#BlogTour #RachelsRandomResources @rararesources / #PromoPost : Fateful Coincidence – Lasairiona E. McMaster @QueenofFireLas

– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –

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Today I’m on the ‘Fateful Coincidence’ blogtour, organised by Rachel’s Random Resources.
To promote this book I have a some ‘basic’ information for you.

About the Author :

Ml6OPnBALasairiona McMaster grew up dreaming of an exciting life abroad, and, after graduating from Queens University, Belfast, that is exactly what she did – with her then-boyfriend, now husband of almost ten years. Having recently repatriated to Northern Ireland after a decade abroad spanned over two countries (seven and a half years in America and eighteen months in India), she now finds herself ‘home’, with itchy feet and dreams of her next expatriation. With a penchant for both travelling, and writing, she started a blog during her first relocation to Houston, Texas and, since repatriating to Northern Ireland, has decided to do as everyone has been telling her to do for years, and finally pen a book (or two) and get published while she tries to adjust to the people and place she left ten years ago, where nothing looks the same as it did when she left.

Social Media Links :
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram
Website

Synopsis :

NeulckdAFive thousand miles from her ex, Lisa is living with her decision to call it quits and leave both AJ and Alabama behind. She believes she’s finally ready to put her broken heart back together and move forward with her life as a single woman. But when she meets a seemingly too-good-to-be-true doctor, she feels both unsure of herself and guilty for moving on so quickly from her engagement to AJ. Lisa finds herself at a cross roads, does she give up all hope of ever reconciling with AJ and take a chance on love again with someone new? Or is her heart destined to be forever entwined with the married man she met on the internet?

Purchase Links

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

 

#BlogTour #RachelsRandomResources @rararesources / #QandAs : Fresh Eggs and Dog Beds – Nick Albert @Nickalbertautho

– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –

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Today I’m on the ‘Fresh Eggs and Dog Beds’ blogtour, organised by Rachel’s Random Resources.
To promote this book I have a Q&As post, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

wYZbIRKANick Albert was born in England and raised in a Royal Air Force family. After leaving College he worked in retail management for several years before moving into financial services where he quickly progressed through the ranks to become a training consultant. As a very passionate and reasonably talented sportsman, Nick had always wanted to use his training skills towards creating a parallel career, so in the mid 1980’s he qualified and began coaching sport professionally. After a health scare in 2003 and in search of a simpler life, he and his wife Lesley, cashed in their investments, sold their home and bought a rundown farmhouse in the rural west of Ireland – a country they had never before even visited. With little money or experience and armed only with a do-it-yourself manual, they set about renovating their new home, where they now live happily alongside a flock of chickens, two ducks and several unruly, but delightful dogs.
In 2017 Nick was signed to Ant Press to write a series of humorous memoirs about his life in rural Ireland. Fresh Eggs and Dog Beds (book one) was published in September 2017 and soon became an Amazon bestseller. Book two in the series was published on 1st June 2018 and book 3 in August 2019. Book four is due out in early 2020.
Nick is also the author of the twisty thriller, Wrecking Crew, the first in a series of books featuring reluctant hero Eric Stone.

Social Media Links:
Amazon
Facebook
Facebook Page
Website
Instagram
Twitter
Website 2
GoodReads
Blogspot
YouTube

Synopsis :

CNa8HzwgNick and Lesley Albert yearn to leave the noise, stress and pollution of modern Britain and move to the countryside, where the living is good, the air sweet, with space for their dogs to run free. Suddenly out of work and soon to be homeless, they set off in search of a new life in Ireland, a country they had never visited. As their adventure began to unfold, not everything went according to plan. If finding their dream house was difficult, buying it seemed almost impossible. How would they cope with banks that didn’t want customers, builders who didn’t need work, or the complex issue of where to buy some chickens?

Purchase Links:
UK
Kindle
Paperback
Audible
USA
Kindle
Paperback
Audible

Q&A :

Hi

First of all thank you very much for taking the time to answer my questions, I really appreciate it. Here we go! 🙂
You’re most welcome.

Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell us something about yourself and how you became an author?
The story of how I became an author, is very much linked to how we came to be living in a run-down farmhouse in rural Ireland.
Back in 2004, my wife and I lived near Colchester in England. We were ‘empty-nesters’, our grown-up daughter had her own home and a great job, so Lesley and I only had to care for our two dogs and each other. Although our life was outwardly wonderful – I had a successful career, a lovely home, a desirable car and so on – my wife and I couldn’t get away from the feeling it was all just window dressing, a meaningless sham. Then, within a few short months, I experienced several upsetting events. My father passed away, a close friend was killed in a car crash, another friend was diagnosed with brain cancer and several thousand of my workmates were made redundant. When I had my own health scare, I found my perspective had altered irrevocably. That change in perspective jump-started a sequence of decisions culminating in my wife and I beginning a new life here in rural Ireland.
In search of a simpler way of living, we cashed in our investments, sold our home and bought a rundown farmhouse in the rural west of Ireland – a country we had never before even visited. With little money or experience and armed only with a do-it-yourself manual, we set about renovating our new home, where we now live happily alongside a flock of chickens, two ducks and several unruly but delightful rescue dogs.
Did I decide to put pen to paper just because of what happened? No. I’ve always been a writer. My first book, “The Adventures of Sticky, The Stick Insect,” was completed when I was eight. At just five pages long and sprinkled with spelling errors, it was not a big hit with the critics! Undaunted, over the next 53 years I have continued to write, gradually developing my skills, but not my spelling! What moving to Ireland gave me was the time I needed to write. Since then I’ve written hundreds of articles for the newspaper, a book on sports instruction and a twisty thriller called ‘Wrecking Crew’. In 2017 I signed to Ant Press to write a series of humorous memoirs about my life here in rural Ireland. Fresh Eggs and Dog Beds (book one) was published in September 2017 and soon became an Amazon bestseller. Book two in the series was published on 1st June 2018 and book 3 in August 2019.

Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
I have always been a veracious reader, it’s an absolute must for any aspiring author. As a child, I was introduced to the wonderful world of books by my sister, when she gave me her well-thumbed copy of Winnie-the-Pooh. A short while later, I discovered The Story of Doctor Doolittle, by Hugh Lofting. I believe I read all 13 books in the series in a month. Introducing a child to the joys of reading is the greatest gift anyone can ever give.
When I was a student living in Norwich, England, my first flat was next door to the best second-hand bookshop in the city. What heaven! Back then I read a lot of sci-fi books and thrillers, purely for the escapism. Because I was from a forces family, I collected hundreds of military biographies. Other favourites in my collection were Clive James, David Niven and Spike Milligan. These books were treasured possessions, I still have most of them now.
My collection is obviously somewhat eclectic, I’m not sure what that says about me. As well as piles of golf books, I have a library and dozens of stacked boxes bulging with biographies featuring authors from all walks of life, loads of thrillers, some sci-fi and the complete works of Sue Grafton, Lee Child, Tom Holt, Terry Pratchett and William Shakespeare. I’m never without a book. One secret I can reveal, if I’m writing comedy, I’ll only read thrillers – and vice versa.

Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
I’d pick Beth Haslam. She’s the author of the excellent Fat Dogs and French Estates series. Beth is a fellow Ant Press memoirist and very much an inspiration to me as an author. She was brought up on a country estate in Wales. Her childhood was spent either on horseback, helping the gamekeepers raise pheasants, or out sailing. After a serious car crash, she set up her own consultancy business. As semi-retirement beckoned, Beth and her husband decided to buy a second home in France. This became a life-changing event where computers and mobile phones swapped places with understanding the foibles of the French, and tackling the language. Somehow, she found the time to write a bestselling series of memoirs. In many ways our journeys are similar. We’ve only chatted online, but I think she’d be great company over a glass of wine. I’m sure she could help me with my time management – in particular, how she balances her social media responsibilities with the demands of being a published author.

If you could, which fictional character (from your own book(s) or someone else’s) would you like to invite for tea and why?
I’d love to meet Arthur Dent from the fantastic Douglas Adams series ‘Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy’. I’m a huge fan of this sort of British tea-and-cricket escapist humour. Poor Arthur Dent is just a harmless nice-guy, who unwittingly gets sucked into this wonderful story. I’m sure he’d have some interesting stories to tell.

Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
I like my routines and need to have a clear desk and a focused mind before I begin writing. Every morning after breakfast, I take my dogs for a long walk through the forest or across the moorland surrounding our house. After some exercise and a shower, I’m usually ready to write by around 11am. Ideally, I’ll start my workday by catching up with emails, fan mail, social media and other marketing tasks. It’s amazing how much stuff authors have to do these days, outside of research and writing. On a good day, my desk is clear and I’m ready to write by around 2pm. I have a strict rule not to work beyond 6pm, except for when my wife is away in England visiting family. If I’m close to a print deadline and feeling the need for a little more writing time, I’ll announce a period of ‘Digital Detox’. It’s rather a false economy as there’s usually a bunch of catching up to do when I go back online, but sometimes the writing has to take priority.

Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
Obviously the books in my Fresh Eggs series are all based on real events, albeit viewed through the prism of my quirky mind. The characters are all real too, but I will admit to a little genetic manipulation, to save any blushes – and keep me out of court! When I’m writing thrillers, the places and characters usually have at least one foot in reality, but with a little spice added to keep things interesting. Do the people in my life need to be worried? Not really. I’ve never threatened to make someone a character in one of my books, just so I can kill them off. On the other hand, I haven’t finished writing yet…

Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
I’m definitely a plotter. Before I start writing any book, I create voluminous lists and flowcharts. It’s a long and arduous process but essential to create the framework for my story. Once the fingers are flying and the words flowing, I can permit my butterfly mind to occasionally flit off-track, secure in the knowledge I will never lose my way. Having a plan isn’t restrictive, quite the opposite, it encourages creativity. When I was writing Wrecking Crew, there were a couple of times when I was astonished by an event that just popped into my head, particularly as it slotted perfectly into the storyline. About halfway through the book, the protagonist Eric Stone opens the trunk of a car and there was… well, I won’t spoil the surprise. I recall sitting back in astonishment as I really had no idea what was about to happen. Of course, it was just my imagination running along ahead for my fingers, something that could only happen because it had a clear path to follow.

Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
Before you write, read – a lot. Read what you enjoy. Read the kind of books you would like to write but be sure to observe the authors craft as you read. Take note of how they mix dialog with narration, how they paint their pictures and how they guide your mind. Try to look beyond the words to understand how the story was constructed. Do all this and more, before you put pen to paper.
When you begin writing, remember it is a craft, one that needs developing. No matter how talented you are at the beginning, your writing should always improve over time. You should expect your last book to be much better than your first. Never let anyone tell you that you are unworthy.
Understanding the difference between dreams and goals can make your task considerably less stressful. Dreams are the things we would like to achieve, but have very little control over – like winning the lottery. Goals are the steps we take towards achieving our dream – like buying that lottery ticket. Goals you control, dreams you don’t. That distinction is important. As a writer, you must focus your efforts and evaluate your success based only on the things you can control. Trying to do otherwise is a recipe for disaster.
Many excellent writers have given up because they made getting published their goal and failed. Trying to get published won’t make you a better writer, but being a better writer, and building a large social media following of people who like your work, will definitely help you to get published. Focus on what you can control.

What are your future plans as an author?
My ‘ideas folder’ is bulging with interesting storylines, but it would be a mistake to take on too much. Just now I’m writing the fourth book in the five-part Fresh Eggs and Dog Beds series. It is progressing well and due out in mid-2020. In the background I’m researching a book about my father’s fascinating life in the RAF. I’m also working on Stone Façade, the second in my Eric Stone thriller series. I am very excited about the twisty plot, which will bring Stone to Ireland in search of a missing journalist, but not all is as it seems…
I hope I’ll still be writing 30 years from now. If I am, perhaps my spelling will improve. If I can average a book a year until I’m 90, that would be something special to look back on.

Last, but not least: Can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured here on my blog, please?
Of course. This is how Fresh Eggs and Dog Beds begins…

With a deep sigh, Doctor David Harrison dropped my medical chart back onto his desk, where it threatened to overbalance several piles of papers. My GP looked around his cluttered consulting room and casually ran his fingers through his thick blond hair, momentarily pulling the wavy locks away from his forehead. This simple action suggested he was relaxed and confident in the diagnosis he was about to deliver. It also drew my attention to his clear blue eyes. Their normally humorous twinkle had been replaced by the steady gaze of someone who had something serious to say. Yesterday had been a bad day, my chest still hurt and the bitter taste of bile was burning my throat. Dave had my attention. Nevertheless, I noticed he changed his posture, leaning forward to emphasise his point. He gave me a thin smile, but his voice was serious.
“Nick, if you carry on like this, you will be dead in six months – or at best, in a padded cell with nothing but a packet of crayons to keep you entertained.”
He made a fist and brought it to his mouth, for a moment I thought he was going to burp, but he leaned forwards and firmly patted my knee with the heel of his fist to emphasise his point. One fist thump for each word.
“Sort – your – life – out, – or – else.”
I opened my mouth to respond, but for once words failed me. Dave gave a nod, acknowledging his message had been delivered, then he abruptly stood and strode to the door.
“Now, come outside and see my new car!”
This is where it all started.
For more than ten years, I had been a manager at a multinational pensions and investment firm. When they hired me, it was one of the proudest days of my life. They were a famous and respected brand, with a proud tradition of being one of the best employers in Britain. Now, it seemed like the lunatic accountants had taken over the asylum, constantly changing departments, reassigning responsibilities and outsourcing customer support, IT functions, and the office of spectacular cock-ups to some distant city in India. There the telesales staff have more qualifications than an astronaut, but cost less to keep than an anorexic hamster.
To add to the fun, I was frequently dragged halfway across the country for meetings that did little but add to my workload and frustration. Commuting in England had become a reoccurring nightmare of stress and delay. The traffic is appalling, the trains are expensive and unreliable, and the London underground can be horribly hot and overcrowded. There are few less pleasant ways of not getting around London than standing for two hours on a stationary underground train, with your face jammed into some fat guy’s sweaty armpit, whilst wondering how long it’s medically safe to hold on to a fart.
In a fast-changing world, staffing levels across our industry were being slashed repeatedly. I had been made redundant eight times in six years, but on each occasion I had successfully fought for one of the few remaining positions. Sadly, more than 6,000 of my friends and colleagues had been less fortunate, and many of them had been unable to find suitable employment. Now I was one of only six survivors from a staff off several hundred in my division. At times, it seemed like I was the last man standing on the battlefield, just waiting for the sniper’s bullet. I could feel that red laser dot itching at the back of my neck, as the accountants identified the next cost saving required to create the illusion of more profits.
The constant fear of forced redundancy, unemployment, and the catastrophe it could bring to our finely-balanced finances, was gnawing away at my sense of humour and undermining my previously robust health. In an effort to replenish our savings, I had begun teaching golf again. That skill was a remnant of a dream that fizzled out in favour of a proper job, not long after I married Lesley and she gave birth to our beautiful daughter, Joanne. Although it was nice to earn a little extra money, suddenly I had no spare time. Life didn’t feel like fun anymore; weekends and evenings spent giving lessons at the driving range left me little time for family, no time to play golf, and no place to blow off a little steam. And now the company was entering yet another round of cuts. It was evident that my job would soon cease to exist, probably within months, and I could either fight again for another position, or simply accept redundancy and try to get on with a new life.

