#BlogTour! Secrets We Keep by Faith Hogan (@GerHogan) @Aria_Fiction #Review & #Q&A

swk

Today is Sunday 5th Feb which can only mean one thing; ITS MY STOP ON FAITH’S BLOG TOURRRRRR! Can you tell that I’m excited? I was GUTTED that I couldn’t be part of Faith’s previous tour as I was still the new kid on the block. However, I’m here now and what a stop I have for you! Not only am I reviewing Faith’s new book ‘Secrets We Keep’, I was also given permission to interrogate the lovely author herself AND keep both spoiler free. I hope you enjoy!

aria_hogan_secrets-we-keep_e
Blurb.

Two distant relatives, drawn together in companionship are forced to confront their pasts
and learn that some people are good at keeping secrets and some secrets are never
meant to be kept..
A bittersweet story of love, loss and life. Perfect for the fans of Patricia Scanlan and Adele
Parks.
The beautiful old Bath House in Ballytokeep has lain empty and abandoned for decades.
For devoted pensioners Archie and Iris, it holds too many conflicting memories of their
adolescent dalliances and tragic consequences – sometimes it’s better to leave the past
where it belongs.
For highflying, top London divorce lawyer Kate Hunt, it’s a fresh start – maybe even her
future. On a winter visit to see her estranged Aunt Iris she falls in love with the Bath
House. Inspired, she moves to Ballytokeep leaving her past heartache 600 miles away –
but can you ever escape your past or your destiny?

What does TWG think?

At first I did wonder whether the novel was going to go down the old life = new start route, with the character rejigging their life and having a happy ending. Predictable, so I am sure you can sense my relief when it became clear that the main characters life wasn’t that straight forward…in the slightest. Kate Hunt had done a bit of to-ing and fro-ing over the years, but little did she know that she was going to clock up even more miles on her return to Ireland. Heartbroken and emotional, Kate has multiple decisions ahead of her, none of which can be solved over a cup of tea and a jammy dodger.

I couldn’t get enough of this storyline! Yes, I was a bit concerned that it was going to end up predictable, however, ‘Secrets We Keep’ is a storyline with incredible depth. The highlight for me was the historical influence. Not only did we delve into the characters past, we were also made aware of the history behind certain points in Ireland. Being part Irish myself and having never been, the insight to the history of certain buildings and areas was mind-blowing.

Everything flowed really well overall, although I did find myself becoming a bit impatient when males came on the scene as I wanted to get back to Kate’s family history! I sound a geek now eh!
I really do think that ‘Secrets We Keep’ is Faith’s best novel so far as its shown a different side to her writing  without having to add a severely drastic situation to the overall storyline. It kept me on my toes, had me wondering ‘what ifs?’ and even had me sitting there with my mouth open trying to catch fish (that’s shocked to you and me by the way). There is something incredibly special about ‘Secrets We Keep’ and I really believe that that special something is the fact it was written from the authors heart.

Gripping, heart warming and positively eye-opening; ‘Secrets We Keep’ goes above and beyond with such an enchanting and emotional storyline. It is pretty clear that a lot of research went into the novel as well as a lot of effort. Faith Hogan, you’ve done yourself proud; a truly wonderful read.

Thank you Aria!

Buy Links.

Amazon UK // Amazon US // Kobo // Google Play // iBooks

Q & A with the lady herself, Faith Hogan!

Welcome back to TWG, Faith Hogan!

First off, thanks for having me Kaisha! It’s lovely to be back dropping in on TWG!

TWG: For those that aren’t overly familiar with your work, could you tell us a little bit about yourself and how you came to be a published author?

Well, like you, I’m a Mammy first (Irish mothers are always Mammy’s!!) I live with my husband, four children and a fat cat called Norris in the beautiful, if somewhat windswept west of Ireland. I just love books, always have and once I discovered eBooks, well let’s just say I’m a seriously happy bunny. I’m one of those people who has always written, whether it was sitting in a waiting room or wrestling with a longer piece of fiction. The road to publication was what it was – I think we get to where we’re going when we’re ready to be there. I’ve been lucky, my agent is the best and Aria Fiction are a seriously dedicated and lovely bunch – I can honestly say, I’ve loved every minute. Now, I get to talk to bookish types like yourself all the time and it’s even better than I could have hoped for!

