#BlogTour! #GuestPost from author of #TheLastDay, Claire Dyer – ‘If Tomorrow Were My Last Day’ @ClaireDyer1 @DomePress

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What would you do if you knew your last day was imminent? Would you spend the day with your loved ones? Eat all of your favourite food until the point of being sick? Binge watch all the DVD’s you’ve been meaning to watch for goodness knows how long? For my stop on the blog tour today, I had asked author of ‘The Last Day’, Claire Dyer, what she would do if tomorrow was her ‘last day’ and thankfully, the author took the theme and has written such an emotive piece for us here at TWG. Just to make you aware, I have actually read the book, but my review will follow later on so please do keep your eyes peeled for that. In the mean time, grab a Kleenex and sit back to read Claire Dyer’s ‘Last Day’.

If tomorrow were my last day
by
Claire Dyer, author of ‘The Last Day’.

I’m assuming if I was facing my last day I would have made peace both with myself and with those I love and so would be free to spend the day how I wished.

I’ve thought about this a lot since being asked to write this blog and send my thoughts and prayers to all those who are really facing heartbreak of this sort.

However, when thinking about my novel and what happens to my characters in it I think, if I knew I could never do it again, I would like to go to Kalkan in Turkey and watch the sun track its path across the bay one last time.

According to one website Kalkan is ‘an enchanting place and one of the most beautiful
locations along Turkey’s gorgeous Lycian Coast. With the absence of mass tourism, Kalkan remains a charming and unspoiled haven of lush nature, brilliant blue crystal-clear sea, historic architecture, ancient history and warm traditional Turkish hospitality.’
I have spent fifteen happy holidays in Kalkan and can say that every statement of this quote is true. But what is more significant for me is the fact that when I’m there I can live a simple life, can sit and watch the boats in the bay, watch the sun sparkle on the water, eat delicious fresh food, swim and breathe a type of air I just can’t find in England.

What I’ve also done is track the sun’s path across the sky on each and every last day I’ve
been there; I’ve watched the sun set and turn the sky peach and pink and orange. I’ve heard the cicadas thrum their legs and seen bats flitter in and out of the eaves.
And then, after the sunset, come the stars – brilliant and sharp in amongst the black.
Another website tells me that ‘Herodotus: the best of the Greek historians said, ‘Kalkan is the closest place on Earth to the stars’. So, if you want to touch the stars, Kalkan is the best place you have even seen.’ Therefore, I’ve sat on the roof terrace of the villa where we stay and have stared in awe at the ever-changing night.

So far there has always been a next day when I’ve got up, packed my bag and started the
journey home, looking over my shoulder at the bay as the car climbs the hill out of town and turns the corner, leaving Kalkan behind me for a time.

I hope I am never faced with a final goodbye, I hope like in The Last Day, there will be a next day but if I am and there isn’t then this is where I would like to spend my last day.

For those of you who have already read Claire Dyer’s novel, a lump will probably be forming in your throat whilst you read the last sentence of the authors guest post – it did mine! Huge thanks to Claire Dyer for agreeing to write such a beautifully written guest post, and a big thank you to Dome Press for the blog tour invite and the ARC of the book. Don’t forget that my review WILL follow at a later day – I’m not missing the chance to share my views on this thought-provoking novel.

For those of you who haven’t read the book and wish to find out more, and maybe even grab yourself a copy, here are all of the details of ‘The Last Day’:

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They say three’s a crowd but when Boyd moves back into the family home with his now amicably estranged wife, Vita, accompanied by his impossibly beautiful twenty-seven-year-old girlfriend, Honey, it seems the perfect solution: Boyd can get his finances back on track while he deals with his difficult, ailing mother; Honey can keep herself safe from her secret, troubled past; and Vita can carry on painting portraits of the pets she dislikes and telling herself she no longer minds her marriage is over. But the house in Albert Terrace is small and full of memories, and living together is unsettling. For Vita, Boyd and Honey love proves to be a surprising, dangerous thing and, one year on, their lives are changed forever.

Buy now from Amazon UK

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#BlogTour! #GuestPost from author of ‘In Love and War’ @LizTrenow @Panmacmillan

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Closing Liz Trenow’s blog tour today is me, TWG! Big thank you PanMacmillan for the blog tour invite! It’s a pleasure to be alongside some truly wonderful bloggers, for a smashing author.

I am delighted to bring you a written piece from the lady herself, Liz Trenow. Enjoy!
(oh, and if you wanted to buy her new book, all the details will be after the guest post. Shhhh)

My writing day
by
Liz Trenow

 I write in the mornings when my mind is freshest – usually starting around 8.30ish and continuing till my stomach rumbles for lunch. In the afternoon my imagination seems to close down so then I do research, admin, replying to emails, blogging and, when I’ve got to that stage, proof reading.

I always write in my study, a small room at the front of the house where there are not too many distractions! Out of the window are trees and birds which sometimes distract me, as well as the comings and goings in the front drive. I also keep the door open so I can hear what is going on in the rest of the house. 

 I usually spend twenty minutes or so checking social media and answering emails. This helps me, mentally, to ‘clear the decks’ and gives me permission, somehow, to open the novel. But I don’t start writing new material right away. At least a hour is spent editing and if necessary rewriting the passage I was working on the previous day, easing myself back into the heads of my characters and the trajectory of the plot. Unlike other writers who talk about keeping card indexes on each character I’m lazy about keeping records so frequently have to track back to make sure these are consistent.  

