Posted in Author Interview, Book Review, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Mystery

Author Q&A – Merryn Allingham- A Tale of Two Sisters- 5*#Review @canelo_co @MerrynWrites #historicalfiction #historicalromance #Author #Interview

Separated by time and distance, two sisters seek answers for all they’ve lost

When Alice Verinder’s beloved sister Lydia goes missing, Alice boards the Orient Express bound for Topkapi Palace in Constantinople, determined to find her.

Lydia was governess to the Sultan’s young children and though her letters spoke of exotic delights and welcoming hosts, the reception Alice receives is decidedly cold and answers unforthcoming.

Now, as Alice digs deeper into the secrets of a land foreign to her she has only Englishman Harry Frome to help her. But as their search uncovers unforeseen dangers and exposes an unexpected ardour, is Alice ready for the truths they’ll uncover?

Amazon UK

Merryn Allingham Q&A

What inspired you to write this story

It was a journey I made a few years ago. I was lucky enough to travel to Venice on the Orient Express (a special occasion trip) and fell in love with the train. The compartments, dining carriages, even the mosaic bathrooms, are almost unchanged since the train’s heyday. And whereas nowadays the journey to Istanbul is a special once a year event, in 1907 there was a regular service from London to Constantinople. I wondered what it must have felt like for a young woman travelling alone for the first time in her life and on such a train.

Do you draw your characters from real life, your imagination, or are they a mix of both? How do you make your characters realistic?

They aren’t drawn from real life in the sense of my actually knowing people just like them. But as a writer, you imbue your characters with what you’ve gained from life and what you’ve seen of relationships and the way they work. I don’t have a sister myself, but it wasn’t too difficult to tune into the feelings of Alice and Lydia, given the period in which they live and their very different personalities.

Lydia Verinder has been working as a governess at Topkapi Palace in Constantinople, while her elder sister, Alice, has been forced to take responsibility for their ailing parents. Alice hasn’t heard from her sister for months and suspects thoughtlessness – Lydia has always been indulged. She loves her and admires Lydia’s courage and passion, but feels resentful that she has been left caring for the household. Though her feelings are decidedly mixed, Alice becomes increasingly worried by her sister’s silence. Bravely, she decides to go to Constantinople herself and search for Lydia, and once there she meets a whole lot of other characters – but not all of them are benevolent!

When you write, what comes first, the characters, the plot or the setting? Why do you think this is?

Looking back at the novels I’ve written, it’s setting that seems pre-eminent. Maybe it’s because  I write historical fiction, but when I respond especially to a setting – it could be a house, a city, a garden, or in this case a train – I begin to imagine what it must once have looked like, who might have lived there, who travelled there etc. Once I start to people the setting, the questions come and I uncover the problems the characters are facing – then my plot is on its way!

What made you decide to become a writer, and why does this genre appeal to you?

I’m not sure you actually decide to be a writer. For as long as I can remember, I’ve needed to put pen to paper. As a small child, I wrote poems, at grammar school, there were short stories that I never dared mention – creative writing was definitely not encouraged. And I kept on writing through the years, but between family, pets and my job as a lecturer, there was little time to do more than dabble. However, when the pressures eased, I grabbed the chance to do something I’d always promised myself – to write a novel. The nineteenth-century novel was a favourite to teach so it’s no wonder I ended up writing historical fiction.

What sort of books do you enjoy reading and why?

I read fairly widely. Naturally enough, I love historical fiction, particularly when there’s suspense,  a mystery, maybe a death or two. And I like crime a lot, but not when it’s unduly violent and gory – psychological crime is a favourite. I love the unwrapping of a personality. The occasional literary fiction – some of Colm Toibin’s books, for example – hit the mark,  and I’m a huge fan of Kate Atkinson and the way she combines the popular and the literary so well.

What are you currently writing?

