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

Blog Tour Banner for Shelley Wilson HIMMTS

Blog Tour Schedule - HIMMTS
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.

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#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.

@DavidVidecette usually does the interrogating, but now it’s TWG’s turn! #AuthorInterview

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I am delighted to have author of ‘The Theseus Paradox’ and ‘The Detriment’, David Videcette, back for a visit today. So much so, he’s actually taking over The Writing Garnet today, as all of the blog posts published will be about him and his books -puts feet up-.
If you’re aware of David Videcette’s background, you’ll know that he is incredibly clued up on interrogation. So, instead of putting Mr Videcette to work and allowing him to interrogate TWG, I turned the tables and interrogated him instead!

I am SO excited about this interview it’s unreal, I got to interrogate the main man!
We had a good chat…hopefully I didn’t scare him off too much! Enjoy folks!

David Videcette, former detective with the Anti-Terrorist Branch.

  • Hi David, thanks so much for agreeing to a TWG interrogation! 

Thank you for having me back on The Writing Garnet, Kaisha!

  • Huge congratulations on the success of your first novel, The Theseus Paradox! Were you expecting the book to be received as well as that when you published it?

To be honest, no. The Theseus Paradox is based on a real-life case I worked on as a detective for many years. The book takes its name from Operation Theseus, which was the police investigation into the 7/7 London bombings. It’s a case very dear to my heart, and one which took over my life.  I wrote my thriller exactly how I wanted it. The original manuscript was read by all the major publishers who wanted me to alter the story to make fit whatever gap they had in their particular publishing list at the time, which I wasn’t prepared to do. Some of the publishers felt that I needed to make my main protagonist more likable, and tone down some of his wilder habits. One even wanted me to make it into a love story rather than a thriller. They said the book wouldn’t sell unless I changed various elements.

I guess all the conflicting voices condition you into thinking it won’t do very well, but the reality is – it’s been amazing. I’m glad I stood my ground and persevered with it. It’s a very personal, warts-and-all tale, which I suppose is why I didn’t want to sugar coat it. And I believe that readers respect the honesty, authenticity and integrity of it. They know it’s as close to crime fact as crime fiction ever gets.

  • David, some of my eagle-eyed readers may be wondering why they recognise your name from television, could you tell us a little bit more about yourself, and your background?

As a police detective with twenty years’ service, much of which was spent in specialist operations and counter units, I’m often asked to commentate on policing and terror operations for television and radio. I’ve also been lucky enough to work with Crimewatch, The Bill and a couple of TV documentaries over the years. On one police show for the BBC, I was followed by a camera crew every day for a year. People do sometimes say they’ve spotted me on the telly and moan at me if I’ve not go a suit and tie on!

  • I’ve noticed that your novels are also helping a rather special charity; the Police Dependants’ Trust. Could you tell us how your novels can make a difference for that particular charity, and why? 

Sales and downloads of The Theseus Paradox and The Detriment are supporting the National Welfare Contingency Fund which helps police officers who have been involved in a major incident such as a terrorist attack. The fund will provide assistance with personal care plans, welfare support officers and talking therapies – enabling officers and their families to better deal with the aftermath of a traumatic national incident.

There is a perception that police officers and emergency service personnel as a whole are immune to the events they have to deal with at work. Their mental wellbeing is often overlooked. Historically, post-traumatic stress disorder has been more commonly associated with combat veterans and sadly, there are few places that police officers can turn if they fall into crisis. That’s why the help that the Police Dependants’ Trust offers is so incredibly important and I’m very proud to support their work through sales of my crime thrillers. So please buy a book or donate directly to the PDT here!

  • Your new novel, The Detriment (published 29th June), is such an addictive read; how important was it to you to base events on real life situations/events?

I like to write what I know and know what I write, particularly around cases I’ve been involved in personally over the years. For the foreseeable future my books will always be based on real events. I try to immerse the reader in the investigation, as if they were there as a detective trying to solve each case. The reader gets the clues about what’s going on, just as I would as a police officer in real life. I enjoy providing an insider’s perspective and new insights into cases we all remember having seen on the news.

  • In case anyone is wondering, can ‘The Detriment’ be read as a standalone, or is it advisable to have read ‘The Theseus Paradox’ beforehand?

Detective Jake Flannagan’s journey in this series begins in 2005 with the 7/7 London bombings, and then moves onto the next major terrorist attack on home soil – the burning Jeep attack on Glasgow Airport attack in summer 2007. Chronologically and in terms of Jake’s relationships, it’s much better to read the books in order. Start with book one, The Theseus Paradox, and then read book two, The Detriment, as they are intended to be a series.

  • Jake Flannagan, what a character! Without landing yourself in any hot water, yet still being as honest as you can, was Jake based on a real person?

Let’s put it this way – I do all my own stunts…

TWG – well that’s one way to get the ladies to swoon!

– Have you ever found it difficult, whilst writing your novels, to differentiate between what’s real life and what’s made up? I mean, you have the knowledge to write 100% truth, why didn’t you?

