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Posts Tagged ‘Celebrating Indie Publishing’

Today on Celebrating Indie Publishing I am thrilled to share a review of a book that I immensely enjoyed. Disaster Inc by Caimh McDonnell is fifth book to feature his enigmatic character Bunny McGarry and is a true comedic delight for his fans.

Disaster Inc was published by McFori Ink on 16th September and is available to buy now!


Book Feature:

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He’s a good man having a bad day with the worst hangover. 

All Bunny McGarry wants is a spot of breakfast and a decent cup of tea. So imagine how annoyed he gets when two masked men attempt to rob the New York diner he is in? Unfortunately, dealing with that problem just leads to a whole lot more. One of the diner’s other customers isn’t who she appears to be, and the odds aren’t great that she is going to live to see another breakfast. 

So just how much trouble is she in? 

Well, you know how they’re always telling us to pay attention to our pensions?   Some ex-employees of the US government are really taking that advice to heart by using their mayhem-creating abilities to maximise their investments. When one of their fund managers has a momentary crisis of conscience and confesses all to a woman he hardly knows, they will stop at nothing to deal with the problem.  Amy Daniels is in big trouble and the only thing keeping her alive is a man who is supposed to already be dead. 

My Thoughts & Review:

I bloody love Bunny McGarry, this is a character that I can happily say that I would probably follow into any genre, even if he were to start flying a spaceship or riding rodeo, though perhaps not if he were to swerve into a Fifty Shades of Grey type book … I do have limits.
Disaster Inc is another hilarious offering from the comic genius that is Caimh McDonnell, the Irish/Cork wit that he weaves effortlessly throughout the narrative will have readers chuckling out loud and reading out to anyone around you.

Bunny McGarry is now across the pond in America, but as always, drink has played a part in his downfall and he finds himself without his phone or money and no means of getting in contact with the only person that can help him. And if that wasn’t complication enough, he finds himself on the wrong side of a gun when two balaclava clad men storm the cafe he’s eating breakfast in.
The fast thinking Irishman soon realises that something isn’t right and sets about causing mischief, or sure, doesn’t mischief find him?

What then follows is a madcap adventure with McGarry not keeping a low profile as he was told to, instead he’s coming to the aid of a damsel in distress who has some dangerous people looking for her.

The writing is clever and the pace is almost breakneck speed, readers are thrown into the vortex with Bunny McGarry, but it’s enjoyable. The level of detail in the plot is fantastic, investment banking is something that I never thought I would find interesting to read about but somehow Caimh McDonnell managed to make it almost exciting.

And for the record, I completely agree with Bunny’s horror at the lack of tea … it’s just wrong!

A wonderful start to a new series and one I cannot wait to read more about!

You can buy a copy of Disaster Inc via Amazon UK

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I’m thrilled to welcome you to another Friday post to celebrate another great indie book, this time it’s Heart in the Right Place by Lisa Hill.

This is billed as “a perfect romantic read for the summer”, and is available to buy now. It was published by Manatee Books in July 2018.


Description:

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Lottie Hardwicke is Yorkshire’s answer to Kirstie Allsopp, but ten years spent raising her three children with husband, Drew, has relegated her to Saturday Girl status at the family estate agents. This is Lottie’s year; she’s turning over a new leaf and is going to make her time in property less of a borderline obsession and more of an actual career. Only, she hasn’t bet on her interfering in-laws returning to scupper her plans or her teenage crush, celebrity Tom Thorpe, arriving in the village and offering her the opportunity of a lifetime, which could compromise everything…

Can Lottie have it all? Can she be a hands-on mum and get her career back, without wrecking her marriage in the process?

My Thoughts & Review:

Heart in the Right Place is the perfect way to round off my summer reads, the sun may not be shining as is did in the summer months but it certainly felt like it was whilst I read this listening to the autumn winds blowing outside.

A cast of very human and relatable characters spring from the pages with some quirky personalities and although some are less likeable than others, they are written in such a way that draws some strong feelings from the readers. And as readers get to know them better, they begin to see that there might be more to the fluster and bluster or the brusqueness, I certainly was surprised by one character once I found out a bit more about them.

Several separate strands make up the plot of this book and for the most part they are intriguing, if not frustrating when you put yourself in the shoes of the character involved. It’s that sort of read that you cannot help but become slightly invested in.
The themes of friendship, love and family play a huge part in the narrative and are written in such a way that moves the pace of the book along so quickly.

A truly lovely and enchanting read to pass a few hours with!