This year I’ve embarked on a crime series, and changing genre has proved quite a challenge. But though I’m planning on one or more deaths in each book, there’s a focus, too, on relationships, including some romantic temptation. The series is set in the 1950s, a period when women were pushed back into the kitchen after the Second World War and generally lacked independent careers or their own money, and where marriage and children were seen as a woman’s only goal. My heroine, needless to say, kicks against that. She’s married but not entirely happily. However, her husband’s profession allows her to travel to different countries, where she’s certain to face a crime that needs solving. The first in the series, The Venice Atonement,  will be published in July and I’m currently deep in the Caribbean, writing volume two!

I received a copy of this book from Canelo via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

A beautifully told story of sisterly love, impetus youth,
and evil. The Tale of Two Sisters is set in the vibrant historical background of early twentieth century Turkey. Full of vivid imagery and intricate historical details, you can imagine the opulence and the culture the two sisters experience.

The plot is believable and well thought out, the twists and turns, which keep the reader guessing are plentiful and the mystery keeps its terrible secrets to the end.

Lydia is a woman before her time, driven by political equality, yet naive and ill-equipped for what she becomes embroiled in. She is selfish and flawed, but her exuberance and zest for life’s experiences make this forgivable, Ultimately she becomes a heroine.

Alice is the antithesis of her sister, dependable, selfless and resigned to subjugating her needs for the good of her parents and sibling. She is easy to empathise. Her courage is notable and as the story progresses her adventurous and impulse qualities come to the fore, making her share more with her sister than you would first imagine.

Gentle pacing reflects the many obstacles Alice faces as she tries to discover her sister’s whereabouts. Told from both sisters’ points of view, the story is full of emotion, historical interest and suspense, as the mystery surrounding Lydia’s disapperance is solved. There is also a tender, unexpected romance, which adds extra depth to the story and allows its ending to be hopeful.

If like me, you love historical fiction with a mystery to solve, and just a touch of gentle romance, this lovely tale will draw you in.

Merryn Allingham was born into an army family and spent her childhood moving around the UK and abroad. Unsurprisingly it gave her itchy feet and in her twenties, she escaped from an unloved secretarial career to work as cabin crew and see the world.

Merryn still loves to travel and visit new places, especially those with an interesting history, but the arrival of marriage, children and cats meant a more settled life in the south of England, where she has lived ever since. It also gave her the opportunity to go back to ‘school’ and eventually teach at university.

She has written seven historical novels, all mysteries with a helping of suspense and a dash of romance – sometimes set in exotic locations and often against a background of stirring world events.

For the latest news of Merryn’s writing, visit her website or join her on Facebook or Twitter

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Posted in Author Interview, Book Review, New Books

Author Inteview: J A Kerr – 4* Review: The Braille Club#3 Undone

Today is release day for book 3 of  The Braille Club series by J.A. Kerr.

Here’s my interview with Julie.

An Interview with...

BC3When did you start writing? Did someone or something inspire your career choice?

I started writing in September 2013. I can’t believe two and a half years has passed, since I started my series. I suppose it was the advent of self-publishing that encouraged me to take the plunge. Knowing I could get my work out there and published was a dream come true. I would encourage anyone to pursue their dreams of publishing their work. However, it’s a very tough business. It’s not just about writing a story. Your work must be professionally edited and polished when you present it. Also you need to invest in a good book cover and professional formatting.

Do you have a day job? Or do you write full time?

I’m at home at the moment but I don’t write full time. I find my creative process works better when I take some time away from my laptop. I’ve learned so much and in hindsight, writing a series can be pressurised. I must admit I am keen to experiment into different areas after I finish my current book series.

Do you have a dedicated writing place? If so, why do you like writing there?

Yes I do. The photograph was just after I bought a new desk. I like this room because it’s cosy. I have a window to gaze out of during the day and a window box which I have stuffed full of flowers. My writing room is also next to the kitchen so I can top up my coffee addiction, and if I’m writing at night, then a lovely glass wine.

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Can you tell us about ‘The Braille Club’ series? What is the inspiration behind it?