I did set out to write an autobiographical, non-fiction book. However, the Official Secrets Act forbids me from actually writing a factual book. But what the law can’t do, is interfere with my artistic rights. So if I write something and say its fiction, then I don’t break any rules or any laws. The question is, how much of it is fiction? There are very few people who know the answer to that question, (even my editor!) and I leave it up to the readers to decide for him or herself…

  • What made you decide to make such a drastic career change, has it always been a dream of yours to write novels?

I used to read a lot of crime fiction as a police officer and I watch a lot of films. Often I’d see glaring mistakes in police procedure, in the plots – or know that things couldn’t happen in the way that they were being portrayed. This would pull me right out of the story and spoil my enjoyment. I guess for a lot of police officers or those in the emergency services, reading crime fiction is like taking a busman’s holiday. One of the reasons I have quite enjoyed writing books, is to cater to people like me. They say write what you want to read. I wanted to create a series that was so close to the truth, people couldn’t differentiate.

  • Not being rude or anything, Mr V, but I can’t quite see you penning a women’s fiction type novel in the future. That said, do you think you could write for a completely different genre? Show people your softer side maybe? 

Not many people know this, (*Writing Garnet exclusive reveal*) but many years before I started writing books, I wrote a dating blog, which was very popular with female readers.  My books do look at relationships, their dynamics, how these impact upon your life – so I do have a softer side, and I can alter my writing style to suit different audiences. But I love writing about crime and terrorism, so you won’t see me popping up on the women’s fiction, chick-lit or romance shelves just yet!

TWG – where can we see this dating blog? 😉 

– Which authors, if any, did you look up to as a child? Any favourite books from your childhood?

Danny The Champion of the World was my favourite book as a child. And it’s possibly responsible for my love of writing because I won a competition to meet the author, Roald Dahl. It was the first time I had read a book as a child where good people do bad things. I remember Roald making me feel completely at ease when I met him – so much so that it didn’t seem a big deal at all. I guess I have always had this experience in the back of my mind – never forget who your fans are!

– If you could put your name as the author of any book that has already been published; which one would it be and why?

Andy McNab’s Bravo Two Zero – it put fact/fiction crossover books back on the map and it shows that things in real life don’t always go according to plan!

– As an author of detective thrillers, how do you manage to switch off, especially as you’re reliving certain events?

I enjoy spending time with my girls, just doing the regular dad stuff like shopping, taxi driving or even the dreaded DIY! To really switch off, I love to watch films. It gives me an opportunity to empty my mind, and fill it with new stuff! I’m also a big fan of London’s fabulous museums and art galleries and will try to regularly catch whatever new exhibitions are showing when I can.

  • What is an average day for you (aside from showing your legs on social media)?

A typical day for me starts at 5.30am. Alongside my writing, I work as a security consultant for high-net-worth individuals based in central London, so much of time is spent trying to keep them safe from harm. I also regularly field calls from crime journalists asking for insights or opinion about this or that case, or asking me to write something for their newspaper or website. In the evening I might visit a radio or television studio to do interviews, or try to grab some downtime to write a scene for my latest book. I get home most days at 9pm, apart from the days I’m on after-school club pick-up duty!

  • What advice would you give to someone just starting out as a writer, with the aim of becoming published?

Look at the writing and publishing process as a series of small steps, because it can seem daunting at first. Keep putting one foot in front of another to get to the next destination, and don’t ever give up.

– Saving the best question until last so don’t let me down Mr.V! Will there be a third book? If so, when? I hate odd numbers so if there will be a third, will there also be a fourth? Do you have any exclusives for TWG? What do you have up your sleeve for the future?

There will be a third, fourth and many more books! I’m currently writing book three which has a much more international element to it and sees Jake working abroad just a short time after we leave him in The Detriment. I’m also working on a non-fiction investigation into a real-life unsolved crime which may turn into a book or a documentary. And I’d love to write a couple of prequels with Jake. I’ve got plenty up my sleeve, don’t you worry!

Thank you so much for answering all of my questions! It has been a pleasure to have you back on TWG!
It’s been lovely to chat to you, Kaisha.

Thanks for inviting me.

det2
“The truth costs nothing, but a lie can cost you everything…”

June 2007: a barbaric nail bomb is planted outside a London nightclub, a spy is found dead in his garden, and a blazing Jeep is driven into Glasgow airport. Three events bound by an earth-shattering connection that should have remained buried forever.

From the author of ‘The Theseus Paradox’, the smash-hit 7/7 thriller based on true events, comes the sequel about a real-life mystery that threatens to destroy a nation. Detective Inspector Jake Flannagan must uncover how a series of astonishing events are inextricably linked, before the past closes in on him.

We all have secrets we say we’ll never tell…

The Theseus Paradox is available to buy on Kindle or in paperback at Amazon, or via The Book Depository with free international delivery.

The Detriment can be ordered on Kindle with a paperback to follow soon.

