Jera’s Jamboree : Locks Blog Tour ~ Rapunzel Unhinged ~ Author Interview

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JJ is delighted to welcome Sarah J Pepper to the blog today, hosted by Neverland Blog Tours.

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I specialize in dark, paranormal romance – think “happy ever after” but with a twisted, dark chocolate center. Real-life romance isn’t only filled with hugs, kisses, unicorns, and rainbows. True-love can be more thoroughly described in times of darkness and tribulation. It’s in those harsh moments where you see what a person is truly capable of – both the good and bad. Sometimes prince-charming isn’t always on time, and the glass slipper is a little snug. However, it doesn’t mean Charming is not Mr. Right, and who says every shoe is the perfect fit?

www.twitter.com/sarahjpepper

www.sarahjpepper.com

www.facebook.com/sarahjpepper.author

www.goodreads.com/author/show/5762464.Sarah_J_Pepper?from_search=true

www.goodreads.com/book/show/21527375-locks

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/locks-sarah-j-pepper/1119628809?ean=2940045968096

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Hi Sarah,

Welcome!

Please summarise Rapunzel Unhinged in 20 words or less.

 Rapunzel went badass and got overhauled with a wicked hair dye job. Her white knight is anything but charming and is gun-crazy. Love be damned if these two actually find their “Happily Ever After.”

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

With fairytales I try to follow the original story as much as possible. Now, my characters tend to hijack the story in places so it’s a general overview. Internet is my friend, and since everything online is true, I’m positive my stories are spot on 😉

Who designs your book covers?

Josh Wilocoxon is my photographer, and if you have a chance to check out his work, I’d got for it. His fine arts selection is mind-blowing.

How do your characters come into existence?  Do they have a bio?

I create new characters when there is a need of a “plot twist.” And since my plots are twisty, I tend to have several secondary characters. However, here are my bio’s for Rapunzel and Flynn

Rapunzel’s Bio:

Name: Rapunzel

Alias: Zel, a Theurgist, Master of Remedy

Career: Socialite

Physical Characteristics: Signature hair and Brand Mark on skull

Significant Attributes: Dauntless

Affiliations: Iconoclast Rebels

Voted most likely to: Suffer a “tragic” accident

promo photo

Flynn’s Bio:

Name: Flynn

Alias: The Mercenary

Career: Hit man

Physical Characteristics: Tattooed-covered-body (yes, everywhere ladies)

Significant Attributes: Schemer

Affiliations: Unknown

Voted most likely to: Kill you

 

Are you a panster or a plotter?

plotter–lol, yeah right. Anytime I try to follow and outline my characters scoff at me and plot their own ending.

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

Locks is part of a fairytale collection, but not a series.

What is your WIP?

lol, which one. I have to finish the Fate Trilogy, and Tinkerbell is having a love affair with Captain Hook in another story of mine. I’m also working on this novella series about soul hunters and I keep picturing this Snow White diddy in my imagination…. so yeah, I guess I have a few WIP.

Which authors have influenced your writing?

Confession: Twilight.

What are you reading now? Opinion?

Just finished The Immortal Circus (Great Faerie novel) and Cress (YA fairy tale) Both were GREAT!!!

Being a writer can be lonely.  Do you have a support network?

I have too many characters in my head bugging at me, I’m rarely lonely. I also make it a point to keep an active lifestyle outside my “book work.” It can easily overtake your life, so I make sure I have a healthy balance….. one year I have 5 books come out. Yes, I was a wee bit stressed.

Who is your targetted audience?  Have you written for other genres or plan to in the future?

This novel is New Adult, but I write YA and Adult as well.

What tips do you have for other aspiring writers?

 Metaphorically bubble-wrap yourself. you are going to get bad reviews, hate mail, negativity, etc…. be prepared!!

 Wishing you success with all your writing projects Sarah!

finalcoverGunned down by the hottest killer in the history of the Badass Archives wasn’t exactly Rapunzel’s end-game. But when her reputable extraction skills fail, she uses unorthodox methods to gain her freedom from the Mercenary, whose icy blue eyes have serious panty-dropping capabilities. Even though most girls wouldn’t fall for their would-be assassin, Rapunzel isn’t like most dames. Her major girl-boner for the Mercenary is so pathetically intense it verges on cliché.