The Braille Club is a private members club that engages your senses. Although sensuality plays a big part, there is also intrigue and a touch of thriller in each book. There are several stories running through because people join the club for very different reasons. Each book features old and new characters which keeps the series fresh and readers guessing.

Is the latest in ‘The Braille Club’ series ‘The Braille Undone’ the final book, or will there be more?

There will be one more book, The Braille Club Reborn to complete the series which I have finished and it’s currently out to Beta readers for feedback.

Would you ever consider self-publishing your work? What do you think are the advantages and disadvantages of this publishing method?

Yes, I started out with self-publishing. I’ve read a lot of great indie authors. The advantages are, you have complete control of your work, and the disadvantages are—it can be costly. However, if you invest in making your book the best it can be, you own the rights forever.

Are you a reader? If so, what types of books do you like to read and why?

I’m a huge reader. I like suspense and crime preferably but I’m open to most genres. I usually have an audio book, an eBook and paperback on the go at any one time.

How important is social media to an author? Why is this do you think?

Social media is huge to an author. It allows me to connect with readers from all over the world. However, I understand it’s not for everyone. I’m not good at sharing…call me old fashioned but I seemed to have missed the social media explosion. I hate getting my photograph taken and out of all the mediums, I prefer twitter. You can dip in and out when you want.

What’s your favourite thing about being a writer and why?

My favourite thing about being a writer is making an idea grow and form into a story. The excitement of making my stories come alive. I love everything about my craft. I never feel lonely, I have a huge online community of authors that I interact with, from the comfort of my home. Also I love that one day I can be writing a novel and the next day I can be writing a script. Creative diversity is something I enjoy.

What’s your next writing project?

A short one act play which I have written the bones of but now have to flesh out and edit before I submit it. I also hope to offer it to local drama groups. I would also like to script write my novels into a TV series. So plenty to keep me busy 🙂

 

Adult Read

Book cover Braille Club Undone

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The Braille Club fulfils desires and fantasies. It guarantees members—sensory overload.  Pleasure comes in many forms. Some playful and exciting, others…twisted by evil. Would you risk pain in exchange for pleasure?

Benedict and Sienna Harrison are left reeling…

Siena and Benedict—newlyweds and owners of the exclusive Braille Club—are determined more than ever to protect their family. “Knox,” their new home seems safe; but a presence lurks in the shadows. Watching, waiting. When the weak link is identified, their whole world will be blown apart.

Simon Lawrence will stop at nothing to satisfy his desires…

But his wife, Tess, has other plans. Tired of her husband’s infidelity, she resorts to desperate measures. However, Simon won’t let this new woman slip through his fingers. Distraught, Tess will stop at nothing to protect them and her secret. How far will she go to save her husband…from himself?

Virinder Bashir desires the freedom of the club…

Forced to marry Noor Chaudry, a beautiful, ruthless, and desperate woman, Virinder rejects their arranged marriage, seeing through her façade. During his sensual Braille lessons however, Noor becomes the center of his fantasies. After tragedy comes a blooming love, but not everyone wants them to live happily ever after.

A new client tempts Anna Dunbar down a dangerous, yet exciting path…

Manager of Harrison’s and the Braille Club, Guy Walker’s relationship with Anna Dunbar is failing.  Feeling neglected, Anna’s flirting ignites Guy’s determination to win her back. Their mutual development of a new Braille Club Zone reawakens their dark desires, but will these desires unite…or destroy them?

Cords and ropes aren’t the only strings being pulled at the Braille Club. Danger lurks beneath deadly desires and obsessive fantasies… Will you indulge your desires and enter the Braille Club once again?

 

Book Trailer

Buy Links 1

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Winter My Review

 This third book in the series is darker than the previous two stories and the mystery and thriller elements dominate but there is still plenty of heat. Guy is developing a new zone in the Braille club and it takes him to the dark side of sensuality. The lives of some interesting new characters collide at The Braille Club but it’s Benedict and Sienna that remain the story’s most interesting characters.

