TWG speaks to Lily Graham on the publication day for Summer Escape. OUT NOW!!

♥HAPPY PUBLICATION DAY!!!

If you haven’t guessed already, today is the day that Lily Graham’s latest book ‘The Summer Escape’ released! It is available for all of you lovely readers to go onto Amazon and get your hands on a copy.
‘Why?’ I hear you shout. Well, click —-> The Summer Escape – Book Review <—- to find my honest opinion on the book. It honestly is a book you do not want to miss out on, especially if you’re going on holiday because it’s an ideal summer book!
To order your copy (available in E-book and paperback): Buy ‘The Summer Escape’ on Amazon UK.

Lily is an exceptionally busy lady, (especially given the fact she is currently writing her next book as we speak), I was very honoured when she agreed to sit and have a chat with me about writing, books….oh, and The Magic Faraway Tree, obviously!

TWG: Could you tell us a bit about yourself before you started writing, and how you came to decide to start writing your first novel?

Sure, I’ve been a journalist for about ten years, and before that I studied literature. Reading and writing have always been a part of me. At around age nine, when I discovered that books were written by actual people, I made a pact that I would do that one day. I couldn’t think of a better way to spend my time, twenty plus years later – I still can’t. My first complete novel though was due to my best friend. She’d been reading all of my half-finished manuscripts for years and set me a challenge to finish one. Which I did. That became An Invincible Summer, which has now been republished as The Summer Escape. None of it wouldn’t have happened if she hadn’t of put her rather gentle foot down.

TWG: Ria has such a tough career to begin with. I am trying to approach this delicately, but why did you choose that as her first career? Wasn’t that quite difficult for you to write?

I wanted to give her a job that she would want to run away from, one that tested the very heart of her, but also brought out the best in her as well. It was a great way of showing her heart, and her courage from the start, and how if used well, it could lead to incredible things. I started off thinking: what would be the worst job you could have if you’d lost two of the people closest to you.

TWG: In your novel ‘The Summer Escape’, you have given such an incredibly detailed description of Crete and the bakeries. Have you ever been there? If so, how similar are your descriptions to the actual place?

Yes, I have. Though I would have loved a year there like Ria. My village Ouranó, which means heaven is a fictional blend of a few places I visited in Chania. I wanted to create a place that blended vineyards with olive groves and the sea.

TWG: As a reader, you are quite sheltered from Ria’s past for a majority of the story, just like those she comes to meet. How intentional was that? Did you feel that Ria needed to trust the readers as much as the strangers she meets, before she told her story?

That’s a great question. I think it’s a bit of both, the reader is getting to know Ria, like they would a friend, and most people take a while to reveal what is in their hearts. Also, in many ways Ria’s only coping mechanism has been to not deal with anything. She’s been living in a form of denial for years, stuck in limbo. It’s only when she changes her circumstances is she able to open up, even to herself.

TWG: Were any of your characters or situations based on people you know?

Very loosely. I know a fabulous travel blogger who served as the inspiration for Caroline in some ways, Joanna Lumley was also a bit of the inspiration – love her. The rest were pretty much from my imagination. Parts of Ria are also inspired by my best-friend, Catherine.

TWG: Poor Ria gets herself into a pickle once or twice throughout the novel, did you ever feel sorry for her when you were writing her actions and personality?

Oh definitely! But it was fun to see her work her way out of them. Often she ended up surprising me with her resourcefulness, and her confrontational attitude. What I loved about her character was how strong she was, despite everything she’d been through.

TWG: Halfway into the story, Ria and the readers find themselves playing detective, it does make you think! You wrote it very cleverly. Once again, the detail and realistic take on the scenario is mind-blowing, that must have taken a lot of research on your part to ensure you were on point with everything surely?

Thanks so much. Yes – that was my favourite part. A lot of the book is actually a detective story and you are unlocking the clues with Ria. It was fun to work them all out. I had such a lucky boon though when a defence attorney friend beta read the book and said that it all sounded plausible, which made my year. The hardest part is when you change something, then you have to go back and change it everywhere and make sure it all works out like dates, evidence etc.

TWG: Did you dislike any of your characters in your book?

Not really. The baddies were fun to write. Tony, Tom’s brother for instance, has some really great lines, as does Chief Inspector Mino who is simply awful. Writing those scenes were oddly satisfying, mainly because it really tests Ria’s wit and I love how sarcastic and real she could become.

TWG: This is unrelated, sorry, but I must ask this one. I know one of your favourite books is The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton. Anyone that knows me will be well aware that I LOVE that book and I get super excited by a certain land, burning question, which is your favourite land that appears at the top of the tree and why?

