#BlogTour! #GuestPost from author of #TheLiarsGirl, Catherine Ryan Howard (@cathryanhoward) @CorvusBooks @AnneCater #RandomThingsTours

Today I am delighted to be sharing a guest post written by author of ‘The Liar’s Girl’, Catherine Ryan Howard. Huge thanks to Anne Cater for inviting me to take part in the blog tour, and I hope you all enjoy reading the post. Before you get stuck in, here is a little bit more information about the book, as well as the all important ‘buy’ link:

Her first love confessed to five murders. But the truth was so much worse.

Dublin’s notorious Canal Killer, Will Hurley, is ten years into his life sentence when the body of a young woman is fished out of the Grand Canal. Though detectives suspect they are dealing with a copycat, they turn to Will for help. He claims he has the information the police need, but will only give it to one person – the girl he was dating when he committed his horrific crimes.

Alison Smith has spent the last decade abroad, putting her shattered life in Ireland far behind her. But when she gets a request from Dublin imploring her to help prevent another senseless murder, she is pulled back to face the past – and the man – she’s worked so hard to forget.

Buy now from Amazon

Guest post.

Where Do You Get Your Ideas?

 

The question ‘where do you get your ideas?’ is a running joke among writers, partly because we’re asked it all the time, and partly because it takes so long to write a book and things change so much during the process that it can be hard to remember what exactly the original idea was. Its origins may be even trickier to pin down, because for many writers idea-generating is like looking for shapes in the fog: sometimes something emerges, and you’ve no idea how or why, but your deadline is in six months’ time so you don’t ask any questions and just go with it. (This analogy may have broken down somewhat… ANYWAY.) I, however, relish being asked this question – because I know the answer. I’ve written three books, the second of which, The Liar’s Girl, has just been published in paperback, and the idea for all three have come from the same place: real life. 

 

In July 2013, I read an article in GQ magazine called ‘The Serial Killer Has Second Thoughts’ by Chris Heath. Above the article itself was a little introduction:

 

In a remote psychiatric hospital in Sweden, there is a man known as Thomas Quick who has been convicted of unspeakable crimes. Over the course of multiple trials, he would tell his brutal stories—of stabbings, stranglings, rape, incest, cannibalism—to almost anyone who would listen. Then … he went silent for nearly a decade. In the last few years, though, he has been thinking about all he has said and done, and now he has something new to confess: He left out the worst part of all.

 

I immediately thought: if I was browsing for a book in a bookshop and I picked up one with that blurb on the back, I would RUN to the cash register with it – because I would have to know what the ‘worst part of all’ could possibly be, considering what this man had already admitted to. 

 

Flash-forward now to April 2015. I’ve written a novel about a serial killer on a cruise ship (Distress Signals, more on that in a minute) and got a 2-bookdeal with Corvus Books. I meet my editor for the first time over lunch and everything’s going great until she says, ‘What about Book 2?’ I mumble something vague about a half-baked idea of mine,but she doesn’t look too impressed and I start to panic slightly. Then I remember: Thomas Quick. I tell her about the article, about the introductory paragraph. I say I want to write a book where that is the blurb – and she says, ‘Wow, I just got chills.’

 

(Me too, especially when I got out onto the street afterwards and realised that the blurb was ALL I had, that I’d no idea what the plot of the book was, or who would be in it, etc. etc. so mine were different chills, of the panicky kind. But that’s another story…)

The idea for Distress Signals had, four years earlier, also come from an article – this one being ‘Lost At Sea’ by Jon Ronson, about cruise ship disappearances. It mentioned an organisation called International Cruise Victims. That stopped me in my tracks because I wondered what on earth was happening on cruise ships – happy, relaxing places, I would’ve thought – that was creating victims and creating so many of them that this organisation needed to exist. I started Googling…And an idea began to form. A cruise ship is the perfect place to get away with murder. 

 

I’m currently working on Rewind, my third novel which will be out next year, and the idea for that came from an image on PostSecret.com. PostSecret is best described as an art project; people write their secrets on a postcard, anonymously, and mail them in. A few years ago I saw a PostSecret that was an image of a hotel room, on which someone had written, ‘I trade hidden sex-cam footage with other Air B&B hosts.’ A thought struck me: what if you were doing that, not because you were a terrible person but because you were desperate, maybe financially or becauseyou were being blackmailed, and one night you captured a murder on tape? What would you do? What could you do, without getting yourself in trouble?

 

The actual plot of The Liar’s Girl bears no real resemblance to Thomas Quick. It’s the story of Alison Smith who, ten years ago, was a freshman in college in Dublin and in the throes of first love. But her boyfriend, Will Hurley, subsequently confessed to being the Canal Killer who’d drowned five girls in the waters of the Grand Canal. Now, there’s been a copycat murder and, out of desperation, the Gardaí go to visit Will in prison. He says he has information that can help them but will only give it to one person – Alison, who reluctantly returns to Dublin to face the man she’s spend a decade trying to forget. And that’s when she learns that, until now, Will has left out the worst part of it all… 

 http://www.catherineryanhoward.com

@cathryanhoward on Twitter & Instagram

 

#TheLiarsGirl

 

Link to The Serial Killer Has Second Thoughts:

https://www.gq.com/story/thomas-quick-serial-killer-august-2013

 

Link to Lost at Sea:

https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2011/nov/11/rebecca-coriam-lost-at-sea

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#BlogTour! #GuestPost from author of ‘The Other Miss Bates’, Allie Cresswell (@alliescribbler) @RaRaResources

Another RaRaResources blog tour for you all this afternoon, and another guest post! Many thanks to RaRaResources for inviting me to take part in the blog tour for Allie Cresswell’s ‘The Other Miss Bates’. I have a guest post to share with you all for my stop on the tour. First, here is a bit more information on Allie’s book:

Jane Bates has left Highbury to become the companion of the invalid widow Mrs Sealy in Brighton. Life in the new, fashionable seaside resort is exciting indeed. A wide circle of interesting acquaintance and a rich tapestry of new experiences – balls at the Assembly rooms, carriage rides and promenades on the Steyne – make her new life all Jane had hoped for. 

While Jane’s sister Hetty can be a tiresome conversationalist she proves to be a surprisingly good correspondent and Jane is kept minutely up-to-date with developments in Highbury, particularly the tragic news from Donwell Abbey.

When handsome Lieutenant Weston returns to Brighton Jane expects their attachment to pick up where it left off in Highbury the previous Christmas, but the determined Miss Louisa Churchill, newly arrived with her brother and sister-in-law from Enscombe in Yorkshire, seems to have a different plan in mind.

Buy now!

Guest post.

I can think of no character in Jane Austen’s completed works who would qualify as what we understand today as being ‘disabled’. And yet it seemed to me that a book set in Brighton in the 1780s would be unrealistic if it did not include at least one character physically incapacitated in some way. 