You can buy a copy of Heart in the Right Place via:

Amazon UK

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Today I am thrilled to welcome you to another post to Celebrate Indie Publishing and share a review of the latest of the series to feature the brilliant Rina Walker, a kick ass character that thrills readers and leaves them breathless! Rina is the creation of Hugh Fraser, author, actor and theatre director, and a man I would recommend seeing at any book event/launch/talk that you can!


Book Feature:

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When a step out of line means a fight to the death…London 1967. A working girl is brutally murdered in a Soho club. Rina Walker takes out the killer and attracts the attention of a sinister line-up of gangland enforcers with a great deal to prove.

When a member of British Military Intelligence becomes aware of her failure to fulfill a contract issued by an inmate of Broadmoor, he forces her into the deadly arena of the Cold War, with orders to kill an enemy agent.

Rina needs to call upon all her dark skills, not simply to survive, but to protect the ones she loves.

 

 

 

My Thoughts & Review:

It’s not often that you eagerly go into a book knowing that danger and thrills lie in wait for you but that’s something you’re guaranteed with a book in the Rina Walker series by Hugh Fraser.

Set in 1960s London, readers are led into the darkness of the underworld and aristocracy as they follow Rina Walker as she attempts to right wrongs, meet obligations and protect those she loves. The themes covered in this book are topical and Fraser does not shy away from the uncomfortable topics when portraying the gang related interactions – violence, torture and abuse featuring within the context of the scenes. There are however themes which some readers may feel difficult to read about.

The writing is rich in atmosphere, the mentions of music throughout evoke a great sense of the period and quite often had me singing along in my head as I read. Tension mounts swiftly as the pace quickens, the situations that Rina becomes involved in make for utterly thrilling reading.

Rina is a character that many readers will take a liking to almost instantly, there’s something so relatable about her, and admirable at the same time. Her quirks and personality are written so that it’s possible to get into the head of this character and appreciate the decisions she makes, understand her actions and in some cases, I found that I was almost cheering for her. The clever juxtaposition of this character’s ruthless side with her softer, caring and passionate traits is one I loved watching develop. She is calm in the face of danger and not fazed by violence, but at the same time, she bears mental scars from events that have moulded her into the assassin she has become. But none of the brutal or violent scenes can remove the humanity from this character, her love for her partner and her family allows her to show a softer side.
The more I read about her the more invested in her fate I became, almost unable to put the book down through fear of missing something!

Whilst this is the fourth book in the series, it can be read as a stand alone. Rina’s past and connections are well detailed throughout the narrative and give a great sense of what has passed before, but if you really want to get the full experience then I would heartily recommend reading the entire series.

You can buy a copy of Stealth via:

Amazon UK
Waterstones

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Today I am absolutely thrilled to welcome you to The Quiet Knitter for another Celebrating Indie Publishing! The book in the spotlight today is Ed’s Dead, a wonderfully dark and thrilling crime read from one of the wittiest and skilled authors Scotland has to offer.


Book Feature:

Book Description:

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“A high-octane read.” – Maxim Jakubowski 

Meet Jen. She works in a bookshop and likes the odd glass of Prosecco… oh, and she’s about to be branded The Most Dangerous Woman in Scotland.

Jen Carter is a failed writer with a rubbish boyfriend, Ed. That is until she accidentally kills him one night. Now that Ed’s dead, she has to decide what to do with his body, his drugs and a big pile of cash. And, more pressingly, how to escape the hitman who’s been sent to recover Ed’s stash. Soon Jen’s on the run from criminals, corrupt police officers and the prying eyes of the media. Who can she trust? And how can she convince them that the trail of corpses left in her wake are just accidental deaths?

A modern noir that proves, once and for all, the female of the species really is more deadly than the male.

My Thoughts & Review:

Russel D. McLean is an author that I’ve had on my radar for a while, but never quite got round to reading, a fact that I am so glad that has been changed now.

Jen Carter is really having a tough time, her relationship with boyfriend Ed is toxic, she no longer wants to be in a relationship with him and somehow ends up killing him one night. If that wasn’t complication enough, she then has a body to dispose of and the unexpected bounty of cash and drugs, oh, and evade the hitman sent to collect the debt owed by Ed. Things are a mess around Jen, and just as she thinks life is calming down, bodies start to mount up around her.

With a pace that doesn’t let up, this is a brisk and caustic read. The colourful characters make this such a cracking read, the humour and subtle wit that are woven throughout the dialogue really grab the reader, making this a book you do not want to put down. There were moments reading this that I found myself thinking things couldn’t possibly get worse for Jen, things couldn’t possibly get more murky and then McLean swiftly leads the reader on a merry wander down a dark alley, littered with danger and corruption.
The descriptive quality of the writing makes this an incredibly immersive read, you cannot help but be able to envision the settings in this book.