Nick makes his presence felt, despite his incarceration and he is determined to have his revenge on Sienna and Benedict. There are plenty of shocks in this story and some disturbing scenes I didn’t like but they do illustrate Nick’s evil nature.

The story doesn’t end here; there is one more book to come.

 I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

Other Books in The Braille Club Series

Click on the book  image to read my review of Book 1

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Click on the book image to read my review of Book 2

The Braille Club Unbound FRONT

 Amazon US 

Amazon UK 

 

 A CHANCE to WIN an eBOOK, BOOK SWAG & $5 AMAZON GIFTCARD!

 by liking J.A. Kerr’s Facebook page:

http://facebook.com/JAKerrBRAILLE

A winner will be selected on the 3rd August.

Author Bio

JA (Julie Ann) Kerr was born in the spring of 1967 at Paisley’s Ross Hospital in Scotland and grew up in Glasgow. She was an office administrator and latterly a recruitment consultant before marrying and relocating to The Netherlands with her husband. After two years, she moved to Cheshire where her first child was born and returned to work part-time. Her final relocation took her back to her home town of Glasgow where she welcomed the arrival of her second child. She raised her family whilst harbouring dreams of becoming a writer. In September 2013, she started her first book.

‘When I set out to write these books, I wanted to create something that mirrored exactly the kind of books I like to read. My top picks are always originals featuring strong male and female protagonists with attitude. The Braille Club Series books are a great mix of genres. Although sensuality plays a big part, there is also intrigue and a touch of thriller.

I love to connect.’

Never miss a thing sign up to my fun monthly newsletter Keeping up with a KERRdashion…for all my book gossip, giveaways and updates 🙂

 

Links

FACEBOOK

WEBSITE

TWITTER

FACEBOOK FAN PAGE

GOODREADS

AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE

 

 

 

 

Posted in Author Interview

Wendy Lou Jones -Author Interview

An Interview with...

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 Today I have the lovely Wendy Lou Jones on my blog. 

What made you become a writer?

Oh, it’s so corny; I just woke up from a dream one day and was so captured by it that I started thinking about what might have happened to my heroine to get her to that place in the story and what would have happened after, if I’d stayed asleep. I wrote it all down, every night for 6 months. I guess it became a way of life.

Do you write full time or in addition to your ‘day job’? What’s your favourite time of day to write and why?

I’m fortunate to be a stay at home mum, so I write when I like. My favourite time of day to write is in the evening until late at night, but my favourite time to think is first thing in the morning. I think my brain is fresh from mulling things over in my sleep in the morning and I have nothing else to do in the evenings mostly, especially now there’s so little on TV, so that’s when I write.

You’re stories are deeply emotional and often contain an unexpected twist. Are these the type of stories you like to read? Has anyone inspired or influenced your writing style?

I do like emotional tales, it’s true. And I don’t like things to be too obvious. I guess you could say I write the kind of story I would like to read, yes. I love reading historical romances though, I’m just rubbish at history. I like their drama. Everything was so much more life and death in those days.

     As for inspiration, it was Lisa Kleypas who got me reading more than a couple of books a year. I love her historicals and have read many of them now.  I also love a lot of Nicholas Sparks’ stories. I guess, in the start, they were the kind of thing I aspired to write.

Traditional publishing or self publishing which do you prefer and why?

I think traditional publishing makes you feel more worthy of the title (it did for me, anyway) and it helps you understand the big picture of businesses. Having a publisher’s backing is like someone saying, read her, she’s great. It’s a very welcome thing for a new author. I do like the speed and control of self-publishing though. A best of both would be good.

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Your latest series is ‘The Echoes of Nutt Hill’ what inspired you write this series?

This series started when I was looking for something to write (years ago) and I went to a ploughing match near my village and saw a man who didn’t quite fit and then I spotted my local vicar walking into the field and I thought, hmmm, what if… Each book in the series has grown from a character in one before.

