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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We have Edinburgh International Book Festival 2017 goodie bundle giveaway in association with Portobello Book Blog. To enter head over to our Twitter page ~ click here.

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She Be Damned @mjtjia @legend_press #Review #BookBlog

Review

Hello, my review of She Be Damned today, it’s written by M.J. Tjia and published by Legend Press. Enjoy,

Kelly xoxo

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Book Jacket 

London, 1863: prostitutes in the Waterloo area are turning up dead, their sexual organs mutilated and removed. When another girl goes missing, fears grow that the killer may have claimed their latest victim.

The police are at a loss and so it falls to courtesan and professional detective, Heloise Chancey,

With the assistance of her trusty Chinese maid, Amah Li Leen, Heloise inches closer to the truth. But when Amah is implicated in the brutal plot, Heloise must reconsider who she can trust, before the killer strikes again.

My Review 

Firstly the cover is striking and with the embossed rich gold lettering and silhouette of Ms Chancey, it pops right off the page. A truly beautiful cover and even if I had not been on the blog tour it’s one I would have picked up myself. I found the cover extremely appealing.

As always I don’t like to read the book jacket, I like to jump into my book adventures with excitement and anticipation. She Be Damned ticked each box of a list of everything a reader could possibly want from a book.  Heloise Chancey is fantastic, memorable and a strong female protagonist with a gritty past that does not define her but only makes her stronger in who she is now.

I was floored to read that this is a debut novel, I even googled to find out which book in the series it was. To my astonishment, it’s only book 1.  M. J. Tjia has left me wanting so much more and I hope it’s the first of many. There could even be a prequel of Heloise’s early years.

It’s clever and engaging with a different and refreshing plot. If you love crime fiction that has bite then this is for you. Believe me, it grabs you from page one and doesn’t leave. I still think of Heloise now.

M. J. Tjia has certainly made a noise in the literary world with She Be Damned. I thoroughly recommend this uniquely wonderful adventure.

If you would like to order your own copy, here is your handy links ~

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Book Blog, Excerpt, Legend Press, Sneak Peek

Rain Falls On Everyone ~ @clarnic @Legend_Press #SneakPeek

Today on the blog I have an excerpt of Rain Falls On Everyone by Clar Ni Chonghaile. Published on the 15th of July, 2017 by Legend Press.  I do hope you enjoy. Thanks for stopping by.

Kelly xox

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Rain Falls On Everyone ~ Sneak Peek

CHAPTER ONE

Theo ran. Feet pounding, arms pumping, chest heaving, heart

racing. In this frenzy of motion, the only still thing was his

mind. He had to get away. That was the only goal: to put as

much distance as he could between him and the pebble-dashed

house where a man he knew little, but enough to hate, lay in

a pool of sticky, gold-flecked blood. He had to get away from

Deirdre’s terrified eyes, from her outstretched hands with

the grazed knuckles. He sped through the estate and out onto

the main road, his open anorak flapping behind him like the

clipped wings of a giant crow.

He didn’t stop until he was heading west on a country road.

He had covered miles, at first frantically and then steadily with

his long, loping stride. He stopped, bent, placed his hands on

his knees, and still his brain did not engage. He saw the road,

noted its silvery greyness, looked up to the half-moon and

then over the stone walls, across the fields. He registered the

absence of cars. No surprise there at 2 am on a minor road

leading out of Dublin. To his right, a two-storey house – a

relic from the austere Ireland of the 1950s – loomed like a

sentinel, marking the boundary between the sin-filled city and

the countryside, where legend had it, maidens once danced at

crossroads while boys played hurling without helmets.

He needed transport. It was his first clear thought since the

gun went off. He would never make it on foot. Deirdre might

not set the Gardaí on him right away but it’d surely happen.

He’d done her a favour, no doubt about that, but sometimes

people didn’t want favours. In those first, freeze-framed

moments after the sharp crack that marked the beginning and

the end, no one had moved, no one had said anything. Deirdre

was the first to react.

“Go, go now!” she hissed, grabbing a notebook and writing

furiously. “Go to my father. He will look after you until you

can get out.”

She pushed the paper into his hands. Did her fingers

flinch as they touched his? She had written her father’s

address, just a few lines of scribbled instructions, a list of

villages to pass through, a left and then a right down a lane.

A roadmap to oblivion. Before he left, he tried to read the

moral relativities in her eyes but he found only fear. It hurt

him then and the memory stung now but there would be time

for a reckoning later.

He checked his phone. The battery was nearly dead but

who would he call anyway? He clambered over the nearest

wall, dislodging the top stone in his wake. It clunked dully

onto his toes. He cursed, but in Kinyarwanda. The words had

the force of a Taser, freezing him to the spot. He hadn’t used

his own language in years. The last time was when he was

around sixteen and went to a meeting for African immigrants

in a church near his home in Clontarf. Teenage identity crisis,

he supposed. He never returned. Instead of feeling at one

with the other young men, who sat awkwardly on squeaking

plastic chairs in the echo-filled basement down below the

world, he felt more like an outsider than ever. The social

workers – a pudgy woman in a tracksuit and garish pink

lipstick and a man in the kind of jumper most of the young

black kids wouldn’t be seen dead in – were kind and well-
meaning and utterly clueless about what made the lads around

them tick. It wasn’t their fault. They were offering practical

solutions – language classes, dole forms, counselling services

– when what the young men wanted was someone to wave

a magic wand over their heads to make them the same as

everyone else. All teenagers need to comply with the pitiless

rules that govern their world and they were no different. But

because they were black, and had funny accents, and strange,

sometimes tragic, tales of foreign lands, they would never fit

in. The boys knew it but they didn’t get this far by respecting

the limits of the possible. The social workers, who might well

have had teenagers at home with their own hang-ups about

belonging, didn’t recognise that same desperation in the boys

around them, though it was in every snazzily trainered foot,

every awkwardly mumbled Dublin colloquialism, every too-
sharp haircut.