I think my favourite part has always been the tree itself. I still want to visit Moonface and Silky and take a slide down the slippery slip! But favourite land, I think it must be the land of spells. I love anything to do with magic. Now you have to tell us yours!!
TWG: My favourite land is the Land of Goodies! Or the Land of Presents haha.

TWG: Lastly, what is next for you for the rest of 2016 and onwards? What exciting things can we look forward to?

Towards September, my second book, will be released. It was previously published as a novella called The Postcard, and has now been turned into a full length novel, it’s a magical tale about the power of a mother’s love.

Thank you again to the lovely Lily for making time for The Writing Garnet! Really looking forward to her next book, also rather impatient though! After you have read The Summer Escape, pretty please do leave a review on Amazon/Goodreads, not only are you giving your thoughts (constructive), you’re also supporting the author and their work! Plus, when you get a good book to read like this one, two seconds to leave a review is nothing really is it? 😉

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Author Guest Post – Mary-Jane Riley author of ‘After She Fell’.

It’s the Life of Riley! Mary-Jane Riley to be precise! I asked Mary-Jane to feature on my blog (polite version of saying ‘write a post so I can put my feet up’) so I could be a nosy devil. Devil being quite apt considering the genre she writes. Anyway! As most of you are aware, I’m not a crime writer, so I wanted to find out ‘why crime?’, although I probably should have asked ‘what’s a nice girl like you writing crime?’! Please don’t put me in your book! Actually, do, five minutes of fame!! Luckily for us, Mary-Jane agreed to fulfil my nosiness and tell me what made her decide to write crime novels. Over to you Crime Lady!

Bio:
Mary-Jane wrote her first story on her newly acquired blue Petite typewriter. She was
eight. It was about a gang of children who had adventures on mysterious islands, but
she soon realised Enid Blyton had cornered that particular market. So she wrote about
the Wild West instead. When she grew up she had to earn a living, and became a BBC
radio talk show presenter and journalist. She has covered many life-affirming stories,
but also some of the darkest events of the past two decades.

Want to keep up to date with Mary-Jane and her books? Here is how you can:

Mary-Jane’s Facebook
Twitter: @mrsmjriley
Instagram: maryjanerileyauthor

‘It is probably the question I’m asked most – what’s a nice girl like you doing writing
crime? (Actually, I made that up, normally people just look at me and frown then say, why crime?) And I say – well, let me tell you how I got here. I am a journalist by profession (trade?) which means I deal in facts that I have to check and re-check to make sure I’ve got the story right. This is satisfying in itself, but I had always wanted to write fiction. I started young, writing a story about a gang of children going on adventures and then one about a magical tree… but soon realised Enid Blyton had got that corner of the market sewn up, so I stopped for a few years.

 I don’t know what made me pick up a pen again – itchy fingers perhaps – but I knew I wanted to try and write while my three young children were having naps (so that got me about 3.8 minutes clear in a day). I began by trying my hand at Mills and Boon. Easy, I thought. All I need is a bit of a love story. How wrong I was! It was hard. Harder than hard. And I didn’t get very far, though I did learn a valuable lesson: you have to believe in what you’re writing, really believe, otherwise your insincerity shines through like a beacon.

 However, the children took over. They were growing up, I got a full-time job, any notions of writing a book took a back seat – until I made a friend at the school gates and we both went along to a local writing group. That started me writing again and I had success with stories for women’s magazines and small presses and I began to toy with the idea of writing a full-length novel. But what? Romance seemed to be the way to go, but – I love reading crime. Always have. I’ve devoured Agatha Christie, Patricia Highsmith, Daphne Du Maurier, Ruth Rendell, PD James – the list is endless. But people like me didn’t write crime, did they? Then one day I had a ‘light bulb moment’. I was walking the dog (she plays a big part in my writing life) when I saw my husband coming down the road towards me. What if, I thought, a car stopped, he got in and I never saw him again? And that was it. The start of my first book, which got me an agent though not a publishing deal. But, as my agent said: ‘You’re a writer, so write!’ (She is not known as The Fearsome One for nothing). I just had to get on with next.

Another ‘what if’ moment came along, which stemmed from my work on the BBC News website… what if I had to go and interview someone who’d devastated my family years before? That was the starting point for my debut novel, THE BAD THINGS. I also knew I wanted two protagonists – a journalist (naturally!) called Alex Devlin and a police officer, Kate Todd, who had some ‘issues’, but not the normal alcoholism/broken marriage/difficult colleagues issues, and I wanted to explore the effects of a crime on both of them. I wanted to set it on the Suffolk coast, a seaside town in the winter. (I live in East Anglia and adore it). Eventually, after boring my husband, children and most particularly my dog with talk of plot, character and twists, and sitting my bottom on the chair in front of the computer I came up with roughly 95,000 words. Phew. Cue a lot of nail-biting when I sent it to my agent. She loved it. Told me to drink champagne.