Read my review of ‘Finding Sarah’ here

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Can you tell us more about ‘Echoes of Nutt Hill series?

These are love stories based in a single village. Think Midsummer Murders, but with less murder. They’re rural and probably because of that, quite old fashioned. The first story, Finding Sarah, is about a woman whose marriage had broken down and moves to the village to make a fresh start. The second book, Sun on Sundays, is about the girl who takes over from Sarah on Nutt Hill after she leaves. The latest book, Chances Are, publishing on Monday, is about Luke, the brother of Tom, the hero in book 2 and the final one, still being written, is about the sister of the girl in book 2. All are independent, you just might recognise some of the characters.

Where do you write? Have you a photograph you can share with us?

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Sadly I’m not a fabulously wealthy JKR yet, so I’m on my laptop at the kitchen table with a spare chair to the side of me, covered in notepads and books. But I do have a wonderful view. You can see the other tat-covered chair in this shot, but you can also glimpse my latest manuscript having been cut and reordered over the weekend, after I had a chat with a policeman about procedure.

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What are the best things and the worst things about being a writer?

Best… network of online friends and satisfaction of creating something.

Worst… backache from writing and the pay!

What’s next for Wendy Lou Jones?

As you can see, I’m busy trying to sort out the final Nutt Hill story, but I’ve also started another book I’m very excited about – reason being: I explained the plot to my hubby and eldest son and both of them seemed impressed!!!?  I just hope I can do the idea justice.

Thanks for having me on, Jane. Always a pleasure to talk books.

The latest book in the  Echoes of Nutt Hill series is out  today. This is the third Echoes of Nutt Hill novel. Individual stories based in the small village of Lower Nutton, in the heart of the English countryside. Love will always blossom, but will it ripen in the sun or rot in the rain? Set against a landscape of farming and families who have lived in the same community for generations, her stories reflect the struggles of a few of their inhabitants, in the ups and downs of village life, where everyone knows everything and nothing stays private for long.

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Poppy - Blurb

Luke is the man with the money, the fast car and the hot woman. There’s no way he would even think about getting serious, but a face he can’t remember soon threatens his calm.

Rebecca isn’t interested in a relationship, and definitely not with him. How could she, after all he put her through? She’s spent the last 4 years hiding away from society, a one woman crusade for children’s road safety. Who would have thought one fateful day, it might almost be her … again.

As two worlds collide, will opposites attract?

Not if she can help it.

Flowers - Buy Links

Finding Sarah 

Sun on Sundays

Poppy - Author Bio

Wendy Lou Jones was born and raised in West Sussex, in the south of England. At 18, she moved to Birmingham to study Medicine at University, where she was lucky enough to meet her husband. She worked in hospitals, general practice and palliative care before starting a family, at which point she took a step back from medical life to concentrate on being a mum.

She now lives in a little village in Herefordshire with her husband and two grubby boys and discovered a love of writing not long after their youngest son started school. And if you were to ask her what it was that made her make the switch, she would tell you quite simply, that it started with a dream.

 

Poppy - Links

 

Website/Blog 

Twitter 

Facebook  

Amazon page

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

Amazon UK

Amazon

Amazon Paperback

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 

Facebook

Twitter

Google +

Website

Goodreads

Book 1
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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.

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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

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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.

StonesThroweBookfromcoverdept

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

An Interview with Author -Linn B. Halton

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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 Spotlight, New Books

The Vintage Cinema Club- Jane Linfoot – Author Interview

image001Today is release day for Jane Linfoot’s  latest book  –

‘The Vintage Cinema Club’

Blurb - FlowerMeet The Vintage Cinema Club….
Izzy is a wow at making unwanted things pretty, but with three brothers and her shabby chic furniture business to run she doesn’t have time to date. Could a fabulous French proposal change her mind?
Single mum Luce’s vintage bridal dresses are exquisite, but there’s no way she’s ever going to wear one or walk down the aisle for that matter. She’s a strictly no romance, one night kind of woman – or so she thinks…
Dida seems to have it all – a chocolate and banana cake recipe to die for, lovely kids (most of the time!) and a great lifestyle. But what good is a fabulous home, when your marriage has more cracks than a pavlova and your husband is having it off with half of Lithuania?
Three retro fabulous friends, in love with all things vintage, run their dream business from the faded grandeur of a rescued cinema. When that dream comes under threat, they’ll do whatever it takes to save it.

