Posted in Writing

MY TOP TEN BOOKS FOR 2020

Now that Christmas has come and gone, we’re looking forward to a new year. 2021 will see me setting a fresh reading target with Goodreads.  I’ve been involved in the reading challenge since 2015 and 2017 was my best year with 60 books completed and reviewed. This year I began with a modest 40 titles, which has ended with 67 books read and reviewed!  Covid has been a contributory factor, as it probably has been for many people who, like me, have turned to reading to fill in time usually spent on activities outside the four walls of home.

Having completed 67 books (it will actually be 68 as I’m currently coming to the end of The Catch by T M Logan) it has been an extremely difficult job to pick ten titles.  There have been many five star reviews; books that have entertained and which I have enjoyed.  In creating this list I have looked at all of my 2020 reads and tried to find the ones which, for me, had that extra something.

So here’s my list and although there are ten, they all have an equal placing as my favourites of 2020.  There’s quite a variety here – a lot of psychological thrillers, yes, as I’ve developed quite a taste for them. But you’ll also find romance, crime and a couple of historical novels in the mix. As a lover of fantasy-  and Arthurian legend in particular – it was also great to discover a new author this year – James Wilde.  His trilogy Pendragon, Dark Age and The Bear King also deserve a mention.

 

 

 

So that’s it for another year, but there’s no let up for me. As a Netgalley reader and reviewer I’ve already completed my first 2021 novel – Wendy Dranfield’s Find My Child, due to be published on 25th January. It’s her debut for Bookouture and I have to say she’s set the bar high for the coming year.

 

 

Wishing you all a safe and healthy new year. I’ll be back in January with my monthly update.

 

Best wishes

 

Jo x

Posted in Childhood Memories, Christmas, Wiltshire, Writing

SEASONAL REFLECTIONS

Every year during this run up to the festive season, I always seem to get pulled back into memories of childhood Christmases. Of course it was a long time ago and things were vastly different then. For a start it was less commercialised: a gentler time where we were far more innocent as children and keen to believe in what was then a magical as well as religious celebration.

FATHER CHRISTMAS

Growing up, most of us believed in Father Christmas. I think I must have been six or seven before I learnt the truth.  Unlike us, these days kids know far more at a much earlier age.  They wouldn’t be fooled by tales of a red suited man with a large white beard climbing down the chimney to delivery presents.  During one particular December a girl in my class told us all that she’d actually met and spoken to Santa. I had always wondered how one man with a sleigh and a team of reindeer could possibly bring toys to children all over the world in one night. Magic, I was told, but after she had boasted to the class about this, I wanted to come face to face with the big man and ask him how he achieved this feat.  Of course had he really appeared I’d have probably been too scared to say anything, and hidden under the bedclothes instead! On this particular Christmas Eve, however, I stayed awake only – yes you’ve guessed – to end up being massively disappointed when humans crept into my room to leave presents. Years later, when I was at college, one of our lecturers told us he believed telling his children Father Christmas existed was a terrible thing to do. It was a lie and he didn’t feel comfortable misleading them. Instead he told them we all gave each other presents at Christmas to celebrate the birth of Jesus. I wasn’t sure how I felt about that because although it is a myth, for younger children there’s something magical in believing for a while that this big, jovial bearded man in red and white is real.

SCHOOL DECORATIONS

Christmas at junior school meant decorating the classroom with multi-coloured garlands.  The taste of the glue as we created the linked chains, licking the edges of each one before sealing it into a loop, (no self adhesives in those days) has left a lasting memory. When complete, the garlands were hung across the classroom ceiling and along the walls with red paper bells. Although the bells were kept in a cardboard box and used each year, the garlands were thrown away. It meant we had another round of glue licking to look forward to next year.   

ADVENT CANDLES AND GINGERBREAD HOUSES

I remember grandmother worked with a German woman called Marta. Every year she would make Advent candle displays and give one to her as a Christmas present.  It was always exciting to light a new candle every week knowing that each flame brought Christmas closer. Her other speciality was a gingerbread house with red paper curtains. Its roof was decorated with Smarties and the walls with silver bobbles and Iced Gems. Picture below in case you have no idea what these are!

