#BlogTour #Guestpost from author of ‘What Doesn’t Kill You’ @Laura_E_James @ChocLitUK

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Absolutely thrilled to be today’s stop on the blog tour for Laura E James’ ‘What Doesn’t Kill You’, alongside other fabulous bloggers. Laura’s latest released was published by ChocLitUK on the 9th January and is currently sporting a whopping 42 five star reviews on Amazon (figure correct as of 12/01/17)! Before I share the guest post, here is a little bit more about the book, as well as the all important ‘to buy’ link:

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What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger – but how strong can one person be?

Griff Hendry knows what it is to be strong. After a turbulent past, he’s dedicated himself to saving lives, working as a coastguard along the breath- taking shores of Dorset. It’s Griff’s belief that everyone is worth saving – which is why he can’t forgive his father, Logan, for what he did.

Griff’s future is plunged into uncertainty when his wife, Evie, tells him she wants a separation. The revelation is a shock and leads Griff to question what Evie could possibly be hiding – and she isn’t the only one holding back. Griff’s troubled stepdaughter, Tess, also harbours a dark secret.

As the truth is uncovered, Griff is forced to accept that perhaps he’s never understood what real strength is.

Buy from Amazon

Laura James has written a post especially for TWG, so without further ado, it gives me great pleasure to hand you over to the lady herself.

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Griff – Getting To Know You.

Thank you so much for inviting me to The Writing Garnet to celebrate the launch of the paperback of my third novel in the Chesil Beach Books, What Doesn’t Kill You.

I was looking through the notebook in which I’d started writing What Doesn’t Kill You, as I remembered asking my main character, Griff Hendry, a series of questions, to fix his personality and backstory in my mind. I’d not used the technique before, but it’s interesting to look back a couple of years later to see if the answers given are relevant to the fully formed Griff and whether the technique worked.

This is what I discovered then: When Griff was a boy his bedroom was decorated with wallpaper depicting the history of planes, the main colours being blues, greys and greens. He suffered a broken ankle at the age of sixteen, and the film he watch repeatedly was Top Gun. The most disgusting food he’d ever eaten was octopus – the tentacles appeared to be alive. He liked to visit the remote Scottish Highlands although he hates snow, and he’s kept awake at night worrying about his wife’s emotional distance and his step-daughter’s deep disregard for him. He loves his dog, healthy food and his job – he works for HM Coastguard. Slackers annoy him, his star sign is Aries and he’s a natural leader.

What I know now: Not once in WDKY did Griff refer to his bedroom wallpaper, Top Gun, or eating octopus tentacles. His father, Logan, was born in Scotland, so that’s probably from where Griff’s love of the Highlands stems. He does lie awake at night worrying and trying to work out how on earth he can fix his relationship with his wife, Evie. The problem is Griff has no idea why or how it fractured. He’s a man who needs a dog, and his Old English sheepdog, Ozzy, is his best friend. Since the age of sixteen, Griff wanted to work for HM Coastguard and now holds a senior position. His natural leadership serves him well. His birthday is in April, and he falls under the sign of the ram – Aries.

Although Griff’s wallpaper doesn’t crop up in the novel, and until I wrote this post, he and I were the only ones who knew about the planes, it helped me get a handle on who Griff Hendry is.

I like to know my characters’ backstories and often have reams of paper with lists and spider diagrams detailing their strengths and weaknesses, their likes and dislikes, and their fears and anxieties. From that point I work out what’s happened to them to make them the way they are. What happened to Griff that made him want to be a coastguard? What makes him so keen to save everyone? Why does he carry the weight of responsibility on his shoulders? It’s important to me that the backstories are authentic. There has to be an element of, ‘Oh, that explains why he did that,’ rather than, ‘Well, that wouldn’t happen just because he …’

I research far more information than I put on the page. It might not be essential to the plot that Griff had the history of airplanes plastered around his childhood bedroom, but it gives me an important insight into his character which allows me to develop him as an adult. For me the wallpaper and his love of the film, Top Gun, indicates he has a sense of adventure, a sense of history, that he likes military order and precision, and that, perhaps, he likes the companionship and loyalty one gains when working in a team – that friendship, dependability and honesty are important to him in all areas of his life. I hope I’ve shown those values through Griff’s words and actions.

So, back to my original thought; are Griff’s answers to the interview questions, given at the early stages of his development, relevant to his much later and fully formed character? Yes. The interview technique worked for me and it’s been interesting looking back and seeing how Griff Hendry grew as a main character. It’s certainly something I will do again with new characters.

Now, would you like to know the state of Griff’s underwear drawer?

Interesting guest post, thank you Laura!

Make sure you check out the rest of the stops on the tour!


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Author guest post! ‘An ode to a love letter’ by @DavidVidecette; author of ‘The Thesus Paradox’.

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Ex-detective turned author David Videcette, author of ‘The Thesus Paradox’, is popping his TWG cherry today! -claps-. What better way to spend your first time on TWG blog than sharing a love letter. Oh yes ladies, David finally gave in to my request and returned to his teenage years of writing love letters. Oh, wait…it wasn’t for ME (sniff, sniff, sniff), it was for….oh heck, I shall go sulk, letter includes sheep and stuff! I jest….ish!

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TWG is thrilled to welcome Mr David Videcette and his guest post – An Ode to a Love Letter!

 

AN ODE TO A LOVE LETTER 

The lovely Kaisha of The Writing Garnet has (jokingly) asked me to write her a love letter. So here goes…

*Googles how to write a love letter.*  

Yes, here we go: ‘Fifteen tips on how to write a love letter’. That’ll do… 

I’ve suddenly realised that I haven’t written a love letter in many years, not since I was in my teens. Thinking back, it was probably really badly written. The punctuation and spelling were probably awful, the words clumsy and the layout clunky.   