Isn’t that a great reason to pick up this book and to find out more?!
Thanks once again for this lovely interview, Nick Albert.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

 

 

 

P.S. Are you an author (or publisher) who also wants a FREE interview like this? You can always contact me via e-mail!

 

#BookBirthdayBlitz #RachelsRandomResources @rararesources / #GuestPost : From Here to Nashville – Julie Stock @wood_beez48

– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –

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Today I’m on the ‘From Here to Nashville’ blogtour, organised by Rachel’s Random Resources.
To promote this book I have a guest post written by its author, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

mhfwCvAAJulie Stock writes contemporary feel-good romance from around the world: novels, novellas and short stories. She published her debut novel, From Here to Nashville, in February 2015 and her second novel, The Vineyard in Alsace in March 2017. Over You (Sam’s Story) and Finding You (Jenna’s Story), her follow-up novellas to From Here to Nashville were published in 2018, making the From Here to You series complete. She has also published a boxed set of the From Here to You trilogy of books.
The Bistro by Watersmeet Bridge was published in August 2019, followed by Bittersweet, a collection of 12 Short Stories for Modern Life in September 2019.
Julie is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and The Society of Authors.
Julie is married and lives with her family in Bedfordshire in the UK.

Social Media Links:
Website
Twitter
Facebook Author Page
Instagram

Synopsis :

skKshiVQTwo worlds, 4,000 miles apart. Is their love strong enough to keep them together?
Rachel Hardy dreams of being a successful country music singer in Nashville’s Music City, four thousand miles away from her lonely life in Dorset. When Jackson Phillips, an independent record label owner, encourages her band to audition for a nationwide ‘Open Mic’ competition, she decides they have nothing to lose.
But when she starts to fall in love with Jackson, the stakes suddenly get higher and she finds herself with a great big dilemma on her hands. Should she abandon her dream and take the easy way out or should she leave the life she has always known behind and take a gamble on a man who has personal demons of his own?
Follow Rachel and Jackson as they learn to trust in love again to see whether their music really can unite them.

Purchase Link

Guest Post :

Before I wrote From Here to Nashville, I’d never written anything longer than poems, music lyrics and the occasional short story. I never imagined that I would ever be able to come up with an idea that I could sustain over 80 – 90,000 words. I often had ideas for novels but they ran out of steam very quickly, and always before I could put pen to paper.
Then in 2013, that all changed when I started watching the then new TV series, Nashville. I fell in love with the show straight away, loving the music, the setting and the characters, and wondering why I had never been to Nashville!
About halfway through the first series, I had an idea for a novel, and it came fully formed into my mind: ‘What if you had a singer/songwriter in the UK who dreamed of becoming a country music star in Nashville and she met a record producer from Nashville who could help her to follow her dream?’
What usually happens after I come up with a story question like that is that I can’t come up with anything else and, frustrated by my lack of ideas, I lose interest in the whole thing very quickly. But this time, the ideas just kept coming. I came up with the names of the two main characters, Rachel and Jackson, almost immediately. I also decided that Rachel would have a best friend called Jenna, and that she would play in a band with Jenna’s two brothers, Sam and Matt. I had ideas for Rachel’s back story and also for Jackson’s, and I worked out how they would first meet. I had so many ideas coming at me that I bought myself a notebook so that I could write them all down and not forget anything.
Before I got going with the writing, I also needed to do a fair bit of research about the two settings I’d chosen for my story. Rachel lives in Poole, in Dorset, at the start of the story and although this is a place I know very well, I still spent a lot of time on the Internet researching the kinds of place she might live and how long it would take her to walk into town for example. I also spent a lot of time thinking about Jenna’s florist shop and where that might be located and what it would look like inside.
Then there was Nashville. As I mentioned, I’d never been so I spent a lot of time getting to know Nashville before I began writing. As Jackson is a wealthy record label owner in the story, I found myself researching luxury homes and products that I would never normally look at as well. I finally visited Nashville the month after the book was published and my family indulged me by letting me take them round all the places mentioned in the story, so that I could make sure that I’d got everything right.
To give myself the inspiration to keep me going, the next thing I did was to create a playlist of some of my favourite songs, including ones that I thought Rachel and her band, Three’s Company, might cover in their set. If you’d like to listen to the songs, you can find the link here. This also led to me writing some song lyrics for Rachel’s own songs which you can find in the story. I had so much fun doing that!
After writing my first book five years ago, I’ve found that every book since has been inspired by a particular setting or location, whether that’s a vineyard in Alsace or a bistro in Devon, and there’s no sign of the ideas running out any time soon.

