Author Guest Post, Book Blog

Anne Stormont ~ Author Guest Spot~ @writeanne

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Anne Stormont is a former teacher turned full-time author. She is also a wife, mother and grandmother.  She is a Scot, living in Scotland, but has travelled all over the world. The only continent she has not set foot on is Antarctica which is a huge omission as she’s passionate about penguins. She can be a subversive old bat but she maintains a kind heart.

Anne has published two novels of contemporary fiction for adults.

These are Change of Life and Displacement. She is currently working on a third.

Writing as Anne McAlpine, she has also written a novel for children entitled The Silver Locket  

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Anne has a blog called Put it in Writing where she writes about – you guessed it – writing, but also about books she has read and enjoyed, and about life in general.

Her author websites are ~
annestormont.co.uk and annemcalpine.co.uk
Twitter: @writeanne
Facebook Pages: Anne Stormont Author and Anne McAlpine Author

Write Reasons By Anne Stormont 

Why I write

I do occasionally wonder why I write. After all it can be a lonely, frustrating and dispiriting experience. Sometimes it’s a struggle just to get to the desk, then there’s the staring at the blank page and the spells of self-doubt, of feeling like some kind of pathetic impostor.

But these spells of negativity are rare and I’ve learned to accept them as part of the territory you inhabit as an author.

And the upsides are wonderful. I get so much pleasure from creating and controlling worlds, from getting to live other lives in other places as I write. And then there’s the incomparable joy of holding a book – a book that I wrote.

The truth is I’m addicted. I can’t imagine not writing. Even if nobody read my writing I’d still do it. I’ve been a scribbler since I was a child. And my first writing was literally scribbles. Before I knew how to form letters I would scribble wiggly pencil lines on a piece of paper and my granny would then read back to me the story I had ‘written’. I really believed I had actually created something. Once at primary school, I graduated to writing stories – complete with illustrations – for my little sisters. And then from writing short stories during my teenage years, I went on to fill notebooks with ideas for novels.

My productivity dwindled during my twenties and thirties when, working full time as a teacher and bringing up a family, I had little time to write.

But then I got the proverbial wake-up call when I was diagnosed with cancer in 1998. During my treatment and recovery, one of the deals I did with fate was that if I survived, I’d stop procrastinating and I’d find time for the things that were important to me.

I did survive and I kept my side of the deal. So, in 2000, I booked myself a week’s residential writing course at Moniack Mhor near Inverness. It was a life-changing week in respect of my writing. One of the tutors was the novelist Ali Smith. Part of the course involved submitting something you’d written to Ali and then getting one-to-one feedback on it from her. I submitted a short story. Ali said I could definitely write BUT, while my story was okay, she felt there was a novel in it struggling to get out. She suggested I get working on it.

What I write

Long story, very short – the result of Ali Smith’s inspiring words was that in 2009 I at last published my first novel, Change of Life.

Since then I’ve published two more novels.

One of them is a children’s book called The Silver Locket (which I wrote as Anne McAlpine) and it was inspired by a visit to the Culloden Battlefield and Visitor Centre in Inverness with my Primary 6 pupils. Whilst the children and I were out on the battlefield the idea of some modern day children time-slipping back to 1746 and helping out Bonnie Prince Charlie took hold and the rest is – well – history.  

My other published novel is for adults and is called Displacement and I’m currently working on its sequel. Once that’s done I’m planning to write a follow up story to The Silver Locket.

Why I write what I write

When I’m making up stories, I find I want to produce the sort of book I would enjoy reading.

When I’m writing for nine to twelve-year-olds, I write the sort of summer holiday adventure stories I’d have enjoyed at that age – think Famous Five and Swallows and Amazons for the twenty-first century.  

My adult novels are difficult to pigeon-hole. But again they’re the sort of books I like. They are contemporary and feature a strong middle-aged (or older) female lead dealing with a variety of issues. The settings play a significant part in the stories too, and there’s a strong element of later-life romance. But it’s romance mixed with realism.

My stories are all about human connection, communication and overcoming difficulties, and the outlook and tone are optimistic.

I write about things that inspire me, challenge me and make me think.

Of course I hope my readers are also inspired, challenged and given pause for thought when they read what I’ve written. But above all, I hope they get as much enjoyment out of reading my words as I get from writing them.

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Book Jacket 

From the Scottish Hebrides to the Middle-East, Displacement is a soul-searching journey from grief to reclamation of self, and a love-story where romance and realism meet head-on. Divorce, the death of her soldier son and estrangement from her daughter, leave Hebridean crofter, Rachel Campbell, grief-stricken, lonely and lost. Forced retirement leaves former Edinburgh policeman Jack Baxter needing to find a new direction for his life. When Rachel meets Jack in dramatic circumstances on a wild winter’s night on the island of Skye, a friendship develops, despite very different personalities. Gradually their feelings for each other go beyond friendship. Something neither of them feels able to admit. And it seems unlikely they’ll get the chance to because Rachel is due to leave for several months to visit family in Israel – where she aims to re-root and reroute her life. Set against the contrasting and dramatic backdrops of the Scottish island of Skye and the contested country of Israel-Palestine, Displacement is a story of life-affirming courage and love.