Brighton was a town just beginning to be fashionable as a health resort due to the recent discovery of the healthful properties of sea water; the sea was used for bathing and for drinking – which must have been revolting. The fashionable folk of Georgian England began to use seaside towns as an alternative to spas like Bath and Cheltenham. The medical profession burgeoned to take advantage of the new obsession with health, and doctors  some of questionable qualifications – congregated at health resorts where patients were numerous.In Brighton, as elsewhere at this time, with the American war of Independence being fought as well as wars with Spain, France and Holland, it is inevitable that wounded soldiers would have been commonplace. Add to this that life in Georgian England was dangerous, even for the well-to-do. Carriage and horse-riding accidents were everyday occurrences, claiming many victims.

Having decided to set The Other Miss Bates in Brighton and because it was inspired by Jane Austen’s fourth novel, Emma,it was inevitable that illness should play an important part in it. Illness – real or imagined – is a frequent theme. Imagined illness – such as that suffered by Mary Musgrave in Persuasion, is used to imply weakness of character, a lack of fibre, selfishness or at least self-absorption, all characteristics to be mildly disapproved of. Actual illness occurs infrequently in Jane Austen’s books but always to great dramatic effect. (Think of Louisa Musgrave’s concussion in Persuasion, Tom Bertram’s illness in Mansfield Park and of Marianne Dashwood’s fever in Sense and Sensibility.) The plot of these books absolutely pivots on the life-threatening illnesses depicted in each, and, crucially, on the way the principal characters respond to it. The illnesses themselves are generally a physical result of some morally reprehensible behaviour, like Marianne’s unchecked ardour for Willoughby.That Jane Austen was interested in the narrative possibilities of illness and the influence of illness on character is illustrated by her final – unfinished – novel Sanditon, which is set in an imaginary seaside town and peopled by characters variously unwell or believing themselves to be so.

I felt justified, then, in tackling it, but wanted to explore a different aspect of the subject, so I invented two characters who are confined to wheelchairs. Mrs Sealy is a young and wealthy widow, rendered disabled  by a carriage accident. Captain Bates is a casualty of war whose initial injury was compounded by poor medical treatment to leave him an amputee.

Disabled people are not necessarily ‘ill’ although of course sometimes their disability is a consequence of illness or causes issues of ill health. I didn’t want my wheel-chair bound characters’ disability to be a tool of the plot; that would have been cynical and patronising. Their being in wheeled chairs affects their actions just as much as their behaviour, choices, attitudes and values. Like all Jane Austen’s characters they are weighed morally. Although both are ‘victims’, ie, were not born with a disability, they deal with their situations very differently. Mrs Sealy is without self-pity; she is always cheerful, dressed beautifully, attends balls and parties a-plenty and has herself carried from one place to another by an extremely handsome, well-muscled young footman by the name of Ironside. Her being a woman of her time – not her disability – makes her vulnerable to the terrible machinations of her step-son. 

Captain Bates on the other hand has allowed his life-affecting injury to rule his life. In an effort to compensate for the admittedly terrible time he had under the surgeon’s knife he treats himself constantly to food, drink, fine clothes and expensive trinkets. It is this self-indulgence – especially to food – which is the real cause of his incapacity; he has become too fat to move, even with a rudimentary prosthetic (wooden leg).

I think the way I have handled these characters is true to Jane Austen’s technique. They are not judged by who or what they are, their birth, wealth or cleverness but by how they behave. I agonised over them, though. I did not want them to be pitiful, nor villainous, nor ridiculous. Just because Jane Austen chose not to represent the disabled in her books did not seem a valid reason for me to omit them from mine although in all other aspects – plot, character, tone and language – I have attempted to reflect her style.

With trepidation, I invite you to read The Other Miss Batesand let me know how you think.

About the author.

Allie Cresswell was born in Stockport, UK and began writing fiction as soon as she could hold a pencil.

She did a BA in English Literature at Birmingham University and an MA at Queen Mary College, London.

She has been a print-buyer, a pub landlady, a book-keeper, run a B & B and a group of boutique holiday cottages. Nowadays Allie writes full time having retired from teaching literature to lifelong learners.

She has two grown-up children, two granddaughters, two grandsons and two cockapoos but just one husband – Tim. They live in Cumbria, NW England. 

The Other Miss Bates is her eighth novel and the second in the Highbury series

Social Media Links 

www.allie-cresswell.com

https://www.facebook.com/alliescribbler/

@alliescribbler

#BlogTour! #GuestPost from author of #BoneLines; Stephanie Bretherton (@BrethertonWords) @unbounders @annecater

It’s my turn to host Stephanie Bretherton and ‘Bone Lines’ as part of the blog tour organised by Anne Cater (RandomThingsTours). Many thanks to Anne for inviting me to take part in the blog tour where I have a guest post from the author herself. But first, here is more information about ‘Bone Lines’ and how you can purchase it:

 A young woman walks alone through a barren landscape in a time before history, a time of cataclysmic natural change. She is cold, hungry and with child but not without hope or resources. A skilful hunter, she draws on her intuitive understanding of how to stay alive… and knows that she must survive.

In present-day London, geneticist Dr Eloise Kluftwrestles with an ancient conundrum as she unravels the secrets of a momentous archaeological find. She is working at the forefront of contemporary science but is caught in the lonely time-lock of her own emotional past.

Bone Lines is the story of two women, separated by millennia yet bound by the web of life.  A tale of love and survival – of courage and the quest for wisdom – it explores the nature of our species and asks what lies at the heart of being human.

Although partly set during a crucial era of human history 74,000 years ago, Bones Lines is very much a book for our times. Dealing with themes from genetics, climate change and migration to the yearning for meaning and the clash between faith and reason, it also paints an intimate portrait of who we are as a species. The book tackles some of the big questions but requires no special knowledge of any of the subjects to enjoy.

Alternating between ancient and modern timelines, the story unfolds through the experiences of two unique characters:  One is a shaman, the sole surviving adult of her tribe who is braving a hazardous journey of migration, the other a dedicated scientist living a comfortable if troubled existence in London, who is on her own mission of discovery. 

The two are connected not only by a set of archaic remains but by a sense of destiny – and their desire to shape it. Both are pioneers, women of passion, grit and determination, although their day to day lives could not be more different. One lives moment by moment, drawing on every scrap of courage and ingenuity to keep herself and her infant daughter alive, while the other is absorbed by work, imagination and regret. Each is isolated and facing her own mortal dangers and heart-rending decisions, but each is inspired by the power of the life force and driven by love. 

Bone Lines stands alone as a novel but also marks the beginning of the intended ‘Children of Sarah’ series.

Buy now!

Guest post.

A life in the day of a character

 

How do fictional characters come to life? Readers may wonder whether they are pure invention or drawn from ‘biography’ (whether the writer’s own, or from observation, or research). I can speak only from my own perspective, but sometimes there are varying levels of both and sometimes it’s all imagination. My debut novel, Bone Lines, is a dual timeline featuring two very different – yet connected – women: a prehistoric ancestor and a modern-day doctor of genetics. 

