#Blogtour! 5 1/2 things Amanda Robson wishes she knew! #Guestpost #Obsession @AvonsBooksUK

Thrilled to be hosting today’s stop on Amanda Robson’s blog tour for ‘Obsession’! Are you obsessed yet? Amanda Robson has written a guest post about the 5 (and a 1/2) things that she wishes she knew when she started writing, just for us. Enjoy!
Before that though, please find all the details of her brand new book!

obsession cover

One evening, a wife asks her husband a question: who else would you go for, if you could?

It is a simple question – a little game – that will destroy her life.

Carly and Rob are a perfect couple. They share happy lives with their children and their close friends Craig and Jenny. They’re lucky. But beneath the surface, no relationship is simple: can another woman’s husband and another man’s wife ever just be good friends?

Little by little, Carly’s question sends her life spiralling out of control, as she begins to doubt everything she thought was true. Who can she trust? The man she has promised to stick by forever, or the best friend she has known for years? And is Carly being entirely honest with either of them?

Buy now from Amazon UK

Guest post.


5 (and a ½) Things I Wish I knew When I started Writing

  1. It’s all about the story, and every story needs conflict. Don’t include any scenes that don’t move the story forward, and always remember that every scene needs to contain conflict.
  2. Speech in a novel is not like real speech. No way. To begin with I used to make conversations as real as possible – but real conversation is only interesting sometimes. Speech needs to be more ‘West Wing’ than polite conversation. Think about it. Much of the time polite conversation is padded out with fillers, that are interesting to you when you are talking to your friends, but are boring for a reader. For example,

  ‘How are you?’ 

 ‘How was your journey?’

 The reader does not need to know that the tube was six minutes late. 

Cut out unnecessary conversation fillers as much as possible. Heighten all conversation. Over-egg it so that the characters seem endlessly pithy and witty.  Never repeat in conversation something that the reader already knows. Every conversation, like every scene, needs to pull the story forwards. Every conversation, like every scene, needs conflict.

  1. The writing strength is in the verb. Use adjectives sparingly. This is probably one of the first things you will be told on any writing course and at first it is hard to believe. It is true though and eventually I got used to rarely using them. Remember the advice is sparingly – not never. It is great fun when you do. Like sprinkling sugar, or salt, across your food, it adds to the taste and most of us love it. But too much ruins rather than enhances. 
  2. If you are passionate about writing you are probably a creative thinker. That is what a lot of us have in common. So, if you have a vivid imagination, treasure it. I really mean it, treasure it. A lot of people can write well. Only some can write well and make up an interesting story.  
  3. Have a simple structure to hook your writing on. My early novels failed because I was trying to interweave too many different threads that didn’t mesh. It frustrated me for years.  The basic structure needs to be as logical as a maths equation. Balanced. It needs to add together and work.

5a  Listen to others’ comments about your work but retain your self-confidence. If you listen too hard to everyone else and act on their every suggestion you will lose the purpose, the thread of your novel. You will end up with everybody else’s hotchpotch, not your own well-considered work. Move through the noise around you by listening to your own gut feeling and building on it. 

What a fantastic guest post! Huge thank you to Amanda Robson for sharing her tricks of the trade. Most certainly useful for any budding writers out there!

The tour isn’t over yet, all the other bloggers on the tour are listed below:

Obsession

#BlogTour! #Guestpost from ‘First Time Mums’ Club’ author @lucie_wheeler @HarperImpulse

First Time Mums Club

Today I have the honour of closing Lucie Wheeler’s FIRST EVER blog tour! If you missed any of the blog posts on the previous days, all of the bloggers who have taken part are listed above. I’m not biased or anything as I am a blogger myself, BUT, what a fabulous bunch of bloggers on this tour!! Don’t you agree? The excitement on social for Lucie Wheeler’s debut novel has been outstanding, I am truly blessed to be part of a fantastic group of bloggers for a truly inspirational author.
Today I have a guest post from the lady herself, Lucie Wheeler, but if you did miss my review of her debut novel ‘The First Time Mums’ Club’, you can check it out here: #BookReview! The First Time Mums’ Club by Lucie Wheeler (@lucie_wheeler) @HarperImpulse

My ideal writing environment.
by Lucie Wheeler

There are people who can write anywhere, and there are people who can only write in certain places. I think I fall in between. Generally, as a rule, I write in my office upstairs, which is the box room. I have my desk in there which I bought from Ikea, a steal at £40, a cube unit (also from Ikea) which stores anything and everything and a few filing cabinets for all the boring stuff. It is a room which I really wish I could spend some money on and jazz it up into a fantastic little writing room full of inspiring quotes and beautiful furniture… but that will have to wait. Right now, it serves its purpose and that’s what is important. So I generally do my writing in there. 

However, I also have my laptop which I can take with me anywhere I go and I can still write. Sometimes this is just downstairs on the sofa so that I can spend time with my family alongside writing or catching up with work emails. And sometimes this will be in my car, in the car park at gymnastics, whilst I wait for LO. I do occasionally venture into the garden too – but I get frustrated with the glare from the sun so it doesn’t happen often. 

So what do I need from a writing space? Whether I am in my office at home, or in the car, I need relative silence to function. I am not a writer who can listen to music and write. Sometimes I use music to get a ‘feel’ for a scene or try to encourage an emotion out of me so that I can write about it, but when it gets down to the nitty gritty of writing a story, I like it to be quiet. I like to let the story talk to me and run away with my imagination. Saying this, I can work with a little background noise. The TV is on at the moment and I can concentrate fine (unless something like The Great British Bake Off or The Apprentice is on!) I can also write in the library when I am at uni (because I have a lot to do and not a lot of time so sometimes my writing has to happen whilst at university) and the library isn’t silent. But… I can’t concentrate in a place like a coffee shop. I think because the talking there is closer to me and more in my personal space, whereas in the university library, it is a large space and the chatter tends to be a dull hum rather than an interesting conversation that I want to earwig in on – and let’s face it, we authors love an earwig on a conversation. It’s where half our material is inspired from! 

And I am definitely a straight-to-computer type of writer. I can’t do longhand. Whilst this is fine for notes, I simply cannot write fast enough. I like the speed of typing as the idea unfolds in my head and my hand doesn’t write fast enough. And when I try to do it, the words become illegible and it’s a waste of time. So for me, typing is the way forward. 

So there you have it. As long as I have a computer and fairly quiet surroundings, I can write pretty much anywhere. Although if we are talking about an absolute ideal writing environment – I wouldn’t say no to a balcony in a tropical climate with a cocktail and the sea to look at… who wants to take me?

Haha I don’t think many people will be disagreeing with Lucie on her dream writing location, would we? I certainly wouldn’t! It’s fun to see what an authors life is like BEHIND the book. Big thanks to Lucie Wheeler!

If you still haven’t been able to get your paws on a copy of ‘The First Time Mums’ Club’ yet, here are all the details of the book and the ‘to buy’ link:

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Meet Pippa…

After years of trying and a failed IVF attempt, Pippa is thrilled to see two little lines appear on a pregnancy test. Finally a precious baby to call her own. This is all Pippa has ever wanted…if only husband Jason could show just a little excitement.

