#Review & #Q+A for @lucy_dillon #AllIEverWanted #BlogTour! @HodderBooks @HodderPublicity

lucydillon-squeal-! I am unbelievably honoured, and thrilled to be on Lucy Dillon’s blog tour for her newest release, ‘All I Ever Wanted’! Seeing as today is the last stop on the tour (thank you Hodder Books for trusting me with this), not only am I bringing you a review, I was given the opportunity to interview Lucy. As you can tell, I am extremely excited about being involved with this, lets start shall we? First up is my review, enjoy!

lucydillon1Blurb.

Caitlin’s life is a mess. Her marriage to a man everyone else thinks is perfect has collapsed, along with her self-esteem, and breaking free seems the only option.

Nancy, her four-year-old daughter, used to talk all the time; in the car, at nursery, to her brother Joel. Then her parents split up. Her daddy moves out. And Nancy stops speaking.

Nancy’s Auntie Eva, recently widowed and feeling alone, apart from the companionship of two bewildered pugs, is facing a future without her husband or the dreams she gave up for him.

But when Eva agrees to host her niece and nephew once a fortnight, Caitlin and Eva are made to face the different truths about their marriages – and about what they both really want . . .

What does TWG think?

Being only four years old, Nancy has properly found her voice. She loves talking and singing everywhere and anywhere she can. But then one day, Nancy’s sweet little songs and sweet little voice are no longer heard. She has stopped speaking; nothing her mum, Caitlin, does can get her to talk, or sing. Can Caitlin and Patrick put their issues aside, and get to the bottom of the sudden silence with their daughter?

Despite the fact that most of the book revolves around Caitlin and Patrick’s troubles, the storyline also dives into Patrick’s sister, Eva’s life, giving us a bit of a breather from bad choices and one sided decisions! I know that I am not alone when I say this, but Caitlin and Patrick got my back up quite a few times whilst I was reading the book. Even though they were adamant that they knew where their priorities lay, it was very clear by their actions who they were truly thinking about; themselves. It did seem to take a while for the penny to drop with them both and for each of them to realise that when children are involved, things are based on their happiness and wellbeing foremost, not theirs.

Caitlin came across as a rather self-centered character. She wanted to be around her children yet her personal antics seemed to take over, lowering the order of her priorities. My heart went out to Nancy and her brother, Joel, on many occasions. Their life had just been turned upside down and were too young to fully understand why. I did get very involved in the storyline, I mean, how couldn’t I? It was a book that I just couldn’t put down, even if I wanted to.

I really did enjoy it when the storyline switched over to Eva and her life for a little bit, especially when we got to delve into her life a bit more! Put it this way, there seemed to be a lot of skeletons in Eva’s closets, some of which she didn’t know about! Eva’s character seemed to play a vital role in the storyline, one that I didn’t really see coming. She most definitely turned into the Fairy Godmother of the book in my eyes.

‘All I Ever Wanted’ is a story about the effects of separation foremost, trust and being true to yourself. The entire storyline covers A LOT of ground and can easily be associated with a treasure chest. Every single page had a special edge to it; whether it was in an emotional way or a situation was cleverly written, it just highlights the fact that Lucy Dillon has written a truly fantastic book. Yes, a couple of the characters were rather frustrating and got under my skin but hats off to Lucy for writing characters like that. I must admit, I did find the Nancy situation emotional, it tugged at my heartstrings and my maternal instinct came out.

A truly special, heart-warming book that will stay in your mind for a long while afterwards. Beautiful.

Thank you Hodder Books!

All I Ever Wanted by Lucy Dillon can be bought from Amazon

TWG Interviews Lucy Dillon!

Never in a million years did I ever think I would get the opportunity to interview THE Lucy Dillon. But I did! I think I interrogated her a little bit too, sorry Lucy haha!

Thank you Lucy for taking the time to answer my questions!

TWG:  You are an incredibly popular author, but, for those that aren’t overly familiar with your work, could you tell us a bit about your background please?

