#Spotlight! Happy 3rd birthday @iReadBookTours #giveaway #laurafabiani #booktours #iread

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Today I am thrilled to share my birthday with iRead Book Tours 3rd Anniversary! Some of you may have seen Laura Fabiani’s company over on social media, so you may be aware of the company’s background. If you’re not, well, this is where I come in! To help celebrate iRead’s 3rd birthday, TWG (alongside many other bloggers) are shining the spotlight on them on a humongous tour.

iread1About the company, iRead Book Tours.

‘At iRead, we give special attention to every book that tours with us. We are passionate about books and we customize all our tours because no two authors are alike.

We don’t just market books. We help our authors get the best exposure with traditional tours consisting mainly of reviews. We work closely with our authors and pride ourselves on our highly individualized customer service.

All our staff are book bloggers and authors, so we understand the process and the hard work involved. We’ve built a solid relationship with our database of reliable book bloggers who are eager to read your books.

Welcome to the iRead experience!’

About the founder, Laura Fabiani.

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In 2008, Laura began blogging about books shortly after she published her first book. She started Library of Clean Reads, a book review blog, and discovered the joy of reviewing a variety of genres. Her children have joined her in this venture and they spend many happy hours reading books together. A Special Care Counselor by profession, Laura has co-led and developed programs for seniors with dementia, including Alzheimer’s Disease. She has a passion for the topic of neuroscience and wellness.

Throughout the years she has met and worked with wonderful publishers, both traditional and indie, as well as publicists and authors. Best of all, she discovered the world of book bloggers–a community of special people who spend their precious time sharing their love of books and all things related to books.

Taking part in book tours has always made Laura feel more connected to authors and the publishing field. She organized her own virtual tour when her book was published and she learned several things. As an author, it exposed her to actual reader views and social media. As a book blogger and book tour organizer, it taught her the amount of work it entailed. And she loves it!

You can find Laura blogging at Library of Clean Reads and Essentially Italian. She is the owner of iRead Book Tours,  Italy Book Tours, and Je Lis Blog Tours.

Giveaway time!!

Prize:
Win $50 cash or a Basic Virtual Book Tour Package (2 winners, open int’l).
Ends Feb 4th.

Enter here: a Rafflecopter giveaway

Happy anniversary iRead Book Tours! On a personal note, Laura was one of the first tour hosts that I contacted when I started my blog back in March last year. She is professional and runs a tight, yet super polite, ship. Very proud to be a part of the team.

 

 

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!

Cathy

‘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!

TWG speaks to Natalie Page before her next ‘Zak & Jen’ adventure!

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Before Natalie decided to use Zak’s umbrella to go on her own adventure, I nabbed her for a chat to find out why she chose to write a children’s book! Here’s what she said:

TWG: What made you decide to write a children’s book instead of an adults?
I love reading to my daughter, which is probably what inspired me most to write children’s
literature. I also have a niece, nephew and two godsons so there are a lot of wonderful children in my life! I love the freedom of writing for children, you can allow your
imagination to wander completely off the grid and it doesn’t matter. I remember how I
used to feel reading when I was growing up, that sense of awe and excitement. Being so
eager to see what happened next that I didn’t want to go to bed until the book was
finished. I would love to inspire that feeling in others.
TWG: Did you have any inspiration behind your debut book?
The debut book was the result of fantastic source material. Chris had been an artist for
some time and often painted these slightly unique characters against beautiful night sky
backdrops. One day I called him and asked if I could write a story about them. I talked him
through some of my ideas and then sent him a first draft, thankfully he was completely on
board! The paintings already had quite an art following and so many people seemed to
love the idea of them being a children’s series.
TWG: Did you set out for the book to have a hidden message in it, or is that just me finding one?
Depends on what you think the message was! What has been so nice is watching how
other people and their children interpret the book. There is an obvious message about
appreciating what you have, and also the fact that you have the power to change things if
you are unhappy. However those that have read it so far have found strong messages
about preserving the environment, and accepting people for who they are and not what
they look like. The characters don’t have a traditional children’s literature look and feel
and I think that is one of the key things that makes this book unique.
TWG: Is your plan to continue writing children’s books or do you think you will write an adult’s book later on?
Interestingly the first book I finished was a Young Adult novel which I am still trying to edit (amidst everything else!). Because it is YA, the subject matter is much darker and grittier, and I was keen to have a very strong female lead character. However, I love writing books for young children, it is so wonderful to see the enjoyment they get from them. As for adult fiction, I am not against writing for adults at all! Although, I tend to follow my
inspiration when it comes to writing, if I come up with a great idea for an adult book I will
definitely do what I can to write it!
TWG: What was your favourite book when you were a child?
I was an avid reader as a child so I had lots of favourite books. However, when I was very
young my favourite, without question, was the Faraway Tree series by Enid Blyton. I loved
being able to escape into a world of pure magic. Generally that is what I love most about
reading and writing, the escapism.
TWG: Did your experiences of reading as a child, influence your book writing now?
Absolutely. If I hadn’t been such a bookworm as a child, I would never have enjoyed
writing so much as a child and I doubt I would enjoy it as much now. Being able to write
stories takes me back to when I was a young and the way writing made me feel then.
TWG: If you had your own planet like Jen and Zak, what would you have on it, or what would your view be?
That is a tough one! I would want so many things! One of my greatest loves (and places of
inspiration) is sitting and looking at the ocean. It is one of the few places that I feel totally
at peace. I once saw a picture of a beach somewhere in the world where the water had
florescent plankton in it, so at night the water glowed and sparkled. I imagine my ocean
would look a bit like that. I also adore flowers and trees. Cherry blossom is one of my
favourites, which is why it appears in the book. However, I also love peonies and magnolia
trees (especially the purple ones). Overall, I think I would have a sparkling ocean with a
white sandy beach and then hundreds of flowers and blossom trees – maybe some with
unusually coloured flowers, like gold!
TWG: If you could choose any fantasy land or world from another children’s book, to disappear into yourself, which one would it be, and why?
Again, another great question – especially for a lover of fantasy fiction like me. I think it
would probably be Narnia (although Fantasia from the Neverending Story would be a
close second). I grew up reading the Narnia series and quite honestly, I always thought it
would be amazing to live at castle Cair Paravel! Oh, and who wouldn’t want to hang out
with Aslan?
TWG: I know you have plans for a second book, but what’s in store for you after that? What can we look forward to?
We have lots of exciting things that we are exploring for this first book, as well as working
on plans for a second and third book! I can’t reveal too much right now, but it seems that
people are very anxious to see more of these characters so we are looking at innovative
ways we can do that!

How exciting! That’s another person that enjoyed The Magic Faraway tree as a child, although I am yet to find someone that still reads it as an adult…except me of course! Big thank you to Natalie for stopping by for a chat, and a huge congratulations to Natalie & Chris for such a wonderful book.

I was lucky enough to get a copy of the book before it was released, here’s what I thought about it: TWG is going on an adventure to ‘The Petal Planet’ with Zak & Jen!

If you wish to buy your own copy of this magical book, follow this link right here: Buy Zak & Jen from Amazon

I cannot wait to see more from Zak & Jen and what they get up to next!