 

One is young, vital, active, in danger, but with particular skills and gifts. She is a mother, hunter, shaman, survivor. The other is middle-aged, dedicated and ambitious, wrapped up in thoughts and memories, working through contemporary challenges. She is a scientist, thinker, lover, seeker. Both are independent and isolated but driven by a sense of purpose.

 

Mirror, mirror?

I am often asked how much my character, Dr Eloise Kluft,and I might have in common (and friends often try to identify any real events or people in her world) and while there are many crucial differences and inventions, there are certainparallels when it comes to age, location, passions and concerns. In order to make contemporary characters feel authentic or relatable a writer will often draw on the familiar. However, what intrigues me most is that no one asks whether the prehistoric character (‘Sarah’ – as her bones have been named) is based on me, when both women have emerged from the same source.

 

While Eloise has a few traits that are quite close to home (and her overthinking is certainly a shared flaw) in a strange way, I feel that Sarah may be drawn from an even deeper self – or perhaps a best self – as she arrived almost fully formed and began writing herself, and while I had to wonder what I might do in her situation, she also very much told me what she wanted to do – and how. Some aspects or actions are inspired by research, but only a few details, here and there. (There is also some ‘essence of Holly’ here too, my amazing Aussie niece, who is a park ranger in NSW – and the kind of kick-ass, earth-connected sister who could definitely be one of the ‘Children of Sarah.’) One quality Sarah has that I aspire to (and which many of us may yearn for today?) is her freedom and ability to live in the moment, deeply in tune with the natural landscape.

 

If you imagine it, they will come

It was after watching a documentary about the Toba supervolano in Indonesia 74,000 years ago that the seed was planted for the book. An image came into my mind of a young woman with a child walking away from the fallout of a natural disaster. Then it was the idea of finding a set of ancient remains in the present day – and what we might learn from them – that brought the contemporary narrative into focus. It may have been said by many other writers, but for me, once characters begin to form they have a powerfultendency to make to their own way.

 

Sometimes it can be a battle to channel them back towards your original concepts for the plot, and sometimes they change the plot as they develop. For example, certain lessons Eloise learns during her story had a significant effect on how she would react in a couple of crucial scenes toward the end. Research is also instrumental to the character/plot axis,however, and can help to rein in the self-determination of your creations with a sharp reality check. But also, this can inform particular details or idiosyncrasies in a character. One of the most vital tools in the writer’s workshop, however, is observation. We are such terrible gazers and eavesdroppers! But it’s all those little gestures, nuances, tones and phrases that can make even a minor character recognisable or memorable.

 

And the award for best supporting role…

Protagonists are one thing, but then there’s all the supporting characters, and while the primary purpose of some may be to move the plot along or to demonstrate a key theme, it helps ifthey’re not merely ciphers, but have some intriguing ‘dimensions’ to them, even if only glimpsed. I recently came across a great tip that said all supporting characters should be written as though they think the book is all about them. I like that. However, for the sake of narrative efficiency sometimes you have to combine characters, places and jobs in a way that might not reflect the real world.

 

While accessing a real-life point of view can give you important information and options, whether it changes your fictional characters fundamentally or not depends on your overall objectives for the book – and intended audience. A writer can never hope to please all those involved in a certain profession or activity, especially where dramatic licence may be needed. In every job, vocation or cultural tribe, there are unique individuals. My father was a policeman and while he would enjoy a good story for the story’s sake (as long as there was reasonable plausibility) there were very few fictional police characters that he felt he could relate to personally, apart from Morse.

 

Flaws in Focus

On the subject of real-life research, I had a fascinatingmeeting recently with the lablit society at the Royal Institution, who did me the great honour of choosing Bone Lines for their bookclub. The group included several practising scientists and one or two (very gently) let me know what they might have done differently with Eloise. The book club also kindly offered to act as a focus group for the next book in terms of making sure not only the science is right (which to my great relief seems to be the case with Bones Lines) but also the finer actualities of the life scientific.’ The most heart-warming reaction, however, was to hear how brave they thought it was to choose subjects and characters – so far (and yet so near?) from my own experience – and to bring them to life through something they recognised as ‘a book of ideas’ as much as a story about two curious, courageous – and flawed – women.

 

And that, perhaps, is one of the most important things with which a writer can grace a character – the kind of flaws we might find in ourselves and others – but which we (and others) can hopefully learn to forgive? There’s nothing like the possibility of redemption to give hope to our human story.

 

About the author

Who do you think you are? A daunting question for the debut author… but also one to inspire a genre-fluid novel based on the writer’s fascination for what makes humanity tick. Born in Hong Kong to expats from Liverpool (and something of a nomad ever since) Stephanie is now based in London, but manages her sanity by escaping to any kind of coast

Before returning to her first love of creative writing, Stephanie spent much of her youth pursuing alternative forms of storytelling, from stage to screen and media to marketing. For the past fifteen years Stephanie has run her own communications and copywriting company specialised in design, architecture and building. In the meantime an enduring love affair with words and the world of fiction has led her down many a wormhole on the written page, even if the day job confined such adventures to the weekends.

Drawn to what connects rather than separates, Stephanie is intrigued by the spaces between absolutes and opposites, between science and spirituality, nature and culture. This lifelong curiosity has been channelled most recently into her debut novel, Bone Lines. When not bothering Siri with note-taking for her next books and short stories, Stephanie can be found pottering about with poetry, or working out what worries/amuses her most in an opinion piece or an unwise social media post. Although, if she had more sense or opportunity she would be beachcombing, sailing, meditating or making a well-disguised cameo in the screen version of one of her stories. (Wishful thinking sometimes has its rewards?)

 

Website: http://www.stephaniebretherton.com/

Twitter : @BrethertonWords

Instagram: @brethertonwords2

 

 

#BlogTour! Interview with author of ‘Facing a Twisted Judgement, K.J.McGillick (@kjmcgillickauth) @rararesources

What happens when tunnel vision clouds a police investigation? Is it true that once you are labeled a person of interest you really are the prime suspect? Can you trust the legal system?  Probably not.

 

After a bitterly contested legal battle over inherited property, the hard-won art collection and its owner Samantha Bennington disappear. Both have vanished without a trace. 

 

When blood spatter is discovered under the freshly painted wall of the room in which two of the paintings were hung, the theft becomes the opening act in a twisted tale of jealousy, revenge, and murder leading to a final judgment for all involved. 

 

As the list of suspects narrows, the focus lands squarely on the husband. Some labeled Samantha’s husband a corrupt attorney, others an opportunist. Either way, he’s in the crosshairs of law enforcement and they are calling him a murderer. But is he the only viable suspect? What about the missing woman’s drug-addicted sister and her convicted felon brother? Both were furious over their loss at court and have more than enough reason to hate Samantha.  