I cannot recommend this book highly enough, it’s dark, it’s witty and it’s a cracking read!

You can buy your copy of Ed’s Dead via Amazon UK

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Today I am thrilled to welcome you to my post to celebrate another brilliant book from Bombshell Books, an imprint of Bloodhound Books specialising in women’s fiction, chick-lit & romance. The book in the spotlight today is The French Escape, which was published on 20th September 2018.


Book Feature:

Description:

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It’s fair to say that Flick has had a terrible year. Her beloved father died, she had the wedding of her dreams and only hours after the ceremony her husband ran out on her. 

Brenda, fed up with her daughter living like a hermit, decides to drag Flick off to France to stay in a chateau. What could be better than an idyllic escape?

But when they arrive Flick discovers the chateau is all but abandoned.

The only upside of her French escape is the handsome and mysterious neighbour, Nate.

Nate loves his life living in the cottage on the grounds of the abandoned chateau but that is about to be put in jeopardy…

Can Nate and Flick ever learn to come to terms with the past and find love again?

 

Description:

Having enjoyed Suzie Tullett’s previous books, I was thrilled to find out that she had a new book coming out! There’s something really lovely about Suzie’s books, maybe it’s the way that she writes, maybe it’s the way she creates her characters, or maybe it’s just the book I need at the time, but each of her books has been a delight to read.

Readers meet Flick as she and her sleeping mother are on their way to a mysterious French holiday destination, well mysterious for Flick as her mother hasn’t really given her much detail other than where to programme the satnav for. But when they arrive, Flick is astounded, they are staying at a chateau, albeit one that looks in need of a massive overhaul, but breathtakingly beautiful.
Interspersed through Flick’s story, is narration from Nate, someone who has a history that he wants to keep securely locked away and likes living in the relative remoteness of the woods.
Both of these characters has their own struggle, they are trying to rebuild their lives and find a way to move forward. I think it was Nate’s story that was the most intriguing, what secret is hiding in his past, why doesn’t he want to be recognised?

The wonderful descriptions of the settings and the food are simply wonderful, the chateau sounds so full of character and the icy cold shower sounded like such a shock to the system! I could almost see the picturesque views, the market in town, it just all came to life from the pages.

Aside from Flick and Nate, there are some really fun and quirky characters in this book, each of them so very different from the other, and I will admit there were ones I took more easily to than others. Brenda, Flick’s mother, bless her heart, just wants the best for her daughter. And as a mother I could sympathise with her, I could understand why she would do whatever it took to make her daughter happy, her methods might not be the most straightforward, but she has a heart of gold. Julia was another character I liked, always there to pick up the pieces for her nephew, always there with a word of wisdom or dole out a sharp reminder that life isn’t easy.

The French Escape is a lovely romantic comedy, it has the great “will they, won’t they” element to it, it’s the sort of escapism that you want from a book. A good story, great characters and enough mystery to keep you hooked!

Highly recommended!

You can buy a copy of The French Escape via Amazon UK

 

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For today’s post on Celebrating Indie Publishing I am thrilled to share a review of a book that has been much loved since we discovered it earlier in the year. If you’ve followed The Quiet Knitter, you might have seen the review of the first book of the Teacup House series in July 2018 and I am pleased to say that it’s time to share the review of book two.


Book Feature:

Description:

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Stevie’s mum is having a party, so she’s baked a delicious cake for all the guests.

Stevie’s tiny toy rabbits, Silver and Fig Twitch, would love a taste of its yummy purple icing.

How will they get their paws on some?

It’s time for an adventure outside the Teacup House!

 

 

 

My Thoughts & Review:

After falling in love with the Twitch family in Meet The Twitches, I quickly ordered a copy of the second book of the series for my mini bookworm so that we could continue with our fun filled adventure with the rabbit family of the Teacup House.

Picking up from their adventure in book one of the series, we catch up with Stevie and her mum as they prepare for a party to introduce themselves to their new neighbours. But when the toy rabbits are involved, you just know that there will be fun, laughter and daring missions.

As the title and gorgeous cover suggest, there is a cake involved in this tale. And what  cake it is! The purple icing is enough to lure the two youngest T

witches into a daring mission across the kitchen, weaving between obstacles to get enough icing for a cake of their own.
Whilst Fig and Silver are on their adventure, readers find out a little more about Stevie. She’s still not 100% sure about living in the country, life is much different from the city and she misses her friends. Meeting the new neighbours brings much apprehension for Stevie, and it seems that the adults are still making plans about her and for her without asking her what she thinks.

As with the previous book, Meet The Twitches, the illustrations are bright and crisp, they bring the story to life and compliment Hayley Scott’s writing perfectly. Being able to see the wonderful cake, the way that Fig and Silver make their way around the obstacles in the kitchen make this a truly magical read and had us in fits of giggles as we read.