The hardest part is avoiding a soggy middle. At some point I usually experience what Ian Rankin describes as ‘the fear’ when I am some way into the novel. That is when you start to think you are writing complete rubbish that will never get published, and even if it did, that reviewers would slate and readers hate. You just have to work your way through it and hold faith that it will come right in time. 

The other difficult moment, for me, is when I reach the end of the first draft. By this time I’ve lost any perspective on the novel, about whether it is good or bad, which bits work and which don’t. So I try to leave it for a week or so, then print it out and read in another room, straight through, without making any pencil edits if possible. At that point I quite often find myself in despair once more at the amount of work that I think is needed to make it work. However, once I get going on the edits, I begin to enjoy it once more.

Writing a novel is a huge task. It requires months or even years of solitary confinement, and families must be very tolerant of your divided attention. But I love it, and wouldn’t want any other kind of job.

If you have ever wondered what Liz Trenow’s writing day looked like, well, now you know! I must apologise as the guest post stated that there was a photo, however it did not appear after the download.

Here is the all important information about Liz’s new book, ‘In Love and War’, which was published on the 25th January.

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Three women, once enemies. Their secrets will unite them.

The First World War is over. The war-torn area of Flanders near Ypres is no longer home to troops, but groups of tourists. Controversial battlefield tourism now brings hundreds of people to the area, all desperate to witness first-hand where their loved ones fell.

At the Hotel de la Paix in the small village of Hoppestadt, three women arrive, searching for traces of the men they have loved and lost.

Ruby is just twenty-one, a shy Englishwoman looking for the grave of her husband. Alice is only a little older but brimming with confidence; she has travelled all the way from America, convinced her brother is in fact still alive. Then there’s Martha, and her son Otto, who are not all they seem to be . . .

The three women in Liz Trenow’s In Love and War may have very different backgrounds, but they are united in their search for reconciliation: to resolve themselves to what the war took from them, but also to what life might still promise for the future . . .

Buy now from Amazon UK

#BlogTour! #Guestpost – Top 10 Xmas Ideas for a booklover by Rebecca Raisin @jaxandwillsmum

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Super excited to be taking part in Rebecca Raisin’s blog tour for ‘Winter at Cedarwood Lodge’, which is published today by HQDigitalUK. Congratulations Rebecca! I am having to split my slot on the tour into two so today is the guest post which Rebecca has kindly written for us, and then in a few days I will be sharing my review of ‘Winter at Cedarwood Lodge’. I have actually read this book as it was previously published as three separate books. But, because that was last year and this new version contains bonus material, I want to do the review and book justice by splitting into tour.

So, if you’re stuck for Christmas present ideas for the book lover in your life then look no further! I am delighted to hand my blog over to Rebecca Raisin as she gives you the lowdown on the Top Ten Christmas Ideas for the booklover in your life. Enjoy!

Top ten Christmas gift ideas for the booklover in your life

OK, so I mean us! We bibliophiles who look forward to the festive season because it means extra time curled up with a book and hopefully some new bookish gifts!
When I wrote Winter at Cedarwood Lodge I had lots of fun deciding on Christmas gifts for my characters as if they were real people and I was puzzling over real presents. I mean, who doesn’t love a Christmas onesie?

But we bookworms need a little more while we read so here at my top ten gift ideas:

1. Slippers. No brainer, right? Preferably a pair that have some relevance to books and
that will earn you extra points. But think comfort, think fluffy, think big.

2. Bookmarks, even for the dog-ear- er in your life, they can learn can’t they? I hasten to
add I am a dog-ear- er from way back and unrepentant, but still, I like bookmarks
because they’re pretty! Ones with motivational quotes, literary one liners, take a punt and buy them all!

3. Candles, yes we burn the midnight hour reading way past our bedtime and we’d like
to do that with some exotic scented candles, thank you very much! If you can find one
that smells like old books, more the better!

4. Book totes! Literary themed of course! We’re planning on spending all those book
gift vouchers as soon as the shops are open and we’ll need some heavy duty tote to fit
them all in.

5. Book related jewelry, anything goes! From those cute miniature book charm
necklaces to Pride and Prejudice earrings, you buy it, we’ll wear it!

6. Cushions. Lots of ‘em. Cushions with ampersands, furry cushions, Paris themed,
shaped like donuts! What’s a book nook without cushions?

7. Notebooks, oh beautiful notebooks with leather bound covers, or covers that look like
old library cards, or have pictures of bookshelves, or sweet musings, we need them,
and we need them urgently to scribble down our book loving thoughts.

8. Book boxes, yes tiny boxes shaped like books for the literary jewelry that’s wrapped
and under the tree (see no.5!) These little boxes come in all shapes and sizes and the
perfect gift to stash away those lovely little bookish gems.

9. Bookshelves… I mean, we all need more, am I right? Or a bigger house. So yeah,
maybe put house on the list.

10. Books! Better yet, bookshop gift vouchers, because we’ve read everything already!

Note to my family: this list goes for me too!

I hope you have a lovely Christmas filled with great food, good wine and lots of new
characters to fall in love with… xxx

So fellow book lovers, how many from Rebecca’s list have you asked for for Christmas? In an ideal world the man in red would leave it all for me Christmas morning, but I have a feeling that I may need to go out and by them for myself! Well, unless anyone wants to surprise me at Christmas that is…hint ;).

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Winter at Cedarwood Lodge by Rebecca Raisin can be purchased now from Amazon UK.

