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Amazing book mentor and award winning author Julie Cohen's superb novel Together is this week's book of the week.

Julie has inspired a whole generation of new writers who are now successfully published - most recently, AJ Pearce, (one of the lovely ladies I met on one of the first of Julie's courses, whg is now riding high in the book charts with the hardback of her debut novel Dear Mrs Bird.) My own novels have been very much written under the guidance of our very own 'WingCo Cohen.'

Having published more than a dozen romances and rom-coms, and having already been picked as a Richard and Judy book with 'Dear Thing, in 2014, Julie is once again leading by example - 'Together' is featured at the front of most bookshops right now, under the Richard and Judy Summer Read 2018 signs. It's a massive accolade. 

A poignant, surprising love story told backwards over five decades, with a devastating secret at its heart.

When I first read Together what struck me with glee, is the consistency of the writing - it's what always strikes me about Julie's writing - she makes me care about the characters from the off. The plot canters along and is never dull, and this one has a twist that I did not guess - a delight, since I pride myself on being able to at least take a pop at the ending. I won't give anything away but suffice it to say, it's had great reviews, and topped several Amazon charts, plus has stayed in the top 30 for ages. This, is a good book.

Get it here on amazon, or in most bookshops, eg places like Luton WHSmiths. (As in top pic)



Being Chosen for Richard and Judy's book club...

But what's it like to be chosen to be a Richard and Judy Book of the Month? Julie tells me more on our recent trip to Chez Castillonin Bordeaux.

1. What does it mean to you to be in the Richard and Judy bookclub?

It’s fantastic—an unparalleled opportunity for my book to be seen by thousands of people. TOGETHER almost didn’t get published, so to have it chosen for a major promotion like this is absolutely the best.

2. Do you get to meet them and what do you have to do, book shop tours et cetera? Is most of it online nowadays? 
The authors meet Richard and Judy in a top secret London location, to record a podcast and have an interview. These are available online on the WHSmith site. My podcast hasn’t been shared yet (and it has a bit of surprise in it, if it hasn’t been edited out) but there is a written interview and exclusive content, including a deleted chapter, on
3. At time of writing Together is number one in several Amazon kindle charts. The paperback is prominent in many leading bookshops. Yet you still find time to be a mum, run, write the next book, and run writing workshops! What does a typical day consist of for you?
I get up, get my kid to school, take the dog for a run, spend way too much time on the internet, and try to write 1000 words before my kid gets back from school! Some days I succeed, some days I fail. 

4. Where can people see you next or attend a workshop?
I’m giving a literary salon on “Writing Relationships: Love and Other Bruises” for Words Away at the Tea House Theatre in Vauxhall on Monday 4 June.
5. And keep in touch? Fab website by the way.
I’m always on Twitter @julie_cohen and my website is
And finally - give us one of your top tips for writing a book …

Just sit down and get it written! (This means you Debbie…)
OK - better go do it then! 
Inspirational as ever, that's Julie Cohen.
If you'd like to come along to one of Julie's workshops, she will be running her next novel writing week down at Retreats for You in Devon November 28th, 2018 - do come! Here's why - taken from our recent workshop at Chez Castillon in France - (the pool pic!)

Julie Cohen workshop extracts May 2018 - @julie_cohen -

‘Dont get it right, get it written’

‘The first draft is for you, full of back story- and YOU need to know that stuff. Then enact it, dramatise it, show don’t tell, and shape it for a reader...’

Most writers do an SFD - a shitty first draft - and that’s ok. Then revise.’

‘You use different parts of your brain to create and to edit. Dont try to edit whilst you’re creating. Do it afterwards.’

‘Everyone has their Waitrose moment (i’m going to give it all up and go work in waitrose), their ‘this sucks big donkey dicks’ moment - their sagging middle. Often about 40,000 words. When it gets scary DON’T GIVE UP, or the fear has won. Even if they end up unpublishable you will have learned something from it. Even if it’s only ever for yourself, the act of finishing is vital. You cant take step back and be objective until you’ve finished it. So get to the end. I’ll say that again - remembevwhat this is and why you’re doing it and GET TO THE END.’

‘Writing is an intrinsically worthwhile, self-nourishing thing to do. So write primarily for yourself. Then write for others.’

‘Retreats and workshops are so good because you meet other people like you, and they become people you can trust. Some great friendships are formed, especially for writers, during workshops.’

Genius advice. Superb mentor.

Fancy a workshop with Julie? Coming to Retreats for You 28 Nov 2018, mon to fri £600 full board inc wine at dinner.
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Or see


Feedback about Julie’s mentoring -

‘I got my voice back. Thank you Julie.’

‘Julie pin pointed what was stopping me finishing my 5th novel and progressing the story. And it was so obvious once she told me. Full steam ahead now.!’

‘Writing a novel is so much different from my day job as a reporter, and Julie has finally helped me break my 3000 word duck. Thank f**k.’

‘It’s so lovely to get such encouraging advice from Julie, who told me that my voice matters. She said Nobody else can tell your story the way you do so do it. Julie is gold.’

That's my book of the week with Julie Cohen!