 

Book Jacket 

Theo, a young Rwandan boy fleeing his country’s genocide, arrives in Dublin, penniless, alone and afraid. Still haunted by a traumatic memory in which his father committed a murderous act of violence, he struggles to find his place in the foreign city.

Plagued by his past, Theo is gradually drawn deeper into the world of Dublin’s feared criminal gangs. But a chance encounter in a restaurant with Deirdre offers him a lifeline.

Theo and Deirdre’s tender friendship is however soon threatened by tragedy. Can they confront their addictions to carve a future out of the catastrophe that engulfs both their lives?

Order your copy today ~

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Huge thanks to Clar Ni Chonghaile and Legend Press for the opportunity to be on the blog tour.

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Book Blog, Legend Press

Classic’s @Legend_Press ~ Railway Children & Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland

So Legend Press are releasing some classic novels.  Below are two that I got to chose.  They are £8.99 for the paperback and £4.99 for the eBook.  I feel the covers are more intended for adults. But they look beautiful on the shelf and are of course filled with nostalgic adventures.

Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland By Lewis Carroll 

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©Kelly Lacey

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is the all-time classic story of a girl named Alice falling through a rabbit hole into an unforgettable fantasy world populated by both bizarre and brilliant characters.

From early avid readers Queen Victoria and the young Oscar Wilde through to readers worldwide today, the most famously imaginative novel of all time has never been out of print, has sold millions of copies and has been translated into at least 174 languages.

You can purchase your copy here ~ Amazon UK

The Railway Children ~ E. Nesbit 

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©Kelly Lacey

The lives of Roberta, Peter and Phyllis are shattered when their father leaves with two strangers. When they and their mother move to a country cottage, they soon come to love the railway that runs nearby.

There follows a series of many adventures, including saving a train from disaster, and then finally helping the Old Gentleman try to solve the mystery of their father’s disappearance.

One of the most famous stories of all time, enjoyed by millions of children and adults across the world.

You can purchase your copy here ~ Amazon UK

There are another five books in the collection, be sure to check them out.

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Author, Book Blog, Legend Press, Sneak Peek

The Brazilian @Rosiemillard @Legend_Press #Sneak Peek

The Brazilian By Rosie Millard
Published By: Legend Press 14/06/2017
Blog: Kelly L 

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Rosie Millard is a freelance journalist and writer. She was
BBC Arts Correspondent for ten years, and has been a profile
writer for The Sunday Times, columnist for The Independent,
arts editor and theatre critic for The New Statesman.
She is Chair, Hull UK City of Culture 2017.
The Brazilian is a sequel to her first novel The Square,
“a waspish portrait shot through with wit and insight”,
published by Legend Press in 2015. She has also written The
Tastemakers (2001), an exploration of how the UK fell in love
with contemporary art, and Bonnes Vacances (2011), a comic
memoir set in the French Overseas Departments.
She has four children, runs marathons and lives in central
London.
Visit Rosie at
rosiemillard1.wordpress.com
or on Twitter
@Rosiemillard

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Following a sensational scandal at one of London’s most desired postcodes, Jane and Patrick decide to escape the gossip with a family holiday to Ibiza, their eight-year-old son George in tow.

Also on the island that week is a TV reality show involving an eccentric artist, a horny It Girl, a Brazilian footballer and a famous magician.

As hapless celebrities are picked off one by one, Jane is desperate to be on the programme, leaving childcare in the not so capable hands of a teenager.

One lesbian escapade and an explosive row over hair removal later, the contestants of Ibiza or Bust leave the island with more than sand in places they never knew existed…

Sneak Peak of Chapter One 

Chapter One
Jane

Jane is lying on her back. The beautician in Love Your Body asks her to make a number four shape with her right leg. She is naked from the waist down, save for a pair of paper
knickers. Soft pipe music plays hauntingly around the tiny room. There is a bowl of hot wax bubbling in the corner. The beautician looks at her enquiringly, her raised eyebrows
suggesting, briefly, that Jane needs to make her mind up. Should it be a Hollywood? Totally hairless? She’s got a new swimsuit. She envisages the horror of looking down and
seeing a single corkscrewed hair jutting up at her. However, the thought of a completely naked pubic triangle makes her feel queasy. No, it must be the usual. “Yeah, a Brazilian,
please,” says Jane.

“Going on holiday are we?” says the beautician, as she smooths the wax over Jane’s groin with a large wooden spatula and pats the brown viscous gloop down. Jane tenses herself for the moment. Thinking about it is always far worse
than the actual experience, but she can’t help seizing up. “Yes, yes I am, I mean, we are, huoooo…” she says, half-squeaking and sighing as the beautician swiftly rips off a wide strip of cooled wax with an expert hand. The hairs rip out of the skin, each pulled out from its root. “Ibiza,” she manages to tell her white-coated torturer. The beautician puts her hand over the red, naked area.

