Jera’s Jamboree : Characters and Settings ~ Follow a Star by Christine Stovell plus Giveaway

JJ is delighted to be welcoming Christine today.

Find out what surprised Christine about her hero … and carry on reading for a giveaway.

Christine Stovell

Winning a tin of chocolate in a national essay competition at primary school inspired Christine Stovell to become a writer! After graduating from the University of East Anglia, she took various jobs in the public sector writing research papers and policy notes by day and filling up her spare drawers with embryonic novels by night.  Losing her dad to cancer made her realise that if she was ever going to get a novel published she had to put her writing first. Setting off, with her husband, from a sleepy seaside resort on the east coast in a vintage wooden boat to sail halfway round Britain provided the inspiration for her debut novel Turning the Tide and Follow a Star. Turning the Tide was a top 100 Bestseller with Amazon Kindle and spent months in the Top 10 Chart for Adult Contemporary Romance. Christine has also published numerous short stories and articles. Christine lives in Wales. Her novels include: Turning the Tide, Move Over Darling and Follow a Star. She also has a novella published with Choc Lit Lite called Only True in Fairy Tales.

www.twitter.com/chrisstovell

www.facebook.com/christinestovellauthor

www.christinestovell.com

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Hello! It’s lovely to be here, thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to talk about a book that was a joy to write.

You’re very welcome Christine. 

Follow a Star is set in the present and begins with my heroine, May Starling, running away to sea in a vintage wooden boat bound for Little Spitmarsh, the location for my novel, Turning the Tide.  Little Spitmarsh is a fictitious seaside town, an amalgam of the faded coastal resorts and harbours I visited with my husband when we sailed halfway round Britain, but its inhabitants are very real to me. I missed the place and the people when I left it behind so I couldn’t resist returning to see how some of the familiar characters were doing. That said, you don’t have to have read Turning the Tide to read Follow a Star as both May and the book’s hero, Bill, are completely new characters

My first mental image of May was of her hoofing it down a lonely road with a rucksack slung over her shoulder, but I had no idea what she was running away from until I was a third of the way through the first draft.  I liked May from the start, she’s funny and self-deprecating, but she’s certainly got some baggage and felt that I wanted to give her a hug before the emotional journey ahead.  The biggest surprise to me though was when my hero, Bill, stepped out in front of May and I saw his flame-coloured hair! I never expected to be writing about a red-haired hero, let alone fall for him in such a big way. Sure he can be bit quick to pass judgement at times, but he’s got a lot on his plate worrying about his uncle, who’s very ill, and trying to keep his building business afloat so I think that’s understandable. He works hard, he’s kind, very loyal and has, erm, some attractive hidden assets.

My first-hand experience of the tensions that can arise in the confined space of a small boat, made it the perfect place to put two people who don’t need any further complications in their lives.  By the time May and Bill tie up at Watling’s, the old boatyard in Little Spitmarsh (which gave me another good reason to revisit some favourite characters from Turning the Tide) the heat between them is almost boiling over.  But unfortunately for them, reaching dry land means their troubles have only just begun and they’ve both got some choppy waters to negotiate before they can find safe harbour.  As for me? My second trip to Little Spitmarsh wasn’t the end of the journey either – somehow I just know I’ll be back!

Love the sound of the heat between May and Bill 🙂

Wishing you success with all your writing projects Christine.

FAS AppleSometimes your heart’s the only navigator you need

May Starling’s had enough of her demanding career and even more demanding ex. Responding to a ‘crew-wanted’ ad, she follows her dreams of escape only to find herself at sea with red-haired Bill Blythe.

Bill warns May that close-quartered living can create a boiling pot of emotions, but even May is surprised by the heat building up inside the vintage wooden boat. And when May and Bill tie up at Watling’s Boatyard in Little Spitmarsh, May’s determined to test her new-found feelings on dry land.

But May’s dream of escaping her former life is in danger of being swept away when several unwelcome blasts from the past follow her ashore, all seemingly hell-bent on reminding her it’s never that easy to clear the decks.

|  Amazon Paperback  |  Amazon Kindle  |  Goodreads  |

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All’s fair in love and war? Depends on who’s making the rules. Harry Watling has spent the past five years keeping her father s boat yard afloat, despite its dying clientele. Now all she wants to do is enjoy the peace and quiet of her sleepy backwater. So when property developer Matthew Corrigan wants to turn the boat yard into an upmarket housing complex for his exotic new restaurant, it s like declaring war. And the odds seem to be stacked in Matthew’s favour. He s got the colourful locals on board, his hard-to-please girlfriend is warming to the idea and he has the means to force Harry s hand. Meanwhile, Harry has to fight not just his plans but also her feelings for the man himself. Then a family secret from the past creates heartbreak for Harry, and neither of them is prepared for what happens next …

|  Amazon Paperback  |  Amazon Kindle  |  Goodreads  |

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Publishers Choc Lit are generously sponsoring a giveway.

One lucky blog reader in the UK could be reading a paperback copy of Follow a Star.

Easy entry via the Rafflecopter link below.

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Good luck!

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Jera’s Jamboree : Guest Author Celia Kennedy ~ How Charlotte’s Restrained came to be…

JJ is delighted to be welcoming Celia Kennedy today

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Celia Kennedy was born in Wurzburg, Germany on an American military base. Her parents’ penchant for traveling the world, via a Volkswagen Minibus with a Porsche engine, sparked her imagination. Staring out the window, sometimes through fog and rain, at other times at sunny blue skies, she began to make up stories for the places and spaces they passed by. The in-between time, the most fascinating to her.