Regardless, Rapunzel’s hands are tied. Love chooses its victims, not the other way around. She isn’t the stereotypical Damsel in Distress. Her Bad-Boy Prince Charming is a renowned mercenary, and her “Happy Ending” plays out like a bad movie. However, she is determined to find her freedom—love be damned—and she’ll do it in a fabulous pair of heels.

Follow the tour!

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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.

Consequences Tour Banner

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 : Review Someone Else’s Wedding by Tamar Cohen

Someone elses weddingPaperback: 368 pages

Publisher: Black Swan (22 May 2014)

ISBN-10: 0552779326

ISBN-13: 978-0552779326

Format: Kindle Edition

ASIN: B00CJEG0J0

 

Mr & Mrs Max Irving request the company of:

Mrs Fran Friedman, mourning her empty nest, the galloping years and a disastrous haircut.

Mr Saul Friedman, runner of marathons, and increasingly distant husband.

The two Misses Friedman, Pip and Katy, one pining over the man she can’t have, the other trying to shake off the man she no longer wants.

At the marriage of their son James, forbidden object of troubling desire. For thirty-six hours of secrets and lies, painted-on-smiles and potential ruin. And drinks, plenty of drinks.

There’s nothing like a wedding for stirring up the past. As Fran negotiates her way from Saturday morning to Sunday evening she is forced to confront things she’s long thought buried, and to make decisions about the future that will have far-reaching consequences for them all.

Amazon Paperback  |  Amazon Kindle  |  Goodreads  |

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From the moment that Fran wakes alone in the hotel room to that final page, we’re taken through those hours, from 8am Saturday to 7pm Sunday with the undertow of emotions colouring interactions.

With Saul and Fran appearing to be opposites, I wondered what had first attracted them to each other.  Saul is pedantic and routine led whereas Fran seems to just flow.  When we understand Fran more from her experiences as a child and then teen, it’s obvious the pull Saul had for her.

There is one thing that obsesses Fran and the real reason why is cleverly concealed from the reader.  The emotions between two of the characters felt illicit and not quite right – this made me feel uneasy as I couldn’t work out what the undertow was about.  I love it when I can’t work it out!  When we find out it makes perfect sense to have tangled emotions…

The backstory is shared by Fran reflecting at key points in the story and one specific scene was heart breaking.  I cried so much I had to put my Kindle down …

I always think that a 1st person narrative works really well for intimacy and looking below the surface.  Fran is a master at observations, reading body language and connotations.  I always enjoy a story that exposes underlying thoughts and lays those emotions bare.  I found it really easy to identify with Fran and so thought she was a fabulous main character.

Here’s an example of Fran’s observation:

“She’s gone back to the bright, social voice I remember from yesterday’s reception, painting it on top of her real voice like varnish.”

I love Tamar Cohen’s writing style too 🙂

Fran, husband Saul and daughters Pip and Katy circle around each other with their secrets and hurts set amongst the backdrop of a British wedding (uncomfortable clothes and shoes, over-drinking, overeating and over-reacting).

Someone Else’s Wedding is an interesting and intriguing story, with past events coming to light and past emotions laid bare for healing to take place.

3 owl rating

I would like to thank the publishers for approving my request to review via Netgalley.

Twitter @MsTamarCohen

Facebook Author Page

Jera’s Jamboree : Pre-launch #TheBookOfLife Glamour party

Finally, after receiving the awesome invite to the pre-launch in May

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4th July arrived (hot and muggy!)

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It was great to mingle with other bloggers and authors before the event began.

 

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Liz, Louise, Kelly and Amanda

Claire Baldwin from Headline introduced Deborah Harkness

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Some of  Deborah’s characters are real which prompted this question 🙂 

 

and a chance for a Q & A for the audience:

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It was amazing to meet Deborah Harkness. She is a genuine person with a great sense of humour.  

 

Our Glamour goody bags were awesome too!

 

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1st edition signed copy!

1st edition signed copy!

 

 

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Fabulous! Stay up all night reading kit 🙂

 

 

Wine charm

Wine charm

 

Thanks to Glamour, Caitlin and Headline for the opportunity to attend such a well-organised and fun pre-launch party.

The Book of Life is available to purchase from 15th July.

 

Jera’s Jamboree : Author Interview with Michelle Read ~ Long Lost

JJ is welcoming local author Michelle Read to the blog today.  