Computers and the internet have made many these things much easier. We can steal ideas and copy good practice from people we’ve never met. I could probably throw a love letter together in less than five minutes from the internet now, instead of it taking the five hours or so that it took me in my teens.

But if I copied it, it wouldn’t be mine, would it? If you knew me, you’d see that the words I’ve used aren’t necessarily how I speak. You’d be disappointed. It wouldn’t be me standing in front of you, pouring my heart out, wanting you to see how I felt. I’d be some faceless, nameless instantly forgettable ‘other’. That’s no good.

That’s both the problem and beauty of the internet. While it gives us almost infinite wisdom of a type, and the opportunity to peek into places that we didn’t even know existed – it also allows people, with very little actual knowledge of a subject, to mimic those that have. It turns people into a herd of sheep, all flocking in the same place, thinking the same thoughts and using the same type of ideas. And I’ve never found sheep very romantic. I’d not want to take one to bed. Cuddly perhaps, but they are not the thing of romance. Who wants a sheep in their love letter?

*Crosses off sheep as a romantic icon and thing of desire.*

TWG: Not this one then David?! 😉 shaun

We want passion, excitement, lust – and desire that you can taste, dripping off the pages of a love letter. Those things are not the norm. I’m not going to find them in my internet browser or wandering around in the local Tesco. I need something raw, something real, something wild and untamed. I’m thinking lynx, Siberian tiger, or an all-conquering lion as an icon.  

But if I’m to write about being a creature that can slay all others, I need to feel like the king of all beasts – or at least know what it looks like, up close, and personal, as it snarls in my face, it’s spittle settling onto my skin, as it decides whether I’m worthy of the effort required to kill me.

You want the emotions that raw, don’t you?  

*Wonders if that sounds a bit too scary, and not very romantic?*

I didn’t start out being a writer. I spent twenty years in the police, much of it working in covert or specialist departments. I worked as a detective on some of the biggest and most exciting investigations of our times. Not all of it was easy, some of it was utterly terrifying, some of it was so upsetting it still makes me burst into tears, even to this day, years later. So you can be sure that I’ve seen and experienced every human emotion there is. It’s that experience and emotion you want in my writing isn’t it?

You want to know that I’m real, that I’m not faking it. You want to know that I’d chase you down a train track with a train hurtling at full speed behind me, because I’m full of passion, and that you know I’ve used that passion to catch someone that way before. You want that experience, that energy, drive and tenacity in my writing. You want someone who is never going to give up, someone that knows you’re worth catching, don’t you?

*But the criminal I chased down the train track had just robbed an old lady and beaten her up on her doorstep. And you don’t want me in the same frame of mind, when I catch you. That’s not the right sort of passion!*

No. You want to know about love. 

I have loved before. A few times. But I’ve lost too. Both my parents died within a few months of each other a few years back, it knocked me for six. It made me realise how important family is, something that I’d taken very much for granted before that. Although I’d seen death every single week in my policing career, I’d never really felt it, not like I did in those few months after my parents passed away. I have two daughters who I spend as much time as I can with. But they grow up so fast. It seems like yesterday I was pushing them on swings in the park, now they are talking about music and films I’ve never even heard of.

*That’s the wrong sort of love, you idiot. Get back on track. This is a love letter!* 

I think that the act of writing is the easy bit. Writing things that people enjoy reading, well that’s a tougher objective. Writing a love letter, or a bestseller is like having a relationship. If you neglect it and don’t spend enough time together, it will fail. Nothing will happen. Of course, simply spending time together isn’t enough either, you have to enjoy each other’s company and understand how to make the best of what’s at your disposal.

*She wants to know about commitment and the effort you’re going to put in!*

I cram my writing in, often around other book and media commitments. It can be very difficult. But, much like love and romance, if there is a will, there is a way. Even during the busiest of days, there’s always space to tell someone how special they are; to write a few more lines…

Because, just like a love letter – to hit the spot, your writing should draw on your many years of wisdom, be in your own words, and be from the heart.

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I don’t think anyone would complain if that sort of love letter came their way! I’m not going to lie, I chuckled as I read this post the first time, and again the second, yet I found the true emotion within the words. It’s wonderful when you’re able to see a different side to an author, or a person, especially when their straight laced face (see above), doesn’t away much. My first….I mean, TWG’s first love letter! Thank you David for writing such a fantastic post for TWG, hope you can stop by the blog again!

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 ‘July 2005: in the midst of Operation Theseus, the largest police investigation that the UK has ever known, Detective Inspector Jake Flannagan begins to ask difficult questions that lead to the mysterious disappearance of his girlfriend and his sudden suspension from the Metropolitan Police.

Who masterminded London’s summer of terror?

 Why can’t Flannagan make headway in the sprawling investigation?

 Is Jake’s absent girlfriend really who she claims to be? 

While hunting for the answers to the most complex case in British history, one man will uncover the greatest criminal deception of our time.’

Click The Theseus Paradox on Kindle here

Grab The Theseus Paradox in paperback here

About the author.

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David Videcette is a former Scotland Yard investigator and an expert in terrorism and organised crime. David’s bestselling novel, ‘The Theseus Paradox’ is a page-turning, twisty police thriller set against the investigation into London’s 7/7 bombings, a case which he worked on as a detective for five years. The truth behind the fiction was investigated by The Sunday Telegraph, ITV News and Sky News.

How much is real and how much is a story, only YOU can decide…

Chat to David on Twitter, on Facebook or find out more about him via his website.

 

 

 

Author Carol Wyer needs YOUR help and the clock is ticking!