TWG: Your first novel, My Husbands Wives (published by Aria in May 2016), has got such a deep and dark feel to it in comparison to your new novel, The Secrets We Keep. Was it intentional to write two books with storylines verging on both ends of the spectrum, as it were?

I’m not sure any book is intentional – they just sort of need to be written! I always believed I’d write crime and My Husbands’ Wives grew from the question of ‘What If…; My agent felt I had a women’s fiction book in me, if we could just get it out! Now, it’s flowing out of me and the words are just flying onto the pages – it’s amazing to love what for so long you resisted.

Secrets We Keep was born of the place – Ballytokeep is based on a small seaside town near where I Iive. The characters are from my imagination, but there is an old Bath House dug into black stone cliffs and I’m sure I’m not alone in having looked at it and maybe asking that same question once more – What if…

TWG: How hard has it been to write two novels and get them both published, in under a year? I am in awe! What’s your secret?

Well, the writing is actually the easy bit! Aria Fiction are the wizards who got them out there. I had started Secrets We Keep once I sent off My Husbands’ Wives – it was a way of keeping my nerves even! Really, it’s down to time and making the most of it. We have a busy house, but I’m lucky – I have a husband who is happy to dig in and a family around me who are all rooting for me, in all the best practical ways.

TWG: Having read both of your books (and thoroughly enjoyed them), were there any parts of the storylines that you find quite difficult to write, on a personal level?

In the first draft of Secrets We Keep we had a tragic death and to be honest, I’m really glad that I changed that in a later draft, the change was actually more emotional than the death. It felt as though I could touch on the notion of soul mates. Secrets We Keep had a working title of MFEO – Meant For Each Other and I think that was the bit that kind of got me!

As regards things that would cause me sleepless nights – I never write about children in peril, never write about children as victims – I know, I couldn’t cope with that at all – in fact, I love a good thriller, but I won’t read anything with a child victim – I think it affects me more now I have children of my own. Life is too short to go reading things that make you sad or upset!

TWG: Your second novel, Secrets We Keep, has just been released, congratulations! How did publication day feel the second time around?

To be honest, the night I got the news that Aria were interested in taking me on was the best night ever. We announced to family and opened a bottle of champagne – I’m not a drinker, but even I had a glass of bubbly that night!

On the night of publication,(My Husbands’ Wives,) I thought I’d explode with excitement. I lay in bed for hours, spinning everything from the text to the blog tour over in my mind. It dawned on me, that I was going to bed as a writer, but I would waken as an author and in some profound way, I felt it changed me from what I always wanted to become to who I was meant to be!

For Secret’s We Keep, the party was planned well in advance, just a very nice meal out with my nearest and dearest, well, it’s not every day you publish your second book, is it?

TWG: Secrets We Keep seemed to be centred on genealogy, which I found extremely interesting. Have you ever had (or wanted) to delve further into your own family history?

I think every family has secrets – sometimes, there better left alone!

In Secrets We Keep it all turned out for the best, but in real life, what’s good for one can be disastrous for another. I live in the same area that my family has lived in for generations. Recently, my husband visited a graveyard about twenty miles from where we live and he stumbled across my great, great, great grandparents graves, by chance more than by design. I knew they were there, but I’ve only been there twice. The man with him remembered the ‘old master’ (my father’s family were all teachers) and he sang a song that had been written about him in the village where he taught. It’s nice to hear things like that, but I’m sure that there are many other ditties written about school masters back in the day that were not so very complimentary!

TWG: Were there any characters from your books that you found yourself disliking?

Now, let me see – would you fancy Duncan Delaney?

TWG: Those that are familiar with your work know that you have joined the ever growing list of Irish authors. I have Irish heritage yet I have never been there! How important was it to you that you set, The Secrets We Keep, in Ireland? Is that a theme you will use for your other books going forward?

I suppose I’m inspired by the landscape – by the wind and rain, maybe more than by the sunshine. There is nothing to compare with the autumn sound of the wind raging through the trees and the scatter of tawny leaves at your feet. Perhaps one day, I’ll decide that I just love sun, sand and sangria and move to… you see, I can’t think of anywhere else I’d want to be. So, probably yes, for now I’ll be writing about what fills my soul – those bright and breezy days, walking along the coast or through shaded woods, far from that ‘madding crowd.’