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Michelle grew up in a small town in South Wales but moved to Dorset in her early teens, and is where she has lived for the past 22 years. In her spare time she enjoys visiting stately homes, castles, museums, archaeology sites, food festivals, reading copious amounts of books, and chatting on Facebook and Twitter. She works as a full time administrator but still manages to fit researching and writing novels around her busy day.

To find out more about Michelle and The Centuries of Love Trilogy please go to:

 Amazon

 UK £1.99  http://amzn.to/U5iMay

USA $3.36  http://amzn.to/1oBsmj4
EUROPE E2.68  http://amzn.to/1lBpwqA
CANADA $3.25  http://amzn.to/1lykh6M
AUSTRALIA $3.99  http://bit.ly/1lykqHi

Facebook

Twitter @chelle52

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Hi Michelle, welcome to JJ!

What was the idea/inspiration for Long Lost?

I was researching my family tree when the idea of time travel to the nineteenth century came to me. Reading and finding out about my ancestors really inspired me. I also became interested in everything to do with Jane Austen and fell in love with her world. I also love Pride and Prejudice and wanted to write my own love story based on that concept.

If you could choose to be one of your characters in your novel, which would you be? and why?

I would love to be my main character, Emily, because I’d love to go back in time. I love British history so I’d love to be able to witness it all first hand. I’d also love to meet a real gentleman as they seem few and far between these days!

Did you do any research for Long Lost?  What resources did you use? 

I love history anyway so doing research for my book was no chore. I visited many stately homes and museums. As I live in Dorset, on the border of Hampshire, I’m surrounded by nature and the countryside, so I often wander through the countryside to immerse myself in nineteenth century England. I also visited Jane Austen’s house and tomb for inspiration. I bought so many books on the nineteenth century and did lots of online research.

What inspired you to write?

My first book, Long Lost, was the first thing I wrote, other than silly plays when I was a child. I first started writing to banish feelings of melancholy but I soon caught the writing bug which developed into something more than a hobby. It became my passion, my reason for being.

Are you a panster or a plotter?

I usually have a vague idea of the plot but the story usually develops as I’m going along. Sometimes what I had planned for the story in the beginning will turn out very differently by the end. I don’t write in sequence either, I prefer to wait for the story to come to me, no matter what order that is. Sometimes it could be the middle and end that gets written first and beginning can be the last.

Long Lost is part of a trilogy.  What is in the future?

Long Lost is the first part of The Centuries of Love Trilogy. I am currently editing part two, which is called Long Last, while part three, Long Love, has been written and waiting patiently for its edit. I explore more of the nineteenth century whilst adding more characters and twists to the story.

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

I love losing myself in a fantasy, forgetting all my troubles and immersing myself in a make believe world with the possibilities of them coming true.

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

Imposing self-inflicted deadlines is what I hate the most. But if I don’t set them then my book will never get anywhere. I prefer to go with the flow and not be rushed as I’m quite a laid back person, but eventually there comes a time when I really need to knuckle down.

Which authors have influenced your writing?

I’m not sure if my writing is influenced by any one person as I have so many favourite authors, though I doubt my writing style is anything like theirs. Marian Keyes, Freya North, Lisa Jewell and Jane Green have always been my staple book diet over the years.

Finally Michelle, what tips do you have for other aspiring writers?

Enjoy the process. Don’t get too bogged down with rules, grammar etc, it will all come together at the end as you learn your way through writing your novel. Listen to your heart and not other peoples’ opinions; you know what’s best for you and your writing.

Thank you for being my guest today 🙂

Wishing you success with all your writing projects Michelle.

Long Lost E-Book CoverSometimes the past can be your future

Emily Case is a lonely woman. No family, few friends, job she hates and is single. Life is one long struggle for her.

Then one morning she wakes up two hundred years in the past and her whole world is turned upside down, as she is faced with a new era she knows nothing about. However, she soon finds that she likes her new lifestyle, and the people in it.

On meeting William Chester, owner of The Westfield estate, she quickly falls for him, until she is threatened by a rival for his affections.

But when she realises this life is all she’s ever wanted she is torn away from it and back to her life two hundred years into the future.

Not willing to accept that the twenty-first-century is where her destiny lies she endeavours to seek out the truth of the life she led in the nineteenth-century.

What will she discover on her journey? Was it reality or all just a dream?

|  Amazon Kindle  |  Goodreads  |

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!