“It’s in the Med, you know, just below Spain. One of the Balearics. Next to Majorca and Menorca.” The beautician pastes more hot wax onto this most soft, tender skin. She
smooths it down and then once again, scorchingly rips it from the tender flesh, putting her hand down on the angry area. “Oh, I know where Ibiza is,” says the beautician. “Now, put your other knee across, love.” One side of Jane’s groin is now bright red, speckled with small raised spots. She thinks about the beautician. Smearing wax all over the pubic region of other women and then ripping it away. All in a day’s work. Jane doesn’t know how she can bear it. Yet it is addictive. Once you start, you can’t stop. Furthermore, she loves the complicity of the room, its quiet intimacy untroubled by text messages or Wi-Fi. She wonders how many women come in here a day. The beautician knows there is a particular person who gets waxing done. This is the fourteenth client she has waxed
this morning. She sometimes looks at women on the bus and wonders which of them voluntarily undergoes it. What style they go for. She can usually tell. “My oldest son is going there too this summer, what a coincidence,” she continues nonchalantly. Jane isn’t very interested in where the beautician’s son is going on holiday. She wants her time here to be wholly about her. She focuses on her holiday. Ibiza. Hot. Delicious. Always sunny, no mosquitos, still fashionable, yet, not too trendy. So no need to bother about all those silly nightclubs and digitally streamed music by bands and singers of whom she has never heard. “Did ya want your bottom done?” says the beautician. “Roll over then and hold your cheeks open.” She lies face down on the bed and obeys the instructions. The paper knickers have a G-string at the back. Why bother, thinks Jane. Life is rather tiresome at the moment. Jane is living out of  suitcases, away from her large London house where she and her husband Patrick have lived for, oh, ages. She can’t even
remember when they moved in. Feels like years. It’s being  redecorated from top to bottom after a burst tank connected to the water main drilled down through each of the four storeys.  They had to move out into a rented flat in a much less smarter
area, around the corner. Jane dislikes the arrangement. So much so that she has
started to deliberately keep herself busy. She peppers each day with a series of treats. Coffee with friends, lunch with better friends, cinema trips. Self-improving appointments. Chiropodist, hair, waxing, mani/pedi, GP, opticians (eventhough she doesn’t need glasses). Shopping. Anything to get out of the flat. There’s so many opportunities to make life nicer, thinks Jane. “Right, that’s it. I’ll leave you to get dressed. Here’s some cream to put on if you like. I’ll see you by the reception outside,” says the beautician. She goes out of the room and shuts the door quietly. The music continues to tinkle. Jane eases off the bed, swings her legs round, forces herself to inspect the poor, erased skin. Once it has calmed down, turned into an approximation of marble with a single strip of hair, she’ll appreciate it. Even if Patrick doesn’t. She’s been doing
this for so long she can’t even remember when she started, or even why. She just knows it is something women of her age and class should do.

Order your copy to find out what happens ~

Thank you to Rosie Millard and Legend Press for the Sneak Peak content.

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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, Legend Press

Me, Myself and Them @danielmoonbags @Legend_Press #QA

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Winner of the 2016 Luke Bitmead Bursary

‘I’ve never quite read anything like it… funny, moving and terrifying all at once’ Rick O’Shea

Struggling to cope with a tragic loss, Denis Murphy has learned to live a bit differently. Both his friends are used to it – the only problem is his monstrous housemates.

When his enigmatic ex-girlfriend comes back into his life, she threatens to shatter the finely crafted world around him.

As Denis begins to re-emerge from his sheltered existence and rediscover the person he used to be, things turn nasty, and he is forced to confront the demons that share not only his house but also his head.

My Q&A with Dan Mooney

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Dan Mooney

Dan Mooney is a 33 year old Air Traffic Controller, amateur filmmaker, theatre enthusiast, rugby fanatic, would-be chef and cat-friend. Ever since writing his first piece of fiction for a kid’s newspaper at age ten, he’s been writing in some form or other. Me, Myself and Them, his debut novel, is the culmination of five years of writing, and editing and learning. When he had finally had enough of editing the same manuscript over and over, he self-published his novel, but not before submitting it to the Luke Bitmead Bursary Award. To his absolute astonishment, he won the award. Since then the American rights have been sold to Park Row Book, an imprint of Harper Collins, and Dan is still trying to get over the shock.

In his spare time, he can be found writing, acting the maggot, drinking pints or performing for the stage in Limerick City in Ireland.

Describe yourself using three words?

Very annoying man.

What inspired you to write your first novel?

I’ve been writing for a long time now. It was always going to happen in one way or another. For Me, Myself and Them it was an overheard conversation that planted a little image in my head. When I couldn’t shake that little image, I started to tease it out. Several years later we have a book!

What time of day do you like to write?

Night time. Later the better. I need dark and quiet and the particular atmosphere you only get in the small hours of the morning. It’s probably a good thing that I don’t sleep much. Very productive.

What is your favourite book and why?

