Friday 14 March 2014

Singles and Spice by Elaine Spires

Today, I’d like to wish author Elaine Spires not just a very happy birthday for today but also a happy publication day for her e-book Singles and Spice.

Singles and Spice is the second in the Singles Trilogy.  The first book Singles’ Holiday was set in Antigua and a lot of the reviews had the reviewers saying that they felt like they’d actually been on the holiday themselves.  Eve is a tour leader for a singles holiday company and Elaine’s terrific sense of humour, descriptions of glorious settings that she makes come alive and quite emotional topics covered, mixed together make for excellent reading.  Singles and Spice is set in India and has some new faces as well as a couple of familiar ones.   Early reviews give it glowing praise.

Hope you have a great day Elaine!  

Singles and Spice (available on Kindle on March 14th, paperback early April)
A singles' holiday to India's Golden Triangle - Taj Mahal, the pink city of Jaipur, tiger-spotting in Ranthambore, the noisy, crowded streets of Delhi - all go to make up a trip that is hot, humid and spicy.  Eve Mitchell, TravelTogether's tour manager extraordinaire has a couple of familiar faces in her little group of travellers and others that she hasn't met before; sexy man-eating pensioners, a compulsive over-eater, a constant whiner, a cross-dresser, and a man with a personal problem.  

And there's a big surprise awaiting someone -and Eve - early one morning. By the end of the tour, which sees our group travelling by coach, rickshaw, train and elephant, she will know rather more about some of their innermost secrets than she'd like.  But Eve deals with all the twists and turns the trip throws at her as we try to understand what makes people travel the world with a bunch of complete strangers and tourism's latest success: the phenomenon that is a singles' holiday.

What I Say:

I would like to thank Elaine Spires for sending me an ARC of this book and also Kim Nash @kimthebookworm for organising such a lovely post and all the fun tweets.

It is the second book in the Singles series, I couldn’t wait to read this so started at lunch time at work, I really didn’t want to put this down once I had started, in parts it is a laugh out loud story line, tinged with tragedy towards the end.

In this book Travel2gether go on a tour of India, I love how Elaine goes in to detail and really makes you feel like you on a tour of India.  There’s rickshaw rides, Elephant rides, the Taj Mahal, bus journeys on roads with potholes  (Emily gets wedged between seats) and even visits to see tigers. 

I love Elaine's attention to detail and this sets every scene incredibly, you can almost imagine you are on holiday with this tour.  For me it shows how much history and culture there is in India, although it's somewhere I don't fancy travelling to (personal I prefer a pool holiday), but think reading this many people would be encouraged to visit India.  I don't know if Elaine has researched this, but to me it feels as though she has drawn on her own experience of India.

Back to the book, we meet Eve again, who was the Tour Rep in Singles Holiday.  Eve is a lovely character and I was really happy that she was in this book.  She must have the patience of a Saint with some people.

Again there are different mixes of characters and character ages, we find out about each of them as the book goes along.  

Meg, Emily and Coral are nicknamed the Golden Girls, they are out to have fun and sample the local men as they have done on previous holidays (it would be nice if Elaine wrote a book about their previous antics).  

Andrew who doesn’t have teeth or wash, some parts of the book he is annoying but doesn’t realise a lot of things about himself.  The part about his teeth in a plastic bag is just wonderful and I wonder if this is based on someone.

Eileen who I was happy to discover from a previous book of Elaine’s, What’s Eating Me?  She is a really nice character and I can’t wait to read this book.

Graham and Celestyna become a couple on this holiday.

Kim who at first seems a bit strange at first but as the book continues you find that she had a bad break up with her husband and was going through the menopause.

Jim, who we don’t really find out much about until later in the book.

Murray and Natalie are from Singles Holiday and are both funny characters; we find out that Natalie is now with Eve’s son Michael.

We meet a few local’s including tour guide Ajit, I couldn’t read his parts in the book without laughing after a conversation with Kim Nash (@kimthebookworm) on Twitter.

I will put a little bit of a spoiler here I thought the scene at the Taj Mahal, when Michael turns up on an elephant to propose to Natalie is so romantic and really nicely written.  There is so much that happens in this book and I don’t want to go into too much detail and spoil it for anyone, suffice to say it wouldn’t be one of Elaine’s Singles Holidays books, without laughter and tears.

A really wonderful book in the Singles books and cant wait for book 3.  Please Elaine, consider writing more of these wonderful books.

I would also like to say thank you so much for the acknowledgement in the back of the book, it was a really lovely surprise and brought tears to my eyes.

Jo x

5 out of 5 stars

Singles' Holiday
Elaine Spires' second novel was Single's Holiday, set on her beloved Antigua... the Caribbean at its most luscious, its most beautiful... silver sand, cobalt sky, warm, turquoise sea... and a bunch of complete strangers who only have one thing in common: they’re single!

Some are looking for romance and some for something more... but they've all chosen to spend their holiday with people they have never met before.  Pretty soon some become great friends, some enemies and some lovers, but it is perhaps their tour leader Eve who has the biggest shock of all.

Glorious days on the beach, boozy, balmy nights and a pending tropical storm combine in a story to make you laugh and cry with just the right number of twists to keep you turning the pages as you get to know all the members of the group as they, in turn, get to know each other.

About Elaine

Elaine Spires is a diverse novelist as well as an award-winning playwright and actress.

Extensive travelling and a background in education and tourism perfected Elaine's keen eye for the quirky characteristics of people, captivating the humorous observations she now affectionately shares with the readers of her novels.
She wrote her first book What's Eating Me in 2010. It was originally a play, a one-woman show performed as a monologue with a child actor - Elena-Beth Carter playing Eileen as a child in the background and Elaine performed it on the London and Edinburgh fringes. She loved the character of loved Eileen so much that she decided to expand the story into a book.

Her second novel was Singles' Holiday, set on her beloved Antigua... the Caribbean at its most luscious, its most beautiful... silver sand, cobalt sky, warm, turquoise sea... and a bunch of complete strangers who only have one thing in common: they're single!

And her third novel Sweet Lady, again set in Antigua, will amaze you with a massive twist which goes to show that nothing is as it seems!
When Elaine is not writing her ideas into her next book or play, she enjoys going to the theatre, visiting the cinema, eating out with her friends and she also loves to read! Elaine spends her time between her homes inHadleigh, Essex and Five Islands, Antigua (W.I.).

Author Links
You can learn more about Elaine at her website

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You can join Elaine’s Facebook party today at 

Buy Links

You can buy Singles and Spice via this link.

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