The imagined world has always fascinated Celia. She has studied Landscape Architecture, Architecture, Interior Design, and pretty much every other subject matter. Like her childhood, it was the ride that was the most entertaining, arrival at a degree, not anywhere as important.

Mark Twain said, “Write what you know.” When combining this concept with her unusual life experiences (working at a nuclear submarine base when Chernobyl blew, testing software Bill Gates kept close tabs on, travelling extensively while quite broke, or falling in love with her boyfriend’s close friend) thinking of what to write about isn’t challenging; there just needs to be more hours in the day.

Celia published Charlottes Restrained in December of 2012 and Venus Rising in August of 2013. Look for Kathleen’s Undressed, a companion novel to Charlottes Restrained, to be published in 2014.

Currently she lives in Washington State with the loves of her life.

website – www.celiakennedy.weebly.com

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6965584.Celia_Kennedy

 Twitter – https://twitter.com/KennedyCelia

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How Charlotte’s Restrained came to be…

Late in the summer of 2008 my husband and I were watching an episode of Inside the Actors Studio. Host James Lipton was interviewing Clint Eastwood. This multi-talented man fascinated us. After the interview was over, we chatted about how amazing it would be to invite him over for dinner and get to know him. The obvious problem: how to contact Clint Eastwood? Next obvious problem: if we could call him on the phone, what would compel him to want to have dinner with complete strangers? Sidestepping these crucial issues, it didn’t take long for the plan to evolve. It also didn’t take long to realize that it would be preferable to go to his house for dinner. After all, he lived in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California and likely had a better cook than me.

At the same time, I spent the first week my kids were back in school perfecting my domestic goddess-ness and realized I was as good at it as I wanted to get. There was something else I wanted to do more – write. I fired up my laptop and started writing. I didn’t have a strategy, hadn’t jotted down an outline or done any research. I also had zero contacts and resources. All I had was plain old-fashion gumption. Honest to Betsy, it never occurred to me that I couldn’t write a book.

It was also completely obvious to me to borrow from reality and write a book about encountering a long admired celebrity. Mirroring real life, there would have to be plenty of twists and turns. However, in the fantasy world, we can make incredible things happen. I needed people, loads of interesting and entertaining people who could make such a feat happen!

Let’s face it, we want it all. We want romance. We want to be a part of a group of friends who grew up and grow old together. We want to travel. We want to eat good food and drink great wine. We want to wear fabulous clothes! So, how to get it all in one book?

Charlotte, her BFF’s, a celebrity, and a handsome Irishman!

I like to think of myself as mostly normal, so I feel comfortable representing all women, when I say that we know we’ve found a real friend when we don’t worry about the state of our house when they stop by. We are really good friends if we’ll change our clothes in front of each other. We know we are Besties if when we really mess up, the other person may be really angry, but needs our own special brand of crazy in order to feel like life is do-able. Oh! And the most important factor: laughter. All of us want someone we can belly laugh with.

Charlotte, Hillary, Tiziana, Kathleen and Marian are such a village. These five women have history, have bled for each other, talked each other in and out of bad and good situations. Let each other be real. Fortunately for us these vivacious women are scattered around the globe, giving us the opportunity to travel to exciting places, where they meet up, drink up, and get into a little trouble.

We also have Des Bannerman, the King of Romantic Comedies in Charlotte’s Restrained. Des Bannerman is my vision of a mega star. A decade into his career he is riding the wave of major-motion picture success. He’s the go to man for chick flicks. Des Bannerman started out with a really big dream, but has become a little jaded by all the glitz and glory, and lives a life surrounded by people he trusts, but doesn’t really get to meet new people, because how does he meet them and who can he trust?

Pivotal to the story, is Liam Molloy, the Irishman who steals Charlotte’s heart. Liam has many things going for him; he’s gorgeous (of course), he’s the source of envy (providing many opportunities for the ladies to banter about men and “love”), and he has a great sense of humor. To be honest, I borrowed from reality again, the banter between Charlotte and Liam is much like mine and my husbands.

What makes a compelling story?

Beneath it all, I believe that we thrive when we know we are a part of a village. No one person can give us everything we need, BUT when we have a village we have everything! Friends, lovers, pets, children, frenemies, co-workers, all provide us with opportunities to grow and love. The most successful tales take place in the village concept.

To make the village happen in Charlotte’s Restrained, we are blessed with the opportunity to travel to London, Rome, New York, Dublin, and Saint Tropez. Amongst the many benefits of all this travel is that we get to see and feel the tempo of life in different parts of the world – we eat and drink foods that may be new and unique, we walk down streets ladened with history and float on oceans that are azure blue.

Me!

I love getting to know authors, most of those that I’ve reached out have been amazingly accessible and supportive. You can learn as much about me as you can stomach at www.celiakennedy.weebly.com or on Twitter (@KennedyCelia), Facebook (Celia Kennedy, Author). On my website there are links to my blog WomanReinventsSelf. That’s where you read the good, the bad and the ugly!

If you look for me on Pinterest (http://www.pinterest.com/celiakennedy) you will find boards that I have created for Charlotte’s Restrained, Venus Rising, and my current work-in-progress, Kathleen’s Undressed (a sequel to Charlotte’s Restrained).