Giveaway :

Win a signed paperback copy of From Here to Nashville, a bookmark and a guitar magnet (Open to UK Only)

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*Terms and Conditions – UK entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

a Rafflecopter Giveaway

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

 

#BlogTour #RachelsRandomResources @rararesources / #PromoPost : Empire’s Hostage – Marian L Thorpe @marianlthorpe

– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –

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Today I’m on the ‘Empire’s Hostage’ blogtour, organised by Rachel’s Random Resources.
To promote this book I have a some ‘basic’ information for you.

About the Author :

Empires author photo

Not content with two careers as a research scientist and an educator, Marian L Thorpe decided to go back to what she’d always wanted to do and be a writer. Author of the alternative world medieval trilogy Empire’s Legacy, Marian also has published short stories and poetry. Her life-long interest in Roman and post-Roman European history informs her novels, while her avocations of landscape archaeology and birding provide background to her settings.

Social Media Links:
Website
Twitter
Facebook author page

Synopsis :

T9gIHoBwFor fifteen months, the Empire and the northern people have been at war, but a truce is finally at hand. As part of this treaty, Lena, now a Guardswoman on the Wall, is asked to stand as a hostage, to go north to live and learn among the people of Linrathe. But not everyone there will welcome her. As Lena learns more of the history of both her land and the north, a new threat emerges, one that will test her loyalty to its limits, and in the end, demand a price she could not have envisioned.

Purchase Link

Giveaway :

Win a Paperback copy of Empire’s Legacy, the complete trilogy (Open Internationally)

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*Terms and Conditions – Worldwide entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

a Rafflecopter Giveaway

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#BlogTour #RachelsRandomResources @rararesources / #QandAs : Hattie Goes To Hollywood #HattieGoesToHollywood – Caroline James @CarolineJames12

– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –

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Today I’m on the ‘Hattie Goes To Hollywood’ blogtour, organised by Rachel’s Random Resources.
To promote this book I have a Q&As post, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

XiJYh5DQBest-selling author of women’s fiction, Caroline James has owned and run businesses encompassing all aspects of the hospitality industry, a subject that often features in her novels. She is based in the UK but has a great fondness for travel and escapes whenever she can. A public speaker, which includes talks and lectures on cruise ships world-wide, Caroline is also a consultant and food writer. She is a member of the Romantic Novelist’s Association, the Society of Women’s Writer’s & Journalists and the Society of Authors and writes articles and short stories, contributing to many publications. In her spare time, Caroline can be found trekking up a mountain or relaxing with her head in a book and hand in a box of chocolates.

Social Media Links:
Website
Twitter
Facebook
Amazon Author Page

Synopsis :

HZQdd6VgA Cumbrian Village…
Three suicides…
A red-hot summer…
Join super-sleuth Hattie as tempers and temperatures rise in the Cumbrian village of Hollywood. With mischief and shenanigans aplenty, will Hattie discover the truth?
A funny and intriguing mystery – the first in a new series by Caroline James
When recently bereaved Hattie Mulberry inherits her aunt’s dilapidated cottage in the village of Hollywood in Cumbria, she envisages a quiet life. But retired hotelier Hattie is bored and when her neighbour asks her to investigate a suspicious suicide, Hattie’s career takes a new direction and H&H Investigations is born. During the hottest summer for years, Hattie discovers there have been three recent suicides in Hollywood and she determines to find out why. Temperatures rise as she throws herself into village life and, with mischief and shenanigans aplenty, Hattie has her work cut out. But will she establish the truth?

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK
Amazon US

Q&A :

Hi

First of all thank you very much for taking the time to answer my questions, I really appreciate it. Here we go! 🙂
Stefanie, thank you so much for inviting me to your lovely blog.

Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
My background is in the hospitality industry, but I always wanted to write. I went to an all-girl’s grammar school and hated it and never thought I was good enough to write for a living. Many years later, I decided that I didn’t want to die wondering and wrote my first novel, Coffee Tea the Gypsy & Me which went to #3 in women’s fiction on Amazon and my writing die was cast.

Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
I read Catcher in the Rye by J D Salinger when I was young, and it left a massive impression on me. The narrator, Holden Caufield, takes us through two dramatic days in his life and I found his unfolding psychological crisis deeply moving, I still do, whenever I re-read the book today.

Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
I love to sit and have a chat with the late, great Mauve Binchy. Mauve had a real knack for creating characters that her readers couldn’t help but care about and love. Caring about characters is what turns the page and I’d love to ask her for some of her pearls of writing wisdom.

If you could, which fictional character (from your own book(s) or someone else’s) would you like to invite for tea and why?
Good question. I’d like to take tea with Long Tom Hendry who is a character in a couple of my books. Coffee Tea the Chef & Me and Coffee Tea the Caribbean & Me. He is an ageing Rockstar who has seen and had it all, yet remains charismatic with many a tale to tell. I’m secretly in love with him, if truth be told.

Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
Sadly, yes. I have to have a tidy desk, complete quiet and constant coffee, liquorice tea or raspberry gin in large quantities.

Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
People in my life are constantly worried! Having owned and run a pub and an hotel, I constantly watch people. A hotel is a revolving door with new characters stepping over the threshold each day – perfect fodder for an author.

Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
I try to plot. It makes the process easier. But characters, like people, have a mind of their own at times and I just go with the flow when that happens.

Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
Don’t prevaricate. Sit down and write. Read Stephen King’s ‘On Writing’ as your bible.

What are your future plans as an author?
To write further stories in the Hattie Goes To Hollywood mystery series and also finish the follow up to my novel, The Best Boomerville Hotel.

Last, but not least : Can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured here on my blog, please?
There are three suicides in the village of Hollywood but are they all what they seem?

Isn’t that a great reason to pick up this book and to find out more?!
Thanks once again for this lovely interview, Caroline James.
Huge thanks again for hosting me Stefanie, happy reading to you and your followers,
Caroline xx

Giveaway :

Win a cuddly Drake toy! (Open INT)
Be in with a chance to win Drake, Hattie’s faithful pet duck! Tall Drake & Handsome – A gorgeous soft toy who will be your friend for life.

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*Terms and Conditions – Worldwide entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

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The Magic of Wor(l)ds

 

 

P.S. Are you an author (or publisher) who also wants a FREE interview like this? You can always contact me via e-mail!

 

 

#BlogTour #RachelsRandomResources @rararesources / #QandAs : Killing Them With Kindness – Andy Paulcroft @AndyPaulcroft

– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –

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Today I’m on the ‘Killing Them With Kindness’ blogtour, organised by Rachel’s Random Resources.
To promote this book I have a Q&As post, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

Xy7nIlBgAndy Paulcroft grew up in Weston-super-Mare, and his love of books started when he borrowed his sister’s copy of Five Run Away Together and exaggerated a minor illness in order to finish reading it. He has since worked as a chef in France, Switzerland, Corsica and the North Highlands of Scotland before settling as a catering manager at a boarding school in Dorset. After many years of writing two to three chapters of a book before discarding it, he finally published his first novel Postcards From Another Life – in December 2017. The wonderful feeling of completing a novel was only surpassed by receiving a positive reaction from people who had read it. He retired from catering and recently published his second novel Killing Them With Kindness. He is now working on his third book.

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Synopsis :

T0IUi87gDeirdre Cossette is the self appointed carer for the elderly on The Avenue and all of her friends have stories to tell. Margery, whose comfortable life was destroyed by a knock on the door. Stan, who made a mistake as a young footballer which cost him his friends and his self-respect. Marina, whose slim and stylish figure hides a terrible secret from the summer of Live Aid. And, Oliver and Archie, who have survived everything from post war homophobia to a family tragedy – and they have done it together. Deirdre believes that everyone should have a choice. If they want to live on a diet of cakes, drink the alcoholic equivalent of a small hydrotherapy pool, or take on a toy boy lover in spite of a dodgy heart, Deirdre believes it is their right to do so. If they remember her in their wills afterwards, that’s not her fault, is it? However, not everyone agrees with her. When disgruntled relatives from the present meet up with disgruntled ghosts from her past, Deirdre discovers the cost of being kind.

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK
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Q&A :

Hi

First of all thank you very much for taking the time to answer my questions, I really appreciate it. Here we go! 🙂
Thank you so much for inviting me!

Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
I have always wanted to write. I always thought that I might be able to do it to a fairly good standard. But, as yet another potentially brilliant idea faltered at page thirty, I was beginning to think that I would never finish anything. I worked for forty years in the catering industry, which because of long hours that needed to be flexible, made it difficult to get into a routine to write. When I decided to retire early, an idea that I had for a novel became ‘Postcards From Another Life.’ This time, I didn’t give up on it after page thirty, I continued writing it until I suddenly realised that , this time, I was going to finish it. Once I’d done that, I turned an idea that I’d had churning in my mind for about twenty years into ‘Killing Them With Kindness.’

Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
Like many children of my generation I started with Enid Blyton. Although ‘Five run away together’ featuring the Famous Five was the first book I remember reading, it was the ‘Adventure’ series featuring four children who argued a lot, along with their rude parrot, that first captured my imagination. In early teens I loved the Pamela Brown ‘Swish of the Curtain’ series, before reading most of the Agatha Christie novels by the time I had left school. As a young adult ‘The Custard Boys’ by John Rae was the first book that gave me an emotional attachment to the characters and later on, ‘Now and Then’ by William Corlett is the book that has resonated most strongly with me. I still have a great affection for detective novels and the Peter Robinson DCI Banks series is brilliant. Donna Tartt’s ‘The Secret History’ is a long standing favourite of mine, along with anything written by Patrick Gale, but especially ‘A Place Called Winter’ and ‘Sweet Obscurity.’

Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
I have discovered in my short writing career what a kind and generous bunch us authors are! Through the wonders of social media and from attending literary festivals and seminars, I have met authors from a varied range of genres. They have all been wonderfully kind and only too happy to help. However, if there was one author that I would loved to have had a chat with, I would pick Agatha Christie. I love mysteries that leave you open-mouthed at the denouement, even though you know that the clues were there all along. Her books still have the power to entertain, surprise and delight me, even when I can remember ‘whodunnit’.

If you could, which fictional character (from your own book(s) or someone else’s) would you like to invite for tea and why?
From my own books, I would love to chat to Deirdre Cossette (Killing Them With Kindness,’) because she is sparky, full of fun and as mad as a balloon in a nest of hedgehogs … However, tea parties with Deirdre don’t always end well.
Changing the parameters slightly, as far as other authors’ novels are concerned, I have always wanted to live in Anna Madrigal’s house in Barbary Lane from Tales in the City, after I fell a little bit in love with ‘Michael ‘Mouse’ Tolliver.

Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
I don’t really have any rituals. As well as writing I am also a full-time carer for my 93-year-old Mother. This can be very grounding as I can be creating (what I hope is) a dramatic scene one minute and emptying a commode the next.

Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
The tag line for ‘Postcards’ was: ‘Do you ever have a dream where it seems like you are watching a movie?’ This was inspired by the fact that I do have those types of dreams. Most of the stuff I dream is complete rubbish and loads of it I don’t remember, but, occasionally there will be something, maybe just an image, that gives me the idea for a story. As for the second part of the question, I’d say the answer was – yes! Sometimes unintentionally. I was talking to a friend about favourite characters in ‘Killing Them With Kindness’ and I said that mine was Piers Harper-Vallèe. My friend grinned and said: ‘Of course he is. He’s Ian isn’t he?’ Ian is my partner, but I hadn’t realised up to that point, that I had given Piers the characteristics I love about him.

Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
‘Postcards’ would fall into the ‘pantser’ category. There was even one twist in it that I didn’t see coming until I had written it! ‘Killing Them With Kindness’ was plotted, but there were still times when I went a little off-piste! The book I am writing at the moment, I have plotted more intricately – basically because it’s set in alternative realities that are very similar to each other – and I felt that if I didn’t plot it properly, I would end up with the wrong people in the wrong realities!

Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
I think ‘Just do it’ would be my best advice. Write a few chapters and then find some friends who you trust, and are on your wavelength, to read it. Tell them that you need them to be brutally honest (most of my friends didn’t have to be told!) and then listen to them. I have found that I can over fiddle – with ‘Killing Them With Kindness’ I must have read it through about twenty times, changing something each time I read it. An editor is a really good idea, I have a lovely one, Emma Mitchell, who has given me encouragement when I need it and advice (which I need all the time!).

What are your futureplans as an author?
I am currently writing a book with the working title ‘Another Man’s shoes’ which I am hoping will be finished by the summer. By the end of the year, I am hoping I can stop myself reading it through …

Last, but not least : Can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured here on my blog, please?
Of course. This passage is from the first chapter of the book. Deirdre Cossette is visiting her friend Margery, a large woman who could be described as ‘cake obsessed’. She has recently been victimised by a couple of local yobs who Deirdre has dealt with in her own inimitable way …