My very talented and lovely author friend, Carol Wyer, needs YOUR help, and she needs it right now if possible.
I’ll hand you over to a message from Carol herself, to explain:

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Dear followers of Kaisha’s super blog. Kaisha has kindly let me nip over here to beg for your assistance. I hope you can help me and the Grumpy One. My humorous travel book Grumpies On Board is a finalist for The People’s Book Prize award this year and desperately needs your vote. Not sure what you are voting for? The book was a huge hit with Silver Travel Advisor and The Wireless Radio (who operate for AGE UK) who invited me to write articles for them after reading it. Reviews include:
“side splitting, hilarious Grumpies on Board …  – Silver Travel Advisor
Wyer catalogues a genuinely interesting and inspiring collection of mature holidaymakers experiences, ranging from the sublimely relaxing to the downright dangerous.” – The Lady
“I loved Mr Grumpy his recommendations were so great.” AJ Book Review Club
“An excellently researched insight into the world of the truly grumpy traveller.” Youngsters beware..! Nigel Vardy AKA Mr. Frostbite. Record breaking mountaineer, author and inspirational speaker.
Take a peek for yourself on Amazon and read the first few pages. It is much more than a guide … it is a collection of anecdotes and experiences me and the Grumpy One tested out to help people “age actively” with recommendations and comments from the dry old grumpy himself. It is filled with laughs too.
So please will you vote for it for the People’s Book Prize Award? Voting is very easy and only takes a couple of minutes.
1. Head to The People’s Book Prize Award website
2. Register if you have not voted before by clicking on the registration box and answer the maths problem or it’ll think you are a robot. You will be sent a code to use to vote.
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3. Sign back in using your code and click on the purple FINALIST box to get to the right page.

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4.Once on the page look for the non-fiction choices (see blue arrow) by clicking on non-fiction
5. Scroll down three spots and find Grumpies On Board.
6. Vote for it
7. Receive a large virtual hug from me and Grumpy.
Thank you so much. It means a huge amount to us both and thank you Kaisha. x

The few minutes it takes to vote, makes a huge difference to where Carol will end up in the competition. Voting closes in exactly 1 week, and every single vote counts. Please do show your support by voting and sharing this blog post. Make Carol’s day and she might, just might, share her marshmallows with you!

From myself and Carol, thank you ❤

TWG is thrilled (& starstruck) to have author Cathy Bramley in the spotlight!

Bear with me a moment while I compose myself -breathes-. Not long ago, I thought I would chance my luck and tweet Cathy to see if she was available for an interview. I nearly fell off my chair when she replied saying yes! Just like a huge percentage of the population, I am a huge fan of Cathy’s, so to interview her and talk about books that I read well before I began blogging, is a dream come true. -fangirl moment-. It is with such great pleasure that I welcome THE Cathy Bramley to The Writing Garnet!

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TWG: For those that may not be aware, could you tell us a little about yourself?

I am the author of the best-selling romantic comedies Ivy Lane, Appleby Farm, Wickham Hall, Conditional Love and The Plumberry School of Comfort Food. I live in a Nottinghamshire village with my husband, two daughters and a dog.

TWG: Have you always wanted to be a writer?

Not at all! I’ve always been an avid reader, but it didn’t cross my mind to write until a few years ago.

TWG: Have there been any books which have made you wish you wrote them? If so, which ones and why?

Pride and Prejudice. It’s such a captivating love story and the royalties would come in handy.

TWG: How easy was it to get the inspiration for all of your books?

It varies book to book. The idea for some novels come to me fully formed, others take lots of work.

TWG: Did you find yourself struggling to write any of the books?

My first, Conditional Love took me the longest because I was learning on the job (I’m still learning). I struggle to write all of them really; it’s the hardest job I’ve ever done.

TWG: Do you have a favourite out of the books you have written so far?

I feel very close to my characters as I’m writing a book, so all new books feel like my favourite. But I do have a soft spot for Ivy Lane.

TWG: You write what I call ‘cosy books’. Books that you can curl up reading with a cuppa, was that what you set out to do?

Thank you! That’s a lovely way to describe my books and it is exactly what I set out to do.

TWG: Have you disliked any of the characters in your stories?

I try to give my ‘baddies’ redeeming features because I like to think that there is good in everyone. However there was a character in Conditional Love who I was glad to see the back of!

TWG: Have there been any books that you can quite happily read multiple times? If so, what ones?

My TBR pile is too big to allow me that luxury, but the Big Stone Gap series by Adriana Trigiani would fit into that category.

TWG: Lastly, if you could give advice to writers just starting out, what would it be?

Enjoy the luxury of writing what you want to write, experiment, try different voices and genres until something really clicks. And if you are hoping to be published, don’t labour over every sentence; get the voice right and get to the end!

Thank you again Cathy! Cathy’s latest novel ‘The Plumberry School of Comfort Food’ was released in paperback on the 30th June.
Love the cover!

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‘Verity Bloom hasn’t been interested in cooking anything more complicated than the perfect fish finger sandwich, ever since she lost her best friend and baking companion two years ago.

But an opportunity to help a friend lands her right back in the heart of the kitchen. The Plumberry School of Comfort Food is due to open in a few weeks’ time and needs the kind of great ideas that only Verity could cook up. And with new friendships bubbling and a sprinkling of romance in the mix, Verity finally begins to feel like she’s home.

But when tragedy strikes at the very heart of the cookery school, can Verity find the magic ingredient for Plumberry while still writing her own recipe for happiness?’

Plumberry School is available to buy right now from Amazon UK.
Not only that, it is also available to buy from Tesco, Asda (chosen as their charity book with 30p of every copy going to Breast Cancer charity), and Sainsburys (currently Sainsbury’s ‘Book of the Week’)!
To keep up to date with the latest news from Cathy herself, you can do so via Facebook and Twitter.

