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Friday, October 14, 2016

London Belongs to Me by Jacquelyn Middleton - Book Review, Interview & Giveaway

Review by Anniek

As soon as Alex graduates she leaves Florida to go to London. She wants to be a playwright and has always been fascinated by London. She knows that this is the place to be if she wants to be successfully fulfilling her dreams. The fact that her boyfriend betrayed her only made it easier to leave her hometown. She can stay with her friend Harry who lives in an apartment together with is girlfriend Olivia. Alex has enough money to make it through the year, so she's hoping to fully concentrate on her writing.

When Alex leaves the plane disaster is everywhere. Her luggage is lost, Harry won't be home to greet her and outside there's a raging thunderstorm. Soaked through and through Alex finally arrives at the apartment. She is shocked when she sees her room. It's nothing more than a walk-in closet and it has no windows. Olivia has given her brother Tom the room that was actually meant for Alex. It also turns out that Alex already has an enemy. Olivia is jealous and will do anything to make Alex's life as miserable as she can.

Alex is such a sweet and kind person. She is also terribly naïve, but she knows this about herself. She always gives everything in relationships and friendships, only to get hurt most of the time. She struggles with her self-confidence. Her mother isn't supportive of her choices and Alex has a hard time dealing with the emotional consequences. I found myself talking to Alex while I was reading about her. This often included the phrases please don't do this and come on go for it. Luckily she finds great friends in London, Lucy and Freddie. Both of them stand by her and they help her out when she needs them the most. Alex needed London to find her own voice and I was proud of her when she finally decided that enough is enough. Alex is passionate about her favorite city and about play writing. I think it shows great courage to follow your dreams trying to achieve what you desire the most and I really enjoyed reading about this topic.

Jacquelyn Middleton has written a memorable story about going for what you believe in. I have faith in Karma, if you do good, good will be done to you. In London Belongs to Me this is what happens to Alex. Even with everything that is being done to her Alex never looses her goodness. I liked that a lot.

Jacquelyn Middleton made her story come to life incredibly well with detailed descriptions of London. I've been there several times and all of my wonderful memories came to the surface while I was reading London Belongs to Me. Jacquelyn Middleton knows exactly what she writes about, I loved this well-researched story very much. London Belongs to Me is a strong debut and I look forward to reading more books by this author.

About Jacquelyn Middleton

Hello! I'm an award-winning freelance writer with articles published by several of the most popular magazines, newspapers, and websites in North America including Canadian Living, Best Health, National Geographic Travel, the Toronto Star, Reader’s Digest, Chatelaine, Today’s Parent, and Flare. I previously worked in television broadcasting for Chum Television (Citytv and MuchMusic), and Alliance Atlantis Broadcasting (Discovery Health Channel, Slice and National Geographic Channel), and live in Toronto.

When I’m not writing, you can find me hanging out in London, waiting in a comic con line with my husband, or chasing after my bossy Schipperke. LONDON BELONGS TO ME is my first novel.

I’m a member of the Professional Writers Association of Canada, and the Canadian Authors Association.

Check out my freelance writing portfolio featuring articles on health, fitness, travel, pop culture, and pets.

Find out more at


1. Could you tell us a bit about yourself?

My name is Jacquelyn, but feel free to call me Jackie. Everyone does! As a little kid who was just learning how to write, Jacquelyn felt so long and complicated. Add in my surname and it's even longer. My mum didn't want my name shortened, but it ended up that way. It was just easier, and the shortened name stuck. I did make a promise to myself though, that if I wrote a novel, I would use my full name. My mum always believed in me, always said I would write a book, so I feel like I'm honouring her by using the name she so lovingly bestowed on me. I've dedicated London Belongs to Me to her. She passed away a few years ago, and I miss her every day. I hope that she's proud of me. I did it, Mum!

I live in Toronto with my British husband, and Schipperke dog. I've spent most of my adult life working in television, but I've been writing full-time now for magazines, websites, and newspapers for about eight years. I'm a massive pop culture geek (Sherlock, Doctor Who, Outlander are faves), love hockey and soccer/football, and have an unhealthy fascination with London, England. Music is also a huge part of my life. I even named London Belongs to Me after a favorite song of mine by Saint Etienne, one of my favorite bands (they're from London, of course!). Give me British milk chocolate, magazines, and tickets to a play, and I'm a happy girl.

2. London Belongs to Me takes place in a beautiful city. What's your fascination with London?

My family's background is English and Scottish, so I think I naturally drifted towards an interest in those two places. I grew up reading books, watching movies and TV shows that featured London, and I couldn't wait to visit and see all the fascinating aspects of the city firsthand. My first visit to London—my first visit really to anywhere that wasn't in Canada or the States—was in 1993 with two friends, and it changed my life. I was the geeky one in the black cab staring out the window, jaw slack, in awe of all the things that I had seen on film or read about in books: Big Ben! Red phone boxes! Bobbies walking London's narrow streets! I was smitten, and that love affair has never faded. I've now been to London about 30 times and it never fails to impress, or excite me. I find London inspirational. It's where I go when I need to recharge, and figure life out. London is my favorite place on the planet.

3. You're a freelance writer and have written articles about health, fitness, travel, pop culture and pets. What's your favorite subject to write about, and why?

I enjoy hard hitting investigative journalism as much as the next person, but for me, I'd rather write about lifestyle subjects that most people deal with every day. We all have health issues. We all want to go on holiday. We shop, have pets, worry about our waistlines. Writing articles about these topics allows me to share important lifestyle info with readers. It's hard for me to pick just one out of that bunch. I've really enjoyed interviewing surgeons and award-winning health researchers. But I also get a kick out of chatting with veterinarians, and fitness experts. Every day is different and I always learn something.

