Posted in Author Interview

Krysten Lindsay Hager – Author Interview

Author Interview

Today  I have author Krysten Lindsay Hager on my blog, talking about her books, writing and her writing plans for the rest of the year. Krysten writes young adult and teen novels. It’s lovely to have you on my blog today Krysten.

 

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How did you become a writer? Do you write full time or in your leisure time?

I started out as a journalist and was writing fiction on the side, but now I do fiction full-time. I’ve been writing stories all my life and I think that stems from daydreaming a lot in class back when I was in grade school.

You write young adult and teen stories, which emphasise family values and the importance of friendship. What made you want to write in these particular genres?

I took the advice of, ‘You should write the book you’d want to read,” and went from there. I loved reading YA when I was a preteen and teen and those were the books I turned to when I was going through difficulties in my own life, so I kind of want to give back to the genre and do for someone else what amazing writers like Paula Danziger, Ann M. Martin, and Judy Blume did for me.

Can you describe your writing process if you have one?

I don’t have a regular process, but I edit as I go because it helps me get back into the flow of the story.

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Can you tell us a little about your latest release ‘Competing with the Star’, part of your ‘Star series’? Are there going to be more books in the series?

Competing with the Star deals with Hadley Daniels having her first boyfriend and all the insecurities that go along with that especially when his ex-girlfriend is still interfering and then finding out he once had a huge crush on teen TV star Simone Hendrickson—who just happens to be their neighbour and who is also into him. I put myself into Hadley’s shoes and imagined how I’d react if I found out my boyfriend now had a chance with his dream girl.
I’m finishing writing the follow-up book to it which will be titled: Aligning with the Star. There are some changes coming up for Hadley as she gets a chance to meet and be in a music video with her rock star crush. Can you imagine meeting your crush and he’s everything you imagined and more?

How important is writing in your life? Why do you enjoy it?

I can’t imagine not writing—it’s just what I do. I’m lucky to be able to have five books published, but even if I never got published I would continue to write. It’s a way to express myself and to help others deal with feelings they are having as well.

Do you have a dedicated work space? Can you describe it for us? 

I do my writing on a desk that is usually littered with pages that have been edited and need to go into the computer along with toys and little presents people have given me which cover the surface.

How important is an author’s social media presence? Do you have a favourite social media platform and why?

I think it’s a great way for readers to be able to connect with writers. I enjoy it. I love getting messages and comments from readers. I’m on all the social media sites.

Have you a favourite author, book or genre that you like to read?

I read a lot of non-fiction—lately I’ve been on a real non-fiction kick. I have been reading Gabrielle Bernstein’s work this past month. I lost my dad a few months ago and I tried grief books and honestly, those made things worse and I found her books to be helpful in dealing with my grief.

Apart from writing, what do you enjoy doing?

I like reading, shopping, watching TV and sports, and traveling—I can make anything into an adventure! Going for groceries? Let’s make it fun.

What’s next for Krysten Lindsay Hager?

I am finishing my book Aligning with the Star and also working on another teen novel that’s part of my Landry’s True Colors Series. In this one, Landry goes to New York City for a modelling job. I’m also working on a

new adult novel.

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BLURB

The perfect guy, the perfect location. What could go wrong?

Hadley Daniels’s life seems perfect…

Before the beginning of sophomore year of high school, Hadley and her family move to a beautiful beach town, where she makes amazing new friends and lands the boyfriend of her dreams—Nick Jenkins. He’s the kind of guy every girl swoons over, and it isn’t long until Hadley discovers some are still swooning.

A famous ex-girlfriend makes matters more complicated…

After some time dating, Hadley and Nick form a deep bond. But insecurity sets in when Hadley discovers her boyfriend once had a huge crush on her friend—who just happens to be the beautiful former teen TV star, Simone Hendrickson.

The past is the past—or so they say…

Hadley confronts Nick, who confesses about his history with Simone. Though he claims to only have eyes for Hadley now, it’s hard to believe—especially when she’s blindsided with the news that Nick and Simone kissed after school.

Now Hadley must determine who is telling the truth. Love, betrayal, friendship…who needs soap opera drama when you’re busy competing with a star?

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Buy Links

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B&N Paperback 

Author Bio 2016 -1

Krysten Lindsay Hager is an obsessive reader and has never met a bookstore she didn’t like. She’s worked as a journalist and humor essayist, and writes for teens, tweens, and adults. She is the author of the Landry’s True Colors Series and her work has been featured in USA Today and named as Amazon’s #1 Hot New Releases in Teen & Young Adult Values and Virtues Fiction and Amazon’s #1 Hot New Releases in Children’s Books on Values. She’s originally from Michigan and has lived in South Dakota, Portugal, and southwestern Ohio. She received her master’s degree from the University of Michigan-Flint.

Links 2016-1

Limitless Publishing 

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Posted in Author Interview, Book Review, Book Spotlight, New Books

Interview and 5* Review:The Keepers: Ethan- Rae Rivers Blog Tour

Rae Tour Schedule

 Today I have the author of The Keepers Trilogy on my blog , Rae Rivers , who will be  talking to me about her writing and books.

Welcome Rae.

Author Interview

  Author PhotWhat inspired you to start writing, Rae?

I’ve always had a love of storytelling. At first, it was something I did as a child when I needed to escape into my imaginary world where I had control over everything and could just have fun. As I grew older, the need to tell more stories grew stronger. It’s my calling, my passion, and one of the few things in my life that makes me feel alive with excitement. I love it!

Was becoming a published author important to you?

The older I got and the more I wrote, the more I enjoyed it. I began to wonder if my work was “good enough” to be considered for publication but as I never allowed anyone to read it (not even my husband or mother!) I had no feedback to work with. So when I finally plucked up the courage to submit my Keepers to a publisher and they offered a four book deal, I was thrilled. Slowly, my inner voice became an encouraging “I’ve got this.” I knew I had a lot to learn but they believed in me so that was huge! (And still is! ) So yes, for me being published – along with the incredible feedback from my readers – has been a huge confidence boost which has helped me grow as a person and a writer and turn a hobby into a dream career.

Series cover‘The Keepers: Ethan is your latest release and I think the last book in the series. Are you sad to reach the end, or is there going to be more books in the series?

The Keepers: Ethan is the end of the series and it’s with a bittersweet feeling that I wrap up this journey. I’ve worked with these characters for over three years and most of the time, they were at the forefront of my mind – it often felt like I was greeting old friends whenever I started my writing morning. Whilst writing all the books, there was some angst and stress (and sometimes tears too!) but I had the time of my life too. I’m delighted to reach the end of this journey and feel tremendously satisfied with how it all came together in the end, but I do feel a bit sad to say goodbye.

Do you have a special place where you like to write? Do you have a photograph of it to share with us?

I lMy office picive on a flower farm in the mountains so my surroundings are so inspirational. It’s quiet and peaceful and so perfect for an author. I have a home office which is kitted out with everything I need. It’s sunny and bright in the summer and dark and cosy in the winter. It’s my space, my haven, and I love it. But having said that, I’m also quick to grab my laptop and head for the outdoor patio, couch or even my bed. And with small children, I might even write beside the swimming pool too.

Is your writing process well defined or haphazard? Can you describe it?

Garden readingI think it’s a little of both. I had an overall outline for the entire series with certain highlights I wanted to reach – and a whole of blank spaces in between. But those blank spaced gave me room to create as I went along and I think the books turned out better because of them. Sometimes I write quickly and end up with a messy scene which I then have to carefully craft into a stronger one. Other times, I take a step back and plan a little more. As I’ve gained more experience, I tend to want to plan a bit more to ensure I’ve covered everything and given my characters and plot all the elements that make a good story.

Paranormal isn’t the only genre you write – you have also written a romantic suspense novel. Which genre appeals most to you as a writer and why is this?

I’m definitely a romance writer at heart but also love action and suspense too. I never thought I’d venture into the Paranormal scene until the day Sienna and her Keepers came to mind. Now I adore the genre as it gives me a lot of freedom to be creative. The rules can be shaped as I want and the possibilities for my “worlds” are endless. And best of all is that I’m able to combine my love of romance and suspense with the paranormal.

Apart from writing do you have any other things you love to do?

Definitely reading, movies and TV series! I enjoy the outdoors like waterskiing, hiking, boating etc. I love travelling – anywhere from a camp site to a fab hotel. I like a balance between socialising with friends and family, nights spent at home with my kids and hubby– and also having time alone.

What writing plans do you have for 2016?

I’m toying with various ideas and mapping out a plot line for another possible series. I’ve opened myself to the fictional world waiting for the story to take hold. For now, I’m wrapped up in Ethan’s release and school holidays but know when things settle down, there’ll be no stopping me. Watch this space!

 

Ethan Cover

Paranormal Blurb

 “Going to Ameera to find Hazel. Stealing the spell … You think you can pull it off?” he asked.
She nodded, not trusting herself to speak.
Just as she thought he’d kiss her, he reached for her jacket and said, “Then let’s go.”

A portal to another world has opened, unleashing dangerous creatures on earth. A dark witch is out for revenge. The stakes are high, a war inevitable.

One person can stop the madness. Jenna. She’s a Keeper to a powerful hybrid witch but she harbours a secret and if Jenna steps through the portal – seduced by the whispers of her hidden past – she may never return.