It’s great where an idea/inspiration can take the imagination Celia 🙂

Wishing you success with all your writing projects.

Charlotte’s Restrained is going on tour!

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Date Tour Host
4th August Tome Tender
5th August Chicklit Club Connect
6th August Books are my life
7th August Brook Cottage Books
12th August Tracy Riva Books and Reviews
13th August allthingsbookie

Giveaway on tour is a signed copy of Charlotte’s Restrained plus Amazon GC.

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We hope you’ll check out the posts and enter the giveaway!

Jera’s Jamboree : A Debut is a Very Special Thing ~ Kathryn Freeman Guest Post plus #giveaway

JJ is delighted to welcome Kathryn.

Kathryn is sharing with us her feelings about her debut paperback.

Keep reading after the guest post to enter the giveaway!

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Kathryn was born in Wallingford, England but has spent most of her life living in a village near Windsor. After studying pharmacy in Brighton she began her working life as a retail pharmacist. She quickly realised that trying to decipher doctors’ handwriting wasn’t for her and left to join the pharmaceutical industry where she spent twenty happy years working in medical communications. In 2011, backed by her family, she left the world of pharmaceutical science to begin life as a self-employed writer, juggling the two disciplines of medical writing and romance. Some days a racing heart is a medical condition, others it’s the reaction to a hunky hero …

With two teenage boys and a husband who asks every Valentine’s Day whether he has to bother buying a card again this year (yes, he does) the romance in her life is all in her head. Then again, her husband’s unstinting support of her career change goes to prove that love isn’t always about hearts and flowers – and heroes can come in many disguises.

Kathryn’s novels include: Too Charming and Do Opposites Attract?

Website:  http://kathrynfreeman.co.uk

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

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/KathrynFreeman1

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Firstly, a big thank you for kindly having me on your blog to discuss my debut paperback, Do Opposites Attract?

A debut book is a very special thing. Now I know why sportsmen are moved to kiss the trophy they win. When I opened a parcel from Choc Lit to find a copy of Do Opposites Attract?, I instinctively went to kiss it. I might not have won a championship, but there was plenty of sweat behind that final book – and buckets of pride on my achievement.

I couldn’t have been more delighted when I saw the cover for the very first time (a huge thank you to the talented Berni Stevens who designs covers for Choc Lit).

My first thought was – it’s pink. I’m a total sucker for all things pink. The walls of my study are pink, my handbag is pink, ninety percent of my wardrobe is pink. Maybe it’s because I live in a male dominated household – or maybe it’s because pink is such a vibrant, happy, romantic colour.

Coming down from my pink high, I took in the fabulous contrast of elegant stilettos and pearls next to clumpy workman boots and a stethoscope. That’s it, I remember thinking. She’s caught the very essence of the book.

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Do Opposites Attract? features Mitch McBride and Brianna Worthington – two people from totally different backgrounds who meet in the harsh and emotionally charged environment of a refugee camp. They couldn’t be more opposite. Think tough versus genteel, rough compared to elegant, gruff and distant as opposed to warm and friendly. Mitch McBride grew up on the wrong side of the tracks but now works as a doctor for a medical charity. It’s a place where his background doesn’t matter – until the patron’s daughter comes to visit, that is. Brianna Worthington with her class, her wealth and her supreme self-confidence, rubs at an unhealed wound. She’s a sharp reminder of the bleakness of his own roots. He’ll do as he’s promised, show her what the charity does, but he’s going to keep his distance. No matter how beautiful she is.

What he doesn’t reckon on though, is Brianna’s determination to get what she wants. Surprisingly, she finds herself wanting Mitch. First she has to prove to him, and herself, that she isn’t a spoilt little rich girl but a strong woman with compassion and purpose. Of course it would help if she didn’t feel so totally out of her depth in the refugee camp. And if for once, just once, she could do something useful instead of getting in the way.

Do Opposites Attract? Well, they do in this story. But will the attraction last? Sorry, I’m not telling 🙂

Thank you so much for having me. If you want to find out more about the story, it’s available on Amazon.

 Wishing you success with Do Opposites Attract? Kathryn and all your writing projects.

DOA_front smallThere’s no such thing as a class divide – until you’re on separate sides.

Brianna Worthington has beauty, privilege and a very healthy trust fund. The only hardship she’s ever witnessed has been on the television. Yet when she’s invited to see how her mother’s charity, Medic SOS, is dealing with the aftermath of a tornado in South America, even Brianna is surprised when she accepts.

Mitch McBride, Chief Medical Officer, doesn’t need the patron’s daughter disrupting his work. He’s from the wrong side of the tracks and has led life on the edge, but he’s not about to risk losing his job for a pretty face.

Poles apart, dynamite together, but can Brianna and Mitch ever bridge the gap separating them?

|  Amazon Paperback  |  Amazon Kindle  |  Goodreads  |

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Publishers Choc Lit are generously sponsoring  a giveaway.  

One lucky blog reader in the UK could be reading a paperback copy of Do Opposites Attract?

Easy entry via the Rafflecopter link below.

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good Luck!

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congratulations

ANNE C

Jera’s Jamboree : Guest Author Robert Bryndza ~ a tough goodbye

JJ is delighted to be welcoming Robert today.