 

Guilty until proven innocent leaves Alexander Clarke facing a twisted judgment.

 

Purchase Links 

Buy now from Amazon US

Buy now from Amazon UK

I am delighted to welcome the author of ‘Facing a Twisted Judgement’, K.J.McGillick, to TWG today for an interview. Enjoy!

Where did/do you get your ideas from?

 

The ideas from my books come from my varied and usual background in the law and medicine. I find that most people have a keen interest in how the law works and most especially how people escape justice due to technicalities of the law. I try to think of a crime that would hold my readers interest and then delve into the mechanics of it. If I can throw in how medicine enhances or interferes’ with the crime all the better. I like to use my books as a teaching experience.

 

Are any of your characters based (however loosely) on anyone you know?

 

My last book’s main character was loosely based on a girl that disappeared under suspicious circumstances in the ‘90’s and never found. Although it was not someone I knew personally it was someone who a friend had come in contact with and I found the story intriguing. None of my other books are based on people I have come in contact with although I find a lot of myself in Aunt Mary.

 

How do you pick your characters names?

 

Some just come to me and others I try to pick based upon theethnicity after doing some research. 

 

Can you share your writing process with us, in a nutshell?

 

With some books I start with a seven point plot wheel to outline the plot on one piece of paper. Then I jot down some information about the characters and flesh them out. Once I have the plot and characters in place I then spend about 2 hours in the morning writing a chapter and an hour in the evening editing it. However some books I have no outline or plot wheel and start with my first sentence and see where the story leads me. Often I’m surprised as the reader with the how the book ends when I use this method and I seem to enjoy the unexpected outcome.

 

Who are your top favourite authors?

 

Melinda Leigh, Kendra Elliot, Dan Silva, Kristen Ashley, J. A. Huss, Lee Child 

 

If you could meet any author, who would it be and what would you ask them?

 

J.A. Huss who is an indie author. How do you write 8 books a year and do everything yourself in house and not hire anyone to help you.

 

Were you a big reader as a child?

 

Yes and my favourite series was Nancy Drew.

 

When did you start to write?

 

As an attorney I have to write briefs and legal papers all the time. However, my first stab at creative writing was when I returned from a concentration camp in Germany in 2005 and started a book on the Nazi pillage of art. I didn’t have the writing tools availablethen that I do now and the manuscript sat dormant not to be resuscitated. I became enthused about writing again last year and took a writing class and researched the craft of writing until I was ready to start writing. After I returned last year from a visit to London and Paris I was ready to write.

 

If you could re-write the ending to any book what would it be and what would you change?

 

Gone With the Wind. Scarlett and Rhett would have a happily ever after.

 

 Is there a book you wish you had written?

 

The DaVinci Code

 

If you wrote an autobiography, what would your title be?

 

The Struggle Was Worth It

 

If you could invite any fictional character for coffee who would it be and where would you take them?

 

Gabriel Allon from Dan Silva’s novels and it would be a coffee house in my area.

 

What are you working on right now?

 

The continuation of Facing A Twisted Judgement . Facing A Twisted Judgment can be read as a standalone with a conclusion to it. But early readers felt they wanted more, an expansion of the conclusion and that is what I’m working to give them. 

 

Do you have a new release due?

 

Facing A Twisted JudgmentDecember. The next one February

 

What do you generally do to celebrate on publication day?

 

Have a special lunch with a friend

 

How can readers keep in touch with you?

 

www.kjmcgillick.com and kjmcgillick@gmail.com

 

Is there anything else you would like us to know?

 

Every bit of my personal history has brought me to the place I am now where I use it all in my books. I like to think that when my readers finish my books thy are more educated about art, medicine and the law and find my endings satisfactory.

 

 

#BlogTour! #GuestPost from author of ‘Joseph Barnaby’, Susan Roebuck (@sueroebuck) @RaRaResources

It’s the final countdown!! Do do dooo, do do do do dooooo. Okay, it’s not, but it’s the final date of the blog tour and I have the honour of closing the tour with a guest post from the author of ‘Joseph Barnaby’, Susan Roebuck. Many thanks to RaRaResources for the blog tour invite. Before I get to the guest post, here is a little bit more information about Susan’s novel:

Stand by your beliefs – even if it means going to the end of the Earth

By standing up for his principles to save the life of a prize racehorse, farrier Joseph Barnaby loses everything. Now, a personal vendetta has become too deep to fight and he escapes to the island of Madeira where he finds work on a small farm at the foot of a cliff, only accessible by boat. The balmy climate and never-ending supply of exotic fruit, vegetables and honey make it sound like paradise but, for Joseph, it’s the ideal place to hide from the world. Can the inhabitants of Quinta da Esperança, who have more grit in them than the pebbled beach that fronts the property, help Joseph find his self-worth again? And can he escape the danger that draws ever nearer?

Purchase Links

Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Joseph-Barnaby-Susan-Roebuck-ebook/dp/B07FMVFLH1/

Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/Joseph-Barnaby-Susan-Roebuck-ebook/dp/B07FMVFLH1/

Guest post.

Setting your Novel in a Foreign Country

 Joseph Barnaby” is the third novel in my Portuguese series. They’re all stand-alone novels but each are set in Portugal: “Rising Tide” takes place in a small fishing village on the Alentejo coast; “Forest Dancer” in the forested hills just outside Lisbon (in Sintra); and now “Joseph Barnaby” on a remote beach on the island of Madeira. 

 One of the challenges of writing a novel in a foreign country is knowing how to keep the Portuguese “atmosphere” without ending up with a language problem. I wanted the Portuguese characters to be well-rounded and relatable, but they couldn’t all speak English that well. Having stilted speech and hesitations throughout would be very tiring for the reader so,to avoid this, in “Forest Dancer” I had some characters speaking excellent English (and I’m lucky that most Portuguese can speak good English). When those whose linguistic abilities weren’t so good I show from the context what they were trying to say, or I had one of the English-speaking characters translate. This had to be done sparingly,otherwise things would’ve become tedious for the reader. To maintain the “sense of place”, though, I kept a few Portuguese expressions or words in but made sure they were obvious from the context what they meant. As my editor told me, “don’t make your reader have to go and look something up, they might not come back again”. 

 In “Joseph Barnaby” I solved the problem by having Joseph (the English main character) managing to learn Portuguese in six months during his time working in a fishermen’s bar. Therefore the other characters all spoke Portuguese. Of course, the book is written in English, but to add authenticity, I added a few Portuguese expressions occasionally.

 Another problem that can arise when setting your novel in a foreign country is that the author should avoid using local people as characters, or even stereotype them. In “Joseph Barnaby” I endeavoured to find variety in the people just as you’d find in any country: there are hospital doctors, a bee-keeper, teachers, and the local fishermen have their unique personalities.