To order your copy I have some links for you here ~

Anne’s other book Change Of Life is available too

 

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Book Blog, Book~Reviews, Legend Press

Ideal Love @BurnettBooks @Legend_Press #Review

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Book Jacket

After an argument with her husband Gilles, Venus Rees is left devastated by his sudden death. But when she discovers that he died of a treatable genetic condition she knew nothing about, she is haunted by the thought that he didn’t love her enough to save himself. As time passes, Venus looks set to be trapped between grief and distrust forever. Until she meets the shy, good-looking and seemingly ideal Alex.

Intertwining Venus’s compelling attraction to Alex in the present with Gilles’ enraptured pursuit of her in the past, Ideal Love is an intimate and life-affirming novel about love, from its incandescent beginnings to its final breath and back again.

Review 

Ideal love is a debut novel by Alice Burnett, published by Legend Press on the 14th of August 2017. My main goal from reading any book is for it to capture my attention and take me on an adventure. Well  Ideal Love did that in abundance, all be it a very tearful and heart breaking journey.  I wasn’t expecting it to be so testing (in a good way). Trying to read with teary eyes is tough going. Alice’s character Venus Rees experiences what we all dread with the unexpected death of her partner. To make it worse they had an unresolved argument. So Venus has to live with the guilt and the what if’s. As I went on this heart wrenching road with Venus I was constantly thinking and hoping that author Alice Burnett was just very creative with her writing and that she hadn’t had to experience grief on Venus’s level.

The heart of this novel is love and also a message that we really don’t know what’s around the corner. So we really need to have that at the front of our minds when we have those petty disagreements or even whoppers of fall outs. People make mistakes, we are all guilty of that. So next time I am about to leave after a squabble I will always make sure the person knows I am upset but at the same time that I love them.

An emotional debut novel that stays with you long after you finish the book.

Handy link ~

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Visit the Legend Press website.

Before you go please check out our review of She Be Damned by M. J, TJia
click to read.

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Aria Fiction, Book Blog, Excerpt

Dead Girls Can’t Lie @tiny_dancer85 @Aria_Fiction #Extract

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Carys Jones loves nothing more than to write and create stories which ignite the reader’s imagination. Based in Shropshire, England, Carys lives with her husband, two guinea pigs and her adored canine companion Rollo.

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Book Jacket

Best friends tell each other the truth – don’t they?

When North Stone’s best friend Kelly Orton is found hanging lifeless in a tree, North knows for certain it wasn’t suicide. Kelly had everything to live for – a loving boyfriend, a happy life, and most importantly of all, Kelly would never leave North all by herself.

The girls have been friends since childhood, devoted to each other, soul sisters, or at least that’s what North has always believed. But did Kelly feel the same way, or was she keeping secrets from her ‘best friend’ – deadly secrets…

When the police refuse to take North’s suspicions seriously, she sets out to investigate for herself. But her search soon takes her to a glamorous world with a seedy underbelly, and before long North is out of her depth and getting ever closer to danger. Determined to find the truth, she soon wishes that dead girls could lie, because the truth is too painful to believe…

Extract

Kelly didn’t kill herself.

The message arrived shortly after midnight when North was caught somewhere between sleep and surrender. Blurry-eyed she stared at her phone, at the cryptic message from an unknown sender.

‘I know,’ she whispered to the device as she lay on her sofa, bathed in the glow from her television which was on its second run through of Dark Crystal. ‘I know she’d never leave me.’

By dawn North was completely awake and the message was gone, wiped from her phone as though it were the fragment of a dream. But North didn’t care. It had given her the impetus she needed to get out of her flat and prove the point which had been gnawing at her since her best friend’s demise. She wasn’t alone in her conviction. That was all that mattered.

‘North Stone. That your name?’

‘Yes,’ North tightened her fingers which were clenched around her hands. It was cold in the interview room. Colder than she’d expected.

‘North. That’s an… interesting name.’

With a sigh she braced herself for the inevitable volley of questions which would now be flung back and forth across the table.

Why North?

Why did your parents call you that?

Where are your parents?

The conclusion to such questions was always the same; North was strange. Everyone in their small South Downs town knew it. Everyone except Kelly. And she was the reason that North was even here. They were supposed to be talking about her.

‘My parents were mega into stargazing. I know, I know, I work in the local observatory the irony of which isn’t lost on me. Yes they were lost at sea during a romantic adventure on board a yacht. No I don’t expect them to ever return. It’s been eighteen years, I’m pretty sure they’re gone.’

The police officer’s silver eyebrows dropped into a flat, sympathetic line. He was obviously old enough to know the notorious story of what happened to the Stones. He was asking about her name to be polite. Kind even. And North did not have time for either placation. She was here on urgent business.

‘Look,’ North unclasped her hands and lay them flat on the table as though she were showing her cards in a high stakes poker game. ‘You’re wrong about Kelly Orton. She would never kill herself.’