We cannot wait for the third book in the series which is due out in October, The Twitches Meet a Puppy!

You can buy a copy of any of the books in the Teacup House series via:

Amazon UK
Waterstones

About the Author:

Hayley grew up in and around Berkshire and after a short stint in magazine publishing, her boss encouraged her to apply for the MA in Creative Writing at UEA where she gained a Distinction. In 2006 she won an Escalator Award from Writers Centre East and a Grant for the Arts to write her first novel, Jar Baby (Dexter Haven, 2012).

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It’s always a pleasure to welcome an indie author to join me on a Friday to fly the flag and raise a cheer for indie publishing, and today I joined by Rebecca Howie.
Rebecca is the author of the Sam Beckett mystery series which features a 17-year-old private investigator. The Game Begins and A Scorned Woman are both available for purchase now!


Author Feature:

Rebecca Howie is a procrastinating writer from Scotland, who prefers spending her time in fictional worlds rather than the real one.

She self-published her first novel, The Game Begins, at 18, and it reached 2nd in the Teen and Young Adult Detective category on Amazon after its release in February 2016.

 

What’s your most favourite thing about being an author?

I think that’s probably being able to write all the time, because I love planning new stories, and seeing where they end up.

What’s your least favourite thing about being an author?  

The editing. By the time I get round to final revisions, I can type whole passages with my eyes shut because I’ve read them so many times, and the last thing I want to do is read the whole thing from the start again.

If you could have written any book what would it be and why?

I’d quite like to have written the Harry Potter books, because it still impresses me how developed the magical world is. I think it’s amazing how much there is to learn about, and how much people still love it even after twenty years.

I’d love to be able to capture readers’ interest like that.

How do you spend your time when you’re not wrapped up plotting your next book?

If I’m not writing, I’m either reading, researching, or plotting, which I’ve only recently started to do. For my first book, I only made an outline after I was already halfway through, but when I started A Woman Scorned, I knew I’d have to get over my aversion to being organised because there were so many details I needed to remember for the ending.

Do you have a set routine for writing?  Rituals you have to observe? I.e. specific pen, silence, day or night etc.

While working on The Game Begins, I wrote whenever I could find the time, but since I was serious about getting its sequel written, I started taking a few hours every morning to write or plan, so now that’s become a ritual I observe every morning unless I have a really good excuse for being unable to.

I can’t write if there’s too much noise, so silence is important if I want to make progress with whatever I’m working on, and I need to be at my desk in my room, with the door shut- which does nothing to make my room any quieter, so I suppose that’s just as much a part of my routine as writing in the morning.

What’s on the horizon?  What can your fans look forward to next?

I’m working on the third book in my Sam Beckett Mysteries, but it doesn’t have a release date yet, and after I finish, I’ll either be starting the fourth, or working on something completely new.

 

Can you tell me a little about your latest book?  How would you describe it and why should we go read it? 

My latest book is called A Woman Scorned, and it’s the second in my Sam Beckett Mysteries series, which follows 17-year-old Sam Beckett as she tries to uncover the truth behind her dad’s car crash.

A Woman Scorned picks right up as Sam is struggling to deal with the consequences of the choices she made in the first book, and this time, she’s faced with the murder of a therapist, and the psychological consequences of the ending of her first case.

The series has been described by a reader as ‘Taggart meets Veronica Mars’, so if you liked either of those shows, or are just looking for a YA novel that’s a bit different, you could give The Game Begins and A Woman Scorned a try.

 

Finally, if you could impart one pearl of wisdom to your readers, what would it be? 

Reviews are so important to authors, and if you have a few minutes to spare, consider leaving one on Amazon or Goodreads. It lets other people know how much you loved the book.

 

 

Social Media Links:

Blog: https://rebeccahowiebooks.wordpress.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rebeccah2016/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/rebeccah2016

 

A huge thank you to Rebecca for joining me today and sharing a little about the brain behind the books, it’s always fun to find out more about an author’s routine and I completely agree about the Harry Potter series, it really is such a wonderfully well developed world that draws readers in..

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It’s a real pleasure to welcome you to join me today to celebrate indie publishing with Saira Viola, her novel Crack Apple and Pop was published by Fahrenheit Press in June 2018, and has been the book of the moment with a great blog tour with damppebbles this week.

 

Description:

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Tony is a handsome young boxer is forced into a life of crime after suffering a vicious blow in the ring.

Seduced by the glitz and glamour of London and mentored by charismatic gang lord Don March he rises rapidly up the crime ladder until he spies an opportunity to start a semi-legit Natural Highs business.