Thank you so much to Cathy Bramley for being in TWG’s spotlight!

What type of reader are you? Find out how rebellious Author Anne Hamilton is!

TWG would like to welcome a very special guest to the blog tonight!
Not only is my special guest editor for the Lothian Life, she is also an author, welcome Anne Hamilton! Anne approached me in regards to a guest post on the blog, obviously I wasn’t going to refuse. Time to find out how rebellious Anne Hamilton is!

Rebel Reader

Reading is my long-standing rebellion; my nose has barely been outside a book since I learned my ABC. Age seven, I had to be forcibly ejected ‘outside to play’; by ten, I had negotiated a bedroom swap with my brother because a street lamp shone through his window if the curtains were carefully angled. Still at primary school I wrote ‘books’ because I’d read everything in the (very small) mobile library. At eighteen, I managed the ultimate rebellious act: away from home, I could finally read a book whilst I was eating my breakfast. Or my lunch. Or my dinner… I don’t do it so much now; I’ve come full circle in trying to set an example for my own child, but, I can still conjure up that little frisson of daring.

These days – when I’m feeling brave – I call myself a writer, and I like to think the reading has stood me in good stead; everyone knows that writers are constantly exhorted to read, read, read. (And I mean the classics, the bestsellers, the debuts in your genre, not Twitter updates, FB posts or, um, oh dear, blog posts on writing!)

Reading, we are told, not only hones our own story-telling skills, but is essential in understanding the murky world of publishing: what novels are currently selling; why, where and to whom.

It’s a timely reminder. How tempting is it, when immersed in creating your own world to forget about everyone else’s? And in doing that, you can fall out of touch with the reading population. Who cares, you might ask; you don’t want to be fashionable, you just want to write the next great novel. Well, secretly, who doesn’t? And whilst none of us knows what this is, your masterpiece is only in the running if the movers and shakers of reading, writing and publishing agree to read it; you have to get on their radar. Yes, you might, possibly, do that by blazing a trail, but you’re more likely to start out by riding on the tails of other successes.

So, when I’m not writing, parenting, (or updating my social media accounts) I do still read. But what nobody really, truly grasps until they are an author themselves, is that writing ruins reading. Add in the fact that I’m a fiction editor, and a creative writing teacher, and it’s a triple whammy of ruins.

I exaggerate (of course, I do, I’m a writer) but any hobby runs the risk of becoming a chore when it turns into work. Don’t get me wrong, I love all the facets of my job, but I find it harder and harder to read for pure enjoyment. People pay me their hard-earned money to critique, correct and question their stories and help make them the best they can be. I take that very seriously, and the upshot is I read like a writer – and my ‘off’ switch is broken.

In the same way that a restaurant reviewer doesn’t necessarily want to go home and deconstruct her dinner, but to sit, relax and enjoy it, sometimes I just want to be transported by a ripping good yarn, or get the information I’m seeking without analysing text and format. Yet, I find myself examining picture books and rephrasing the words – my five year old son has been known to say, ‘Mummy, stop thinking about the words and read the story.’  I edit the junk mail through the door. I tramp the aisles of the supermarket considering why that cereal packet has that particular blurb. I miss stops on the bus because I’m mentally altering billboards. It isn’t that any of these words – or the novels I do read – are often less than fine, simply that there are endless other options, and I can’t help but wonder.

(It works both ways, of course; come the hour when someone, fair enough, shouts at me – hey, call yourself an editor, what about this, then? – as they brandish my own stories or peoples’ novels I’ve worked on. My only defence is that I do my best, just as everyone else out there is doing. And then I forget the possibility as therein lies madness!)

There’s something else, too. Even when I read a novel purely for pleasure, the writer in me knows how much its author would appreciate a review. Therefore, as I read, I’m formulating my review – and reigning myself in to do it as a reader, not an editor. At this stage, nobody is interested in my suggestions about, say, the structure of the novel or pursuing an alternative Point of View; if they had been they would have asked me to edit it. (The book is published, Anne, get over it). What the writer wants – what I want as a writer – is to know, did the reader enjoy it, why/not and was it a good story, well-written?

What’s my opinion of a great book? Simply the one in which I forget I’m a writer. I forget I’m an editor. When I read and read like I used to do as a child, almost holding my breath to find out what happened next. When it was just one more chapter before bed, where I’d go to dream about my favourite characters – and wonder who were these amazing people called writers?

Then, I’m reading like a reader.

And the rebel reader that got me this far is still going strong.

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Anne’s Website
Follow Anne on Twitter.

Anne is the author of ‘A Blonde Bengali Wife’, and all the money that is earned from the book goes to charity. Here is what the book is about:

‘They all said that Bangladesh would be an experience …
For Anne Hamilton, a three-month winter programme of travel and “cultural exchange” in a country where the English language, fair hair, and a rice allergy are all
extremely rare was always going to be interesting, challenging, and frustrating. What they didn’t tell Anne was that it would also be sunny, funny, and the start of a love affair with this unexplored area of Southeast Asia.
A Blonde Bengali Wife shows the lives beyond the poverty, monsoons, and diarrhoea of Bangladesh and charts a vibrant and fascinating place where one minute Anne is levelling a school playing field “fit for the national cricket team,” and then cobbling together a sparkly outfit for a formal wedding the next. Along with Anne are the essential ingredients for survival: a travel-savvy Australian sidekick, a heaven-sent adopted family, and a short, dark, and handsome boy-next-door.
During her adventures zipping among the dusty clamour of the capital Dhaka, the longest sea beach in the world at Cox’s Bazaar, the verdant Sylhet tea gardens, and the voluntary health projects of distant villages, Anne amasses a lot of friends, stories … and even a husband?
A Blonde Bengali Wife is the ‘unexpected travelogue’ that reads like a comedy of manners to tell the other side of the story of Bangladesh.
All money earned from A Blonde Bengali Wife goes direct to the charity, Bhola’s Children, of which the author and agent are active participants. A Blonde Bengali Wife isn’t about Bhola but it is a tribute to Anne’s journeys into Bangladesh and all the friends she has made there. Most of all, it is the story of the country that inspired Bhola’s Children.’