#BlogTour! #GuestPost by Paul Mathews @QuiteFunnyGuy @EmmaMitchellFPR

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Something different on the blog today – a character guest post by the author of ‘We Have Lost Chihuahuas’, Paul Mathews. I haven’t managed to read this book yet but I have to say that I am extremely intrigued. After all, it’s not every day someone admits that they have lost the chihuahuas!! Before I point you in the direction of the authors guest post, here is a little bit more about the book itself and where you can get your copy from:

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London, 2046. The British Republic has a new First Lady. She’s Californian, ‘in-your- face, for sure’ and she’s got big plans for a Buckingham Palace refurb. When her three Chihuahuas go missing, one man is determined to avoid getting dragged into it all. His name is Pond. Howie Pond – presidential spokesperson, retired secret agent and cat lover.

Meanwhile, Howie’s wife Britt is handed her first assignment as a National Security and Intelligence Service rookie – to solve the mystery of the missing canine trio.
Will Howie manage to slope off to the pub before he can be roped into help?

Will Britt unmask the dognapper and grab the glory? Find out, in the latest, crazy comedy-thriller from dog-loving British author Paul Mathews.

‘We Have Lost the Chihuahuas’ by Paul Mathews will be available to buy from the 28th November. To pre-order your copy click here!

You ready for the character guest post? Paul Mathews was given a prompt for writing his guest post which was this:

Write about anything you want. It doesn’t have to be about books, writing or
publishing.
But, and this is the fun part, I want you to write it from the point of view of a character from your book.
Give your character a subject and see how they get on.
Maybe you have a secondary character who wants a voice?
Does your villain want to view his thoughts?
Maybe your main character has a strong opinion on a subject?
It can be funny, angry, controversial or sad, whatever your character wants to get off
their chest and share with the world.

Without further ado, here is the hilarious, laugh out loud character guest post from Indie-Day. This is an absolute belter!!

Indie-Day – Howie’s Cat

Greetings, human. I only have limited time, so forgive me if I don’t wrap myself
around your legs or rub my head against your outstretched hand. I have a very
hectic napping schedule today, so let’s press on with this blog post.
Firstly, let me make clear – I do not have any dialogue in any of Paul Mathews’
novels. That’s because I’m a cat, and for me to start talking would transport his
literary genre from the realms of comedy thriller to paranormal comedy. And,
according to Mr Mathews, there’s not much money in paranormal comedies, so I’m
under strict instructions to say nothing in his books – other than the occasional bout
of purring.

You will be aware, of course, that Mr Mathews’ latest novel has a canine, rather than
a feline, theme. While I’m not overly enthused by it all, it does make sense. That’s
because cats never get lost. They simply choose to be somewhere else. Dogs, on
the other hand, are generally pretty dumb and easily led. Don’t believe me? Try
taking a cat for a walk. Or asking a cat to fetch a tennis ball that you’ve been stupid
enough to throw fifty metres for no apparent reason. Or telling a cat to stop chasing a
blue bottle who’s flown into the kitchen because you left the window open. Go, on –
try it. You see? I was right.

I’m hoping that, in future novels, my humans might move somewhere slightly more
spacious. The Battersea pod in which we all live is only forty square metres and this
means I have a limited choice of napping locations. On hot days, I have been known
to take forty winks in the bathroom wash basin, though I have been disturbed on a
couple of occasions by a dripping tap. Why humans can’t get their water from bowls
like cats do, I really don’t know.

Anyway, my next nap is fast approaching and a laptop keyboard isn’t the easiest
thing for a feline to master, so I’m going to sign off now. I hope you enjoy the book
about missing dogs. I, for one, hope they stay missing.

Feline best wishes,
Indie-Day

Huge thanks to Paul Mathews for the brilliant guest post. Don’t forget that ‘We Lost the Chihuahuas’ is available to pre-order now from Amazon UK.

#BlogTour! #GuestPost-@Louisa_George author of The Other Life of Charlotte Evans @NeverlandBT

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Due to unforeseen circumstances, I have been asked to step in for Emma Mitchell today for her stop on the blog tour with a guest post from author, Louisa George.

Book Cover-7
Would you sacrifice your future to understand your past?

Life is rosy for dance studio owner Charlotte Evans, who is about to marry
beloved fiancé, Ben. But when Ben finds a lump in Charlotte’s breast, it sends
her on a journey of self-discovery which she knows she must do alone.
Because Charlotte is adopted, and she suddenly, desperately, needs to know
who she is and where she comes from.

Finding and reconnecting with her birth family, the life Charlotte could have
had unfolds before her. As her wedding day draws closer, and her past
merges ever more into her present, Charlotte must decide on the future she
really wants…

A heartrendingly beautiful novel about love, family and finding your own path
to happiness.

Buy now from Amazon UK
Buy now from WHSmith

My Publishing Journey / Louisa George

I wish I could tell you that my publishing journey involved one hastily written
manuscript that was so brilliant my agent had a bidding war with publishing houses, I
was offered a seven figure advance and now I spend my days languishing on a day
bed dressed entirely in pink and drinking an endless supply of cocktails.
Unfortunately, none of the above happened. I don’t have an agent. Never have had
one, even with 23 published books. But I am partial to cocktails and could possibly
drink an endless supply if someone else a) delivered them directly to my study and b)
footed the bill.

Truth is, I never wanted to be an author. By which I mean, being an author was so far
off my radar as even possible that it never occurred to me. Sure, I’ve always loved
reading books but writing one? Huh. Let’s get in the real world. Which for me
consisted of a degree in Communication and Media Studies, then becoming a
registered nurse (I worked in a variety of nursing jobs for 22 years), getting married,
and having two sons.