Bankrolled by an eccentric British dandy and accompanied by a cast of starry misfits including a 3ft tall blue-haired money man, an Etonian drug mule, two dominatrix debt collectors, a dodgy lawyer and a host of demi-celebs, Tony carves out a roll for himself in a city where money creates its’ own morality.

All seems to be going well until in the shadows, a Bollywood mobster threatens to derail their plans.

Chaos ensues, of course it does – wonderful, beautiful, visceral chaos.

The deft wit of Hammett meets the vivid poetics of Chandler: Crack Apple and Pop is slick smart and razor sharp. A gritty and sometimes metafictive slice of London noir.

A city of artful dodgers, yardie gangsters, kinky aristos, cocaine dusted starlets and social thrill seekers where everyone’s hustling and everyone’s getting high.
Whether it’s law, finance, the music biz, or the boxing ring: money is king. And only the ones prepared to risk everything will survive…

You can buy a copy of Crack, Apple & Pop via:

Fahrenheit Press

Amazon UK

Amazon US


Author Feature: Saira Viola.jpg

Saira Viola is an acclaimed novelist, poet, and song lyricist. From her early poetic experimentation with language, image and sound (a technique she has dubbed sonic scatterscript) to her novelistic ventures into the dark, absurd world of contemporary crime fiction, Viola’s work pulses with iconoclastic brio that mischievously blasts the golden calves of our times. Literary Heavyweight Benjamin Zephaniah, has praised her ‘twisted beautiful imagination,’ and polymathic genius, Heathcote Williams (RIP) her ‘hypnotic explosive’, writing style. Twice Nominated for Best of The Net 2017 Pushcart Prize Nominee 2017 Rascal Magazine. Viola’s poetry collection Flowers of War debuted at the New York Poetry Festival and published by UB Press. Novels Jukebox (Fahrenheit Press) Crack Apple and Pop (Fahrenheit Press) Viola is a regular contributor to counterculture magazines Gonzo Today and International Times.

What’s your most favourite thing about being an author ?

The sense of the unknown. You can go anywhere your imagination, and your memories take you.  A little bit of truth dust and boom: You open the doors to different worlds and immerse yourself in the lives of the characters you’re creating  or characters triggered by history,  real people, lurid dreams. Even labels for cat food in supermarket aisles can spark a train of  thought in your mind leading to a  potential story .

What’s your least favourite thing about being an author ?

The horror of sometimes  feeling like a naked trapeze artist balancing a coke bottle on your  head. Fizz fizz pop! You drop -with absolutely nothing to say.

If you could have written any book what would it be about and why ?

Not a book but :

I  wish I’d written, and choreographed the Dance of The Sugar Plum Fairy from the Nutcracker by Tchaikovsky or Marvin Gaye’s sublime classic What’s Going On?

How do you spend your time when not writing?

I’m  always writing unless I’m sleeping when I’m dreaming in cinematic stories!  Much of my work has a visceral, rhythmic feel, and lucid dreams can play a part  in the writing  process. Although dreams tend to be imagistic, a dream can creep into my conscience, and materialize  a line, a sentence, and even a chapter. It seems that everything I do revolves around writing. Even when I’ve volunteered for social causes,  I find myself writing: I have worked as a volunteer helping young adults to read and am part of a grassroots initiative providing books to prisons, reform schools, orphanages, mobile libraries, and  pop up libraries in socially deprived  neighbourhoods. And for years I have been writing  letters to prison inmates for Amnesty International .

Do you have a set routine for writing- rituals you have to observe ?

No. No rituals of any kind.  I snatch whatever time I can, and scribble away.
Writing where I can when I can . Right now I’m  sofa -slumming so I write perched on  a cushion  laboriously punching words onto my phone.  In between subway stops, waiting in hospital corridors (surprisingly tranquil) hoofing to grocery stores. Anywhere -everywhere.  It’s not ideal, and Virginia Woolf’s famous quote from her essay A Room of One’s Own still resonates but I’m making good progress.

What’s on the horizon ?

I’m currently writing the closing chapters of a new novel American Scandal . It’s a crime story set in Los Angeles featuring an all female punk band, and a fast -thinking mean- mouthed  street-smart female mobster, and entertainment  impresario. The book looks at the ugliness lurking behind the celebrity fuelled New Age posturing, and post modern spangle. Some of the characters struggle for identity, and there is an eruption of racism that threatens the fairy tale promise of the American Dream .  Everyone’s making deals, and payoffs . Venal reaming makes the world go round. Whether it’s law, sex, or money they all  hunger for their fifteen minutes- but riches, and status- changing fame always come at a price.

Any pearls of wisdom for your readers?