CAROL SINGING

Sunday School was held in the Victorian school house in the village. No longer used for teaching, it hosted jumble sales, whist drives and other village events. Every December we would all go carol singing to raise funds for St Stephens, our local church. As we lived in a rural area we would travel in two cars (one driven by the Sunday School teacher, the other by her son) and tour around the local villages singing. Sadly not everyone appreciated our vocal efforts and I remember at least one or two houses where lights went out as we stood by their front door singing.

CAROL SERVICE AND NATIVITY PLAY

Every year St Stephen’s held a Christmas carol service that villagers and all the Sunday School children attended. Each of us was given a figure or an animal to place in the nativity scene set on a table next to the pulpit.  We also had our own school nativity play, of course, which saw our mother’s busy making costumes.  There was always excitement over which role we would get.  My best was a shepherd, the worst a sheep!

THE CHRISTMAS TREE

The tree we had lasted several years.  It was replanted in the garden after the festivities.  When it became too large we simply bought another one.  Decorations were mostly tinsel and baubles, although I do remember my grandmother’s tree had red candles on it. They were slotted into small metal holders which clipped onto each branch of the tree. Thankfully the candles were never lit – it was far too dangerous!

CHRISTMAS FOOD

The bird on the Christmas menu was goose, not turkey.  My grandfather kept chicken (we sold eggs) and pigs and would raise geese to sell at Christmas.  My grandmother, who was a wonderful cook,  made all the Christmas puddings and cakes and vegetables came from the garden. Food was good, plain and wholesome.  Maybe if we had lived in a town things would have been slightly more sophisticated but village life was all about local produce. There were no supermarkets locally, even in our nearest town. Instead we relied on places like Home and Colonial and International Stores, both now long gone. And as far as a festive tipple was concerned we had sherry, and maybe the odd bottle of whisky to celebrate New Year.  Now I think of the huge selection of food and drink available in the supermarkets I realise how spoilt for choice we all are.

 

So those are some of my memories of Christmas past. You know, the rose tinted ones which overlook the fact there was no central heating and living on the edge of Salisbury Plain, exposed to the elements, meant snow could cut us off for a couple of weeks during winter months. This resulted in no bus service and the local farmer taking his tractor and trailer across the fields to the next village to get food supplies.  Being such a small community, we had no school, no shop, no post office and no pub. It meant my grandfather occasionally travelling to the next village to  a pub called The Prince of Wales, for a drink. Failing that, he would drink at home. My grandmother was a great wine make -, usually elderberry or dandelion – and her wheat wine was legendary,  Many people said tasted like whisky.

Each December I return to St Stephen’s to place a wreath on my Dad’s grave, and as I look around I realise how much the village has changed over the years. I have no idea how many people lived there when I was a child, but in 2019 there were 157. They  still have no shop, no pub, or school, but that no longer matters. People have cars, they are mobile. Or they can shop on line for pretty much everything they need. The farm has gone, replaced by four large detached houses (one with a swimming pool) and the farmhouse has been completely refurbished. The manor too has seen new build in its grounds and several cottages have been upgraded.  There is a small swathe of council homes, most of them now privately owned and properties have also sprung up on available pockets of land. Despite its size, the place has a modern face. People work from home or travel to the nearest train station six miles away where there is a main line to London.  Now, like many other communities whose families once stayed in their villages for generations, there are few villagers left.  Instead it has become an ‘escape to the country’; a prime location for those seeking a better quality of life – and who can blame them?

 

 

This is my penultimate post of this year. I’ll be back just before New Year with my list of favourite reads of 2020.  In January started out with 40 reads as my Goodreads challenge. Completed books currently stand at 66 – blame Coronavirus as I don’t think I would have had as much time to read had things been normal.  Anyway, I plan to list my top ten reads and know it will be difficult choosing as there have been some really amazing books this year.

In the meantime here’s wishing you all a very Happy Christmas and I’ll catch up with you soon.

