Q&A: Travelling with Katy Collins

Today I am delighted to welcome the wonderful Katy Collins to The Love of A Good Book!

About Katy:

As a qualified journalist with articles published in Company Magazine and The Daily Star she crossed sides to work in Public Relations before selling all she owned to backpack solo around South East Asia and finally put her thoughts into words, writing as she travelled.

katy-colins-022Katy currently lives by the sea in France where she is on a one woman mission to educate the French about the necessity and technicalities of making a good cup of tea. When she is not writing about romance, travel and adventure, she loves travelling, catching up with family and friends and convincing herself that her croissant addiction isn’t out of control – just yet.

You can find out more about Katy, her writing and her travels on her blog http://www.notwedordead.com or via twitter @notwedordead

Using only three words can you describe Destination Chile? Exotic heart-warming escapism

Georgia is allowing us readers to travel the globe with her, where else will her journey take us? In Destination Chile we are shown a different side to Georgia as she is faced with yet more challenges and certainly feels way out of her comfort zone. Being half the way around the world doesn’t always mean you leave your problems at home.

If you could choose one of your characters to spend the day with, who would it be and why? (FYI I would choose Ben *swoons*)  

Ben is a good call (*dreamy sigh*) but I think I would have to choose Shelley or Marie. Having a squad of friends who ‘get you’ and support you no matter what mistakes you make or how much you embarrass yourself is so important. Plus, they would be great fun to hang out with!

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Can you share with us one of your favourite quotes from the series? I think that has to come from Georgia’s dad who says that that even when you don’t feel brave just pretend you do, no one will tell the difference. It’s something I try to listen to myself when I’m in an unfamiliar situation and just want to run and hide. By feeling the fear and doing it anyway it pushes you out of that comfort zone!

What is your dream destination? I am desperate to tick Japan off my list and also want to see the northern lights in Iceland. My problem is that there are too many amazing places out there and no time to fit them all in!

Can you share some facts about your first ever trip abroad? I admit that I was very nervous when I travelled alone for the first time but I knew how lucky I was to get to do this and wanted to make the most of every day. I made some mistakes with paying too much for trips, not haggling tuk tuk fares very well and tried to cram too much into each day but going travelling is a learning curve that helps you to grow in confidence for the next journey!

For those preparing to go backpacking, what five essentials would you advise them to take? Apart from your passport, tickets and money I’d say antibacterial hand gel, an e-reader, a torch, a scarf that works to warm you up and cover you up, and a notepad and pen to keep a travel journal. Trust me you don’t need as many clothes as you think you do.

What’s your writing routine? When I’m travelling I carry a lightweight tiny netbook and 51pq87ylh0l-_ac_us160_try to jot as much down as I can which is fine in the planning stage but by constantly moving locations it’s hard for your brain to switch off and focus! When I’m back in the UK I write in a small office and tend to outline the novel on post-it notes cluttering the walls. I write quickly and then have the fun of edits to polish it until it shines.

You are trapped in a book shop (isn’t that living the dream), what section would we find you in and with which book in hand? A dream indeed! I would of course head to the travel section, I love reading about other people’s adventures in remote places but I am also partial to the self-help section. I think mindfulness and self-awareness is a great way to take a step back from your busy life and appreciate it all. Then no trip to a bookshop would be complete without filling your arms with novels and I love escaping with rom-coms, psychological thrillers and women’s fiction.

51kjjvpr8l-_ac_us160_The best piece of advice you’ve ever been given? The world is your oyster. I was told this many times when my relationship ended and I had no idea what I was going to do next. I think this advice doesn’t just mean to travel but also that anything is possible for you to achieve, if you work hard enough to make it happen.

The Lonely Hearts Travel Club is being given its own cocktail (or cupcake) what are the ingredients? Oh that would be great! Hmm, it would be something with exotic fruits, a dash of spice and served with a cute umbrella!
Destination: Chile by Katy Colin’s is out on 22nd September (Carina, £7.99)



Talking Lad-Lit with Steven Scaffardi 

Today I am pleased to welcome Author Steven Scaffardi to The Love Of A Good Book

Steven Scaffardi is the author of the Sex, Love and Dating Disaster series. His first novel, The Drought, is the laugh-out-loud tale of one man’s quest to overcome the throes of a sexual drought. After the stormy break-up with his girlfriend of three years, Dan Hilles is faced with the daunting task of throwing himself back into the life of a single man. With the help of his three best pals, Dan is desperate and determined to get his leg-over with hilarious consequences!

The Drought and his new novel The Flood – a comedy about one man trying to juggle four women at the same time – are both available for just 99p on the Kindle at Amazon.

