#MiniBlogBlitz #RachelsRandomResources @rararesources / #Excerpt : His Unlikely Duchess – Amanda McCabe @AmandaMcCabe01 @HarlequinBooks @MillsandBoon

– ‘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 ‘His Unlikely Duchess’ blogtour, organized by Rachel’s Random Resources.
To promote this book I have an excerpt, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

721ab4461717a549bada135e16c0e01c_400x400Amanda wrote her first romance at the age of sixteen–a vast historical epic starring all her friends as the characters, written secretly during algebra class (and her parents wondered why math was not her strongest subject…)
She’s never since used algebra, but her books have been nominated for many awards, including the RITA Award, the Romantic Times BOOKReviews Reviewers’ Choice Award, the Booksellers Best, the National Readers Choice Award, and the Holt Medallion. She lives in Santa Fe with a Poodle, a cat, a wonderful husband, and a very and far too many books and royal memorabilia collections.
When not writing or reading, she loves taking dance classes, collecting cheesy travel souvenirs, and watching the Food Network–even though she doesn’t cook.

Social Media Links:
Website
Facebook
Instagram
Pinterest
Twitter

Synopsis :

TgNleh9AMoney can buy her marriage
But will it lead to love?
Miss Lily Wilkins hopes her American money will compensate for her lack of etiquette, as she needs a prestigious marriage to save her sisters’ prospects. Raised to believe wealth was her greatest attribute, she’s stunned when her unconventional ways catch the eye of the notorious Duke of Lennox. He’s far from the safe, sensible match she’d planned on—but Lily might just discover he’s the one she needs!

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK
Amazon US

Excerpt :

(On the frozen Neva, a festive skating party, entices Violet and her duke a bit closer—and then closer still…)

A brass band dressed in the red and gold imperial uniforms launched into a waltz, and Prince Alfred and his fiancee swooped and twirled around the ice, followed by other young couples.
“Shall we?” William asked, offering Violet his hand. He smiled at the dancers, but he seemed rather wistful, distant as he watched Aidan and Lily.
But Violet still felt that fizzing energy inside of her, that strange up-and-down exhilaration that being near him always brought. She didn’t want to give that up just yet, didn’t want to lose the lovely day. “Thank you, yes.”
His arm came close around her back, the other stretched out to clasp her gloved hand in his. He drew her much closer than they would be in any ballroom, and even through their heavy furs and velvets and woolens, she felt the length of his body against hers. Strong and warm and pliable, fitting against hers as if they had always been just like that.
They spun slowly at first, finding their footing under themselves, gentle, lazy circles that seemed to lift her higher and higher off the ice, made her float in his arms.
His touch tightened and he lifted her higher, spinning her around and around until she giggled. The swirling snow, the dazzling bright-white sunlight, the Easter egg-colored palaces, all blended and blended into a rainbow around her. She held onto him, her one still point in the crazy world. Her one reality.
“Oh, bravo, Vi!” Lily applauded. “You could join the Imperial Ballet while you’re here.”
“You’re just jealous at my grace and skill, Lily darling,” Violet answered with mock-haughtiness that gave way to helpless laughter.
“Oh, yes. I shall never know grace and elegance again, ungainly cow that I am now,” Lily sighed, patting her barely-there-yet stomach under her furs.
William slowly lowered Violet to her feet, holding onto her a moment until she was steady on her skates, and the bright blue sky still whirled above her. She held on tightly to his shoulders.
She glanced up into his face, shadowed by the brim of his hat, the dark fur of his collar blown by the breeze against his jaw. He was giving her that solemn, all-penetrating look again, the one where she was sure he saw everything about her, every secret she had ever held, and she could see nothing of him.
“What is it?” she whispered. “Have I made a cake of myself again?”
“Not at all. I just—you do have a nice family,” he said quietly, roughly.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#MiniBlogBlitz #RachelsRandomResources @rararesources / #QandAs : The Heiress’s Pregnancy Surprise – Donna Alward @DonnaAlward

– ‘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 ‘The Heiress’s Pregnancy Surprise’ blogtour, organized 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 :

ah2ds5uwWhile bestselling author Donna Alward was busy studying Austen, Eliot and Shakespeare, she was also losing herself in the breathtaking stories created by romance novelists like LaVyrle Spencer and Judith McNaught. Several years after completing her degree she decided to write a romance of her own and it was true love! Five years and ten manuscripts later she sold her first book and launched a new career. While her heartwarming stories of love, hope, and homecoming have been translated into several languages, hit bestseller lists and won awards, her very favorite thing is when she hears from happy readers.
Donna lives on Canada’s east coast. When she’s not writing she enjoys reading (of course!), knitting, gardening, cooking…and is a Masterpiece Theater addict. You can visit her on her website and join her mailing list.

Social Media Links:
Facebook
Twitter 
Instagram

Synopsis :

l9ieD3HwA VIP assignment …
an unexpected consequence!
Ex-SAS officer Jacob Wolfe’s latest job, as aristocrat Charlotte Pemberton’s bodyguard, is pushing him to his limits. Never one to step over the line, he’s determined to ignore their intense connection. Until a single dance leads to a forbidden kiss… and Jacob is tempted to break all his rules. But their resulting night together has an unexpected consequence…

Purchase Link:
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! 🙂

Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
Thanks for having me today! I’ve always been a bit of a writer, but after my second child was born, I had a bad case of postpartum depression. When she was about a year old, I was doing better but really looking for something that was just for me. My sister said, “You’ve always wanted to write a book, so why don’t you?” I did, and I loved the process so much I kept at it until I finally sold my first novel in 2006.

Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
I spent many afternoons on our sunporch with LM Montgomery, the Bobbsey Twins, and oddly enough, my parents’ World Book Encyclopedias.

Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
For advice…hmmm. I would love to spend time with Elizabeth Gilbert. I met her a year and a half ago and loved the workshop I did with her. Being able to hang out would be something else entirely. 😊

If you could, which fictional character (from your own book(s) or someone else’s) would you like to invite for tea and why?
Judy Plum from Pat of Silver Bush (LM Montgomery). She’d have me laughing but also stuff me full of tea and goodies.

Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
I actually have fewer rituals now than I used to! And sometimes they change. For example, last summer was gorgeous weather-wise, and so I would write a little in the morning in my office, then around 2-3 p.m. I’d head out to the deck, when the sun wasn’t direct and too hot. It was the perfect work environment. After another hour or so, my husband would join me and we’d read for a bit before flashing up the grill to make dinner.

Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
No one needs to be worried – ideas come from everywhere and quite often from a brainstorming session with my friends.

Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
I’m a pantser! I generally have the basic idea for the book and a bit of a handle on the characters, but I sit down and type “Chapter One” and go.

Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
Absolutely! Write because you love it and edit like you’re selling it. Loving it will get you through the hard times and feed your creative soul. But being willing to revise and change will help you succeed in the market. Also, if you’re planning on self-publishing, hire an editor and cover artist. This is not the time to DIY.

What are your future plans as an author?
So many plans! Right now I’m finishing up the HEIRS TO AN EMPIRE series, and also republishing a big chunk of my backlist. In addition, I’m working on something VERY different that has been super fun and exciting.

Last, but not least : Can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured here on my blog, please?
This scene happens at a party during Fashion Week in New York. Charlotte is attending with her bodyguard, Jacob…who turns out to be a wonderful wingman and friend when she runs into an ex…

It was good to slip out of the crowd for a few moments and head to the slightly quieter ladies’ room. She locked herself in a stall and took three minutes to deep-breathe. There were others in the room, and their conversations came and went, and when Charlotte finally felt slightly restored, she flushed the unused toilet and unlocked the door.
At the mirrors she touched up her hair and lipstick, then let out a huge breath and prepared to face the party again.
Outside, wearing a broad smile, was Mark Church, holding two glasses of champagne.
She stopped. Tonight was the first time she’d thought of him in months, and now here he was. “Mark.”
“Hello, Charlotte.”
Oh, the way he said it was so warm and familiar. It made her remember the good times, but the memories were quickly tainted by the reminder of his betrayals. She’d been young and foolish, but trusting him had taught her a valuable lesson. So she smiled because it made sense to let bygones be bygones. “I didn’t realize you’d be here tonight.”
“I managed an invitation.”
Of course he had. That was how he operated. And now, some of his clients were the highest-paid models in the world. It burned that she had to maintain a cordial relationship, but the truth was, it was good for Aurora to not burn any bridges.
He offered her the glass of champagne. “How about a toast to old times?”
She took it and lifted an eyebrow. “I was twenty-two and very, very green,” she said, a veiled way of saying she’d been naive and foolish.
“Maybe we’re both older and wiser now?” He smiled his charming smile, and she smiled back. Politely. Thankfully, she felt nothing but regret and relief seeing him now. No lingering attraction, no pain. Just regret that she’d been so gullible and relieved that it was truly behind her. Now if she could just extricate herself gracefully…
She saw Jacob out of the corner of her eye and waved him off with a subtle flick of her hand. He paused, but his eyes never left them. Suddenly she was glad of it.
“Cheers,” Mark said, and touched the rim of his glass to hers.
She drank because not to would have been even more uncomfortable. The bubbles fizzed on her tongue and she swallowed, wondering if the alcohol would help her relax.
“I haven’t seen you since…” He frowned. “Since the charity event in London.”
“Six years,” she said, pasting on the smile that she’d worn all damn day.
“Amazing how we keep missing each other, in all that time.”
It wasn’t amazing at all. Charlotte generally stayed on her side of the Atlantic. And rekindling anything with Mark wasn’t on her agenda.
“Isn’t it?
“You’re looking gorgeous. Even more beautiful than you were then. I take it that’s an Aurora design?”
“Of course.” She cradled the champagne glass. “I wouldn’t wear anything else.”
“It’s very timeless. I mean, your mother would look smashing in it.”
And there it was. The subtle little dig, the slight criticism that had always turned her off. “I’ll be sure to tell her you said so. Now if you’ll excuse me…”
She went to move away but he reached out and grabbed her wrist. They were close enough now she could smell the booze and knew he’d been drinking for a while, though he hid it well. A wave of revulsion rolled through her. She hadn’t forgotten that Mark Church was the kind of man who would say whatever he needed to get what he wanted.
“Let’s get out of here and go someplace quieter,” he suggested, his dark eyes meeting hers. “For old times’ sake.”
She pulled her wrist away just as she became aware of Jacob coming forward. “What a kind suggestion, but no thank you.”
He slid closer. “Come on, Charlotte. We were good together. Let’s see how it—”
“Ah, there you are.” Jacob’s voice was measured and calm. “I wondered if you’d been held up.” His eyes smiled down into hers, and then she watched as he turned his icy gaze on Mark. “And you are?”
Mark, being the idiot he was, straightened his shoulders and lifted his chin, which still left him a few inches shorter than Jacob. “Mark Church.” He didn’t ask Jacob his name, which seemed totally in character.
“Nice to meet you. Charlotte, darling…” Charlotte nearly rolled her eyes at his deliberate overplay of “darling” in a very posh Londony type of accent. “Shall we get back?”
“Of course.” She was so grateful for the save.
They’d just started to move away when Mark stepped forward again. “Charlotte, remember what I said. We’re both in town all week.”
Gross. As if she’d hook up with him again after all this time. But she didn’t have to worry. Jacob let go of her hand and stepped up to Mark, face-to-face, and Charlotte wanted to laugh at the sheer difference in their physiques. Mark’s expression turned to one of childish defiance.
“Not cool, Mark. I’m standing right here. And I recall the lady saying no. That’s all it takes, right? No?”
“Sure, mate.” Mark replied in a fake accent that made him seem even more ridiculous.
Charlotte took Jacob’s hand again, so very grateful he was with her despite her protests that she didn’t need a bodyguard.
And when Mark muttered a word that equated Jacob to a particular piece of anatomy, Charlotte wasn’t so sure Jacob wouldn’t turn around.
Instead Jacob laughed and shook his head. “All booze and no brains,” he muttered. “And not worth it. Unless you want me to.”
“I don’t want a scene,” she said back. “But thank you, Jacob. I don’t think I need a bodyguard, but I’m awfully glad you were my wingman tonight.”
He stopped and faced her, and there was something different in his expression. Something softer and more personal.