So it came as a big surprise to me when I went to an evening class in creative writing
at our local college (we’d emigrated to New Zealand. I knew no one so decided to do
an evening class in an effort to meet people. Didn’t fancy flower arranging,
computing or learning a language so plumped for a writing class) to discover that I
was actually quite good at it. Which meant I could string some sentences together and
had a reasonable imagination for plotting.

When the course ended I was invited by the tutor to take further classes with other
‘promising students’, then I did some online classes, joined a local writing
organization and finally plucked up courage to enter some contests. One of those was
run by Mills and Boon in 2010. While I didn’t win the contest, an editor there asked
to see more of my work, then we worked together on a book. It took four rewrites, a
lot of blood, sweat and tears and a serious amount of patience on her side and in July
2011 I was eventually offered a two book contract for their Medical Romance Line.
Then a three book contract and then more…
Since then I have also written for Mills and Boon Kiss Line, Tule Publishing, HQ
Harper Collins and have 4 indie published books out too.

I was so lucky to have attracted that editor’s attention, but I took every opportunity
presented to me and sought others out. I submitted to contests and tweaked my story
to feedback. Most of all I wrote. I wrote every day. I analysed the genre. I attended
courses and conferences. I wrote. When I didn’t have time I made time. I wrote and I
wrote.

And from this side of the publishing fence I can honestly say the hard work was worth
every second. I wouldn’t have had it any other way. Sure, having a first manuscript
accepted would have been wonderful, but in those hours of rewriting and analyzing I
learnt so much about craft and story, about myself and my determination.

And along the way I developed a fine taste in cocktails, too. I’m just waiting on the
day bed delivery…

So folks, if you’ve been dreaming of becoming a writer (or not, just like Louisa), drink a lot of cocktails and then write…or was it write THEN drink a lot of cocktails? Either way, go for it and enjoy the ride. If anyone knows where Louisa’s delivery has got to, please shout ;). Huge thanks to the author for such an honest and laugh out loud guest post!

How ‘why are you only saying it NOW?’ is #notokay to respond to #sexualabuse posts with #MeToo

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Dear men and women of the world,

You may have seen the news overflowing with reports of abuse and harassment involving Harvey Weinstein. I mean really, who hasn’t? It really is everywhere.

You may have also seen the hashtag ‘#MeToo’ crop up once or twice on your social media, where some victims of sexual abuse or harassment try to come together under one heading whilst showing the world that it IS okay to speak out. Of course there probably was thousands of people who chose not to take part in that hashtag due to it reminding the victims of their abuse – that is okay too!

What’s NOT okay is the victim shaming.

What’s NOT okay is people commenting on posts with; ‘it was only just a kiss, stop throwing your teddy out the pram’.

What’s NOT okay is comment after comment with words along the lines of; ‘why are they just coming out with it now? or ‘yet another one jumping on the bandwagon to accuse someone of abuse – attention seeker!’ or ‘why didn’t they report it at the time instead of waiting years to say something?’.

I am hoping that if you’re reading this post, you know fine well why the above are far from okay. But if you don’t know why, then just this once I will humour you by saying:

Firstly, victim shaming is not okay. When people respond to a post asking what the victim was wearing, or what they did to attract the abusers attention in the first place etc, that’s pretty much telling the victim that they DESERVED their abuse/harassment.

Let me ask you this – if I were to walk down the street with a short skirt, high heels and a strappy top on and a man/woman decided to make non consensual advances towards me (e.g. groping, sexual talk, requesting sexual favours, rape, kissing etc), would you tell me that I DESERVED that because of what I was wearing? Would you tell me that I was ‘asking for it’ because I chose to not wear jeans and flat shoes and cover up every inch of my body?

It doesn’t matter whether you’re wearing religious clothes, party wear, your pyjama’s or even your birthday suit; if you have NOT consented to another person touching you or making advances towards you then it IS deemed harassment/abuse. No MEANS no. No-one is ever asking to be abused or harassed by another person, regardless of whether a 4×4 piece of skin is on show. No…just NO.

Secondly, my next point is what prompted me to write this post actually. A newspaper reported that a lady has made an allegation about Patrick Swayze. Now we all know that he is dead so no, she wasn’t meaning that he abused/harassed her from the grave. This lady said how Swayze forcefully kissed her without her consent, just moments after discussing his wife on the show. The lady then proceeded to explain how she DID mention it to her boss (who was a woman) at the time and she was fired. Yes, you heard me correctly. SHE was fired. Whilst that story didn’t exactly prompt my post, it was a comment on that news report which did. A comment which said ‘it was only a kiss! stop throwing your teddy out the pram and let the man RIP’. Really? Tell me folks, how is that okay? How is making someone’s situation out to be trivial and ‘just a kiss’ deemed a suitable response? Yes the man is dead, and no he cannot defend himself. But should his death and status in Hollywood at the time, make the alleged abuse any less serious? If it was only ‘just a kiss’, does that mean anyone can walk into the street and forcefully kiss someone on the lips as it’s ‘just a kiss’, whether they wanted it or not? NO! If one person dictates a situation where it makes you any way uncomfortable, the other person should respect that and stop. One person agreeing to do something does not make the action consensual. So no random stranger, it isn’t ‘just a kiss’.

Thirdly, this one is getting my back up something chronic. In regards to the Weinstein case, there has been a flurry of victims coming out saying that they have suffered some form of abuse or harassment by that man. Many of those victims have openly said how their careers were then affected once Weinstein was told ‘no’. Many of those victims have said that they felt as though they couldn’t tell anyone because they were frightened, lonely and afraid of losing everything they have worked for. Many of those victims have admitted to burying their heads in the sand in fear that they wouldn’t be believed due to how influential Weinstein was in Hollywood. So of course the keyboard warriors came out in force, trying to outshine DreamWorks ‘Trolls’ movie in 0.5 seconds. (Note – they failed. Trolls is WAYYYYY better movie than their 0.5 seconds of fame).