Then came the business of sending it out to publishers. A German publisher loved it! In fact, three loved it so much that it went to auction… an extremely tense and exciting and nail-biting week followed (I keep my nails very short now) until one of them won out. Champagne again! Then some time after that, the editor of a new Harper Collins imprint, Killer Reads, said she wanted it. More rejoicing! More champagne! (In my defence, my agent told me I should celebrate every triumph… so I do… sometimes it’s Cava. Or Prosecco.)

‘I hope you’re getting on with the next one,’ The Fearsome One ordered while I was still reeling from the bubbles. ‘Er..yes…’ I said. I went out and bought a new notebook. I began to make notes. I knew I wanted to tell more of Alex’s story and I fancied setting the book in a village on the North Norfolk coast. And a boarding school. (As a child I’d always wanted to go to boarding school. I don’t any more). Yes, a private boarding school whose pupils didn’t get on with the youngsters in the village. And where’s the body? At the bottom of a crumbling cliff. And why does Alex go to this village I’ve called Hallow’s Edge? To help an old friend, of course. And there it was, the bare bones of the dreaded Book Two. My husband and children began avoiding me, but the dog had no choice, and so on long walks we talked plot, character and twists (I talked, she dug for moles). Then I sat that (now spreading) bottom on the chair in front of the computer and began writing. And 95,000 words and several cases of wine later I had AFTER SHE FELL.

Dear Reader, I drank yet more champagne.’

I’m sure I wasn’t the only one that giggled at parts of that! Such an honest answer to a curious and dark question, thank you Mary-Jane! If you like the sound of her books, follow the links below where you can grab yourself a copy. Or, if you have read them already, please leave a review on Amazon/Goodreads if you haven’t already!

Buy: ‘The Bad Things’ via Amazon UK
Buy: ‘The Bad Things’ via Amazon US

Buy: ‘After She Fell’ via Amazon UK
Buy: ‘After She Fell’ via Amazon US

**COVER REVEAL of Rebecca Raisin’s New Book!**

RebeccaRaisin-LittleAntiqueShop-CRBanner

It is such an honour to be able to reveal a cover for one of your favourite authors. In this case, I have been given the honour by Rebecca Raisin to reveal the cover of her newest novel and I cannot be more thrilled. Rebecca is one of my favourite authors, and she is such a lovely person as well, so how could I not want to help her? Thank you to Rebecca and Karan for allowing me to share such a beautiful cover with you all. I suppose I had better stop gabbling and get on with the reveal! You’re being spoilt as you have all the details and links of where and when you can buy this beauty. It’s with great pleasure that I bring to you ‘The Little Antique Shop Under The Eiffel Tower’.

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Title: The Little Antique Shop Under the Eiffel Tower
Author: Rebecca Raisin
Series: The Little Paris Collection, Book 2
Standalone?: Yes
Release Date: July 1, 2016
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers

Don’t miss the exciting new title The Little Antique Shop Under the Eiffel Tower by Rebecca Raisin available on July 1, 2016 – pre-order your copy today!

Watch for more in The Little Paris Collection

  1. The Little Bookshop on the Seine (available now)
  2. The Little Antique Shop under the Eiffel Tower
  3. The Little Perfume Shop off the Champs-Élysées

What reviewers are saying about The Little Bookshop on the Seine

‘ This novel is a love letter to Paris, and even more so a love letter to books; it is absolutely a must-read book for book lovers.’ – Rather Too Fond of Books

‘easy to read and devoured quickly, I literally could not get enough and I was so sad to finish it. It was a truly captivating, spellbinding tale of taking chances and living life to the full that I am sure will ring true with many readers.’ – Compelling Reads

‘I love love love this author, and this book cements the fact that this series is a winner!’ – Fiona (Goodreads)

‘I loved every second of The Little Bookshop on the Seine, easy to read, with words oozing charm and good feeling, that just made me feel warm and cosy.’ – Rachel’s Random Reads

‘a beautifully written novel’ – Hilda (Goodreads)

‘A delightful story that’s perfect for reading in your favorite cozy chair. … Such a good book to lose yourself in.’ – Janet Robel (Goodreads)

‘It really brought Paris to life … extremely romantic, love is most definitely on the menu’ – Elaine (Goodreads)

‘a great escape to Paris and I’m looking forward to the other books in the Little Paris Collection.’ – French Village Diaries

Book Links

Amazon US: https://amzn.com/B00W7Y9VQG

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00W7Y9VQG

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/little-antique-shop-under/id1022781469?mt=11

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-little-antique-shop-under-the-eiffel-tower-rebecca-raisin/1121995906?ean=9781474035514

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25371094-the-little-antique-shop-under-the-eiffel-tower

rebecca-raisinAbout Rebecca Raisin

Rebecca Raisin is a true bibliophile. This love of books morphed into the desire to write them. She’s been published in various short story anthologies and in in fiction magazines, and is now focusing on writing romance.