‘Miss Stone—’

The officer hung a little too heavily on the Miss for North’s liking.

‘And on a jogging trail? Absolutely not! No way! For starters, Kelly never went jogging. Like, ever. We’re both allergic to anything that makes you sweat. Seriously, Officer…’ she lifted her ashen eyes to meet his.

‘Childs,’ he stiffly informed her.

‘Officer Childs. You’re wrong about Kelly. You guys shouldn’t be ruling this as a suicide you should be launching a murder investigation.’

With a sigh, Officer Childs stood up, letting his chair grate noisily against the tiled floors. He walked over to the door to the interview room and opened it with one fluid motion, extending his body out into the hallway. ‘Angie, can you get in here?’

A moment later he was joined by another officer, a woman with bright red hair which stopped suddenly at her shoulders. Her mouth lifted into a pitying smile the second she saw North hunched on the other side of the table.

The air in the little room managed to hold the years’ old stench of stale cigarettes and coffee. A single strip light across the ceiling bathed everyone who sat in there in an unflattering light. Kelly would have hated it. She’d have tossed her golden hair over her shoulders and refused to sit in such a room. North twisted uncomfortably on her plastic chair.

‘I’ll handle this,’ Angie whispered to Officer Childs who eagerly left as she slid into his vacated seat. ‘So, Miss Stone.’ Her tone was clipped and formal. She reminded North of some of her more competent teachers during her time at Millwater Secondary. But thinking about school made her think of the Kelly from the past and she couldn’t do that. Not yet. Not when there were so many questions about the present left unanswered.

‘As I was telling your colleague,’ North adjusted herself to match the female officer in stature. Though she was much shorter than Angie, she could still push her shoulders back and lift her chin. She wanted to look confident. Especially when everyone was treating her like she was broken. ‘Kelly Orton did not kill herself. It’s impossible. Someone put her there. Someone killed her. This is a murder case.’

Follow Carys
Twitter: @tiny_dancer85
Facebook: @CarysJonesWriter
Instagram: tiny_dancer_8
Website: http://www.carys-jones.com

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Before you go head on over to our review of A Christmas Wish by Erin Green ~ click to read. A Christmas Wish - jacket

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Author Guest Post, Book Blog, Crooked Cat Books

Katharine Johnson ~ Guest Author Spot~ @kjohnsonwrites @crookedcatbooks

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Katharine Johnson is a freelance writer and editor and has worked for a variety of magazines. She has a passion for crime novels, old houses and all things Italian (except tiramisu). She grew up in Bristol and has lived in Italy. She currently lives in Berkshire with her husband, three children and madcap spaniel. When not writing she plays netball badly and is a room guide in a stately home. She is currently writing her third novel.

Why Italy? By Katharine Johnson

I’m on holiday in Italy at the moment with Elena Ferrante – well not literally but I am reading my way through her superb Neapolitan Quartet. Ms Ferrante is obviously writing about her home country but a lot of authors from other countries have also chosen to set their stories in Italy.

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This has got me thinking about why Italy makes such a great setting for stories.

In A Room With A View by EM Forster the beautiful views, the freely mixing social classes and the acceptance of passion as a positive rather than negative thing contrast with Lucy Honeychurch’s very ‘proper’ Edwardian upbringing and make her question the course on which her future is set.

Older characters can also be transformed by a visit to Italy – the four women in Enchanted April by Elizabeth Von Arnim want to escape the tedium of life back home but end up learning about themselves and what they want out of life during their stay in the beautiful Medieval castle.

And Italy works its magic on the timid, retired schoolteacher in Miss Garnett’s Angel by Sally Vickers when she ventures out there for six months after the death of her only friend.

It’s not just about beauty but extremes. Italy, partly because of its long history, is such a country of contrasts – beauty and brutality – which is captured so well in Sarah Dunant’s book The Birth of Venus. Life in Medici Florence is full of fantastic art, richly coloured fabrics, sumptuous feasts – but it’s a harsh world for a young woman who loves art but is not allowed to paint or even talk to an artist.

Stories set in gorgeous villas make perfect holiday reading and since Shakespeare Italy has been associated with romance – The Secrets of  Villa Rosso by Linn B Halton, Under A Tuscan Sky by Karen Aldous, A Wedding in Italy by Tilly Tennant, The Italian Matchmaker by Santa Montefiore and Dreaming of Venice by TA Williams to name a few.

The glamour of Italy provides a perfect setting for crime novels. In The Talented Mr Ripley by Patricia Highsmith Tom Ripley is sent to a beautiful, remote village in southern Italy by wealthy Mr Greenleaf to persuade his playboy son Dickie to come home. But Tom falls in love with Dickie Greenleaf’s lifestyle and begins to want it for himself.

Perhaps the most beautiful and mysterious of all Italian cities, Venice has inspired so many stories including Thomas Mann’s Death In Venice, Daphne du Maurier’s Don’t Look Now and a series of detective novels by Donna Leon. The contrast between the beautiful architecture and the grisly past as well as the shadows and mist make it perfect for suspense stories.