Fortunately, she has company … infamous Bennett brother and fiercely protective Keeper, Ethan. Their whip-cracking banter makes them perfect sparring partners in training, but how will they manage when their lives and everything they were born to defend are on the line?

When the battle lines are drawn, will Jenna and Ethan stand side by side – as friends, protectors, lovers … or as traitors?

Paranormal Buy Links

Author Page Amazon

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Paranormal My Review
If you’re a fan of The Keepers series, you will have eagerly anticipated ‘The Keepers: Ethan, I’ve just finished reading and it doesn’t disappoint.
All the players assemble for the final apocalyptic battle and there are so many twists and turns it leaves you breathless. Jenna and Ethan circle around each other, the only two singles on the Bennett Wine estate, drawn together by proximity and the dangers they face, the passion is sensual and adds a delicious sizzle to this action packed story.
Jenna who we met in ‘The Keepers: Declan’ is kick ass and her independence attracts Ethan, who still bears the guilt of his sister’s demise. Ethan, quieter than his brothers, has a determined, powerful presence that attracts Jenna and makes her heart rule her head.
Their journey into Ameera is exciting and informative, and gives the series an important new dimension, which increases the suspense and excitement. Ameera is a dark world, full of lost and often dangerous creatures that live in anarchy, the danger to humanity lies here and Jenna and Ethan have to face it head on. The supernatural displays are vivid and easy to imagine and I couldn’t put this book down until I’d finished.
There is a dynamic, romantic ending to this unique series, with memorable characters that I’m sorry to leave.
I received a copy of this book from Harper Impulse via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

Author Bio -1

Rae’s an avid reader and writer with a passion for writing spicy romance novels. She lives in Cape Town, South Africa, with her gorgeous children and husband and a zoo of house pets. Besides writing, she loves family time, the outdoors, travelling, watching TV series, reading and chocolate.She loves to hear from her readers and can be found here:

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Posted in Author Interview, Book Review, Book Spotlight, Giveaway, New Books

Author Interview: Amy Reece- 5* Review – The Way to Her Heart

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THE WAY TO HER HEART by Amy Reece 

YA Romantic Suspense

Publisher: Limitless Publishing

Mystery Thriller Blurb

Will a mysterious disappearance bring two broken hearts together…or tear them apart?

No amount of counseling can bring Josh Harris back to his old self. 

 After a tragedy that changed his life forever, eighteen-year-old Josh has lived in a year-long fog of medication and confusion. It’s all he can do to not think about his dad—a culinary genius who raised him in the kitchen. Thankfully, Josh inherited his golden palate and sixth sense for cooking, which is the only thing that makes sense anymore. 

 For a seventeen-year-old girl, life can’t get much worse… 

 Bernie Abeyta is a senior in high school and lives with her drug-addicted mother, but has managed to keep her grades up so she can get into college. With her father in prison and her mom’s sleazy boyfriend getting too close for comfort, Bernie turns to her best friend Gabby Rodriguez for help, but discovers Gabby has gone missing. Distressed over her friend’s sudden disappearance, Bernie resorts to living out of her car while she looks for answers and tries to avoid foster care. 

 Part love, part mystery, part cookbook—and all heart. 

 During economics class, Josh finds himself captivated by his new project partner, Bernie. As they grow closer, he insists Bernie move in with him and his mother. Furthermore, he offers to help look for Gabby. 

 Bernie refuses to believe Gabby ran away, and she’s determined to get to the bottom of the mystery—no matter how great the danger to herself. 

 Will Bernie’s gritty life be too much for Josh to handle? Or will he fight for The Way to Her Heart?

Mystery Thriller Buy Links

 KINDLE US | KINDLE UK | KINDLE AU | KINDLE CA 

Mystery Thriller My Review

 

Thrown together by a school project, social opposites, Bernie and Josh share a background of pain and heartbreak, from different causes. Told through two points of view, the reader gets to see how the emotional attachment between Bernie and Josh grows, experiencing their ups and downs.
Bernie is a lovely character, who like so many teens today, comes from a background of abuse and neglect. Revealed in a poignant but not graphic way, this story is perfect for the intended age group.
Recovering from a devastating loss Josh withdraws from the world until Bernie’s needs force him to live again, to help her. His special talent gives the story authenticity and draws Bernie into his world. The recipes at the end of the book are a lovely touch; I was hungry all the way through this story.
The suspense element could be stronger but there is enough mystery and menace to add an interesting dimension to the story. The characters complexity and development make this enthralling and I loved the supernatural twist.
I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

 

Excerpt -2
October

Josh

She cut her hair. Josh realized he was staring at the girl in the next row and pulled his gaze back to his notebook as the teacher droned on about supply and demand curves. I don’t care for short hair on girls. Yet he couldn’t keep his eyes off her. He didn’t even know her name. On Friday her hair had been long, the silky black tresses reaching below her shoulder blades. Today, he could see the back of her neck. He could see how long and slender it was and watched as she reached around to feel it, seeming surprised, perhaps still unused to the short cut. She pushed the long front layer behind her ear. The purple streak is kind of cute, though. He once again forced his gaze back to his notes, reminding himself that he had a girlfriend; a beautiful girlfriend with long blonde hair. Focus, Harris. Get your mind off the pretty girl with the short hair. She was pretty. He’d always thought so, even though he didn’t know her name. He’d heard it; wasn’t it something weird? Enough! Supply, demand. That’s all you need to think about.

“So, for the next few weeks you will be paired up with one of your classmates as we launch a new project designed to help you experience some of what it takes to create and stick to a household budget.” Mr. Griego picked up a stack of index cards from his desk. “I have created a scenario with careers and incomes for each couple. Some of you have children, and some don’t. Every few days you will get a new financial situation you have to deal with. Each week of this project will be the equivalent of one month for your budget. You will turn in a complete six month budget, along with a written report at the end of the project. Each couple will also give a five-minute oral presentation.” He started calling names and handing out index cards. There were groans and titters of laughter as the names were called because some of the couples were same-sex. “Josh Harris and Bernie Abeyta.” No one in the class said anything or laughed at the pairing. Josh wasn’t surprised; he had pretty much fallen off the radar over a year ago. He stood and walked to the front of the room to retrieve the index card.

“Who’s Bernie Abeyta?” he asked quietly. Great. I’m paired with a guy. Just what I needed.

The girl with the short, purple hair raised her hand. “Me.” She sounded bored.

“Okay. I’m, uh, I’m Josh.” He stood in front of her desk, awkwardly shifting from side to side.

“Yeah. I’m Bernie.” She glanced up quickly, meeting his gaze, then looked away.

“You have the last fifteen minutes of class to exchange contact information, phone numbers, email addresses, whatever you need to get in touch with your partner. Most of the project work will need to be on your own time as you will need to visit grocery stores and do some online research,” Mr. Griego said.

Josh sat down in the newly vacated desk in front of Bernie. “So.” He waved the index card. “One of us is a teacher and the other is an attorney. Which do you want to be?”

Bernie shrugged. “It doesn’t really matter to me. You choose.”

He looked at her, a half-smile on his face. Close-up he noticed that she had beautiful, smooth, light-brown skin and her eyes were so dark they looked black. She didn’t wear much makeup; she didn’t need to. “Fine. I’ll be the teacher. You can be the attorney.” She looked up quickly. “Is that okay?”

She shrugged again. “Sure. It doesn’t matter. Do we have kids?”

“Yeah, we have two: an eight-year-old daughter and a six-year-old son. So, I guess we should exchange phone numbers and email.” He scrawled his information on a page of his notebook and tore it out, handing it to her.

She took the page, staring at it blankly for a moment before tearing a piece of paper out of her own notebook. “Here’s my email.”

He looked at it. “What’s your cell number?”

“I don’t have one. Just the email.”

“Oh. Okay.” Josh had never heard of anyone his age who didn’t have a cell phone. “So, do you want to get together tonight to get started on this? We could meet at my house. Or yours. Whatever you want.”

“Yours. Here.” She pushed the paper back at him. “Write your address. I have to work until seven. I can be there around seven-thirty. Is that okay?” She didn’t meet his eyes.

“Uh, sure. That’s fine. Here.” He handed the paper back. “Do you need a ride or anything?”

“No.”

“Oh. Great. So, I’ll, uh, see you tonight. I guess.” He had never been so tongue-tied around a girl.

“Yeah.” She turned her attention back to her notebook, clearly dismissing him.

Josh returned to his seat, chagrined. I seem to have lost my touch. Then again, he hadn’t really been trying very hard for a long time. He used to be much better at this whole thing: friends, girls, talking. Now he simply didn’t have the energy anymore. It was October of his senior year and he was biding his time until he could graduate and move on with his life. She’s really pretty, though. He groaned inwardly as he packed his notebook and shouldered his backpack. He knew he had no business noticing how pretty his new partner was; he should be thinking about how gorgeous his girlfriend had looked in her cheerleading uniform that morning during the pep rally. She was beautiful, sweet, and had stuck by him through a seriously dark time in his life. He had really been phoning it in lately with Kayleigh. Jeez, he could do better. He merged with the flow of humanity in the hallway, determined to do right by her, starting tomorrow at lunch.

 
Author Interview

Here’s my interview with Amy, who was great fun to interview.

 Have you always enjoyed writing? Why do you enjoy it?