If you’d like the chance to win a signed copy of David’s latest release, you can enter your email address here, and you’ll go into the hat each time he has a new book out.

Note from TWG.

Big thank you to, David Videcette, for taking the time out of his schedule to allow me to interrogate him! Absolutely fantastic! Stay tuned though as later on today, David Videcette returns to TWG (indirectly) as I review his new novel, ‘The Detriment’.

@LesleyPearse #25in25 #Tour! #Factoid from Lesley’s 17th book ‘Gypsy’ @ed_pr

Would like to start by saying a huge congratulations to, Lesley Pearse, on all of her literary success. 25 novels is an amazing achievement and I feel honoured to be bringing you a factoid from her 17th novel, Gypsy, as well as the details for her 25th novel, The Woman in the Wood.

17 Gypsy
Factoid
‘Gypsy’ – first published in 2008.

Gypsy : To write knowledgeably about the Klondike Gold Rush I had to go to Dawson City, a difficult journey involving planes, ferries, railways and a coach. If I’d missed one I would’ve been in trouble as they were few and far between.

Buy ‘Gypsy’ now from Amazon UK

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From global No.1 bestselling author,

Lesley Pearse, comes her 25th unforgettable story

The Woman in the Wood

Published by Michael Joseph on 29th June, price £18.99 in hardback

Praise for Lesley Pearse’s novels:
“Glorious, heart-warming” Woman & Home
“Quintessential Lesley Pearse that will delight her army of readers” Daily Mail “Full of love, passion and heartbreak” Best
“Another superb tale” The Sun
“Epic romantic drama…4 stars” Heat
“Evocative, compelling, told from the heart” Sunday Express

Lesley Pearse is a global No.1 bestseller with fans across the world and sales of over 10 million copies of her books to date. A true storyteller and master of the gripping storyline, Lesley introduces us to characters that are impossible not to care about or forget. There is no formula to her books or easily defined genre and, whether historical drama like the No.1 bestseller, Belle or the emotionally powerful Trust Me based on the true-life scandal of British child migrants sent to Australia in the post-war period, she engages the reader completely. The Woman in the Wood is Lesley’s 25th novel.

The Woman in the Wood:

Fifteen-year-old twins Maisy and Duncan have always had each other. Until that fateful day in the wood…

1960: Maisy and Duncan Mitcham are woken one night to find their mother is being committed to an insane asylum. Soon after, their father packs them off to ‘Nightingales’, their grandmother’s country house in the New Forest. Cold and distant, she leaves them to their own devices to explore; a freedom they have never experienced before and which they love. That is, until the day Duncan doesn’t come home from the woods.

When the bodies of other young boys are discovered in the surrounding area the police appear to give up hope of finding Duncan alive and with Grandmother Mitcham showing little concern, it falls to Maisy to discover the truth. And she knows just where to start. The woman who lives alone in the woods. A woman called Grace Deville.

About Lesley Pearse:

Lesley Pearse was told as a child that she had too much imagination for her own good. When she grew up she worked her way through many jobs – from corsetry sales in Cooks of St. Pauls (featured in Dead to Me), to bunny girl to nanny; from gift shop owner to dressmaker – finally finding her true vocation when she became a published author age 49. Since then Lesley has become an internationally bestselling author, with over 10 million copies of her books sold worldwide.

A true storyteller and a master of gripping storylines, there is no set formula for a Lesley Pearse novel although strong heroines and difficult circumstances are pervasive. Whether historical adventures such as Gypsy or Never Look Back or the passionately emotive Trust Me, Lesley is inspired by stories of courage and adversity and often gives voice to women lost in history. She is passionate about her research and her stories have taken her far and wide; from Alaska to the Crimea. Lesley now lives just outside Torquay in Devon where she loves to spend time walking on the beach with her grandchildren and dogs.

A fantastic speaker and committed and passionate fundraiser for the NSPCC, Lesley is a much sought after guest at literary lunches, library events and festivals up and down the country. Lesley was also selected as the first Ambassador for National Libraries Day in 2014.

Novels by Lesley Pearse:

  1. Georgia
  2. Tara
  3. Charity
  4. Ellie
  5. Camellia
  6. Rosie
  7. Charlie
  8. Never Look Back
  9. Trust Me
  10. Father Unknown
  11. Till we Meet Again
  12. Remember Me
  13. Secrets
  14. A Lesser Evil
  15. Hope
  16. Faith
  17. Gypsy
  18. Stolen – A No.1 Bestseller
  19. Belle – A No.1 Bestseller
  20. The Promise – A No.2 Bestseller
  21. Forgive Me – No.1 Bestseller
  22. Survivor – No.1 Bestseller
  23. Without a Trace – No.1 Bestseller – over 200,000 copies sold to date.
  24. Dead to Me – published in paperback, 4th May 2017.
  25. THE WOMAN IN THE WOOD – LESLEY’S 25th BESTSELLER

    To buy Lesley’s new novel or any of her others, click here to go to her Amazon author page, where you can find all of her titles!