At first I saw comments of solidarity, empathy and anger towards the victims and the situation itself. Then in no time at all I came across comments which began to make me feel incredibly sick. Comments such as ‘attention seeker! why are you coming out with it now?’ and ‘jump on the bandwagon why don’t you!’ and ‘why didn’t you say anything at the time instead of waiting years to say something just to get into the news?’. Those comments were found on the Reese Witherspoon abuse news report so I dread to think what others I had missed!

Let me tell you why comments like that make me feel sick. After getting sexually abused/harassed a victim is more than likely feeling ashamed, frightened, nauseous, emotional…you name it, they’re probably feeling it. Funnily enough, one of the top things on a victims list to do after being abused is going and telling someone. Your mouth becomes dry. You lose all feeling in your legs. You’re unable to form coherent sentences. All you want to do is hide away and sleep, hoping that when you wake up it all turns out to be a dream. Some victims may find themselves (depending on the level of abuse/harassment) having to get coached/therapy to build up the courage to tell someone about what happened. Multiple questions are likely to float around a victims head – ‘what if no-one believes me?’ or ‘what if they say I’m lying?’ or ‘what if they say I deserved it?’ or ‘what DID I do to deserve it?’, just to name a few. It is extremely scary to sit down with someone and say that you have been a victim of sexual abuse or sexual harassment. If in the unfortunate event the victim was raped, it’s not just a case of popping to your local police station for a brew and casually telling them what happened. They have a job to do and unfortunately, the victim’s body is their ‘proof’ as it were, so not only do they have to go through the chat, they also have to endure a physical examination after being non consensually ‘examined’ by an abuser.

When I read those comments asking why said person ‘didn’t come out with it sooner?’ it really did make my skin crawl because 1) for all we know the victim may have already done that and wasn’t believed at the time, therefore speaking out about it where a group of victims has already formed. Strength in numbers. And 2) we have absolutely no idea how the victim is feeling, what they went through and how emotionally (or physically) scarred they are from the event. Who are we to question someone’s abuse? Who are we to demand answers from a victim? Who are we to dictate when a victim should tell an authoritative figure about their abuse? Who are we to judge full stop?

Before anyone asks how I know all of the above, or decides to make an uneducated comment about what I have written; I am a #MeToo three times over. Not once. Not twice. But THRICE. Sexually abused at age 11 & 14, raped at age 21. The first two times I was a minor. Did I deserve it? No. Did I feel as though I deserved it? Of course I did. Do the scars still remain? Emotionally, yes.

Victims of abuse/harassment need empathy not judgement. If you have no idea what to say to a victim, admit that but give them a hug. Never, EVER pass judgement or victim shame a person who has found the courage to speak out their abuse, whether it was 1 year ago, 10 years ago, or 50 years ago. Abuse has no time limit. Abuse has no age limit. Judgement has a time limit and the time limit is up.

No means no. It really isn’t that difficult.

Love,

A victim of sexual abuse.

#BlogTour! #Guestpost from author of ‘How I Motivated Myself to Succeed’ @Shelleywilson72

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Delighted to have Shelley Wilson, author of ‘How I Motivated Myself to Succeed’, on TWG today as she celebrates the release of her brand new book! We all know that we lack in motivation sometimes, we are only human after all and, because of that, Shelley Wilson has written a guest post about why she is a sucker for a good inspirational meme. Hands up who feels raring to go after reading one of those? Me!
Hands up who is going to buy Shelley Wilson’s new book to keep the inspirational and motivational momentum going? ME!

Keep on reading after Shelley’s guest post as I will give you the all important ‘to buy’ links at the end. Over to you Shelley!

Why I’m a Sucker for an Inspirational Meme. Guest Post by Shelley Wilson
(@ShelleyWilson72)

Following inspirational bloggers, authors, and gurus is part of the ‘day job’ when you write self-help books. I have learned so much from my teachers that I love to pass on to my readers in a way that they can relate to. Even though I call myself a spiritual person, I don’t wear a floaty kaftan or bells on my fingers. You’ll only find me running through a meadow of tall grass with flowers in my hair if there’s an ice-cream van at the other side!
There are billions of us on this beautiful planet, all with our own unique hang-ups, issues, and battle scars from life. What I love most about the personal development industry is the abundance of quotes that can heal, calm, and inspire someone in the space of ten or twenty words. Some quotes are motivational, some humorous, and others are very thought provoking.

My books encourage a sense of positivity, and well-being and I’m normally quick to share an inspirational meme with my social media audience. I don’t do this because it fits my personal needs, although, some days these affirmations have been spot on. I share them in the hope that they’ll help someone else in the same way my books can motivate or inspire readers. When I ran my holistic health business, my clients were always at the forefront of my mind. If I read an inspiring article, I would save it as I knew it might resonate with one of my ladies. When I heard about a new meditation class or spiritual workshop, I would forward the details to the people I knew would enjoy these events. Today, social media is the perfect platform to share our good intentions far and wide as you just don’t know who you might help along the way.

So, the next time you spot an inspirational meme, don’t scroll by and dismiss it, think about who you know in your circle of friends and colleagues who might just need to hear that message today.