Robert Bryndza

Robert Bryndza was born in the UK and lived in America and Canada before settling in Slovakia with his Slovak husband Ján. His debut novel ‘The Not So Secret Emails of Coco Pinchard’ became an Amazon bestseller and two sequels have followed, ‘Coco Pinchard’s Big Fat Tipsy Wedding’ and ‘Coco Pinchard, The Consequences of Love and Sex’.

When he’s not writing Rob is learning Slovak, trying to train two crazy dogs, or watching Grand Designs – all in the hope that he’ll be able to understand his mother-in-law, build his dream house, and get the dogs to listen.

You can find out more about Robert at www.robertbryndza.com on Twitter at @RobertBryndza

On Amazon and Facebook facebook.com/bryndzarobert

Or, for a far more interesting option, you can now follow Coco Pinchard on Twitter at @CocoPinchard

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So you’re an author… Where do you get your ideas? 

The one question I’ve been asked the most as an author is, Where do you get your ideas from?  It’s always a tricky one to answer. Sometimes things will just pop into my head from nowhere, often an idea will develop slowly and I’ll have to take a few wrong turns to get it right, and sometimes I’ll fall in love with a place or an experience I’ve had and I think I just HAVE to put that in a book!

I’m British and I live in Slovakia. The first time I came here I was blown away by the beauty of the country, and the gentle pace of life. I stayed in my sister-in-laws country house which she bought a few years ago as a crumbling wreck. A tree grew out of a hole on one side the roof, and the garden had grown up and over the other. Only recently Google Earth updated its entry, showing the results of four years hard work.

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The house is now beautiful, and cosy, with a garden full of sweet smelling flowers. It’s part of a tiny Hamlet of five cottages tucked away in a crease in the fields. Over the road is a stream with a crumbling water mill. To one side wetlands glitter in the sunshine, and to the other, fields of sunflowers sway lazily in the breeze. And they’ve got a famous neighbour, the guitarist in one of the biggest rock bands in Slovakia.

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I’m not name dropping here, I just thought you may have heard of this place before. I used it as a location in one of my books, The Not So Secret Emails Of Coco Pinchard. Over the years, the fictional version has become confused by the events in the book. My husband Ján says that whenever he sees the garden, he thinks of the party which is thrown for Coco Pinchard’s birthday, of Coco having a drunken one night stand in the field by the mill… with the guitarist of a famous rock band.

My sister-in-law said they recently saw their neighbour, the famous guitarist, on who the character is based. He had poked his head over the wall to say how much he was enjoying the Slovak language edition of The Not So Secret Emails Of Coco Pinchard. 

This woman isn’t real, is she?” he asked nervously. “Did she come and stay with you?” They could see him, mentally running through the wild parties he’d thrown in the past.

She assured him it was a work of fiction.

Sadly, the house is about to be sold. So we’ve come here to stay one last time, and it’s going to be tough to say goodbye.

You have immortalised your sister-in-law’s home Robert 🙂

Keep those memories alive!

Coco3_Kindle_Cover copySince Coco Pinchard found first husband Daniel in bed with another woman, she hasn’t just picked up the pieces: she’s now a best-selling author married to her hunky soul-mate Adam. She feels stronger and wiser and surely the second time round she’ll have learnt from her mistakes?

But things aren’t going quite according to plan… Adam has lost his job, Coco’s grown-up son Rosencrantz seems to have derailed his life in spectacular fashion, and ex-mother-in-law Ethel keeps letting herself into the house thanks to an endless supply of spare keys. When literary agent Angie takes on Coco’s arch rival, the indomitable Regina Battenberg, it looks as though things can’t get any worse. And then Coco discovers she’s pregnant; at 44.

Can she really go through it all again? Sleepless nights, stretch marks on top of stretch marks, and poo as a normal topic of conversation?

The third and final book in Robert Bryndza’s bestselling series is a hilarious diary with Coco’s trademark wit and honesty, tracing the raging hormones and extraordinary twists that take her to motherhood for the second time.

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Coco Pinchard, the Consquences of Love and Sex is touring with Fiction Addiction Book Tours.

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Tour Date Tour Host
28th July Fandom Monthly Magazine
29th July Brook Cottage Books
30th July Deal Sharing Aunt
31st July Lost in Chick Lit
1st August M’s Bookshelf
4th August The Book Corner
5th August Books are my life
6th August Katie Oliver
7th August Inheritance Books with Rhoda Baxter
8th August This Chick Reads

 

Tour giveaway is 3 x signed copies of Coco Pinchard, The Consequences of Love and Sex  plus Coco Pinchard bookmarks.  You will be able to enter via tour host posts.

We hope you’ll join in and check out the fun posts as well as reviews.

Jera’s Jamboree : Guest author Julie Ryan ~ Sophia’s Secret

Julie Ryan visits JJ today to talk about her writing journey.

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Julie was born and brought up in a mining village near Barnsley in South Yorkshire. She graduated with a BA (hons) in French Language and Literature from Hull University. Since then she has lived and worked as a Teacher of English as a Foreign Language in France, Greece, Poland and Thailand. She now lives in rural Gloucestershire with her husband, son and a dippy cat with half a tail.  She is so passionate about books that her collection is now threatening to outgrow her house, much to her husband’s annoyance!

“Jenna’s Journey” is her début novel set in Greece, a country to which she has a strong attachment.

Twitter – @julieryan18

Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/julieryanauthor

Blog  www.allthingsbookie.com

Jenna’s Journey Amazon

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Welcome Julie!