#yearofsayingyes #BlogTour! Author Hannah Doyle talks hygge! @HannahShowbiz @headlinepg

Year of Saying Yes blog tour poster
So, SO excited to be today’s stop on Hannah Doyle’s blog tour for her fabulous book, The Year of Saying Yes’. If you are aiming to be part of a squad this year, the #YesSquad is the place to be! Before Hannah Doyle’s book was released as a complete book, it was released in four separate parts. I still have the fourth part to read, and as soon as I have, those beauties will be reviewed on here. The first three parts are amazing.

For my stop on the tour, author Hannah Doyle has written a guest post about hygge. Intrigued? So you should be….
Over to you Ms. Doyle!

Hygge by Hannah Doyle.

#SayYes to getting hygge

Okay, so it gets dark super early and the temptation to stay in is high when the thermometer hits zero, but there is a positive to winter. Getting hygge with it!

(In my head, that totally rhymes with getting jiggy with it. Sadly the Danes pronounce it hoo-ga so that doesn’t actually work.)

Hygge. You know, the Danish concept that loads of people are banging on about right now. It basically boils down to being cosy. Search for #hygge on Instagram and you’ll find over a million snaps of things like hot water bottles and cute cushions. What’s not to love!

To celebrate the launch of my new ebook The Year of Saying Yes, I thought I’d put together my top five ways to hygge the heck out of your life. Enjoy.

1. Develop a candle habit

Of course one solitary candle on a table won’t do! You need multiples. The more the merrier, and get them going as soon as daylight starts to fade to give your home a cosy glow. 

2. Get your mull on

Mulled wine is the ideal drink for hygge-lovers. You don’t even need to make your own, just buy a bottle and add a couple of slices of orange while it’s warming through. Breathe in that spicy smell and pretend that you’re by a frosty fjord somewhere Scandinavian. 

3. Cosy knits are compulsory

Curl up in your warmest jumper, grab a good book (*shameless plug* maybe try mine?!) and relax. 

4. Start obsessing over interiors

Especially things like terrariums (try saying that after a glass of mull!), cashmere throws and hand-printed ceramic bowls. Basically anything to your home a little extra cheer. 

5. Gather your best ones

Nothing spreads the love like hanging out with your favourite people in the whole world. My best friends have selfishly scattered themselves across our fair isle, the brutes, so we don’t get to hang out that often, but when we do we spend a whole weekend bonding and I come away feeling so blooming hygge about life.

Happy hygge-ing everyone!

Obviously folks, play safe with the candles. I know Hannah is talking about being cosy, but there is a difference between being cosy and looking like a roasting chestnut on an open fire! If you managed to spot the oh-so-hidden shameless plug by the lady herself, it might be useful to add a link and the book info for you. You know, just in case….

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Hannah Doyle’s THE YEAR OF SAYING YES will make you dirty-laugh, feel warm and fuzzy, and rediscover life’s magic – all thanks to one little word: ‘yes’. Fans of THE BAD MOTHER’S DIARY, Colleen Coleman’s DON’T STOP ME NOW, Anna Bell’s THE BUCKET LIST TO MEND A BROKEN HEART and Joanna Bolouri’s THE LIST, you’re in for a real treat.

Dear Readers,

I hold my hands up: I’m stuck in a rut. For three years and counting I’ve been hopelessly in love with the same guy – and the closest we’ve ever got is a drunken arse grab (NB: this doesn’t count). My favourite hobby is googling cats for spinsters and I’m sick of my shoestring salary that barely pays for my shoebox flat.

I need a head-to-toe life makeover. Enter my ‘Year of Saying Yes’, which is where you come in. To help me sort out my sorry life, I need you to #DareIzzy. For the next 12 months I’ll be saying ‘yes’ to your challenges, no matter how wild, adventurous or plain nuts they are. ‘No’ is not an option!

Here goes… Wish me luck! I’m going to need it.

Love,

Izzy x

Buy now: Amazon UK // Amazon US // Kobo

Summer with the Country Village Vet #BlogTour! @ZaraStoneley @HarperImpulse #Guestpost #Review

villagevet
Honoured to be today’s stop on Zara Stoneley’s blog tour for her latest novel, Summer with the Country Village Vet! I was lucky enough to read this book before it was published, and today I am able to share my review of the book with you all. Not only that, author, Zara Stoneley, has written a guest post just for us. Of course – it’s animal related!! Enjoy!

Zara
Seven reasons why an author needs a four-legged friend
by Zara Stoneley

A dog needs walks. Which are essential if you want to avoid writer’s bum, or an expanding middle.

Zara Pic1

People will stop and chat if you’ve got a dog – and after several hours with only a laptop for company it’s nice to talk. Plus you get some fresh air; the pale interesting look doesn’t work for everybody.

