Blogger, Cranachan, Interview

Nailing Jess @TScullyWriter @cranachanbooks #Review #QA #NailingJess

Nailing Jess By Triona Scully 
Published By Cranachan Publishing  26/06/17
Article By Kelly 

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Well I am overjoyed to be kick starting the Blog Tour party train for Nailing Jess by Triona Scully.  It’s published on the 26th of this month by Cranachan Publishing.

The Real You Interview with Triona Scully 

Hello Triona, thank you so much for taking the time to be on Love Books Group, I do hope it’s the first of many visits.

Could you please tell my readers a little bit about yourself and your publishing journey  

As a first-time novelist, with no previous published work, I consider myself exceptionally fortunate to have been signed by my publishers, the wonderfully authentic Cranachan Publishing. I’ve always written, but before ‘Nailing Jess’ all my work was performance based- for the stage not the page. Writing and re-writing and re-writing some more has been a real challenge. Reading through a copy of ‘Nailing Jess’, and recognising how much better the book becomes with each edit is very gratifying. All those hours, trailing the floor, searching for yet another verb to describe the act of walking – you try it! It’s exhausting – have paid off, and before you me is a finished book. I hope you enjoy reading it.

Describe yourself using three words?

Kind. Curious. Easily distracted.

What inspired you to write your first novel?

The lack of over-weight, un-kempt, ill mannered, sexist role models for girls and young women has always been a source of concern to me, and with ‘Nailing Jess’ I have tried, in my own limited way, to redress the balance.

What time of day do you like to write? Morning.

What is your favourite book and why?

The Murder of Rodger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie. I re-read it every few years. I think it has the most perfect ending.

How did you pick the title of your book?  

Sadly, I can’t claim credit for ‘Nailing Jess’. The title was the brain-child of the lovely Anne Glennie from Cranachan. Anne felt that it was more in keeping with a crime novel than my previous more cryptic working title. And I agreed.

Are the characters in your book based on real people?

No. Absolutely not. Even the slightest. Ever. For me, it’s really hard not to have some-one in the back of my head that I have met that’s working as an arch type, but because I have this, I start to re-shape the characters to make sure they are very different. Or, at least I try to.

What’s your favourite word?

 That’s an outstanding question! Metaphysical.

If you were a colour what would it be?  Aqua.

Do you plan your story beforehand or go with the flow?

With ‘Nailing Jess’ the first draft was flow and then I had to create structure.

Who is your favourite Author? Agatha Christie.

You are attending a dinner party with four fictitious book characters who would they be and why?

Miss Marple ‘coz she’s seen some living! The Mum from ‘We need to talk about Kevin’, I’d tell her it wasn’t her fault, he was always a bad ‘un! Heathcliff ‘coz I never get past the first chapter of ‘Wuthering Heights’, and he could tell me what happens. Lastly, I’d pick Tony Hill from the Val McDermid series, if I couldn’t make Kevin’s Mum feel better, maybe he could.

What book are you reading at the moment? The Power by Naomi Alderman

Where in the world is your happy place? Wherever my son is.

If you had one superpower what would it be? This is so tragic but I’d be a super-cleaner, and get all the housework done in five minutes.

If you could give any literary villain a happy ending who would you chose? I’d have to say Heathcliff 😉

Are you working on a new project?  Yeah, but I keep my cards close to my chest when it comes to un finished work.

Do you have any upcoming events our members can attend?  ‘Nailing Jess’ is being launched by Blackwell’s, South Bridge Edinburgh at 6.30 p.m. All welcome.

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My Review of Nailing Jess by Triona Scully 

The Cover:

The cover stands out and I love the way it’s subtle yet impacting. 

My Thoughts:

This book is different from anything else I have ever read. Is that a good thing? Well it certainly made me sit up and pay attention. I started the book twice, I have to be honest and say from the start I had  some trouble grasping the swapping of genders.  But it certainly kept me on my toes and it was a welcomed challenge.
It is a genius plot idea and very well executed by Triona Scully.  To be such a unique book in today’s world is in itself to be applauded.  But having the added bonus that it is a well paced interesting read with memorable characters is the icing on the cake.
I wasn’t a fan of the  swearing, I do have to add that. But that’s my own personal preference.
I know for sure that Nailing Jess is merely the starter, all be it a tasty and tantalising one, of Triona Scully’s talents.  I do believe Cranachan Publishing have found a star!

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Back Of The Book

Welcome to Withering, a small town with a big problem in modern, matriarchal Britain. Here the women wear the trousers, while the men hold the handbags. Literally.

There’s a serial strangler on the loose and the bodies of teenage boys are piling up on maverick D.C.I. Jane Wayne’s patch.

Wayne needs to catch ‘The Withering Wringer’, but it’s not going to be easy. Demoted for her inappropriate behaviour, she must take orders from a man—and not just any man—an ugly one.

