Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Guest Post: Imagining Jefferson Winter…

Today it's my stop on the Prey blog tour so it's my pleasure to welcome James Carol to the blog to introduce us to his main character Jefferson Winter.

I’d like to tell you that Jefferson Winter appeared to me in a dream, that there was a moment of blinding epiphany and there he was fully-formed and ready to go striding across the page. Unfortunately, if I did that I’d be lying. The truth is that he was a character who was more than a decade in the making.

His origins can be traced back to YIN YANG, one of my earlier unpublished novels. Originally the lead character was going to be an FBI profiler, however, when I started writing the book it quickly became apparent that I didn’t have the writing chops to create a believable American character, so, instead, he became a British detective inspector .

Fast forward to the winter of 2011. I’d been trying to come up with a series character but not really getting anywhere. I’d always felt that I could have done a better job of YIN YANG, so I decided to do a complete rewrite. The biggest difference was that I went back to Plan A and made the lead character an American FBI agent. Within a couple of chapters it was clear that this was a completely new book. More importantly, I realised that I had a character who was interesting enough to lead a series.

The next stage in his development was an epiphany. One night I was having trouble sleeping and I started wondering about his family. What if his father was a serial killer? The idea was good enough to get me out of bed. Within half an hour I’d sketched out the execution scene that was later used as the prologue for BROKEN DOLLS.

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Guest Book Review: Emily Giffin - The One and Only

Reviewed by Emma Crowley

Ask yourself: what would you do if the one for you was the only person you couldn't have?

Shea Rigsby is content enough with her life in the small town of Walker, Texas. She has her dream fangirl job working for Walker's football team, a mostly satisfactory relationship with her boyfriend, and even if she's got the sneaking feeling life is passing her by, she doesn't quite have the confidence to do anything about it.

But everything changes when the mother of Lucy, Shea's best friend, dies suddenly. Lucy's father, now a widower, is the town's charismatic football coach, and Shea's hero since she was a young girl. Coach Carr is now alone as he and Shea grow closer than ever, Shea realises she can't help how she feels... for the father of her best friend, who's grieving for his wife.

Amazon links: Kindle or Paperback

Monday, 30 March 2015

I'm taking part in the paperback reading challenge this April

As I'm sure is the case with most bookworms I often find myself with a backlog of books I want to read and as a blogger I certainly get given the opportunity to review some fantastic books but despite this I still buy just as many books myself that I never manage to find the time to read... I'm definitely addicted to books ;-)

So when I saw that Sophie from Reviewed the Book and Suzanne from Lavender Likes, Loves, Finds and Dreams were planning a month long paperback reading challenge this April I decided to sign up as a way to try and structure my reading schedule.

As I still have a lot of outstanding books to review I had already been trying to review one older book then one newer book so am using the same principle for this reading challenge so below are the books I've set aside to try and read although realistically I know it's unlikely that I'll manage to read them all...

Saturday, 28 March 2015

Books Read & Giveaway: Jenny Oliver - The Grand Reopening of Dandelion Cafe

There’s nowhere more deliciously welcoming... 

When Annie White steps back onto Cherry Pie Island, it’s safe to say her newly inherited Dandelion Café has seen better days! And while her childhood home on the Thames-side island idyll is exactly the same retreat from the urban bustle of London she remembers, Annie’s not convinced that Owner of The Dandelion Cafe is a title she’ll be keeping for long. Not that she can bear the idea of letting her dedicated, if endearingly disorganized staff lose their jobs. Plus café life does also have the added bonus of working a stone’s throw away from millionaire Matt and his disarmingly charming smile! 

One (shoestring budget) café makeover, a few delightful additions to the somewhat retro menu and a lot of cherry pie tastings later, The Dandelion Café is ready for its grand reopening! But once she’s brought the dilapidated old café back to life, Annie finds herself wishing her stay on the island was just a bit longer. She always intended to go back to the big city…but could island living finally have lured her back home for good?

Amazon link: Kindle

Friday, 27 March 2015

Author Interview: Debbie Rix

This morning I'm delighted to welcome author Debbie Rix to the blog to talk about her debut novel Secrets of the Tower which Emma reviewed earlier this week.  After reading Secrets of the Tower Emma was given the chance to ask Debbie a few questions to discover a little more about her novel and writing process. 

Two women, centuries apart, bound together by the secrets of one of the most iconic buildings ever created. 

Pisa, 1999
Sam Campbell sits by her husband’s hospital bed. Far from home and her children, she must care for Michael who is recovering from a stroke. A man she loves deeply. A man who has been unfaithful to her. Alone and in need of distraction, Sam decides to pick up Michael’s research into the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Immersing herself in the ancient city, she begins to piece together the mystery behind the creation of the tower, and discovers the woman that history forgot… 

Pisa, 1171 
Berta di Bernardo, the wife of a rich merchant, sits in her chamber, dressing for a dinner party. A gathering that will change the course of her life and that of a young master mason, Gerardo, forever. 

A strong, intelligent woman, Berta’s passion for architecture draws her to Gerardo. As she embarks on a love affair, her maid Aurelia also becomes spellbound by the same man. Yet for Berta, her heart’s desire is to see the Tower built, and her determination knows no bounds… 

Can you tell us a little bit about your debut novel  Debbie ? 
Secrets of the Tower tells the story of Berta di Bernardo – a widow who left the money to build the Tower of Pisa. The novel is set in two time periods – 1170 when Berta was alive, and 1999 – the year the Tower was finally re-opened after engineering work had been completed to make the Tower safe at last.   I have two heroines – Berta of course, and a modern heroine Sam Campbell, a journalist married to a TV producer who has a stroke whilst making a film about the Tower. Living in Pisa, caring for her sick husband she is drawn to the story he was researching. The narrative interweaves the stories of these two powerful women and explores the complexities of their lives.  Both wrestle with loving a man other than their husbands but they are bound together by something more – a passion for the Tower.

Did you always want to write historical fiction?
No – I don’t think I did to be honest. I think my inclination was to write about the present day.  But there was something about the story of Berta di Bernardo that compelled me to write about her.  I’m now a complete convert. Historical fiction enables the writer to learn so much about a period as you research it and hopefully pass that on to the reader.