Other news

Would you like to come to a writing retreat in North Devon? Full board, be looked after and just write? or maybe just relax? Go see our thatched 1600s place on and email us for info - many themed weeks and workshops, many other editor led weeks plus several weeks where you can just come to write and also do a yoga class to stretch out each day. Prices from just £95 per person per night - full board including hot drinks and snacks, all food and wine at dinner. email us This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 - plus Julie Cohen's date - November 28th. Here's the link to Julie Cohen's workshopto find out more about this amazing mentor's week at Retreats for You in Devon - do contact her direct or just email us for more info This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

- as far as our own retreats go, we have three other yoga weeks this year so far booked - July 2nd, August 13th, and October 22nd - how great to be able to stretch your stiff muscles before and after a full day's writing, be looked after with tasty home-cooked meals and wine at dinner, plus no chores, only me-time to get your work done! Go here to find out more about this date and others, but email us This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to book or enquire, these weeks book up fast!!

-  looking ahead to Amanda Saint from Retreat West's third workshop with us in November, how about being part of a flash fiction workshop where your story ends up in a paperback? More info here. She's also running a scriptwriting retreat in June too.

 best wishes




Beginners’ Guide And if you’re a complete beginner and want to self-publish, my basic guide can be found here - beginner's tips for self-publishing - a summary of info, sites and links to help you on your way. Including my guest blog on prestigious industry website,, which is also a fabulous resource for beginners. And advanced writers!  Go here to read more.

Also - launched  in 2018, Jericho press is the new name for Writers' Workshop - and their £30 a month subs will get you all sorts of free info about how to write a novel and how to self publish. MORE HERE.

Archives Don’t forget to check out the other archives (to the left) for even more fabulous hints, tips, links and blogs.

My books - For the full list of my fiction and non fiction novels, novellas, short stories - info and links to buy them just go here. or see below.

As usual, here’s the round up of my own titles! I’d appreciate a review on Amazon (go here) andGoodreads (go here)! Enjoy! x


eBooks - all available on Amazon – paperback or eBook (kindle or kindle app or kindle on PC or Mac)

paperbacks – five fiction titles all available in paperback – via Amazon – see below.




 HAWAIIAN TRILOGY (2013/4) – romantic fiction in either steamy or PG options!

 Book 1 Hawaiian Escape Steamy or Hawaiian Escape PG, the prequel to Hawaiian Affair - is now available on Amazon in eBook or paperback.

 Book 2 Hawaiian Affair Steamy - now called Take a Chance on Me, with Choc Lit publisher available on Amazon. Paperback can be ordered from almost all bookshops. Reached no 79 in WHSmithsTravel charts.

 Book 3 Hawaiian Retreat - Helen's Story - Just click this link to see steamy version. Paperback also available


DIARY OF A WANNABE SHOPPING CHANNEL PRESENTER – a stand alone story – Bridget Jones meets Alan Partridge meets Eddie Murphy in ‘Holy Man’ –click here to buy Ebook on amazon, and click here to buy paperback.



 ‘When Dreams Return’ (2014) – spooky romantic short story – when Chelle’s pal Sara gets her to conjure up her ideal man with a full moon magic spell, she gets more than she bargained for… also appears in Hocus Pocus anthology.

 The Valentine’s Surprise (2010) is a short story proving it’s never too late to find your Sir Galahad!

Also – for Hallowe’en – an anthology of short spooky stories by 13 authors including many new shorts and my When Dreams Return in paperback! Hocus Pocus ’14 – ebook or paperback.

 'Battle of the Exes', written for Valentine's Day 2015, features in 'Roses are Red' anthology of six short stories on Amazon ebook and paperback too.



 Till the Fat Lady Slims 2.0 – the ‘When’ Diet - is my semi-autobiographical weight loss book – originally published in 2000. It was updated for 2014 to include the latest thinking about nutrition. Learn how to eat like slim people do and published on Amazon as TTFLS 2.0

It was followed a year later by Till the Fat Lady Slims 3.0 – Tips and Tale to Inspire on amazon which introduced new concepts and latest theories on gut bacteria and the inner chimp plus six guises of Freedom Eater.

 Go here to get its predecessor (read 2.0 first) Till the Fat Lady Slims 2.0 – the When diet on amazon

Choc-Lit, UK independent publisher, gave it a revamp and put it on order in Bookshops early 2017 - published just as 'Till the Fat Lady Slims' and with a black silhouette cover, it pulls together elements of all the predecessors, and is a good place to begin if you haven't read any of it yet. Go here to get the Choc Lit 2017 Till the Fat lady Slims on Amazon or order in bookshops.

Amazon review - January 2018 - 

This is a great book and so easy to identify with the author. I have been there and reading this book was like a breath of fresh air. I took on board what was written and lost 3 pounds in the first week. I am still losing but I don't dwell on food or think about it all day which is brilliant. I feel I can get on with my life and food is in its proper place. I eat when I'm hungry and because I am hungry, I enjoy the food all the more. If you are struggling and have tried every diet known to woman - like I have - buy this book. You will not regret it. It is turning my life around and I feel so much more positive than I did.