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Author Interview3619536It’s lovely to have you on my blog Jane.

How did you become a writer? Was it always a life ambition or something that started as a hobby and then grew?

My first novel was a happy accident, that happened when a friend from writing class asked me to co-write a book with her. Plotting for Beginners came out in 2006, and was a paperback best seller. It was in Waterstones, and Sainsburys, and even had it’s own window display at Heathrow Airport.

Writing chicklit novels happened by accident too, when I got Kate Walker’s book on writing romance novels out of the library. I was meaning to get some exercises for my writers’ group, but I read the whole book, and I was hooked.

I used to work full time, doing up old houses, but after the property crash I suddenly found time to do the writing I’d always dreamed of. I write full time now, and for me writing is one of those things – the more of it I do, the more I want to do.

From reading the blurb; ‘The Vintage Cinema Club’, your next book, seems more women’s fiction than contemporary romance? What’s the story behind the book?

In my previous solo books the focus was always on one couple and their relationship, but this time I’m writing about a group of friends and following their lives over a summer.

The Vintage Cinema Club centres on Izzy, Luce and Dida, who have a fabulous vintage shop in a wonderful old cinema building. When their dream comes under threat they have to fight to save it.
It’s about the tangles of their very different lives and struggles, all bound together by their friendship. Think sassy, funny, warm hearted, happy…with a dash of sour to temper the sweetness.
If you fancy a summer hanging out with friends in country villages, with a great vintage vibe, a taste of France thrown in, and strands of love and heartache woven through, step this way. The only drawback is how much you might miss them when it’s over.

There are THREE main characters in ‘The Vintage Cinema Club’ what’s the inspiration behind them?

Izzy, Luce and Dida are very different characters, with very different lives, working together in their fab retro shop. I like writing about strong women, and I especially enjoyed writing about their interaction with each other. The contrast between the characters was as interesting for me to write as the individuals, because those differences actually shone a brighter spotlight on each of the women.
I love how close friends often know each other almost better than they know themselves. There are times when friendly interference leads to trouble, but the very best friends will always hang around to make good. I’ve really enjoyed writing about and exploring this different kind of relationship.

‘Vintage’ seems to be the contemporary obsession, why do you think this is?

I think people like vintage because it guarantees you something individual, that no one else can have. Retro will often give you classic design and fabulous quality, compared to newer things. It’s also a way of embracing recycling – being green, yet doing it with style. I heard someone say that modern vintage is looking forward through a window of the past. A lot of it is about rediscovering “pretty” too.

Are you a country girl or a town lover?

I like living in the country, because I love the space, and the dog walks, and the woods, and the flowers, and the wildlife. I do enjoy going to get the buzz of the town, and I love having an occasional day in Sheffield, or London.

The writing process fascinates me. Do you have one you can share with us?

I like to have the framework of a book in my head before I begin, and I make a lot of notes about that. Then I start to write. Some people say you should write a first draft without stopping, but for me it works better if I go back and edit, and add to the scenes as I go along. I call it layering up. It takes longer, but by the end the manuscript is almost there. I think this approach only works because I begin with a strong plan, and fill in the gaps.

Where do you like to write, office, living room, cafe or somewhere else?

I’ve always worked in the room between the kitchen and the rest of the house – calling it a dining room makes it sound way more up-market than it is. That way I’m right at the centre of family life, and on hand to sort everyone out as they need me. Noise isn’t a problem, because when I concentrate I’m oblivious, as my family will be able to tell you.

Have you a picture of your writing space?