If this book sounds like something you would enjoy reading, knowing that you’ll be helping out a charity as well, here is how you can get hold of your very own copy: Buy from Amazon UK

Big thank you to Anne for stopping by the blog!

TWG is going on an adventure to ‘The Petal Planet’ with Zak & Jen!

‘We’re all going on a, summer holiday, no more working for a…week or two. Fun & laughter on a, summer holiday, no more worries for me & you.’
Today is my stop for on the blog tour! Huge thank you to Natalie and Chris for giving me this opportunity!
TWG is going on an adventure!!!! -bounces up and down like a hyper child-. Not just any old adventure though, no sireeee. This adventure is in space! Now, before you start thinking that I am going barmy (well, you probably think that now after I serenaded you…again), I know it is tricky to go on an adventure to space. But if you’re a child, you can dream to go anywhere you like and be whoever you like, yes?
Last month a lovely lady called Natalie got in contact to see if I would be interested in reviewing her debut children’s book. Of course I said yes. It was such an honour to be asked, and with this book, I knew just the person that was going to be able to help me. My daughter.
Receiving the book in the post felt like Christmas had come early, because it was in a beautiful box which had been painted by the illustrator of the book; Chris Rivers Nuttall. It wasn’t just any box though, it was a sensory box which included some of the items in the story.

‘Jen Lives alone on her solitary sand planet, until one day, a boy named Zak comes to visit. Through a little of Zak’s magic and an unusual umbrella, Jen is transported to a beautiful world, and her new friend helps her learn a valuable lesson along the way. ‘

‘To Jen, her life was a terrible bore.
She wished she had more than the landscape she saw.’

As soon as I began reading the book, I was greeted by the words above. Based on those two lines alone, I knew that it was an ideal book for children because of the rhyming. The book carries that rhyming theme throughout which, in my opinion, is brilliant. Such a catchy way to help children not only learn rhyming, but also might keep them interested. My daughter is too young to read, even though she likes to think that she can. Her opinion was based purely on the pictures, of course, she is two and pictures are an important part of a children’s book!

Natalie & Chris, this is my daughter Eva’s opinion on the book, her own words: ‘I see flowers, and trees and a moon and it’s blue! This a good book mumma.’
She is a book worm like her mumma!

Throughout the book there are wonderful pictures, from an adults point of view, they are incredibly magical. Take a look at a couple:

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How beautiful are they!

As I was nearing the end of the book, I began to realise that the book had something very clever throughout. A hidden message. Jen finds her planet boring after taking a visit to Zak’s planet full of petals. However, when she returns home she realises that she missed her planet and its own kind of beauty. The message that I got from the story was: ‘Learn to appreciate what you have because it’s yours.’ Such an important message.
I had a friend visit who spotted the book and began reading it out loud, so I just sat and watched to see his expression. I noticed that while he was reading it, he had a massive smile on his face and said afterwards how much he enjoyed it. Now I’m not going to name him as he knows who he is and I don’t wish to get my wrists tapped ha ha. It just goes to show that whilst this book is directly aimed at children, it will also make pleasant reading for the adult that gets to read it with the child.
I found ‘Zak and Jen’s Astronomical Adventures – The Petal Planet’ to be such a captivating and fascinating book. Wonderful use of language throughout the book giving the storyline such incredible depth. Not only that, the illustrations are amazing and very detailed. It is very clear to see that a lot of time and effort has gone into creating the illustrations and making them stand out.
To me, this book doesn’t scream out debut. It screams out fantasy, imagination, enjoyment and pure brilliance. Natalie has written such a wonderful children’s book that has captivated and brought out my inner child, and it is definitely a story that I will never tire of reading or looking at with my daughter. You both should be incredibly proud of yourselves for your achievement.

On that note, I have also been given another great honour of giving you an exclusive. There is going to be a book two! Book two will follow Zak and Jen on yet another adventure. Here is a teaser:

‘After their adventure on the petal planet, Zak and Jen become firm friends and Jen is keen to head off on another adventure amongst the stars. This time, the pair find themselves on a jungle planet inhabited by all kinds of creatures including a Lion who is not all he seems.
Once again this second book will aim to combine Chris’s magical illustrations with a thought provoking story as Zak and Jen travel the galaxy with their magical umbrellas.’

‘Zak and Jen’s Astronomical Adventures – The Petal Planet’ is available to buy right now. You may even see it in your local W H Smith’s! For now, here is the Amazon link for the book where you can buy your own copy of such an enchanted book:
Buy ‘Zak and Jen’s Astronomical Adventures’ from Amazon

TWG talks to L.J.Epps author of ‘I wish I could remember you’.

Last month I had the wonderful opportunity of being involved with the blog tour for L.J.Epps and her novel ‘I wish I could remember you’. If you haven’t read it yet, I would definitely recommend it, but if you’re undecided, check out my stop on the tour: Book Tour of ‘I Wish I Could Remember You’ by L.J.Epps.

I thought it would be a lovely touch to have a chat with L.J.Epps and get to know her a bit better, especially now that I have read her book.

TWG would like to give a warm welcome to L.J.Epps, thank you for stopping by!