Hello! That’s a very nice way to start… 🙂 I’ve written seven novels, all set in the small town of Longhampton, All of them deal with love, secrets, families, losses, life, the therapeutic magic of a long walk and tea, and usually dogs.

TWG: The very first book of yours I bought was ‘A Hundred Pieces Of Me’, the title resonated with me before I had even begun reading. Out of all of your books, including your new one, which one can you relate to the most?

Probably A Hundred Pieces of Me: like Gina, and like most people, I’ve had to confront the ‘how long should I keep university birthday cards?’ dilemma – when I had my house renovated and had to put everything I owned into storage, and then unpack it, room by room, I realised a lot of my life was defined by ‘stuff’, and that it was about time to work out what was important, both in terms of physical possessions, and also dreams and memories I’d hoarded away too. It was hard to write, but quite cathartic!

TWG: Are there any of your books that you find quite difficult to write, in terms of emotion or intensity?

There are always at least a couple of chapters in every book that I find hard to write, but that’s how it should be: the moments when the characters are reaching deep into their own hearts to confront their fears or hopes should take the reader (and the writer!) to those places and make us feel that same emotion. I try to imagine how I would feel if I was in my character’s shoes – A Hundred Pieces of Me was particularly heartbreaking because while I was writing the final chapters, my mum, like Gina, was diagnosed with breast cancer, and it suddenly all became very real.

TWG: I am aware that your book catalogue is quite large, congratulations! Looking back through your catalogue of books, do you wish that you could have done anything different?

I’d probably change something about every book! I won’t say what though because then you’ll just read them and think, ‘Hmm, yes, maybe she should have done…’ But I would definitely have added a postscript to the end of One Small Act of Kindness to say, FIDO IS FINE. (Cryptic. But people who’ve read it will know!)

TWG: I could be clutching at straws here so do forgive me if I am, but, I have noticed that your book covers all have one thing in common, aside from your name obviously! They all have a ‘person’ on the front, is there a particular reason for that? Does the ‘person’ signify you, or am I like I said, clutching at straws?

I think that’s a great design decision from Hodder! I love the idea of the big sky and the small person – to me, it sums up both that feeling you sometimes have of being really small and vulnerable, and at the same time, the tremendous freedom that sweeps over you when you’ve faced up to your problems, and the world’s one big opportunity again.

TWG: What is your plan of action when it comes to starting a new book? Do you have a set way of preparing?

I make lots of notes, think about the characters, apply the idea of the Three Act Structure to my ideas… and then start writing and watch it all go out of the window.

TWG: I ask this question to all of the authors I am lucky enough to interview, purely because I’m nosy! What were your favourite books when you were a child?

I was – sorry, this makes me sound like a real nerd – a big fan of Greek and Roman mythology. I loved the creative madness of it all, particularly the punishments! From the age of about four, I read anything I could get my hands on, from Enid Blyton and Arthur Conan Doyle to plenty of stuff I shouldn’t have been able to get my hands on, like The Thorn Birds and Jilly Cooper.



 TWG: Could you see yourself writing a different genre? It seems as though a few authors change between two genres, is that something you would do?

I’d love to, but I’m not sure I could – my writing always seems to come out one way. But you never know! Sometimes you get an idea and it shapes everything else, so my cybercrime novel might make an appearance yet…

TWG: You have a new book coming out called ‘All I Ever Wanted’, massive congratulations to you. I was lucky enough to read an early copy and it is fantastically emotional. How did the storyline for the book come about? Was it a hard book to write?

I wanted to write a story about motherhood that everyone would be able to relate to in some way – whether it’s being a parent, with all the worries and delights that children bring into your life, or not being a parent, and having to deal with the way society regards childless women, as well as the feelings of regret or relief it might trigger inside. It was hard to balance everything up – obviously there’s no ‘right’ answer to any of those questions, and I didn’t want to make it seem as if I thought there was! – and the struggles both Caitlin and Eva go through the course of the book are quite emotional. And of course, Nancy’s story was pretty heartbreaking to write – I hate letting bad things happen to characters, but you know, you have to….