TWG: This is a question that gets asked in every single interview that I do: what was your favourite book(s) as a child? Oh, I’m quite boring that way, I grew up on a diet of Enid Blyton. I could blame her for my love of crime fiction, but the truth is, I graduated from her, probably too early to Agatha Christie and then I ended up getting a compendium of Arthur Conan Doyle and I was hooked forever. Thankfully, my reading cache has widened somewhat, but that’s where I started!

With the kids I’ve gone back and read Roald Dahl and I’m probably the biggest Harry Potter fan in the house. Now, I’m loving David Walliams too – he’s funny, current and brave.

TWG: If you could walk into a book shop, pick up any book and have the author name change to yours, which book would it be and why?

It would have to be Kate Atkinson – I love her style of prose.

Then, I’ve also gotten lost in quite a few Kate Morton books and everything about them is just dreamy as a writer – I’ve even bought some of them in hard back – although I’ve read them on my kindle! They’re just the right mix of women’s fiction, historical fiction and intrigue. 

TWG: When you’re not busy writing books for me to read (I’ll share them, honest), what would we find you doing?

Did I mention that I have four children, a husband and very fat cat…

Seriously, I love the simple things, going for a walk, meeting up with friends, hanging out with the kids. My oldest is partial to a Netflix binge, so although I’m hopelessly behind on anything cool I love to sit late into the night with him for that (occasionally)!

And of course, there’s always chocolate…

TWG: As you know, TWG LOVES an exclusive (or two), do you have a little something that you can tell me about any upcoming books? It’ll be ‘The Secret We Keep’, honest ;).

Well, there is talk of a trade paperback for My Husbands Wives in May, now that’s been a well-kept secret for a while…

TWG: It is still very early in 2017, how is the rest of the year looking for you, book wise? Are there any new books on the horizon? Different genres?

I have something very close to finished. It’s a story about three women who decide to strike out and change their lives and we all know how easy that is!! Let’s just say, it’s not as straight forward as they thought 😉

TWG: One last question; in ONE sentence only, what advice would you give someone who wants to enter the world of authors, and publish a book?

I’d say first, write because you want to write, not because you want to get published. Write because it’s what you do, because it’s who you are.

Then, I’d say read, read, read. Read books like you want to write, good books and terrible books, they all have something to teach. Read books that show you specifically how to write, there are lots of them out there.

Finally, the most important thing, buy, get or borrow a very comfortable chair – you may be sitting in it for a very long time!

Thanks again, Kaisha for having me on the blog –I love TWG!!

Faith x

Thank you so much for letting me interrogate you!
If you wish to keep up to date with Faith’s books, here are a few author links for you to nosey at:

 

Advertisements

#coverreveal! Secrets We Keep by Faith Hogan (@GerHogan) @Aria_Fiction

Two cover reveals in two days, how exciting!! Now, I am sure a lot of you have heard of this author and/or read her first novel; if you haven’t, you can find my review of her debut novel here: #Review! My Husband’s Wives by Faith Hogan (@GerHogan) @Aria_Fiction #AriaAddict.

Today I get to help reveal the cover of her next novel, Secrets We Keep, and it is a stunner!! Ready??

aria_hogan_secrets-we-keep_e

Blurb
Two distant relatives, drawn together in companionship are forced to confront their pasts and learn that some people are good at keeping secrets and some secrets are never meant to be kept. A bittersweet story of love, loss and life. Perfect for the fans of Patricia Scanlan and Adele Parks.
The beautiful old Bath House in Ballytokeep has lain empty and abandoned for decades. For devoted pensioners Archie and Iris, it holds too many conflicting memories of their adolescent dalliances and tragic consequences – sometimes it’s better to leave the past where it belongs.
For highflying, top London divorce lawyer Kate Hunt, it’s a fresh start – maybe even her future. On a winter visit to see her estranged Aunt Iris she falls in love with the Bath House. Inspired, she moves to Ballytokeep leaving her past heartache 600 miles away – but can you ever escape your past or your destiny?

Cannot wait to read this, sounds and looks incredible! The Amazon link is below if you fancy pre-ordering it!!

Links to buy:

Amazon:
Kobo
iBooks
Google Play

About the author

Faith lives in the west of Ireland with her husband, four children and two very fussy cats. She has an Hons Degree in English Literature and Psychology, has worked as a fashion model and in the intellectual disability and mental health sector.