Imogen…

A baby is the icing on the cake for Imogen and Alice – proof that their love for each other can overcome any obstacle. But when Imogen starts receiving malicious texts, it’s clear that not everyone is thrilled about the girls’ good news.

And Ellie…

A drunken one-night stand and Ellie’s life is ruined! Pregnant, jobless and the relationship with her best friend, Chris, over- forever. Because Chris just happens to be the father of Ellie’s baby…and potentially the love of her life!

For these first time mums the road to motherhood is bumpier than most!

Buy now from Amazon UK!

#Guestpost Marcia Spillers @mysterwriter2 (Murder at the Mystery Bay Hotel) @brookcottagebks

Murder at the Mystery Bay Hotel Tour Banner(1)

Murder_At_The_Myster_Cover_for_Kindle

Can Delphie Beauchamp, a Texas born research librarian fresh from a break-up with her two-timing boyfriend, help best friend and newly elected Chief of Police Em Landry, solve a double homicide in the old Mystery Bay Cemetery? Chief Landry needs Delphie’s help in solving the murders, along with determining why specific graves from the early eighteen-hundreds have been vandalized. Her canine best friend in tow, a twenty-two-pound dachshund named Huckleberry, Delphie heads for the tropical island of Mystery Bay, Florida where she begins a journey that includes a pinch of gold, a touch or romance, and a wallop of ghosts, in a race to solve the mystery, of the Mystery Bay Hotel.

EXCERPT

The smell of the ocean, crisp and briny like a jar of pickles, held just a hint of murder in the air. I picked up my luggage from the small carousel inside the terminal and opened the glass door of the Mystery Bay International Airport. The sultry, mid-October sunshine hit me all at once, along with the sweet fragrance of the red, frangipani trees that bordered the edges of the sidewalk. Amazing how paradise was just a plane ride away.

“God, what a beautiful day.” I dropped my suitcase on the pink-hued coral sidewalk and pulled out my sunglasses. Before I could slip them on, Huckleberry, my twenty-two pound, red Dachshund whined for me to take off his winter sweater. Poor little guy. The outfit worked great for the chilly October weather in central Texas but not the south Florida humidity.

“Sorry, Huck.” I unhooked his leash and pulled off the sweater. Stretching out his long body, Huckleberry trotted over to the nearest hibiscus bush and hunched over.  Seconds later he sighed in relief.  

I coughed and fanned the air. Guess he wasn’t that hot in his sweater after all.

BUY LINKS

AMAZON US

AMAZON UK

Guest post from the author.

Craft vs. Creative Talent

Craft or creative talent was a burning question that was asked in many of the creative writing classes I attended when I first began to write. The instructor would begin the class by asking if a person could learn the craft of writing well enough to write a great book, or was creative talent the main factor in getting a book on a best sellers list regardless of how well the book was written?

For clarification, let’s get a few definitions going, so we’ll have a better idea of the two before we make a choice. Merriam-Webster defines the word “craft” as “an occupation or trade requiring manual dexterity or artistic skill.”
The word “talent,” is defined by Merriam-Webster as “a special ability that allows someone to do something well.”

Something to ponder, correct?  If you had to choose between the two, which one would you pick? One of the best classes I’ve taken for learning the craft of creative writing began with a simple exercise.  The exercise?  Write down twenty things that must happen in the book.  Simple, right?  But wait.  There was a problem. How do you know what twenty things to choose for your book?  Is that a function of craft or creative talent?

Once you decide on the twenty things, then the trick is to arrange them into a well-written, attention-grabbing, heart-pounding novel that involves sub-plots, character arcs, scene arcs, dialogue that rings true and forever changes the reader.

Again, craft or creative talent?

One of the arguments I’ve heard in favor of creative talent, is that a spectacular story can override a book that might not be quite as well written as it should.  The reader may have to struggle over improper grammar or sentence structure, weak plot or character development, but if they can do that, a page-turner could reside within that manuscript. Of course, one can also argue that a well written book may be so well done that it leeches any creativity out of the story line and leaves the reader dissatisfied without knowing why. I find each of these arguments to be true, although both leave something to be desired.  

When a reader decides to pick up our book, or download our e-book, we, as writers, are asking them to suspend their reality for a time and come into our world.  They are trusting us to provide them with an experience that makes it worth their time, and money.  When we don’t live up to their expectations, then we fall short as writers and leave them feeling disappointed and disjointed.  It’s not a good feeling, and something I don’t care to experience myself.

So, what is the answer?  For me, it’s caring enough about your work as a writer to provide the best experience possible for your reader.  It’s making sure you learn the craft of writing to turn your creative talent into an impossible to put down novel.  It’s taking the time to do the job right, without any shortcuts.  In other words, it’s combing the two, craft and creative talent, as well as you possibly can, so your reader will be left with an experience that will last them a life-time.

About the author.

Marcia Spillers has been a Librarian/Archivist for more than twenty years.  Currently a school librarian, she lives in Austin, Texas with her two chows, Bella and Susie Bear.  Marcia spent seventeen years in south Florida perfecting her writing skills, along with completing the Writer’s Program at UCLA.

Blog:  http://www.marciaspillers.com/blog/

Website:  www.MarciaSpillers.com

@mysterywriter2

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/marcia.spillers.7

 

#AuthorInterview with Karen King (@Karen_king) for the ‘Perfect Summer’ #blogtour #extract

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Super excited to be hosting today’s stop on Karen King’s –  ‘Perfect Summer’ blog tour! Karen is definitely not a stranger to TWG HQ itself, but she is a stranger when it comes to a TWG interrogation! Well, she was ;). Enjoy!!

Hi Karen! Thank you so much for joining me on my blog today! Are you ready for your interrogation? I’ll be gentle, honest….
Thank you for inviting me along, Kaisha. I’m ready to go. *Takes a deep breath. *

Before we begin properly, could you tell us a little bit about yourself and what brought you onto the path of writing?
Well I’ve always loved books, both reading and writing them. I had my first poem published when I was about eleven and that inspired me to carry on. As I got older, got married, had children, I still scribbled away but didn’t send anything off for years. Then I started sending stories and articles to children’s and teen magazines. Finally, Jackie magazine offered to buy an article off me. I was so chuffed! Then I wrote more for them, articles, stories, photo stories.

You write books for multiple audiences aside from women’s/contemporary fiction; could you tell us a little bit more about how you came about writing for multiple audiences?
I’ve always written for different genres because not long after I had my first article published in Jackie I was asked to write for young children’s comics and before I knew it I was writing for a living. But, with a family to support, that meant I had to keep writing, and selling my writing, so I often accepted commissioned work and wrote everything from picture books, joke books, story books, even plays. Now I find it difficult to write for one genre as I have so many ideas buzzing about in my head.