I have definitely always enjoyed writing, but for many years I was focused on academic writing as I did two master degrees back-to-back. I don’t know why I did that. It was one of the more idiotic things I’ve done. Can you say stress? Fiction is so much more fun! As to why I enjoy writing, I guess it must be because I feel like the puppet master when I create my own stories. I can make everyone do whatever I want (insert maniacal cackle here) until the characters rebel and do his or her own thing.

Did any one person or event make you decide to write? If so, can you tell us why?

This is a bit of a mixed bag. There were two events really: NaNoWriMo and my youngest daughter leaving for college. I participated in National Novel Writing Month for the first time in 2013, which was also the year my youngest chick spread her wings and flew away to college in Texas—10 hours away from her momma! We won’t talk about how I was filling a hole with writing, but I wrote the first (terrible) draft of ‘Seeker’ that November and discovered I LOVED to write.

What influenced you to write Young Adult (YA) stories? You have written a YA paranormal series and now a YA romantic suspense. Which genre do you prefer and why?

I started writing YA because I was doing NaNoWriMo with my high school English class—I am a teacher in my day job—and I wanted to write something I would feel comfortable with them reading. Plus, since I spend every weekday in a high school, I have lots of great material! I really enjoyed both genres—paranormal and romantic suspense—and don’t have a real preference. I approach my projects through the characters and whatever seems to need to happen in their lives is what I write. Sometimes that’s paranormal and sometimes not. So far everything I’ve written and am writing includes a mystery, however, so I think that is where my strongest preference rests.

Do you have a writing den? Can you describe your writing space?

Part of me really wants to describe my dream writing den, which I will someday create in the spare bedroom, but honesty compels me to tell the truth. My writing den (I’m sitting here now) is the left half of the love-seat in my family room. It is a huge brown love-seat (Hagrid would love it) that I can curl up in with my laptop. I have a side table piled high with books, notebooks, heating pad, lip gloss, nail polish (for writer’s block), and whatever I happen to be drinking at the moment. Right now it’s a chocolate/peanut butter/banana protein shake. The health kick will almost certainly be over by noon and will never make it to the workout stage.

What’s your favourite time of day to write? Or, do you just write when you can?

I’m almost certain my favorite (notice my American spelling as opposed to Jane’s British—so much fun!!!)time of day to write is smack in the middle of the day, but my silly day job insists I teach impressionable young minds at that time. So I write in the late afternoon and evening. I’m fairly disciplined about it, which is surprising since I’m not disciplined about anything else.

Your paranormal series looks really exciting, can you tell us a little about it and the inspirations behind it?

Thanks for saying that! I, of course, agree. Like I said before, I start with characters and then see what kind of adventure they need to have. ‘The Seeker Series’ really started with Jack’s character and the inspiration behind him. I had a student a few years ago very similar to Jack—he returned to high school after dropping out and making some really questionable choices—and I admired him for his determination to turn his life around. I wanted to have my hero struggling against a bad-boy image and find a special girl who bothered to look deeper. Ally’s character was inspired quite a bit by my youngest daughter. She shares Ally’s vegetarian disposition as well as her sometimes snarky outlook on life.

What about your latest book, what’s that about and why did you decide to write a romantic suspense story?

‘The Way to Her Heart’ was inspired by another student who, like Bernie, found himself homeless for a large portion of the school year. It’s really tough to care about grades when you don’t know where you’re going to sleep that night or what you’re going to eat. Josh’s character was inspired by yet another student whose father died very suddenly in the middle of the year. Horrible things happen to kids and they are expected to move on and continue in school, getting good grades, etc. As to why it became a romantic suspense—I don’t know. I always gotta have a mystery.

Have you written any other types of books, or do you plan to in the future?

I have a featured story on Wattpad right now that is a YA romance called ‘Like Wildfire’. It’s a modern take on Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing (I did say I’m an English teacher) and it’s a lot of fun. There’s a mystery, but it’s much more romance-oriented. My oldest daughter (also a high school English teacher) is working on revisions of it right now and we hope to turn it into a series called Shakespeare High or something like that.

My two current works-in-progress include a prequel to The Way to Her Heart—the love story of Josh’s parents—and an adult contemporary romantic suspense. It is my first foray into non-YA writing! Woohoo! I have no idea what I’ll do about the sex scenes. My mother reads everything I write, so…

I know you love reading, what do you read to relax?

I absolutely love Regency romances. There. I said it. Some day I’ll write one of my own. I also love just about anything by Nora Roberts. And Julia Quinn. Wouldn’t it be amazing to be one of those writers that people say, “Ooh! Another one by Amy Reece? Who cares what it’s about? I’ll read anything by her.” Dream big!

My tastes are pretty eclectic and I never know what I’ll be reading next. I’m also reading my BFF’s NaNo novel, The Red Boots, which is fantastic and she BETTER finish it! Limitless would love it.

What do you consider are the best things about being a writer and why?

The creative freedom is definitely amazing, but I also love all the writer friends I’ve made since this crazy journey began. Who would have dreamed I’d be answering author interview questions to be featured on Jane Hunt’s blog??? I love reading my fellow author friends’ books and talking to them about writing. This is a great community and I’m honored to be part of it.
All that is great, but never underestimate the power of holding your own book in your hands and knowing people—strangers—are reading and talking about your book. I had a book signing at Barnes and Noble on Saturday and a young girl came up to my table and picked up Seeker. She grabbed it purposefully and handed it to me to sign. I was a bit surprised and asked her if she’d read the back and knew what it was about. She said, “Oh yeah. I already know. My teacher told us all about it.” Wow. Just wow. And, no, I didn’t know the teacher. It was soooo cool.

I definitely agree with you there Amy that’s lovely. Thank you for such an entertaining interview, I really enjoyed it. 🙂

Author Bio

Amy Reece lives in Albuquerque, NM, with her husband and family. She loves to read and travel and has an unhealthy addiction to dogs. She believes red wine and coffee are the elixirs of life and lead to great inspiration. She is the author of The Seeker Series (YA paranormal) and The Way to Her Heart (YA romantic suspense).

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Posted in Author Guest Post, Author Interview, Book Review, Book Spotlight, New Books

Nobody Knows – Rebecca Barber – Blog Tour – Inspiration

NobodyKnows_ecoverMystery Thriller Blurb

Gillian Dempsey must find a reason to go on…

Easier said than done after a rare virus robs her of both parents. Left alone and confused, the mourning nineteen-year-old flees to her three best friends, who receive her with open arms.

Her parents give her more than an inheritance—they give her a second chance at life…

When Gillian is left with some properties in her parents’ will, she assigns them to a real estate agent to manage. Joel Matthews takes the job, but he quickly becomes more than a business associate. After a string of fortunate coincidences, Gillian and Joel spend a passionate night together—after which Joel all but vanishes from her life.

But they still have unfinished business, and Gillian won’t allow him to slip away—especially with her heart.

Life is a roller coaster of tragedy and joy…

Gillian reels him in, and soon the two are married. Gillian’s heart expands even more when they receive the news of their first pregnancy. But after the baby is born, things aren’t the same. Joel becomes distant…resentful. And then the abuse begins. Darkness consumes their marriage—only to get worse.

While Gillian tries to hold her family together, it seems Joel is doing everything to tear them apart. But just one slip of his temper makes all the difference, because this time, there’s no turning back.

Maybe being abused can be endured, as long as Nobody Knows…until someone ends up dead.

Mystery Thriller Buy Links

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Rebecca  shared  some of the  secrets behind her new story with me.

 What was the inspiration for Nobody Knows?

A friend was going through a hard time and it hurt to watch (it was nothing like this) so I created a monster we could despise. At the time it seemed everyone around me was celebrating how men who were rich and handsome and charismatic could do no wrong, so I wanted to create one who had flaws – after all everyone does.

Loss, especially when it’s both parents, is hard. How does Gillian deal with that?

Gillian doesn’t really know how to deal with it which is why she throws herself so recklessly into a life with Joel. I think deep down she always knew he wasn’t the knight in shining armour she’d prayed for, but he filled the loneliness and made her feel special, if even for a moment. She clung to the nearest warm body to ease the ache. As it turns out, she chose the wrong body.

Click on the My Review image to read my review of Nobody Knows.