Follow Faith Hogan

Facebook: @FaithHoganAuthor
Twitter: @GerHogan
Instagram: @FaithHoganAuthor
Website: http://www.faithhogan.com

#Review! My Husband’s Wives by Faith Hogan (@GerHogan) @Aria_Fiction #AriaAddict

mhw

Blurb.

One man, three wives, too many secrets. A heart-warming story of love, loss, family and friendship.

Paul Starr, Ireland’s leading cardiologist dies in a car crash with a pregnant young woman by his side. United in their grief and the love of one man, four women are thrown together in an attempt to come to terms with life after Paul. They soon realise they never really knew him at all.

The love they shared for Paul in his life and which incensed a feeling of mistrust and dislike for each other, in his death turns into the very thing that bonds them and their children to each other, forever. As they begin to form unlikely friendships, Paul’s death proves to be the catalyst that enables them to become the people they always wanted to be.

What does TWG think?

How the wife do I even begin this review?! You’ll probably know by now that blurbs and I aren’t always on speaking terms; they usually go on the naughty step unread as I like to find everything out for myself! Faith Hogan’s book was no exception. The only hint of information I took was from the title. I pretty much assumed that a woman’s husband was wanting wives for a rainy day. That said, he could have been competing with Ross Gellar for the most amount of divorces!

The first chapter of the book was a bit like a stepping stone to the storyline, as you get to learn A LOT of information about the main man, Paul, and his love life. I did find it a little tricky to keep up at first, and sometimes I felt as though I was trudging through mud slowly, trying to digest every piece of information. However, the more of the book I read, the quicker the information was filed into its relevant places and things started to make a little more sense.

My first impression of Paul wasn’t exactly a positive one. The way he acted upon things from the moment he appeared in the storyline, got my back up. He came across as a rather possessive natured man, and very self-assured (in a negative way). Don’t get me wrong, it is good to have confidence in your own abilities, but when it turns pompous and up their own bootyshakalakalah that’s when it can become a flaw. I must be one of the few to think that as he wasn’t exactly short on lady friends!

Each one of the ladies involved, have completely different personalities to each other. There was the ‘level headed’ one, the ‘straight to the point, emotional’ one, the ‘glamorous, rich daddy’s girl’ one and lastly, the ‘new ‘kid’ on the block’. I’m not being judgemental, but without giving too much of the storyline away, I’m having to describe the characters differently. I also found that my opinions of the ladies (as above), helped me keep track of the storyline and each of the events.

My Husband’s Wives is certainly full of ‘what the….’ moments, as well as ‘omg! what a dic…tionary’ moments. The storyline is out to shock you, squeeze you for emotions, as well as making you wonder what else is going to crop up!

After my initial mud workout during the first chapter, I managed to go with the flow and found myself rather immersed in their Pandora boxes of life. My advice to you whilst reading Faith’s book though; ensure that you’re completely focused on what’re you’re reading otherwise you won’t pick up on little pieces of information that just may help hit the nail on the head.

A surprising, jam-packed, rollercoaster of a read, ‘My Husband’s Wives’ is a book that will keep you on your toes, as well as realising that people you thought you knew aren’t always as they seem.

Thank you Faith Hogan!

My Husband’s Wives by Faith Hogan, published by Aria Fiction, is available to buy now from Amazon UK | Amazon US

Author of My Husbands Wives Faith Hogan (@gerhogan), talks about winter reading! @aria_fiction

mhw
I am sure MANY of you have seen the above book cover, all over social media the past few months? Me too, which is why I squealed rather loudly when I received an e-mail from the lovely Faith Hogan, in regards to popping her TWG cherry! Faith has kindly written an insightful guest post about winter reading. Prepare to laugh and nod along in agreement, this is fabulous.

Winter Reading…

I know. I can hardly believe I’m writing those two words… WINTER READING!

For some, winter spells the end of all that is good of the year. It is the time when sensible animals hibernate and plants sneak back to prepare for next year’s sunshine. Leaves fall and everything is mulchie, we have storms, floods and snow – you can imagine how the barbecue junkies dread the months with not just an R, but with a big cold Brrr too!

Different story for us book lovers, though isn’t it?