Sophias Secret Tour Banner

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.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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.

The Chocolate Lovers' Club - new cover

 

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.

The Chocolate Lovers' Diet - New Cover

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 : Author Interview with Joanne Phillips ~ Cupid’s Way

JJ is delighted to be welcoming Joanne Phillips today.

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Joanne Phillips lives in rural Shropshire with her husband and young daughter. She’s the author of romantic comedies Can’t Live Without and The Family Trap, and the Flora Lively series of contemporary mysteries. Can’t Live Without was an Amazon top 20 bestseller in 2012 and her books regularly appear on category bestseller lists. Before becoming a writer, Joanne had jobs as diverse as hairdresser, air hostess and librarian, but now divides her time between writing and finding creative ways to avoid housework. She’s a fan of super-dark chocolate, iced coffee and Masterchef. Visit http://www.joannephillips.co.uk to say hello.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/joannephillipsauthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/joannegphillips

Amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Joanne-Phillips/e/B0083UEG86/

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2862086.Joanne_Phillips

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Hi Joanna,

Welcome!

What was the idea/inspiration for your novel?

Cupid’s Way is the name of a Victorian terrace which is up for demolition to make room for a new development. The inspiration came from a street in Milton Keynes which had been saved from the Development Corporation 20+ years ago and turned into a co-operative.  The street was as colourful as you could get, with cute window boxes and brightly painted front doors, and housed a real mix of characters. Cupid’s Way – and its heroine, Evie Stone – arrived in my head and off I went!

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

I had to do quite a lot of research for Cupid’s Way – more than I usually have to. I needed to research planning laws and permissions, and also the location – Bristol – in detail. I didn’t actually go to Bristol at all during my writing process, which probably sounds terrible! But Google Street View is so helpful, and I have lots of friends who know the area really well. As I said above, I had a strong inspiration for the street itself, so my field trip took me to Spencer Street in Milton Keynes to take photos of the original. There’s also a Roman angle to one part of Cupid’s Way, and for this research I used the Bristol City Council’s archive website.

Do you have a most creative time of day?

My most creative time is generally whenever I get a good chunk of time to work. It can take a while to get into a piece of writing, so I don’t do so well with little snippets of time. That said, during the summer holidays when my daughter is at home, I have to take my opportunities wherever I can!

Do you have a theme for your book covers?  Who designs them?

Cupid’s Way is quite different than my previous romantic comedy covers, which were photo-based, whereas this is a lot lighter and brighter. All my covers are designed by Chris Howard, who is brilliant to work with. I think Cupid’s Way and The Family Trap are my favourite covers to date. (I love the cover of Cupid’s Way – it is really uplifting!).

I really have to love a cover to get behind the book – I feel so sorry for some traditionally published authors who have covers foisted upon them that they really don’t like.

Are you a panster or a plotter?

I am a plotter through and through! I tend to write the first three chapters off the cuff, and often re-write them over and over from different perspectives or in, say, present or past tense, until I find which style works for the topic and characters. Then I stop and begin to make a plan. I plan out every scene in detail, and often this plan will be a quarter of the length of the finished novel! But from this I can then be free to write creatively without worrying about plot. Of course, if something isn’t working I just go back to the plan and redo it.

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

You know, until this week I had not intended Cupid’s Way to be in any way a series, but then I started thinking: Wouldn’t it be cool to go back to the street and find out more about the other characters? So, right now I’m thinking that Cupid’s Way and its residents will be back in future books, either in full-length novel form or in short stories and novellas.

What is your WIP?

My current WIP is another romantic comedy called You Are Here, due for release in the autumn (or possibly Christmas). It’s about a woman who suddenly decides to leave her husband and go in search of her teenage love. It’s a bit darker than Cupid’s Way, but still a lot of fun.

Being a writer can be lonely.  Do you have a support network?

I’m a member of the Alliance of Independent Authors, and I find their network of support really helpful. It was great to meet up with them at London Book Fair this year, and the Facebook forum is a great source of advice and support. I’m also studying for a Masters in Creative Writing at the moment, and my group of fellow students have been great to work with.  I meet up with a couple of author friends regularly, and I do think meeting up in the ‘real world’ is important even when these friendships originated online.

Have you done any creative writing/writing courses that you would recommend to others?