Deirdre tutted at the retreating figure, the ruined lawn, and the fact that she’d missed the first fifteen minutes of Countdown. As she re-entered the house she shouted to her friend, ‘That lawn is in an even worse state now that Tom Daley has swallow dived across it. I don’t think the English cricket boys will be practising their cover drives on it anytime soon.’
‘Deirdre … is there cake?’ Margery stoically ignored the fact that her garden had for the last quarter of an hour resembled the staging of a French farce, and repeated her question from earlier. It might have been a small amount of time, but she felt that it had been long enough for her to raise a small family since she’d last made the enquiry. The tone of her voice was heading north of concerned, very much in the direction of petulant.
If Deirdre thought her friend was being a tad ungrateful, when in all probability she’d solved the invasion problem once and for all, she didn’t mention it. She made the tea in a floral tea pot, covered it with a floral tea cosy, and placed it on the floral tea trolley. After this she loaded it with enough cake to concern a diabetic, and wheeled it into the lounge.
Margery ate the cake alphabetically, and had made it to ‘C’ the second time around before she stopped and drew breath.
‘Doctor Ransom would be having a fit if he could see me now!’ She laughed, good humour restored by carbs. ‘He told me that I needed to be sensible when it came to my calorie intake.’
‘Well …’ Deirdre reasoned. ‘As I said to dear Oliver when I played the under gardener in Women in Love. Sensible is all very well, but would Columbus have discovered America? Would Emeline have procured votes for women? And would Amy Johnson have flown like a bird; if they’d been sensible?’
It wasn’t a question that interested Margery in the slightest. The only question that did interest her was whether she should have carrot cake or croquembouche next. She returned to her own musings. ‘He says I’m heading for an ’eart attack.’
‘Oh! He’s just box ticking – he’s just making sure the NHS can’t be sued if the unthinkable happens. You are not going anywhere for a very long time, my darling!’
Maybe it was the effect of the cake, maybe it was the relief and euphoria brought on by the demise of the bullies, or maybe it was the sudden realisation that her one true friend in the world was standing in this room. Whatever it was, Margery felt a sudden wave of affection for the large, bright, and completely barking woman in front of her.
‘You are the only person who bothers about me,’ Margery said. ‘My children don’t even send me a birthday card, and I haven’t seen my sister’s kids since the day she died.’
Deirdre nodded, she knew exactly how alone this poor woman had been before she’d arrived on the scene.
‘I’ve left everything to you, you know,’ Margery continued solemnly. ‘The cottage, my investments, everything.’
‘Tch tch, sweetheart!’ Deirdre chided gently. ‘We are not inviting Mrs Morbid to our tea party.’
She patted Margery on the hand briefly, then armed herself with the cake knife, and approached the tower of eclairs stuck together with a sticky caramel. Although she outwardly seemed oblivious of the information that had just been proffered, inwardly it was at the forefront of her mind. She pressed on the knife handle, cutting the pastry while squashing and squeezing the cream in the process.
‘How about a large slice of the croquembouche?’

Isn’t that a great reason to pick up this book and to find out more?!
Thanks once again for this lovely interview, Andy Paulcroft.

Giveaway :

Win a signed copy of Killing Them With Kindness (Open INT)
*Terms and Conditions – Worldwide entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

a Rafflecopter Giveaway

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

 

 

 

P.S. Are you an author (or publisher) who also wants a FREE interview like this? You can always contact me via e-mail!

 

#OneDayBlogBlitz #RachelsRandomResources @rararesources / #PromoPost : Mile Marker 139 – Cynthia Hilston @cynthiahilston

– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –

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Today I’m on the ‘Mile Marker 139’ blogtour, organised by Rachel’s Random Resources.
To promote this book I have a some ‘basic’ information for you.

About the Author :

iVpSttQwCynthia Hilston is a thirty-something-year-old stay-at-home mom of three young kids, happily married. Writing has always been like another child to her. After twenty years of waltzing in the world of fan fiction, she finally stepped away to do her debut dance with original works of fiction. Visit her website for more information.
In her spare time – what spare time? – she devours books, watches Doctor Who and Game of Thrones, pets her orange kitty, looks at the stars, and dreams of what other stories she wishes to tell.

Social Media Links:
Facebook
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Twitter
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Synopsis :

XiQEzqDgAt mile marker 139 along the Ohio Turnpike, a mysterious woman named Shelley Parkinson arrives at 3:14 at the rest area every night. She sits outside at one of the picnic tables, her fragile hands clutching one cigarette after another. Troubled people swirl around her, battling their own sorrows.
Gruff old janitor Mike Popkins works third shift at the facility and has been lost since his wife died, cutting himself off from his only son and going through the motions of his job. Idealistic young Sarah Wilcox whips up drinks at the happening new coffee shop at the rest stop, but her mind whips of dreams of traveling the world and living the life her late grandpa did as he drank a coffee on all corners of the globe. Heartbroken middle-aged trucker Russ Jacobs would rather spend long hours on the road than fall in love again. They all befriend Shelley. Each one desires something different, but none of them know why she haunts the rest area.
Unexpected death, disease, and accidents force Mike, Sarah, and Russ to make hard decisions to move forward, ripping them from their pasts. Can these three motley friends find healing in their own lives and help a woman who says she doesn’t need anyone, even as her brokenness spills onto them?

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK
Amazon US

The Magic of Wor(l)ds