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

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 : Children’s Fate (The Meonbridge Chronicles #4) – Carolyn Hughes @writingcalliope

– ‘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 ‘Children’s Fate’ 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 :

um7FlUfQCAROLYN HUGHES was born in London, but has lived most of her life in Hampshire. After completing a degree in Classics and English, she started her working life as a computer programmer, in those days a very new profession. But it was when she discovered technical authoring that she knew she had found her vocation. She spent the next few decades writing and editing all sorts of material, some fascinating, some dull, for a wide variety of clients, including an international hotel group, medical instrument manufacturers and the government.
She has written creatively for most of her adult life, but it was not until her children grew up and flew the nest several years ago that writing historical fiction took centre stage in her life. She has a Master’s degree in Creative Writing from Portsmouth University and a PhD from the University of Southampton.
Children’s Fate is the fourth novel in the MEONBRIDGE CHRONICLES series. A fifth novel is under way.
You can connect with Carolyn through her website www.carolynhughesauthor.com and social media.

Social Media Links:
Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads

Synopsis :

tApZ3WawHow can a mother just stand by when her daughter is being cozened into sin?
It’s 1360, eleven years since the Black Death devastated all of England, and six years since Emma Ward fled Meonbridge with her children, to find a more prosperous life in Winchester. Long satisfied that she’d made the right decision, Emma is now terrified that she was wrong. For she’s convinced her daughter Bea is in grave danger, being exploited by her scheming and immoral mistress.
Bea herself is confused: fearful and ashamed of her sudden descent into sin, but also thrilled by her wealthy and attentive client.
When Emma resolves to rescue Bea from ruin and tricks her into returning to Meonbridge, Bea doesn’t at first suspect her mother’s motives. She is happy to renew her former friendships but, yearning for her rich lover, Bea soon absconds back to the city. Yet, only months later, plague is stalking Winchester again and, in terror, Bea flees once more to Meonbridge.
But, this time, she finds herself unwelcome, and fear, hostility and hatred threaten…
Terror, betrayal and deceit, but also love and courage, in a time of continuing change and challenge – Children’s Fate, the fourth MEONBRIDGE CHRONICLE.

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! 🙂

Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
Hello, I’m Carolyn and I write historical fiction. (Sounds like a meeting for Writers Anonymous!) I’ve been writing all my adult life, but have come to publication only relatively recently when I am, alas, quite old…
I was born in London, but have lived most of my life in Hampshire. After a first degree in Classics and English, I became a computer programmer, in those days a very new profession. It was fun for a few years, but I left to become a school careers officer in Dorset. But it was when I discovered technical authoring that I knew I’d found my vocation. I spent the next few decades writing and editing all sorts of material, some fascinating, some dull, for a wide variety of clients, including an international hotel group, medical instrument manufacturers and the Government.
Although I’ve written creatively on and off all my adult life, for years work and family were always my main focus, and it wasn’t until the children flew the nest that I realised writing could take centre stage. Even then, although I’d written several short stories, and one and a half contemporary women’s novels, my writing was rather ad hoc, and my tentative attempts to approach agents met only with rejection.
I took a few short writing courses at local colleges but then, in 2009, thinking a Masters degree in Creative Writing might give my writing more substance, I enrolled at Portsmouth University. It worked! I wrote the historical novel that became Fortune’s Wheel, set in 14th century Hampshire. I enjoyed being back at university so much I then read for a PhD at the University of Southampton, and the result was another historical novel set in the 14th century, The Nature of Things. By then, the historical fiction bug had bitten me, and I realised there were many more stories to tell about the world I’d created for Fortune’s Wheel, and the MEONBRIDGE CHRONICLES series was born. I have now written four CHRONICLES: Fortune’s Wheel, A Woman’s Lot, De Bohun’s Destiny, and Children’s Fate. I am currently writing the fifth book in the series.
I am, by the way, self-published, under my own imprint, Riverdown Books.

Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
I think I read all sorts of books when I was a child but it’s rather too long ago to remember. As an adult, I used to read lots of “women’s fiction” and “literary fiction” but, these days, although I do read historical fiction, and I also enjoy psychological thrillers, my favourite reads are definitely British crime novels, such as those by Anne Cleeves, M.W. Craven, Elly Griffiths and Angela Marsons.

Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
To be honest I can’t think of anyone. But I will mention Ann Swinfen, another writer of historical fiction – among them two series, the Oxford Medieval Mysteries and The Chronicles of Christoval Alvarez – who was a good friend of mine, and the person who convinced me that I could also be a writer and be published. Sadly, Ann died two years ago, and is greatly missed by all her loyal readers. But for me, I doubt I would have embarked on my journey to publication without her wise advice.

If you could, which fictional character (from your own book(s) or someone else’s) would you like to invite for tea and why?
It would be interesting to invite one of my characters for “tea”, as she’d be highly baffled by what she was drinking! Especially when she discovered the leaves for the tea were grown and harvested thousands of miles away on the other side of the Earth. I wonder what she’d make of that? Anyway, I suppose the one of my own characters I’d like to chat to would be Alice atte Wode, the “matriarch” of Meonbridge, simply to try and understand what it was really like to live in 14th century Hampshire. Although she’s illiterate – she’s a peasant – she has a wealth of experience about so many aspects of village life and I feel she could give me real insight into the behaviours and mores of the time. How fascinating that would be…

Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
No! I’m not a terribly disciplined writer so, when I feel the “writing itch” coming on, I simply switch on my laptop and write wherever the opportunity presents itself, in my office, or on the kitchen table, or on my lap in a comfy chair. That applies whether I’m writing novel chapters or a blog post, or editing a draft, or engaging in social media. Though sometimes I do just write in pencil on a paper pad, especially when I’m at the early stages of a novel, outlining or initial drafting. What I do do is drink tea almost all the time, mostly decaf. But really I don’t have any particular routine…

Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
I really don’t know, which everybody says, I’m sure! With Fortune’s Wheel, the original spark came from the draft of a novel I’d scribbled in my twenties (I never throw anything away…). That draft wasn’t much good, but the setting (rural Hampshire) and period (14th century) appealed to me. Research soon suggested that the 14th century had a rich social history, and I thought the period after the Black Death might be interesting. So I had a timeframe, a setting and a context… The original main characters – Alice, Margaret and Eleanor – then somehow “presented” themselves to me. I honestly don’t know how that happens – it just does. The plot simply evolved from wondering how people would have coped in the aftermath of something so devastating as a plague that wiped out half of your friends and neighbours, and possibly most of your family. For each of the sequels, I’ve had a think about which characters I want to “narrate” the story – and whether I need any new characters – and then I develop storylines that are pertinent to those characters. In the latest book, Children’s Fate, history also played a part, with the storyline turning at least partly on the return of the Black Death. The truth is that characters and plots do just sort of evolve, seemingly without all that much input from me… How weird is that?!
And, no, no one need be worried by my creations because none of my characters are based on anyone I know.

Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
I’m basically a “planner” and not a “pantster”, or rather a bit of both. I couldn’t write a book without having some idea of its structure and broad content. Once I have a broad concept for a novel, I write an outline of the whole story, a summary of each chapter, sometimes down to scene level, depending on how much I already “know”. The book’s ending is usually fairly vague at this stage, but I will have some idea of what will happen.
At the same time as the “plotting”, because my stories are very much character-focused, I have to clarify in my mind the motivations, anxieties and transformations of my characters. Of course, when you write in series, by the time you’re on to book 4 you know your characters quite well. However, the whole point of a story arc is to have your central characters change or develop in some way as a result of the events you put them through, so it’s important to revisit your understanding of “who they are”.
The third thing I have to do is research any story threads I don’t know enough about. Because Children’s Fate is the fourth set in a “world” I’m already familiar with, I don’t have to research everything from scratch but there is always something I don’t know…
Anyway, once I feel I sufficiently understand the characters and have a storyline with a reasonably workable structure (and I’ve also done “enough” research), I start writing the first draft. As I write, I follow the outline, but not at all slavishly. Nothing is set in stone. I expect change. The plan is just a framework, which I expand and round out with description, character interactions and dialogue as I write.

Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
Just write! You have to practise, practise, practise, to learn how to plot, how to draw engaging characters, how to write convincing dialogue. To hone your writing skill. Writing makes you a better writer, though not of course if you are not self-critical or unwilling to accept criticism from other people. So write, and somehow get your work in front of other people, by which I don’t mean agents and publishers but other writers and readers, who will give you an honest opinion. And, talking of readers, you must also read yourself. Lots! So you can learn what works and what doesn’t, and then emulate the best techniques yourself.

What are your future plans as an author?
I am currently writing book 5 in the MEONBRIDGE CHRONICLES series. I know there will be a sixth book, and possibly a seventh. That might then be the end of the CHRONICLES but we’ll see…
I have another completed novel, which I wrote for my PhD in Creative Writing. It’s called The Nature of Things and is again set in the 14th century. The book is structured as seven novellas, spanning the entire century, and history drives the plot to a greater degree than it does in any of the CHRONICLES. For example, the poverty and famine of the early 1300s and King Edward I’s concerns about public disorder are significant to the first novella. The appalling weather and resulting famine are key to the second. However, although it is complete, the book does need some work so I’m editing it alongside writing the next CHRONICLE, and I’d like to think it might possibly be published next year…
I also have an idea for a new series set in the 14th century, called provisionally MEDIEVAL HEIRESSES, following the lives of women who, for the lack of a male heir in the family, inherited their father’s estates or business interests. I have three novels in mind, with the main characters based on real women. So, I have plenty to keep me busy!

Last, but not least : Can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured here on my blog, please?
A snippet from Children’s Fate…

When Bea awoke, it was still dark. She strained her eyes to see, but was certain the sky beyond the shutters was showing no sign of brightening. She often woke before dawn and, rarely able to find sleep again, she’d lie still, listening to the snorts and snuffles of the other girls, and waiting for the church bell to ring Prime. Yet, only moments passed before she realised this was not her bed. It was much softer than the one she was accustomed to, and much larger. As she gradually regained her wits, she knew she was still in the house of Master Marchaunt. Indeed, she must be in his bed, for she sensed the bulk of someone lying next to her, and the snuffling was not that of a maid.
In the dark and silence, she could hear her heartbeat throbbing in her ears, and a dizziness dulled her senses. She shook her head to clear it, and tried to remember what had happened, how she’d got here. Yet she couldn’t. Of course, she knew what must have happened, but could recall neither when nor how she’d left the warmth of the hall downstairs and come up to the bedchamber, nor anything of events between that moment and this.
It occurred to her she should feel both frightened and ashamed, yet somehow she felt neither. She remembered Master Marchaunt talking to her earlier in the evening, enjoying their conversation. He’d wanted her to stay. What’s more, despite her protests, she’d wanted to…

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

Giveaway :

Win a $15 / £15 / €15 Amazon Gift Card (Open Internationally)
*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 / #PromoPost : When The Children Come – Barry Kirwan @Eden_Paradox

– ‘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 ‘When The Children Come’ blogtour, organized by Rachel’s Random Resources.
To promote this book I have a some ‘basic’ information for you.

About the Author :

dD8M2huhI was born in Farnborough and grew up watching the Red Arrow jet fighters paint the sky at airshows. I didn’t get into writing until years later when I arrived in Paris, where I penned The Eden Paradox series (four books) over a period of ten years. My SF influences were Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, Frank Herbert, and Orson Scott Card, but also David Brin who writes about smart aliens. Iain Banks and Alistair Reynolds remain major influences, as well as Neal Asher, Peter F Hamilton and Jack McDevitt.
My main SF premise is that if we do ever meet aliens, they’ll probably be far more intelligent than we are, and with very different values and ideas of how the galaxy works. As a psychologist by training, that interests me in terms of how to think outside our own (human) frame of reference.
When I’m not writing, I’m either working (my day job), which is preventing mid-air collisions, reading, or doing yoga or tai chi. When I’m on holiday I’m usually diving, looking for sharks. Most times I find them, or rather, they find me.