No, because it’s not pretty.

What’s your favourite social media platform and why?

Twitter is great because it’s such an instant way to spread a short message fast. I also love the weirdness of Twitter, like the time I got followed by a werewolf. I find it easier to make more meaningful connections on Facebook, and I spend a lot of time there.

Have you any tips for new writers?

Writing is a solitary activity, but joining a writing group, either online, or locally, can help a lot. If you find the right group for you, you’ll get tips, support and inspiration. Try to write something every day – and luckily jokey emails to friends do count as writing. And never give up.

What’s next for Jane Linfoot?

Look out for a Christmas book 🙂

Author Bio - FlowerJane Linfoot writes fun, flirty fiction, with feisty heroines and lots of heart. She lives with her family and pets in Derbyshire, and loves hearts, flowers, happy endings and all things vintage.

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Check out my review of

The Vintage Cinema Club on my blog later. 🙂

Posted in Author Interview

Author Interview: Derek Muk

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This Sunday I’m interviewing paranormal and horror author Derek Muk on my blog.
Author Interview

How important is writing in your life?

Writing is very important to me. It’s one of my passions, one of my hobbies, a creative outlet where I can escape from the stresses and routine monotony of life. 

You write both horror and paranormal stories; do you have a favourite genre?

I would say my favorite genres to read are horror, science fiction, fantasy, thrillers, and general fiction. I also read things from other categories as well. But I like to write in the horror, paranormal, and supernatural genres.

What are the inspirations behind your paranormal story ‘The Haunted Academy’?

 The inspiration for “The Haunted Academy” were news articles and stories I came across about how young students, particularly gay, lesbian, and transgender ones, were bullied in school. My story involves a young woman who identifies herself as a lesbian and how she is victimized by school bullies.

The paranormal investigators featured in The Haunted Academy are quirky and interesting. Are they going to appear in any future books?

The paranormal investigators in “The Haunted Academy” are featured in other short stories that I write and will appear in future stories. They are also the main protagonists in my short story collection, The Occult Files of Albert Taylor. More information about that book and my stories can be found at: https://theoccultfilesofalberttaylor.wordpress.com/

Do you have a favourite writing space?

I like to write at cafes and at home.

Do you have a writing process that you can share with us?

I often begin a story with fragments of scenes, characters, and some dialogue. They’re not cohesive in the beginning so I let them brew in my head for a while until they are clearer and until I feel the story is going in a direction that I’m satisfied with. I jot all these ideas down on paper so that if I can’t utilize them from the get go they’ll be saved for some future writing project when the time is right. Sometimes I get ideas for characters by people watching on the subway, at a café, and even from movies and television. I’ll scribble down these ideas in my notebook and flesh them out later.

What sort of books do you like to read?

I would say my favorite genres to read are horror, science fiction, fantasy, thrillers, and general fiction. I also read things from other categories as well.

What’s your favourite social media platform? Why do you like it?

 My favorite social media platform? Uhmm, I guess that would be Facebook because it allows you to keep in touch with a massive network of people and keeps you up to date with what others are doing. It’s a great networking tool for writers.

What’s next for Derek Muk? Do you have a current work in progress? 

I’m currently working on a novella featuring Albert Taylor and his sidekick, Jan, who are the main characters in “The Haunted Academy”. Stay tuned for more details!

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Mystery Thriller Blurb
Professor Albert Taylor and his assistant, Jan, are paranormal investigators. They are hired to investigate spooky, mysterious goings-on at an exclusive all-girls school after a young student is murdered. What they assume will be a routine ghost haunting turns out to be something much more.

Mystery Thriller Buy Links

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Mystery Thriller BlurbMeet Albert Taylor, an anthropology professor who investigates cases of the supernatural on the side. Welcome to this macabre gallery of horrors that includes such cases as Jack the Ripper, Bigfoot, the Boogeyman, the Spanish Inquisition, ghosts, cults, and more!
 Mystery Thriller Buy Links

Amazon UK

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