4. What does a typical day look like for you?

My dog rules my life, so my writing routine is scheduled around her. Schipperkes are very smart, and crave attention all the time, so she hates it when I write. She literally climbs on me. I swear she's part squirrel, or monkey. I have several two hour windows through my day when she's either with my husband, or napping in her crate. That's when I write. I type away at my laptop every day, and often on weekends, too. I don't tend to write in the evenings. I'm most awake in the morning and afternoons. I have tried the coffee shop thing, but it doesn't work for me. I find it too distracting, and it's not a good thing to have cookies and cupcakes so close by. They are my weakness. I tend to think about my stories and characters all the time, so if I walk by you on the street, and don't stop, I'm probably lost in my thoughts, mulling over a plot point.

5. Your main character flees to London for a new start. If you could have a new start anywhere in the world where would that be, and why?

That's easy. London! Always London. I get to live vicariously through Alex. London feels like where I most belong.

6. What do you like to do when you're not reading or writing?

British pop culture—music, TV, movies—is where my heart lies, so I tend to dive into the latest UK series, or movies. I also love to spend time with my husband and dog. And I'm a big fan of Manchester United, and the Toronto Maple Leafs, so I watch their games as often as I can. I've always been a big concert goer, and I'm a dedicated genealogist. I've traced my family back into the 1600s. I try to hang out with my sister as much as I can, too. I always have a great time with her. We go out with friends when we can, and I'm always chatting online with my girlfriends in the UK, New York, and Austria. I really wish the TARDIS existed, so I could fly around the world in a split second and hang out with them.

7. Can you name some of your favorite authors?

I adore Karen Swan, Mhairi McFarlane, Taylor Jenkins-Reid, Karma Brown, and Stephanie Perkins. I can't get enough of their work. I'm also excited to read the next novel by Andrea Dunlop. Her debut, Losing the Light, is one of my fave reads for 2016. A special place in my heart is reserved for E.B. White and his Charlotte's Web (my favourite all-time novel), as well as Helene Hanff who wrote two gorgeous London-centric memoirs: 84 Charing Cross Road, and the Duchess of Bloomsbury Street. I feel that she's a kindred spirit. Her love for London matches mine. I'm also a big fan of Susan Allen Toth who wrote several memoirs about her love affair with England.

8. You like Comic Cons, what do you like the most about them?

I love the energy. You can just feel the excitement when you walk through the door. The cosplay, the promise of meeting your favourite actors, meeting new friends … everyone there is looking forward to having a great time. It's infectious. Personally, I have the most fun when I'm there with friends who enjoy the same fandoms as I do. Fandoms should be shared, and discussed. I've been fortunate to not only have my husband to hang around with at cons, but also several wonderful girlfriends. In fact, these BFFs of mine, I met either online through our fandoms, or at actual cons. As Alex Sinclair says in London Belongs to Me, "She just gets it ... We have fangirl shorthand." That's why I think it's always important when you go to cons to talk to other attendees. That woman standing in front of you in the queue for Benedict Cumberbatch's autograph might end up being your best friend. Say hi, make new friends. You already share an interest … you're halfway there to a wonderful friendship.

9. Could you tell us your favorite quote?

I have so many! Like Alex, I am a quote hoarder. I absolutely love them and am always on the hunt for new ones that speak to me. One thing I found while going through my Pinterest board of quotes is that so many of them are actually incorrect! People paraphrase quotes all the time so it was important to track down the correct quotes. Right now, I'm in love with a particular quote, but I cannot seem to find who said it. It's one that has been paraphrased many times, and I wish I could track down its creator.

10. What can we expect from you in the future?

More novels. I have a few ideas that I'm working on, including a follow-up to London Belongs to Me, so if you enjoy Alex's story and want to know what happens to the gang next, stay tuned!


Two very lucky readers of With Love for Books will win a signed ARC of London Belongs to Me by Jacquelyn Middleton.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. Please add to your list of approved email addresses. All of our giveaways are international.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Dying to read this, love all things London 💕

  3. Wonderful interview and I am more intrigued by this writer every day. Waiting anxiously for my copy!

  4. The book review sounds good. Thanks for sharing. Love the cover and interview too.

  5. Sounds like a good book, thanks for the chance to read it!

  6. I love all things London, so count me in :D

  7. How excellent--I can't wait until I get my hands on a copy!

  8. This sounds fantastic. Thanks for sharing!

  9. What a lovely memory of your mom, to honor her with your author name. Sorry for your loss.

  10. looks like a fascinating read, thanks xx

  11. I already feel defensive of Alex just from reading the one review. Looks like the type of book that, once you pick it up, its very difficult to put down.

  12. I've heard good things about this and I'm so happy to read your review. It's going on my TRL and I look forward to reading London Belongs To Me.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

  13. I've heard good things about this and I'm so happy to read your review. It's going on my TRL and I look forward to reading London Belongs To Me.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

  14. I really need to read this book. It's almost my life story, lol, except for going out of the country. I will put this on my want to read list for sure. :)

  15. I enjoyed the review very much. Sounds like a cute book!

  16. The book sounds great, I would love to read it. But also - your dog!!! Such a cuttie :)

  17. I love your Schipperke :) I found it fascinating to read your interview!

  18. I love your comment "I really wish the TARDIS existed, so I could fly around the world in a split second and hang out with them" - I was a member of iVillage years ago and wish I could do this with some of the friends I made on there, one thing I'm thankful for Facebook now!

  19. It would be great to win a signed
    Advanced Readers Copy of London Belongs to Me by Jacquelyn Middleton.
    This sounds like an interesting book.
    I like the book cover and i enjoyed reading your interview.
    Thank you for having this contest.

  20. I can't wait to have this book in my hands! It sounds like a great story :)