TWG: What inspired you to write your book?
I had the idea for my book roaming around in my head for years. When I was growing up I would get different ideas in my head for a book or movie. One of the ideas I had was about a woman going through a messy divorce and losing her memory but only remembering the good years she shared with her husband. Since he claimed he had changed and she could only remember the good in him she had to decide if she was willing to give him a second chance.

TWG: Do you have a specific writing style?
I usually write down all of my ideas on paper and then just jump in and start writing the story. Once I’m well into the story –which would be a couple of chapters in I try to make an outline. That way I can have some sort of idea where the story will end up as I’m writing.

TWG: How did you come up with the title?
Funny but the working title was called Forgotten because I wanted to show that Emily has forgotten all of the bad things her husband has done to her and forgotten her new boyfriend, Robert because of her memory loss. But as time went on I wanted more of a sad romantic type title. That’s when I came up with I Wish I Could Remember You.

TWG: Do you have any advice for other writers?
My advice is if you love to write you should write as much as possible. Even if you never make any money from your writing, if your proud of it or if one person likes it that makes it all worth it.

TWG: What books/authors have influenced your writing?
One of my favourite authors is Nicholas Sparks. When I read his novels I always get emotionally involved. I’ve shed a few tears reading his novels, and that’s the kind of reaction I would like my novels to get when people read them. I love novels where I want to jump to the end to see what happens but I don’t because that would ruin the story for me.

TWG: What genre do you consider your books?
I write fiction novels. My first novel is Contemporary Women’s Romance. I also write Young Adult Fantasy and Dystopian.

TWG: Do you ever experience writers block?
Yes, I experience writers block sometimes, when that happens I listen to music. Sometimes music brings ideas flowing to my brain. I’m not sure why but it does.

TWG: Have you ever hated something you wrote?
Yes, I’ve written scenes that I’ve hated so I keep rewriting the scenes until I feel better about them. I have even gotten rid of entire scenes and started over from scratch.

TWG: Where did your love of writing come from?
When I was a child I day dreamed a lot and I had an active imagination. So I think it started when I was a child. I loved to dream up new worlds and new people and as I grew up I liked to write about them.

TWG: Do you write every single day?
I try to write every day. It’s not always easy because sometimes time is limited. Some days I can get a lot written and other days a little. But as long as I can write down a few words here and there each day I can get my writing goals completed.

TWG: Which writers inspire you?
I like Nicholas Sparks, Danielle Steel, J.K. Rowling, Susan Mallery, and Suzanne Collins.

TWG: What are you working on at the minute?
I’m finishing up a Young Adult Fantasy-Dystopian novel I’ve been working on. It should be released in a few months.

TWG: What is your favourite theme/genre to write about?
I have two favourites. I love to write Contemporary Women’s Fiction and I also like to write Fantasy as well.

TWG: What is your latest book about?
My latest book is about a woman named Emily. She in her thirties and is going through a terrible divorce. Her husband, Steven is abusive and controlling and he doesn’t want the divorce. Emily is trying to move on with her life and during her separation she meets someone new named, Robert. Before the divorce can take place Emily is in a terrible accident that robs her of some of her short-term memories. She can only remember the good times with her soon to be ex-husband not the bad, and she cannot remember Robert at all. Both men profess their love for her and she has to decide who she wants to be with. Will she choose the man who claims he has changed even though she has heard about the terrible things he has done to her from her sister, but can’t remember? Or will she choose the man she’s been told she’s in love with now but can’t remember him at all.

Huge thank you to L.J.Epps for stopping by The Writing Garnet. Her newest book ‘I Wish I Could Remember You’ is available to buy right now!

 

 

 

**COVER REVEAL** It’s time for ‘Breakfast at Poldarks’ with Samantha Tonge!

It’s an exciting blog post for you all this morning! A VERY exciting one. Why? Because I have the honour revealing Samantha Tonge’s brand new cover for her new novel! Thrilled to be a part of this today! I won’t keep you too much longer, although I am trying to build suspense…..but what the heck, it’s gorgeous and I just HAVE to show you. You ready?

Drumroll please……

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TADAAAAAAA!! Isn’t is a beautiful cover! Stylish and highly enticing, and that’s just the cover! Want to find out a little bit about the book? Good, because funnily enough, I have some information right here for you!

Blurb: DREAMING OF THE PERFECT MAN?

‘Kate Golightly needs to move forward and what better way to do that then with a trip to the Cornish coast with best friend and boss, Izzy. The sea wind is just what Kate needs to finally relax and begin to let go of her past. Except she’s suddenly got one big reason to panic! She RSVP’d ‘yes’ to the Queen Bee of her high school’s wedding saying she’s bringing her boyfriend (she doesn’t have one) who looks just like Ross Poldark! With only two weeks to find the Poldark look­alike of her dreams Kate is under a lot of pressure for the Cornish coast to deliver…

A hilarious and moving romantic novel from bestselling author, Samantha Tonge. A must­read this summer!’

Like the sound of that? If you’re anything like me and enjoy pre-ordering books so you have them waiting, bit like Christmas presents, then here is where you can pre-order it from!

Add to Goodreads
Buy from Amazon UK
Buy from Amazon US

About the author Samantha Tonge.

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Samantha lives in Cheshire with her lovely family and a cat that thinks it’s a dog. Along with writing, her days are spent cycling, willing cakes to rise and avoiding housework. A love of fiction developed as a child, when she was known for reading Enid Blyton books in the bath. A desire to write bubbled away in the background whilst she pursued other careers, including a fun stint working at Disneyland Paris. Formally trained as a linguist, Samantha now likes nothing more than holing herself up in the spare room, in front of the keyboard. She has sold over 80 stories to women’s magazines. Her bestselling debut novel, “Doubting Abbey”, from CarinaUK HarperCollins, was shortlisted for the Festival of Romantic Fiction best Ebook award in 2014. Game of Scones won the 2015 Love Stories Awards Best Romantic Ebook category.

