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Isabel Costello

Writer (novels: Paris Mon Amour 2017; Scent 2021).Host of the Literary Sofa blog. Co-founder of Resilience for Writers with Voula Tsoflias. Perfume lover and Francophile.
Isabel Costello has written 440 posts for The Literary Sofa

Guest Author – Julie Owen Moylan on Women and Shame

A big thank you for the enthusiastic response to the first part of my Summer Reads selection last week. I’ve been doing this for over ten years and it’s fantastic to see people adding books I’ve raved about to their TBRs, especially ones they’d never heard of.  That’s unlikely to be the case with the … Continue reading

Summer Reads 2022

Hi and welcome to the first part of my Summer Reads selection that’s less about sun, beaches and cocktails – great as they are – and more about these being the most absorbing, emotionally engaging and thought-provoking books I’ve discovered recently and can’t stop talking about. I tell you why I picked each one and … Continue reading

Scent Paperback Publication Day

You’re joining me on a very happy day as the paperback edition of my second novel Scent is released. It’s had a gorgeous summery makeover by designer Jamie Keenan that evokes the Provence thread of the story, and the pink colour wash reminds me of the stunning Lubéron skies around sunset (and possibly sunrise, I’m … Continue reading

Writers on Location – Melissa Fu on Western China

It’s suddenly gone a bit ‘London buses’ here – less than a week after Ethan Joella’s beautiful piece on how personal grief inspired his debut novel A Little Hope, I’m hosting Melissa Fu whose post takes us to Western China, home to several of the settings in her own first novel Peach Blossom Spring. It’s … Continue reading

Guest Author – Ethan Joella: How personal grief inspired a debut novel

Now it feels like spring is here to stay and I hope you’ve enjoyed some sunshine and time off over the holidays. Today I’m joined by fellow Muswell Press author Ethan Joella whose debut novel A Little Hope is about to be published in the UK following its success in the States.  I hope we’ll … Continue reading

Scent – paperback cover reveal

As promised a few weeks ago, today I’m very excited to share the cover for the paperback of my second novel Scent, which will be published on 19 May. I’ve been very lucky with covers, not least because I’ve always been involved.  This is the first time I’ve had a second cover for the same … Continue reading

Writers on Location – Sophie Haydock on Vienna

It’s such a joy to be hosting Sophie Haydock on the day her stunning debut novel The Flames is published. The buzz surrounding this book about the four muses of renowned artist Egon Schiele has been building for months but I can honestly claim to have spent years in anticipation, ever since Sophie told me … Continue reading

February 2022 Round-up

Due to my lack of activity on the blog lately – you know there’s too much going on when you’re posting your February content in March –  I decided to throw together a quick round-up of recent reading while on a trip to Paris. Voilà the intro. Voici the books!  A Very Nice Girl – … Continue reading

Guest Author – Jon Ransom on Three Unspoken Words

Today I’m hosting the first guest post of 2022 and it’s a huge pleasure to welcome fellow Muswell Press author Jon Ransom whose debut novel The Whale Tattoo joins their superb LGBTQ list this week. I discovered Jon’s writing last autumn when we both had work included in the Queer Life, Queer Love anthology. His … Continue reading

Books of 2021 – Non-fiction

Following December’s post on my top novels of 2021 and a (mostly) nice long break, it’s great to start 2022 on the blog with my 8 personal favourite non-fiction titles of 2021, when I read way more of them than ever before. And I do mean ‘personal’, as they are quite telling of what’s been … Continue reading