 Weather plays an important role in setting your novel abroad. When most people think of Portugal they imagine the sunny beaches of the Algarve, yet there is so much more to the country than that small region. Madeira is very different. It has a temperate climate and is full of flowers, but subject to some spectacular storms. 

 To conclude, then. My advice to anyone planning their novel abroad is to find aspects of the country that the reader might not expect, but to keep it realistic.

 Thank you for hosting me today! I hope you enjoy “Joseph Barnaby”.

 

About the author.

I was born and educated in the UK (I am British!) but now live in Portugal. I’ve been an English teacher for many years with the British Council and also the Portuguese civil service where I developed e-learning courses.

My first love is, of course, my husband, my second writing, and my third painting. And now I have time to be able to indulge in all three.

My debut novel, “Perfect Score” was published by Mundania Press on Sept 21, 2010 and the paperback launched on May 11 2011. It was a finalist in the 2012 EPIC e-book Awards in the Mainstream Category.

My second novel is a dark thriller/fantasy called “Hewhay Hall”. It won an EPPIE award in the 2013 EPIC (Electronic Publishing Industry Coalition) e-Book Awards in the Horror Category.

Next comes “Rising Tide”, published in 2015. Set in Portugal, published by Mundania Press. It is set in a tiny fishing village that the world, and most of Portugal, has forgotten. Read about the wonders of the ocean and see if Piper from Norfolk UK and Leo from Alaska, USA, can find what they’re searching for in the little village of Luminosa.

“Forest Dancer” was published on 20th February 2018 by CrookedCat Books. This is novel number 2 set in Portugal but this time in the forests outside Lisbon, Portugal. Instead of the sea (as in Rising Tide), now find out about the wonders of the forest and whether classical ballerina, Flora, can find what she’s searching for in the small village of Aurora.

On 5th October 2018 CrookedCat Books published My newest novel, “Joseph Barnaby”, another romance/suspense which is set on the island of Madeira
.


Social Media Links  

blog and website: http://www.susanroebuck.com

General Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SuRoebuck

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/SusanRoebuckauthor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/sueroebuck

Amazon page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Susan-Roebuck/e/B0050B2O3U/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1526385163&sr=8-1

Giveaway

Win:

1. 1st prize an Amazon book token (£10) , 
2. 2nd prize – 2 x signed paperbacks of Joseph Barnaby
3. 3rd prize – 2 x ebooks of Joseph Barnaby

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

Enter the giveaway now!

#BlogTour! #Promo – Take Me, I’m Yours by Lizzie Lamb (@lizzie_lamb) @rararesources

I apologise for the…49 minutes lateness, however I am excited to be promoting Lizzie Lamb’s new novel as part of my stop on the blog tour!

India Buchanan plans to set up an English-Style bed and breakfast establishment in her great-aunt’s home, MacFarlane’s Landing, Wisconsin. But she’s reckoned without opposition from Logan MacFarlane whose family once owned her aunt’s house and now want it back. MacFarlane is in no mood to be denied. His grandfather’s living on borrowed time and Logan has vowed to ensure the old man sees out his days in their former home. India’s great-aunt has other ideas and has threatened to burn the house to the ground before she lets a MacFarlane set foot in it. There’s a story here. One the family elders aren’t prepared to share. When India finds herself in Logan’s debt, her feelings towards him change. However, the past casts a long shadow and events conspire to deny them the love and happiness they both deserve. Can India and Logan’s love overcome all odds? Or is history about to repeat itself?

For the duration of the blog tour – Take Me, I’m Yours will be downloadable for 99p

Purchase now from Amazon

About the author.

After teaching her 1000th pupil and working as a deputy head teacher in a large primary school, Lizzie decided to pursue her first love: writing. She joined the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s New Writers’ Scheme, wrote Tall, Dark and Kilted (2012), quickly followed by Boot Camp Bride. She went on to publish Scotch on the Rocks, which achieved Best Seller status within two weeks of appearing on Amazon and her next novel, Girl in the Castle, reached #3 in the Amazon charts. Lizzie is a founder member of indie publishing group – New Romantics Press, and has co-hosted author events at Aspinall, St Pancras and Waterstones, Kensington, talking about the research which underpins her novels. Lizzie latest romance Take Me, I’m Yours is set in Wisconsin, a part of the USA which she adores. She has further Scottish-themed romances planned and has just returned from a tour of the Scottish Highlands in her caravan researching men in kilts. What’s not to like? As for the years she spent as a teacher, they haven’t quite gone to waste. She is building a reputation as a go-to speaker on indie publishing, and how to plan, write, and publish a debut novel. Lizzie lives in Leicestershire (UK) with her husband, David.

She loves to hear from readers, so do get in touch . . .

Lizzie’s Links

Amazon

Facebook

Website

Newsletter

LinkedIn

Goodreads

Pinterest

Twitter

#BlogTour! #GuestPost from the author of ‘The Little Gate-Crasher’ Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer (@GabKaplanMayer) @RaRaResources

I am beginning to catch up with my delayed blog posts from the past week – apologies once again to RaRaResources, and the author, for my delay in posting this, but thank you for having me on the blog tour nonetheless. I have a guest post from author of ‘The Little Gate-Crasher’, Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer. Enjoy.

Mace Bugen might have been an achondroplastic dwarf, 43 inches tall with an average size head and
torso set on small, twisted legs—but that didn’t mean he was an idiot or a pushover. In truth, he was
smarter than most; over the years, he learned to effectively turn what society in those days called a
handicap into a powerful tool he could use to his advantage.

“When I was a kid,” he once said, “I’d ask myself, Why is that guy on the football team? Why can’t I
be on the team? Why didn’t God give me the height so I could be the hero?”
“Then at some point I figured it out: I gotta do something special to let ’em know I’m me.”
In The Little Gate Crasher: The Life And Photos Of Mace Bugen, I remember my amazing great-Uncle
Mace Bugen through his journey as a first-generation Jewish-American kid in working class
Philipsburg, NJ to becoming the first celebrity selfie-artist—way ahead of his time.

Featuring vintage photos of Mace with his exploits, The Little Gate Crasher captures three decades of
American pop culture, seen through the unique lens of Mace and his gate-crashing exploits.
Underneath his antics, we meet a complex man who continually defies others expectations and
meets life on his own terms. Mace becomes a successful businessman and devoted son to his aging
parents. But in his gate-crashing antics, we best get to see Mace’s unique combination of guile,
cunning and sense of entitlement, which he used to engineer photos of himself with some of the
biggest celebrities of his day. If people were going to stare at him all of his life, he would give them
something to see.

The Little Gate Crasher features over 50 vintage photos of Mace with celebrities, athletes and
politicians, including Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron, Muhammed Ali, Richard Nixon, Jane Russel, Joe
DiMaggio and more.

Buy: Amazon US  // Amazon UK

 Guest Post.