I’m going to Venice later this month and will be taking with me The Venetian by Shani Struthers and on the journey back through Verona I hope to read The Ghostly Father by Sue Barnard which is inspired by Romeo and Juliet.

This is just a tiny selection of books set in Italy. Do you have any favourites to add to this list?

My Italy- based novel

The back story to my novel The Silence is set in Tuscany. I chose Tuscany because I wanted somewhere beautiful and very different from Abby’s suburban English home so that the events would take on an unreal, dreamlike quality in her recollection, making it hard for her to know which ones to trust. It also had to be somewhere hot – so that as the temperature rises so do the tensions between the characters. It needed to be somewhere remote so that Abby’s secret would stay safe for a long time. But because of the trend for buying up old Tuscan wrecks and restoring them, I felt that ultimately a discovery would be made which would threaten to shatter her comfortable life.

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I hope it’s worked. You can judge for yourself at http://mybook.to/TheSilence

The Silence 

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Book Jacket 

Doctor Abby Fenton has a rewarding career, a loving family, an enviable lifestyle – and a secret that could destroy everything.

When human remains are discovered in the grounds of an idyllic Tuscan holiday home she is forced to confront the memories she has suppressed until now and relive the summer she spent at the villa in 1992. A summer that ended in tragedy. The nearer she gets to the truth the closer she comes to losing her sanity.

In order to hold onto the people she loves most, she must make sure they never discover what she did. But the reappearance of someone else from that summer threatens to blow her secret wide open.

You can order your copy and read a sneak peek with these handy links ~

Author Links:
Website/blog 
Twitter
 Facebook

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Book Blog, Edinburgh Event, Edinburgh International Book Festival

Alexander McCall Smith ~ @edbookfest @McCallSmith @BirlinnBooks

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A very popular event today was Mr Alexander McCall Smith, chaired by David Robinson. A packed audience promptly entered the Baillie Gifford Main Theatre for an hour of book talk, laughter and an unexpected mystery guest.

Mr McCall Smith is extremely funny with such an infectious laugh. It was intriguing to hear about his many books and characters. From 44 Scotland Street to The No.1 Ladies Detective Agency Series.  Today was the day Mr McCall Smith saw the copy of his latest book A Time Of Love And Tartan, book twelve in the 44 Scotland Street series for the first time.

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We were treated to a reading by Mr McCall Smith which included Little Bertie and you could have heard a pin drop.  Every audience member, including myself hanging on to every word and savouring in the dulcet tones of Mr McCall Smith. It was a moment of pure magic.

Mr McCall Smith was fastidious on his introduction to Mr Iain McIntosh who illustrates his novels beautifully.

Next, we had a world wide exclusive as we were introduced to the mystery guest. Mr Graham Weir a former member of the band O.M.D. It was announced that in the works are a No1 Ladies Detective Agency Musical.  Yes, you heard rightly as musical. We were treated to an array of samples of the songs.  I found the Dig Deep song deeply moving and it touched my heart. I simply am itching at the bit to see the musical come to fruition

A wonderful hour with copious delights for the ears and soul. I came away with a spring in my step as the songs played in my head.

A gloriously sunny day in Edinburgh and it shined down on all the people gathered together at The Edinburgh International Book Festival 2017.

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Book Jacket 

Catch up with the delightful goings-on in the fictitious 44 Scotland Street from Alexander McCall Smith . . .

‘A joyous, charming portrait of city life and human foibles, which moves beyond its setting to deal with deep moral issues and love, desire and friendship’ Sunday Express

If only Pat Macgregor had an inkling of the embarrassment romantic, professional, even aesthetic that flowed from accepting narcissistic ex-boyfriend Bruce Anderson’s invitation for coffee, she would never have said yes. And if only Matthew, her boss at the art gallery, hadn’t wandered into his local bookshop and picked up a particular book at a particular time, he would never have knocked over his former English teacher or attracted the attentions of the police.

Whether caused by small things such as a cup of coffee and a book, or major events such as Stuart’s application for promotion and his wife Irene’s decision to go off and study for a PhD in Aberdeen, change is coming to serial fiction’s favourite street. But for three seven-year-old boys Bertie Pollock, Ranald Braveheart Macpherson, and Big Lou’s foster son Finlay – it also means a getting a glimpse of perfect happiness.

Alexander McCall Smith’s delightfully witty, wise and sometimes surreal comedy spirals out to include tennis-playing Rwandan Forest People, researches into levitating Celtic saints, bogus headhunters in Papua New Guinea and primary school performances of Beckett. But its heart remains where it has always been true to life, love and laughter in Edinburgh’s New Town.

Order your copy here ~

 

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Author Guest Spot, Book Blog

Let Us Be True @alex_christofi @serpentstail #Guest Post

Hello Lovelies,
I have a guest post by Alex Christofi, author of Let Us Be True. I do hope you will enjoy.
Kelly xoxo

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Book Jacket 

Paris, 1958.