A four-legged friend will curtail any hermit-like tendencies. You’ll need to put down the laptop, get out of bed, brush your hair (bed hair only looks good on the very attractive) – oh, and dress. Your furry friend will need food and attention. A dog might bark, but a cat is master of the not-so-subtle hint.

Zara Pic2

Sometimes you just need a cuddle! Stroking a pet relieves stress. It’s proven. And talking to a pet isn’t crazy, some people think that talking to yourself, or even worse your characters, is a little bit loopy – talking to your guinea-pig is fine, more than fine. Totally acceptable.

Zara Pic3

Animals understand when you’ve just read a review saying somebody hates your book, and all you want to do is weep. Or you want to tear your hair out, because you’re halfway through writing the next and have just decided it’s the biggest load of rubbish you’ve ever read. They’re non-judgemental, they’ll listen, however long you drone on. They’ll never interrupt and tell you to get a grip. They’ll give you a look that says ‘you can do it, but how about we share some cake first?’

Zara Pic4

Your four-legged friend will give you inspiration. How many books have you read that didn’t feature a single animal? And even if Freddy the hamster doesn’t actually make it on to the pages, just watching him will make you smile, and remind you how lucky you are to be doing what you love.

Zara Pic5

Your cat won’t let you get above your station. Forget the fact that your editor loves your work – your cat has brought you a mouse. A live one. Your cat will remind you that even though a reader has just told you your book is fabulous, you still look stupid running round the kitchen in your pyjamas trying to catch a rodent. You’re a mere human being, not a soon-to-be-famous author.

Zara Pic6

A horse can give you a better workout than the gym – lugging bales of hay around is only the start of it. There’s the mucking out, the trudging across field knee deep in mud to bring your little darling in, and then of course there’s the riding. And the added bonus that you might meet a hunky farmer or farrier who makes the perfect hero!

Zara Pic7

So that’s my top seven excuses, sorry reasons, for having a four-legged and furry companion.

Why seven? It’s my lucky number! And now I’m heading back to a darkened room to grapple with my edits, but I will of course emerge briefly at 5pm. Saffy the cat will insist.

Ahhhh look at those animals!! I want to cuddle those dogs, how cuuuuteeee!!! Thank you, Zara Stoneley, for the extremely awww-tastic guest post!

Here is my review of Zara Stoneley’s brand new novel, enjoy!

villagevet1

‘All the ingredients for a perfect, summery read…it really captured my heart’ Cressida McLaughlin

‘Sprinkled with oodles of charm…I simply adored this book’ Christie Barlow

Fall in love with a brand new cosy romance series from bestselling author Zara Stoneley

When Lucy Jacobs is made redundant from her inner-city teaching job she fears her career is over. Teaching is all Lucy knows and she’s determined to get back in the classroom as fast as she can.

Except the only job on offer is at an idyllic village school in the middle of nowhere – Lucy’s idea of hell. Where are the disadvantaged kids who need saving, where is the challenge?

But as Lucy finds herself welcomed into the warm-hearted community of Langtry Meadows, she begins to realise new challenges await – like frogs in the classroom, a rather difficult donkey, and a very brooding local vet…

Local boy Charlie Davenport has his own issues about living in the close-knit village of Langtry Meadows. His private life is already fuel for the well-meaning gossips and the very last thing he needs is to get close to the new school teacher…no matter how lovely she is.

But as summer days drift away Langtry Meadows weaves its magic, Charlie and Lucy both get the chance to turn over a new leaf and start anew…maybe with each other?

A fun, romantic story to make you smile and long for your own country escape.

Praise for Summer with the Country Village Vet:

‘Beautifully written tale straight from the author’s heart’ The Writing Garnet

‘Like a summer breeze, gently warming your heart…be prepared for love, laughter and escapism’ My Chestnut Reading Tree

‘A zingy, romantic and fabulously heartwarming book … My ultimate summer read’ Petra Pippa Q.

What does TWG think?

Summer with the Country Village Vet, is one of those books where pretty much all of the storyline is linked, in one way or another. Cue ultimate vague review, and rightly so! Just like Zara Stoneley’s previous novels, they’re to be devoured with your own eyes so that you can appreciate every single thing, and no less.

At the time of reading Stoneley’s book, I was going through a really rough patch and I couldn’t wait to lose myself in Zara Stoneley’s majestic words. Now, before you start thinking that this book is all kittens, puppies, and glorious scenery (trees and people included) due to the colourful cover, be prepared to open your mind. Why? Because, whilst the storyline has light-hearted and fun elements to it, it also contains deep emotion, heart breaking circumstances, as well as deep and meaningful reminders.

Charlie, the village vet, seems to have all the women in the village tongue-tied and creating hefty vet bills due to their constant ‘need’ to see the vet. I don’t think that it’s their animals that are needing a thorough checking over either!

Lucy, the main character, is trying to get her foot back on the teacher ladder, and ends up making friends with several children in the local school. Oh, and their frogs.