I will always hold your novel, ‘I do…or Do I?’ close to my heart as it’s such a fantastic novel (as well as the fact that my quote still gets tweeted to this day). What inspired you to write such a bold novel about such a relatable topic?
What a lovely thing to say. Thank you, Kaisha. And yes, your fabulous quote is very popular! The idea formed when I read somewhere that the night before her wedding Princess Diana was wondering if she was doing the right thing and her sister told her that she couldn’t pull out because her face was on the tea towel. I started wondering how many women got swept along with the wedding plans, maybe because of their partner, friends, or family, but it wasn’t really what they wanted. How many women were settling for marriage to ‘safe’ partners because they didn’t want to hurt their feelings. And gradually the idea fleshed out into a woman who is about to get married when she meets her first love again, and discovers they both have feelings for each other. I tweaked it a bit, made Timothy not so ‘safe’, brought in a pushy ‘monster in law’ and the story took off from there.

Between you and me, deep down did you secretly want to ruin a character’s life in the above book (or any others), or are you too nice for that?
Of course I’m too nice for that, Kaisha! 😊

Your new YA novel, ‘Perfect Summer’, is set to be published on the 10th May, congratulations! What awaits us beneath the front cover (totally not asking for spoilers)?
Don’t be fooled by the title as this is rather a gritty book.  It’s set about thirty years in the future when society is so totally obsessed by perfection that plastic surgery (now called body enhancement) is the norm and anyone who is slightly different, or disabled in any way is looked down upon. Morgan, the heroine, has a friend called Summer who is beautiful, rich, has cool parents and a seemingly perfect life whereas Morgan isn’t so beautiful or rich and her little brother Josh has Down’s syndrome.  Morgan and her family get a lot of hassle from the Ministry who want them to put Josh in a Residential Learning Centre, where most disabled children are sent, but Morgan’s family refuse. Then one day Josh goes missing and the authorities aren’t interested so Morgan and Sumer decide to investigate. They, along with another teenager called Jamie whose little sister, Holly, has gone missing too, uncover a sinister plot involving the kidnapping of disabled children and find themselves in danger. Can they find Josh and Holly before it’s too late? Expect a few shocks and to shed a tear or two.

I have noticed that you also have a written a book which reminds me of shortbread, The Millionaire Plan. How difficult was it to write ‘millionaire plan’ instead of ‘millionaire shortbread’? This is a genuine question!!
It was quite difficult actually because the heroine Amber, had a ten-point plan to bag herself a millionaire and I quoted one of the ten ‘rules’ consecutively at the top of each chapter – so then of course I had to write the chapter to fit the rules! It was easier than making ‘millionaire shortbread’ though as I’m not a brilliant cook – I’m more of a ‘food heater’. You know, out of the freezer into the micro or oven.

Okay, ‘Perfect Summer’ is a YA novel, but if you could describe YOUR perfect summer in three words, what would they be?
Sun, sea and spritzer.

Some of your readers may be aware of one of the genres you write, and not the others. If a reader came to you asking you to persuade them to read your YA novel (they had never read that genre before), what would you tell them?
 A lot of adults read YA, in fact more than half the YA readership is adults according to the Guardian. I think this is mainly for two reasons, the escapist appeal of books like Harry Potter or Divergent, or the issues raised by books like The Fault in our Stars by John Green or Speak by Laure Halse Anderson – and by my own book, Perfect Summer. YA deals with topics in a lighter way than adult fiction and the books are often a pacier read so I’d say give it a go, what have you got to lose?

I have dabbled in a few YA novels in the past, do you have any favourite authors from that genre (aside from yourself obviously, goes without saying!)?
Yes, I’ve read quite a lot of YA but it’s hard to choose a favourite, there’s so much talent out there. I guess top of my list of YA books is Ash by Malinda Lo, The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, Pullman’s Dark Materials trilogy, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon and The Uglies series by Scott Westerfield – I was chuffed when one reviewer likened Perfect Summer to a cross between The Memory Keeper’s Daughter and The Uglies.

When you start planning your YA novels, how difficult is it to switch your mindset to ensure you do end up writing a story of that genre, and not any other genres?
It isn’t too difficult because for me the character always comes first, and it’s their story. I start writing straight away from ‘inside my character’s head’ so my mindset is in that genre and age group – hopefully!

I’m assuming you’re very well read (when you aren’t writing) what five things do you look for when it comes to other storylines by other authors? What keeps you hooked on a book?
I read in lots of different genres but the main things I look at are the title, cover, back blurb, first page and character voice. Those are what draw me in. And it’s the character that holds me, I need to care what happens to them, to want to find out if they make it through.

What five things are most likely to turn you off about a book?
A boring character, a story plot that’s going nowhere, too much blood and gore, graphically- detailed sex and lots of descriptive passages.

I ask this question to every author I interview; what was your most favourite book as a child and why?
The Just William books by Richmal Crompton because they made me laugh out loud.

Which books by other authors, if any, have stayed in your head long after you have finished reading them?
Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell, the Samaria series by Sharon Shinn, Before I Go To Sleep by S.J.Watson and Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.

Do you look up to any authors, or secretly wish that you had written one of their books? (If yes, please share who and which one!!)
In the romance genre I love the work of Sophie Kinsella, Mandy Baggot and Sue Moorcroft. I can’t say there’s any book I wish I’d written because we all write differently so it wouldn’t be the same story if I wrote it – and probably not as successful!

A little birdie told me that July of this year will be when another book is added to your collection, you’re very busy! What exciting things can we expect with ‘A Cornish Hotel by the Sea’?
Yes I’m really excited about this one. I holidayed in Cornwall for years, and lived there for almost a decade so writing the book brought back many fond memories for me.

The blurb says ‘Ellie Truman’s widowed mum is struggling to keep Gwel Teg, the family hotel in Cornwall, afloat.  Ellie is determined to do everything in her power to help her, even if that means moving back to the sleepy Cornish village she fled from broken-hearted a few years ago. Things go wrong from the start and she’s grateful for the help from hunky guest, Reece Mitchell. But does Reece have ulterior motives? Will Ellie’s efforts be for nothing?’

So expect some clashes with a feisty, kind hearted heroine and a hunky not-quite-what-he-seems hero in a fantastic summer setting.

Are you preparing yourself already for readers to start saying ‘oh no, not another book set in Cornwall’? I have never been to Cornwall but it certainly seems a popular setting for books, does that concern you?
No not at all. It’s a lovely setting for a book. Sun, sea, sand and romance – what more can you want? Apart from a long, cool spritzer, of course!

TWG does like an exclusive, so, putting you on the spot now, do you have any exclusives for me? Do you have any new books being published after the July one? Please tell me alllllll; I won’t share your secrets….intentionally ;).
Well I am working on another three books; a YA, a chick lit and an emotional drama but that’s all I’m saying for now. 😊

Thank you so much for your time and good luck with the release of your new book, Perfect Summer, on the 10th May! As always I will cheer-lead you and your books. I hope to see you back on TWG soon, you’re welcome any time! Thank you for interviewing me, Kaisha, and for your support. It’s much appreciated. 😊

So today we have learnt that Karen is far too nice when it comes to ruining a characters life (hmmmm!!!! 😉 ), and how she struggled not to write ‘shortbread’ for one of her books! Write shortbread, eat shortbread; same thing really isn’t it? Mmmm I want some now! Thank you, Karen, for allowing me to interrogate you today!