Ralf is alone, filling his days with glasses of red wine at Jacques’ bar, waiting for life to happen to him. Then, one night, Elsa – bold, enigmatic, unpredictable – whirls into Jacques’ bar and into Ralf’s world, knocking him out of his cautious routine and into a life full of spontaneity and excitement.

But Elsa is hiding something. As Ralf falls deeper in love, he reveals more of his past – his childhood in Nazi Germany, his time in a British tank division at the end of the Second World War. But what is Elsa hiding? And can their love survive it?

Let Us Be True charts the lives of these two extraordinary characters through an era of great uncertainty, from the war and its aftermath through to the deadly unrest of 1960s Paris.

Evocative, charismatic and sweeping in scope, Alex Christofi’s second novel is a moving story of love and loss, of the things we hide from ourselves and from others, and of the personal cost of Europe’s turbulent twentieth century.

Tumbleweeding By Alex Christofi

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On day in early November, 2014, I arrived at a little book shop facing Notre-Dame in Paris and sheepishly explained to a staff member that a friend of a friend had said that I could perhaps sleep here, in the book shop, while I researched my new novel, Let Us Be True. I half expected them to start laughing at me, but instead, they led me to the back, up the stairs, through a little library with beaten up leather armchairs, unlocked a door to a stairway landing, unlocked another door, and led me into a little staff room. There were lockers and a bunk bed filled with backpacks; books, everywhere; a photo of Walt Whitman stuck to a mirror; the ‘tumbleweed cookbook’, a work in progress decorated with coloured-in graph paper; a cactus with sunglasses named Karl; bottles of cheap wine from Nicolas; on the window was a painted cartoon of Virginia Woolf. In this room, I was initiated into the secret world of the Tumbleweeds.

It’s actually the second shop to have the name Shakespeare & Co. The first was run by a woman called Sylvia Beach who also operated it a private lending library and was a general shoulder to cry on for pretty much the entire Lost Generation of the twenties and thirties, even undertaking to publish James Joyce’s Ulysses when it proved too hot to handle in Britain and America. Her shop was closed down during the Occupation and never re-opened, but George Whitman, who owned another Left Bank book shop, got her permission to rename his own shop Shakespeare & Co after the war. Since then, first George and then his daughter (named Silvia in tribute to the first owner) have taken in vagrant writers, with only a few conditions.

First, you should read a book a day. You’re not there to smoke Gauloises, you are there to sponge from the library. You will sleep on camping mattresses among the shelves (one in the library, two next to the piano, one hidden behind a little curtain above the children’s books). In the morning, you get up, figure out the day’s shelf-stacking rota, empty the dehumidifier in the basement (no one likes rotting stock), and unshutter the shop. Boards are unboarded; shelves are wheeled out front. You may subsidise your income with money dropped in the wishing well, where a little sign says ‘feed the starving writers’. There is only limited access to the kitchen, so you’d better like cheese, meat and bread. When I was there, we were also trying to come up with puns for the café they were thinking of opening (‘Tender is the Bite’, ‘Mushroom with a View’, ‘Finnegan’s Cake’).

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It was the perfect place to conduct my research: across the road was the Caveau de la Huchette, where my main character, Ralf, went to watch live jazz; down towards the Sorbonne were the roads where the fighting was most intense during the 1968 student riots; just across the bridge, on the Île de la Cité, was the square du Vert-Galant, where Ralf sat watching the Seine, shoulder to shoulder with the woman he was falling in love with. I spent the days wandering around these places, feeling as if I had climbed inside my own novel. And then in the evenings, I would chat with the other tumbleweeds that were sleeping in the book shop – we would read each other poetry, we’d talk about what made great literature, our eyes shining, inspired by the possibilities (and possibly also by the red wine). Those nights felt perfect and endless, which made it feel all the more unfair when I realised my time was already up, and I had to catch my train the next day.

The last thing you have to do before you leave is write a one-page autobiography, which everyone staying at the shop has had to do, apocryphally, for the benefit of the government, who rightly considered the shop a hotbed of radicalism. If you’re lucky, you’ll get to read some of the thousands of autobiographies in the archive there, including famous guests like James Baldwin. By the time I came to write mine, I was in love with the place. ‘Some things change inevitably and others we have a duty to preserve,’ I hammered out at the battered typewriter on my last morning, in a sentimental daze, glancing up occasionally at Notre-Dame through the window. ‘It is why I came to this place and why people queue to get in, why the library is filling with pilgrims, even as I type, desperate to confirm the rumour that there is still generosity and shelter here, and that the library which exists in the heart of every book lover is real.’

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Author, Book Blog, Edinburgh Event, Edinburgh International Book Festival, Event Review

Paula Hawkins @Edbookfest #IntoTheWater @randallwrites #Review

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Paula Hawkins was at the festival to talk about her new book Into The Water. Lee Randall was chairing the event which I was extremely excited about as I love Ms Randalls interviewing style, with her passion and knowledge for all things bookish Ms Randall really get’s to the core and heart of the story with authors, in this case, Paula Hawkins.