My writing Journey

One of the first questions most people ask me is ‘ How did ‘Jenna’s Journey’, my first novel, come about?  The second question is  ‘ How long did it take to write?

The inspiration came from the time I spent in Greece as an English teacher in the 1980s. I fell in love with the country, the people, the culture and the beautiful landscape. I didn’t know then that it would be a love affair that would stay with me all my life. Somehow Greece seemed to suck me in and refused to let me go.

As a child I loved writing stories and fancied myself as a second Enid Blyton. Strangely enough, I didn’t write much as an adult, just a few short stories for my own amusement. It wasn’t until thirty years after my sojourn in Greece that a chance encounter with a fellow author led to me dusting off a short story and turning it into ‘Jenna’s journey.’ My lovely friend, Linn B Halton convinced me that I had a novel in me and her own determination served as my inspiration. As I looked out of the window on a cold snowy morning, I started to wonder what my life would have been like if I’d stayed in Greece. That was the starting point for the parallel stories that make up the first book in the Greek Island Mystery series.

I still find it hard to believe that from one short story has evolved a series of books all set on the same Greek Island yet featuring different characters. Of course, some of the characters from the first book get a mention later on as once I’d written it, they just wouldn’t leave me alone! It’s only a few months, back in September 2013, that I self-published ‘Jenna’s Journey’. At the time I thought I’d achieved my goal and could sit back. I hadn’t counted on the pull of writing though as I found I just couldn’t walk away. It took me about 18 months to write the first book although I like to say it had a gestation period of 30 years. It has been such a steep learning curve but I must have gained some knowledge in crafting the Art as the second book, ‘Sophia’s Secret’ only took about eight months. At this rate I’m counting on the third book only taking about six months!! So far it’s just a germ of an idea, provisionally called ‘Pandora’s Prophecy’ but anyone who knows me will be aware that it could change dramatically between now and publication. So far it’s looking very different from the predecessors although it’s still set in my beloved Greece.

All it can take is that one chance meeting 🙂

Thank you for sharing your inspiration Julie.

Sophia's secret

Kat has never understood why she was sent at the age of seven from Greece to live in England with her Aunt Tigi. When she receives an email from her grandmother, the first contact in over twenty years, informing her of her mother’s death, she knows this could be her last chance to find out the truth. Little by little she finds out the shocking facts as her grandmother opens her heart.  It seems everyone has a secret to tell, not only her grandmother, as Manoli, her school friend, also harbours a guilty secret. Then there’s a twenty year old mystery to solve as well as a murder and what happened to the missing Church treasure?

Sophia’s Secret is going on tour!

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Date Tour Host
14th July Books, Reviews, Etc
14th July Brook Cottage Books
15th July Georgina Troy
15th July A Novel Review
16th July Crooks on Books
17th July Chicklit Club Connect
18th July DizzyC’s Little Book Blog
18th July @jaustenrulesok
18th July M’s Bookshelf

Giveaway is UK Ecopy of Sophia’s Secret plus an Amazon Gift Card £5 and US ecopies of Jenna’s Journey and Sophie’s Secret.

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We hope you’ll enjoy the interview, guest post and reviews.

Jera’s Jamboree : Book News, Giveaway ~ The Chocolate Lovers’ Carole Matthews

I was feeling quite sad when I didn’t have the date free for Carole Matthews last tour organised by her publisher (A Place to Call Home) but Carole, being the generous person she is, offered to share news on JJ plus an amazing giveway!

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Take it away Carole …

The Chocolate Lovers’

Every now and then a story comes along that you just can’t let go of. That happened to me when I first started writing The Chocolate Lovers’ Club. I loved those woman, a group of four very different characters brought together by their love of chocolate.

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By the time I’d finished the first book, I just couldn’t let them go as I had so much more of their story to tell. My readers felt the same too and I wish I’d had a pound for every time I had an email or message to ask if I’d write another Chocolate Lovers’ book. They have been my bestselling books around the world. So, with the need for very little encouragement, I then went on to write The Chocolate Lovers’ Diet. As you can imagine the research was glorious! There wasn’t a chocolate emporium in London that I didn’t visit or a chocolate bar that didn’t go untested. Bliss.

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Then a few years passed and I changed publishers, time moved on, but my love of chocolate and The Chocolate Lovers’ ladies never waned. My readers never stopped asking me to write another book.

One morning last year I received a now familiar please in a tweet. ‘Carole, please write another Chocolate Lovers’ book!’

I forwarded to my editor and said, ‘It’s up to you.’

She came back with the immortal line, ‘I’m in!’

I had a little run round the office with joy.

So now I’m writing the third in the series of The Chocolate Lovers’ books and it’s sooooo nice to be back with these ladies. I know them so well that they instantly feel like old friends. And, of course, what’s not to love about doing chocolate-based research again!

It will be a while coming, as I’ve only just finished my first draft. But it’s safe to say, that the good ladies of The Chocolate Lovers’ Club are back!

Now where’s my bar of seventy percent Lindt…?

 How exciting!  😀  No pressure Carole …

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What do you think of Carole’s 2014 Christmas novel? I love the cover and am intrigued by those dangerous games …  The Christmas Party is already available to pre-order on Amazon.

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Carole’s latest book – her twenty-fifth novel – is The Christmas Party. Hardback and ebook from August and paperback in October.