In my new release, How I Motivated Myself to Succeed I’ve included a series of lists at the
end of the book; 52 Things to Do, 52 Uplifting Quotes, 52 Affirmations for Success, and 52
Power Words – one each for every week of the year. I’m a great believer in ‘thoughts
become things’ and have witnessed a client spiral out of control when concentrating on the negative aspects of her life. On the flip side, I’ve also seen how a friend turned her life around by absorbing the positivity around her and choosing to embrace this. If one
inspirational meme can trigger a moment of optimism, hope, or confidence then I’ll keep
sharing and I hope you will too.

I’d like to finish with a huge thank you to my delightful host, Kaisha. Having won the Most Inspirational Blogger Award at the Bloggers Bash this year, I’m pretty sure she’ll be as obsessed with inspirational memes as me! Thank you for reading and be sure to check out the other host spots for more inspiration, motivation, and a sprinkle of fun.

Awww thank you Shelley! Yes! I am all for the thought-provoking meme’s that make you stop and feel as though something has clicked. A bit like this one here;

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If you would like to read more about Shelley’s inspirational tips then take a look at her new release, How I Motivated Myself to Succeed, out now in paperback and eBook, and packed full of information on self-care, freeing yourself from fear, organising your life, and much more.

Amazon UK
Amazon US

Find out more about Shelley on her author blog http://www.shelleywilsonauthor.com or via her personal development blog http://www.motivatemenow.co.uk.
She is also on Twitter www.twitter.com/ShelleyWilson72, Facebook
www.facebook.com/MotivateMeBlog and Instagram www.instagram.com/authorslwilson

Author Bio:

Shelley is a multi-genre author of non-fiction self-help and young adult fantasy fiction. Her latest release, How I Motivated Myself to Succeed is being dubbed as the sequel-that’s- not-a-sequel to her bestselling book, How I Changed My Life in a Year. She writes a personal development blog (www.motivatemenow.co.uk) as well as an author blog
(www.shelleywilsonauthor.com) where she shares book reviews, author interviews, and
random musings about writing. Shelley was thrilled to win the Most Inspirational Blogger Award at the Bloggers Bash in 2016, and to scoop second place in the same category in 2017. She is a single mum to three teenagers and a black cat, loves pizza, vampires, and The Walking Dead, and has a slight obsession with list writing.

#BlogTour! #Review – The Doll House by @Phoebe_A_Morgan @HQDigitalUK @HelenaSheffield

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I am beyond thrilled to be hosting day three of Phoebe Morgan’s blog tour for her debut novel, ‘The Doll House’, which was published on the 14th September by HQDigitalUK! Huge thanks to Helena Sheffield for personally selecting me to be involved in Phoebe’s blog tour, it is such an honour! I am delighted to share my review with you today, as well as a guest post from the lovely lady herself, Phoebe Morgan. Enjoy!!

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You never know who’s watching…

Corinne’s life might look perfect on the outside, but after three failed IVF attempts it’s her last chance to have a baby. And when she finds a tiny part of a doll house outside her flat, it feels as if it’s a sign.

But as more pieces begin to turn up, Corinne realises that they are far too familiar. Someone knows about the miniature rocking horse and the little doll with its red velvet dress. Someone has been inside her house…

How does the stranger know so much about her life? How long have they been watching? And what are they waiting for…?

A gripping debut psychological thriller with a twist you won’t see coming. Perfect for fans of I See You and The Widow.

What does TWG think?

You know when you REALLLYYYYYYYY want to read a book, but you leave it until the last-minute to finally read it just so you could savour every single detail, hoping it would be as good as you had envisioned, only to then read it in a few hours? Sound familiar? That was exactly what happened with Phoebe Morgan’s debut novel. No joke. I was sooooooo eager to grab a copy of the book so that I could finally read it, when what I actually did was leave it as long as possible because I wanted to savour the ‘first time reading a book’ for as long as humanly possible. If you call a couple of hours as long as possible then I did great!

Seriously folks, what a book!!!!!! I feel like crying because I am so jealous of everyone who gets to read it for the first time! How the hell is this a debut novel? Where has Phoebe Morgan been all my life? Why doesn’t she have her second book out already? WHEN CAN I READ MORE?! -wails-. I have never, EVER read a book like this one before and, if I’m perfectly honest, it’s going to take a lot to beat!

I’m not even going to outline my thoughts of the storyline in this review because I can’t without letting something slip. I may represent a female dog sometimes, but I’m not mean enough to write spoilers!

However, what I will say about the storyline is how gritty and complex it is. The amount of characters involved in the storyline is minimal, yet I still had absolutely no idea who was involved in what until the storyline got to that point. To be honest, I really don’t think that having minimal characters in a storyline is a bad thing. Yes the storyline needs to be extremely tight due to the lack of bodies to point the finger at, but in my opinion, if an author can write such a flawless storyline with a select few characters whilst also leaving me guessing, I can’t really see a reason to complain. Can you?

I just cannot believe how brilliant this book is! So many red herrings, wrong turns and questionable circumstances; I genuinely was on the edge of my seat with my eyes glued to the words on the page, trying to work out what on Earth everything meant. What was going to happen next. During the vital last chapters of the book, my dog selfishly decided he needed to have his midnight snack in the garden and, seeing as he can’t open the door for himself, I had to stop reading this book and let him out (there’s a point to this btw). What I didn’t expect was to walk into the garden, hear high-pitched wailing and then jump out of my skin as though there was someone behind me.

Note: DON’T ADULT WHEN YOU’RE READING THIS BOOK, YOU’LL END UP THINKING THE GARDEN GNOME IS ABOUT TO GET YOU. Or in my case, a daddy-long-legs and the pup’s tail. I know, I know….