What a question. We could talk all day about this one. Different moods, different moments in your life demand different books, and there’s one for each occasion. If I had to pick one and one only, I think I’d probably go with Stephen King’s 11/22/63 or Ursula Le Guin’s Left Hand of Darkness.

How did you pick the title of your book?

I didn’t. I’m awful at titles. I had picked this dreadful, never to be repeated title. A mate of mine used to cringe every time it got mentioned. Eventually, he very delicately suggested a change of title and offered Me, Myself and Them. I owe Phil for that one.

Are the characters in your book based on real people?

Physically yes. The Monsters are monstrous, so that was easy, the rest of the characters were modelled on friends of mine. Sometimes unflatteringly. It’s funny. They all seem to think they know who’s modelled on whom. Most of them are wrong.

What’s your favourite word?

Plinth. Don’t know why. Just like it.

If you were a colour what would it be?

Yellow. Because then I could be a Simpson’s character.  

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

Plan. Always. I once tried to write without a plan, it did not go well for me. I need structure and a format for things to fit in. I need the story and the characters to make sense. I need to know where they’re going and why. Sort of like the exact opposite of my life.

Who is your favourite Author?

Ursula Le Guin. Genius. Stephen King a close second.

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

Estraven from Le Guin’s Left Hand of Darkness, Pi from Yann Martel’s Life of Pi, Whiskeyjack from Steven Eriksen’s Malazan Book of the Fallen and Sparhawk from David and Leigh Eddings’ Elenium. The conversation would be strained, and I’d annoy them all endlessly with questions, but I’d be happy.

What book are you reading at the moment?

Sarah Moore Fitzgerald’s The Apple Tart of Hope. It’s a YA novel and it’s warm and lovely and beautifully written.

Where in the world is your happy place?

Ha. That’s like the book question. There’s different places for different times. Thomond Park would be one. The Curragower Bar would be another, as would Charlie Malones. The Pollock Holes in Kilkee on a sunny day for a swim, City Island New York… So many happy places.

If you had one superpower what would it be?

I already have one. I always find convenient parking spaces, no matter how busy town is, no matter the traffic, a space always seems to turn up for me. I don’t know how I ended up with this power, but I routinely abuse it.

If you could give any literary villain a happy ending who would you chose?

Mr Hyde from Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. Two happy endings for the price of one.

Are you working on a new project?

Loosely titled A Rock and A High Place, I’m about halfway through the first draft of my second novel. It’s progressing. I don’t want to say it’s progressing well, but as someone recently told me: Done is better than perfect.

Do you have any upcoming events our members can attend?

I’ll be attending the Felixstowe Book Festival at the start of July as part of a panel of author’s discussing men’s mental health and the role of literature. Very excited about it. Martin Bannister and Matt Johnson will also be attending and I’m looking forward to hearing their thoughts. They’re both extremely interesting authors.

You can purchase Me, Myself and Them here: Amazon UK it was published on the 01/06/2017 By Legend Press.

If you wish to find out more about Dan Mooney you can do so here:

Twitter Page

Facebook Page

Daniels Mooney’s Website

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I am delighted to be kick-starting the Blog Tour for Me, Myself and Them, huge thanks to Dan Mooney and Legend Press for having me on the tour.

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Author, Interview, Legend Press

The Teachers Secret @suzanne_leal @Legend_Press #Interview

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Things aren’t always as they seem…

A small town can be a refuge, but while its secrets are held, it’s hard to know who to trust and what to believe.

The Teacher’s Secret is a tender and compelling story of scandal, rumour and dislocation, and the search for grace and dignity in the midst of dishonour and humiliation.

Perfect for fans of The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas, Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty and A Song for Issy Bradley by Carys Bray.

Suzanne Leal

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SUZANNE LEAL is a lawyer experienced in child protection, criminal law and refugee law.  A former legal commentator on ABC Radio, Suzanne is a regular interviewer at Sydney Writers’ Festival and other literary functions.  She is the senior judge for the 2017 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards.  The Teacher’s Secret is her first novel published in the UK.

Suzanne lives in Sydney with her husband, David, and her four children, Alex, Dominic, Xavier and Miranda.

Visit Suzanne at suzanneleal.com or on Twitter @suzanne_leal or on her Facebook page @suzannelealauthor.

Q&A with Suzanne Leal 

Please tell my readers a little bit about yourself and your publishing journey before the questions that would be super. Plus anything else you wish to tell the members. 

I’m a lawyer and a writer and I have four children who range between five and twenty.  I often don’t manage the juggle as well as I’d like.

My first novel, BORDER STREET, was inspired by the wartime experiences of my Czech-Jewish neighbour, Fred Perger.  It’s a story both about a young couple living in Australia and life in Prague during the Nazi occupation.

My second novel, THE TEACHER’S SECRET, was inspired by the small coastal village where I live in Sydney.  Over the years, I have watched with interest and affection the daily intrigues of this community which, bordered as it is by its row of shops, the golf course, the ocean and a jail, is almost a cul-de-sac in itself.

THE TEACHER’S SECRET centres on Terry Pritchard, assistant principal at Brindle primary school, who is accused of inappropriate behaviour towards his students.  In writing the novel, I drew upon my legal experience to consider how issues of trust and suspicion can arise when considering the behaviour of a male teacher working in a small school.

