Saturday 19 November 2016

* * Blog Tour * * Second Helpings - Kristen Bailey

Welcome to my stop on Kristen Bailey's Second Helpings Blog Tour. I'm delighted to welcome the lovely (and very local to me) Kristen to The Hippo today with a guest post to tell you ten things you might not know about her books, so here's the lady herself.

Photo courtesy of Kirsten Bailey

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Souper Mum & Second Helpings

·         Souper Mum is the story of Jools Campbell – a stay-at-home mum who gets embroiled in a media feud with pompous TV chef Tommy McCoy that sees her being thrown into the limelight unexpectedly.  To quote the blurb: ‘it’s a refreshing look at family, modern life and the joyless merits of quinoa.’

·         The sequel, Second Helpings sees us catch up with Jools as she becomes a judge on a family cooking show, re-igniting feuds with McCoy and learning to juggle her new role as a working mum with family life.

·         My Souper Mum is Jools Campbell and she was named after one of my best friends, Julie.  I wanted her last name to be food related in some way.  After going with Campbell, I made it a theme in the book that all the characters would have food brand names hence Tommy McCoy, Luella Bendicks, Jen Tyrell, Paula Jordan, Mr Pringle and Richie Colman.  See how many others you can spot!

·         Even though Jools has four children and I have four, I started writing Souper Mum when I only had two and was pregnant with #3 (I have so many children now, I only call them by number...) – in the end, it was a pure case of life imitating art.  Are Jools and I the same person?  I wish – she’s far braver and more eloquent than me.  I’ve only ever left the house without a bra once, and that was to run after the bin men because I’d forgotten to put the recycling out...never again.

·         By that same measure, is my husband Matt?  They share a lot of the same qualities, they are jaded Northerners who won’t suffer fools. There are differences though. While Matt has a mop of boyband blond hair, age has been far less kind to Mr Bailey (he always says I’m the reason he hasn’t got any hair left...). He also would be a terrible football coach unless those kids wanted to learn every swear word known to man. 

·           Souper Mum and Second Helpings are both set in Kingston-Upon-Thames, mainly because I was a little fed up of reading so much chick lit set in North London!  I was raised, grew up and went to school in and around the area.

·         Things that happened in the books that happened in real life:
a)    I did once grill some cupcakes.
b)    I was once a nanny for three girls who did paint the garage floor (and the stairs) with black gloss paint
c)    The nits, several times.

·         The fish finger pie recipe in Souper Mum is a real recipe that was shared by a friend I went to university with.  I remember eating it out of a Tupperware in halls.  I’ve never made it myself.

·         In Second Helpings, Jools becomes a judge on a family cooking show called Little Chefs.  This was a nod to Souper Mum’s original title before it got changed. Other titles that we had in mind: The Mother Forker, The (Un)Yummy Mummy, Love In The Time of Fish Fingers.

·         And to answer the question I get asked the most, is Tommy McCoy actually Jamie Oliver?  In a word, no!  All similarities are purely coincidental 😀  In fact, he is an amalgamation of many TV chefs out there and contrary to what you may believe, I don’t hate all of them.  In fact, my favourite is Nigel Slater and I could read his books and watch him any day of the week.

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     Being a fan of cookery shows as well as books I really like the sound of Kristen's books so here are the blurbs for Souper Mum as well as Second Helpings.

A fantastic debut novel that takes a refreshing look at family, modern life, and the joyless merits of quinoa. Monday morning can't get any worse for harassed mum-of-four Jools Campbell when, after a frantic school run, she's cornered in the supermarket by pompous celebrity chef Tommy McCoy, who starts criticising the contents of her trolley. Apparently the fact that she doesn't make her own bread or buy organic is tantamount to child abuse. In a hurry and short of patience, she berates McCoy for judging her when she hasn't the time or the money to feed her family in line with his elitist ideals. Unbeknownst to Jools, her rant has been filmed and immediately goes viral on YouTube, making her a reluctant celebrity overnight. With McCoy determined to discredit her by delving into her personal life, Jools decides it's time to fight her corner in the name of all the fraught mums out there who are fed up with being made to feel bad by food snobs like him. Armed with some fish fingers and her limited cooking repertoire, Jools must negotiate the unfamiliar world of celebrity while staying true to her instincts as a mum.

The thrilling sequel to Souper Mum.

Exactly one year after her dramatic cook-off against nemesis Tommy McCoy, Jools Campbell’s endearing, down-to-earth approach to cooking and family life has won her many fans. But the world of celebrity (and the money that comes with it) soon lures her back in after the roof of her house caves in, and she finds herself signing a contract to be a judge on a cooking show for children called Little Chefs.

Jools soon finds her decision challenged when she discovers her co-star and fellow judge is none other than Tommy McCoy, on a mission to save his name and reputation. The show is hugely popular, with people drawn to the ‘chemistry’ between Jools and McCoy who has adopted a Simon Cowell-like approach to judging (mainly involving making children cry), which begins another all too familiar round of media intrusion into Jools’ life.

 About Kristen

Mother-of-four, gin-drinker, binge-watcher, receipt hoarder, hapless dog owner, enthusiastic but terrible cook.  Kristen lives in Fleet, Hampshire in a house overrun by Lego and odd socks.  Her debut novel, Souper Mum was released by Accent Press in June and its sequel, Second Helpings is released on 17th November.  

If you'd like to know more about Kristen you can connect with her using the links below:

 You can follow the rest of the Second Helpings on these fabulous blogs:


         I'd like to thank Kristen for asking me to take part in her blog tour and to wish her lots of success with her new book. I'm looking forward to raising a glass with you at your book launch! 😉🍷

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