Louise Young is a devoted single mother whose only priority is providing for her daughter, Mia. Louise has a good job in a huge international corporation and she’s grateful for it. The only problem is her boss who can’t keep his hands to himself, but Louise can handle him. What she really doesn’t have time for is romance – until she meets the company’s rising star, Josh Wallace.

Louise usually says no to evenings out but she’s decided to let her hair down tonight. It’s the office Christmas party, she has a pretty dress to wear and she’s looking forward to some champagne and fun. She’s completely unaware that others around her are too busy playing dangerous games to enjoy the party – until she’s pulled into those games herself . . .

For more information about Carole and her books go to http://www.carolematthews.com or chat to her on Twitter @CaroleMatthews or Facebook.

I would recommend that if you don’t already, sign up to Carole’s newsletter!

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To celebrate The Chocolate Lovers’ books returning, I’m excited to be able to offer one blog reader the chance of reading the first two books.  Carole has generously offered a signed copy of The Chocolate Lovers’ Club AND The Chocolate Lovers’ Diet.

Easy entry, leave a comment telling me the name of the cafe where Lucy, Autumn, Nadia and Chantal meet.

Giveaway is International and open until midnight BST 17th July 2014.  Winner will be selected randomly after this date using random.org

GOOD LUCK!

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congratulations

TANYA

 

Happy Reading 🙂

Jera’s Jamboree : Inspiration + Giveaway! KINGS AND QUEENS by Terry Tyler

JJ is delighted to be able to offer this giveaway to blog readers.

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All the passion and suspense of the Tudor court, but set in the present day

Big thanks to Sharon for featuring a giveaway for my latest book on her highly acclaimed blog ~ I realise that a free ebook is no big deal these days, but I don’t do paperbacks yet, I’m afraid!  (I disagree as I’m sure my blog readers will Terry, a free ebook is EXCITING and it is a big deal 🙂 )

KINGS AND QUEENS tells of the life and loves of charismatic Harry Lanchester and spans the years 1971 – 2007.  The story mirrors that of Henry VIII and his six wives ~ I got the idea whilst lounging in bed enjoying The Tudors on Netflix, one day about a year ago.  I’ve always been fascinated by the different personalities of the six wives, and have seen practically all the TV and film dramatisations of the story.  I loved the research ~ I read so many books about the period and watched all the documentaries I could find.

Harry’s realm is his property developing company, Lanchester Estates, while his ‘wives’ are the twentieth century sisters of their historic counterparts: Anne Boleyn is reincarnated as the gorgeous and highly strung Annette Hever (who does ‘lose her head, but not by the executioner’s sword!), and Henry VIII’s fifth wife with the risqué past, Catherine Howard, lives again in 1999 as Keira Howard, a former lap dancer.

The saga is narrated by each of the six women, in turn, interspersed with short chapters from the point of view of Harry’s lifelong friend, Will Brandon (aka the Duke of Suffolk!).

If you know nothing of this period in history, the book can be read just as a contemporary family drama.  Readers with an interest in the Tudors, though, have very much enjoyed picking up on similarities, references and metaphors. For any non-Tudor fanatics who would like a brief look at the life of Henry VIII before reading, there is a link in the front of the Kindle book to a mini-biography on my blog.

If you would like to read reviews by those who’ve already read the book, please click on the link for Amazon UK or Amazon.com

I’m looking forward to Kings and Queens reaching the top of my TBR! I’m intrigued by how Terry has brought those Tudors into the present day.

About the Author

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Terry Tyler has published seven novels and one collection of short stories on Amazon since she discovered Amazon Kindle nearly three years ago; Kings and Queens is her latest, and she is due to start the sequel to this very soon.  Out this month (cross fingers) is a novella called Round and Round, a light summer read about a fortieth birthday, a guardian angel, and parallel lives!  Terry has a blog on which she writes about all sorts of subjects, and another on the UK Arts Directory, which is based around indie publishing.  Both are widely read.

Blog

 Twitter @TerryTyler4

Author Facebook page

Goodreads

Amazon Author page

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Terry is generously offering two ecopies in the giveaway.

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Click on the Rafflecopter link below to enter.

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Good Luck!

shaz owl signature

congratulations

 

Blair S

Janet L

 

Happy Reading!

Jera’s Jamboree : Book Giveaway The Unfinished Symphony of You and Me by Lucy Robinson

I enjoyed Lucy Robinson’s debut, The Greatest Love Story of All Time … and her second novel, A Passionate Love Affair with a Total Stranger so I was excited to receive a limited edition proof from the Real Readers programme for her third novel, The Unfinished Symphony of You and Me.

I’ve also received a finished copy too! So I have decided to offer the finished copy to one of my lovely supportive blog readers.

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The Unfinished Symphony of You and Me by Lucy Robinson, author of A Passionate Love Affair with a Total Stranger, is a wonderfully witty and gorgeously romantic story of facing your fears and falling in love.

Sally is an incredible singer but she sings only in her wardrobe where nobody can hear her. She’d rather join a nudist colony than sing in public.

That is until she ventures to New York where a wild and heady summer of love and loss changes her forever. No longer able to hide in the shadows, Sally must return home to London to fulfill a promise she cannot break – to share her voice.

But just as she’s about to embark on her new life, a beautiful man turns up on Sally’s doorstep bearing a sheepish smile and a mysterious hand-written message.