Get in touch with Samantha:

Samantha’s Facebook
Samantha’s Twitter
Samantha’s Website.

 

*NOT TO BE MISSED*. Evie from ‘Goodbye Ruby Tuesday’ by A.L.Michael stops by for a chat, and an EXCLUSIVE!

Important question time. How many of you have read A.L.Michael’s ‘Goodbye Ruby Tuesday’? If you haven’t, why not?! At the start of May I blogged about the book and its main ladies Chelsea, Evie and Mollie.
If you need a recap: Goodbye Ruby Tuesday by A.L.Michael. Book Tour!
For those that have already read the book, wasn’t it FABULOUS?  Lucky for us, it is part of a series and the second book ‘Nice Day For A White Wedding’ is out next month! I know, I know, I’m jumping up and down right now too (no really, I am). So excited!

Tonight on the blog, I have something very special for you. I spoke with A.L.Michael and asked her if one of her characters from the book would stop by for a good ol’ girly chinwag, and of course she said yes (she doesn’t say no to me y’know 😉 ).

Shall I stop talking at you and get on with it? Lets give Evie  from ‘Goodbye Ruby Tuesday’ a very warm welcome to The Writing Garnet!

TWG: Good evening Evie! Thank you for stopping by for a chat! I know you have recently lost Ruby, how are you coping now? 
Hiya. Well, we lost touch a while ago, but it’s ridiculous to think she’s not here, not somewhere in London singing and performing and living this crazy, ridiculous life. She was always so full of life, it’s weird to think she’s not here. But I feel better knowing we’re doing what she would have wanted.
TWG: When we caught up with you last you couldn’t seem to fathom why you all broke contact for years and lost touch, do you have any idea as to who or what caused that?
It wasn’t on purpose, we always meant to catch up and get together again. I think…well, I thought fame would change her. It’s hard to watch this amazing, talented performer on stage and think she’d actually be interested in seeing a friend she knew for a couple of years when she was a teenager. I was scared of being rejected, I guess.
TWG: I understand that your dad was a pain in the neck when you were growing up, do you think he really did care about you?
Or was your mum too blind to the situations when you were a child? That must have been difficult! Especially with your painting getting sold!
That man isn’t capable of love, or caring about anyone but himself. My mum…she’s blinded by love. I always swore I would never be like that, never become a doormat. 
TWG: What were your thoughts when you found out that Ruby had left you a house in Camden Square? Was that a surprise to you given the circumstances?
I don’t think I could imagine something more strange. It was amazing to think she remembered our dream, that she still wanted that for us, it was a way of telling us she still knew us, and I’ll cherish that.
TWG: Chelsea didn’t seem too excited about your plans, I know Mollie had to think of little Esme (say hi to her for me!) but she didn’t really have much to lose did she? Unless there is something she isn’t telling us?
Chelsea has a lot more to lose, she went to a big posh university, she created a whole new person – I’m just glad the Chels we knew is still in there! She just spent so long trying to wipe away any signs of our past, anything that happened on the estate, some of the things she saw, the way she was…I get why it’s been harder for her. She’s got secrets, she’s got her own story to tell.
TWG: I felt sorry for you, you took all of the pressure of the house, just so people would change their opinion of you. Why? I got the impression you were quite fiery when you were growing up, what else happened?
I was always a pain in the arse, no surprises there! I’m the one who makes things happen, I always have been. When the others can’t do things, or are too scared to do something, I try to make it easy. And maybe, there’s something about feeling like a failure. I didn’t want that life, that little life in Badgeley that everyone else had. I could see Mollie falling into it, and I didn’t want Esme to grow up like we did, with no hope of anything better.
TWG: Sorry for the personal question, why are you so guarded with males? Didn’t you want to find your Prince Charming?
Fairytales are for kids. That all enduring, endless, crazy love, it’s dangerous stuff. You’re vulnerable, and you can get hurt, and you just end up making terrible decisions. Just like my mum. I didn’t ever want to be like that. So I picked safe people, who’d never make me feel anything too dangerous.
TWG: If someone came to you for advice about dreams and not knowing whether they should just ‘go for it’, what advice would you give them? I would say Esme but she seems to be good at giving you advice!
Of course they should go for it! Always go for it. Life is so short, and shitty stuff happens. Grab joy while you can. Don’t waste a minute being miserable.

Okay, I did say that there was going to be an exclusive in this blog. I must say, I’m very excited about this too. Cor, highly excitable tonight eh! A bit like one of my Twitter followers who is super excited for this blog post! (Hi Clair 😉 ). When I was having a chat with Evie, I asked if she could tell us, well, ‘me’, any secrets or gossip. Here, exclusively for The Writing Garnet, is what she had to say…..

TWG: Between you and me, what secrets can you tell me about the other two ladies? Do you have any juicy gossip?
I can tell you that the lovely Kit has talked to me about Chelsea, he might have shown me a very beautiful ring he wants to give her! And Mollie has to keep her promise to start dating, it’s been long enough, don’t you think? Not that I’m being bossy, obviously!

Thank you Evie for stopping by, and thank you to A.L.Michael for arranging it! Now, if you have read this giggle fest already, PLEASE leave a review on Amazon & Goodreads as they’re vital for authors. Doesn’t have to be an essay, but constructive as these books are their babies! Words multiply….obviously!!!