Follow all of the fun on his blog tour by following him on Twitter @SteveScaffardi or by using the hashtag #LadLitBlogTour. More information about Steven and his books can be found on his blog.

Can you describe the Sex, Love and Dating Disasters series in one sentence?
Sex, Love and Dating Disasters is the laugh-out-loud series of books that exposes just how hopeless men are when it comes to the opposite sex!

Where did the idea come from for this series? It actually all started after my wife made me watch one romcom film too many! I can never relate to the male characters in these films and often find myself shouting at the TV screen “But a man wouldn’t do that!” I felt it was time to set the record straight. Romcom’s and chick lit have been setting the bar far too high for men for too long now – I felt it was time to shout to the world that men are not hopeless romantics, we are just hopeless at romance!

If you could choose one of your characters to spend the day with, who would it be and why? Great question! My favourite character is Jack, but I’m not sure I’d want to spend the whole day with him as he can be a cocky little so-and-so. I think I’d actually choose Kelly to spend the day with. She’d be great fun and she is actually really good at offering advice on how to deal with women, and my wife often tells me this is something I need!

In your words, how would you describe Lad-Lit: Lad lit is best known as the male equivalent of chick-lit, primarily written by men exploring relationships, emotions and day-to-day life experiences from the perspective of a male protagonist. Often told with humour, charm and wit, lad lit leaves many readers laughing out loud at the scenarios men get into.

Can you share with us one of your favourite quotes from the series? Dan attempting to justify dating four girls at one time in The Flood: “What it all boiled down to was greed, plain and simple. I was like a chocolate thief with an obesity problem at Willy Wonka’s house and the temptation was all too much for me.”

Are any of the characters in the book anything like you? Yes, unfortunately they are! I would say that Dan is closest to me. In fact, a lot of what happens to Dan in The Drought was based on my own personal experiences. Of course, I embellish and exaggerate with certain stories for comedy value, but then again, some of the stories did not need to be changed…!


 They say the journey to being published is one of the hardest an author can take, please can you describe the journey that you went on? It has been tough at times, especially being an indie author where I have to do pretty much everything! In that respect, the toughest part is not writing and publishing the book, it’s all the promotion that comes after it! You need all the help you can get, which is why I’m so grateful to each and every book blogger who takes the time out to review my books, interview me or allow me to write guest posts. Thanks guys J

 What can we expect next, any more books in the pipeline? I’m working on the third book in the Sex, Love & Dating Disaster series. The working title is The Pact and this time it follows Dan and his friends to Latvia where they are searching for a girl who dated Dan’s best friend Rob. It’s quite different to the first two, and a bit of a tribute to one of my favourite books, The Book With No Name. In this book, the boys get mixed up with a Russian Mafia Don, two Wham loving corrupt cops, a sleazy hotel boss and his strange wife, a pimp who is stuck in the 70s, and a henchman called Ray The Local.

 What’s your writing routine? When I am writing a new book I try to write 1,000-1,500 words a day, but having a one-year-old daughter means that doesn’t always go to plan. One thing I find that really helps is creating a music playlist to go with you book – a bit like a movie soundtrack. It really helps me come up with new ideas.

You are trapped in a book shop (isn’t that living the dream), what section would we find you in and with which book in hand? Ooooh, tough question! My reading lists can vary depending on what mood I’m in. It wouldn’t be a surprise to find me standing there with something like High Fidelity by Nick Hornby in my hands, but equally you could find me searching through the thriller section for something by Jeff Abbott.

The best piece of advice you’ve ever been given? My mum always used to say to me: “If it makes you happy, then it’s the right decision.” Simple but effective advice to live by.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be and why? It would be to Maui in Hawaii. That is where my wife and I spent our Honeymoon, and it was like heaven on earth. A good relaxing place to read and write a book too!

Who or what inspires you? It is a bit of a cliché, but I’m lucky to have a wonderful family who inspire me each and every day. My little girl makes getting up out of bed in the morning all the easier. Apart from when she hasn’t slept at night. Then I wish I could stay in bed all day!

Name one of your favourite places in the world? Las Vegas. I love the buzz of that city and here is something there for everyone. If Las Vegas was a book, it would tell the best stories in the world!

 Please would you share who your 5 dream dinner party guests would be? Ricky Gervais because I think the man is a comedy legend, David Beckham because everyone loves Goldenballs, Robbie Williams because I’m a huge fan, Leonardo Di Caprio because he is my favourite actor, and Stephen King because I think the man is a genius!

 Sex, Love and Dating Disasters is being given its own cocktail (or cupcake) what are the ingredients? Probably the opposite ingredients to what they put in Sex on the Beach, because poor old Dan in The Drought does not have any luck in that department!

 

An interview with Laura Wilkinson

Today I am pleased to welcome Author Laura Wilkinson to the Love of a Good Book!

