Monday, 22 September 2014

Guest Post: Kathleen McGurl talks about Finding the Perfect Title

Today it's publication day for Kathleen McGurl's latest novel The Emerald Comb and I'm delighted to welcome Kathleen to the blog to talk about finding the perfect title.

Do you know what the worst part about writing is for me? I’ll tell you. It’s finding a suitable title. While I have no problem stringing words together reasonably coherently to tell a story, develop a character or describe a scene, I am completely at a loss when it comes to finding a great title. I don’t know why that is.

I know writers who can’t start writing until they know what the title will be. Thankfully I am not one of them or I would never start anything. The Emerald Comb spent several of its gestational months in a computer folder called simply ‘TNN’ which stood for The Next Novel.

I began my writing career with short stories, many of which I sold to women’s magazines. One magazine fiction department was known for always changing the title of any story they bought. That suited me down to the ground – I would send in stories with any old title and let them come up with a better one. Once, and only once, they kept the title I’d given the story. That was also the only occasion I knew I had the perfect title – but it wasn’t my own,  a friend had come up with it for me! 

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Lunch with Lucinda Riley to talk about The Seven Sisters

This Summer I have been very fortunate to have been invited to some fab book events including an invite yesterday to have lunch with bestselling author Lucinda Riley to hear about her new Seven Sisters series.

First off I have to say a very big thank you to Olivia, Lucinda's PA, for the perfect instructions as to how to get to The Phene pub in Chelsea as I'm sure I'd have gotten lost if I'd tried to find it myself... those who know me personally know how shocking my sense of direction is!

We started off in the garden with a drink meet & greet session, Lucinda with FB competition winner Victoria, Jo, Jo, Susan, Jax and myself, and then moved upstairs for lunch and to have a chat with Lucinda about her books.

Lucinda has made a couple of videos to talk about the inspiration behind the series and an introduction to the first book The Seven Sisters, which is Maia's story, which I can share with you below.

Guest Post: Amy Bird talks about Toxic Relationships in Hide and Seek

This morning it's my stop on Amy Bird's blog tour for her latest psychological thriller Hide and Seek which is being published in 3 parts with the final part being published this Thursday.  As part of the tour Amy's publisher's are running a competition to win a trip to Paris, see details at the end of this post.

Amy is the author of the thrillers Three Steps Behind You and Yours Is Mine, and now Hide and Seek.

Having moved all over the UK as a child, she now lives in North London with her husband, dividing her time between working part-time as a lawyer and writing.

You can find out more at or follow her on Twitter @London_writer

Families can hide the darkest of secrets. When those secrets fester alongside already damaged relationships, those relationships go from ones of gently bubbling resentment to boiling toxicity. Just so in my new novel Hide and Seek.

There are some classic, almost stereotypical difficult relationships in families. The mother-in-law and the daughter-in-law is one example. That subtle competition for the son's affections might seem dated, anti-feminist even. But nonetheless there is often a latent power play beneath the surface, the battle to show who knows best, who now has the ear of the contested male. In Hide and Seek, we see this contest. Will's wife, Ellie, is one of the three first-person narrators. Gillian, Will's mother, is also a central character. The mistrust and latent enmity between the two women had already been established by Gillian's overbearing and insensitive nature, unpalatable to Ellie's sparky and independent nature. So when Ellie suspects Gillian of harbouring a secret that is fundamental to Will's identity, a battle begins. Gillian will keep the secret at whatever cost. Ellie wants it revealed. Not just for Will's benefit, but for the game of shattering Gillian.

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Guest Book Review: Kelly Rimmer - Me Without You

Reviewed by Tanya Phillips

A year ago I met the love of my life. For two people who didn’t believe in love at first sight, we came pretty close.

Lilah MacDonald – beautiful, opinionated, stubborn and all kinds of wonderful in ways that words could never quite capture. The woman who taught me to live again.

My Lilah, who gave me so much, and yet kept from me a secret that she knew would break my heart.

My name is Callum Roberts, and this is our story.

Amazon links: Kindle or Paperback

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Giveaway: September pre-loved books giveaway

Tonight I've decided to throw another pre-loved books giveaway as a thank you to followers for their support, photo below is a selection of some of the books that, I either have duplicates of or have read, the winners will be able to choose from (there should hopefully be at least 1 or 2 more by the time the giveaway ends).

The winners will be selected on 1st October and then contacted with a full list of books to choose from.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Watch Kathy Reichs live broadcast today from London's Barts Pathology Museum

Any Kathy Reichs fans out there?  If you are then then you may be interested in watching a live broadcast that she is doing today at 5pm from the Barts Pathology Museum in London where she'll be talking about forensics and  how they've influenced her writing career.

Kathy Reichs will be joined by Carla Valentine, Technical Assistant Curator in a special broadcast from London’s Barts Pathology Museum

Watch the broadcast at 5pm on 17th September via the link below.

From teaching FBI agents how to detect and recover human remains, to separating and identifying commingled body parts in her Montreal lab, as a forensic anthropologist Kathy Reichs has brought her own dramatic work experience to her mesmerising thrillers. For years she consulted to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in North Carolina, and continues to do so for the Laboratoire de Sciences Judiciaires et de Médecine Légale for the province of Québec. Dr. Reichs has travelled to Rwanda to testify at the UN Tribunal on Genocide, and helped exhume a mass grave in Guatemala. As part of her work at JPAC (Formerly CILHI) she aided in the identification of war dead from World War II, Korea, and Southeast Asia. Dr. Reichs also assisted with identifying remains found at ground zero of the World Trade Center following the 9/11 terrorist attacks.