Did you know that Girl On A Train sold over 5 million copies in forty different languages and was selling 30,000 copies a week?  That’s very impressive and Paul Hawkins said that as a person the fame has not changed her. Indeed it has given her the ability to travel more and to buy a nicer apartment.

Into  The Water is set in a fictitious town loosely based on Northumberland. With eleven narrators the novel tackles various topics including dark secrets, unreliable memory and suicide.

Paula Hawkins thoughts on the editing process were that she has a ‘day of rage’ when they first come through but in the end, she appreciates that they do make the book better.

Into The Water is one we shall be adding to our TBR for sure.

You can order your copy here ~

 

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Chasing Time Writing Retreats ~ Love Books Group Blogger In Residence

Connect with Chasing Time Writer Retreats for more information or to book yourself that much need writing getaway.  More writing retreats are available~

Telephone: ~ 07548 710980
Tweet: @ChasingTimeScot
Email: chasingtimescotland@gmail.com
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Author, Book Blog, Edinburgh Event, Edinburgh International Book Festival, Kelly Talk

A Book Bloggers Dream Come True @Edbookfest #Authors #Bloggers

On the 12th of August 2017 the Edinburgh International Book Festival kicked off and there was I with my official press pass in hand.  It really was a dream come true. I had butterflies upon butterflies. Ready to immerse my mind fully into the world of books, find new adventures, make new friends and savour every moment. Bring on the books!

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Joanne Baird from Portobello Book Blog had kindly organised the summer get together for Authors and Bloggers in the Spiegeltent.

It was lovely to see everyone and meet with new Authors that I haven’t connected with previously.

Here is a selection of photographs from the event.

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Catherine Simpson

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Lesley Kelly ~ Jackie Baldwin
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Elle Turner
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Esme ~ Annemarie Allan ~ Barbara Henderson
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Joanne Baird ~ Emma Salisbury ~ Rebecca McKinney ~ Toni Jenkins
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Joanne Baird ~ Kelly Lacey

Such a special event, I look forward to seeing everyone again at the November event.

If you enjoyed the blog please leave a like and a comment. We would love it if you could share it on Twitter & Facebook.  It really helps us to grow. Thanks so very much.

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lovebooksgroup.blog
Chasing Time Writing Retreats ~ Love Books Group Blogger In Residence

Connect with Chasing Time Writer Retreats for more information or to book yourself that much need writing getaway.  More writing retreats are available~

Telephone: ~ 07548 710980
Tweet: @ChasingTimeScot
Email: chasingtimescotland@gmail.com
Blog: Chasing Time Writing Retreats Blog

 

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Aria Fiction, Book Blog, Book~Reviews

A Christmas Wish @ErinGreenAuthor ‏ @Aria_Fiction #Review

Hello Lovelies, a sprinkling of Christmas on the blog today.  Get your Christmas TBR piles ready in good time for all these lovely winters themed books. Especially today’s
A Chrismas Wish Erin Green. Enjoy,
Kelly xoxo

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Book Jacket

Flora Phillips has an excuse for every disaster in her life; she was abandoned as a new-born on a doorstep one cold autumn night, wrapped in nothing but a towel. Her philosophy is simple: if your mother doesn’t want you – who will? Now a thirty-year-old, without a boyfriend, a career or home she figures she might as well tackle the biggest question of them all – who is she? So, whilst everyone else enjoys their Christmas Eve traditions, Flora escapes the masses and drives to the village of Pooley to seek a specific doorstep. Her doorstep. But in Pooley she finds more than her life story. She finds friends, laughter, and perhaps even a love to last a lifetime. Because once you know where you come from, it’s so much easier to know where you’re going. A story of redemption and love, romance and Christmas dreams-come-true, the perfect novel to snuggle up with this festive season.

Erin Green 

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Erin was born and raised in Warwickshire, where she resides with her husband. She writes contemporary novels focusing on love, life and laughter. An ideal day for Erin involves writing, people watching and copious amounts of tea. Erin was delighted to be awarded The Katie Fforde Bursary in 2017 and previously, Love Stories ‘New Talent Award’ in 2015.

Follow Erin

Facebook: @ErinGreenAuthor
Twitter: @ErinGreenAuthor
Website: http://www.ErinGreenAuthor.co.uk

Buy links:
Amazon:http://amzn.to/2wQ2mGu
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2r8FJee
iBooks: http://apple.co/2r0GWXR
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2q8mymL

 My Review 

The cover is gorgeous and one that stands out. It’s fun and festive. Definitely one to have on your Christmas TBR pile.

Go on a journey with Flora Philips, a young woman with a plethora of issues. At the core of the book, it is about finding that sense of ones-self and finding your own tribe of people that love you for you.

I enjoyed the writing style, it’s a good debut novel. Not your typical Christmassy romantic tale, which I found refreshing.

A soul searching adventure with twists and a little Christmas magic.

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Before you go, please check out our previous Aria Fiction review for It Was Always You by Georgie Capron Click to read.