Most of the readers I know are actively welcoming the darker months. That whole, spring, summer autumn thing – well, it’s a bit over rated actually, if you’re a book-worm. Most of us, will make an effort for those summer months, you know, dig out the white pants, paint a bit of colour on our milky cream legs and of course, pull on the biggest sunnies we can manage.

But winter? Well, winter is a whole other thing.

Personally, I’m with the Scandinavians. They certainly have it down. From Sarah Lund in her interesting jumper, to all those brooding landscapes that are perfect backdrops for crime or indeed romance – well, it’s every bibliophile’s dream And that’s before you even mention hygge. Hygge is that whole Danish notion of making the most of dark days and unfriendly weather. It legitimizes staying in, wrapping up, reading all day with cups of tea or a nice warming stew. Of course, for hyggee what could be more well-matched than a nice big book.

Oh, yes. Meteorologically, speaking, November is your month to button down the hatches, light the log fire, bury yourself in a woollen blanket and of course… Read!

For me the best winter books have three key ingredients.

First off, they need to be a decent length. There is simply no point settling down with something that you’re going to be finished in a day. Boxing day, is your day for this book. Read it while everyone around you is suffering chronic fatigue from the previous day’s festivities. Your actual winter books will take you a couple of days to get into and when you do, you’ll be so immersed in them that only occasionally will you hear the wind against your window panes, but when you do, it’s the most delicious sound in the world. An invitation, no it’s positively a mandate to snuggle further into the story and the duvet.

Second up, the story has to be set somewhere that is cold. It has to be bracingly cold, so you actually get the shivers when you think of placing yourself there. This is the only way to stack up how lovely and cosy you actually are and thereby increasing the whole winter book experience.

Third and this is probably the most important thing – it should have that extra Secret Seven ingredient. Am I talking about mystery islands, flash light adventures, light houses or naughty sheep dogs? Am I heck! I’m talking tuck food, comfort eating, building up those cold weather reserves. Your winter reading should be accompanied by hot chocolate at the least and then for added enjoyment, throw in a couple of cinnamon scones – go on, you know you want to!!

Now all I have to do is choose the actual book… So what are the best winter reads for cuddling up to? Well, that’s a post for another day, isn’t it?


How many of you will be following that on Boxing Day? Brilliant! Faith, I will be holding you to the next post with the best winter reads for cuddling and snuggling! If any of you have your own personal ‘winter reads’ favourites, let me know in the comments! Thank you to Faith Hogan for the genuine and hilarious guest post -hides the huge sunnies-.

Book blurb and links.

One man, three wives, too many secrets. A heart-warming story of love, loss, family and friendship. A compelling debut that fans of Freya North will love. Paul Starr, Ireland’s leading cardiologist dies in a car crash with a pregnant young woman by his side.

United in their grief and the love of one man, four women are thrown together in an attempt to come to terms with life after Paul. They soon realise they never really knew him at all.

The love they shared for Paul in his life and which incensed a feeling of mistrust and dislike for each other, in his death turns into the very thing that bonds them and their children to each other, forever.

As they begin to form unlikely friendships, Paul’s death proves to be the catalyst that enables them to become the people they always wanted to be.

Amazon UK | Amazon US

Author Bio.

Faith Hogan was born in Ireland. She gained an Honours Degree in English Literature and Psychology from Dublin City University and a Postgraduate Degree from University College, Galway. She has worked as a fashion model, an event’s organiser and in the intellectual disability and mental health sector. She was a winner in the 2014 Irish Writers Centre Novel Fair – an international competition for emerging writers.
Her debut novel, ‘My Husband’s Wives,’ is a contemporary women’s fiction novel set in Dublin. It was published by Aria, (Head of Zeus) on 1 st of May 2016. She is currently working on her next novel.

Faith Hogan Contact:

Faith Hogan’s debut novel, ‘My Husband’s Wives,’ was published on 1st of May 2016 by Aria (Head of Zeus). It is available to order on Amazon and all good E-reading sites. She lives in the west of Ireland with her husband, children, a very fat cat called Norris and a selection of (until recently!) idle writerly mugs and cups. Follow Faith on Twitter at @gerhogan or like her on Facebook.comFaithhoganauthor/ or, if you’re really interested, you can catch up with her on http://www.faithhogan.com.