Still, at least she can rely on her drug stash from a recent police raid to keep her sane…

Shocking. Funny. Clever. A gender-bending, Agatha-Christie-meets-Chris-Brookmyre, mash-up. Simply genius.

Scully’s debut novel takes classic crime and turns it on its head with a deliciously absurd comic twist.

You can preorder you copy today ~ Amazon UK

Thank you to Triona Scully and Cranachan Books for the opportunity to be on the blog tour.

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We are running a Twitter giveaway ~ head over to our Twitter Page and see the pinned post.

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Book Blog, Cranachan, Guest ~ Reviews

Buy Buy Baby By @HelenMacKinven @cranachanbooks #Guest Review J A Warnock

Buy Buy Baby By Helen MacKinven
Cranachan Publishing July 2016
Guest Review: J A Warnock 

 

The Review

If (like me) the thought of really getting inside a woman’s head fills you with abject horror, I suggest you stop reading now. There is absolutely nothing to see here; please move along. I have never before read a book that captures so well a woman’s contradictions, vulnerabilities, irationalities, sheer resourcefulness and force of will. At times the characters in Buy Buy Baby baffled me as much as many of my female friends and at points had me trying to shake some sense into them through the pages of my Kindle.

Speaking of Kindle, my review is of a relatively early Kindle draft which contained a couple of continuity blips which left me a little confused. Many thanks to the author for taking the time to answer my questions and for reasuring me that I wasn’t going mad. As they were all ironed out in the final draft, there is no need to dwell on them (or my sanity) here.

Buy Buy Baby is a character driven novel which often looks at events from multiple perspectives. This can have the effect of making progress a little slow but I like the twisting interpretations that this provides. I am the first to admit that what I think is not necessarily what I say or do and it is nice to see this reality captured in a book.

The structure of Buy Buy Baby should also be commended. Helen MacKinven takes two very different characters with completely different motivations and presents them with the same dilemma. This makes the moral questions more apparent and will make the reader question how they might have responded in similar circumstances. Without giving too much away, I was please to see that their responses weren’t always moulded to stereotypical type.

In summary, this isn’t really my sort of book but there were elements I enjoyed and I found much to commend. If this is your cup of tea then I am sure you will love it.

J A Warnock

Buy Buy Baby By Helen MacKinven

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What price tag would you put on a baby?

Set in and around Glasgow, Buy Buy Baby is a moving and funny story of life, loss and longing.
Packed full of bitchy banter, it follows the bittersweet quest of two very different women united by the same desire – they desperately want a baby.

Carol talks to her dog, has an expensive eBay habit and relies on wine to forget she’s no longer a mum following the death of her young son.

Cheeky besom Julia is career-driven and appears to have it all. But after disastrous attempts at internet dating, she feels there is a baby-shaped hole in her life.
In steps Dan, a total charmer with a solution to their problems.

But only if they are willing to pay the price, on every level…

Purchase your copy ~ Amazon UK

Huge thanks to Helen and Cranachan for the ARC copy for review.

We are running a Twitter giveaway ~ head over to our Twitter Page and see the pinned post.

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Author, Book Event News, Cranachan, Edinburgh Event, Scotland

Charlie’s Promise @aldhammer #BookEvent #Scotland @cranachanbooks #PrestonpansMiningMuseum

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Part two of my Monday (05/06/1) was spent at the Prestonpans Mining Museum, where Annemarie Allan was taking P7 pupils from Sanderson’s Wynd Primary School on an adventure trail. Showing where she got her inspiration for the book Charlie’s Promise. We were very lucky to see inside the Beam House which is normally closed. It was a lovely sunny day, the kids were laughing and full of questions and in awe of Annemarie.

Here are some photographs from the day.

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Would you break the rules or break your promise? On the outskirts of Edinburgh, just before the outbreak of WW2, Charlie finds a starving German boy called Josef hiding in the woods near his home. Josef can’t speak English and is desperately afraid, especially of anyone in uniform. Charlie promises to help Josef find his Jewish relatives in the city. It’s a journey that will force them to face their fears, testing their new-found friendship, and Charlie’s promise, to the limit. ‘Poignant, graceful, and relevant for today’ Alex Nye

You can purchase your copy of Charlie’s Promise here Amazon UK

Huge thanks to Annemarie Allen, I had a wonderful day with the children and hearing more about Charlie’s Promise. Fantastic! 

We are running a Twitter giveaway ~ head over to our Twitter Page and see the pinned post.

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Enjoyed my blog?  Connect with me here too:

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Book Event News, Cranachan, Edinburgh Event, Scotland

Charlie’s Promise @aldhammer #BookEvent @GabrielAssisi #Prestonpans Libary #Scotland #BookBlog @cranachanbooks

june 29, 2016 (2)

Today, Monday (05/06/17) I had the pleasure of hearing Author Annemarie Allan talk about her children’s novel ‘Charlie’s Promise’ to St Gabriels, P7 Class at Prestonpans Libary.