For those of you who wish to find out more about Karen’s upcoming book, ‘Perfect Summer’, keep reading for the blurb and an extract!

perfectsummerBlurb

Set in a society obsessed with perfection, 15 year old Morgan is best friends with the
seemingly perfect Summer. But when Morgan’s brother, Josh, who has Down’s syndrome, is kidnapped, they uncover a sinister plot and find themselves in terrible danger.

Can they find Josh before it’s too late? And is Summer’s life as perfect as it seems?

Extract

Summer and I hurried upstairs while Josh was busy watching TV. Summer plonked herself down on my bed while I got my things ready.
“Want some music?” I asked, pressing the silver button on the comm-panel. The
latest hit from Krescendo, our favourite band, blasted out and a hologram of them playing beamed onto the wall. Then I pressed the green button, my wardrobe doors glided open, and a rail of clothes slid out. I glanced over at Summer, feeling awkward as always, that my room was so small and my wardrobe so sparse. Summer’s wardrobe was a huge walk-in affair full of designer clothes. Luckily, she was sprawled out watching Krescendo so I quickly grabbed the clothes I needed for the weekend and shoved them in my rucksack. Thank goodness I’d found an immaculate emerald green Maliko dress at the recycle store the other week. That would be perfect for Roxy’s. I knew Summer would let me borrow her clothes but felt better if I wore something of my own.
I took out the dress and zipped it into a freshpack to keep it crease-free. I glanced at
the image screen on my bedroom wall and grimaced. My make-up needed renewing and
some strands of my chestnut hair were escaping from the ponytail I’d swept it into. I swiftly fixed it and applied more make-up. I didn’t want to turn up at Summer’s looking a mess, Tamara and Leo expected everyone to always look their best.
“Ready.” I pressed the buttons on the CP again to close my wardrobe doors, and
switched off the music.
“Have a nice weekend,” Mum said as we popped in to say goodbye. She looked so
pale, with dark circles under her eyes. I could tell the visit from the Ministry had upset her and hesitated for a moment, wondering if I should stay. But Dad was due home soon and I was so looking forward to the weekend. I loved going to Summer’s house and being spoilt for a bit. It was like living in another world. She was so lucky.
“Thanks, we will.” I leaned over and tousled Josh’s chestnut curls. “Bye, Josh.”
“Play, Maw,” he said, scrambling up.
“Maw going out now. I’ll play with you when I come back.” He puckered his face as
if he was going to cry, but Mum took his hand. “Come on, Josh, let’s pick some tomatoes for tea.”
Josh’s face lit up. He loved helping Mum in the garden. Everyone had a vegetable
patch, compost and water butt by order of the Ministry as part of the Planet Protection
Programme. I hated gardening but Josh loved helping Mum water the plants with the rainwater collected in the butt, and picking the vegetables. Summer’s parents had a gardener, of course. Mum led Josh out into the garden while we went out the front door. before Josh could realise I was leaving. I had no idea how much I was going to regret not playing with Josh one more time. Or not kissing him goodbye.

Buy now from Amazon


Author Bio

Karen King is the author of over 120 children’s books and has had two YA’s published,
Perfect Summer and Sapphire Blue. Perfect Summer was runner up in the Red Telephone Books YA novel competition in 2011 and has just been republished by Accent Press.
Karen is also the author of two romance novels, and has been contracted for three chick lit novels by Accent Press. The first, I do?… or do I? was published in 2016 and the second, The Cornish Hotel by the Sea, is due out in the Summer. In addition, Karen has written several short stories for women’s magazine and worked for many years on children’s magazines such as Thomas the Tank Engine and Winnie the Pooh as well as the iconic Jackie magazine.
When she isn’t writing, Karen likes travelling, watching the ‘soaps’ and reading. Give her a good book and a box of chocolates and she thinks she’s in Heaven.

Author links


 

#Exclusive!! #Extract of Abi’s Neighbour by Jenny Kane (@JennyKaneAuthor) @AccentPress

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WHY HELLOOOOO EXCLUSIVE!! TWG does like an exclusive! If I’m honest I think Accent Press were quite aware of that little fact when they asked me to do this today, after all, I am their number 1 fan (coughwheresmybadgecough)! I am beyond thrilled to welcome back to TWG author, Jenny Kane! Not only is she a brilliant author, she is also fantastic to host posts for as she introduces herself! I can put my feet up for a few moments in Abi’s House as I hand you over to the lady herself, Jenny Kane!

Extract Exclusive:

I’m delighted to be here, on the wonderful Writing Garnet site, to share an exclusive extract from my forthcoming novel, Abi’s Neighbour! Out on the 4 th May, this is the second story to feature children’s picture book illustrator Abi Carter. In Abi’s House, Abi left an unhappy life in Surrey behind her, and headed to Cornwall for a much needed new start. A year later, and everything is going to plan…until the house next door goes up for sale.

Blurb for Abi’s Neighbour

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Abi Carter has finally found happiness. Living in her perfect tin miner’s cottage, she has
good friends and a gorgeous boyfriend, Max. Life is good. But all that’s about to change
when a new neighbour moves in next door.

Cassandra Henley-Pinkerton represents everything Abi thought she’d escaped when she left London. Obnoxious and stuck-up, Cassandra hates living in Cornwall. Worst of all, it looks like she has her sights set on Max.

But Cassandra has problems of her own. Not only is her wealthy married lawyer putting off joining her in their Cornish love nest, but now someone seems intent on sabotaging her business.

Will Cassandra mellow enough to turn to Abi for help – or are they destined never to get
along?

Complete with sun, sea and a gorgeous Cornwall setting, Abi’s Neighbour is the PERFECT
summer escape.

***

In Abi’s Neighbour, three brand new main characters join the Abi’s House regulars; Abi,
Max, Beth, Jacob and Stan. There is the unwelcome new neighbour, Cassandra Henley- Pinkerton; Dan Millfield, manager of the sheltered housing building where pensioner Stan Abbey lives, and feisty pensioner, Dora Henry.
Of all the characters I’ve ever invented, Dora Henry has to my one of my favourites. I hope you’ll love her as much as I do!

In this exclusive extract I’m going to introduce you to Dora for the first time.
We join the action as Abi joins her friend Stan Abbey, for their fortnightly dinner date in his sheltered housing flat.