Ha! Wisdom comes from experience, not interviews. Just pray your liver holds out!

What’s your current book about and why should we read it ?

Crack Apple and Pop (published by Fahrenheit 13 an impress of Fahrenheit Press) is a prime slice of Brit  Noir.  A crime story set in the glitzy streets of London.  A city of artful dodgers, yardie gangsters, kinky aristos, cocaine -dusted starlets, demi -celebs, and social thrill seekers where everyone’s hustling, and everyone’s getting high. A city where money creates its’ own morality.  It may intrigue, disgust, and shock ! Like discovering a bleeding  pinkie  in a velvet -ribbed chocolate box.  Lurking beneath the flashy real estate,  high end boutiques and bright lights are some of the most debauched,  dangerous and dirty  parts of subterranean London . The novel offers a back stage pass to the sleazy machinations of the city’s connivers puppeteers and fixers. Reading about it imminently more fun than living it!

 

Social Media Links:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/sairaviola

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/saira.viola/

Website: http://sairaviola.net/

Amazon Author Page

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Today’s Celebrating Indie Publishing is a book that came to be via a family member, a book that appealed to her and she wanted to pass it on to a fellow craft fanatic and reader.


Book Feature:

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** My thanks to the awesome Nicolpops* for my copy of this book **

Description:

This chic-lit debut is a must for knitters and crafters alike.

Claire can’t understand why her life, and her knitting, has suddenly started to unravel. Her new friend, Adrian, owner of the local wool shop Oddballs offers to help tame her woolly woes, and offers further support as she tries to get the other parts of her life back on track – one aspect being, her love life…

This humorous yarn is for the perfect antidote to cold, winter nights, and a how-to guide for online dating.

My Thoughts & Review:

When my brother’s partner sent me a message to say that she’d picked up a copy of this book in the wool shop that she works in I was intrigued, why was a wool shop selling a book? But the best part of her message was did I want to read the book after her!

Unravelled is a lovely story centred around a young woman named Claire who is at a stage in life where things have started to go wrong, a fork in the road in a way. Having just got out of a relationship that really wasn’t right for her, she is struggling to adjust to life as a singleton and looks for her closest friend for advice. At least she still has her job and her knitting, the two things in her life that she can depend on … or at least she could until her knitting started to let her down. Her purls and knits no longer work, her yarn doesn’t weave the way that it should and the skill she once was so proud of seems to have deserted her.

A chance meeting in a bookshop changes things for her, a new friendship opens a world of possibilities for her, but it takes time for her to embrace the changes and open her heart and eyes.

The writing is enjoyable and laugh out loud humorous, it’s the sort of book that you can curl up with and happily while away the hours.
Delightfully colourful characters make this quite a quirky read, and I have to say, I’ve never encountered a knitting group quite like those ladies, but I would absolutely love to spend a few hours and cuppas with them! This coupled with the descriptions of the wool shop and various knitting projects really had me itching to cast on my next project!

At the heart of this book is a love story and as is the way with life, things never run smoothly. I found that I became frustrated with the actions and thoughts of some characters, but this is a reflection of the skill of the author, creating personalities that a reader can connect with, become so invested in, that they feel the desire to shake the characters for not seeing what’s infront of them.

Unravelled really is a great book, and perfect for the wool addict and craft fanatic.

You can buy a copy of Unravelled via:

Hall Good Books (publisher)
Amazon UK

Author Feature:

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Author image and bio courtesy of author’s blog

 

 

Briony Marshall is an up and coming author from the West Midlands in the UK. She is a graduate from the University of Wolverhampton with a degree in Creative & Professional Writing with English. Briony currently lives at home with her Mom, Dad and boyfriend. When Briony is not writing she’s knitting and when she’s not knitting she’s drinking coffee. Her debut novel is to be published in 2017 and Briony looks forward to the adventures this will bring.

 

 

What’s your most favourite thing about being an author?

The fact that I can unleash my creativity in a way that I feel truly satisfied. I’ve been a story teller ever since I was a little girl and I love it. The fact I now get to share my stories with the world is an amazing feeling!

 What’s your least favourite thing about being an author?  

Writer’s Block. I suppose this is a common answer for many authors. But for me, balancing the day job and the author life can be testing as it is, but there is nothing more infuriating than a looming deadline, a very tight, very specific writing schedule and a huge bout of writer’s block! Having a blank mind and just staring at a clean page is so daunting, I’d say that is my least favourite thing.

If you could have written any book what would it be and why?

Aww, this is such a difficult question for me, there’s so many to choose from! If I could only choose one it would have to be The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald; the glamour, the period, the feel of that story, the plot itself. I remember reading that book so vividly, especially my reactions when reading certain parts. I’ll never forget it. That book may be small, but it is mighty!