It was fantastic to see the excitement on the children’s faces and hearing them ask Annemarie questions about the book. Then Annemarie reading from Chapter 2 of the book, setting the scene for when Laddie the dog goes missing and the children head out to find him.  The room was silent as all these eager young minds were filled with the adventure. Followed by a quiz and book signing by Annemarie.

It was a lovely experience and I would like to share some photographs from the day.

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Thanks for inviting me Annemarie, I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

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Would you break the rules or break your promise? On the outskirts of Edinburgh, just before the outbreak of WW2, Charlie finds a starving German boy called Josef hiding in the woods near his home. Josef can’t speak English and is desperately afraid, especially of anyone in uniform. Charlie promises to help Josef find his Jewish relatives in the city. It’s a journey that will force them to face their fears, testing their new-found friendship, and Charlie’s promise, to the limit. ‘Poignant, graceful, and relevant for today’ Alex Nye

You can purchase your copy of Charlie’s Promise here Amazon UK

We are running a Twitter giveaway ~ head over to our Twitter Page and see the pinned post.

LOVEBOOKSGROU.BLOG.png

Enjoyed my blog?  Connect with me here too:

twitter-128 TWITTER       instagram_2016_iconINSTAGRAM  downloadFACEBOOK

 

 

 

 

Book~Reviews, Cranachan, Kelly Talk, Uncategorized

Review of Mary’s The Name By Ross Sayers ~ @cranachanbooks @Sayers33

Book Review ~ Mary’s The Name By Ross Sayers

marys-the-name-a1-1Mary’s The Name ~ Ross Sayers

The Books Description 

An eight-year-old girl and her Granpa are on the run… “When me and Granpa watched James Bond films, he told me not to be scared because people didn’t have guns like that in Scotland. That must’ve been why the robbers used hammers.” Orphaned Mary lives with her Granpa, but after he is mixed up in a robbery at the bookies where he works, they flee to the Isle of Skye. Gradually, Mary realises that her Granpa is involved. And the robbers are coming after him–and their money. Mary’s quirky outlook on life, loss, and her love of all things Elvis, will capture your heart. Full of witty Scots banter, Mary’s the Name will have you reaching for the hankies, first with laughter, then with tears. Heart-warming and heart-breaking, this darkly comic debut is from a fresh voice set to become Scotland’s answer to Roddy Doyle

My Review & Thoughts By Kelly L

I had heard such great things about the book. The buzz on Social Media and all the chit chat at book events. So I was looking forward to it.  The whole book is from wee Mary’s perspective and as she’s only eight it’s interesting to see her world through young eyes. As her parents died in a car crash, it’s up to Granpa to look after and care for Mary. However, this is a huge responsibility and Granpa falls short at times. Making me very cross I have to add. Shouting at Granpa in my head to take more time to watch the bairn instead of being in the bloody pub.  The book will have you laughing out loud with its humour but it’s not all jolly. There is a thread throughout of a criminal behaviour and the fear of the ugly misfit brutes that may or may not find Mary & Granpa.  The people that Mary meets colour her life’s path in all different ways. The much-needed friendships that she craves are tested. It’s a very valid point that whether you are  8 or 80 we all want is to be accepted for who we are and loved unconditionally.

Being Scottish myself, I love how Ross Sayers kept the books tone true to the dialect. It was a refreshing read. I loved the details about the Isle Of Skye and I would love to visit Portee and go on a boat tour, walk up to the lump and of course see Mary’s Pink House.  I know Mary will be one of the book characters that haunt my head in a lovely way. With her beautiful innocence and quick wit.

The core of the story is honesty and trust. I encourage you to read the book. It’s a roller coaster of emotions.

About The Author ~ Ross Sayers  

Source ~ Cranachan Website

Ross studied English in his hometown of Stirling. Not content with the one graduation, he completed a Masters in Creative Writing the following year. His stories and poems have featured in magazines such as Octavius and Quotidian. Ross also tried his hand at acting in the university’s Drama Society, which gave him valuable life experience at being an extra with no lines.

One of his short stories, Dancin’, was used on West College Scotland’s Higher English course. He only found out after a student tweeted him requesting a copy of the story so she could finish her essay.

Ross mainly reads contemporary and literary fiction and loves it when a writer remembers to include an interesting plot. He heartily endorses not finishing books which bore you.

While researching Mary’s the Name in Portree, gift shop employees excitedly mistook him for Daniel Radcliffe; Ross had to burst their bubble. But at a football match in London, he agreed to have his photo taken with a wee boy, who believed he was Harry Potter, to save any tears or tantrums.

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Twitter @sayers33    Author Page ~http://rosssayers.co.uk/

You can purchase your copy of the book on Amazon here – http://amzn.to/2kgleN6