Social Media Links:
Facebook
Website 
Twitter

Synopsis :

J7LaZH_QNathan, emotionally scarred after three tours in Afghanistan, lives alone in Manhattan until New Year’s Eve, when he meets Lara. The next morning, he notices something strange is going on – a terrified kid is being pursued by his father, and a girl, Sally, pleads with Nathan to hide her from her parents. There is no internet, no television, no phone coverage.
Nathan, Lara and Sally flee along the East Coast, encountering madmen, terrorists, the armed forces, and other children frightened for their lives. The only thing Nathan knows for sure is that he must not fall asleep…

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK
Amazon US

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#OneDayBlogBlitz #RachelsRandomResources @rararesources / #Review : Editing Your Novel’s Structure – Bethany A Tucker

– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free.
I’m grateful of receiving a free copy from the publisher/author in exchange for an honest review of this book. –

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About the Author :

UZVrnErQBethany Tucker is an author and editor located near Seattle, U.S.A. Story has always been a part of her life. With over twenty years of writing and teaching experience, she’s more than ready to take your hand and pull back the curtain on writing craft and mindset. Last year she edited over a million words for aspiring authors. Her YA fantasy series Adelaide is published wide under the pen name Mustang Rabbit and her dark epic fantasy is releasing in 2021 under Ciara Darren. You can find more about her services for authors at The Art and Science of Words.

Social Media Links:
The Art and Science of Words
Mustang Rabbit

Synopsis :

pTNh_yWgBefore it’s time to check for commas and iron out passive voice, fiction writers need to know that their story is strong. Are your beta readers not finishing? Do they have multiple, conflicting complaints? When you ask them questions about how they experience your story, do they give lukewarm responses? Or have you not even asked anyone to read your story, wondering if it’s ready?
If any of the above is true, you may need to refine the structure of your story. What is structure you ask? Structure is what holds a story together. Does the character arc entrance the reader? Is the world building comprehensive and believable? These questions and more have to be answered by all of us as we turn our drafts into books.
In this concise handbook, complete with checklists for each section, let a veteran writer walk you through the process of self-assessing your novel, from characters to pacing with lots of compassion and a dash of humor. In easy to follow directions and using adaptable strategies, she shows you how to check yourself for plot holes, settle timeline confusion, and snap character arcs into place.
Use this handbook for quick help and quick self-editing checklists on:
– Characters and Character Arcs.
– Plot.
– Backstory.
– Point of View.
– A detailed explanation of nearly free self-editing tools and how to apply them to your book to find your own structural problems.
– Beginnings and Ends.
– Editing for sensitive and specialized subject matter.
– Helpful tips on choosing beta readers, when to seek an editor, and a sample questionnaire to give to your first readers. 

Grab your copy of Edit Your Novel’s Structure today! Now is the time to finish that draft and get your story out into the world.

Amazon

Review :

As someone who is dabbling in writing and is trying to get her mojo back ‘Editing Your Novel’s Structure’ by Bethany A Tucker was a welcome book to read as it got me all excited again.
I thought it was a handy manual which gave me a lot of insight into self editing and getting the structure of your story right.
I definitely liked the checklists, not only for the characters, but also for the plot and backstory and I think I’ll be printing them out and putting them on a my wall together with my time-line and other fabulous tools I found in this book.
Undoubtedly a guide I would recommend as it will get yourself to ask critical questions about your structure, plot, character, background, … and lead you to a book not only worth reading by Alpha / Beta readers, but also worth publishing!

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#MiniBlogBlitz #RachelsRandomResources @rararesources / #QandAs : Chroma – Oscar Wenman-Hyde @WenmanHyde

– ‘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 ‘Chroma’ 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 :

mvMxDE6AOscar Wenman-Hyde is a writer living in Gloucester, UK. Born and raised in the quiet towns of North Devon, Oscar would spend the majority of his time as a child writing and directing short films with his brother and neighbours. From here, Oscar’s passion led him to explore all aspects of his creativity, by graduating with a BA Hons in Songwriting at the British and Irish Modern Music Institute. He now finds joy in all mediums of writing and although he has worked and trained in many areas, he is always inspired by film and remains grounded in storytelling.

Social Media Links:
Twitter
Facebook
Instagram oj_scriptwriters
Instagram Oscar Wenman-Hyde

Synopsis :

1DOcGJoQWhen Riley watched Chroma, the latest movie by Armani Manora, he had no idea how much his life was about to change. Riley’s parents, Jean and Paul, are currently getting divorced, and they have managed to keep the situation hidden from Riley, until now.
They were unaware of the effects this was having on Riley’s emotional and mental well-being, and as tensions rose at school and at home, he was visited by a voice in his bedroom. Before too long, he began a journey that was not only dangerous, but eye opening.
Chroma explores the rapidly changing family dynamic throughout divorce, and how a child’s imagination can take them to unknown places. It is emotional, insightful and a moving story which not only teaches us how to be an adult, but how to be a child.

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! 🙂

Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
Of course! So, even though I’d like to say I’m an author, because that sounds much more intellectual than the truth, I’m mainly a screenwriter. My debut novel ‘Chroma’ was adapted from a screenplay of the same name, and whilst I would love the script to have been made into a film, I realised that I was just sitting on such an important subject, which if I read, growing up or even now, it would have helped me so much to come to terms with my parents divorce.
So, because of this realisation, I decided to get to work on the novel! It was a wonderful experience, and just from writing the book I learnt so much about my own psychology. I’m not going to lie, at times it was tough to bring up all of those emotions from when I was a child, but it was necessary in creating a narrative than can offer insight as well as closer on the much disregarded subject of divorce, especially from a child’s perspective.

Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
I’ve had to answer this question a lot recently and it makes me feel increasingly guilty, but the truth is that I’ve read hardly any books! When I first started writing Chroma, I started to worry that I was doing it wrong, so I quickly read two books by Ethan Hawke called ‘The Hottest State’ and ‘Ash Wednesday’ and they blew my mind!

Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
I would love to pick the brain of Richard Linklater. At this point, I have dried out YouTube for all interviews on the main, so the next step can only be to actually speak to him! His use of dialogue and his loose structures within his movies, continuously inspire me and help shape me into the writer I want to become.

If you could, which fictional character (from your own book(s) or someone else’s) would you like to invite for tea and why?
As self-indulgent as this might sound, I’d want to invite Riley from my own book ‘Chroma’, because we are so similar and our parents’ divorce affected us both on such a deep emotional level. I’d just want to talk to him to tell him that everything will be ok, it’s not the end of the world, even if the walls do feel like they’re caving in, and just be able to speak to him in the way that both of our parents should have.

Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
I don’t actually, but I do often forget to eat, drink, or even move! Sometimes I will sit at my desk for eight hours or more which never ends well!

Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
They don’t need to be worried, but they do need to expect that one day they may be written about. There’s the famous writing term which states that you should write what you know, however, I don’t necessarily agree with that, to me, it is much more about writing what you can feel. If you are writing from the heart and connecting to something on an emotional level, it is hard to go wrong.

Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
I’m both, sometimes I plot and sometimes I go with the flow! It all depends on the story and its complexity, if it is related to my life or something I have experienced it is easy to discovery write, but if it is the other way around, I’ll tend to plot out first just to be sure.

Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
Don’t write with the idea of selling, or the idea of money, or success, write because you have a story that has to be told and then with a bit of luck, the fortune will come on its own.
Do open yourself up to your own stories. In a way, sometimes writing can be scary, because you can discover yourself on the page, or reveal emotions that you thought were buried, but in order to create sometime real and something honest, you must open up every ounce of yourself to the page.
Don’t rely on other’s to guarantee your success, create your own luck, release and publish your own projects. Do it for passion and whatever comes your way will be from your own back.
Do collaborate, trust and share your ideas with friends, family and fellow writers. It is the easiest way to road test an idea, and don’t be scared of someone stealing an idea. Whilst there may be some rare cases where this actually happens, proper writers are too busy with their own projects to worry about stealing, and if they do, just promise yourself to write something better. Always strive to be better than the last idea.

What are your future plans as an author?
I don’t know what my plans are as an author. I know for sure that I’ll definitely write more books, but I’d never do it for the sake of it, the story has to be right, and I have to have a reason to tell it within this medium.

Last, but not least : Can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured here on my blog, please?
Sure, here is a short excerpt from part three of the Prologue ‘Riley’.

Riley knows all about Zombies, Killer Space Wizards, Aliens from the nethersphere, and Emma Stone’s physical attributes from her starring role as Mystique, in the all-female version of X-Men, and yes, Beyoncé as a bold mind reader in a wheelchair is as strange as it sounds. But right now, for the first time that he can remember, none of that is on his mind, because at the bottom of the stairs leant against the front door is his mother, in a certain level of conflict that he hasn’t seen since Luke Skywalker found out who his real father was.
Riley pushes the pop culture references as far out of his mind as he can and watches the pain engulf his mother, anchoring her down into the depths of her own emotions as her sadness continues to tear open an already infected wound. But for Riley, a fresh wound is only just opening, for the first time in his life he is seeing something that he has never seen or even thought of. His mother’s outward appearance shows him that she isn’t the woman he thought she was. To Riley, she doesn’t seem strong at all, she’s sat against the door with her head in her hands, crying in conjunction with the rain fall against the windows.
The mirrored response from the weather is overwhelming for Riley. He debates going downstairs to comfort her, but he is more worried as to how he would even do such a thing. As after all, he’s only eight-years-old, and he hasn’t learnt the life lessons he needs to get through a situation like this, but then again, neither has Jean or Paul.
Sadly, like millions of other people around the world, they have to make it up as they go along, but much like the water rushing from Jean’s swollen eyes and the rain outside accentuating every beat, it only forces Riley into a frame of mind that he tries so hard to hide from.

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

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 / #GuestPost : The Viscount’s Convenient Bride – Josie Bonham @BonhamJosie

– ‘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 ‘The Viscount’s Convenient Bride’ blogtour, organised by Rachel’s Random Resources.
To promote this book I have a guest post, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

twqKBEngJosie lives in the English midlands, surrounded by towns full of history such as Evesham, Stratford-Upon- Avon, Warwick and Worcester. Which is perhaps why her favourite reads are historical. Out of all the periods to choose from the Regency Era stirs her imagination the most. The true Regency lasted from 1811 until 1820 but dates as wide as 1789 to 1837 have been included in the extended Regency period. For Josie the true flavour of this period emerges after the iniquitous hair powder tax of 1795, unsurprisingly, scuppered the fashion for hair powder almost overnight.
Josie has always dabbled in stories but it took the combined efforts of her sister and eldest niece to set her on the path to writing novels. Her Regency romances, with a dash of adventure and intrigue, are the result.
There is more information on her website.

Social Media Links:
Twitter
Facebook

Synopsis :

8VAmnKDQLuke, Viscount Enstone’s, resolve to avoid a love match is tested to its limit when he accepts responsibility for the Davenport family.
Luke has found it hard to sort out his late father’s affairs. A dishonest secretary and ailing land agent have left the family estates in disorder. With new people in place, he sets off to one of his smaller properties to discover the extent of an obligation that seems out of keeping with the cold-hearted father he remembers. Who is the young woman living at Shepley Hall and what was her connection to his father?
Miss Kitty Davenport has waited for a long time to find out if the new Viscount Enstone will continue the support his father gave to her family and her patience is wearing thin. Will he carry on paying for her young brother’s education and even assist him in finding a career? For herself, all she needs is help to find a suitable position as a companion and to escape from the unwanted attentions of a persistent suitor.

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK
Amazon US

Guest Post :

When danger threatens Kitty Davenport, Luke, the new Viscount Enstone finds his resolve to avoid a love match at all costs is tested to its limit.
Luke feels honour bound to continue the support his father gave to the Davenports, despite being mystified as to why the hard-hearted father he remembers helped them. He escorts Kitty to London to live with his aunt. Kitty’s suspicion that her late father was cheated out of his home and fortune proves to be correct. It seems that Kitty is an heiress. Events take a sinister turn and Luke needs all the skills he learned in the army to keep Kitty safe, helped by her own resourcefulness.
The Regency was a strange era for people with pretensions to gentility. Earning the main part of your living from anything other than landowning was frowned upon by the higher reaches of society. A lot of people aspired to the lifestyle without owning the acres and plenty of landowners, through mismanagement and profligate spending, needed to repair the family fortunes.
Inheritance was a serious matter. If you saw Sanditon on TV recently think of the brother and sister desperate to inherit from their aunt. Failing an inheritance, unscrupulous men were prepared to take short cuts. Fortune hunters hoping to marry heiresses abounded and I’m sure, as in every era, there were some prepared to go even farther. As Luke and Kitty discovered. In the process they also found their own path to a loving marriage.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#BlogTour #RachelsRandomResources @rararesources / #QandAs : Becoming Alfie – Neil Patterson