Best wishes

Jo x

Posted in Writing

AUTHOR PROMOTION: HARPER’S HIGHLAND FLING BY LIZZIE LAMB

Today, I’m pleased to welcome author Lizzie Lamb onto my blog.  Her latest book Harper’s Highland Fling was published on 9th November and is her seventh Scottish themed novel, all of which feature feisty heroines and handsome, kilted heroes.

 

ABOUT HARPER’S HIGHLAND FLING

After a gruelling academic year head teacher Harper MacDonald is looking forward to a summer holiday trekking in Nepal. Her plans are scuppered when her wayward niece, Ariel, leaves a note announcing she’s running away with a boy called Pen. The only clue to their whereabouts is a scribbled footnote: I’ll Be in Scotland.

Cue a case of mistaken identity when Harper confronts the boy‘s father – Rocco Penhaligon – accusing him of cradle snatching her niece and ruining her bright future. At loggerheads, Harper and Rocco set off in hot pursuit of the teenagers, but the canny youngsters are always one step ahead.  And, in a neat twist, it is the adults who end up in trouble, not the savvy teenagers.

Can Cupid convince Harper and Rocco that they have found their soul mates?

Fasten your seatbelt for the road trip of your lifetime –

It’s going to be a bumpy ride.

 

 

LIZZIE TELLS US WHAT INSPIRED THAT WONDERFUL COVER

After looking through various stock photo websites for the cover of Harper’s Highland Fling, I stumbled across Stuart McIntyre’s fabulous portfolio of wedding photos, most of which feature Scottish locations.  I found an image I liked and asked Stuart if I could use it for the front cover of my book. Not only did he agree, he went the extra mile and contacted the young couple featured in the photograph, asking them if they minded being featured on a book cover. Luckily they said ‘YES’. All they asked in return was a signed paperback, which I was happy to send to them soon after publication day.  We have since become friends on Instagram, but the story doesn’t end there. Stuart’s offices are in Hamilton (near Glasgow), close to where my mother and father had their first home and two miles from where I was born (Craigneuk). Since this book is dedicated to my mother I feel like I’ve come full circle. My mother died before I published my first novel so this feels right, somehow. Everyone has said how much they love the cover; so romantic, so atmospheric. It was created by Gail Bradley and we plan to redesign all my covers in 2021. I hope that Stuart will be able to provide me with another stunning photograph for #7 – working title: Dark Highland Skies using one of the photographs from his other website).

 

ABOUT LIZZIE

After teaching her 1000th pupil and working as a deputy head teacher in a large primary school, Lizzie decided to pursue her first love: writing. She joined the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s New Writers’ Scheme, wrote Tall, Dark and Kilted (2012), quickly followed by Boot Camp Bride. She went on to publish Scotch on the Rocks, which achieved Best Seller status within two weeks of appearing on Amazon and her next novel, Girl in the Castle, reached #3 in the Amazon charts. Lizzie is a founder member of indie publishing group – New Romantics Press, and has hosted author events at Aspinall, St Pancras and Waterstones, Kensington, talking about the research which underpins her novels. Lizzie romance Take Me, I’m Yours, set in Wisconsin, also achieved BEST SELLER status >travel>USA. Her latest novel – Harper’s Highland Fling – has been declared her ‘best one yet’ by readers and reviewers. In it, two warring guardians are forced to join forces and set off in hot pursuit of a runaway niece and son. She has further Scottish-themed romances planned and spends most of the summer touring the Scottish Highlands researching men in kilts. As for the years she spent as a teacher, they haven’t quite gone to waste as she is building a reputation as a go-to speaker on indie publishing, and how to plan, write, and publish your debut novel

Lizzie lives in Leicestershire (UK) with her husband, David.

She loves to hear from readers, so do get in touch . . .