Extract…

…As the front door opened, Sadie pushed her nose against her former owner’s legs,
and Stan beamed his ever-ready smile at his visitors as he affectionately ruffled the golden
retriever’s fur. ‘How are two of my favourite girls then?’
‘Well, Sadie here is just fine.’ Abi unfastened Sadie’s lead and followed Stan through
the hallway into his small open-plan living and dining room.
‘But I’m…’ About to tell Stan about her new neighbour, Abi abruptly stopped talking
as she realised they weren’t alone.
Stan’s grin became even broader, as he turned from Abi to the lady on the sofa, and
back again. ‘Dora, may I introduce you to my very dear friend, Abi Carter. Abi, this is Dora
Henry. And this beautiful creature is Sadie.’
Temporarily silent, Abi quickly came to her senses. ‘Hello, Dora, I’m very pleased to
meet you. You’re Stan’s bridge partner, isn’t that right?’
‘I’m a bit more than that, I hope.’ Dora winked at Stan, and Abi felt discomfort ripple
up her spine as she noticed that the table was laid for three and not two as usual.
Abi was spared from saying anything for a moment, as Dora said, ‘I’ve heard so much
about you. I’ve been dying to meet you. I hope you’re OK with me gatecrashing your
dinner?’
‘Of course!’ Abi wasn’t sure if she minded or not, but her inbuilt politeness had
automatically engaged, and anyway, she wouldn’t want to upset Stan for the world. Right
now he was looking more proud than she’d ever seen him. ‘I’ve heard plenty about you, too. I believe you’re the terror of the bridge club!’
‘Dora is something of a card shark,’ Stan said with a twinkle in his eye. Dora laughed.
‘I shall overlook that dubious accusation, seeing as you’re being so generous as to feed me,
Stanley Abbey.’
Then, speaking more seriously, she said, ‘I’m very pleased to meet you, Abi, but if
you object to me stealing some of your alone time with Stan, then I’m more than happy to
disappear.’
‘Not at all.’ Abi found her natural curiosity kicking in about this small, elegant
woman in Stan’s living room. ‘Shall I put the kettle on, Stan?’
‘It’s already on, Abi my girl. I tell you what, I’ll leave you two chatting, and I’ll make
the tea and get Sadie some water.’
Watching Stan disappear into the kitchen, Abi sat next to Dora. ‘I’m pleased to have
the chance to meet some of Stan’s friends.’
‘As am I.’ Dora focused her pale green eyes on Abi kindly. ‘Stan always keeps you all
to himself. He’s very protective of you, Abi.’
Abi’s initial disquiet at Dora’s presence eased as Dora received the Sadie seal of
approval. The dog, as if sensing Abi needed reassurance, padded across the room, and placed her chin on a delighted Dora’s knees.
‘You, my lovely,’ Dora stroked the retriever’s golden back, ‘are also at the top of
Stan’s list to talk about. And who can blame him? Not many blokes his age have two
beautiful females as regular visitors.’
Abi wasn’t sure what to say as she looked at Dora, who, although almost as old as
Stan himself, retained the air of a classic beauty. The tone of her words was gentle, and Abi
detected no sarcasm or jealousy, but there was something… something Abi couldn’t put her
finger on, that was hanging unsaid in the air. Deciding she was being ridiculous, Abi asked,
‘How long have you been living at Chalk Towers, Dora?’
‘Five years this coming Christmas.’ Dora’s warm smile lit up her eyes as Stan walked
about in with a tray of tea, and the unease Abi had felt instantly returned.
They aren’t… are they? Hoping she was letting her imagination run away with her,
Abi stuck firmly to small talk. ‘Do you like it here?’
‘I love it.’
With one eye on Stan as he sat down and served the tea, knowing he would never
have invited Dora to join them if he wasn’t very fond of her, Abi said, ‘I take it Stan has told
you how I ended up living in his house?’
‘It’s your house now, Abi.’ Stan passed her a mug.
‘True – but it took ages before I stopped feeling like I’d evicted you.’
Stan regarded his young friend. ‘I’ve said it before, and no doubt I’ll have to say it
again, but this is the best thing I’ve done in years. I was so lost after my Mary passed away.
You did me a favour, Abi, coming along when you did.’
Abi squeezed his hand, and passed a cup and saucer to Dora. ‘Do you take sugar?’
‘She’s sweet enough without!’ Stan said.
Abi was about to laugh at the old cliché, but the expression on Dora’s face stopped
her. There was no doubt about it – her suspicions had been correct…

***

To find out more about Dora, the poker queen, tall-tale teller, and secret service operative (maybe)…then grab your copy of Abi’s Neighbour!

Buy links-  Amazon UK // Amazon US
***

Many thanks again to Kaisha for hosting me today,
Jenny xxx

Bio
Jenny Kane is the author of the full length romance novels Abi’s Neighbour, (Accent Press, 2017), Another Glass of Champagne (Accent Press, 2016), Abi’s House (Accent Press, 2015), the contemporary romance/medieval crime time slip novel Romancing Robin Hood (Accent Press, 2014), the best-selling contemporary romance novel Another Cup of Coffee (Accent Press, 2013), and its novella length sequels Another Cup of Christmas (Accent Press, 2013), Christmas in the Cotswolds (Accent, 2014), and Christmas at the Castle (Accent Press, 2015).

Keep your eye on Jenny’s blog at www.jennykane.co.uk for more details.
Jenny also writes erotica as Kay Jaybee and historical crime as Jennifer Ash.

Social Media Links
Twitter- @JennyKaneAuthor

#BlogTour! Author @Catherine_ann_f shares her views on writer life @avonbooksUK #guestpost

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Author of the incredible novel; Four Weddings and a Fiasco, Catherine Ferguson, is back and she is bringing her brand new novel with her! ‘The Secrets of Ivy Garden’ was published on the 3rd April 2017 by Avon Books and is currently sporting a ‘Best Seller’ banner on Amazon UK already!! Today is day three of Catherine’s blog tour with me, TWG. I have a guest post from the lady herself where she shares her own personal thoughts about writer life, I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did.
Please follow the blog post until the end where there will be the all important new book details and to buy link for you!

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Fab and scary things about being a writer
by Catherine Ferguson.

Let’s get the scary things out of the way first …

That horrible first draft.

There’s a brilliant book on writing by Ann Lamott called Bird by Bird that explores all the high and lows of writing for a living – and her assertion that ‘all first drafts are shitty’ was a real relief moment when I read it. Because I realised it’s absolutely true – for me, at any rate. My first drafts are embarrassingly bad, and it can be quite scary when you’re right in the middle of it all and wondering why your sentences seem so dull and uninspiring this time round. You panic, thinking you’ve lost the knack altogether and you’ll never again be able to write a book that some people might actually enjoy.

                I used to agonise for ages over the opening chapter, polishing the same few thousand words over and over, aiming for perfection. But I’ve since realised that the trick, for me, is to just get it all down on the page, without stopping to read it back, no matter how childish it seems or how many holes in the plot I might suspect there are.

                Then, when I’ve got the words down (but not necessarily in the right order), I can go back to the beginning and transform my shambolic load of horse manure into something that makes sense and might even be emotionally engaging!

Self-motivation

You need this in spades to be a writer. As you’re usually working at home (with easy access to fridge, TV and social media, without a boss looking over your shoulder), it can be very hard to rev the engine and get motoring. I envy people who can be stern with themselves (no stopping until I’ve written a thousand words!) and actually carry through with it. I’ve found it helps to set a realistic word-count target that you know you can easily meet. Then, if you manage to actually exceed your target, you feel very pleased with yourself, which puts you in a helpfully positive frame of mind for the next day’s writing session!

            Reviews (bad)

It doesn’t matter how many great reviews you might already have, it’s the single bad one you will end up obsessing about. Scary!

And the fab things?

Light-bulb moments

These are the times I love best of all about being a writer.