THE TEACHER’S SECRET is also the story of Nina Foreman, who struggles with managing a career as a single parent, and that of Rebecca Chuma, who finds herself in Brindle having fled her homeland.

Although I wanted to consider these serious issues – what happens when a marriage ends when a career ends, when a family is forced to relocate –  I also wanted to keep humour, kindness and lightness in the book.  In the end, the book is about the strength of the community.

THE TEACHER’S SECRET was first published in Australia last year.  I am so excited that it is now being published in the UK, too, and I can’t wait to be in London for the launch.  I’ve loved working with Legend Press and I’m delighted with the jacket cover for the book’s hardcover edition.

Describe yourself using three words?

Curious, hopeful, compelled

What inspired you to write your first novel?

THE TEACHER’S SECRET is my second novel.  My first novel BORDER STREET was inspired by the wartime story of my Czech-Jewish neighbour, Fred Perger.

What time of day do you like to write?

I like to write whenever I can get the time to do it.  First thing in the morning is my preference.

What is your favourite book and why?download

I have different favourite books for different times of my life.   I love THE DARK ROOM by Rachel Seiffert.  I was blown away by the originality of THE LESSER BOHEMIANS by Eimear McBride.  PRIDE AND PREJUDICE continually remind me of the importance of wit and humour and observation in writing.

How did you pick the title of your book?

I didn’t pick the title of THE TEACHER’S SECRET.  My Australian publisher, Jane Palfreyman, came up with it.  The working title for the book was BRINDLE, which is the name of the fictional village where the book is set.

Are the characters in your book based on real people?

The coastal village where I live in Sydney is geographically very similar to the fictional town of Brindle in my book.  The characters in THE TEACHER’S SECRET are, however, fictional.

Having said that, I have known men with the characteristics of Terry Pritchard, who is the assistant principal at Brindle primary school and who hates management speak and just wants to get on with the job of teaching.  In writing about Terry, I drew upon my legal experience to consider how issues of trust and suspicion can arise when considering the behaviour of a male teacher working in a small school.

There is something of me in the character of the teacher Nina Foreman and also something of the many other women I know who have juggled single parenthood with the demands of a career.

Rebecca Chuma, who has fled her homeland, is inspired by the many women who appeared before me when I presided over legal hearings for people claiming refugee status.  Many of them were strong, articulate and impressive women who had experienced great hardship.  I often wondered how women like this – women who were well known in their country, who might even have been activists – would manage their relocation to a country that was foreign to them and where their experience and qualifications might count for nothing.

The character of Rebecca Chuma emerged from my experience of these women and my imaginings of their subsequent lives.

What’s your favourite word?

Serendipity

If you were a colour what would it be?

Burnished orange

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

I like to at least roughly plan my story beforehand.  When I write, I write to answer a question that has consumed me so much I need to explore it in my writing.  In my first novel BORDER STREET, I wanted to consider whether it is fair to demand extraordinary things of people simply because they have suffered through extraordinary times.

In THE TEACHER’S SECRET I wanted to consider the position of male teachers in a time of increased suspicion.  I also wanted to look at the nature of community through the eyes of the residents of a small coastal village.

I develop my scenes and my characters as a way of exploring the questions that fascinate me.  To help me organise my thoughts and the structure of my work, I use a software package called Scrivener.

Who is your favourite author?

That’s a very big question!  I don’t think I can pick just one.  I love Jane Austen’s wit and Charlotte Bronte’s passion.  I love the wisdom of Viktor Frankl and the humour of Roald Dahl.  I love the dry, loving writing of E.B White.   I thank J.K. Rowling for imbuing my children with a love of reading.

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

Elizabeth Bennett from PRIDE AND PREJUDICE by Jane Austen because she’s fun and clever and witty and impulsive and doesn’t hold back.

Anne Shirley from ANNE OF GREEN GABLES by L.M. Montgomery because she kept me company throughout my childhood and I’d love to catch up with her.

Willy Wonka from CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY by Roald Dahl because he is forthright and funny.

Aslan from THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE by C.S. Lewis because he is wise and good and caring.

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What book are you reading at the moment?

At the moment I’m reading SONGS OF A WAR BOY by Deng Thiak Adut with Ben McKelvey.  Deng is a former child soldier in South Sudan who is now an Australian lawyer.  I’ll be interviewing him at the Sydney Writers’ Festival.

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Where in the world is your happy place?

When I’m running, when I’m reading, when I’m writing, when I’m at the movies.

If you had one superpower what would it be? 

The power to be super-organised and to banish household chaos instantaneously.

If you could give any literary villain a happy ending who would you choose? 

Mrs Agatha Trunchbull in MATILDA by Roald Dahl.

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Are you working on a new project?

I’ve just completed a time travel book for older children.  I’m now working on a novel for adults about family secrets that emerge in the lead up to a wedding.

Do you have any upcoming events our members can attend? 

I’ll be part of an author panel with Winnie Li at 7pm on 1 June 2017 at the Big Green Bookshop, Unit 1, Brampton Park Rd, Wood Green, London N22 6BG

I’ll be giving an author talk at 12.30pm on 7 June 2017 at Barbican Library at Silk Street, London EC2Y 8DS (2nd Floor)

I’ll be giving an author talk at 6.30pm on 8 June 2017 at Fulham Library at 6 Friern Barnet Ln, London N11 3LX

If you would like to purchase your own copy today, head over to Amazon UK

Published on the 14th May 2017, By Legend Press

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Thank you Suzanne Leal and Legend Press for having me on your tour.