Mystery Thriller My Review

EXCERPT

Adult Read

Gillian

‘The scowl on his leathery face should have been enough warning to shut me up, but tonight I wasn’t in the mood to back down. I was ready for a fight. Whatever he dished out would come back at him twofold. He came through the door, ripping it almost off its hinges and letting it slam behind him. He took one look at me, sitting on the lounge quietly watching television and sipping my coffee, and rolled his eyes in disgust. I didn’t say a word. This was the game we played these days. After more than a decade of marriage, this is all we had left.
“What’s for dinner?” he snarled, his eyes filled with hatred and disgust. I just shrugged apathetically. What was I supposed to say? ‘Hi honey, how was your day? You look tired. Why don’t I just whip you up a nice, juicy T-bone steak and fresh steamed veggies?’ The truth was, I would probably be having home-brand crackers with what was left of the vegemite.
“Not sure. We don’t have much,” I admitted, instantly feeling ashamed.
I hated the fact that he could make me cower like that. Once upon a time, in another lifetime far away from this one, I felt different. I felt worthwhile and even happy. We were happy at one point, weren’t we? Somewhere along the line, I must have loved him. Otherwise I wouldn’t have married him. I can’t be that stupid, can I?
“For God’s sake, didn’t you even bother to do the shopping?” he snarled from the kitchen.
I heard him muttering to himself as he shuffled the near-empty boxes about in the pantry. Much as I hate to admit it, the profanity spraying from his lips was mighty impressive.
Stomping back into the lounge, he planted himself deliberately in front of the television, hands on his hips and a scowl on his face. Knowing what was coming, I was glad the kids were out with their godmother Heidi tonight. That was the only positive in this nightmare.
“For fuck’s sake, Gillian. I give you money. What the fucking hell do you spend it on?” he demanded, tiny bits of spittle flying from his mouth.
We had danced around this confrontation for weeks now. The tension was escalating, as was the hatred buried inside me. I don’t remember the last time that I had actually had a full night’s sleep. These days, I was too angry to sleep. As soon as my head hit the pillow, all I could do was imagine all the things that I wanted to do and say to him, but was too afraid to.
My life had somehow crumpled into a pathetic mess, and most of the time I hated myself for it. I was furious, and the more I saw of him, the more he continued to be the heartless barbaric bastard he had become, the worse things got, and the more I despised myself.
“Do you really want to know how fucking far your measly twenty bucks stretches these days?” I asked, keeping my face as blank as possible. He raised a quizzical eyebrow and folded his arms aggressively across his puffed out chest.
I took a deep breath, grabbed hold of the arms of my chair with both hands, and squeezed as hard as I could. When I looked down, my knuckles were white with the strain and I could hear myself grinding my teeth desperately, trying to control the rage inside me.
“Well?” he snapped, shifting his weight impatiently from one foot to another.
I exhaled heavily. “If you really want to know what happened to that twenty you gave me a week ago for food and to keep the house running, well, it bought a six-pack of home brand toilet paper, a loaf of bread, a carton of milk, vegemite, eggs, and a packet of tampons for your daughter!” I told him, ticking the items off my fingers as I announced them.’

Click the Author Interview image to read my interview with Rebecca

Author Interview

Author Bio 2016 -1.

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Rebecca, one of four kids to her parents who are both primary school teachers, was born in Wollongong on the south coast of Australia before moving to the country with her family. After a few years of embracing all that country life had to offer, the family relocated to Port Macquarie with its white sand beaches. After a brief period enjoying the sun and the surf they finally settled in Canberra where Rebecca still lives today. But all through her childhood a notepad and a book where never far away. These days Rebecca is an avid reader, and when she isn’t buried in a book or cheering on her beloved football team she’s spending time with her husband Robert and their overly spoilt dog Levi.

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Posted in Author Interview, New Books

Author Interview : Iris Blobel – Echoes of the Past – Blog Tour

An Interview with...

Echoes of the Past FULL

I am interviewing  Iris Blobel today, as part of the ‘Echoes of the Past’ blog tour. 

How long have you been writing Iris?

I released my first book in 2009 after lots of edits and proofreads … I’d say it’s only been about eight years.

Why do you enjoy writing?

I think I’ve always been a day dreamer, but because I love numbers and English is my second language, I never really considered myself as a writer. But a few boring nights and I put some words onto paper… and I really enjoyed that more than knitting, painting, or exercising. The “voices” in my head haven’t stopped talking to me since.

Do you write at specific times of the day or just when you can?

With a family, work, and a once-a-week radio program, I write when I can. Sometimes too much, often not enough. I try to keep a good balance not to neglect my family, but to look after myself as well.

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‘Echoes of the Past’ isn’t your first book is it? What are your other books about?

My books are all over the place, but all romance stories. I’ve got a book that was fun to write because it was set in Australia and Ireland, but gave me grey hair trying to get the correct chronological order. “Innocent Tears” is about a man who’s become a father of a little six-year-old girl literally overnight – I loved it. Then there’s my Beginnings series, which is set in one of the most beautiful places here in Australia: Tasmania, but it also has a book, which is based on our travels to the US a few years ago. My Sports series was fun to write because I finally had some really sexy guys in my story – with attitude and such!
So they’re all different, but ALL of them include the main theme of family and friendship.

Do you have a special place where you like to write?

I’ve got my very messy corner in the lounge room. My little girl gave me a little chest of drawers to get organised, but … *sigh* … as over-tidy as I am with most of the things in life, that corner will always be messy I suppose …. LOL

Is your writing process well defined or haphazard? Can you describe it?

I usually come up with a story outline when I’m on holidays, but I am part of a group called “Tuesday Tales” where we write to a different prompt each week, I’d say my writing process is more haphazard… chaotic and not streamlined… a mess to clean up when it comes to revisions.

‘Echoes of the Past’ is a reunion romance, can you tell us a little about it?

It’s more than simply a reunion romance, it’s about Connor who’s coming back to Australia after living in London for over twenty years. And for some reason he’s not able to remember his childhood in Fermosa Bay – he can’t remember his friends, including Emily, the girl he kissed when he was seven, most importantly, he cannot remember anything about his biological father. It’s a journey of discovering his childhood, of understanding and accepting the question “what could’ve been if”, and the re-connecting with old friends.

TEASER

The setting of your book is particularly appealing, how important is the setting when you write your story? Does the setting ever inspire the story?

Very important. If the setting’s not right for me, the story doesn’t flow. That’s why I usually set a story in places I’ve been to or I love. The beach, for example, or Tasmania. “Fresh Beginnings” is set in the US and it was so much fun going through my travel diary to get the ideas. I’ve just started another story, which is set in New Zealand, a place we visited last year. Can’t wait for the story to progress.

Apart from writing, do have any other things you love to do, or dedicate time to?

My family!
I do a German radio program every week … initially it was very challenging to do it, but now I love it. It’s a big thrill for me!

What writing plans do you have for 2016?

February and March are busy with new releases and all the promo work that comes with it … I’m hoping that once the promo side of things have settled a bit to finish my New Zealand book and Fermosa Bay #3.

I’ll look forward to reading those Iris, thank you for talking to us.

 Here’s a more about ‘Echoes of the Past’ The first book in the Fermosa Bay series and a link to my review.

ECHOES OF THE PAST by Iris Blobel
Series: Fermosa Bay Book #1
Publisher: Limitless Publishing
Release Date: February 16, 2016
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance

Blurb - Coastal

Emily Bradshaw waited over twenty years to see Connor again…

When her childhood friend, Connor Walsh, returns home to see his ailing father, Emily is elated to be reunited with the handsome man who moved to London so many years ago. But excitement fades to disappointment when he doesn’t remember her—or their first kiss. With her crush on Connor still in full swing, she’s determined to enjoy the short time he’s in Fermosa Bay, even though she knows her heart will break when he returns to his life in London.

When Connor receives news that his biological father is terminally ill, he returns to Fermosa Bay, Australia. 

With memories of his childhood tucked fondly in the back of his mind, returning to the small, coastal town leaves him to wonder how life would have been if his mother had never taken him away. Would he have been married and had children? Perhaps with Emily Bradshaw…

 Secrets from long ago begin to unfold…

As Connor and his father grow closer, Connor learns his parents have a broken love story of their own. Will the echoes of the past lure him into staying, maybe for good? Or will he relive his parents’ tragic story and flee to London? 

Walking away from a real chance at true love…

 Buy Links - Coastal

AMAZON US

AMAZON UK 

AMAZON AU 

 

My Review - Coastal

EXCERPT

‘Connor leaned against the window frame with his arms crossed as he watched the waves crashing against the rocks. In front of him, as wide as the horizon, was the ocean. With the clouds drifting in from the sea, the sky had turned grey and dark, and he knew there’d be even more rain coming later in the day.

He would’ve enjoyed the scene if it hadn’t reminded him of his changing life. He’d been back in Fermosa Bay for two days already, but the memories of the first seven years of his life he’d spent in this small Australian coastal town were tucked away in the back of his mind. Seemingly inaccessible. Nowadays, his life was in London and had been for the last twenty-three years. He took a couple of deep breaths as he looked towards the harbour in the distance, and the small town in the alcove with the hilly forest in the background where he’d spend the first seven years of his life. It was truly one very picturesque little place.

A noise from the other end of the house hauled him back from his thoughts, and he stepped away from the window. Over the last few weeks, since he’d decided to accept Jack’s invitation to Australia, he’d had visions of what he’d find here. His mother hadn’t told him much about the time she’d lived here, except about Jack owning a pub. Connor had been furious for her lack of memory, but in the end admitted to himself it’d probably not been a time she’d like to remember.

So he was surprised to find out that Jack lived in this massive house just outside Fermosa Bay, on the top of the cliffs, with a view over the ocean. The house had five rooms and a small study at the back. The lounge room, with a high pitched ceiling, had wood fire heating and a big window front. Connor had loved the house the instant he’d stepped into it.

When he entered the hall, he saw his father and said, “Good morning, Jack.”

The old man sighed sadly. “You still can’t bring it over your heart to call me Dad?”

Connor’s gaze wandered from his father to all the many framed photos along the wall. Jack was in many of the photos, but most them had people in them he didn’t know, except the biggest one, which showed Connor as a child in Jack’s arms. A wave of sadness shook him. No, it wasn’t in him to call him Dad. Or to even think of him as his dad.

After a moment’s silence, he turned to his father and shook his head. “Sorry.”

Jack coughed, and Connor quickly rushed to his side, holding him upright.

“Another bad day?” Connor asked.

“Son, there will be no more good days. One day is like the other, until it will be the last.”

The words struck Connor deep enough to feel some emotions for his father. He knew time was running out, but hearing it made it sound final.