                Light-bulb moments happen most often when I’m out walking to escape the screen for an hour. It can be anything from suddenly thinking of the most brilliant name for a character, to realising in a flash of inspiration exactly why I introduced the friendly post woman in chapter three. (When characters first come along, they’re not fully formed and it can take a while to get to know them and to find out what their motivation is.) I love it when a piece of the plot jigsaw suddenly falls into place and I realise, for example, that the friendly post woman would pair up perfectly with one of my male characters!

Publication day

There are butterflies in the stomach on publication day, when all your months of hard work are about to be revealed to the public. But they’re the deliciously scary kind rather than the exam-day dread type. Publication day is always exciting. And the perfect excuse for opening the champagne. I’m currently writing my sixth book but I know that when publication day arrives, I’ll be just as excited for this one as I was three years ago for my very first book …

Reviews (good)

Reviews mean so much to a writer – especially if they’re glowing! It can really make your day like nothing else if a reader takes the time to go on Amazon and tell the world that they really enjoyed reading your book. It makes you feel all months of the hard work were worth it.

*********

Whilst Catherine’s post made me chuckle, it was lovely to get an insight into a writer’s mind. If you thought that your one sentence opinion on a book (constructive) was irrelevant, think again. Reviews are what help authors get seen in a very busy market, although make sure your review is actually for the correct thing. I mean, you don’t want to review Catherine’s book with a line that should belong somewhere else now do you?

Thank you to Catherine Ferguson for the fabby-tastic guest post!
If Catherine’s Ivy Garden intrigues you with its secrets; here is the important ‘to buy’ link and the book information!

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The ebook bestseller is back with her next hilarious read – a fun, fresh tale of love, friendship and family secrets…

When Holly breaks up with her boyfriend Dean, she’s at a loss as to what to do next. But things go from bad to worse when her beloved grandmother Ivy dies – and Holly is left in charge of sorting out Ivy’s house and garden. As she sorts through her grandmother’s belongings and makes her way through the wilderness outside, Holly soon finds that there is more to Ivy than meets the eye, and uncovers a surprising family secret that changes everything…

This is a heart-warming and hilarious story from Catherine Ferguson about starting over, learning to garden and most of all learning to love.

Buy now from Amazon UK

Author of ‘Those Who Lie’, @DianefJeffrey chats to TWG! @HQDigitalUK #authorinterview

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I am absolutely thrilled to welcome back to TWG, author of the AMAZING ‘Those Who Lie’, Diane Jeffrey! I had the honour of being able to review that very novel and you can find my review here: #BlogTour! #Review – Those Who Lie by Diane Jeffrey (@dianefjeffrey) @neverlandbt.

It feels like ages ago that I last interrogated an author, and quite frankly, I was having withdrawal symptoms! Luckily for me, Diane was happy to step into that spotlight and I really do think that I was rather easy on her…this time anyway! I hope you enjoy reading the chat that Diane and I had! As always, the book link will be after the interview!

First of all, I would like to thank you for taking the time for this interview!

  • Could you tell us a bit about yourself and the genre you write?

    Hi Kaisha! Thank you so much for interviewing me! My name is Diane Jeffrey. I grew up in Devon and I now live in Lyon, France with my husband and our three children. My debut psychological thriller has just been published by HQ (Harper Collins).

 

  • What made you choose that particular genre as your niche?

    When I first decided to write a book to try and get it published, I wrote a Chick Lit novel. It didn’t get published and it was over ten years ago. At the time, I read a lot of Chick Lit. But, although my tastes in reading are quite wide, I read more thrillers than any other genre, and in particular psychological thrillers. So, years later, I tried my hand at that instead!

  • Have you always wanted to become a published writer?

Yes. Ever since I was little. I wrote stories and poems even when I was a little girl. I even illustrated some of them, which makes me cringe now as I am absolutely hopeless at drawing!!! I sent a novel off to an editor when I was eight years old. It was entitled The Stowaway. Needless to say, I was unsuccessful!

  • Where did you get your inspiration from for your debut novel?

    I wanted to write about a female protagonist who is harassed over the Internet. A friend of mine sent me an article in which a man complained that he’d been receiving disturbing messages on Facebook from his ex-girlfriend. He didn’t know what to make of these messages as she was supposedly dead! This inspired the beginning of Those Who Lie.

  • If you could pick a favourite character from your book, who would it be and why?

    It would probably be Emily, my main character, even though she’s not really likeable and I am not really like her! She is a complex, traumatised character. She can’t trust anyone around her, not even herself. She makes some bad decisions, avoids her problems and is dishonest, including to herself, but she’s smart, she does her best and I think she’s strong.

  • Did you dislike any of your characters along the way?

    Ooh, yes. All of them at some stage! Josephine certainly won’t be getting a nomination for mother of the year award! And Emily’s father was pure evil!

  • Time for a tough one, if you could choose any book that has already been published to be the author of, which one would you choose and why?

    I think the first time I read a book and thought: ‘God, I wish I’d written that’ was the first Harry Potter book. I thought it was absolutely brilliant! The fact that I would now be a multi-millionaire if I’d written that book just reinforces that feeling! More recently, I’ve had that same thought when reading The Fault in our Stars by John Green, The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion and The Hundred-Year-Old Man who Climbed out the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson.

  • Do you have plans for your next novel? If so, what can we look forward to?

    I’ve started a second novel. It’s another psychological thriller. It focuses on domestic abuse and I’m currently discussing this with another central female character who has experienced it. Psychological abuse can be so much more insidious, but just as damaging as physical abuse, and I’d like to explore this.

  • Are there any authors you aspire to? If so, who and why?

Apart from the authors whose books I wish I’d written myself, my ideal author would be a mixture of Dennis Lehane and Stephen King but with a British voice. That’s who I’d like to be!!!

  • One final question. What advice would you give to a writer that wants to be published? Any words of wisdom?

Get in touch with authors who write in your genre. Via Twitter, Facebook and friends of friends, I got in touch with people who not only gave me sound advice, but also became good friends.

See, I wasn’t lying when I said that it was a tame interrogation! I really do hope that you enjoyed reading Diane’s author interview and I can assure you that the interrogation level will be higher next time. Whoops, sorry Diane haha.

If you’re curious at all about Diane Jeffrey’s novel, here is the blurb and the all important ‘buy’ link!

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Emily Klein doesn’t know she has killed her husband until the day of his funeral.

At first, signs point to a tragic accident. Yet, as Emily pieces together the events before his death – events which led to her own memory loss – she begins to suspect that her husband’s death may have been the result of more than a terrible twist of fate…

But the accident is only the beginning. Because while Emily’s physical scars will heal, the trauma of the accident has awakened old ghosts. She hears strange sounds, catches things that can’t possibly be there in the corner of her eye. Before long, everywhere she looks, she seems to see her husband.

And suddenly, Emily finds herself asking the most dangerous question of all.

Buy now!

Can she really trust herself?

#Blog Tour! #Guestpost from author of ‘In Plain Sight’ Mel Comley (@melcom1) @bloodhoundbook

Huge thanks to BloodHoundBooks for allowing me to host today’s stop on Mel Comley’s blog tour! I have a guest post from the lady herself, enjoy!