Understanding Through Memoir
By Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer

1 in 5 human beings has some kind of disability – including learning,
developmental, physical, emotional or a combination of disabilities. And yet,
while disability is such a common part of the human experience, some people are
uncomfortable and even afraid around people with disabilities. As a mom raising
a teenage son whose autism is very visible, I have reflected since his early
childhood on why disability can trigger this kind of reaction. I think it’s in part a
natural human fear of the unknown experience. Disability pushes our buttons
around vulnerability – it makes us wonder how would we react if someone in our
family – or we ourselves – needed supports or accommodations for daily living?
Society has largely allowed us to keep people with disabilities at arms length –
it’s only in the last generation or two that public schools have been mandated to
provide public education for all. Many adults with disabilities in the US don’t live
in community settings or work in places where the public gets to interact and
know them – they remain set apart.

This separation is changing – but it’s slow and requires all of us to move out of
our comfort zone to know about and respect the lives of human beings we may
have never seen as a natural part of our community. I believe that as educators,
we have a responsibility to nurture in our students a willingness and curiosity to
learn about life experiences that are different from their own and engage in
conversations and activities that help them to understand more about what living
with a disability is like.

My new memoir The Little Gate-Crasher  shares the story of another family
member who has a disability—and the incredible life that he lived.
The Little Gate-Crasher features the amazing story of my Great-Uncle Mace
Bugen – an unstoppable spirit, first generation Jewish American, self-made
millionaire, celebrity gate-crasher – who was 43 inches tall. Mace’s unstoppable
spirit defied the challenges of his own physical limitations and society’s
prejudices towards people with dwarfism. The book features Mace’s photos of
himself with the greatest celebrities of his era, including Muhammad Ali, Joe
DiMaggio, Sammy David, Jr. and more.

Books are powerful tools to help us understand lives that are very different from
our own—and in many ways, also very similar. I encourage you to use The Little
Gate-Crasher  to inspire conversation in your community through:
 Parent/Teen Dialogue: If a family isn’t personally touched by disability, parents
and kids may have never had an opportunity to discuss their feelings, fears and insights about Invite them to read together and use my discussion guide to
create interactive conversations for parents and teens.

 Partner with your Adult Book Club: are you part of a a book group or club? If so,
suggest reading The Little Gate-Crasher and I’ll be happy to Skype into your book
club to do a reading and lead a discussion with you! It’s lots of fun for us and
makes your job easy. Contact me to schedule.

My hope is that memoir can make life with disability feel not as far away or scary
from most of our lives, so that when we encounter disability personally, we can
be present with friendship, kindness and caring.

Many thanks to the author for the guest post. Purchase links are above.

About the author.

Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer is an experienced educator, author and speaker. At
Jewish Learning Venture, she works as Director of Whole Community Inclusion and
leads disability awareness programs for the Philadelphia Jewish community. Her most
recent book The Little Gate Crasher, a memoir of her Great-Uncle, who overcame
society’s prejudices about dwarfism to lead a remarkable life, was one of the national
book selections for 2017 Jewish Disability Awareness & Inclusion Month. Gabby writes
for and edits The New York Jewish Week’s The New Normal: Blogging Disability and is
also a featured Philly parenting blogger for WHYY’s newsworks. Gabby holds a B.F.A. in
theatre and creative writing from Emerson College and an M.A. in Jewish Studies from
the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College.

Website

 

#BlogTour! #Review and #QandA – #PuzzleGirl by Rachael Featherstone (@WRITERachael) @DomePress


Massive congratulations to Rachael Featherstone as #PuzzleGirl is published by Dome Press in e-book, TODAY! Huge thank you to Emily for asking me to be involved in the blog tour for the republication of #PuzzleGirl so, to celebrate my kicking off the blog tour, I will be re-sharing my review from the first time around, as well as a Q and A with author, Rachael. Enjoy!

Love is a riddle waiting to be solved… Clued-up career girl Cassy Brookes
has life under control until one disastrous morning changes everything.
When she finds herself stuck in a doctor s surgery, a cryptic message left in

a crossword magazine sends her on a search to find the mysterious puzzle-
man behind it. Cassy is soon torn between tracking down her elusive

dream guy, and outwitting her nightmare workmate, the devious Martin.
Facing a puzzling love-life, will she ever be able to fit the pieces together
and discover the truth behind this enigmatic man?

What does TWG think?

Now, I’m not the cleverest person when it comes to completing puzzles, especially as Sudoku reminds me of trying to work out your BMI (awfully frustrating), but I was intrigued to see how puzzles were going to be made into a storyline. I thought that maybe I needed to go on a word search(sorry!) to find out, but I ended up having a few cross words with myself due to the constant brain teasers of the storyline! Sorry, I will stop now!

It all started by Cassy finding a puzzle book in a doctor’s surgery waiting room, working out and adapting a few clues (multiple times), whilst finding a mysterious replying puzzle man in the process. I can’t even get people I know talking to me, never mind a stranger responding to me via a puzzle book!! Cassy had a bee in her bonnet and was adamant that she would find out who her puzzle man was, however, the only way that she could do that was by finding multiple (bizarre) reasons to drop into the clinic to check the puzzle book. The bee in the bonnet became an obsession, and the obsession started taking over her life, her friendships and her work life. Thanks to a smidge of rivalry in the office, Cassy’s workplace was already taken over by a different kind of obsession…

At first, I found Cassy’s obsession with her puzzle man quite funny, especially as she was making herself look like an absolute fool every single time she made an excuse to go to the clinic. She let it rule every part of her life which made me feel like she had taken the whole excuse thing completely overboard, making it more about finding excuses as opposed to finding out who the mystery puzzle person was. Her rivalry with a work colleague was hilarious, even if I did think that she had created a completely different version of her rival in her head! Martin didn’t appear to be as big of an arrogant ogre as Cassy made him out to be, but her reactions to his antics were sometimes OVER dramatic that it was brilliant.

‘Puzzle Girl’ is the type of book that to believe it, you need to read it. There are so many unique, clever and utterly bonkers moments throughout the whole book which need to be ravished by your own imagination. There really is something truly hypnotizing about this book, I can’t even put my finger on exactly what it is but all I know is that it filled a large void. I have never, ever read a book like ‘Puzzle Girl’ and I have read  A LOT of books. Every character had a place in the book (even the grumpy receptionist!), not one of them gave off the vibe that they were just ‘there to fill up the storyline’. Obviously, some of the characters were more memorable than others, but they all brought something completely different to the overall feel of the book. For me, that added even more depth to an already puzzling storyline.

Seeing as I was so excited to read ‘Puzzle Girl’, I had everything crossed that my excitement wasn’t going to be short lived once I had begun reading it. I really had no need to worry as Rachael Featherstone’s book ticked each and every box for me, multiple times. Yes, some parts of the storyline, for me, were over exaggerated at points, but it didn’t ruin the book in any way. I just put those OTT situations down to Cassy’s individual personality. After all, she is definitely a unique cookie!