Lizzie’s Links

https://www.amazon.com/author/lizzielamb

www.facebook.com/LizzieLambwriter

lizzielambwriter@gmail.com

website: www.lizzielamb.co.uk

https://twitter.com/lizzie_lamb

Newsletter – http://tinyurl.com/ELNL-2016

Linked in: uk.linkedin.com/pub/lizzie-lamb/18/194/202/

Goodreads http://tinyurl.com/cbla48d

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/lizzielamb/

 

 

 

Posted in Contemporary Fiction, Contemporary Romance, Cornwall, Cornwall, Costal Romance, Writing, Writing Journey

NOVEMBER UPDATE

How did we get to 30th November so fast? It’s a really strange phenomenon that during 2020 it’s been a quieter year for me and yet I seem to have more to do.  The arrival of this month saw the annual clock change in late October. For a while we had lighter mornings, but for a good part of last week waking up to fog and unable to see across the valley, has made it feel as if we’re getting up in the middle of the night.  I remember when I was working, that the last week in January was the time when I walked home from the bus stop in dusk rather than dark.  So I measure the beginning of a move back to lighter evenings by that time.

I guess the one big event during November was the arrival of my new computer.  My old one had given me just over ten years of good use, albeit with several changes of keyboard and monitors.  A bit like Trigger’s broom on Only Fools and Horses with 17 new heads and 14 new handles!  I looked at all in ones and was tempted, but eventually opted for another, smaller tower, new 24″ monitor and a good quality keyboard. As a touch typist I’ve got through a load of these in ten years. Usually the I went first, then the E, S and L.  It seems to me that keyboards aren’t meant to last. During my working life the letters on the office computer kreyboards I used were more robust and didn’t wear off after a few months use as they do today. Yes, I know, maybe I should have splashed out a bit more money, but even the more expensive keyboard I’m now using doesn’t feel as if it will be any more durable. I guess only time will tell.  Oh, and almost forgot, I also have a camera, where previously I had to use my husband’s laptop in order to use Skype to catch up with friends and relatives.  All in all, three weeks into the use of this new computer set up, and I’m really pleased with my purchase. 

On the 3rd of November we had our last Tuesday lunch out before Lockdown No 2.  We had been eating out since early July when we came out of the first lockdown, keeping out of the city and visiting pubs in the surrounding villages instead.  All the pubs we’ve been to have observed strict hygiene rules and we never once felt compromised.  Some of the those we used to visit still have yet to reopen, opting for a takeaway service instead. Coming out of lockdown No 2 this week, we will be in a Tier 2 area instead of 1, as we were previously.  This has seen us having to cancel a planned lunch out with friends. Christmas certainly is going to be different this year!

I hope having to  make these sacrifices will get us all safely to the time when the vaccine becomes available and life gets back to some form of normality.  It’s easy to tell yourself that you don’t know of anyone who has had Covid and to query whether it’s actually as bad as everyone says. Or whether, as some believe, it’s only people in towns and cities who get it. Hand on heart I’d only heard of cases through friends of friends. And then two weeks ago my best friend called me to say her son had a temperature and was self-isolating. His Covid test came back positive but thankfully he has come through the whole episode safely.  It certainly goes to bring home the fact that it is out there and you can become infected when you least expect it.

And finally where am I with my writing? Well everything is going well at the moment. Happy to say writing mojo has made a reappearance. At the moment I’m trying to balance working on book 10 with reading and reviewing, which I’ve been doing throughout the year. I have to say there have been some amazing new titles during 2020 and I’ve currently earned my ‘100’ badge from Netgalley.  However, despite having a huge appetite for other authors’ work, I haven’t lost sight of the fact that my own writing is as important.  I’m hoping for a late spring publication with this, the second part of the Cornish Estuary trilogy. Currently working hard and pushing forward with it. Wish me luck.

And so, that’s about it for the month. See you all at the end of December when I’ll be looking back at the year and my memories of 2020.

Best wishes

Jo xx

 

WEST COUNTRY ROMANTIC SUSPENSE AVAILABLE ON AMAZON

 

Posted in Cornwall, Devon, MONTHLY UPDATE, Writing

September/October Update

The change from late summer to full blown autumn seems to have happened in the blink of an eye. One moment there we are, sitting having lunch in the garden, the next we’re wrapped up and pondering whether to turn on the central heating, -which as I write has already happened.