I fluffing loved every single thing about this book! The pace was intense. The overall storyline was laced with so many unanswered questions. Each character seemed to have a question mark looming over their head from the get go, which meant that I ended up thinking everyone was guilty. The storyline was addictive. Gritty. Surreal. Shocking…everything you could want from a book.

Phoebe Morgan certainly is one to watch for the near future. Her writing style is unique and flawlessly presented, I really do believe that this author is going to spoil us with many more phenomenal books.

‘The Doll House’, ladies and gents, is EXACTLY how a psychological thriller should be written, and it is EXACTLY what the book world has been after without even knowing it.

2017 seems to be an exceptionally strong year where books are concerned, but I can safely say that when I write my ‘Top Books of 2017’ list at the end of the year, Phoebe Morgan’s ‘The Doll House’ will be flying high near the top, without a doubt.

Huge thanks to Phoebe Morgan and HQDigitalUK.

Buy now from Amazon UK

Before you go, I’ll leave you with a guest post from Phoebe Morgan, about how she chose which genre to write for!

What drew you to this genre?

My book actually had an interesting development and changed quite a bit through various drafts to the finished version that it is now – a process fuelled by a lot of coffee and late nights. My wonderful agent Camilla Wray was invaluable with this – she pulled out the darker suspense elements of the novel and helped me shape it into what it is today. I’d started off wanting to write about sisters – I don’t have a sister, I have two brothers – so I find that sisterly connection fascinating. I think there’s more opportunities for jealousy between sisters, because they’re more likely to have shared experiences, and I wanted to explore that with The Doll House.

The psychological thriller is a genre that has been booming for a while now, and it’s what I primarily love reading too so it made sense to write in that field. I knew I wanted to explore the idea of family and the secrets that lie within that nuclear unit, and I also wanted to make the reader think about memory. I think often our childhood memories can get distorted, and when we look back with new information we realise that things were maybe not quite as they seemed. That was the central point for starting this novel.
In my day job as an editor, I’m always watching market trends – checking the Amazon top 100 to see what people are reading, reading The Bookseller to hear about new acquisitions from other publishers (basically scouting out the competition!)

The psychological suspense genre is one that despite everyone’s initial scepticism has gone on to prove itself as a genre that just keeps on giving; there is still an appetite for these books and it’s all about pushing the boundaries of your novel to see if you can find a fresh take on the genre and surprise readers with something new. It is a popular
genre, but I think it’s popular for a reason and there’s room enough for everyone – as long as there are readers, that is! With The Doll House, I decided to make my central characters as likeable as possible – so that the reader is on their side when an external threat comes into play. The twist, though, is that the threat ends up being not quite as external as you’re led to believe – and the book really plays with those ideas of home, family and safety, which are not always what they seem…

#Review & #Guestpost – About Us by Jon Rance (@JRance75) #AboutUs

I have had countless problems sorting out this blog post, which, unfortunately, has made my post late which I can only apologise profusely for. I am delighted to welcome author Jon Rance to the blog today as he celebrates the release of his brand new book, ‘About Us’. Before I share my review of Jon’s new book, the man himself is here to tell you a little bit about the book.

Over to you Jon Rance!

This is the story of Rosie and Pete. From the beginning until the end.

Hello! I’m excited for my very first visit to The Writing Garnet. Thank you, Kaisha, for having me.

OK, so why am I here? I’m here because my new novel, About Us, is out now and I’m here to tell you all about it. Right, so admin out of the way, let’s get cracking. About Us, is the story of Rosie and Pete Willis. It follows them from meeting at the height of the
Britpop 90’s to present day where they’re married with three kids and living in South London. It’s a comedy, a drama, a slice of life, and perfect for fans of Jojo Moyes, David Nicholls, and television shows like Cold Feet and This Is Us. At the heart of the book is the relationship between Rosie and Pete, but today I want to talk about one of the side plots and that’s the relationship between Rosie and her children.

Rosie and Pete have three children. There’s fourteen-year- old Alice, ten-year- old Josh, and seven-year- old, Daisy. A huge part of the book is Rosie dealing with her children growing up and trying to find her place in the world, post stay-at- home mum. Before she had kids, she worked in publishing and had a flourishing career, but after being a mum and housewife for fourteen years, Rosie is feeling lost. She feels like her kids are becoming strangers as the world grabs them – especially so with teenager Alice – and she’s becoming surplus to requirements. Being a stay-at- home father myself, I can feel some semblance of this myself. When our children are young they rely on us and need us so much, but as they get older and become more independent, we’re needed less and less and it’s difficult to accept. 

One of the themes of the book is the choices we’re forced to make as we get older. During the course of the book, Rosie has to make a lot of big decisions and her relationship with her family is at the heart of them. It’s heartbreaking to watch our children getting older and feeling as though we’re losing bits of them, and Rosie tries so hard to keep hold of them for as long as she can, but like all parents, eventually she realises she needs to start letting them go. And when she gets an offer of going back to her old job full-time, Rosie must decide which way to go. It’s just one of the decisions that will shape the rest of her life because at the end of the day, this is what life is, a series of decisions with each one defining who we are and what we become. 

About Us, is a dramatic comedy about life, about love, about us, and it’s out now exclusively on Amazon. Grab your copy now for just 99p for a limited time!

Buy now!

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HILARIOUS AND HEARTBREAKING.

From the bestselling author of Sunday Dinners and Dan And Nat Got Married, comes a bittersweet comedy about a marriage, about how it begins, how it falls apart, and the choices we’re forced to make. Perfect for fans of David Nicholls, Jojo Moyes, and Mike Gayle.

