Poppy’s Recipe for Life by Heidi Swain with Giveaway

Poppy's recipe for life

I’m absolutely delighted to be closing the blog tour for lovely Heidi Swain and her new novel Poppy’s Recipe for Life and I’d like to thank Harriett Collins at Simon and Schuster for inviting me to take part. Heidi is such a smashing person whom it’s my pleasure to know in real life and she has featured on Linda’s Book Bag many times before.

Linda Hill Giveaway

Today, not only do I have my review of Poppy’s Recipe for Life to share, but if you live in the UK you have the chance to win a fabulous Poppy’s Recipe for Life prize. I have received one of these glorious parcels and let me tell you, this is something you’re really going to want to win. You can find out how to enter at the bottom of this blog post.

Heidi always tries to attend the blogger and author meet ups we have locally and I wrote about meeting Heidi with other authors in 2018 at the Simon and Schuster Spring Blogger Evening here and again in 2019 here. I reviewed Heidi’s Mince Pies and Mistletoe at the Christmas Market here and was thrilled to ‘stay in’ with her to chat all about Sunshine and Sweet Peas In Nightingale Square here. Finally (for now anyway) Heidi provided a smashing guest post when Snowflakes and Cinnamon Swirls at the Winter Wonderland was published, explaining exactly what Christmas means to her and you can find that post here.

Heidi’s latest book, Poppy’s Recipe for Life, was published on 30th May 2019 by Simon and Schuster and is available for purchase through these links.

Poppy’s Recipe for Life

Poppy's recipe for life

Things haven’t always been straightforward in Poppy’s life but her dreams are finally within her reach.

She’s moving into a cottage in beautiful Nightingale Square, close to the local community garden, where she can indulge her passion for making preserves and pickles. She may not have the best relationship with her family but she is surrounded by loving friends, and feels sure that even her grumpy new neighbour, Jacob, has more to him than his steely exterior belies.

But the unexpected arrival of Poppy’s troubled younger brother soon threatens her new-found happiness and as the garden team works together to win community space of the year, Poppy must decide where her priorities lie and what she is prepared to fight for …

My Review of Poppy’s Recipe for Life

Poppy may finally be getting her wish to move into Nightingale Square.

Poppy’s Recipe for Life is absolutely glorious. Heidi Swain has written the most wonderful, uplifting and captivating story that warms the heart and soul and brings joy to the reader. I finished the book feeling my life had been enriched by the read. There are so many fabulous elements that it’s tricky to know quite where to start in a review to convey the delights of reading this book.

However, having said that Poppy’s Recipe for Life is joyful and heart-warming, that doesn’t mean Heidi Swain shies away from difficult topics that will resonate with many readers. She considers the nature and importance of family and friends and understands that these relationships can be harmful as well as comforting so that I’m sure some readers will feel she is writing about them and not just characters in a book. There’s a sensitive and moving portrayal of grief and its effect on mental health through Ryan that I found touching and affecting. I loved the imagery of cooking and gardening too because those activities illustrate so thoughtfully how practical work and nature can lead to improved well-being. Poppy’s Recipe for Life certainly entertains but it supports and educates the reader too in a subtle and caring manner.

The community spirit in Nightingale Square is so beautifully conveyed. What I found fascinating about the author’s writing is that although there are several characters living and working around the square, Heidi Swain makes each one so distinct and real that I had no issue keeping track of them and their relationships. I felt I had come to know each person intimately and clearly – and my goodness I cared about them. The manner in which their personalities are developed, and their emotions and relationships are explored, elevate Poppy’s Recipe for Life into something more than the genre might suggest because there is depth to ponder as well as a superb narrative to enjoy.  I adored every one of the people here, but Poppy is a complete triumph.

Poppy is the kind of woman I’d aspire to be. She always tries to be positive and caring but is also so fabulously human and real that she doesn’t always achieve her goals. She sometimes doesn’t manage Ryan well and has a difficult relationship with her mother. It is her flaws that make her all the more compelling. I was desperate for her to have a happy ending but you will need to read Poppy’s Recipe for Life to find out whether that happens.

Poppy’s Recipe for Life genuinely put a smile on my face as I was read and the warm feelings of contentment, fulfilment and pleasure I had whilst reading it come flooding back when I think about it. I think that Heidi Swain has written the perfect example of this kind of fiction. I believe Poppy’s Recipe for Life is an outstanding example of its genre and cannot recommend it highly enough. It’s fabulous!

About Heidi Swain


Heidi Swain is the Sunday Times bestselling author of five novels: The Cherry Tree CafeSummer at Skylark FarmMince Pies and Mistletoe at the Christmas MarketComing Home to Cuckoo Cottage and most recently, Sleigh Rides and Silver Bells at the Christmas Fair. She lives in Norfolk with her husband and two teenage children.

You can follow Heidi on Twitter @Heidi_Swain and visit her blog or website. You’ll also find Heidi on Facebook and there’s more with these other bloggers:

Poppy's Recipe For Life Blog Tour Graphic


A Fabulous Poppy’s Recipe For Life Hamper

Linda Hill Giveaway

For your chance to win this glorious Poppy’s Recipe for Life hamper containing chocolates, a recipe card, Belvoir Elderflower and Rose Presse and a paperback copy of Poppy’s Recipe for Life by Heidi Swain, please click here.

Please note that, as this prize will be delivered by courier, this giveaway is only open to UK entrants who must be prepared to provide an address and telephone number which will not be retained after the prize has been delivered. Simon and Schuster will be sending the prize to the lucky winner!