“There’s a front coming, but I think you’d be able to sit outside for a little while. At least until the nurse comes.”

Jack simply nodded.

Connor helped his father out onto the deck where the old man sat down on his swing seat.

“Thanks, Son.”

Without a reply, Connor stepped away and watched the sea again.

“I couldn’t keep you away from the water when you were a child,” Jack said.

“What do you mean?” Connor asked.

Jack didn’t answer, so he turned around to look at his father. The old man stared into the distance, a withdrawn expression on his face.

“You were constantly in the water. Whatever opportunity you had, you grabbed your little board and spent most of the day there.”

“So what happened?”

His father shrugged. “You left with your mother.”

Sitting down on the chair next to Jack, Connor let out a long breath. “Something must’ve happened. I never go near water, let alone go in it.”

Still gazing into the distance, Jack said, “I still have the blue board. Ethan’s little son sometimes uses it nowadays.”

Not sure where the conversation was heading, Connor just went along. “Who’s Ethan?” he asked.

The reaction from his father wasn’t what he expected. With his shoulders sagged, Jack closed his eyes. He looked so old and frail. From what Connor saw in all the photos around the house, cancer had taken a lot of life out of his father, leaving behind a haggard body with no energy left. Initially, he’d been taken aback by their similarities in looks, with their dark brown eyes and dark blond hair, including the stubborn curl above the ears, but after all, Jack was his father.

“Ethan was your best friend when you lived here.”

Pain shot through Connor as he was again confronted with a piece of information about his past that he knew nothing about. What had happened all those years ago, that his memory blocked these recollections of his childhood?

“How is your mother?” Jack asked suddenly.

Was it a sign of his illness that the old man wasn’t able to hold on to one topic anymore, or was he out to annoy Connor?

“She’s doing well.”

“Married?”

“Yes.”

Jack nodded. “She was beautiful when she lived here. So beautiful.”

Leaning forward to rest his arms on his knees, Connor asked, “Why did you ask her to leave?”

Finally, their eyes locked, and his father’s confusion took Connor aback.

“Son, what are you talking about?”’

Poppy - Author Bio

Iris Blobel was born and raised in Germany and only immigrated to Australia in the late 1990s. Having had the travel bug most of her life, Iris spent quite some time living in Scotland, London as well as Canada where she met her husband. Her love for putting her stories onto paper has only emerged recently, but now her laptop is a constant companion.

Iris resides west of Melbourne with her husband and her two beautiful daughters.

Next to her job at a private school, she also presents a German Program at the local Community Radio.

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Posted in Author Interview, New Books

Debbie De Louise – Author Interview

 

An Interview with...debbie

Did you always want to be a published author?

I’ve enjoyed writing since I was a young girl. My teachers and family encouraged me because they felt I had a talent in that area. When I was around 12, I got hooked on gothic suspense novels. They were very popular at that time. My two favorite authors were Phyllis Whitney and Victoria Holt. My dream was to grow up to be like one of them and publish a lot of books that appealed to a wide audience.

 Are you a full time writer?

Currently, I’m a full-time reference librarian at a public library. I’d like to be a full-time writer one day.

How important is writing in your life?

That’s a tough question. While it seems I’ve always been writing in one form or the other (I’ve also written for magazines and newspapers), there have been periods when I haven’t made it a priority. At this point in my life, I’m planning to focus on it much more intensely.

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I enjoy writing with my dogs Jazz and Oby by my side. Do you have any animal writing companions?

I have two cats, Oliver and Stripey, but I don’t consider them writing companions. They do, however, give me ideas for the pet characters in my book.

Do you have a special place where you like to write?

I currently work in my kitchen, but I’m hoping to create an office in another room in the future.

Is your writing process well defined or haphazard? Can you describe it?

I think you’re asking whether I’m a pantster or a plotter. I used to be a pantster meaning I did not take many notes while working and just allowed my writing to flow, but I’m learning that some outlining is necessary. I still pretty much let the characters and plot unfold for me as I go, but I do keep flexible plot outlines and character sketches.

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What genre is your latest book ‘A Stone’s Throw’?

I wish I knew – lol. Actually, I had initially considered it a romantic suspense novel, but some reviewers consider it a cozy mystery. I enjoy reading both genres. I always like to include some romance and mystery in my books, but I don’t like to feature explicit violence or sex.

Can you tell us a little about it and what type of readers you think it would appeal to?

I think A Stone’s Throw would appeal to people who enjoy books that take place in a small town full of quirky characters as well as those who enjoy mysteries with twists and a bit of romance.

I’m intrigued by the synopsis for A Stone’s Throw’ and I am looking forward to reading it. Is this a standalone story or the first in a series?

When I wrote it, I thought it would be a standalone, but as soon as I finished it, I felt I could add more to the characters’ stories, so I wrote another one. I’m still not sure if it will be a series, but I am considering a third (the sequel is already finished. I am just editing and preparing it for submission right now).

What’s next for you Debbie are you writing another book at the moment?

 I’ve written a sequel (possible #2 Cobble Cove book) that I hope to publish in the spring or summer.

Do you enjoy reading? What type of books do you enjoy reading?

I love reading as much as writing, but it’s tough to find the time to do both. I’ve always loved romantic suspense and mysteries. My favorite current authors are Nora Roberts and Mary Higgins Clark, but I do like to read new authors and try different genres, as well. I have a huge TBR pile and have also started to read fellow Limitless Publishing authors. I must say, I’m quite impressed by their writing.

Have other writers influenced your writing genre and style?

Definitely. I consider the many authors I’ve read my writing mentors and only hope I can bring as much enrichment and enjoyment to the lives of my readers as they have to theirs.

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TITLE: A Stone’s Throw

AUTHOR: Debbie De Louise

PUBLISHER: Limitless Publishing

RELEASE DATE: November 17, 2015

Widowed librarian Alicia Fairmont needs answers…

Mystery Thriller Blurb

After her husband is killed in a hit and run accident, Alicia travels upstate to his hometown of Cobble Cove, New York, hoping to locate his estranged family and shed light on his mysterious past. Anticipating staying only a weekend, her visit is extended when she accepts a job at the town’s library.

Secrets stretch decades into the past…

Assisted by handsome newspaper publisher and aspiring novelist, John McKinney, Alicia discovers a connection between her absent in-laws and a secret John’s father has kept for over sixty years. But her investigation is interrupted when she receives word her house has burned and arson is suspected, sending her rushing back to Long Island, accompanied by John.

Back in Cobble Cove, cryptic clues are uncovered…

When Alicia returns, she finds a strange diary, confiscated letters, and a digital audio device containing a recording made the day her husband was killed. Anonymous notes warn Alicia to leave town, but she can’t turn her back on the mystery—or her attraction to John.

As the pieces begin to fall into place, evidence points to John’s involvement in her husband’s accident. The past and present threaten to collide, and Alicia confronts her fears…

Has she fallen in love with her husband’s killer?

 

1Mystery Thriller Buy Links

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Author Bio

Debbie De Louise is a reference librarian at a public library on Long Island. Her self-published romantic suspense novel, “Cloudy Rainbow” (Booklocker 2008) received an honorable mention in the Writer’s Digest self-published awards. She was awarded the Lawrence C. Lobaugh Memorial Award in Journalism from Long Island University/C.W. Post where she earned a B.A. in English and a M.L.S. in Library Science. A member of the Cat Writer’s Association, she has published articles in Cats Magazine and Catnip (Tufts University Veterinary Newsletter). Her short mystery, “Stitches in Time” was published in the Cat Crimes Through Time Anthology, (1999). She lives on Long Island with her husband, daughter, and two cats.

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I’ll be reading ‘A Stone’s Throw’, shortly, so look out for my review here.

 

Posted in Author Interview, Book Spotlight, New Books

Author Interview: Rebecca Barber

An Interview with...

 Today I have Rebecca Barber on my blog. She has just released -‘Nobody’s Obligation’,the second in the Swimming Upstream series, with Limitless Publishing. I will post my review of this book, later this week, now to meet the author behind the story.

Welcome Rebecca. What made you become a writer?
I don’t know if I ‘became’ a writer because it was something that I’ve always done. Now that it has become public and real, more people are aware and the stories of when I was a young girl have emerged revelling that I was always writing short stories even if the only person who read them was my mum! I think the main reason I write is to let everything out that builds up inside of me. It’s my release. When life gets too much, too stressful, too overwhelming writing just makes it better.
What inspired you to write the ‘Swimming Upstream’ series?
A boy. He was my childhood celebrity crush and for years he was the love of my life (even my husband is aware of this). The dream that he could live a normal life out of the spot light and be happy inspired the Swimming Upstream series (and even better if he could be happy with me ☺)
Can you tell us a little about your latest release-‘Nobody’s Obligation’?
Nobody’s Obligation is the story of Ava Jacobs and Tyler Andrews. Coming from completely different worlds, they are both thrown off their axis when their worlds collide. But life isn’t playing fair and keeps throwing them together unexpectedly forcing them to confront the elephant in the room – their growing attraction for each other.
What’s the hardest part of writing a book, for you? Why is this?
The hardest part of the Swimming Upstream series is putting myself out there. I didn’t realise when I was writing them just how much of myself slipped in but seeing them out there now scares me to death. The idea that someone will judge me and make assumptions based on this is terrifying.
What’s your favourite part of being a writer? Why do you enjoy this?
Escaping reality. By day I’m an accountant. The world is black and white and the answer is either right or it’s wrong. But with my writing I can invite into my world not only shades of grey but also every colour of the rainbow. I can be whatever I want to be and wherever I want to be. The escapism is intoxicating.
Where do you create and write your stories?
Anywhere and everywhere. When I need uninterrupted time and I can find it, I go sit in the park or on the beach and type until the battery dies. Otherwise it’s in my purpose built office (thank you husband!) I’m one of those tortured souls who suffers from writers block right up until that moment when I climb into bed and switch off the light then the ideas come thick and fast.
Do you still find time to read? What type of books do you relax with?
Reading is my other great escape. I average finishing two books a week (sometimes more – this week I’ve already read four!) I read everything and anything. From crime to mystery to a heartfelt tear jerker. I read biographies and anything else that looks interesting. I’ll even admit to having read both the Twilight and 50 Shades of Grey series ☺
Christmas is almost here. Do you love or hate this time of year?
Both. I love the romanticism of Christmas – the food, the decorations, spending time with family. But I hate that it has become such a production that you spend almost all of December so stressed out about having a gift for everyone and not just a gift, the right gift. Trying to fit everything in all in one month detracts from the fun and enjoyment you can have.
What have you got planned for 2016?
No plans as yet (and I know I’m running out of time). I know I want (and need desperately) a holiday so whether that is travelling with my husband or sitting on a secluded beach writing I’m not 100% sure at this stage.