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Author, Interview, Legend Press, Q&A

Little Gold @Alliewhowrites ~ @Legend_Press #Interview

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The heat is oppressive and storms are brewing in Brighton in the summer of 1982. Little Gold, a boyish girl on the brink of adolescence, is struggling with the reality of her broken family and a home descending into chaos. Her only refuge is the tree at the end of her garden.

Into her fractured life steps elderly neighbour, Peggy Baxter. The connection between the two is instant, but just when it seems that Little Gold has found solace, outsiders appear who seek to take advantage of her frail family in the worst way possible. In an era when so much is hard to speak aloud, can Little Gold share enough of her life to avert disaster? And can Peggy Baxter, a woman running out of time and with her own secrets to bear, recognise the danger before it’s too late?

Buy your copy here ~ Amazon UK

The Real You Q&A with Allie Rogers 

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Please tell my readers a little bit about yourself and your publishing journey.

I was born and raised in Brighton. My short fiction has been published in several magazines and anthologies including Bare Fiction, Queer in Brighton and The Salt Anthology of New Writing. I’ve performed at several live literature events, including the Charleston Small Wonder Flash Fiction Slam, which I won in 2014.

My first novel, Little Gold is published by Legend Press.

Describe yourself using three words. Inquisitive, bookish, focused.

What inspired you to write your first novel?  Little Gold is a book that came tumbling out of me in 2014. The two main characters first appeared in a flash fiction I wrote and I found that they had a longer story to tell. That story turned out to be the novel, Little Gold. I drew a lot on my memories of growing up in Brighton in the 1980s but the events in the book are all pure fiction.

What time of day do you like to write? I fit my writing around my part-time job in a university library and so I can’t afford to be choosy. If I’m on a roll with something then I might fit in some writing at any time of the day or night. Sometimes I finish work at 8pm and then put in a few hours writing before I go home.

What is your favourite book and why? Hotel World by Ali Smith. It’s a sort of secular prayer to life. I love the way Smith uses different voices in the book and the central idea of a dead person fading slowly out of the world.

How did you pick the title of your book? Little Gold is the name of the central character of the book. She’s a twelve-year-old girl.

Are the characters in your book based on real people?  Not directly. I think that most writers build characters by exploring aspects of themselves and combining those with the characteristics of people they have known. That said, Little Gold is a character very close to my heart who learns some emotional truths that I learned as an adolescent.

What’s your favourite word?  Right at this moment? Murmuration. I think I’d probably give you a different word every day, if not every hour!

If you were a colour what would it be?  Green/grey – the colour of a winter sea.

Do you plan your story beforehand or go with the flow? That varies depending on what I’m writing. Little Gold was not planned because the first draft came out very fast but that did mean considerable structural work later on. I think a basic plan is usually a good thing but I’d never let it stop me taking the story in a different direction if that seemed to be needed.

Who is your favourite Author?  Ali Smith.

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

Harriet Vane from the books of Dorothy L. Sayers, Shug Avery from Alice Walker’s ‘The Colour Purple’, the nameless character in Ali Smith’s short’s story ‘May’ (this person falls in love with a tree) and Nan Astley from Sarah Waters’ ‘Tipping the Velvet.’

What book are you reading at the moment? ‘Mr Oliver’s Object of Desire’ by VG Lee.

Where in the world is your happy place? St Ives in Cornwall. I stay there in a tiny holiday flat in winter, drink lots of coffee, go for walks on the beaches and cliff-top paths and write late into the night.

If you had one superpower what would it be? To be invisible – think what you’d see and hear if people didn’t know you were there!

If you could give any literary villain a happy ending who would you chose?  Hmmm… Well, I’m not sure I want to create a happy ending for an actual villain! I’d like a happy ending for the flawed character, Miss Amelia in Carson McCullers’ ‘Ballad of the Sad Café.’ I don’t like to think of her holed up in the derelict café. I’d like it opened up again and a new love in her life.

Are you working on a new project? I have recently finished a new novel told in the voice of a four-year-old boy. It’s been extremely absorbing.

Do you have any upcoming events our members can attend?  I am reading from Little Gold at Polari Literary Salon, on the South Bank, on 6th June – tickets are available online.

If you would like to know more, you can contact Allie on

TWITTER  FACEBOOK  WEBSITE

Huge thanks to Allie Rogers and Lucy Chamberlain @Legend_Press for giving me the honour of being on the tour.

Legend Press, Q&A

The Lies Within @JaneIsaacAuthor @Legend_Press #Q&A

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Be under no illusions by her kind face and eloquent manner… This woman is guilty of murder.

Grace Daniels is distraught after her daughter’s body is found in a Leicestershire country lane. With her family falling apart and the investigation going nowhere, Grace’s only solace is the re-emergence of Faye, an old friend who seems to understand her loss.

DI Will Jackman delves into the case, until a family tragedy and a figure from his past threaten to derail him.

When the police discover another victim, the spotlight falls on Grace. Can Jackman find the killer, before she is convicted of a crime she didn’t commit?