IT WAS ALWAYS YOU - jacket

kvHhQsU9_400x400Follow Aria 

Website: www.ariafiction.com

Facebook: @ariafiction

Twitter: @aria_fiction

Instagram: @ariafiction

NetGalley: http://bit.ly/2lkKB0e

Sign up to the Aria newsletter: http://bit.ly/2jQxVtV

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Book Blog, Lady Amber's Tours

The Sullivans Box Set @bellaandre ~Lady Amber Tours #Extract

Hello Lovelies,

It’s such an honour to be on the Bella Andre blog tour for The Sullivans Box Set. I have a guest spot for you to enjoy.

Kelly xoxo

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More than 6 million readers have already fallen in love with the Sullivans! Now get ready to meet your new favourite family in Bella Andre’s New York Times and USA Today bestselling contemporary romances with the first three books in the #1 hit series.

“Not since Nora Roberts has anyone been able to write a big family romance series with every book as good as the last! Bella Andre never disappoints!” Revolving Bookcase Reviews

THE LOOK OF LOVE

Chloe Peterson is having a bad night. A really bad night. The large bruise on her cheek can attest to that. And when her car skids off the side of a wet country road straight into a ditch, she’s convinced even the gorgeous guy who rescues her in the middle of the rain storm must be too good to be true. Or is he?

As a successful photographer who frequently travels around the world, Chase Sullivan has his pick of beautiful women, and whenever he’s home in San Francisco, one of his seven siblings is usually up for causing a little fun trouble. Chase thinks his life is great just as it is–until the night he finds Chloe and her totalled car on the side of the road in Napa Valley. Not only has he never met anyone so lovely, both inside and out, but he quickly realizes she has much bigger problems than her damaged car. Soon, he is willing to move mountains to love–and protect–her, but will she let him?

FROM THIS MOMENT ON

For thirty-six years, Marcus Sullivan has been the responsible older brother, stepping in to take care of his seven siblings after their father died when they were children. But when the perfectly ordered future he’s planned for himself turns out to be nothing but a lie, Marcus needs one reckless night to shake free from it all.

Nicola Harding is known throughout the world by only one name – Nico – for her catchy, sensual pop songs. Only, what no one knows about the twenty-five year old singer is that her sex-kitten image is totally false. After a terrible betrayal by a man who loved fame far more than he ever loved her, she vows not to let anyone else get close enough to find out who she really is…or hurt her again. Especially not the gorgeous stranger she meets at a nightclub, even though the hunger – and the sinful promises – in his dark eyes make her want to spill all her secrets.

CAN’T HELP FALLING IN LOVE

Gabe Sullivan risks his life every day as a firefighter in San Francisco. But after learning a brutal lesson about professional boundaries, he knows better than to risk his heart to his fire victims ever again. Especially the brave mother and daughter he saved from a deadly apartment fire…and can’t stop thinking about.

Megan Harris knows she owes the heroic firefighter everything for running into a burning building to save her and her seven-year-old daughter. Everything except her heart. Because after losing her navy pilot husband five years ago, she has vowed to never suffer through loving – and losing – a man with a dangerous job again.

Bella Andre

Bella Andre

Bella Andre is the New York Times, USA Today, Publishers Weekly and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of “The Sullivans”, “The Morrisons” and “The Maverick Billionaires” series.

Having sold more than 6 million books, Bella Andre’s novels have been #1 bestsellers around the world and have appeared on the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists 33 times. She has been the #1 Ranked Author at Amazon (on a top 10 list that included Nora Roberts, JK Rowling, James Patterson and Stephen King). Apple iBooks named her one of their “Bestselling Authors of All Time” (alongside Nicholas Sparks, Nora Roberts and EL James). And Publishers Weekly named Oak Press, the publishing company she created to publish her own books, the Fastest-Growing Independent Publisher in the US. After signing a groundbreaking 7-figure print-only deal with Harlequin MIRA, Bella’s “The Sullivans” series is being released in paperback in the US, Canada, and Australia.

Known for “sensual, empowered stories enveloped in heady romance” (Publishers Weekly), her books have been Cosmopolitan Magazine “Red Hot Reads” twice and have been translated into ten languages. Winner of the Award of Excellence, The Washington Post called her “One of the top writers in America”; and she has been featured in Entertainment Weekly, NPR, USA Today, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, and  TIME Magazine. A graduate of Stanford University, she has given keynote speeches at publishing conferences from Copenhagen to Berlin to San Francisco, including a standing-room-only keynote at Book Expo America in New York City.

Bella also writes the New York Times bestselling Four Weddings and a Fiasco series as Lucy Kevin. Her “sweet” contemporary romances also include the new USA Today bestselling Walker Island series written as Lucy Kevin.

If not behind her computer, you can find her reading her favourite authors, hiking, swimming or laughing. Married with two children, Bella splits her time between the Northern California wine country and a 100-year-old log cabin in the Adirondacks.