Winter Blurb

Ava Jacobs is a shy accountant by day, aspiring romance writer by night—and her first novel just got published…

 

Romance isn’t a big component of Ava’s life. That is, her real life. As the monotonous nature of crunching numbers and drawn-out board meetings slowly eats away at her, the only bright side to her otherwise mundane routine lies on the black and white pages of her debut romance novel. Her inspiration? A long-time infatuation—Tyler Andrews.

 

Until the Olympic swimmer read her novel and connected the dots…

 

Tyler Andrews is used to being the center of attention. But when his sister throws a romance novel in his lap, he’s surprised to be the inspiration for the hot, hunky hero. He has no idea who Ava Jacobs is, but he’s not at all happy with her using his likeness to spice up her steamy scenes. When he finally tracks her down, it’s her likeness that intrigues him.

 

It takes just one romantic dance at a company banquet to spark disaster…

 

When Tyler’s manager arranges a daring publicity stunt and offers him as an auction item at Ava’s fundraising banquet, the bids come in quick and hot. Little did Ava expect the winner, a work colleague, to donate Tyler as Ava’s date. With all eyes on the Olympic athlete, Ava can’t refuse a romantic dance. But even though Tyler was the inspiration for Ava’s steamy novel, she refuses to accept his attention if it’s not real.

 

Will Tyler lose the one woman who caught his interest? Or will Ava push him away in an effort to prove she’s…

 

Nobody’s obligation.

Winter Buy Links

Amazon UK

Amazon

Nobodys Obligation Cover

 

Poppy - Excerpt

After a half hearted attempted apology, Tyler no longer feels any animosity towards an obviously nervous Ava. Happy with the outcome he heads home and back to his life. But barely minutes down the road he realizes that there is something about this girl that he can’t quite understand. Something he needs to. Turning the car around he returns to find out more. Scheming with Ava’s boss, Matthew wasn’t hard and soon enough he’d whisked her away to a lunch at a winery on the edge of town. Working on the Principal that once he had the chance to get to know her the attraction would fade, Tyler pulls out all stops.But the attraction doesn’t fade.When they coincidentally end up seated beside each other on the flight to Los Angeles, where a disgruntled Tyler is being “pimped” out by his management team to spend time on cross promotion with the American team and the darling of their sport. But when they fall asleep wrapped around each other, a fellow passenger leaks the photos to the media and by the time they land at LAX the vultures are waiting. Attempting to shield Ava, Tyler goes defensive and is gob smacked when Ava gallantly steps forward and puts the press back where they belong, before boarding her connecting flight to New York for a well earned holiday. With his mind caught on the feisty brunette, Tyler’s time in Los Angeles is a nightmare and he is in a hurry to return home.Unit he gets there.Arriving at his gated home he finds the Australian media camped out on his doorstep desperate to find out what is going on. Refusing to answer, Tyler bunkers down and his sister Katie arrives to dig a little further and uncover what is going on in her brother’s head.Ava has the time of her life travelling and falls instantly and irrevocably in love with New York City. After a long, exhausting flight Ava climbs on the bus to take her the rest of the way home. Despite the chaos and excitement that New York provides, Tyler Andrews was never far from her mind. And as Ava sat on the bus, her head resting against the window there he was. Standing on the footpath at the airport. Desperate for him not to see her, Ava turns away from the window and burrows her head.By the time Ava returns to her life, everyone is asking what’s going on. They saw Tyler in the office, they know about the lunch and now they’ve seen the photos of them together on the flight. Denial after denial Ava’s completely over hearing about Tyler Andrews but her best friend and current receptionist, Amanda, won’t let her forget about it. But life was never that kind to her. Instead, while she’d been enjoying her well deserved break she’d been nominated to organize the company gala ball.Focusing all her attention on what everyone just assumed would be the best ball ever held, Ava threw herself headfirst into organizing and before she knew it the night was here. Everything was going as planned until her boss, Christopher, introduced the special guest auction item. A date with none other than Tyler Andrews. It took all of Ava’s strength not to throw up. Standing beside Tyler, Ava didn’t think it could get worse. But she was wrong.Jake, a colleague and a friend joined the bidding and soon won the auction but when he laughed and announced that he didn’t want the date for himself, but would be donating it to Ava, her heart sunk and Ava faltered. When Tyler wrapped his arms around Ava and pulled her onto the dance floor she lost all conscious objection and fear of people looking at her and simply enjoyed the moment. Until Tyler opened his mouth. When Ava politely informed him that he didn’t need to take her out on a pity date, Tyler declared that he always stuck to his obligations. Disgusted at herself, Ava storms off leaving Tyler standing alone in the centre of the dance floor.Ava wouldn’t return his calls and Tyler was becoming increasingly frustrated. He had to make this date happen but he didn’t know what to do so he went to his friend and co-conspirator Jake for advice and with Jake on his side Ava didn’t have a choice. After a simple, sweet date and everything that Ava could have asked for, dinner and movie at Tyler’s place they innocently fell asleep on the lounge. But the next morning Ava freaked out. Again. Amanda tried to get Ava back under control and calm but it wouldn’t work. She refused to talk about him or to him and Ava had managed to convince herself that everything that had happened was wrong and the only reason that Tyler was paying any attention to her at all was out of pity. Amanda reminded Ava that they had tickets to his upcoming meet and for the first time Ava was thankful for such crappy seats. 
But when they got there the seats weren’t so crappy. Unbeknownst to Ava the scheming had been happening behind her back and she now sat front row. But before the racing could even start she was summoned to the rooms below where she was reunited with Tyler. After a brief meeting and declarations and apologies all was resolved and they were on the same page. They were officially together. Tyler goes out to races and wins. Ava climbs back into the stands and cheers on her man.

Posted in Author Interview

An Interview with Author -Linn B. Halton

Bookshelf med

An Interview with...

Today I have the lovely Linn Halton on my blog, answering questions about her books and writing. The ‘Falling- Angels Among Us’ series was very popular, I personally loved it. What inspired you to write these books?

 My earliest childhood memories were all psychic ones, but it took me many, many years to face up to that fact. Even though things continued to happen around me increasingly more frequently as the years passed, it’s hard not to be a sceptic, isn’t it? It’s easier to file away those things as unexplained, wishful thinking (if it’s related to a loved one you’ve lost), or imagination. Then I had the first shared experience with my husband and both of our lives changed forever.
For this series I wanted to take a simply love story and wrap around it some thought-provoking questions. Is the power of love stronger than fate? If angels walk among us do they know they are angels? What if we all have a little angel-wisdom in us and without knowing it have the power to change someone’s future? What if just taking the time to listen to someone in need, or giving some advice at the right moment, prevents them from making a mistake that they would change the course of their lives forever?
I also did a lot of research – even attending two Gayatri Mantra chanting workshops which feature in the story and talking to a lot of people whose lives revolve around their beliefs. I’ve always had an open mind and my personal beliefs/theories are all based on what I’ve seen, heard and/or experienced. I think we all need to draw our own conclusions, rather than follow someone else’s theory without questioning it. I think that begins with something as simple as wondering ‘what if?’

22917661Where’s your favourite place to write? Why do you like it?

Ironically there is a little psychic story attached to this, too. Eighteen months ago we began renovating an old cottage on the edge of the Forest of Dean and a we decided a big flatscreen TV would look odd in the cosy sitting room, so the former dining room became a TV room/study. Then we started getting visits from our ghost cat, who belonged to the previous owner who died a year before we moved in. He’s very regal and often runs around the cottage, but his appearance is quite distracting at times. Twice he’s almost tripped me up as it’s hard to believe he’s not real! When you catch a movement out of the corner of your eye, you instinctively look up and that was becoming a problem for me when I was working on the computer. So now I have my office in a small building in the garden, which we are converting into a dual purpose guest bedroom. My husband is still working on the ensuite – which was an old stone storeroom and is now shaping up quite nicely! I love that I have views of the garden and also the fact that it’s totally separate from the cottage. When I finish for the day the walk home takes – oh – all of five seconds.