As I said above, I’m doing a Masters at Manchester Metropolitan University. It’s a really good course, gaining a deserved reputation as one of the most successful of its type. I’ve also studied with the Open University, and attended many one-off writing courses such as Miranda Dickinson’s Write Foxy! one day workshop earlier this year. I would recommend studying the craft if you want to continue to grow as a writer, but that study can take many forms. If done properly, reading other books is one of the best forms of study!

Thank you for sharing with us today Jo.

Wishing success with all your writing projects.

Cupids Way cover smallWhen Evie Stone’s grandparents enlist her help to save their home in Cupid’s Way, Evie is happy to oblige. On the cusp of her thirties, and still disappointingly single, Evie’s so-called dream job with a firm of architects has been driving her crazy for months. What she needs, even more than a new man, is a challenge.

But saving Cupid’s Way won’t be easy. A perfectly preserved Victorian terrace, surrounded by modern estates and retail parks, the street is a proud oasis of quirky characters, cobbled pathways and communal gardens. Unfortunately, it also sits on prime development land worth millions.

Dynamite Construction have the deal in the bag, and soon the residents of Cupid’s Way will be forced to sell up and ship out – CEO Michael Andrews, charismatic and super-successful, has certainly never let sentimentality get in the way of business. At least, he hadn’t until he met Evie Stone.

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Jera’s Jamboree review : Learning to Love by Sheryl Browne

Learning to LoveFormat: Kindle Edition

File Size: 606 KB

Print Length: 296 pages

Publisher: Safkhet Soul (18 July 2013)

ASIN: B00E1LPEVO

 

Widower, Dr David Adams, has recently moved to the village – where no one knows him, ergo there’s no fuel for neighbourhood gossip – to start afresh with his ten year old son, if only he can get to a place where his son wants to speak to him. Angry and withdrawn, Jake blames his dad for the death of his mother, and David doesn’t know how to reach him.

Andrea Kelly has too many balls in the air. With three children and a “nuts” mother to care for, her fiancé can’t fathom why she wants to throw something else into the mix and change her career. Surely she already has too much on her plate? Because her plates are skew-whiff and her balls are dropping off all over the place, Andrea points out. She needs to make changes. Still her fiancé, who has a hidden agenda, is dead-set against it.

When Andrea’s house burns mysteriously to the ground and Andrea and her entourage are forced to move in with the enigmatic Dr Adams, however, the village drums soon start beating, fuel aplenty when it turns out someone does know him – the woman carrying his baby.

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We’re introduced to David and son Jake on their first night together.  Their relationship needs re-building and he realises he doesn’t know his son at all.  This is a fresh start for them.

Andrea lives opposite and we’re introduced to her chaotic family life as she is arguing with fiancée Jonathan.  They arrange to meet that night but Andrea is left waiting as he doesn’t arrive.  Approaching home she realises it’s her house on fire and is gripped with utter terror and panic.  This is so vivid I felt the despair and could almost smell the smoke!  With no sign of Jonathan, David steps up and offers his home as a sanctuary.

I love it when a character changes from that first impression.  It didn’t take me too long to start to change my mind about Jonathan … Sheryl Browne plants that seed of doubt.  The more I got to know Jonathan, the more I was sure about my suspicions.

The teenagers were brilliantly portrayed with their angst and their slang language.  It was great to see the positive effect the families had on each other after David took Andrea and her brood in. I particularly loved how Ryan affected Jake and how that impacted on his relationship with his dad.

The confrontation itself was very tense (it’s not a romantic confrontation).  I wasn’t sure which way things were going to go.  I loved that I wasn’t sure of the outcome!  As my heart was pounding I was thinking … would there be a death?  Would there be more hearbreak?

Grief and the emptiness of loss is explored sensitively and with realism both for GP David and his son Jake but also with Andrea’s friend Sally.  I really felt their emotions and could understand why they chose the actions they did.

The romance also brought a conflict of emotions. The children’s well-being was put first and I loved these characters for doing this.

Learning to Love is fast paced and engaging.  Not only does the romance sizzle but we see family life in all its shades of grey sprinkled with humour and sadness … and there is an element of suspense and fear.  What a combination!

3 owl rating

I would like to thank the author for providing an ecopy in exchange for an honest review.

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Twitter @SherylBrowne

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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.

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 Twitter @TerryTyler4

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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!

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congratulations

 

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Happy Reading!