TWG: I am going to ask this question rather vaguely as to not give anything away to the readers, so hopefully you’ll know what I’m on about! But, little Nancy in the book will no doubt be a character who a lot of people will remember afterwards. Her situation is rather heart wrenching, where did the inspiration for her character begin?

From several places, but initially from watching small children interact with my dogs. My basset hounds were big, black, strong dogs – quite scary, you’d imagine, for children – but they were incredibly gentle with little ones, who always made a bee line for them. They seemed to ‘read’ each other’s body language instinctively, unlike adult humans with our often clumsy expressions. I wondered how it would be if someone who didn’t have much experience with children, but who’d spent many silent hours with her pugs, one of the most expressive breeds, might cope with a child who wouldn’t speak – and the trust that might build up without words. It’s hard to lie to a dog: they read us so well!

11. One last question; what are your plans for 2017? Can we look forward to more books? Any book events (Edinburgh cough)? Any exclusives?

I’m deep into my new book right now – exclusive reveal: it contains knitting! And family secrets! – and although I don’t have any specific plans for book events in Edinburgh, my boyfriend hails from the ice cream nirvana that is Largs, so I’ll doubtless be sneaking into the bookshops of Scotland to rearrange the stock before long.
And thank you for such interesting questions! I’m really glad you enjoyed the story, and for having me on the blog today. 🙂


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thank you to Lucy for answering my interrogation! I look forward to reading your next book!! I hope you all enjoyed reading the review and interview, thank you for popping by on the last stop of Lucy’s blog tour for ‘All I Ever Wanted’, published by HodderBooks!

Rachel Strong is ‘That Girl’ as TWG puts her under the spotlight!

Whilst reading ‘That Girl’ by Rachel Strong, I found that I was beginning to get a lot of questions in my mind about the story. Hands up who has read the book yet? No? Here is my book review of Rachel’s book if you haven’t: #Bookreview of ‘That Girl’ by Rachel Strong – Blog Tour.
For those that have already read the book, if you’re anything like me in terms of dissecting a story and want to know EVERYTHING, then you’re going to love this post today. TWG has managed to have a chat with Rachel about her latest book where she has answered a few of my questions regarding it. Don’t worry though, there are no spoilers within the answers, you’re safe ;), I’m not that mean!
I hope you enjoy!

TWG: Thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to answer a few questions!
Thank you for having me, I’m so excited!

TWG: Some of TWG’s readers may not be too familiar with your name; could you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Well, I’m Rachel, I’m married to the lovely Greg and we have three gorgeous children. I’m also the author of Complicated Love and I have just released my second book That Girl.

TWG: Now, because this is your first interview with TWG, I’m going to ease you in gently! Which would you choose?

Pasta or potatoes?
Pasta

Chocolate or crisps?
Chocolate

Black or white?
Black

Lions or leopards?
Lions – love them!

Tesco or Asda?
Asda – I go at least once a day!

Family guy or Friends?
FRIENDS!!!!!!!!! I’m a big Friends fan, I recite the dialogue as I watch it, I drive my husband crackers.

James or Katie?
Oooohhh what a question! But I’m going to say James. Despite doing what he did, James is a good guy, he got himself in quite a pickle and things spiralled out of control, he was just desperate to make things right and be a good dad. Whilst writing That Girl, I just felt so sorry for James, yes he did something awful – but Katie was very deceitful. 

TWG: What were your favourite books to read as a child?
I loved The Faraway Tree – being able to escape to some magical land always appealed to me and Moon Face was my favourite character. I also loved Matilda.

If you could choose any superpower, which would it be and why?
To be invisible, so that I could see what my kids are up to when I catch them with that guilty look on their faces, especially my eldest.

TWG: Congratulations on your newest book ‘That Girl’, how on Earth did you get the inspiration for that particular story?
Aw, thank you so much. The idea came to me a few years ago when I was writing my first book, Complicated Love, I kind of briefly touched on the subject there and then there was a big story in the news about this very thing and I just thought, that would make such a good story line for a book. I must admit, with it being such a delicate matter, I was nervous to write about it, but I couldn’t not, and I’m so proud of how the story unfolded. When my husband read the first draft, he just sat there and said ‘wow!’ He read the last couple of chapters on a plane, flying home from Germany with his boss, and he told me he just completely lost it and sat there and cried like a baby.