Rebecca aims to write characters you can see yourself being friends with. People with big hearts who care about relationships, and most importantly believe in true love.

Come and say hello to Rebecca on her Facebook page or Twitter.

Follow Rebecca

Website: http://www.rebeccaraisin.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6915386.Rebecca_Raisin

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RebeccaRaisinAuthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jaxandwillsmum

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/rebeccaraisin/

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Goodbye Ruby Tuesday by A.L.Michael. Book Tour!

Goodbye Ruby Tuesday by A.L.Michael.
Published: 29th April 2016 by Carina UK.
Available to buy from Amazon UK.

The #houseoncamdensquare tour bus has stopped by my blog today! Super excited to be taking part in my very first book tour for such a talented author! First all of all I would like to say a big thank you to A.L.Michael and Sara for keeping me right with the information for this tour! Think it’s time I put A.L.Michael out of her misery and let you all know what I thought of Goodbye Ruby Tuesday! You comfortable? I shall begin…..

‘Ruby, Evie, Mollie and Chelsea were the bad girls at school. But Ruby was the baddest. Evie fought her anger, Mollie fought her mother and Chelsea…well, Chelsea just fought. But Ruby set her sights on a bigger stage. And together, they dreamed of a future where Ruby could sing, Evie could make art, Mollie could bake, Chelsea could dance – and all of them could finally feel at home.A decade later, the girls are reunited for the funeral of Ruby, who took the world – and the charts – by storm, before fading too soon. And Evie doesn’t know whether to laugh or cry when she learns that Ruby has left them a house on Camden Square – the perfect place for them to fulfil their dreams. But does she dare take the plunge, and risk it all for one last shot at the stars?’

Remember having a group of close friends at school? A group of people with extremely different backgrounds and very different personalities? Meet Ruby, Evie, Mollie and Chelsea, four girls each with their own distinct pasts.  Unfortunately, not all of their pasts were as ‘ruby’ as they might have hoped. To be fair, who’s are? After many years of lost contact and growing up, the girls get to reunite in sad circumstances, for Ruby’s final ‘party’. The remaining girls; Evie, Mollie and Chelsea have taken very different paths in their lives, but all paths have led them back to each other. But why? Because of their friend, Ruby. Will Ruby’s death bring the girls closer again? Or will the girls leave their memories and their old friendships in the past?

In a couple of hours I had read 135 pages, I couldn’t put it down! The only thing that forced me to put the kindle away was the fact it was gone midnight and I had to be a grown up. What.a.book! Oh my goodness. A story of four childhood friends, each with their own very different personalities, disliked each other sometimes, but were still best friends no matter what. A.L.Michael, can I join the gang?! Pleaseeeee!! I felt quite sad that they had lost contact over the years though and that it took an unfortunate circumstance to reunite them. I found all of the characters to be very likeable, well, the main ones anyway! That rarely happens. I do have a favourite character though, little Esme. A little girl with on point humour and talks sense. Wait, I’ll rephrase that. She talks. The sort of person you would go to advice about, apart from she’s little and that’s probably not ideal, but you know what I’m saying. Anyway!
Throughout the story you learn about each of the girls individual pasts, and I found that to be such a clever way of writing as you could see for yourself how much they have grown over the years. They always fought for what they believed in, and they might have the opportunity to fight again…in more ways than one! Despite some of the deep subjects within the book, I found it to be such a light-hearted and very entertaining read. It contains humour, stupid mistakes, men, but most importantly, dreams. If you believe in it, it’s worth it.
I hadn’t read A.L.Michael’s previous books (even though I have one in my ‘to read’ pile) and now I am rather sad that I didn’t find her work sooner. That said, she has set the bar quite high with Goodbye Ruby Tuesday. Every page had me wondering what was going to happen, what else were they going to find out, and what one liners will Esme come out with next. For me personally, that makes a brilliant book to read because not only was it captivating, it had me snorting like a pig and laughing like a dolphin at the same time. I especially loved the bookish references throughout. If you’re a book nerd, you will appreciate those even more so!
I am so honoured that I was given the opportunity to read such a relatable and outstanding book. Such high praise for A.L.Michael! Goodbye Ruby Tuesday is definitely a book that I will remember for a long time. One slight critique I do have……..I didn’t want it to end! I wanted more! I cannot wait to see what the girls get up to in the next book of the series, extremely excited already. I definitely recommend this, everyone needs to have a dream, and everyone needs to be able to fight for it. Goodbye Ruby Tuesday shows you how…