Buy your copy here: AMAZON UK  download (2)

My Q&A with Jane Isaac

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Please tell my readers a little bit about yourself and your publishing journey.

Hi! My name is Jane Isaac and I live in Northamptonshire, UK with my husband, daughter and dog, Bollo. I write both the DCI Helen Lavery and the DI Will Jackman series. My books have been described as detective fiction with a psychological edge and my latest novel, The Lies Within, was released on 2nd May 2017.

Like many writers, I’ve had rather a rollercoaster ride to publication. When I finished my first book I was still studying creative writing with the Writers Bureau. My tutor read the sample chapters and recommended that I send it to a small publisher called Crème De La Crime who accepted submissions from unpublished writers. They responded within a week to say that they couldn’t accept new submissions, having just been taken over by a large publisher, but they enjoyed the piece and suggested I send it to a couple of agents who were interested in new crime writers. I really didn’t expect to hear anything, you get so many rejections in this industry, so I was stunned when they both wanted to sign it.

To cut a long story short, after a lovely day at their Kensington offices, I signed with one of the agents and they submitted the novel to the big publishing houses. The result was disappointing. We had lovely feedback, they all seemed to like the work, but nobody offered to sign the novel. My agent suggested I submit to the independent publishers and I signed with US based Rainstorm Press within a month.

Rainstorm Press were only able to distribute books online in the UK, so when I finished my second book, The Truth Will Out, I decided to throw myself back into the slush pile and try for a British publisher. In 2013 I received an offer from London-based Legend Press and they have gone on to publish all my subsequent novels.

Describe yourself using three words?

Amiable. Effervescent. Curious.

What inspired you to write your first novel?  

Some people have a fixed idea of their calling from a young age. I never did. The turning point for me came eighteen years ago when my husband and I took a year out to travel the world and a friend gave me a journal to keep as a present. This journal was to become my most treasured travel companion (apart from my husband of course). The photos we took drew on memories but, even years later, when reading the diary I could smell spices in Kuala Lumpur, hear the street music of Bangkok and feel the thick heat that pervades the wonderfully clean Singapore.

Realising the power of words, my love affair with writing began. I enrolled on a creative writing course and started writing articles for newspapers and magazines. It was during this time that I started writing fiction and embarked on my first novel, An Unfamiliar Murder, and I’ve never looked back.

What time of day do you like to write?

I’m currently going through a period of transition, having given up my part time day job recently to write full time, so it’s difficult to say at the moment. I guess my brain probably works best late at night or in the early hours of the morning, when the house is quiet, but this isn’t always convenient when you have to get up to do the school run first thing:-).

What is your favourite book and why?

That’s such a hard question! I’ve enjoyed working with the characters in all of my books, but if pushed, I guess my debut, An Unfamiliar Murder, would be my favourite. I wrote it in my own time, without the pressure of deadlines, and it was a completely self-indulgent process, just to see if I could manage to piece together a whole novel. It took me eighteen months to achieve and I still remember frisson of excitement when I first held the finished version in my hand.

How did you pick the title of your book?

I’m hopeless at choosing titles. With my fourth book, I didn’t even have a working title until the very last page, when my husband and I brainstormed some ideas in a panic!

My latest novel was slightly easier, it’s all about the secrets and lies that bind people together, so The Lies Within seemed a good fit.

Are the characters in your book based on real people?  

Not really. For DI Will Jackman, the lead in my current series, I pulled on my favourite male fictional characters and analysed their behaviour; writing down the elements I liked and that fitted with what I was trying to achieve, disregarding the ones that didn’t. I also considered the male influences in my own life: my father, my brother, my husband, my friends, and  spoke to a lot of serving police officers and detectives to see what their working/home life was like. So, I guess he is made up of elements of lots of different people.

What’s your favourite word?  

Serendipity. We all deserve the chance to be happy.

If you were a colour what would it be?

Cornflower blue. It reminds of balmy sunny days, family picnics and long walks.  

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

When I started out I didn’t plan anything and wrote chapter by chapter, researching along the way. My latest release, The Lies Within, was my fifth book and written to a deadline, so I needed to be more organised with my writing time. I wrote a four/five page outline in advance to give me a sense of direction, although inevitably some things did change along the way, and the book took a little under a year to complete.

Who is your favourite Author?  

Ten years ago I would have answered this question with established favourites like Jeffery Deaver or Peter James. However being a part of the publishing world has exposed me to so many new talents and I tend to read a lot of different authors these days.

I’ve recently read a debut called Rubicon by Ian Patrick which is due for publication shortly. It was excellent and deserves to be hugely successful.

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

Tony Soprano and four of the many characters he killed off as mob boss in the series, The Sopranos. It would be interesting to see how that evening played out!

What book are you reading at the moment?

I’ve just started The Skeleton Road by Val McDermid. It’s our village book club choice for this month.

Where in the world is your happy place?

Wherever my family are, particularly if they are staying in the heart of the Dordogne, in an ancient gite, surrounded by fields of sunflowers!

If you had one superpower what would it be?

To not have to sleep. There’s so many things to see and do in life and never enough time to fit them all in. Without sleep I’d gain at least 7-8 hours a day.

If you could give any literary villain a happy ending who would you chose?  