TWG: Did you feel as though you may have helped any readers that were going through similar things, as you wrote the story?
I like to think I have, this was what I have been most scared of, not getting it right and offending anyone that has been through what happened to Katie.

TWG: How long did ‘That Girl’ take you to write?
The first draft took me about a year, I kept leaving it and coming back to it because I got so involved in the story and it was emotional. Plus, with three kids, finding the time to sit down and write can be difficult.

TWG: Throughout the book, several big decisions had to be made. How did you reach the decision to write which path certain characters took?
A lot of the time I just kind of went with the flow. Just lately, I have started planning out my stories, but with That Girl I just let things happen and unfold without really planning ahead. Though I knew how I wanted it to end, before I even finished the first chapter. With some of the characters, I put myself in their shoes. For instance, Katie’s parents. As a mother to a daughter, I made myself think about how I would feel and the protectiveness came out. But by the end, my attitude kind of changed because as a parent all you want is your child to be happy.

TWG: Do you think that many readers will side with your choice of how the events unfolded, or do you think readers may disagree?
I have had very mixed reactions, some have come back to me and said, ‘wow, I couldn’t have been so forgiving,’ quite passionately. And then others have been like, ‘well, I can see where they’re coming from’. This is what I love about being a writer, the difference of opinion on my characters, it’s very entertaining.

TWG: Some of the characters in the story have very complex personalities, yet others were the complete opposite. How difficult was it to switch between the characters and their diversity?
When I start writing a new story, I always have an idea of what kind of personalities my characters are going to have and so I get them fixed in my head and spend a lot of time thinking about each of them and how I want to them to be.

TWG: Because ‘That Girl’ has such a harrowing storyline, how did you manage to get the facts so realistic?
Aw, thank you! A lot of research! Google is a wonderful tool. I really don’t know what I would do without it!

TWG: Katie is someone who I found, how shall I say this, rather tricky. Did you write her like that because of her age or because you knew she would be a bit ‘marmite’? Both. Katie is very young and immature so I didn’t want her to come across older for her years. She reeled James in, in a very manipulative way, and I wanted the readers to have a love/hate relationship with her, but then I wanted them feel everything with her at the end.

TWG: Speaking of marmite, do you like marmite?
I have never tried it – not sure I want to either (ha ha)

TWG: It takes a lot of strength to be able to write about a situation with such emotion, could you tell us how you truly felt whilst writing ‘That Girl’?
Writing That Girl really took it out of me, I think I went through everything with James and Katie. Writing the end was so un-believably hard, I just couldn’t keep it together long enough to get my words down and it took me over a week. When it was done, I sat there and had a big cry.

TWG: Could you give TWG any exclusives? Is there a new book in the pipeline? What is in store for you going forward?
I can! I have just finished the sequel to my first book, Complicated Love –  Coming Home. It’s now just a case of editing, editing – oh and editing! Not my favourite process, but I’m hoping for a release date of early next year.  I have just started planning out my fourth book, another delicate subject to write about, but something that is happening to a lot of people in the world right now and a subject pretty close to my heart.

TWG: Thank you again for answering my interrogation, and congratulations on the book!
No, thank you for having me – it’s been fun!

TWG got an exclusive!! How brilliant is that! More books to come from Rachel Strong with yet another delicate subject, I must say I am incredibly intrigued! Thank you again to Rachel for answering my questions! Although I do have one more for you Rachel; which land is your favourite from The Magic Faraway Tree?!?

It’s quite clear that ‘That Girl’ will divide readers with their opinions on the situation. If you have read the book, do let Rachel know what you think of it via Amazon/GoodReads! A review goes a long way!
If you wish toy the book or her first one, seeing as there is a sequel coming out for it 😉 then pop along to Amazon via HERE, and grab yourself a treat…or two!