Rosie Willis isn’t happy. Her once perfect marriage to husband, Pete, is falling apart, her mother is dying, and her three children are starting to feel like strangers. At forty she feels like she’s stuck, but then she meets handsome widower, Mark Hornby, at the school gates and he makes her feel alive again.

As she drifts further from Pete, she gets closer to Mark, but approaching Christmas she realises she needs to try to save her marriage and keep her family together. Despite her feelings, she can’t have an affair. Unfortunately, Pete has news of his own that throws everything into doubt.

Rosie must choose a new life. There’s Pete, Mark, or going it alone. It isn’t easy when you’re forty, when you have three kids, when you feel past it, when your mother is dying, but life isn’t meant to be easy.

What does TWG think?

What surprised me about ‘About Us’ at first, was how the story was told by a female main character. Before anyone starts with the ‘omg you’re being sexist’ comments, let me explain. Firstly, I can’t say that I have read many novels written by male authors, who have their main character as a female voice. Usually I find that authors usually have main characters as the same gender as themselves so, when I read Jon Rance’s novel with his main character being Rosie Willis, I was pleasantly surprised. In a good way though! It was so refreshing to see an author go against the ‘norm’ and write in a completely different way, enough to make a reader go ‘errrrrr what?’ (again, in a good way).

Rosie Willis isn’t a happy bunny. Her marriage has become a chore as opposed to the romantic, sexual, burst of energy relationship that it once was. Not only that, Rosie’s family are dealing with a heart-breaking and emotional situation, which, whilst it is incredibly difficult to go through, it’s a waiting game for the entire family.

Having never been married and only having one child, a lot of ‘About Us’ I couldn’t relate to in the slightest. However, I didn’t need to be able to relate to the general theme of the book to be able to enjoy it…luckily. I found myself warming to Rosie’s persona without the need of saying ‘oh she is SO like me’, because in actual fact, she couldn’t have been more different. Did that put me off? No, it did not. It actually made me realise that just because we haven’t been through certain situations ourselves, we can still find it in ourselves to be empathetic towards other people, should our personality make up’s point us in that direction.

I could see where Rosie was coming from though in terms of general happiness and not wanting to feel ‘stuck in a rut’, after all, who does? Why should you go through life living in a situation which doesn’t make you happy, just because people around you cannot bear to see you make a change which doesn’t fall into their belief system? Since when did  our lives become ‘Our Lives FT every single family member and in law’?

I’m not going to lie, I warmed to a certain gentleman in question during the storyline, and I was extremely hopeful that the storyline would go down that path. Whether it did or not, you’ll need to read the book for yourself and see where your heart lies, but, just like Rosie, I knew where my heart decided to camp out, and it wasn’t even for my own life! Crazy huh!

I did find that some parts of the novel seemed to go on for a little bit longer than needed, personally, but overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this modern-day, refreshing tale about choosing the right path and just…living.

Sometimes we go through life with our head in the clouds, choosing our paths with other people in mind, completely forgetting the most important person in that journey; ourselves. We have all done it, and let’s be honest, we will continue to do so. After all, we are only human. Before reading ‘About Us’, my journey was taken with everyone else in mind. After reading ‘About Us’? Well, let’s just say that I am more determined to put my foot down and go through life via the path that I choose.

A refreshing, funny, enchanting tale which will make you see life in a completely different way. Hats off the author, that’s for sure!

Thanks Jon Rance!

Buy now!!

#MeetElviraCarr #BlogTour! A Letter to myself – Frances Maynard @perkinsfran1 @mantlebooks

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I am delighted to be day two of the #MeetElviraCarr blog tour, courtesy of Mantle Books! Big thanks to Don Shanahan for inviting me to be a part of the tour! For my stop today I have the pleasure of sharing the author’s, Frances Maynard, letter to her younger self.

But first, here are the all important details of Frances Maynard’s new book, The Seven Imperfect Rules of Elvira Carr, which will be published by Mantle Books on the 24th August!

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Funny, heart-warming and ultimately triumphant, The Seven Imperfect Rules of Elvira Carr is the perfect story for anyone who doesn’t quite fit in – and for everyone who chooses not to.

Elvira Carr is twenty-seven and neuro-atypical. Her father – who she suspects was in the secret service – has passed away and, after several Unfortunate Incidents growing up, she now spends most of her time at home with her overbearing mother. But when her mother has a stroke and is taken into care, Elvira is suddenly forced to look after herself or risk ending up in Sheltered Accommodation. Armed with her Seven Rules, which she puts together after online research, Elvira hopes to learn how to navigate a world that’s full of people she doesn’t understand. Not even the Seven Rules can help her, however, when she discovers that everything she thought she knew about her father was a lie, and is faced with solving a mystery she didn’t even know existed . . .

Click here to pre-order your copy of the book.

A Letter to my younger self by Frances Maynard.

Dear Frances,

Don’t listen to them.

Don’t listen to your parents.  How can you be a carbon copy?  Family doesn’t have to be blood.

Don’t listen to your teachers.  Most of them will never teach you anything you need to know.  But keep learning.

Don’t listen to advice.  It will be unasked for, undeserved and irrelevant.  You’ll only learn, unfortunately, by doing.

Don’t listen to conventions that, at the time, seem set in stone.

Don’t listen to anyone who’s certain about anything.  Certainty is blinding.

Do listen to your friends (but not the drug-addled ones).  Wisdom is not confined to the old.

Do listen to your gut instinct.

Do listen to the little voice inside that is telling you: one day things will be different, one day you’ll have more power, one day your time will come.

Love from

Frances

Huge thanks to Frances Maynard for such an honest and empowering letter.