I’m not sure this counts, as she’s not a villain, but I’ve always been troubled the ending of Rosamund Lupton’s novel, Sister. It’s a beautifully written book about the compelling bond between sisters, and I’d love to give Beatrice a happy ending.

Are you working on a new project?  

I’ve been researching something new for a while now, reading around the subject area and visiting potential sites. It would mark a change from my series novels, and it’s only a bunch of notes at the moment, but I’m really excited about the prospect of putting it together and watching it evolve.

Do you have any upcoming events our members can attend?  

Yes. I’ll be launching The Lies Within at the wonderful Oundle Festival of Literature on the evening of the 5th of May. I’m also delighted to be appearing at the Felixstowe Book Festival alongside Michael J Malone and Ruth Dugdall on the 2nd of July on the ‘Panel of Lies’, and will be participating in a ‘read dating’ event at Deeping Literary Festival on the 29th of April which should be interesting!   

Thanks so much for inviting me to your lovely blog. I really enjoyed answering your questions!

Contact Jane:

Twitter –  @JaneIsaacAuthor

Facebook Author Page –  Jane Isaac Author

Website –  www.janeisaac.co.uk

Thank you, so much Jane Isaac for being on my blog today and to Lucy at Legend Press for the opportunity to be on the tour.

Favourite Five, Legend Press

Blame BY @paulreadauthor @Legend_Press #FaveFive #RT

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It is the summer of 1989 when Lucas witnesses an event that will tear his family apart. Over a decade later, his estranged father succumbs to a suspected heart attack.

Lucas shuns grief and escapes to New York with his colleague Mariana. However, a dark secret from his past threatens to re-emerge and destroy the burgeoning relationship before it has even begun.

When his father’s girlfriend fails to reappear after reporting his death, the true cause of his demise falls under scrutiny. And as the startling truth comes to light, Lucas must confront the fact that father and son may not have been so different after all.

Buy your copy here ~ Amazon UK

Paul Read

 

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After gaining a first in Fine Art at the Kent Institute of Art and Design at Canterbury, Paul Read found employment at Foyles bookshop on Charing Cross Road before becoming a teacher. He has taught at several inner city schools as an Art and English teacher, both in England and Italy, where he currently lives with his partner and two children. He received a distinction in creative writing for his MA at City University London.
The Art Teacher was published in 2016 by Legend Press.
His second novel, Blame, will be published in early 2017.

#FavFive with Paul Read 

What’s your favourite book cover by another author and why?

I think my favourite book cover remains the one Picador used for Graham Swift’s Last Orders back in 1996, the one with a half-drunk pint of beer on the front. There have been a few similar versions of this over the years but the one I’m talking about – the original edition – has the drink taking up the whole cover, swirling foam clinging to the glass, raised in relief from the rest of the design. I thought it was very evocative, and thirst-inducing. The book itself is excellent and justifiably won the Booker.

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What is your favourite time to read?

My favourite time to read is not the same time I actually get to read, which is usually during my short commute, or last thing at night. If I had full control over my own life (one can dream), I would read all morning, while my brain cells are functioning at something approaching maximum capacity. It wasn’t always that way. I used to be a night owl and would only really wake up at twilight but years of six-thirty alarm clocks have well and truly reversed that.

Do you have a favourite snack to nibble whilst reading?

I don’t have a favourite snack, but I do have a sweet tooth and no shortage of sugary checkout-bait I’m manipulated into buying. I’m particularly fond of the sugar present in aperitivi, but cocktails interfere with reading. What I often do – and I’m a bit embarrassed to be admitting this – is, if I’m eating on my own, cut up my meal as though I were about to feed it to a baby, into small forkfuls, and then take the book in my left hand and eat using my right, so I don’t have to keep placing the book down to use the cutlery. Maybe everyone does that. I don’t know. It works for me.

Who is your favourite book character that has stayed with you long after the book ended?

This is an easy one, if I may be permitted a play as opposed to a novel. Hamlet. Never has a fictional character been so cognisant of himself, of his superior intellect, or possess such a formidable command of language. All of this imprisons him utterly. Is he mad or just supernaturally clever? He’s a flawed character who famously defies interpretation and, when he falls, he takes almost the entire cast with him. I’ve been studying the book for a potential future project for the last six month or so and I know I’ll never get to the bottom of his complex character.

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What is your favourite book quote?

I was flicking my way through a bookstore one day and happened across Cormac McCarthy’s All the Pretty Horses. After reading the first page it was impossible not to buy the book. Let’s do an experiment here. I’ll recite the section and your readers can try not to head straight over to Amazon and throw it into their virtual baskets.

  “The candleflame and the image of the candleflame caught  in the pierglass twisted and righted when he entered the hall and again when he shut the door. He took off his hat and came slowly forward. The floorboards creaked under his boots. In his black suit he stood in the dark glass where the lilies leaned so palely from their waisted cutglass vase. Along the cold hallway behind him hung the portraits of forebears only dimly known to him all framed in glass and dimly lit above the narrow wainscoting. He looked down at the guttered candlesnub. He pressed his thumbprint in the warm wax pooled on the oak veneer. Lastly he looked at the face so caved and drawn among the folds of funeral cloth, the yellowed moustache, the eyelids paper thin. That was not sleeping. That was not sleeping.”download

Huge thanks to @paulreadauthor and @Legend_Press  it was an honour to be on your tour.

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