(P.S: I also think The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath and Written on the Body by Jeanette Winterson are works of art. Oh and if I’d be sticking within my own “genre” The Shopaholic Series by Sophie Kinsella without a doubt, to me she is a Queen! As is Marian Keyes whilst we’re at it. Okay, I’ll stop now, promise!)

How do you spend your time when you’re not wrapped up plotting your next book?

I am an avid knitter and crocheter, so I’ll most likely be creating something woolly and wonderful. However, with our recent bout of sunny weather I’ve been more inclined to put down the needles and hook in favour of a book. I love reading chick lit or anything with a good plot twist. I’m currently reading Nevermind from the Patrick Melrose series by Edmund St Aubryn and loving it. His use of imagery is incredible.

Do you have a set routine for writing?  Rituals you have to observe? I.e. specific pen, silence, day or night etc.

My most productive time of the day is before lunch and a good breakfast is also a  great start for productivity! So on a good writing day I’ll probably be the first one up and about. I also need silence to write, so I’ve been taking full advantage of the beautiful mornings we’ve been having and writing in the garden. I always like to write with a coffee to hand too. A lot of my rituals centralise around food and drink, don’t they?!

What’s on the horizon?  What can your fans look forward to next?

I  recently sent off the synopsis for book two to my publisher, so all being well I’ll be starting work on that any day now. Besides that I have plenty more novel ideas in mind, both with and without wool, so watch this space!

Can you tell me a little about your latest book?  How would you describe it and why should we go read it? 

Unravelled is my debut novel and was my baby for over ten years! It’s a hybrid fiction crossing together the genres of; chick lit, romance, comedy and knitting fiction! It’s the story of boy meets girl with a unique twist and a “will they, won’t they” plot that will keep you guessing until the very end. I feel like everyone has got a little bit of a Claire inside of them, so I feel it’s a very relatable tale that can give a reader that feel good factor.

If you’re looking for a cutesy read to make you giggle and feel all fuzzy inside, Unravelled is the novel for you!

Finally, if you could impart one pearl of wisdom to your readers, what would it be? 

Love who you are. No one else can tell you how you should feel or act, that’s all down to you. Embrace it and smile!

 

Social Media Links:

Blog: https://brionymarshallauthor.wordpress.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/brionywrites
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/brionymarshallauthor/

 

A huge thank you to Briony for taking part today and sharing a little about herself, it’s always lovely getting to know more about authors and their writing processes. How exciting about book two, looking forward to hearing more about that  (and even better if it contains wool!).

 

 

 

*Nicolpops is a family member and not connected to the author or publisher in any way.  She is also an amazing illustrator, please do check out her website!

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As it’s Friday I am delighted to share another post with you to celebrate independent publishing.  Today’s post features a book that is so different from any other I’ve read recently.  The book in question is Orchard View by Deborah Miles, and Deborah has kindly taken some time out to answer some questions about the ups and downs of being an author.


Book Feature:

Description:

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Digging in the garden, builder and current owner, Bill Maynard, discovers some old bones. He worries that the discovery will upset his plans for renovating and selling the house.

Fortunately, his neighbour tells him the whole area was a burial site at the time of the Black Death and finding bones is commonplace.

“Well, as they’re so old and the museums have enough bones already, I suppose we can ignore them. It’s not like there’s been a murder and we’ve just found the body,” he justified his decision.

But had they?

His discovery sets off a chain of unfortunate events.

 

My Thoughts & Review:

Orchard View intrigued me from the moment I heard about it, the book suggested a puzzling mystery and a tale quite different.

Have you ever read a book where the setting has felt like a character in the story? It seems to take on a persona that comes to life through the narrative? Well in this book, the house at the centre of the tale, Orchard View takes on a leading role. Interestingly readers get to “hear” the thoughts of the house as various events take place over the years and this really adds something different to the book and made it stand out to me. The old saying “if these walls could talk” really comes into play when you see the house wishing it could speak up about the bones that are discovered early on in the story.

The story is told through a series of recollections of the inhabitants of the house and those connected with it. The really interesting part for me was that the house seemed to have strong opinions of the people and most definitely a favourite family. To keep the stories linked, Miles uses the voice of the house and the presence of the neighbour next door, so that no matter what year it is in the story and which residents are staying in the house there is always something to connect them.
It’s pretty true that you don’t know what goes on behind closed doors and you might not always know your neighbours as well as you might think, and this book really reinforces that notion.