How did he find her? Why is he here? Does he hold the truth to what happened back in New York? And, with him back on the scene, will she still have the courage to step into the spotlight?

Laugh out loud and follow your heart with Lucy Robinson’s The Unfinished Symphony of You and Me.

Read my review

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Easy entry!  Please make sure you are either following the blog, or on Twitter @shazjera or like JJ’s Facebook page  and in the comments below, tell me your answer:

Sally sings only in her wardrobe where nobody can hear her, I have a tendency to burst into song at random times (not saying I’m good though!).  Are you a closet singer or do you let it all out?

Giveaway is open to UK readers and will close midnight 4th July 2014.  Winner will be chosen randomly after this date using random.org.

Good Luck!

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congratulations

Emma M

Happy Reading!

Jera’s Jamboree : The Keepers: Declan – Rae Rivers Launch Tour + Giveaway!

JJ is delighted to be taking part in this launch tour organised by CandleLit Author Services.

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The Keepers: Declan, the book fans have been eagerly awaiting, is finally here! We’re celebrating the release of the second book in Rae Rivers’ paranormal romance series today with a launch tour and giveaway. Find out all the details and be sure to get your entries in to win a copy of Archer, the first book of The Keepers.

 

Declan CoverWhat they say:

‘“You lied to me, misled me, attacked me,” Declan murmured, dipping his head toward hers, “but what we had three months ago wasn’t fake, was it?”

Kate’s gaze faltered to his lips, heat pulsing between them. But she didn’t deny it.

Declan Bennett has zero tolerance for thieves. He and his brothers, the Keepers, are fiercely protective of their witch, Sienna, and their privacy.

So when Kate Carrigan breaks into their estate, he’ll be damned if he lets the little wildcat get away with it – especially after she seduced him three months ago, leaving him buck-naked in a New Orleans hotel. Declan wants payback – and some answers.

Before she was murdered, Kate’s mother ingrained it in her not to trust anyone. Kate’s magical powers make her a pawn in the war between good and evil, a war she’s always avoided. Declan is everything she’s been taught to fear, even if she can’t forget the memory of his touch that one night…

Trouble is brewing as the powers of evil regroup – bolder and hungrier than ever – and Kate is forced to choose a side.

Hot romance, epic battles and action abound in Book 2 of The Keepers.’

Click Here To Buy The Book – UK

Click Here To Buy The Book – US

 

Author PhotAuthor Bio:

I’m an avid reader and writer with a passion for writing romance novels. I live in Cape Town, South Africa, with my gorgeous husband, two beautiful children and a zoo of house pets.

Besides writing, I love family time, the outdoors, travelling, watching TV series, reading and

chocolate. For more information about my books, or me, please visit www.raerivers.com. I can also be found here:

Wattpad | Facebook | Goodreads| Pinterest | Twitter |

Newsletter Sign-up

 

If you haven’t already had the pleasure of reading one of The Keepers’ stories, you can find information on Archer, the first book, HERE and why not download the FREE prequel to the series, The Keepers: Sienna HERE.

Otherwise, enter via the Rafflecopter below for the chance to win one of two copies of Archer*

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Series covers

Terms and Conditions

*Giveaway copies of The Keepers: Archer will be gifted to the winners via Amazon. Rae Rivers and Candle Lit Author Services reserve the right to amend or cancel the giveaway at any time without prior notice to entrants.

Jera’s Jamboree : Author Interview + Giveaway ~ Phoebe Fox

JJ is delighted to be welcoming Phoebe Fox on publication day!

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Phoebe Fox has been a contributor and regular columnist for a number of national, regional, and local publications; a movie, theater, and book reviewer; a screenwriter; and has even been known to help with homework revisions for nieces and nephews. She lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband and two excellent dogs.

www.phoebefoxauthor.com

www.Facebook.com/phoebefoxauthor

@phoebefoxauthor

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Hi Phoebe,

Happy Publication day!

Please summarise your debut, The Breakup Doctor, in 20 words or less.

Former therapist finds successful new career coaching people through breakups, but breaks all her own rules when she gets dumped.

Did you do any research for your book?  What resources did you use? 

It was funny—as soon as anyone found out the premise of my book, they would immediately begin telling me the most outrageous, awful, hilarious, sad breakup stories. And I mean not just friends, but people I would randomly meet. Some of these may have found their way into the book, in some form… 🙂

The central development for Brook—the way her boyfriend dumps her by pretty much vanishing—was inspired by something that happened when my now-husband and I were first dating. We had been talking or e-mailing almost every day since we met, but a month or so later he went to a yoga retreat type of thing—not a silent-meditation retreat, but more like a wellness resort. And after all this intense conversation and interaction, he fell off the grid for days. It was early enough in that I was pretty sure he was there with someone else, and I was kind of poleaxed by it, because we had been connecting so well (and so much!) that I wondered how I could have misread things so badly. I call this the Great Disappearance, though my husband still thinks I was a little mental about it. Which argument I probably cannot counter…even retelling this story here, I’m blushing a little at how insecure it sounds to me now. But this is yet another piece of the genesis of the book—even the most logical and sane of us can get a little crazy in a relationship, especially if our feelings are deeply engaged.