This year has been a strange one. Covid, of course, has changed everything.  Since emerging from lockdown we have managed three escapes. The first during July to celebrate a friend’s birthday and then just the two of us on a three night stay at Alderminster, just outside Stratford on Avon. Both enabled us to relax somewhere other than home and (very luckily) to enjoy some good weather. Last week we took a break in Cornwall. I’d really wanted to return to South Devon but back in September when I looked at availability it seemed any self catering accommodation for two or four people was fully booked. So I tried Cornwall instead and managed to bag a really lovely apartment in Fowey at The Old Stationmaster’s House. There we had a relaxing week, did a lot of walking and ate some fabulous food.  It was good to get away from home and forget about domestic and day to day stuff for a while.  But all good things come to an end and here we are, back again.  My OH has been busy clearing the garden while I’ve had my eye on the loft and five boxes and three suitcases long overdue for sorting out.  Happily two of the suitcases were empty and the third, containing a set of ancient curtains, will go to the local recycling centre once we’ve collected enough items to book a time slot.  With the coming of autumn and changing into something warmer it’s also been an opportunity to sort out clothes for the local charity shop.  

Last week, our first since returning from Cornwall, turned out to be a little manic. There was just so much activity in those seven days that we even postponed our daily walk.  Of course the weather had a part to play in the latter.  After my surgery earlier in the year I was keen to get back to full health and walking played an important part in my recovery.  Yesterday, the 26th, we had an afternoon walk and it was amazing how everything had changed since the last time we’d been out (8th October).  With the clocks going back at the weekend, we were walking at what would have been five o’clock.  It was colder, what was left of the sun was well on its way towards the horizon and there were carpets of leaves along the pavement.  That is one thing that is noticeable here. Usually the council have contractors out clearing the pavements but not this year.  No doubt the Covid situation has something to do with it.  It means we really can kick our way through the leaves as we walk.

On the writing front, while I was in Cornwall I had time to think about the current state of play with my WIP.  My writing mojo had decided to take itself off on holiday and for a few weeks progress had been very slow.  Added to this were the other social media platforms that all needed regular attention. Something had to give and so on my return I decided to take a step back from Facebook.   I simply did not have the time to keep up with all the posts.  It’s not a total goodbye.  I will return at some stage, it’s just that for now dipping in and out of Twitter and Instagram works better for me.  Happily I’m gradually getting back into the swing of writing more.  Sitting in front of a blank screen, wanting to write a post and having absolutely no inspiration for any topic at all was scary. Even more scary (and frustrating) was having to admit that my WIP simply wasn’t working.  After publishing Shadows on the Water I realised I needed to make some radical changes. So it’s been consigned to the bin and I’m taking the characters and location and incorporating them into a completely new and different story.  The plotting has been done and I’m pleased with the new version. Now all I need to do is sit and write.

Well that’s about it for September and October.  I’ll be back at the end of November, hopefully with the news that the new WIP is going well. Crossing fingers!

And finally, I’ll leave you with a few reminders of our summer.

AT HOME

 

 

AND AWAY

 

 

Posted in Writing

IT’S HERE…CHILDREN IN READ…an opportunity to bid for a book and support BBC’s Children in Need…

Today, Sunday 13th September, sees the start of the annual Children in Read Auction. It is held in conjunction with BBC’s Children in Need which began in 1980, and has raised over a £1 billion for disadvantaged children and young people in the UK.

 

 

All proceeds from the auction will be forwarded to BBC’s Children in Need

Last year I missed out on the opportunity to submit books for this auction.  This year, I’ve offered two contemporary romance novels which can be found on Lot #222

There’s also an option of a written dedication for the successful bidder.

Here’s my contribution –

  

WATERCOLOURS IN THE RAIN

and

SHADOWS ON THE WATER

 

Full details of these and all the many other great books on offer at this very worthwhile charity auction can be found by clicking on the link below.

https://www.jumblebee.co.uk/childreninread2020

 

The auction is open until 13th November, 2020 The Children in Need Appeal Show night which will be aired on BBC Television

 

So check out the books, find a favourite author or a title that interests you and place a bid for this very worthwhile cause!