Author Links:

Sign up for my new release email:  www.bellaandrefans.com/newsletter

Connect with me on Facebook:  www.facebook.com/bellaandrefans

Join my Street Team:  www.facebook.com/groups/bella.andre

Check my boards out on Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/bellaandrefans

Follow me on Twitter:  www.twitter.com/bellaandre

Visit my website:  www.bellaandre.com

Sneak Peek ~ Book 1 ~ The Look Of Love

Chase almost missed the flickering light off on the right side of the two-lane country road. In the past thirty minutes, he hadn’t passed a single car, because on a night like this, most sane Californians—who didn’t know the first thing about driving safely in inclement weather—stayed home.

Knowing better than to slam on the brakes—he wouldn’t be able to help whomever was stranded on the side of the road if he ended up stuck in the muddy ditch right next to them—Chase slowed down enough to see that there was definitely a vehicle stuck in the ditch.

He turned his brights on to see better in the pouring rain and realized there was a person walking along the edge of the road about a hundred yards up ahead. Obviously hearing his car approach, she turned to face him and he could see her long wet hair whipping around her shoulders in his headlights.

Wondering why she wasn’t just sitting in her car, dry and warm, calling Triple A and waiting for them to come save her, he pulled over to the edge of his lane and got out to try and help her. She was shivering as she watched him approach.

“Are you hurt?”

She covered her cheek with one hand, but shook her head. “No.”

He had to move closer to hear her over the sound of the water hitting the pavement in what were rapidly becoming hailstones. Even though he’d turned his headlights off, as his eyes quickly adjusted to the darkness, he was able to get a better look at her face.

Something inside of Chase’s chest clenched tight.

Despite the long, dark hair plastered to her head and chest, regardless of the fact that looking like a drowned rat wasn’t too far off the descriptive mark, her beauty stunned him.

In an instant, his photographer’s eye catalogued her features. Her mouth was a little too big, her eyes a little too wide-set on her face. She wasn’t even close to model thin, but given the way her T-shirt and jeans stuck to her skin, he could see that she wore her lush curves well. In the dark, he couldn’t judge the exact colour of her hair, but it looked like silk, perfectly smooth and straight where it lay over her breasts.

It wasn’t until Chase heard her say, “My car is definitely hurt, though,” that he realized he had completely lost the thread of what he’d come out here to do.

Knowing he’d been drinking her in like he was dying of thirst, he worked to recover his balance. He could already see he’d been right about her car. It didn’t take a mechanic like his brother, Zach, who owned an auto shop—more like forty, but Chase had stopped counting years ago—to see that her shitty hatchback was borderline totaled. Even if the front bumper wasn’t half smashed to pieces by the white farm fence she’d slid into, her bald tires weren’t going to get any traction on the mud. Not tonight, anyway.

If her car had been in a less precarious situation, he probably would have sent her to hang out  in her car while he took care of getting it unstuck. But one of her back tires was hanging precariously over the edge of the ditch.

He jerked his thumb over his shoulder. “Get in my car. We can wait there for a tow truck.” He was vaguely aware of his words coming out like an order, but the hail was starting to sting, damn it. Both of them needed to get out of the rain before they froze.

But the woman didn’t move. Instead, she gave him a look that said he was a complete and utter nut-job.

“I’m not getting into your car.”

Realizing just how frightening it must be for a lone woman to end up stuck and alone in the middle of a dark road, Chase took a step back from her. He had to speak loudly enough for her to hear him over the hail.

“I’m not going to attack you. I swear I won’t do anything to hurt you.”

She all but flinched at the word attack and Chase’s radar started buzzing. He’d never been a magnet for troubled women, wasn’t the kind of guy who thrived on fixing wounded birds. But living with two sisters for so many years meant he could always tell when something was up.

And something was definitely up with this woman, beyond the fact that her car was half-stuck in a muddy ditch.

Wanting to make her feel safe, he held his hands up. “I swear on my father’s grave, I’m not going to hurt you. It’s okay to get into my car.” When she didn’t immediately say no again, he pressed his advantage with, “I just want to help you.” And he did. More than it made sense to want to help a stranger. “Please,” he said. “Let me help you.”

She stared at him for a long moment, hail hammering between them, around them, onto them. Chase found himself holding his breath, waiting for her decision. It shouldn’t matter to him what she decided.

But, for some strange reason, it did.

…Excerpt from THE LOOK OF LOVE by Bella Andre © 2015

Handy links ~

 

The Sullivans Boxed Set Bella Andre - TOUR

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If you enjoyed the blog please leave a like and a comment. We would love it if you could share it on Twitter & Facebook.  It really helps us to grow. Thanks so very much.

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lovebooksgroup.blog
Chasing Time Writing Retreats ~ Love Books Group Blogger In Residence

Connect with Chasing Time Writer Retreats for more information or to book yourself that much need writing getaway.  More writing retreats are available~

Telephone: ~ 07548 710980
Tweet: @ChasingTimeScot
Email: chasingtimescotland@gmail.com
Blog: Chasing Time Writing Retreats Blog

 

Connect with Love Book Group on Social Media~

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