I still have friends tell me so often about bad breakups they are going through, or even ones that friends of theirs went through, and I’m constantly reminded how universal some of these things are: the devastation of rejection, the pain of loneliness, the fear of inadequacy. These are such common, human vulnerabilities, and they get tapped so keenly in relationships, and especially their endings. And yet there are seemingly endless permutations of them in our individual relationship travails. It’s like Brook says in the first book, Paul Simon had it wrong—there are so many more than fifty ways to leave your lover. Heartbreak has so many faces, but it’s often through that pain that we learn and grow the most.

If you could choose to be one of your characters in your book/books which would you be? and why?

Sasha, without question. She’s Brook’s—my therapist—best friend since childhood, and where Brook is ego or superego, Sasha is all id. She has this Zen-like understanding that being human means not being perfect, and she’s just so comfortable with that, even when she’s a total wreck. She’s nothing at all like me. She just vomits up whatever’s on her mind, follows her impulses, and when it all falls apart around her, she just kind of shrugs and starts over, no judgments. She’s like a really good-natured but slightly out-of-control dog. I don’t even know where she came from as I was writing her, but I love her.

Are you a panster or a plotter?

Oh, total pantser. I wish I could tell you different, because pantsing results in great swaths of deleted material as I find my way through the story, but for some reason I have to do it that way. If I outline everything in advance, then I know the story and I don’t need to “tell it to myself,” as I like to think of my drafting process. I do have the general idea in mind of what happens, and to whom—the broad strokes of plot and character. But the little discoveries I make as a pantser as I write—my “happy accidents”—have been some of my favorite plot and character elements. I’m always afraid that won’t happen if I plan out too much.

But as I said, I don’t know if I recommend this method. I have probably three or four novels’ worth of discard files, if they were worth doing anything with….

If your book is part of a series, what is in the future?

I’m currently at work on the second—right now the series is slated for three, but who knows? I love these characters and could see exploring beyond three. Sasha features prominently in this next one, and we have the return of Chip Santana, Brooks’ bad-boy former patient with whom she gets into a bit of trouble in the first book. He might throw a bit of a wrench into Brook’s new relationship, which has been going quite well. 🙂

Which authors have influenced your writing?

At the risk of sounding pandering, all of them that I’ve read influence me in one way or another. But Lolly Winston was a revelation to me with her debut Good Grief. I loved that she examined one of the worst heartbreaks—losing your true love to death—and yet did it with not just a really honest, touching story, but great humor. I think that for many of us, finding humor in even the darkest moments is what keeps us sane, and it’s certainly what keeps me getting back up on my feet. I hope I’m able to do that too—Breakup Doctor is really a comedy, but it deals with heartbreak and sadness I think (I hope!) in a real way, one that embraces all the humor inherent in most our crazy human dealings together in love.

And of course, I have to shout out to Liz Tuccillo and Greg Behrendt, coauthors of He’s Just Not That Into You. Not only did that book heavily influence and inspire The Breakup Doctor, but it’s the reason I’m happily married today. Once you realize what a relationship is supposed to look like, you can’t possibly keep accepting so much less. So thanks, Liz and Greg.

Have you joined any writing groups? 

I have a critique group that is almost wholly to credit if there’s anything of value in my writing. I’ve worked with these same writers for maybe five years now, and have seen how much better they have made me. Having a positive, supportive, constructive group of insightful writers who help you be objective in your work (and call you on your BS) is just about the most valuable thing I can think of for a writer. Not to mention that they are the support network who celebrates with you, commiserates with you, and keeps you from chucking your career and all your writing files in those times when you are certain that you suck and will never not suck.

What has been the best part of your writing journey so far?

There is nothing on earth like the feeling of someone reading your work and saying, “I really got something out of this.” I gave early drafts to a couple of friends going through bad breakups, and they said it made them feel so much better, and let them laugh and see the light at the end of the tunnel. That just lit me up inside.

What has been the worst part of your writing journey so far?

Oh, like every writer, I suppose it’s the frustration of feeling so good about it some days, like it comes so easily and is such a joy, and then, for no apparent reason, suddenly the next day each word is like pulling your own wisdom teeth. I wish I understood this awful phenomenon.

What tips do you have for other aspiring writers?

One of the best pieces of advice I ever received was from author Sarah Bird. She said that the only thing that separated her from all the unpublished writers she knew was persistence. I remember thinking, “Okay, I can do persistence.” I remind myself of that anytime my spirits flag—on days when the writing is hard, or I see a negative review, or I feel pretty certain that somehow as I slept any talent I may have had leaked away… 🙂 And I always repeat it to other writers—persistence, that’s all.

Thank you, Shaz, for hosting me on Jera’s Jamboree! It’s a pleasure to be part of your blog.

There’s nothing like being in love to make you into that crazed person who is prone to losing their sanity …

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Publisher Henery Press

Out-of-work therapist Brook Ogden has found her calling as the Breakup Doctor: giving her always-on-the-ball relationship advice to help clients shape up after a break up. But when her own boyfriend dumps her—by text message—she finds herself spectacularly breaking every one of her own rules. As her increasingly out-of-control behavior lands her at rock-bottom, Brook realizes you can’t always handle a messy breakup neatly—and that sometimes you can’t pull yourself together until you let yourself fall apart.

 

  |  Amazon US  |  Goodreads  |

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To celebrate publication day, Phoebe is giving away an ecopy of The Breakup Doctor.

Easy entry via the Rafflecopter link below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!

shaz owl signature

congratulations

 

Lisa B

Happy Reading 🙂