Personally, the storyline ran a lot deeper than I had anticipated. I too, thought that the storyline was going to be fluffy and serene, but it wasn’t. And, to be honest, seeing as I was going through a situation at the time, just like in the book, I was able to relate to certain characters even more. Not only that, it made me quite emotional. I really wanted to reach into the book and give the characters involved, a really big hug.

As emotional as those parts were, they made me feel whole and gave me the support I needed which I wasn’t getting in real life. For an author to be able to unintentionally do that, just wow, incredible.

‘Summer with the Country Village Vet’ made me smile, laugh, cry, reminisce, and of course – go ‘awwwww’ more times than I could count. The entire novel had everything I could have ever wanted in a book! Zara Stoneley, once again, has written flawless descriptions that became vivid imagery in my mind. I have absolutely no idea how she does it, all I know is that she is absolutely brilliant at it.

There was nothing I disliked about it, at all. The pace was on point. The characters (albeit two who needed their heads banged together to see sense), were such fun to be around, especially the children. Hilarious! The vet, well, he was a lovely addition to the storyline. Cough.

But for me, the real star of the show was Zara Stoneley’s incredible story telling, she has completely blown me away with the mixture of cute, sassy, and heart-felt moments. This book, really is, a beautifully written tale straight from the authors heart. You can tell that the author has put her heart and soul into every situation, every character, the animal stars, and every emotion. It’s clear at the start, and it remains clear at the end; this is by far Zara Stoneley’s best book yet.

A beautiful, life affirming and heart warming tale about love, life and learning to have faith in your instincts. Not everyone’s life is picture perfect yet Stoneley, has proven in her new book that lives can be anything BUT picture perfect and yet still fill your heart with joy.

Thank you Zara Stoneley & HarperImpulse.

Buy now from Amazon UK

#GuestPost by ‘A Secret Sisterhood’ authors @Emmacsweeney & @EmilyMidorikawa #literary

To celebrate the release of their new literary inspired novel, A Secret Sisterhood, authors Emma Claire Sweeney and Emily Midorikawa have written a guest post about their own ‘sisterhood’ style friendship. It is a pleasure to welcome Emma Claire Sweeney back to TWG, alongside Emily Midorikawa.

Before I share the guest post, swoon over the stunning cover of their book and read the blurb below;

Secret Sisterhood revised cover

Male literary friendships are the stuff of legend; think Byron and Shelley, Fitzgerald and Hemingway. But the world’s best-loved female authors are usually portrayed as isolated eccentrics. Emily Midorikawa and Emma Claire Sweeney seek to dispel this myth with a wealth of hidden yet startling collaborations.

A Secret Sisterhood looks at Jane Austen’s bond with a family servant, the amateur playwright Anne Sharp; how Charlotte Brontë was inspired by the daring feminist Mary Taylor; the transatlantic relationship between George Eliot and the author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Harriet Beecher Stowe; and the underlying erotic charge that lit the friendship of Virginia Woolf and Katherine Mansfield – a pair too often dismissed as bitter foes.

Through letters and diaries which have never been published before, this fascinating book resurrects these hitherto forgotten stories of female friendships that were sometimes illicit, scandalous and volatile; sometimes supportive, radical or inspiring; but always, until now, tantalisingly consigned to the shadows.

A Secret Sisterhood evolved from the authors’ own friendship. Their blog, Something Rhymed, charts female literary bonds and has been covered in the media and promoted by Margaret Atwood, Sheila Hancock and Kate Mosse, showing that the literary sisterhood is still alive today.

Guest Post.
Travellers on the Same Road
By
Emma Claire Sweeney and Emily Midorikawa

We got to know each other sixteen years ago, during a time when we were both living carefree lives as young English teachers in rural Japan. Emily lived in a tiny apartment surrounded by car parks and convenience stores; Emma in a tatami-floored house that looked out onto rice paddies and groves of bamboo. Here, each of us secretly picked up our pens.

We soon began to take the three-hour round trip between urban flat and country home, forging our friendship in both the ice cream parlours of the neon-choked city and in bath houses hidden up dark mountain lanes.

But it took almost a year of friendship before we shared our hopes of becoming published writers. Emma had decided by then to leave her mountain village, while Emily would be remaining for another twelve months.

When we arranged to meet for a farewell dinner, we had no idea that we’d come to look back on this evening as a key moment in our friendship. We chose a garlic-themed restaurant in Emily’s local shopping mall, which had become by then an eccentric favourite of ours. Seated at a table covered in a chequered plastic cloth, we talked about news from home, plans for the future, the books we loved. 

And then, over the course of the next hour, while twisting strands of spaghetti around our forks, we ‘came out’ to each other as aspiring authors. Neither of us had much to show for these aims just yet: diaries kept this past year, a few short stories. We understood next to nothing about the book industry either. Nonetheless, by the time we laid our cutlery down, we had something perhaps more precious: we knew that we had a friend with the same dream, and that by supporting each other, we could follow it together.

But we could hardly have predicted that our paths over the coming years would take such parallel routes. We got places on graduate creative writing programmes and secured agents at around the same time. 