UTS for Jane ‘Under The Stars’ features a woman at a crossroads in her life, something I have personally experienced. What motivated you to write this story?

This was the second book I wrote after giving up my former career as an interior designer. I actually gave it up to spend some quality time with my mum as my instincts had been screaming at me that she was unwell. Within three months of giving up work she died, quite unexpectedly and I knew it was her greatest wish that I found time to fulfill my writing dream. So I wrote five manuscripts back to back. I think Katherine Dale’s uncertainty, worries and fears reflected a lot of what I was going through at that time. It’s one thing to sit down and write, but what if no one wants to read what you’ve written? Any major life change is unsettling, scary and requires a lot of self-belief to get through it. Mine was difficult because I was also grieving. Immersing myself in writing actually got me through one of the worst periods of my life. Katherine’s life was also in tatters and every day was an uphill battle – a case of fiction mirroring life!

Astrology is a central theme of ‘Under the Stars’, do you follow your horoscope on a daily basis and would you consider having a personal horoscope done? If so why?

I’ve followed the celebrated astrologer and astronomer, Jonathan Cainer, for many years. From his newspaper column, then into magazines and now his website, where I am a 5-star member. That means I get my daily forecast for the next day pop into my inbox and it’s the last thing I read before I fall asleep. He has also done my full birth chart and, yes, I do take on board the advice he gives me. If the planetary alignments aren’t favourable and he says ‘don’t sign a contract now’, then I hold off! If the planets are favourable then I take advantage of that and have taken risks I wouldn’t normally take that have turned out to be great opportunities. The recent introduction of Astro Alerts has been amazing and his level of accuracy means that this additional level of forecasting is timely and it definitely affects my decision-making. The planetary alignments have a great effect on the earth, so why wouldn’t they affect our individual lives?

Do you have animal companions when you write? Can you tell us about them?

Mr Tiggs (who is black and white and had a cameo role in Under The Stars and Quintessentially Yours) and our ghost cat, whom I’ve named Sharpie. He’s jet black like my Sharpie pen and annoying at times (I once wrote a note using my pen and had to do three coats of paint on the window sill as it seeped through the paper!). Ironically, Mr Tiggs has been around a few spirits (we’ve lived in a lot of very old properties) and he has a repetitive thing he does when he’s uncomfortable, but with Sharpie he almost ignores his presence. Mr Tiggs seems to know when I need to stretch my legs as he’ll uncurl and start miaowing – which means ‘feed me’ and it does get me off my typing stool.

25773021Your latest release for Harper Impulse is ‘A Cottage in the Country’; can you tell us a little about this? Does it have a supernatural element?

The basic story mirrors the experience we had when we moved into our cottage on the 19 December 2013, when Gloucestershire was experiencing severe flooding. We sold our previous house complete with furniture and on our first night in the cottage the bed wasn’t delivered because of the flooding. We only had a couple of garden chairs and that was it for furniture.
Moving into a cottage where the central heating boiler had seized up, there was a decidedly uncomfortable feel about it (the old lady had died one year prior and it had been empty the entire time) and the rain didn’t stop. It was the perfect backdrop for Maddie’s story, which is essentially about starting over and her fight to become that 50-and-fabulous woman of her dreams. Her now ex-husband had been sleeping with her best friend and she had been the last person to find out. There is a little reference to the spirit of the previous occupier, which is tied into the fictional story, and it’s true to say we did have a ‘visitor’for the first few months we lived here. However, now it’s just us and Sharpie, who seemed to appear as soon as the presence left – but he doesn’t appear in the story. If you ever wondered what it’s like renovating an old cottage, Maddie’s experience is our real story of moving mishap and renovation hell. However, it’s now coming along nicely and we love living here!

Can you describe your writing process?

It starts with one single thought, then I think of a title and sit down in front of a blank page and type. Usually I have no idea where it’s going, or how it’s going to end. Each character appears at the appropriate time and I let them tell me where to go next. It’s an exciting journey and I wouldn’t want to write any other way.

Have you any other releases this year, we should look out for?

It’s been a crazy year for me – four new books by three different publishers over a period of seven months. My next new release is 5 August 2015 and it’s Quintessentially Yours, which is the sequel to Under The Stars (both with Endeavour Press). Then my fourth novel this year will be my first with Choc Lit – Sweet Occasions and that’s coming in the autumn.

I know you are interested in graphics and how authors can use them for promotional purposes, can you tell us about this?

I love working on websites (I have four) and posts/articles look much better if there are some graphics to illustrate the text. When I set up Loveahappyending Lifestyle emagazine I suddenly found myself taking lots of photos and playing around with different forms of presentation. Then, wearing my author’s hat, I started using graphics to make slideshows to advertise my novels. For authors, I think it helps your readers if they can see the characters and the setting, so it has now become a part of the process, once the story is written. It’s something that’s a lot of fun to do.

What’s next for you Linn?

Well, Jonathan Cainer confirms that I’m on the right path and I’m certainly enjoying every minute of it. Although it has been an exhausting six years since I wrote that first word, I waited a long time to have this ‘me’ time and I’m going to make the most of it. I’m about to sign a contract for my first novel for 2016 and I’m literally thanking my ‘lucky stars’. But writing is really about the lovely reviewers who spread the word and the readers who choose your book from the hundreds of thousands out there. Every time a reader Tweets me to say they’ve enjoyed one of my stories, or a review is posted and knowing that someone has taken the time to put their feelings into words, I feel truly blessed. This is my dream and has been ever since I was about eleven years old and writing in my homemade journals. And it’s all down to my wonderful mum, who remains by my side with every step I take on this exciting journey.

Thanks so much for some really great questions, Jane, and for inviting me over!

Thanks Linn, it was lovely learning more about you and your writing.

Poppy - Author BioIMG_3069Bristol-born Linn B. Halton lives in the small village of Lydbrook, which nestles on the edge of the Forest of Dean, in the UK. She resides there with her husband and feline with ‘catitude’- Mr Tiggs.
Linn began writing in March 2009 and her debut novel was published in February 2011. In a recent interview Linn was asked about genres:
“From a very young age I knew romantic fiction was always going to be my genre. I am, and will always be, madly in love with love! Whether that’s love of life, a partner, or the things I’m passionate about.
My stories are about love, life and real relationships – but romance is always the one thing that holds each story together. Often there’s a light, psychic touch and I never dreamed I would write drawing upon my personal psychic experiences. But as my interest and understanding in the subject has grown, it is now such a part of my life that it finds its way into my fictional tales. However, what is heartening is that most of my experiences have been uplifting and it’s wonderful to know loved ones are around me always. I hope it will make readers stop and wonder ‘What if?’
The result is that I get a lot of mail from readers who have had similar experiences and some are sharing theirs for the first time with me. I always feel that’s something rather special and for which I’m very grateful.”
Love, life and beyond… but it’s ALWAYS about the romance!

Linn is published by Choc Lit, HarperImpulse, Endeavour Press and Sapphire Star Publishing.
Linn is also the managing editor of Loveahappyending Lifestyle emagazine.
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Check out my reviews of Linn’s books by clicking on the book cover links below:

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Posted in Author Interview

Author Interview: Debbie Johnson

As ‘Pippa’s Cornish Dream’,climbs up the Amazon UK rankings, I’m thrilled to have it’s author Debbie Johnson on my blog.
Pippa's Cornish Dream
Poppy - BlurbSince Pippa Harte was forced to take over her parent’s farm, she’s barely had time to shave her legs let alone make time for love. Now she’s more likely to be getting down and dirty mucking out the pigs – and avoiding those of the human male variety.

When Ben Retallick walks out of her childhood and back into her present it seems that perhaps Pippa has more time than she thought. All Poldark smoulders and easy-going charm, Ben’s definitely worth whipping her wellies off for!

But Ben is a man with his own past and his own issues – and as much as she’s enjoying having him around, she’s got to get a grip. After all life isn’t always a beach … even if you are in Cornwall.

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 Author Interview 5220543It’s lovely to have you here Debbie, your books always make me smile. Do you see the funny side in real life situations too? Does this give you ideas for stories or are they pure imagination?

First of all, thank you – I always like to make people smile! I try to always see the funny side – I have a house full of kids and dogs, which does help! Life is often a serious and challenging affair, and a sense of humour is essential – my books are all about escapism. Some of the ‘funnies’ in Pippa’s Cornish Dream were inspired by my own children, and my crime thriller Fear No Evil draws a lot on the Scouse wit I am surrounded by!

Cold Feet at Christmas’ was a bestseller. Was it difficult writing a book to follow this, or had you already written your latest release, ‘Pippa’s Cornish Dream’?

I had already written Pippa’s Cornish Dream – and now wait nervously to see if she does anywhere near as well as her older sibling! The difficult one is the book I’m writing now – a Christmas follow-up to Cold Feet. Writing to someone else’s deadline is always much harder, and a lot less fun!

How long have you been writing?

All my life. I was one of those geeky kids who was always inspired by a new notebook. I worked in journalism for many years, which is a very different style of writing, but does give you a certain discipline, as well as useful life experience. I started writing fiction seriously in 2010.

What inspired you to set Pippa’s Cornish Dream’ in Cornwall?

I’d been there on holiday, and was just blown away by it – quite literally on some days, as the weather was a little unpredictable! There is just something very special about the whole area. Then, this year, Poldark arrived on our TV screens and completely backed up my decision – it’s an amazing place.