It’s hard to believe that ‘Puzzle Girl’ is Rachael Featherstone’s debut novel, as to read it you might think that she had a fair few novels under her belt. Instead, she just has puzzle pieces!

Puzzle Girl is a humorous, bonkers and unique story which shows that love can be found in the most unexpected places, as long as you have a bit of  two down and three across (not even a clue btw).

A fantastic, witty debut that resulted in me closing the book with a massive smile on my face. Absolutely loved it.

Buy now from Amazon

Q&A.

TWG – Could you tell us a bit about you and your background before you began
writing?
I’m a chocoholic and bookaholic who dreams about the invention of books whose
pages turn into chocolate after you’ve read them. I live in Hampshire with my
husband and our beautiful baby girl. Before I was a writer my life was very boring… I
grew up in Essex where I spent most of my time doing mathematical equations. I
went to Oxford to study maths and afterwards took a job in banking in London. Then
in 2012 my mum was diagnosed with terminal ovarian cancer and everything
changed.

TWG – Have you always wanted to be a writer?
Yes and no… Writing a book was on my “do before you die” list but I’d never thought
I’d be a writer writer. Maths was always my strongest subject at school and so I
naturally studied it at uni. But in my final year there, I opted to do an extended essay
which I focused on 18 th century women mathematicians. It was my favourite part of
my degree and I realised how much I enjoyed writing.

TWG – What made you decide to write your novel?
My mum’s diagnosis made me re-evaluate everything in my life. I quit my job so I
could make the most of the time we had left. My mum never gave up, she lived her
life to the full, travelling, campaigning, and embracing the power of positive thinking.
I was, and still am, in awe of her. It was seeing her bravery that gave me the
confidence to pick up the pen and write a novel.

TWG – How hard was it to find inspiration for Puzzle Girl?
I actually didn’t find it hard; the idea found me! Puzzle Girl’s premise of someone
replying to a message in a magazine at a doctor’s surgery came to me while sat in a
doctor’s waiting room with my mum as we waited to see her consultant. The exact
details of Cassy’s journey came to me more slowly as I worked on the book.

TWG – If you could pick a favourite character from your novel, who would it be and
why?
Dan. I think everyone needs a friend like Dan in their life. He’s funny, he’s kind, he’s
loyal and excellent eye candy.

TWG – Did you ever regret writing a character in to your story after it was published?
No. But… I did change who Puzzle-man really was during the editing process. Does
that count?

TWG – Did you find yourself under any personal pressure for your debut novel to
succeed and be liked by many?
I’ve always put myself under a lot of pressure to succeed but with Puzzle Girl that
pressure felt even more intense. There were a fair few raised eyebrows when I told 
people I was leaving my job to write a book, before I had a book deal, before I had an
agent, before I had even written the prologue… Having Puzzle Girl published was the
validation that I’d been right to take a risk and follow my dream. Having people
enjoy reading it is the icing on the cake.

TWG – 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?
That is a tough one! But I think I’d have to say, P.S I Love You by Cecelia Ahern. For
me, everything about this book is perfect, from the concept to prose. It made me
cry, laugh, hope… I loved the letters. I felt like I was part of the story and the
characters lived on in my mind long after I read the final page.

TWG – What does your ‘writing space’ look like?
Whatever space I happen to be in when my little girl is taking a nap. A table in a
coffee shop that has space for a pram, a park bench in the shade, or in bed, with the
baby monitor propped up on the pillow next to me.

TWG – Were there any authors you wanted to be like, when you were a child?
J. K. Rowling because she’d seen Hogwarts.

TWG –  If you had to sum up your book to a stranger in five words, what would they be
and why?
Good question! I think I’d have to say… Cassy’s calamitous hunt for Puzzle-man. In
fact, Puzzle Girl, is about so much more than just finding the mysterious Puzzle-man,
but – just like my five-word summary – Cassy’s obsession causes her to ignore
everything else that’s going on around her, and if she’s not careful, it could cost her
more than she ever imagined.

TWG – What’s coming next for you? Any exclusives?
I am diving head-first into editing my next novel, another romantic comedy that I
have been working on with my agent. I can’t give too much away just yet, but I can
*exclusively* reveal that the main character is called… Freya. Watch this space!

TWG – One final question. What advice would you give to a writer that wants to get
published? Any words of wisdom?
Meet as many people from the industry as you can, be confident pitching your work
and be open to feedback. Writing festivals with agent/editor ones-to-ones are a
great way to do this.

Huge thank you to Rachael Featherstone for taking the time out from editing her second novel, to answer a few of my questions! I cannot wait to read it!

About the author.

Rachael Featherstone was born and raised in Woodford. Her path to writing was a little
unorthodox. After reading Mathematics at Oxford University, New College, Rachael went
to work in research.

When Rachael’s mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer in 2012, Rachael decided to
take a chance, quit her job, and fulfill a lifetime ambition to write a novel. She went back to
university and completed a Masters in English Literature and had several short stories
published.

Rachael now lives in Hampshire with her husband and daughter.
Puzzle Girl will be published by the Dome Press in ebook on 2nd August 2018 and in
paperback in January 2019.

Social Media & Links

Twitter: @WRITERachael
Instagram: @rachael_featherstone
Facebook: @RachaelFeatherstoneAuthor
Website: www.writerachael.com

#BlogBlitz! #Guestpost from author of Chasing Black Gold, Robert Stone (@rstonecbg) @RaRaResources


It is a pleasure to welcome to TWG, author of ‘Chasing Black Gold’, Robert Stone! As part of the one day blog blitz, I have a guest post to share with you all today. But first, here is a little bit more information about Robert’s book, as well as the chance to win a signed copy of Robert’s book!


ROBERT STONE was a serial entrepreneur – an enterprising individual, mostly on the wrong
side of the law, who spent twenty-five years operating all over the world, before being
arrested in Switzerland as a result of an international manhunt led by an Organised Crime
Drug Enforcement Task Force. Over the course of his career, Stone earned and lost several
lifetimes’ worth of fortunes, went to prison on three continents, used dozens of aliases, saw
men die, and masterminded one of the biggest marijuana smuggling operations in criminal
history. Fuel smuggling in Africa, trading fuel with generals, rebels and businessman, was
both his career high and, ultimately, what brought him down.

Purchase from:

The History Press
Amazon UK
Waterstones
Barnes and Noble
Amazon US

Giveaway!

Prize – Win 10 x signed copies of Chasing Black Gold (Open Internationally)
*Terms and Conditions – Worldwide entries welcome. Please enter using the
Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all
valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all
entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is
used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of
the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for
fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data. I am not responsible for
despatch or delivery of the prize.

Enter the giveaway!

Guest post from author, Robert Stone.

I’m currently working on Chasing Deep Gold. It is a nonfiction tale of my career in the Commercial Oil
Field Diving Industry and a prequel to Chasing Black Gold

When I was working The North Sea I ended up being mainly involved in Hyperbaric Welding. There
were only a few of us in the world certified to do it. Taylor Diving and Comex were the leaders in this
field.

