Book Review: It's Not You, It's Them AND guest post by Portia MacIntosh!

Release Date: 4th November 2016.
Publisher: UK Carina.
Twitter: @PortiaMacIntosh @HQDigitalUK 

Let me just start by saying that Portia MacIntosh is hilarious! I have to slow down a bit as my brain is racing with all the things I want to say about this book and her writing in general. It just makes me so giddy and excited. To start with though I am going repeat the last thing I said about her book 'Truth or Date,' and that was that my biggest complaint is that her books aren't longer. It's nothing to do with the story not concluding or that I feel like there should be more that she isn't saying about the characters, it's quite simply because once I have Portia's voice in my head and am in full swing of her writing rhythm, I don't want to get out of it. I was explaining this to my husband just yesterday. She has such a fun way of telling a story that it's addictive. I end up feeling like the main character is my best friend, so naturally it's a sad moment when I reach the last sentence. Let me tell you a bit more about the book before I continue...

...In this story we meet Roxie Pratt, a lifestyle journalist who loves her work and her fiancé, Mark. They have been together for a year and not even the fact that he loves football or video games can shake how much she loves him. Their relationship is pretty much perfect, until he proposes and it's time to meet his parents. Roxie can't help but feel anxious, will they love her as much as Mark does? She knows she has to try and be herself, but the more she finds out about his family, the more anxious she gets. Her own upbringing wasn't as typical as most, both her parents work in theater and are very open minded, which doesn't sound like the same can be said for Mark's parents. After a rough start, things don't get easier for Roxie and that's not just because of a snow storm that means she's got to spend more time with The Wright's than she had intended. It's going to be a very different Christmas to the one she had planned to say the least!
Firstly, I found Roxie to be completely awesome. One of the things that makes me smile about Portia's leading ladies is that they aren't the typical women that I root for in the books I love. They are loud, outspoken, confident yet slightly insecure, into makeup and swear a lot. In other words they aren't the sweet, quiet, shy women I usually love. Funnily enough this seems to make me love them more. There is something about them that speaks to me and keeps me turning the page, which I think has a little to do with part of me wanting to be a bit more like them. I feel I could learn a lot from these women. Roxie for example says what's on her mind and apologizes later. She is proud of her job, her fashion statements and being a strong woman. She made me feel like I should stand a little taller and not be afraid to speak my mind and go after what I want. At the same time, there was a softer side to Roxie, like the women I usually read about, this side came out when she met Marks family and just made her more appealing. It was the side of her that felt insecure, slightly unsure of herself and made her just want to curl up with a good book. This made me eager to want to see how she overcame it all and got herself back on her feet. Naturally, thanks to Portia MacIntosh, Roxie does so one hilarious event at a time. This book seriously had me laughing out loud and to myself and I haven't even mentioned Mark yet! I feel like he is a real person, like he's out there and not just a version of him but like actually him. Portia describes him so well and the way he is towards Roxie with both his actions and words just makes me feel like I've seen him in real life. Do I sound crazy? Probably, but hey ho, it's true. If you want a FUN, festive, easy going, FUN read that is written so well and will leave you wanting more, then look no further. I for one really need to get through my book list as I still haven't had chance to get all of Portia's other books which is making me sad. Pick up a copy of 'It's Not You, It's Them,' and enjoy! :)

Keep Reading!
Love Kelly xx
How I wrote a Christmas book in summer! Guest Post by Portia MacIntosh.

It’s Not You, It’s Them is set at Christmas, in a cold, dark isolated village. When I wrote It’s Not You, It’s Them, however, I was in my city centre apartment in the height of a summer heat wave.
I knew that I needed to get myself into the right frame of mind, and I couldn’t think of a better way than to try and get myself into the festive spirit much earlier than usual.
I needed twinkly lights, festive food and lots and lots of Christmas music. The first thing I did was set the scene, putting up fairy lights in the living room, which looked beautiful. I cranked up my fan, to make the room as cool as possible, which was lovely. I ate small-scale Christmas dinners for a few nights, which was delicious. However, the Christmas music was a step too far. I absolutely love Christmas music, but in the middle of summer, it was too confusing for my brain to handle. It jarred me. Something inside me was confused – why could I hear Christmas music, just six months after I last heard Christmas music? My brain couldn’t make sense of it, and it made me feel a little gaga, and I’ve watched The Shining way too many times to know that when you are a writer, it isn’t hard to go a little nuts sometimes.
While I enjoyed it, it was amazing, but then I got sick of it. It’s like I was almost annoyed that it wasn’t actually Christmas. I persisted though – at times feeling like I was going to go on a Shakin’ Stevens inspired stabbing spree. But, I didn’t. And in the end, it was worth it. To be honest, I think it helped me write my book. My main character was feeling isolated and confused and that’s exactly how my one-woman Christmas made me feel.

Now that it’s all done and dusted, I’m ready for real Christmas – that’s if I can stand to hear Merry Christmas Everyone ever again.