Posts

In conversation with... Juliet West

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Hi Juliet! First of all, I would like to congratulate you on the publication of The Faithful, which I loved! Can you please briefly tell us what it is about?

A: The novel is set in the run-up to the Second World War and it’s a love story that follows the lives of Hazel and Tom, who are teenagers when they first meet in 1935. They come from two very different families, but there is an instant connection between them. This was a turbulent time for British politics, and Hazel is drawn into the dark world of the British blackshirt movement, just as Tom is breaking his ties with the party. Let’s just say their romance turns out to be far from straightforward as the years pass and their lives take different paths...

Did you have the plot entirely figured out when you started writing or did it develop before your eyes as the characters grew on the page and did something that you were not expecting?

A: I had very little plot in mind. Just the setting – the Sussex coast and London – and a handful…

Book review: How to Find Love in the Little Things + competition

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By Virginie Grimaldi
Published by Headline Review

Synopsis: Julia's not running away. Not exactly. She just needs a break from Paris and Marc and all the sad stuff that's been going on lately. A little time to pull herself together.

The job offer felt like a lifeline. But now she's back in Biarritz, suitcase in hand, she hasn't the faintest idea what she was thinking. 

What Julia doesn't yet know is there's more to the odds and ends of Ocean View than meet the eye. Behind the double doors lie broken hearts, lifelong secrets, a touch of romance and an unwavering passion for life. And sometimes it's the most unlikely of places and people who help you find your way.

How did this book end up in my hands? One of the publisher’s lovely publicists kindly sent me a copy of the book to review, inclusive of pretty postcard and sweet treat!

Was it a page-turner? Not in the way that a thriller could be but you can’t help getting attached to all the characters and wanting to …

In conversation with... Emma Cooper

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Hi Emma! First of all, I would like to congratulate you on the publication of The Songs of Us, which I loved! Can you please briefly tell us what it is about?

A: Thank you! I’m so glad you liked it. The Songs of Us is about the King family and how they deal with the difficulties life throws at them.It’s written from the perspectives of Melody and her two teenagers, Flynn and Rose, who have been given a rough deal in life.

For starters, Flynn was involved in a car accident when he was younger, which left him blind in one eye with facial scarring. His red-headed sister, Rose, who is teased relentlessly at school, is obsessed with finding their father, Dev, who disappeared years before without a trace.And if that is not enough, they have a mother who has a condition similar to Tourette’s who sings and dances uncontrollably when she’s anxious, much to their - and the reader’s - embarrassment!

Did you have the plot entirely figured out when you started writing or did it develop before your ey…

Book review: Cold Fire

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By James Hartley
Published by Lodestone Books

Synopsis: Set in the magical boarding school of St Francis', Cold Fire centres around a group of teenagers who become involved in the tale of Romeo and Juliet in this contemporary re-telling of the classic story. Meanwhile, four hundred years earlier, a young teacher from Stratford Upon Avon arrives at the school. His name is Will…

How did this book end up in my hands? I was asked to join the blog tour for this book and I happily agreed. Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare… all great starting blocks!

Was it a page-turner? Like the first novel in the Shakespeare’s Moon series, this is a quick read and the plot twists are added with great timing.

Having read the synopsis, did the book meet my expectations? Based on the synopsis, I would expected a closer retelling of the classic Shakespearean love story. Having read the first book in the series, however, the way that Cold Fire is developed makes perfect and coherent sense!

Did I like the ending? [no…

In conversation with... Adriana Capadose

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Hi Adriana! Thank you for joining me today. I have just finished reading How to Find Love in the Little Things, which you translated from the French to English, and I’d like to ask you a few questions both on this specific book and more generally on translation. So let’s begin…

How did you get started in literary translation?

A: I stumbled into it at a time when I was freelancing with various different jobs. I read a review of Geneviève Jurgensen’s La Disparition in French Elle Magazine, and that prompted me to buy the book. It’s beautifully written and very harrowing, and I immediately wanted to make it accessible to readers of English. I had no idea how to go about this but I translated a 30-page chunk and sent it off to a number of publishers I’d identified from the Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook. They all turned it down but six months later, when I’d pretty much given up on the project, I was contacted by Flamingo Books: The sample pages had, by a very circuitous route, landed on …

Book review: The Lion Tamer Who Lost + competition

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By Louise Beech
Published by Orenda Books

Synopsis: Long ago, Andrew made a childhood wish, and kept it in a silver box. When it finally comes true, he wishes he hadn’t…

Long ago, Ben made a promise and he had a dream: to travel to Africa to volunteer at a lion reserve. When he finally makes it, it isn’t for the reasons he imagined…

Ben and Andrew keep meeting in unexpected places, and the intense relationship that develops seems to be guided by fate. Or is it?

What if the very thing that draws them together is tainted by past secrets that threaten everything?

How did this book end up in my hands? I was selected to participate in the blog tour for this book and I happily accepted.

Was it a page-turner? Oh yeah! I couldn’t have turned the pages any faster. This novel is addictive!

Having read the synopsis, did the book meet my expectations? My expectations were met and exceeded. The synopsis gave me the basic plot outline but the emotions that the words radiated… oh my, those are difficult to …

In conversation with... Claudia Carroll

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Hi Claudia! First of all, I would like to congratulate you on the publication of The Secrets of Primrose Square. Can you please briefly tell us what it is about?

A: Of course, and thank you so much for asking me to take part in your blog – I really am delighted! Just to tell you a little about Primrose Square, the book is essentially a number of interwoven stories based on a simple quote by Eleanor Roosevelt. 

‘A woman is like a tea bag. You can’t tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water.’

So we’ve got Susan,a middle aged woman who’s out of her mind with grief. She spends night after night standing in the pouring rain outside a teenage boy’s bedroom window, determined not to let him forget what he’s put her through. But why? Then we meet Melissa, her twelve year old daughter, desperately trying to keep the show on the road and to keep social workers at bay. Next door to them on Primrose Square is Jayne, a sixty-something super-ager, who finds romance in the most unlikely pla…