Hi,
Thank you for hosting me today. For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Mel Comley, I write under the name of M. A. Comley. I’m known for writing, fast-paced, gritty crime thrillers. My main series is the bestselling Justice series in which there are now 14 novels and several novels and short stories – you can download the first two books in the series for free Here

I began writing around 9 years ago when I moved/retired to France. After renovating the farmhouse we bought I became bored and craved something new to fill my time. I enrolled in a home study creative writing course. After completing the course, I initially started out writing romances. I switched genres after reading my first James Patterson novel.
It took me 18 months to complete the first book in the Justice series, Cruel Justice. The second book, Impeding Justice took over twelve months to write. Nowadays, I can write a novel in 4-6 weeks. How you ask? Once the characters take over and dictate the way the story unfolds it’s a done deal.

In Plain Sight is the third book in the bestselling Hero series which I’m delighted to say has been published by the wonderful Bloodhound Books you can sign up to their website HERE. This is the first time I have been fortunate enough to be traditionally published having been a self-published author for the past 7 years. I’m absolutely thrilled by the early reviews In Plain Sight has received so far.

I hope you enjoy my books, here is the blurb for In Plain Sight:

No one is safe… not even the police. DI Hero Nelson is used to violent crime but this one is personal. When he’s called to a crime scene he discovers the victims are two police officers one of whom is a good friend.
Determined to track down the killer, he’s dealt another blow as the body count continues to rise. To catch the killer before he strikes again, Hero calls upon the public for help. But when the criminal ups the ante by taking hostages, he soon regrets his decision.
Can Hero and the police catch the murderer before more innocent victims are hurt?
Hero must apprehend the killer who is hiding in plain sight before the time runs out.Can Hero and the police catch the murderer before more innocent victims are hurt?
Hero must apprehend a killer who is hiding in plain sight before the time runs out.

You can find out more about me here:

Amazon author page
KOBO author page
iTunes author page
Barnes and Noble author page

My website
Twitter
Facebook author page

Thank you to Mel Comley for stopping by TWG. Enjoy the rest of the tour!

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#BlogTour! #GuestPost from ‘Deadly Game’ author Matt Johnson (@Matt_Johnson_UK) @OrendaBooks

Big thanks to author of ‘Deadly Game’, Matt Johnson, and Orenda Books, for having me host today’s stop on the blog tour! Matt Johnson has written a really insightful guest post for us here at TWG HQ! I am super excited to share with you Matt’s thoughts on editing books and having to decide whether all parts of the storyline make the final cut or not!

A darling killed – Matt Johnson.

The editing process can be hard, especially to a new author who is not used
to it. Those words that you have almost sweated blood to produce, that you
have agonised over, changed, improved … only to find they are despatched
to the edit room floor. But that is the very nature of the editor’s role, too look
dispassionately at the content and to make recommendations on what needs
to be changed, what needs to be added, and what should be cut. Editing
helps the story move smoothly, maintains pace and keeps the book on track.
It chops the padding, removes the irrelevant red herrings and polishes up
what remains. It turns a manuscript into a book.

This is an extract from Deadly Game, one that didn’t make the cut. I liked it,
and was sad to see it go, but the editing team were right. And so, my darling
was killed. In this chapter, the central character Robert Finlay has been sent to interview
a potential witness in Gloucester. He meets an old friend, Wendy Russell,
now in charge of policing for that area. This extract, describes and event from
when they first met.

***

Wendy Russell and I had been PCs together at Albany Street and, before
that, on the same intake for the police training school at Hendon in North
London. Early days as a constable consisted of a lot of classroom work, practical
assessments and exercises. After that, every evening was spent on book
study. As an older student, I hadn’t found the book-work easy. Wendy had
been a great help. We first met, one late evening, when I’d taken a break from
the studying to grab a quick beer in the recruit bar. A young redhead had
walked up beside me and offered to buy me a drink. It was Wendy. I accepted
the offer, of course. It’s not every day that kind of thing happens.

Our first hour together was spent talking about the course, why we’d joined
the police and other, ‘get to know you’ type things. Later, Wendy explained
that she’d only spoken to me out of sympathy; she felt sorry for me, sitting on
my own at the bar. I didn’t mind, and that first drink turned out to be the start
of a long friendship. My new friend was on the graduate entry scheme. I
hadn’t heard of it. She explained that by the time I would be eligible to try for a
promotion to sergeant, she would already have made inspector. As it
transpired, her prediction proved correct. Wendy was bright, articulate, and
attractive. She was also a lot younger than me, and was already engaged to
be married to a sergeant who worked in Central London.

Our friendship was cemented one day during ‘restraint’ training. One of the PT
staff had a dislike of female recruits and a resentment of what he called the
‘Bramshill flyers’, the fast-track promotion graduates who would be heading to
the police staff college as their careers progressed. To this particular
instructor, WPCs were all a ‘plonk’ or ‘Doris’ who should have been kept
inside the police stations to make the tea and to look after women and kids.
The fact that Wendy was both female and a ‘flyer’ caused her to be the
subject of much of this man’s attention. A former NCO from one of the infantry
regiments, his uniform tunic was adorned with several medal ribbons, some of
which I recognised. It wasn’t unusual; most of the ex-services lads wore their
ribbons. Almost all had completed tours in Ireland, so the green and blue
General Service ribbon was quite commonplace. Others sported NATO
medals and the Falkland Islands ribbon.

On the day in question, Wendy had been singled out by the PT instructor to
demonstrate restraint techniques. We were to be taught how to deal with
awkward prisoners using the ‘hammerlock and bar’ hold. It was simple
enough to use, but not if you were a rather diminutive female who’s
overpowering male instructor was set on showing you up.
As the rest of the class watched, our fellow recruit was teased, humiliated
and, repeatedly dumped on the gym floor in a bedraggled mess. Wendy tried
hard, very hard, but the instructor was strong, and he was determined to
make his point about the value of WPCs. I saw a tear in Wendy’s eye as she lay on the floor following her sixth or seventh attempt to apply the hold to her tormentor. Ignoring her, the instructor ordered us to form pairs and practise amongst ourselves. I went over to
Wendy and helped her up.
‘You ok?’ I asked.
‘One day, I’m going to come back here as an inspector, then we’ll see who’s
laughing,’ she answered, bravely.
‘Why wait that long?’
‘What do you mean?’

I moved Wendy to the back of the gym where we would be away from the rest
of the class. The instructor, I noticed, had nipped out to do something else
while we tried to master the hold he had been teaching. I had also noticed the
way he had been tipping Wendy on her back as she tried to place him in the
hold. He relied on brute strength. He was overconfident, certain of his strength
advantage and, as a result, was badly balanced on his feet. He didn’t consider
his adversary to be a threat. That left him vulnerable to surprise.
Over the course of the next few minutes, I allowed Wendy to practise on me.
The first time, I dumped her on her back, in the very same way that had
happened to her in front of the class. She made to storm off, but I held her
arm.
‘Stop,’ I said. ‘Now, try this.’
Using a simple sweeping movement of the leg, I showed Wendy how to knock
me off balance and onto my back. By the time the instructor returned, she was
becoming quite proficient at it.
‘OK you lot,’ came the call from our leader. ‘Who’s going to show me what
you’ve learnt?’
For a few seconds, nobody moved. Then Wendy stepped forward. ‘Mind if I
have another try, sergeant.’ The instructor and a couple of the younger male
recruits laughed, but Wendy continued her approach. Failing to anticipate that his stooge could have improved much in the time he had been absent, our teacher adopted the same casual approach to embarrassing his challenger. It was a mistake. Wendy was quick. What she
lacked in strength, she more than made up for in speed. In a flash, the
instructor was decked.