The next book in the series is available to pre-order right NOW! To do so, click HERE.
If you’re wanting to buy the first one, Goodbye Ruby Tuesday, then I would highly suggest you do so ASAP aka now, as it’s currently 99p. There is no guarantee as to how long the book will stay that price, so do not miss out on all the excitement! Buy ‘Goodbye Ruby Tuesday’.

Blog Tour Stop for Elle Field and her ‘B-Side’!

It’s my turn on Elle Field’s blog tour for ‘B-Side’! Thank you to Elle for asking me to take part and host a post! If you have had the music too loud and haven’t heard about ‘B-Side’, luckily for you, here is some information about the book and where you can dance your way to nabbing a copy of your very own!

B-Side (Arielle Lockley Series Book 2.5) blurb:

“What do I honestly know about the music industry? I’m just another idiot with a dream who is naive enough to hope that I might be the next big star.”
Etta Millhouse has always had big musical ambitions to match her big voice, but she’s also got three very big problems – the addiction she won’t admit to, her godmother’s illness that she can no longer ignore, and her godmother’s useless business partner (who she wishes she could ignore). Keeping an eye on Arielle’s poor business decisions is the last thing Etta wants to do when she’s offered the chance to record a demo with a top producer. But, a promise is a promise, even if it has her reaching for another pick-me-up… And then another. And then one more. When the secret she must keep for her godmother, Felicity, sends her drug habit spiralling out of control, can Etta battle her demons in time and make her dream happen? Or, will her music career be over before it’s even begun?

B-Side sits between Lost (out now) and Found (out summer 2016) in the Arielle Lockley series – read Etta’s version of events in this gritty Lost spin-off.
Add to Goodreads

Where you can buy your copy from:
Amazon UK
Amazon US

Who IS Elle Field?

Elle Field writes romantic comedies, and is the author of the Arielle Lockley series and Geli Voyante’s Hot or Not. She grew up in Yorkshire, then moved to Scotland to study International Relations and Social Anthropology at the University of St Andrews. Elle now lives in London with her boyfriend and their cat. She’s a massive fan of sunshine, giraffes, The Killers, Audrey Hepburn movies, playing Scrabble and tea. Oh, and reading, of course!

Click here to buy Elle’s books.
Visit Elle’s website.
Elle’s Twitter
Elle’s Facebook.

Like the sound of Elle and her B-Side so far? Well, we have even more treats for you on this tour stop! Next up there is a giveaway to celebrate the publication of B-Side. 
 Prizes are Amazon vouchers, a paperback set of the full Arielle Lockley series (Kept, Lost and B-Side), and a set of vinyl coasters.
To enter, follow the link right here —> a Rafflecopter giveaway<—. You never know, you need to be in it to win it! A bit like the UK Top 40….

IMPORTANT: Giveaway ends on the 31st May, so you will need to stop singing and dancing for a few minutes to let yourself enter. I think I can stop myself singing ‘Hit me baby one more time’ by good ol’ Broccoli Spears…not that I’m showing my age anyway ;). (Side note, fully aware her name isn’t Broccoli, however, if you grew up then, you’d know!)

Where do you think you’re going?! Did my singing scare you off? I’m sorry, I’ll stop. Only because I have one last treat for you and I want you to read it! The lovely Elle has written a post for The Writing Garnet to share with you all. A post that will make you reminisce….
‘Mem’ries, Light the corners of my mind. Misty water-colored memories. Of the way we were.’
Sorry, I did say I would stop singing didn’t I? Over to you Elle!

‘If you’re of a certain age, you’re going to remember spending your Sunday afternoon sat by your boom box, finger hovered over the record button, waiting for your favourite songs to come on the Top 40 so you could hurriedly hit play and tape them. (Yes, an actual cassette tape.) Most of the time you’d miss the first five seconds or so and, if you were really unlucky and you were near the end of the tape, you’d miss the middle thirty seconds as you frantically flipped over to the B-side. When it was an absolute favourite song playing, you’d hope wildly that they wouldn’t do the voice-over link over the end of the song because no one wants to have to listen to some dodgy DJ talk over your beloved track.

By the time I started to get into music, records and tapes were out and CDs were in, though I did have Now 28 on double cassette, before switching to the CD version from Now 29 onwards. (Nowadays, if I did listen to the Now albums, I’d listen on Spotify – how times have changed!). I did, however, insist on getting a record player for Christmas when I won the 7″ single of the rather dreadfully catchy “No Limits” by 2 Unlimited at a Halloween birthday party – who remembers that song?! For the record – no pun intended – coming first in musical chairs landed me that awesome prize. It’s possible the first, and only, time I ever won that game!I never bought any other records though – Santa, likely, cursed me for that wasteful present ask – though vinyl has since made a big comeback in the past year or so and I now, once again, have a record player at home – this time round I own more than one record!

Etta, the anti-heroine of my latest book, B-Side, is, of course, a big vinyl fan as a passionate music lover and jazz singer. It was great fun to ignore my own musical tastes to write as Etta, and I’ve definitely discovered a whole bunch of new songs and artists over the past few months. Plus, it’s given me the excuse to listen to tracks as cringy as “No Limits” – brilliant!
What’s your favourite kind of music?’

How many of you nodded your head in agreement to that as you read it? That is a brilliant question from Elle, what IS your favourite kind of music?
As a music lover myself, that is a very tough question to answer. I grew up in the 90’s when it was the time of the cringy boybands and dodgy hair cuts, however, I did think they were amazing back then! That said, I do love music from as early as the 50’s and 60’s, onwards. If I had to choose ONE song as my favourite, it would have to be Eva Cassidy’s ‘Songbird’. I have my reasons, but that is a story for another time!

A big thank you again to Elle for stopping by! Why don’t you Tweet Elle and let her know YOUR favourite music?