The spotlight is on Eve Devon and her ‘Heart of Steel’!

TWG would like to warmly welcome Eve Devon to the blog today! If you’re wondering why there are no lights anywhere else, it’s because all lights are on Eve. It’s spotlight time!
Did you know that Eve has a new book out today? As in, right now. 14th June 2016…catch my drift? ‘Heart of Steel’ is book number two in the Steel Hawk series and Eve has kindly given an excerpt to share with you all! Of course buying links will follow, I mean, you’ll need to buy it after you have read this! It is from the author that brought you ‘It’s in his Kiss’ after all!

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Spotlight/Excerpt 2: Heart of Steel

Blurb: Heart of Steel, Steel Hawk, Book 2

Colleague, friend, lover…beautiful liar?

Adam Steel is in crisis mode. A recent exposé claims a founder of Steel Hawk was actually The Raven, an infamous jewel thief. Amid the ensuing damage control, all eyes are on his ability to develop a prototype to secure and protect the royal Pasha Star diamond.

He’s further blindsided when he learns his assistant, Honeysuckle Hawk, has a sordid past he never knew about. Proving he never really knew her, never should have trusted her, and definitely shouldn’t start falling for her.

With her dirty laundry flapping in the media storm, Honeysuckle’s first instinct is to run. Two things make her stay: Adam’s insistence it’s better to show the world a united front, and her heart’s insistence by his side is where she belongs.

High stakes and long hours ignite passion…until the diamond is stolen and Adam’s own prototype shows Honeysuckle is a thief. Dare he trust her to help him expose the real criminal—before the mastermind wreaks havoc on the royal family?

Warning:

Contains an über-hot, alpha-geek who’s good with his hands, a sassy reformed-rebel determined to prove she’s not a flake, romantic castles, gorgeous jewels, sleek and sexy technology, heart-pounding suspense…oh, and nipple tassels!

Excerpt:

The sensor at the archway leading to his study went off, and Adam leaped out of bed, strode across his bedroom, and yanked open his door.

Funny how in a house with three levels and seventeen different rooms, she’d zeroed in on the one room he never gave anyone access to.

Instantly, all he could think was that tonight might have been a ruse to get him to lower his defences and invite her to stay. What, did she think she could snoop to her little heart’s content and he wouldn’t notice? Wouldn’t care?

Sounded logical.

Mostly because it felt achingly familiar.

Descending the stairs at a jog, he shot across the entry hall and into the west wing of his house. As he ate up the space, his one clear thought was that no one got to abuse his hospitality and invade his privacy.

No one got to betray his trust. Especially not a beautiful woman. One who, he now reminded himself, hadn’t exactly been stellar in the truth-telling department.

With his mind on the designs laid out on his study desk, his hand slammed over the bank of switches inside the archway leading to his private study.

The corridor flooded with light, and Honeysuckle let out a shriek of surprise.

Leaning against the brick-edged arch, he ground out, “Looking for something?”

Buy Links:

AMAZON      BARNES&NOBLE   GOOGLEPLAY        KOBO          iTUNES

SAMHAINPUBLISHING

Bio:

 eve

Eve Devon writes sexy heroes, sassy heroines, and happily ever afters…

Growing up in locations like Botswana and Venezuela gave Eve a taste for adventure and her love for romances began when her mother shoved one into her hands in a desperate attempt to keep her quiet during TV coverage of the Wimbledon tennis finals!

When she wasn’t consuming books by the bucket-load, she could be found pretending to be a damsel in distress or running around solving mysteries and writing down her adventures. As a teenager, Eve rewrote countless episodes of TV detective dramas so that the hero and heroine would end up together every week. As an adult, still hooked on romance and mysteries, she worked in a library to conveniently continue reading books by the bucket-load, until realising she herself was destined to write contemporary romance and romantic suspense.

She lives in leafy Surrey in the UK, a book-devouring, slightly melodramatic, romance-writing sassy heroine with her very own sexy-hero husband. 

Where you can find her:

 

WEBSITE                   TWITTER                   FACEBOOK              GOODREADS