For good measure, Wendy stood for a moment, her right foot on her victim’s
neck and her fists in the air. She looked for all the world like a victorious
gladiator awaiting a command from her audience as to whether to spare her
unfortunate opponent. Two of the women laughed and gave the ‘thumbs
down’ sign. The rest of us cheered and clapped our hands enthusiastically.
In November that year, we were both posted out to Albany Street Police
Station, near Euston, to start our two-year probationary period as uniform
PCs. I had been placed on ‘C’ relief, Wendy was put with ‘D’. Over the coming
years, she inevitably encountered a lot more of the kind of attitude shown by
that instructor, but it didn’t faze her. We kept in contact until she left the Met
several years later, having been promoted to Superintendent.
And now, here she was. As large as life, with six years under her belt in
charge of policing in Gloucester.

Thanks again to Matt for the fantastic guest post! Read on to find out more about his book, Deadly Games, and the link to buy a copy for yourself!

deadlygame1
Reeling from the attempts on his life and that of his family, Police Inspector Robert Finlay returns to work to discover that any hope of a peaceful existence has been dashed. Assigned to investigate the Eastern European sex-slave industry just as a key witness is murdered, Finlay, along with his new partner Nina Brasov, finds himself facing a ruthless criminal gang, determined to keep control of the traffic of people into the UK. On the home front, Finlay’s efforts to protect his wife and child may have been in vain, as an MI5 protection officer uncovers a covert secret service operation that threatens them all… Picking up where the bestselling Wicked Game left off, Deadly Game sees Matt Johnson’s damaged hero fighting on two fronts. Aided by new allies, he must not only protect his family but save a colleague from an unseen enemy … and a shocking fate.

Buy now from Amazon

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Happy birthday to me! TWG turns ONE! #happybirthdayTWG #bookblogger #authors #firstbirthday

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AHHHHHHHHH!! Happy birthday to TWG! One year ago today, 15th March 2016, my first ever blog post was published. I even remember which one it was too – The woman who upped and left – Review. I didn’t even think anyone would read my reviews, let alone be following me a year down the line. It has been a surreal year for TWG and I have loved every single moment of it. Well, most of it!

This last year I have:

– Created a signed book collection of 35 books, containing novels from authors such as Lindsey Kelk, Jodi Picoult, Carol Wyer, Paige Toon, Sophie Kinsella, Michelle Visage, David Videcette, Mary-Jane Riley, Liane Moriarty, Sue Moorcroft, Sue Watson, Sam Carrington, Louise Jensen, Tilly Tennant, Sue Fortin, Jan Brigden, Laura James, Marcie Steele, Holly Martin, Sarah Morgan, Elli Darkins, Eva Jordan, Lisa Jewell, Cathy Bramley, Mhairi McFarlane, Susan Gander, Rosie Blake, Heidi Swain, Milly Johnson, Jennifer Bohnet, and Rebecca Raisin.

Huge thank you to the authors who have sent me those signed books as a competition prize or for another reason, thank you to the publishers, and thank you to the authors for signing those books so that they were available to buy. I feel extremely lucky and I will forever be grateful.

– Became friends with most of those authors above, AND MORE. A year ago I was in dream world when it came to authors tweeting me back. A year later, I am still in dream world when they do that and have to pinch myself when I am in conversation with them. Am I dreaming?

– Found some truly loyal bloggers to build brilliant friendships with. I also am so thankful to Joanne R for taking me under her wing at the very beginning, making sure that I wasn’t on my own in a huge group.

– Huge thank you to Anita Chapman for letting me know about Book connectors FB group! Without you, I don’t think I would have known anything about it.

– Received books to review from publishers and authors I have admired for many, many years. Every time I get book post it feels like it’s my birthday all over again. Thank you to Accent Press for being the first publisher to put me on their blogger list, and a huge thank you to all of the other publishers who continue to bless me with bookpost and book related things. Living the dream.

– This last year I also met Jodi Picoult. Another author who I have admired for many years and made me catch my breath when I met her, with fellow blogger Dee. Amazing experience.

There are so, SO many highlights from this past year, I couldn’t begin to list them all. I have been on several hundred blog tours, taken part in multiple cover reveals, been lucky enough to interview Jenny Colgan, Ali McNamara, Carol Wyer, Cathy Bramley, Andi Michael, Tilly Tennant and many, many more. My interviews are no longer called ‘interviews’, some authors know of them as interrogations! A fellow blogger, Lorraine, let me know that I was now the ‘blogger who made authors cry’ (in a good way), with my reviews. I don’t set out to do that (honestly)! A special thank you needs to go to Carol Wyer and Kim Nash. When I first started blogging, I had no idea about most things yet Carol became such a good friend in such a short space of time, becoming the support network and confidante that I treasured, and I still do. Carol stood by my side and championed me and TWG from the very beginning, and she still does to this day. I will always be grateful for your kind words and support Carol, you truly are one of kind. As for Kim Nash, you were the first publisher I ever spoke to directly (well, over e-mail) and we built a good friendship from that moment. Plus, you had copious amounts of patience with me when I kept pestering you! Thank you for believing in me now and today.

This last year has seen me read a total of 214 books (so far), with 154 books being from 2016 and 60 being my current total. I have been lucky enough to try so many new authors and fall in love with genres I never thought I would see myself reading. I have been made to feel included to various book groups on FB and this whole year has seen my blog posts being shared far and wide by bloggers. BLOGGERS, thank you for always sharing my posts, championing my reviews and being such stars. You are all incredibly wonderful and it’s a pleasure to become your friends. You all know who you are!

This year has also seen an article of mine get published on mental health and illness website, The Mighty. Within 2 weeks it had been shared over 3000 times. You can find my article here. I also have had one of my quotes published on the back of a paperback, with another one (or two) to be expected further on in the year. I have also found my quotes on publishers publicity pictures, and yes, a year later the feeling is still surreal with every new one. Thank you.

This post could go on forever, as there are so many people I would like to thank for helping my dream get on its way to becoming a reality. Reading books is my only respite from the hell of daily life and for that reason, I will forever be in authors debt for writing those books that allow me to travel to France, New York etc, or allow me to ‘work’ in various different places without having to worry about my P45!

Ever since I was a little girl, I have wanted to write and be involved in books/writing some way or another. I’m involved in books thanks to my blog. I just need someone to give me that break to change my life, and allow me to work freelance as a writer/publicist etc. It’s getting to a point now where the chances of me working outside are slim. Fingers crossed that 2017 allows me to get even closer to getting that job. Thank you all for following my blog, supporting me, reading my posts and just being you.

Lots of love,

TWG x

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