Giveaway closes at UK midnight on Friday 7th June 2019.

Spotlight on Capital Crime @CapitalCrime1

Capital crime

With my own local Deepings Literary Festival now successfully completed it’s time to share some information about another festival coming up in September.

Capital Crime has announced several exciting names for its inaugural festival taking place this September at the Connaught Rooms in London. Mark Billingham, Martina Cole, Ian Rankin, Ann Cleeves, Don Winslow, Robert Glenister, Leye Adenle, Denise Mina, Catherine Steadman and Abir Mukherjee are among the guests already announced.

The first international crime and thriller festival in London, Capital Crime offers fans unprecedented access to their favourite crime and thriller creatives. Capital Crime is a celebration of books, films and TV and the line-up is an unrivalled mix of world class talent, rising stars and newcomers. Capital Crime is a must for fans of all things crime and thriller.

Among the stellar list of speakers are Kate Atkinson, David Baldacci, Ann Cleeves, Robert Harris, Peter James, Lynda La Plante, Simon Mayo, and Kate Mosse. The list of confirmed guests can be found here. If you follow Capital Crime on Twitter @CapitalCrime1 you’ll find new authors are being added regularly.

The crime and thriller community is excited about Capital Crime.

Martina Cole (No Mercy – Headline – Autumn) said: ‘We have all been waiting for a London based festival like Capital Crime.  It’s fantastic to see such a diverse line up of crime and thriller writers taking part.  David Headley and Adam Hamdy have put together an amazing programme of events for the first crime festival in London and I’m thrilled to be part of it.’

Ann Cleeves (The Long Call – Pan Macmillan – September)  ‘I’m delighted to be taking part in the very first Capital Crime and can’t wait to meet readers and writers in London in September.’


Best-selling London based author Abir Mukherjee (Smoke and Ashes – Vintage – June) said: ‘London is one of the world’s great cities, the setting, and often the inspiration, for some most infamous true crimes and some of the world’s best loved fictional detectives. It’s the home of Scotland Yard, Jack the Ripper and Sherlock Holmes and a natural location for a festival bringing together international fans and authors in a celebration of the very best and latest that crime fiction has to offer. It’s long overdue and I hope Capital Crime becomes a regular fixture in the crime fiction calendar.’

Panels of note include: The Interrogation of Mark Billingham: The bestselling author is put through his paces by Graham Bartlett, an experienced police interrogator; Ian Rankin discusses The Human Cost of Crime with Don Winslow. Also there is a quiz panel Whose Crime is it Anyway? pitting debut crime and thriller authors against each other with Paul Clayton hosting; The Forensic Mind: Denise Mina and Ann Cleeves discuss what makes a great detective, moderated by Chris Ewan;  Plus Are We Living in An Espionage Thriller: Tom Bradby, Charles Cumming, Frank Gardner and Stella Rimington offer their unique insights into events that concern us all.

Capital Crime is a diverse, inclusive and socially responsible festival, running initiatives including social outreach to support students exploring a literary career, an innovative digital festival and the launch of their New Voices Award. The festival is the brainchild of British screenwriter Adam Hamdy and Managing Director of Goldsboro Books, David Headley.

Tickets for the festival are now on sale at https://www.capitalcrime.org/

About David Headley


David Headley studied theology in London and Durham before co-founding and becoming the Managing Director of Goldsboro Books, a much admired, leading independent bookseller, based in central London.

He has gained a reputation for championing debut authors and he created the UK’s largest collectors’ book club. David has won awards for bookselling and in 2015 he was included in the Top 100 most influential people in publishing by The Bookseller.

David is also the MD of The Dome Press, a small, independent publisher based in London, and co-founder of Capital Crime.

David says: ‘It is thrilling to announce more fantastic authors and creatives who are attending our first Capital Crime festival. The support and enthusiasm we have received is wonderfully encouraging and we are looking forward to an amazing inaugural event.’

About Adam Hamdy


Adam Hamdy is a London-born, British screenwriter and author. Adam recently signed a three-book deal with Pan Macmillan. Black Thirteen,  the first book in the new thriller series, will be published in autumn 2019. As a screenwriter, Adam is currently adapting a multi-million copy New York Times bestselling novel for a US studio. In the past year he has written screenplays for four Academy Award-winning production companies on both sides of the Atlantic. Adam has a degree in Law from Oxford University and a degree in Philosophy from the University of London. He is a seasoned skier, rock climber, and marksman.

Adam says: ‘We’re excited to be able to reveal more of the Capital Crime line-up. We’re very grateful for the support we’ve had from authors and the publishing community and can’t wait to bring our exciting new festival to London.’

About New Voices Award

Capital Crime will be launching an exciting competition to help undiscovered crime and thriller authors further their writing careers. Writers are invited to upload the first three chapters of their novel to the Capital Crime website and festival attendees will be able to vote for their top choice. The ten entrants with the most votes will be invited to the Opening Night Cocktail Party and the winner of the New Voices Award will be selected from that shortlist and announced on the night. 

About the Capital Crime Digital Festival

 Capital Crime is launching a Digital Festival in conjunction with the live event. This will provide an opportunity to reach crime and thriller writers and readers all year round. The Capital Crime Digital Festival will showcase interviews, profiles and features with over 70 authors on multiple platforms after the inaugural festival. It will be regularly updated throughout the year with new and engaging content.

Find out more here.