 It certainly is, I spent my honeymoon there many years ago and many happy holidays since. 🙂

What’s the inspiration behind the farm setting in Pippa’s Cornish Dream?

We stayed on a farm in Cornwall, and my kids loved being out every morning, feeding the chickens and the pig, and it was all a very different experience from our usual urban life in Liverpool – it just struck me as a wonderful setting for a romance; very earthy and beautiful, but also hard work.

What other books have you written?

Cold Feet at Christmas for HarperImpulse of course, but also two urban fantasy books called Dark Vision and Dark Touch, which came out in paperback on an imprint of Penguin Random House. I loved those – it was all that weird True Blood style stuff (vampires and witches and Goddesses and prophecies) but set against the very real backdrop of modern-day Liverpool. Fear No Evil is a crime thriller with a supernatural element, based around one of my all-time favourite creations, a PI called Jayne McCartney – the sort of woman you’d like to go to the pub with! That was with Maze, Avon’s digital branch. I have a new HI out for Christmas, and then next year – this is scary and exciting – my first print book for HarperCollins. It’s another romantic comedy, but very different than my earlier ones – it’s about a woman who hits 40 and finds her whole life in tatters, and how she rebuilds it. It was actually the first full book I ever wrote so I’m thrilled at the prospect of seeing it on the bookshelves at last!

That’s great, lots more for me to read.

What’s your favourite genre of book, to read? Why do you like this type of book?

I don’t have one particular genre – I read crime, fantasy, horror, women’s fiction. But it absolutely 100% has to have strong female characters and a few laugh out loud moments. Some of my favourite authors are Janet Evanovich, Sara Paretsky, Sue Grafton, John Connolly, Robert Crais, Karin Slaughter and JD Robb/Nora Roberts. I get pretty excited when any of their books come out!

What’s your writing space like?

Very, very unglamourous! There is no literary salon, or shabby chic writing den – the other day in fact I was laughing about this, as I was trying to write while sitting on my sofa. My teenaged son had his mates around, and my younger two were watching Minecraft videos on YouTube. We had three dogs in the house – our own Golden Retriever and Black Lab, and a Springer Spaniel we were looking after. The noise levels were through the roof, the whole place was complete chaos, and I’m sitting there tapping away on my laptop trying to create some magic! But that’s my life, and I’m perfectly happy with it.

 Sounds like mine. 🙂

What’s next for you, Debbie?

More writing. More chaos. More school runs. More nervously checking Amazon – more of everything, in fact! Apart from house work. That’s to be avoided at all costs.

Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with us Debbie. I’m looking forward to reading the rest of your books.

To read my 5* reviews of ‘Pippa’s Cornish Dream’ and ‘Cold Feet at Christmas’ Click on the book covers below:Pippa's Cornish Dream
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Posted in Author Interview, Book Review, New Books

Author Interview Anne Allen – 5* Review The Family Divided ( #4 The Guernsey Novels series)

3D Cover x 4 PNG (1)Poppy - BlurbAndy Batiste, at loggerheads with his degenerate cousin, seeks to discover the truth of his family history. Why was his pregnant grandmother forced to flee to France? What really happened to her husband during the German Occupation, sixty years ago? Who accused Edmund, the elder son and Batiste heir, of being an informer? Was he really a traitor – and who murdered him?

With Edmund’s brother Harold now head of the family, enjoying the wealth which ought to have come to Andy’s father, the family is forever divided. Andy yearns to clear Edmund’s name and restore his father to his rightful inheritance.

Into the conflict comes Charlotte Townsend, newly divorced, lonely and struggling with writer’s block and the consuming threat of impending loss. She returns for healing at Guernsey’s natural health centre, La Folie, and becomes involved in Andy’s family affairs.

Together they embark on a hunt for the truth…

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Author InterviewIphoto for emailWhat inspired you to write, ‘The Guernsey Novels’ series?

Initially I only thought of writing one book, ‘Dangerous Waters’, as my homage to Guernsey where I had spent many happy years. Even when I wrote the second, ‘Finding Mother’, it didn’t occur to me I was writing a series! Writers are always told to ‘write what you know’ and I knew Guernsey pretty well so it seemed the obvious starting point. It was almost incidental that I allowed characters from ‘Dangerous Waters’ to pop up in Finding Mother, but readers seemed to like that and it’s been a feature of all my books since.

Your stories have atmospheric settings and memorable characters, are they inspired by real people and places or a product of a vivid imagination?

I appreciate the compliment, Jane! The settings are mainly real, Guernsey providing its own atmosphere beautifully. I do invent the homes of my characters but base some of them on properties I know. For example, Jeanne’s and Molly’s cottages in ‘Dangerous Waters’ are quite similar to my old home in Perelle on the west coast of Guernsey. The characters are probably an unconscious mix of real people and imagined. I would never knowingly use a real person in case it wasn’t a flattering portrayal and easily recognisable!

‘The Guernsey Novels’ are a mix of contemporary and historical. Would you like to write a purely historical, mystery novel?

Interesting question. Although I do a certain amount of historical research now, I’m not sure I could cope with the full immersion in the past needed to write a purely historical novel. Perhaps something to think about for the future…☺

Your stories always have great dialogue content; do you find this easy to write? Have you any tips for writing realistic dialogue?

Writing dialogue was hard for me initially, but has become easier with each book. As a psychotherapist I was used to hearing people talk and even now enjoy ear-wigging on conversations. I think if you really listen to how people talk to each other it becomes easier to write more natural dialogue. The key is to listen to different generations – speech changes dramatically from one age group to another. For example, my own children are in their thirties and I use their choice of expressions etc for my main characters in that age group.

What genres of books do you read, when you’re not writing?

Funnily enough I really enjoy historical mysteries! My favourites are those by C J Sansom as they are so detailed and I can imagine myself at the Tudor court. I also read some crime and thriller but am not keen on anything too gory. Books which focus on relationships and family, as opposed to pure ‘romance’ are also high on my list.

Your latest release in ‘The Guernsey Novels’ series is ‘The Family Divided’. What can you tell us about it?

The Family Divided follows Andy Batiste as he searches for the truth behind the split in the family. His grandfather, Edmund, was murdered shortly before the end of the Occupation in Guernsey, after being labelled a traitor. He left a young widow who didn’t realise she was pregnant when she fled to France weeks later having been cast aside by her husband’s family. Edmund’s younger brother subsequently inherited the family estate instead of Edmund and when his son James moves to Guernsey years later, he gets nothing. Andy wants his father to receive his due inheritance and rightful place in the family.
Andy is helped in his search by Charlotte Townsend, recently divorced and enjoying her second visit to the natural health retreat at La Folie. Charlotte, a publisher and newbie writer, has been struggling with her novel and when she learns of Andy’s quest, is eager to help and together they embark on the search for the truth.

Where’s your favourite place to write? What is it about your writing space that you like?

I rarely write anywhere other than at my desk in my small study. I used to write longhand and then type it up on my PC, meaning I could write anywhere. But two years ago I had problems with my right hand and, after an operation, decided to cut down the strain by only typing.
My space is cluttered but comfortable. I have a fairly large desk and a super cream leather office chair that supports my back. Essential for any writer! The room was the single bedroom of my house and when I moved in I made it my study, including writerly things like bookshelves and filing drawers.

How much research is necessary prior to writing your stories? What does this involve?

Most research is focused on the Guernsey Occupation, which features in all my books. I was lucky enough to talk to people who lived through it and there are numerous published first-hand accounts. It’s a major influence on present-day Guernsey and Liberation Day – on 9th May – is a public holiday. I do some research for the contemporary major element of the stories but this might only involve such things as legal issues. Guernsey law is based on French law and can be quite different to English.

Have you written any other books?

No – not yet.

What’s next for Anne Allen and her writing? Will there be more Guernsey Novels?

I’ve started mapping out book 5 of The Guernsey Novels which will be a little different to the previous books. Called ‘Echoes of Time’ it’s a tale of betrayal, injustice and revenge, with a strong reference to the Occupation but set mainly in the present. There’s a slightly supernatural feel to this one and I’m looking forward to writing it. And there will be some familiar faces making an appearance ☺

 Thank you for talking to us Anne. Here’s my review of The Family Divided #4 in The Guernsey Novel series.

Flowers - My Review

The Family Divided (The Guernsey Novels, #4)The catalyst for this story is an incident in World War 2. A death accompanied by malicious rumour divides a family. Charlotte, who we met in ‘Guernsey Retreat’, makes a welcome return. ‘The Family Divided’ maintains the mystery and gentle romance, characteristic of this series. This story casts Charlotte in the role of detective as she unravels the secrets and rumour buried in the Batiste’s family’s past, to help and stay close to her new friend Andy Batiste.
Well paced, this story explores the growing relationship between Charlotte and Andy, and lets us glimpse the lives of previously introduced characters, Jeanne, Louise and Malcolm. I liked the disparity between Andy’s family and Charlotte’s and how it allows both characters to grow and develop. Charlotte’s investigation is believable and what she discovers builds to a tense and well resolved ending.
If you like your mystery with vivid imagery and sweet romance you will definitely enjoy The Guernsey Novels series.
I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

Read my reviews of the first three books in The Guernsey Novel series by clicking on the links below:

Dangerous Waters

Finding Mother

Guernsey Retreat

The Family Divided by Anne Allen

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


The Family Divided (The Guernsey Novels, #4) by Anne  Allen

Anne Allen

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