A special mention too for Paddy Heron who has been responsible for putting this auction together.

 

 

 

 

Posted in Writing

Tuesday Talk. This week I’m with author Elly Redding chatting about favourite authors and chill out moments…

I’m pleased to be hosting author Elly Redding on this week’s Tuesday Talk.  I’ve posed a few questions and am showcasing her novel In Too Deep

HI Elly many thanks for joining me. First of all can you tell us a bit about yourself

I was born just a stone’s throw away from Hampton Court Palace, to a resounding chorus of fireworks. Nothing quite like entering this world with a bang, although it might have had something to do with the fact it was Guy Fawkes Night too!  We moved away when I was four, only returning for a couple of years so I could train as a nurse, but I’m a great fan of London and I’ve used it as one of the two settings in both my books.  My other choice of location for ‘In Too Deep’ was Devon, where I love nothing better than to watch the waves – although preferably at a safe distance, as I’ve never quite mastered the art of swimming. In fact, I almost managed to drown in the shallow end of a pool last year, which I’m told is quite a feat, even for me.

How did you become an author?

I’ve always lived with a dream or two bubbling away in my head, whether it was making up plays with school friends, or reinventing my life while walking the dog. It was only after I’d had my first baby that I started jotting them down, while breastfeeding my daughter, who was a very slow feeder. My first attempt was a children’s book, but then I seized on the idea of a screenplay for adults, and was thrilled to get an agent for this, but – sadly – the script was never taken up.  It was a few years later, while I watched the children play tennis, that I started my first second chance romance novel, and I’ve not looked back since.

How do you spend your chill out moments?

As my family will tell you, ‘chilling’ is not one of my fortes. However, apart from seeing friends and family (I’m getting to be a whizz at Zoom), I find gardening wonderfully relaxing. Whether it’s digging up weeds, or arranging my new plants, it gives me a chance to switch off and wallow in nature.  Although nature has recently decided it’s time to bite back, in this instance in the guise of two young foxes who, when they’re not looking cute, seem to have a penchant for digging up my plants and helping themselves to my runner beans.  So, possibly, not quite so cute after all!

Who are your favourite authors?

This is always a difficult question as I’ve enjoyed so many books over the years, and keep adding new authors to that list in my mind. When I was a teenager, I would devour anything by Dorothy Eden, Victoria Holt and Mary Stewart. I was brought up on the classics, too, and loved Charlotte Bronte, Jane Austen and Margaret Mitchell’s ‘Gone With The Wind’.  In more recent times, I’ve enjoyed the brilliant characters in Rachel Joyce’s books, as well as psychological thrillers and detective stories too; thank you, Michael Robotham, Lindsey Davis and Sandra Brown for sharing your worlds with me.

Is there any other genre you would be interested in writing?

That’s an interesting question, as I do seem to be going on a little journey of my own, as far as genres are concerned. ‘In Too Deep’ differs from my first novel, ‘True Colours’, in that there’s a touch of mystery and darkness too, as Isy takes on the role of detective to discover the secret of Jack’s long-lost past. I also touch on a few social issues, and I’m hoping to continue writing about these and how we are all affected by our experiences in the book I’m currently writing.  All will be second chance romances at their heart, as I love these, but I would be interested in taking on a cosy crime story, perhaps, in the future.  With oodles of romance, of course, but may be with the odd dead body too?

And a fun question. Which historical character would you like to go back in time and meet and why?

History is full of inspiring characters who have tried to make the world a better place, and those who definitely haven’t. In a time where there seems to be so much unkindness and division bubbling away within society, I’d like to meet a woman who rose above it, and did not discriminate when it came to helping others: Edith Cavell.  None of us know, precisely, how we would have reacted, had we found ourselves in her situation, a nurse in German occupied Belgium, but I’m in awe of everything she did.  Edith Cavell not only helped others, knowing the penalty for doing so was death, but she made no distinction in whom she helped, coming to the aid of those on both sides of the First World War. I’d love to talk to her about her beliefs, her outlook and her compassion. She may not have changed the world, but she did alter the world for those she helped, and that’s a very moving tribute to a very brave woman.