While we felt grateful that we could share these celebratory moments with a friend, we each had a niggling worry that the literary success of one of us before the other might threaten the friendship we both held so dear.

 This proved a fear we would not end up having to face any time soon, since we’d spend a decade-and-a-half submitting books to publishers, and watching as the rejection slips racked up. 

Remembering that long-ago meal in a Japanese shopping mall, Emily wondered whether we’d have embarked on this literary journey at all had we known how little further forward we’d have come by now. Though equally downcast, Emma reminded us both that it wasn’t the writing itself that was getting us down, but the lack of improvement in our writerly prospects. 

Before the month was out, though, Emily would receive the news that she’d won a major competition for unpublished novels, and, to our delighted surprise, just days later, a publisher made an offer to bring out Emma’s novel, Owl Song at Dawn. 

Our early fears had proven unfounded. What’s more, not only did we join in with our friend’s celebrations, these felt less like individual achievements and more like moments of shared triumph.

We’d long wondered whether our favourite authors of the past had enjoyed such a sense of collaboration. Wordsworth and Coleridge came to mind, Byron and Shelley, Hemingway and Fitzgerald. But we struggled to name many friendships between female writers. 

Did Jane Austen forge a friendship with another female writer? Was there another woman to whom George Eliot turned to for literary support?

We discovered that Jane Austen benefitted from an unlikely friendship with a family servant, the amateur playwright Anne Sharp; Charlotte Brontë was inspired by the daring feminist Mary Taylor; George Eliot shared her experience of stratospheric literary fame with Harriet Beecher Stowe, the author of internationally bestselling anti-slavery novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin; and Virginia Woolf was spurred on to produce her best work by her rivalrous friendship with fellow modernist Katherine Mansfield.

We decided that the richness of these stories deserved to be written up in a book. And so, when publishers offered to bring out A Secret Sisterhood, we were offered the chance to celebrate a truly joint endeavor – the sort of collaboration that the two young writers who ‘came out’ to each other in that Japanese shopping mall could hardly have dared dream.

Joint bio:

Writer friends Emily Midorikawa and Emma Claire Sweeney are the authors of A Secret Sisterhood: The hidden friendships of Austen, Brontë, Eliot and Woolf. They also co-run SomethingRhymed.com, a website that celebrates female literary friendship. They have written for the likes of the Guardian, the Independent on Sunday and The Times. Emily is a winner of the Lucy Cavendish Fiction Prize, Emma is the author of the award-winning novel Owl Song at Dawn, and they both teach at New York University London. 

You can follow them on Twitter via @emilymidorikawa and @emmacsweeney, and Emma has an author page on Facebook.


I have their book ready and waiting on my TBR pile for review, which I aim to read as soon as I can so that you can swoon over the front cover year again! Or, seeing as the Jpeg doesn’t do it justice in the slightest (the real deal is shiny), you can buy your very own copy right now from: Amazon UK // Waterstones // Book Depository.

#BlogTour! The Cafe in #FirTreePark – Katey Lovell @Katey5678 @fictionpubteam @Harperimpulse

BLOG TOUR POSTER FTP

I am incredibly honoured to be kicking off Katey Lovell’s blog tour for her brand new book, The Cafe in Fir Tree Park! Being asked by the author, personally, to take part in her blog tour, really made me feel all fuzzy. It truly means a lot to me when I get asked by publishers etc to be part of blog tours, but there is also something incredibly moving about being asked to take part in a tour by the author themselves.
Totes emosh.

As you can see on the blog tour banner (how stunning is that btw!!) above, there are some pretty shamazing bloggers taking part in this tour, including Harper Impulse themselves! All of the bloggers listed are incredible so please make sure you take a peak at their stops on the relevant dates!

On my stop today, I have a guest post from author of #FirTreePark, Katey Lovell, AND I will be reviewing her book TWG style! I hope you enjoy reading my review as much as I adored reading this book.

First up is the guest post where Katey Lovell describes the ‘second book’ difficulties.

‘The Difficult Second Book’

By Katey Lovell

Although I’d heard authors mention the challenges of penning their second novels, until I started writing The Café in Fir Tree Park I’d never given it much thought.  In my mind I’d done everything right in the planning stages, making detailed notes for months in a brand new notepad bought especially for the project.  I thought I was prepared, but when it came to writing the actual novel I struggled.  

Being honest, I more than struggled.  I reached 10,000 words and seriously considered telling Harper Impulse I couldn’t fulfil my contract.  Every word I’d written seemed disjointed.  The characters were new and their dialogue sounded clunky to my ears.  Whenever I spoke about the novel with friends, I referred to it as ‘the bloody park book’. 

