Wednesday 7 March 2018

BLOG TOUR: The Single Girl's Calendar - Erin Green

Luckily I had some holiday booked and was snowed in when the call came out for The Single Girl's Calendar blog tour.  I admit to a sharp intake of breath at the 580 page length but I needn't have worried as it was started and finished within 24 hours.  So here I am on the blog tour and I have a triple treat for you today: an extract, my review and a (UK only) giveaway to win a fabulous Erin Green mug.

First up, here's the extract where Esmé is given the Single Girl's Calendar when she finds herself suddenly single.


Carys reached for Esmé’s hand and gently squeezed it.
So, what have you done all morning?’
Apart from visit cafes, I’ve walked around the city, stared in shop windows and had a meltdown when I found myself in the crime section at Waterstones…’ Esmé coughed as a wave of nausea lifted to her throat. ‘I felt fine until then. How many times has that store saved my skin with his birthday presents or stocking fillers? Not anymore. Those days are gone.’
In that case, I have just the thing,’ announced Carys, releasing Esmé’s hand before rummaging in the plastic bag beneath her chair. ‘Don’t laugh, but this actually helped me through the break-up with Myles.’
I thought I helped you get through that.’
Carys raised her head mid-rummage, her corkscrew curls bouncing as she disagreed.
Nope! You know nothing about break-ups, Esmé. Seriously, your relationship has been so long-term you haven’t a clue. But this…’ Carys lifted a pink boxed object onto the table top. ‘This might help.’
What the hell?’ said Esmé, staring at the advent calendar styled object with its tiny perforated doors.
It’s 100 per cent tack and it only cost a fiver but
Hear me out, Esmé… it’s worth a laugh if nothing else.’
Yeah, sure,’ said Esmé, lifting the calendar to read the blurb on the reverse.
Want a sassy new way to overcome a break-up? Or simply an opportunity to focus on your life? The Single Girl’s Calendar is made for you! Behind every door is a task that will help you focus on you, and you only! A whole month of pampering, mindfulness activities, caring and sharing ideas which in just four short weeks will have you feeling on top of the world! An insightful way to put a spring back into your step as a strong, independent woman!
Are you serious?’
Carys nodded.

Next, here's a bit about the book followed by my review:

A task a day to cure a broken heart.
Esmé Peel is approaching thirty with some trepidation, but hope in her heart. If she can just get her long-term boyfriend Andrew to propose, she will have ticked everything off her 'things to do by the time you're 30' list. She didn't reckon on finding another woman's earring in her bed however, and soon she finds herself single, homeless and in need of a new plan. Her best friend Carys gives her the perfect present – The Single Girl’s Calendar – which has a different cure for heartbreak every day: 

Day 1: Look and feel fabulous with a new hair style. 

Day 2: Step out of your comfort zone and try something new. 

Day 3: Reconnect with friends and enjoy!

Despite thinking it's a bit of a gimmick, Esmé hasn't got any better ideas, so she puts the plan into action. By the end of week one she has four new male housemates, and despite a broken heart she is determined to show Andrew she can do more than survive, she can thrive.

What did I think?

I loved this book; I can't believe how quickly I read it despite it's weighty 580 page length.  I loved the whole dynamic of the characters and with a huge dose of testosterone, it made it something a little bit different in the chick lit genre.

Esmé is ready for the next stage in her life, she just has to set the scene and Andrew, her boyfriend of 7 years is sure to propose.  So she books the day off, puts the champagne on ice, orders a lovely meal to be delivered, lights the candles and changes the bedclothes...only to find an earring in her bed that isn't hers.  Her dream night turns into a nightmare when she confronts Andrew and he admits to cheating on her.  I was so mad for Esmé at first as she has done everything for Andrew, always thinking of him first and perhaps that was her big mistake as she forgot who she really was.  It was like she didn't have a mind of her own anymore; she was Esmé of Andrew and Esmé and I got mad at her for letting that happen.  I then reminded myself that the girl is heartbroken and her dreams have been smashed into smithereens so I cut her some slack.

I loved the idea of a Single Girl's Calendar that Carys gives to Esmé.  It's kind of like an advent calendar (even complete with a little chocolate behind each door) setting a task for the day to perhaps push you out of your comfort zone but ultimately to prevent you sitting at home and wallowing in your own self-pity.  Hey, we've all been there!  Esmé certainly steps out of her comfort zone when she takes her brother's place in a house-share and finds herself living with four of her brother's friends.  A brilliant way to get over a break-up, I say!

The guys all have their individual quirks and characteristics and Esmé's heart goes pitter patter when she encounters Jonah, her high school crush.  Unfortunately, Jonah loves himself more than he'll ever love a woman but Esmé only see's the outside shell, not what is inside.  I don't think Esmé's shallow, just that she loves with her eyes rather than her heart; this is evident when she meets fellow housemate, Asa.  Now this guy couldn't have a bigger heart but his tattooed appearance and sharp tongue give the wrong impression to people who can't see beyond that.  Esmé is guilty of judging a book by its cover and Asa thinks she is jumping from one thing to another trying to be liked but he doesn't know about the tasks in the calendar.  Will Esmé ever be able to see the person beneath the painted skin or will she not be able to resist when all her dreams are gift wrapped and handed to her on a plate?

What a brilliant story!  I loved Esmé's interactions with the four guys and they each had a little story going on themselves.  There is lots to think about too: how appearances can be deceptive yet we continually say that first impressions count.  It's quite sobering to think that I would have jumped to the same conclusions as Esmé and to all the Asa's out there, I apologise wholeheartedly.

I laughed, cried and learnt a little bit about myself whilst reading The Single Girl’s Calendar and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to one and all.  Deep, thought-provoking chick lit doesn't come along too often, so grab this one with both hands.

I chose to read an ARC and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

My rating:

Buy it from Amazon UK
Buy it from Amazon USA

About the author:

Erin was born and raised in Warwickshire, where she resides with her husband. An avid reader since childhood, her imagination was instinctively drawn to creative writing as she grew older. Erin has two Hons degrees: BA English literature and another BSc Psychology – her previous careers have ranged from part-time waitress, the retail industry, fitness industry and education. She has an obsession about time, owns several tortoises and an infectious laugh!
Erin’s writes contemporary novels focusing on love, life and laughter. Erin is an active member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and was delighted to be awarded The Katie Fforde Bursary in 2017. An ideal day for Erin involves writing, people watching and drinking copious amounts of tea.
Twitter: @ErinGreenAuthor
Goodreads Author Page:

Win an Erin Green Ceramic Mug! (UK only) x3

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