #1 Best book of the year. AND EVER.

Well if you know me or read this blog at all this is a no brainer. Colleen Hoover just swept me off my feet with LOSING HOPE

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It is just quite simply THE.BEST.BOOK.EVER

Beyond Grace’s Rainbow – Paperback is finally here.

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Way back in August 2012 I read an ebook called Beyond Grace’s Rainbow. I had seen quite a bit about it on Facebook from friends so I went ahead and got it. My reading bug had just kicked back in and I was devouring books. Carmel Harrington at that point would have been an acquaintance of mine. I had never met her in the flesh but we would have had online contact. The night I finished it I sent Carmel a facebook message at 1.10am saying “I can’t believe you just did that to me”, From that message we began to chat and eventually met up. It was like meeting my long lost sister.

Over the last 15 months we have become great friends. I shared with her the search for an agent – I think at times I was more frustrated with waiting to her than she was. Believe me though that was nothing compared to the search for a publisher. I never ever doubted that she would be succesful and that Beyond Grace’s Rainbow would become the success it has.

I am absolutely delighted that Harper Impulse signed Carmel and I am beyond thrilled that today sees the launch of the paperback version of Beyond Grace’s Rainbow. I cannot wait to attend my first book signing on Sunday and get my own signed copy. The fact that I feature in the acknowledgements will be totally cool too!

Find out all about the book stores here in Ireland that will be stocking it and the book signings too! Carmel is also running a competition for a signed paperback so be sure to enter that too. Click HERE

Beyond Grace’s Rainbow paperback can be ordered from today on Amazon

I will also be running a competiton for a signed paperback so watch out on my Facebook page for that.

me and carmel

Carmel has fantastic profession photos that I could share but I don’t care. This was taken the day I met her and I just love it!

Oh to have the life of a writer!

Wouldn’t it be just fabulous to have the life of a writer. All glamour, showbiz parties, book launches and signings. So far away from the normality that the rest of us face. I invited writer Carmel Harrington over to do a guest blog for me, to let us all in on what life is really like. And you know what, it doesn’t sound so bad 😉

You may have heard of Carmel Harrington, Author of Beyond Grace’s Rainbow and Freelance journalist, if not find her on her Website, Facebook or Twitter.

I would like to thank Carmel for taking time out of her very busy life to write the following piece, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Over to Carmel:

Ever wondered what the life of a freelance writer is like? How about a freelance writer who is also a mother to two toddlers? I can sum it up in a four letter word for you all. Busy!
Like for example this morning. The H Household was woken up unceremoniously by Nate my 18 month old at 5.30 am. Yes 5.30 am. Now that would have been ok had I been in bed at 9.30 pm drinking my cocoa and watching the Late Late or Alan Carr. God I find him funny. I just have to look at him and he cracks me up, those teeth. And his voice. I think if Alan Carr and I met we could be great friends. Alan if you’re reading this, call me ok? Right, lack of sleep is making me sillier than normal, so I’ll get back to the point – there was no TV for me last night as there was writing to be done.
Just to give you an idea of what I’ve been up to in just one week as a freelance writer, I wrote and submitted two magazine articles to be published in June, did an interview with a book reviewer about my novel Beyond Graces Rainbow, completed my second play which is now on its way to a theatre in UK for consideration and also ran a challenge on my blog to get aspiring writers writing! This challenge has proven to be hugely successful, so much so that the challenge is about to turn into a competition. More information on that to follow on my blog I promise. And I’ve started a writers group on Facebook for all the newbie writers to chat together and support each other. If anyone wants to join incidentally, get in touch, I’m happy to add you. So it’s been busy. Just a tad.

writer housework

I was writing to the wee hours last night cos’ I was on a flow, so when Nate started to holler for attention this morning, I felt like a cast member of the Walking Dead. I simply could not lift my head from my pillow which in fairness was probably a combination of zombie like tiredness and the fact that Amelia, my 3 year old had crawled into bed at some point during the night and had one foot in my rib cage and the other in the crook of my neck. Nice. So Mr H was nudged awake and he brought Nate into bed with us and we all played a game of make believe that we might all get back to sleep. But four in the bed with the little one saying over and over again, ‘Mama, Dada, Juice!’ So at the ungodly hour of 6am breakfast was being served to the smallies and Mr H and I were drinking tea. The tea drinking was in fact further insult to our injured sleep deprived selves, as we had run out of coffee and the nespresso machine on the blink. Bad timing.

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After breakfast I started to clean the playroom and Mr H started to iron the mountain of laundry that never seems to deplete and we realised that it was in fact only 7 am. We were both probably feeling a bit hard done by. When all of a sudden Amelia shouts to Nate, ‘Come on Nate, lets fly to the moon.’ She plonked a bob the builder hat on his head, a cowboy hat on her own and sat them down side by side in their Mickey Mouse chairs and shouted ‘To the moon!’
And as they both squealed with delight as Amelia kept shouting we are going ‘Superfast!‘ my heart melted and I thought to hell with sleep, this is all that matters. Watching my children’s imagination take them happily to the moon and back more than makes up for every early start and kicked rib cage.
So here I am now at 9.30 am with the ironing done, (thanks Mr H) playroom cleaned, Nate napping because of his early start, Amelia happily playing on the moon, strong coffee in front of me (thanks Mr H again for the dash to the shops at 9am when they opened) and I’m taking the opportunity to write.
That’s how we roll in the H house these days and can I tell you all a secret? I kinda of love it.
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Carmel Harrington is a freelance writer and bestselling author of the eBook Beyond Graces Rainbow which recently won The Book Awards in March 2013. She is represented by the Trace Literary Agency where Beyond Graces Rainbow and her second novel Sleep of Dreams are on submission with publishers.
Carmel is also a playwright with her first play A Dunganstown Romance on stage in June 13’.
Carmel lives in Wexford with her husband Roger and two small children, Amelia and Nate.
Please visit Carmel’s webpage at http://www.carmelharrington.com for all the latest updates or follow her on twitter @happymrsh and on face book at http://www.facebook.com/happymrsh

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Look who i bumped into today!

me and carmel

I had lunch today with none other than the wonderful Carmel Harrington. The lady kind enough to give me my first interview to go along with my review of Beyond Grace’s Rainbow, which you can find here.

I spoke to Carmel about what is happening with her at the moment. As you may remember she had just signed up with the Trace Literary Agency when i first blogged about her, and at the moment her agent is just starting to send Beyond Grace’s Rainbow out to publishers. I have no doubt that we will be seeing it on the shelves in the near future.

Carmel was also filling me in on her next book, which just sounds amazing. The title is a work in progress, she thinks she has it nailed down but just isn’t certain if maybe there isn’t a more perfect one out there, so I am not going to publish it and will give her a chance to think about it. Though that’s maybe an exclusive she would like to keep for her own blog anyway! The book is about a mother, with an AWOL husband, who has a special gift. Sarah is psychic and has visions about people around her and she needs to use these visions to try to change a particular course of events, without people thinking she has gone nuts. Carmel assures me that the book has lots of twists and turns and the unexpected is always around the corner.

The yet to named book is just awaiting the final edit and then will be sent off to Carmels agent. Naturally after the great success of her debut book Carmel is nervous that she is a ‘one hit wonder’. I have it on good authority that she has nothing to worry about, that this book may be even better that Beyond Grace’s Rainbow!

I cannot wait to see it on sale. Good luck Carmel, and I owe her a giant piece cake so we will have to do it all again!