Hyperbaric Welding is welding (mainly pipelines) in a dry atmosphere on the ocean floor. The dry
atmosphere was created by lowering a SPAR or Submersible Pipe Alignment Rig with a welding
habitat in the centre. The SPAR was maybe 60 foot long and 20 foot wide weighing in around 80 –
100 tons.

You were either replacing flanged connections, joining newly laid pipelines together or repairing
damaged sections of an existing pipeline.
Because pipe welding was extremely difficult and took years of experience to get it right the bosses
at Taylor decided they would train pipe welders from the lay barges how to dive. The logic was any
monkey could learn how to dive but it took a skilled man to weld pipe.
The first winter they taught the welders how to dive in a 30 foot deep tank in Belle Chase Louisiana.
Clear water- breathe in breathe out – wearing a helmet- easy peasy- what was all the fuss about?
They then were put in saturation at a special hyperbaric facility where the depth and the welding
could be simulated. This was slightly more difficult for them to get used to as living in a 7 foot
diameter 20 foot long chamber with 5 other guys for a couple of weeks takes some getting used to but
they did. Welding arcs behaved differently under pressure as well but they were experienced hands
and adapted to it.

Everything went well, the welding procedures were certified and we mobilized in The North Sea
early Spring to go do some tie-ins in The Ekofisk Field in Norway.
The Offshore Industry and the diving business in general is much different today than it was in the
1970’s. Today personnel work shift of 2 weeks on 2 weeks off or 2 weeks on 3 weeks off. Divers have
to have double time off so two weeks in saturation means four weeks off. Back then our contracts
were for a minimum of 4 months. Ask to leave before that you would lose your 10% bonus.
You went into sat and basically didn’t come out until the year was done. You could opt out if
weather was on or they were doing a crew change if you wanted but I never did. This particular year
I spent 210 days offshore straight with 207 of them in saturation. It was 72 days in (my longest sat) 1
day out, 69 days in, 2 days out and the next 66 in before de-mobilising in Rotterdam.
(In my diving career I spent a total of 2265 days in saturation. That is over 6 years in a small tank
with 8 other guys. No wonder the time I later spent in prison was such a doddle.)
The regular diving crew went into sat and prepared the job for the welder divers. We lined up the
pipes, broke the concrete weight coating off using sledge hammers. Busting concrete for 4 hours on
the ocean floor is hard work. They estimated we burned up 7-8000 calories per dive. We set the
SPAR and lowered the habitat over the pipes and sealed it off then blew it down with a breathable
atmosphere. In this case a mixture of O2 and Helium.

Now it was time for the welders to come in and go to work. 3 divers went into the decompression
lock and the 6 welder divers came in. I was in the first bell run. The outside bell lights had fused and
were not working so when we got to the bottom and equalised all these divers saw in the mist was a
cold black hole and told me no F’n way and refused to go out. We ended up going up and changing
out the team. Next guys said the same thing. What we had was a barge costing $500,000 USD / day
doing nothing.

We ended up going down, running a line over to the habitat and taking the guys one by one by hand
over to the habitat. Wouldn’t be allowed today as we had to leave the bell unattended. They
managed to get the welds done but that winter the company taught a few of us divers how to weld
pipe!

#BlogTour! #CharacterReview of ‘Ellie’ from #TheSecretsofVillaRosso by Linn.B.Halton (@LinnBHalton) @HarperImpulse @RaRaResources


I have something a little bit different for you all today, as I have already had the pleasure of reviewing ‘The Secrets of Villa Rosso’, I will be doing a character review of main character, Ellie, instead! Thank you to RaRaResources for the blog tour invite, and to both her and the author for allowing me to do something different for my tour stop today. Enjoy!


Some places stay with you forever…

When Ellie Maddison is sent on a business trip to Southern Italy, she’s reminded why she loves her
job – set amongst rolling vineyards and rich olive groves, the beautiful Villa Rosso is the perfect
escape from her life back home. But what Ellie isn’t prepared for is the instant connection she feels
to the estate’s director Max Jackson, or the secrets they share that are as intertwined as the
rambling vines that cover Villa Rosso.

It’s not long before Ellie finds herself entangled in the history of the place, trying to understand the
undeniable effect Max is having on her. As their relationship grows, what will Ellie discover about
this idyllic villa and those who have walked through its doors?

What started as a simple work trip will change Ellie’s life forever.

Character review – Ellie

So, Ellie, a character who is bound to get readers talking for various reasons, but just how far can I delve into those reasons without giving anything away? Easy peasy lemon squeezy!

Ellie has been asked to go on a business trip to Italy, and of course she agreed. Who wouldn’t? What Ellie didn’t bargain for was a connection to local man, Max Jackson. Ellie is someone who doesn’t quite know her true worth, especially when she has a husband at home who seems to want to knock his wife’s confidence, instead of being the cheerleader she so desperately needs. Personally, I had everything crossed that Ellie would see sense where her husband was concerned, by telling him where to go so that she can live the life she unknowingly wants.

I loved how bubbly and warm-hearted Ellie’s personality was; it was really difficult not to fall under her spell! No wonder Max Jackson was awfully taken with her! Although to be fair to him, Ellie is an extremely determined woman, so I can’t exactly put all of the blame onto him. I don’t think that Ellie is one of the strongest characters Linn B Halton has written, but she is definitely one that will leave a mark for a lot of readers. I’m all for independence, so when Ellie chose to go to Italy, I felt a different side of her personality come alive. It’s just a shame that she hadn’t felt comfortable to dust the cobwebs from that particular side around her husband.

All in all, I thought that Ellie was a fun character to read about, but one who also showed signs of low self-esteem towards herself, and nervousness towards her future.

Buy ‘The Secrets of Villa Rosso’ – now!

About the author.

From interior designer to author, Linn – who also writes under the pen name of Lucy Coleman – says
‘it’s been a fantastic journey!’

Linn is the bestselling author of more than a dozen novels and is excited to be writing for both
Harper Impulse (Harper Collins) and Aria Fiction (Head of Zeus); she’s represented by Sara Keane of
the Keane Kataria Literary Agency.

When she’s not writing, or spending time with the family, she’s either upcycling furniture or working
in the garden.

Linn won the 2013 UK Festival of Romance: Innovation in Romantic Fiction award; her novels have
been short-listed in the UK’s Festival of Romance and the eFestival of Words Book Awards.
Living in Coed Duon in the Welsh Valleys with her ‘rock’, Lawrence, and gorgeous Bengal cat Ziggy,
she freely admits she’s an eternal romantic.

Linn is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and writes feel-good, uplifting novels about
life, love and relationships.

Social Media Links

Website: http://linnbhalton.co.uk/
Twitter: @LinnBHalton and @LucyColemanAuth
Facebook: LinnBHaltonAuthor