It’s quite hard to review this book without giving anything away, there are things I would love to point out about characters or the way that the plot weaves together but that might inadvertently give something away! I will say that the characters are well thought up and there may or may not be ones that get under your skin, have you wanting to shout and have you wondering about them. This is the sort of read that I found impossible to put down and once I’d finished reading it, it was still running through my head.

You can buy a copy of Orchard View via Amazon UK

 

 

Author Feature:

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Author bio & image courtesy of Amazon UK

Deborah Miles is married with three grown-up children and lives in Kent.

She has worked in banking, tourism, education and social services, and has hosted international students for over 30 years.

Her interests include: genealogy, self-improvement, home computing, web design, D.I.Y/gardening, pen friends and writing.

Deborah is independently published and created the imprint Against the Flow Press for her first novel, Orchard View.

Deborah always enjoys hearing from readers!

 

 

What’s your most favourite thing about being an author?

I find writing can be very therapeutic. It’s great to get my frustrations down on paper and then turn them into fiction that others might enjoy reading. I love creating my characters, and sometimes I get so attached to them that I change the storyline for them.  I also love finding ways to kill them, and my Google search history is quite alarming!

What’s your least favourite thing about being an author?  

I have a story in my head at the minute, but current events in my personal life are preventing me from sitting down and writing it, and what I have got down on paper so far, is not what I wanted to write. I’ve got a couple of issues with the plausibility of the story. I have discussed my storyline with a solicitor friend, and she came up with a completely different, legal way of achieving what I wanted to do in the story, but somehow that isn’t working for me. I feel like I’m banging my head at a brick wall, trying to get the story written the way I want to write it.

If you could have written any book what would it be and why?

Ask me this question on another day, and you’d probably get a different answer. Today it would be Donna Siggers’ novel Broken. I finished reading it a couple of weeks ago and some scenes and characters are still playing on my mind.  It’s the first book in a trilogy, and I can’t wait for Part 2. I considered answering A Good Night’s Sleep by Stefanie Simpson, but despite it being one of the best indie books I’ve read, it’s a tad racy for my pen.

How do you spend your time when you’re not wrapped up plotting your next book?

I was recently given a Fitbit, and spend a lot of time walking on the spot whilst reading ebooks on my tablet. It looks silly as it sounds, and I don’t really like anyone in the room while I’m doing it, but I’ve lost 11lbs so far so that’s got to be good for me.  When not writing, I review books on my blog, againsttheflowpress.blogspot.co.uk. I am currently enjoying novels by other indie authors, but I read traditionally published books too.

Do you have a set routine for writing?  Rituals you have to observe? I.e. specific pen, silence, day or night etc.

I suppose I would have to answer ‘yes’ to this question. I like a calm, neat and tidy area to work in. Ideally I want to be on my own in the house. Even the cat can be a distraction! The room I work in is also important. Last year I moved my desktop into the den at the front of the house, but found I didn’t like that room. It felt wrong and stifled my creativity. So I moved it back, and immediately felt my creative juices flow again. I must have my housework jobs and other tasks done before I can sit down to write. I suppose that is my way of clearing my mind of any potential interrupting thoughts.

What’s on the horizon?  What can your fans look forward to next?

My next book has a working title of The Legacy. I am writing the back-story for the deceased at the minute.  Basically it’s about greedy relatives expecting an inheritance. There are a number of murders committed by someone who hopes to increase their share of the estate and a twist of the tale at the end. In Orchard View, I tell readers upfront who the killer is, but I haven’t decided yet whether or not to reveal the identity of the killer at the beginning this time.

Can you tell me a little about your latest book?  How would you describe it and why should we go read it? 

My debut novel is called Orchard View. Without giving too much away, it tells the story of a house and its various occupants from 1960 through to 1996. Orchard View is the name of the house and I see the house with strong female characteristics – maternal, nurturing and protective. She has her own voice in the story, and comments on some of the situations that occur. The story begins in 1996 when the current owner, a builder, finds some human bones in the garden.  We learn quite quickly the identity of the killer, and what happens to the builder, and others, as a consequence of his find. I don’t think it’s too dark, but it does underline that we do not know our neighbours as well as we might think!

Finally, if you could impart one pearl of wisdom to your readers, what would it be? 

Consider reading something by an indie author. There are some truly gifted writers out there who are not traditionally published. And, if you like what you read, then help them out by leaving a review, or at the very least a rating.

 

Social Media Links:

Blog: http://againsttheflowpress.blogspot.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/DeborahMiles7
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/againsttheflowpress/

 

A huge thank you to Deborah for taking part in Celebrating Indie Publishing and sharing her thoughts about writing. I have to admit, I have been known to march on the spot when I’m doing the ironing or cooking, although I’ve not tried it whilst reading … yet!

 

 

 

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