 

IN TOO DEEP


One Little Lie.  A Guilty Secret.  And The Man She Mustn’t Love…

It’s been six years since Isy Forrester left home. In that time, she’s strived to forge a new life for herself in London, away from Jack Mancini, her father’s adopted son, and his devastating betrayal of everything she thought they had.

Only now her father’s in hospital, and the house that’s been in her family for generations is at risk. Forced to return to Devon, she finds Jack as infuriating and stubborn as ever, and just as irresistible.  Soon she realises the bright lights of London can’t hold a candle to him.

But Jack has a past, one which he refuses to share with her. And until he can trust her with these deepest secrets, how can she risk her heart?  How can she even begin to help him, when he won’t tell her what happened all those years ago – before her father brought him home to Hambledon Hall?

Set in the rolling countryside of Devon, ‘In Too Deep’ is the emotional story of a woman’s determination to win the trust of the man she’s adored since they were thrown together as children, by forcing him to confront the darkness of his long-lost past.

BOOK BUY LINKS:

Amazon.co.uk:  https://amzn.to/3hfyiM9

Amazon.com:  https://amzn.to/3aM8kgQ

ABOUT ELLY REDDING

 

Elly Redding is an award-winning romance writer. Having originally written screenplays, her latest novel, ‘In Too Deep’ has recently been awarded a B.R.A.G. Medallion, together with a Chill with a Book Readers’ Award and voted Cover of the Month.  Her first novel, ‘True Colours’, won the Festival of Romance’s New Talent Award, and third prize in the Independent Author Book Award “Words for the Wounded” too.

Born in London, she now divides her time, with her husband, between Bedfordshire and Devon, where she loves art, dancing and watching the waves.

Elly is a member of the Society of Authors and Alliance of Independent Authors, and would love to hear from you.

 

ELLY’S SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:

Website: www.ellyredding.com

Twitter: @ellyredding

FB: Elly Redding Author

Instagram: Elly Redding

Posted in Writing

BOOK PROMOTION: BIRD IN THE HAND by ROS RENDLE

 Bird in the Hand

 

1970, the height of the sexual revolution and independence for young people. Set in Cornwall, Charmian is worried her future is mapped for her and repressive. She craves freedom and excitement. That’s not quite what she gets.

Bird in the Hand is a story of making decisions for others which reaps heartache. Charmian has two birds and a third on the way. What’s a girl to do? Consequences can be tough. We cannot mould our children to fit our own expectations. Sometimes it’s better to be the familiar stranger. Charmian and her family have much with which to come to terms but it’s ultimately uplifting.

Live, laugh, cry with, and love these characters. Lose yourself in a feelgood holiday read.

Book buying link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Bird-Hand-Ros-Rendle-ebook/dp/B089T55FSH 

 

About Ros Rendle

Ros writes both historical sagas and contemporary romance; perfect for lying by a warm summer pool or curling up with on a cosy sofa
She is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, the Historical Novelists’ Society and the Society of Authors.

After living in France for ten years Ros and her husband moved back to the UK. While there, she gained much information which has been of use in her books. They are thoroughly and accurately researched.

Ros enjoys ballroom and Latin dancing, and dog walking across the fields. Having been caught out a couple of times, she and her husband don’t normally do both at the same time. She is a committee member of for the Deepings Literary Festival. Two daughters, with their husbands, and four granddaughters live close by, with whom she shares many marvellously fun times.

 

 

Ros’s social media links:

www.rosrendleauthor.co.uk

www.Facebook.com/RosalindRendleAuthor

www.Twitter.com/ros_rendle

www.Instagram.com/ros_rendle

Posted in Writing

Today Tuesday Talk is hosting author Malika Ghandi who chats about writing and showcases her paranormal novel Where the Secret Lies

This morning I’m welcoming author Malika Ghandi onto the blog to chat. She also has a special promotion coming up for her novel Where the Secret Lies between 11th and 15th August, 2020.  You can read about this in more detail after the interview.

 

Hi Malika, welcome to Tuesday Talk. Can you first tell us a little about yourself.