– ‘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 ‘Becoming Alfie’ 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 :

ghi-w3qwBorn in South Essex close to the River Thames and directly East of London, my childhood was peppered with memories of the mighty river itself.
We would swim, fish and discover hidden treasure in the tidal mudflats with the fragments of clay pipes we found taking us back to another era. It was here that my inspiration for writing was born. I began to keep a diary of my observations from life and documented my feelings and thoughts.
My wife was twenty two and I was twenty four when we migrated to Australia with a glorious expectation. The sun was shining, the people were friendly and Sydney Harbour simply magnificent. Together we were committed to making the most of this opportunity beginning the next step in our lives. Everything was new which gave me endless writing opportunities that I recorded in my diary which had spilled over into a number of books. We travelled around this incredible country meeting people from all walks of life and from many nationalities. We lived and worked in a variety of capital cities enjoying each and every experience. All this was tremendous fodder for my writing.
I began to write short stories and poetry, none of which I sought to publish. By my fifty second birthday I was able to finish working and focus full time on my writing, the results so far are The Alfie Norrington Series with Becoming Alfie the first in the series of four. I hope that you enjoy reading Becoming Alfie as much as I did writing it.

Social Media Links:
Facebook
Website

Synopsis :

1oeVf0FQAlfie Norrington was born into poverty in London’s East End in the first minute of the twentieth century. His life was a battle. From the Brick Lane markets where young Alfie pilfered and pickpocketed, to the trenches of Flanders, Alfie fought every step of the way.
Almost killed by a trench bomb he battled to recover and while in a military hospital Alfie made a promise that dramatically change’s his life. A true East End hero, Alfie begins his journey away from poverty armed with a robust moral compass and an open heart.
Becoming Alfie is the first in the Alfie Norrington series. It follows the life of a man who positively influenced thousands of people. The world needs more individuals like Alfie Norrington, that give much more than they take.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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! 🙂

Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
I was born in Essex and migrated to Australia with my wife of four months almost 40 years ago. I worked in Sales and marketing for an I.T. company leaving them to retire early after 30 years or so. Since my early adolescence I have written in my diary (it is had a good number of volumes now!) and from my late twenties I have written poetry and short stories. Once I retired I began to focus on writing a book,which was my dream. That book has become four books in the Alfie Norrington Series the first of which Becoming Alfie was published in late September.

Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
Anything written by Enid Blyton was my favourite as a child. I have a wide range of authors that I read including John Grisham, Patricia Cornwell, Jeffery Archer, biography’s, particularly autobiographies. I read almost anything which may also include the Yellow Pages if there is nothing else to around. A few years back I read and loved James Herriot’s books and around the same time I discovered a London based writer called James Herbert. He wrote about massive rats spewing out of the sewers of London and killing vast numbers of people. Those two genres couldn’t be any further apart!

Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
Charles Dickens would be my go to mentor. He was prolific in his writing and the manner in which he created his characters with so much depth, so many quirks and idiosyncrasies, I love . If it were possible to talk with him about both these points and his writing in general I would be completely gobsmacked!

If you could, which fictional character (from your own book(s) or someone else’s) would you like to invite for tea and why?
Some say that Jesus Christ was a fictional character, if that is the case imagine the array of questions I could ask him.”You really walked on Lake Galilee?” However, sticking to the topic Vito Corleone would be a magnificent late afternoon guest. A number of questions spring to mind “So Vito, can I call you Vito? So, what is it like to take the life of another?”
“Tell me Vito, has there been one act of violence that you regret?”
“So Vito, what would your Italian Mama say today about your behaviour?”
“Really Vito, you enjoy it when one of your capo’s slaps you around the chops?”
This could go on forever but, if the above really happened, I would be dead.

Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
Oh yeah, probably too much in reality. When I am writing I rise at 6.30am precisely, face East and whistle the first verse of Jerusalem. Actually, I am not that bad, I think. I am almost totally incommunicado. I don’t answer phones, ignore email, refuse to talk to my wife, become a recluse and drink a little too much wine each evening. This pattern only lasts for a week, then I go back to normality, whatever that may be, until the next creative burst.

Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
My beautiful dog, Harry H and I, walk each and every morning around the abundance of coastal tracks, lake walks and surf beaches where we live. My stories, characters, the plots, the next chapter, the villains, it is all hatched on our morning walks. I record these thoughts via my phone, by writing them down at times and I even have an old Dictaphone that has joined us on the odd occasion. These morning walks are inspirational as the combination of nature and solitude really helps me in defining aspects of each story.
Note. Harry H the beautiful, old Border Collie, passed away after a short illness 9 days ago. He was deep into his thirteenth year. I miss my little mate something terrible but continue our walks, dearly wishing that he were wagging his tail beside me.

Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
Definitely a panster, but a panster that at least writes down some sort of plot, it’s just that I write all around and over it. No shame in that!

Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
Never give up. Trust your instincts. Be your biggest fan. Embrace the concept of selling your books. Try not to listen to your detractors. Be brave

What are your futureplans as an author?
To continue to write stories that entertain. They need to be easy to read, engaging and have “page turn-ability” . I want to publish one or two each year.

Last, but not least : Can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured here on my blog, please?
OK. Look out for Alfie’s love interest, her name is … well, you will find out if you read Becoming Alfie. She is a nurse and they fell head over heels until … it made me cry when I read it back after writing it.

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

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!

#PublicationDayPush #RachelsRandomResources @rararesources / #QandAs : The Watchful Neighbour – Debbie Viggiano @DebbieViggiano

– ‘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 ‘The Watchful Neighbour’ 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 :

sMYBFHpgPrior to turning her attention to writing, Debbie Viggiano was, for more years than she cares to remember, a legal secretary. She lives with her Italian husband, a rescued pooch from Crete, and a very disgruntled cat. Occasionally her adult children return home bringing her much joy… apart from when they want to raid the fridge or eat her secret stash of chocolate. 

Social Media Links:
Twitter
Facebook
Instagram

Synopsis :

qc7i1FDgWhen Jade Ferguson’s affair with a married man abruptly ends, she’s devastated.
There is no quick fix for a broken heart. A fresh start is required.
New job. New home. New neighbours.
The residents of Gresham Terrace seem pleasant enough.
Except for one…
An absolutely gripping debut psychological thriller.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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 having me on your blog. I am HUGELY grateful, and delighted to answer your questions!

Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
Absolutely! I’m a fifty-mumble-year-old who, despite having her entire body go south, still feels young on the inside. This mentality plays havoc when shopping for clothes because I scoop a garment off the rails with the glee of a teenager only to have my daughter (age twenty-three, flawless skin, gorgeous figure, trendy as heck) give the slightest twitch of her head which roughly translates as, ‘You’re my mum, I love you to bits, but that leather mini-skirt doesn’t compliment the turkey neck.’ Fair enough. However, in my books I can behave and dress how I like under the guise of a character. There is a lot of me in Lucy (Lucy’s Last Straw). She’s a hot-flushing menopausal woman despairing about her approaching fiftieth birthday, ignored by her husband and ripe for a final romantic fling. That said, I swear I haven’t had any flings. Brownie’s honour. Or is it Scout’s honour? I’d better stick to topic here before I get myself in hot water. So, how did I become an author? By accident, is the answer. When I met Mr V, I had no idea that he was an ardent supporter of Manchester United or that my sitting down to overdose on Coronation Street would become such a flipping issue. The remote control was like a tug-of-love child. Back and forth, back and forth, right down to who was having access over the Christmas period, and so on. In those days we had a sky-high mortgage and a budget tighter than the waistband of the trousers I’m currently wearing. There was no spare cash for a second telly. Bored, I started to outline the idea of a book that I’d always wanted to write. Suddenly I couldn’t wait to hole-up with my growing manuscript. The result was Stockings and Cellulite. And I haven’t stopped writing since (or watched telly!).

Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
As a child I loved reading anything by Enid Blyton. Her stories transported me to a place so far away I’d fail to hear my mother shrieking up the stairs, ‘DINNER FOR THE UMPTEENTH TIME!’ My favourite was The Magic Faraway Tree. Years later, I was thrilled to read the same stories to my own children, although I must confess to getting terrible giggles reading out the characters’ names Dick and Fanny. Now that I’m a grown-up (some members of my family would contest that) I absolutely adore Catherine Alliott’s storytelling and never miss anything written by the fabulous Milly Johnson. I love stories that are warm, humorous and have a happy ending!

Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
I have picked lots of writers’ brains for advice over the years. I’m a member of two closed writing groups which are a ‘safe’ place to throw out questions without feeling like an idiot, whether it’s wanting to know about experiences with different publishers or a squeamish research question. I had one or two such questions whilst writing The Watchful Neighbour and will say that crime writers are walking encyclopaedias!

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 loved Rosie Perfect who featured in The Perfect Marriage. She was a sweetheart despite having a best friend who betrayed her and a domineering mother who pressured her into marriage with a useless husband. Rosie is the sort of young woman you instantly want to hug and reassure. She also has a gorgeous baby boy, and I adore babies (would have another if I weren’t a decade past my sell-by date).

Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
Only drinking. Tea! (What did you think I was going to say?!)

Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
Ha ha! There is a saying: Don’t upset a writer because you might end up in his/her next book. That’s all I’m going to say on the matter! As for where the ideas come from… well, it can be anywhere. Like, overhearing a bit of conversation in a supermarket aisle which you just know is juicier than a ripe orange because of the body language of the two people gossiping. I’ve been known to linger in the bread aisle simply to earwig on hushed tones confiding about the next-door neighbour who propositioned a visiting plumber then wouldn’t let him leave. Gold! That said, the idea for The Man You Meet in Heaven came in the early hours of the morning. I was terrified of forgetting the outline, so ended up emailing myself the entire summary from my phone.

Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
A plotter. With a memory like mine, I have to be!

Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
Write about what you know. That sounds obvious, but it is true. Also, don’t be afraid to be your own voice rather than trying to emulate someone else.

What are your future plans as an author?
Having just written my first psychological thriller, I am likely returning to my usual genre of romantic comedy. It was terrific writing The Watchful Neighbour and producing tense chapters, but I have a dozen romcom outlines on the hard drive with casts of characters hollering to be let out.

Last, but not least : Can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured here on my blog, please?
Of course! The jacket blurb reads as follows:

When Jade Ferguson’s affair with a married man abruptly ends, she’s devastated.
There is no quick fix for a broken heart. A fresh start is required.
New job. New home. New neighbours.
The residents of Gresham Terrace seem pleasant enough.
Except for one…

I had great fun revealing HOW Jade’s affair with that married man ended. Let’s just say he got what he deserved but not necessarily in the way you might think!

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

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 / #PromoPost : The Sound of Your Soul – Anna Cookson @annacookson @CallyDune @pegasuspublish

– ‘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 ‘The Sound of Your Soul’ blogtour, organised by Rachel’s Random Resources.
To promote this book I have a some ‘basic’ information for you.

About the Author :

tivmDXkQAnna Cookson is an award winning TV and radio presenter, currently hosting the breakfast show on BBC Radio Kent. She can also be heard on BBC Radio London and in her work as a voiceover artist.
Anna has broadcast for some big names including Radio 1, QVC, Magic, Kiss, LBC, Capital and Heart. She won a New York Award for her chat show, Girls Talk, which was also nominated for a Sony Academy Award.
When she’s not talking or writing, you’ll find her travelling the world, climbing mountains and running marathons. She also enjoys practicing yoga, reiki and painting.

Social Media Links:
Twitter
Facebook
Instagram

Synopsis :

ysRG-SHQThere are no fish, in the future. We killed them.
But it’s not just the ghosts of the shoals making artist Cally Dune unhappy.
Her husband has gone. Vanished, after being called up for the President’s new ‘Training Scheme’.
“No body ever comes back the same.” Worried whispers drift through the pubs, gathering like rainclouds to drip their paranoia into Cally’s mind, which is already marinaded in grief for Simon and fear about being called to Training herself.
Letting the wine flow into the places where it hurts, Cally stumbles into the arms of a clammy banker and unwittingly discovers a disturbing and painful secret. She is propelled on a journey through the dust of Africa and the hidden tunnels deep below London … unravelling the fading scrolls of the ancient Egyptians and illuminating their lurid hieroglyphics.
And ultimately towards a heartbreaking choice … to save her marriage or save her soul.
Because now there’s something else at stake.
They are coming for it.
And it’s inside her.

Purchase Links:
Pegasus Publishers
Amazon UK
Waterstones

The Magic of Wor(l)ds