It wasn’t that I didn’t have passion for the project, because I did.  The problem was, I’d lost all faith in my writing ability.  I’d forgotten novels don’t arrived fully formed. What I’d drafted wasn’t as polished as the finished manuscript for The Singalong Society for Singletons.  Of course it wasn’t! First drafts are messy and clunky.  There will be gaping plot holes, and inconsistencies, and the finish line of ‘THE END’ will seem unreachable at times.  That’s the process of creating a novel, but I’d somehow managed to erase it from my mind in the months between novel one and novel two.  It completely crushed my confidence.

By the time The Singalong Society for Singletons was released in October, I had seven weeks left until my deadline and half the novel to write.  Thankfully, with the help of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month, which takes place in November) and a wonderful set of friends cheering me on, I wrote my heart out.  Lovely reviews for my first novel flooded in, and I believed I could do it again.  The characters came to life and I cared about their fates, which brought the heart back to what I was writing.  As a reader I’ve always been attracted to characters I can root for, and I’ve found that’s followed through to my writing too.  If I feel disconnected, it’s hard to find the motivation to sit down and write, but as soon as it all clicked, the excitement returned.  

The Café in Fir Tree Park took sweat and tears (no blood, thankfully), but I’m incredibly proud of the finished novel.  The pain it caused was necessary, because I believe it’s the best thing I’ve written.  I still get that unpleasant twisting in my stomach as I remember how overwhelmed I felt when writing it though.  The pressure I’d piled on myself was unreal!  

Funnily enough, although getting a first draft of my third novel Joe and Clara’s Christmas Countdown was a challenge, it was far less stressful overall.  Maybe I have learned lessons, after all…

Such an honest and insightful guest post, thank you Katey. Readers: the next time you consider posting online how ‘expensive’ an e-book is at 2.99, come back and read this. It takes months of hard work and dedication to get books written. Or, as Katey Lovell says; ‘sweat and tears’.

Read on for my review:

katey ftp

Maggie’s café is at the very heart of Fir Tree Park. Business is booming, her lemon drizzle is the stuff of legend, her children are happy and life is good. But she hasn’t had it easy. When her husband Clint was sent to prison, she had to raise Josh and Kelly alone. But Clint can’t hurt them now, and there’s no denying that Paolo, the Italian football coach she spies every weekend out on the green, is more than easy on the eye.

It may be summer outside, but a new arrival in Fir Tree Park sends an icy chill through the café…

What does TWG think?

Ever since I had the pleasure of reading Katey Lovell’s previous novel, The Singalong Society for Singletons, I was impatiently waiting for her new book to be released into the wild. Katey Lovell’s books are like a legal addiction; as soon as you finished one, you want another! No pressure of course…

Unfortunately, this beauty didn’t stay in my hands for too long as I struggled to put it down once I started reading. Maggie runs her own cafe in Fir Tree Park; a place where everyone can come to relax and eat multiple slices of her legendary lemon drizzle cake. Although most of the treats Maggie baked I wouldn’t say no to. Food porn alert! Mmmmmmm cake. Maggie’s life hasn’t always been as fluffy as her muffins, risen like her Victoria sponge cake, or soft and addictive like her cookies. In fact, her life has been as flat as a pancake. Well, by life I mean her self-esteem (or lack of), thanks to her wonderful husband, more affairs than a baker’s dozen and a prison sentence. Heart throb eh!

Part of me was expecting a calm, leisurely paced novel with more cake than Mr Kipling, so when I realised that Katey Lovell’s novel had more turbulent situations than a coffee, walnut and cinnamon cake had ingredients, I truly was pleasantly surprised.

There is a lot of character swapping throughout the novel, with different chapters being led by various main characters. Usually I find that sort of thing far too confusing, however, #FirTreePark needed the differences in character point of view. It worked incredibly well, I wasn’t at all confused, but most importantly, it tied all the turbulent circumstances together whilst creating another level of intensity.

I am a sucker for a bit of drama, especially when there are skeletons in the closet (as long as they don’t involve me); #FirTreePark has enough skeletons for everyone. I had no idea that the storyline would reach the conclusion that it did. In all honesty, it caught me off guard a bit because it came out of nowhere, and I loved it!

The Cafe in Fir Tree Park is, without a doubt, one of my most favourite books so far this year. All of the intense moments blew me away, the characters were written absolutely brilliantly and so three-dimensional, the setting was described in such a relaxing manner, AND the different character viewpoints meant multiple shocking revelations. What more could anyone want from a book?

Unbelievable! I adored this book from start to finish, it kept me on my toes and warmed the ice from around my heart. I am in awe at Katey Lovell’s literary skills and her outstanding story telling; The Cafe in Fir Tree Park came to life and so did the characters in it.

A flawless, intense, and mesmerising novel that is full of emotion, secrets, heart-warming moments, the true meaning of love and learning how to make the most of your life before it’s too late.
Life is too short to live with regrets, and life is too short to not read The Cafe in Fir Tree Park. You just have to…like right now. I’m being serious.

Fabulously flawless, written with perfection, a showstopper of a conclusion; pretty much like Maggie’s lemon drizzle cake. Wow!

Thanks SO much Harper Impulse.

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