Hello and thank you for having me. I am a wife and a mother of two boys. I am a writer and an artist.

How long have you been writing?

I have been writing for fifteen years on my blog and my novels.

What made you choose paranormal? Is it something you have always been interested in?

I am intrigued with the afterlife. What happens after we die? Where do our souls go? I believe the subject paranormal is fascinating and when there is a mystery associated with a soul, the story gets better.

When not writing, what do you like to read?

I read many genres, rom coms, historical romance or mystery, and fantasy. I haven’t come across a paranormal romance yet (that is somewhat like Where the Secret Lies) but I am looking for one.

What is the most difficult part of writing a book?

The middle and the ending. Although, when I write, I let my characters decide what they want to do and what direction they want to take. It is never simple. 😊

Have you any advice for would be writers?

Writing may be hard but keep at it. It is all about trial and error. Never give up.

And lastly a ‘fun’ question. You are having a dinner party and inviting four famous people. Who would they be, and what would your reason be for inviting them?

I would invite The Wright Brothers who invented the Aeroplane because I want to know what kept them going after so many setbacks.

Second, I would like to have C.S. Lewis – the author of The Narnia books and find out what character he liked best, and how he came up with such a wonderful fantasy world.

I would invite Will Smith and Oprah and talk to them about their Law of Attraction journey to their successes.

 

A mansion (Haveli). A sealed door. A spirit. And a secret.

Nineteen-year-old Arianna and her family travel from London to India for a lavish wedding. Excitement turns to bewilderment and then curiosity when strange things start happening within the Haveli walls. A sealed door opens, and Arianna is given Anjali’s diary, which recounts a romantic adventure that began during the bloody turmoil of partition in 1948.

So begins a paranormal experience that leaves Arianna stunned and demanding answers. Who is Anjali? Why did the door unseal for her? Is there something the spirit wants to show her? What could it possibly be?

Where the Secret Lies will be FREE to download on Amazon on Tuesday 11th Aug – 15th August 2020.

 

Buy Links:

Amazon Link – Where the Secret Lies : https://www.amazon.co.uk/Where-Secret-Lies-Malika-Gandhi-ebook/dp/B00BUOWFBC

 

 

About the author:

Malika Gandhi lives with her husband and two sons in the East Midlands, UK. She is a homemaker

and in between caring for her family, she writes her books and works on her art. She

loves to experiment with different mediums, such as oils, acrylic and watercolour.

Malika was born in India but moved to London when she was two where her father was already

settled.

She grew up in London, studied in Southampton and moved to Leicester after her marriage.

Malika is very much in love with movies, art galleries, and libraries. She is also in curious about the universe.

 

Malika’s Social Media Links:

Link to Malika’s FB group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/2053194508157386/

Link to Malika’s FB page: https://www.facebook.com/Malika-Gandhi-Author-580125525988027/?modal=admin_todo_tour

Twitter: @MalikaGandhi https://twitter.com/MalikaGandhi?lang=en-gb

 

 

Posted in Writing

AUTHOR PROMOTION: A GOOD MATCH FOR THE MAJOR by JOSIE BONHAM

 

 

Pride meets prejudice -can love blossom?

 

Beautiful young widow Lady Eliza Wyndham is determined never to remarry after a disastrous first marriage. The undeniable attraction that fizzes between her and Major Nathaniel Overton terrifies her. She rejects his advances.
With his pride badly dented, Nat vows to forget Eliza until he finds her in danger from an old adversary of his army days. His protective instincts are stirred and he steps back into her life, but will Eliza be prepared to accept his help?

Set in 1800 this is the first book in a series, The Reluctant Brides, linked by character. Perfect for readers of Mary Balogh, Stephanie Laurens, Jane Austen, Georgette Heyer and Julia Quinn.

PURCHASE LINK: mybook.to/agoodmatchforthemajor

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Josie 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 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 at https:/josiebonhamauthor.com

 

Social media links:

Twitter @BonhamJosie

Facebook Author Page  @josiebonhamauthor

https://www.facebook.com/josiebonhamauthor