Can you describe the Redemption Song in one sentence? Probably not. But here’s an elevator pitch:

What we need most is often what we run from.
A horrific accident leaves two people dead. A grieving young woman hiding from the world … A good man gone bad, eaten up by betrayal…
Broken lives, lies and loss in an enchanting seaside town. Love is what they need most, but will they risk it?

Saffron and Joe are the two main characters of Redemption Song, please can you tell us about them?

Saffron is a young doctor (24) – although she’s not quite qualified because she dropped out of her foundation year after a terrible accident. At the story’s outset she is vulnerable and raw; grieving, lonely, blaming herself, feeling trapped in the small seaside town she’s withdrawn to in order to support her mother. Also, she’s frightened and unsure of herself and what she will do with the rest of her life – if she can ever return to medicine, helping people. Saffron is loving and caring and although she doesn’t realise it initially, she’s a survivor. She learns to forgive and move on.

At the start, Joe is an enigma. He’s also a stranger in the town, a handsome loner who keeps himself to himself. He’s suffered betrayal and loss, and he’s hell bent on revenge, though it’s obvious he is principled, kind, and caring and incapable of violence. Nothing about him quite fits. During the course of the narrative, he opens up his heart to Saffron and the wider community but he still keeps a huge part of himself secret. I love Joe.

If you could choose one of your characters to spend the day with, who would it be and why? Much as I love my central characters to bits, they’re pretty intense, so I’d probably chose to spend an entire day with Ceri – Saffron’s best mate. Also, I know Joe and Saffron inside out whereas Ceri is more unknown to me so it would be brilliant to get to know her better. Ceri is lively and fun and down to earth, and while she’s not educated, she’s super bright and she has a HUGE heart. Also, she likes a drink so we could go down the pub together.

Redemption Song Final
Are any of the characters in the book anything like you? No, I’m far too dull to be in a novel and one of the many things I love about writing is the opportunity to explore other lives, to walk in others’ shoes and view the world through a different lens to my own.
What can we expect next, any more books in the pipelineI’ve another novel contracted for Accent Press, scheduled for publication in March 2017. Skin Deep is another love story, though not a conventional one – to put it mildly! It follows beautiful artist Diana and Cal, a lonely boy. Both of them are seeking love and purpose, trying to find acceptance and their place in a world fixated with image. It explores obsession, concepts of beauty, and the legacy of parental exploitation. The message is that true beauty comes from within. And if this makes it sound a little grim – it’s not. It’s full of wonder and joy, and love. Skin Deep is written, though there will be more work on it with my editor, Greg. Alongside this novel, I’m writing a brand new one. It’s very early days (15k into a first draft and no title yet) so I’m loathe to say too much other than it’s about addiction and love.

What’s your writing routine? I’m not big on routine – I get bored really, really easily – other than to turn up frequently (every day when in the thick of a novel) and write. A lot.

You are trapped in a book shop (isn’t that living the dream), what section would we find you in and with which book in hand? My reading taste is eclectic so you might find me in different sections depending on my mood. It’s probably easier to say where you wouldn’t find me: Sci-fi, Fantasy and Procedural Crime. Most often you’d find me in contemporary fiction and no doubt I’d have a stack of books in front of me. I might have Maggie O’Farrell’s next in my hand, or Jenn Ashworth’s forthcoming, Fell.

The best piece of advice you’ve ever been given? Don’t give up the day job! I feel incredibly fortunate to be able to spend half my working week writing, but I enjoy the editing and mentoring I do the rest of the time. My bank manager does too because, in common with the vast majority of authors, I couldn’t support my family on earnings from my books alone.

Who or what inspires you? The world around me and ordinary people in it; those known to me and those who aren’t. So-called ordinary people are the most fascinating ever. We all have stories; those we chose to share and those we don’t. Beneath every apparently straightforward event are people battling with desires and demons. This is what story is all about; an author’s job is to unearth the emotional core.

Name one of your favourite places in the world? New York City – I adore its energy, its diversity and the sense that anything’s possible there.

Quick fire:

Apple or Android?
Apple.

EBook or paperback?
Paperback every time.

Sweet or savoury?
Sweet – I love cake (and wine).

Staying in or going out?
Going out.

Hot or cold?
Hot. 

Laura writes short stories and contemporary novels; love stories with grit. After a degree in Literature, she moved from her homeland of Wales to London where she worked as a journalist. Now she lives in Brighton with her two boys (Ginger1 and Ginger2) and her husband (the BigFella), a bluegrass musician. She loves a bargain, jeans, pretty dresses and high heels.
As well as writing, she works as an editor/mentor for Cornerstones and The Writing Coach, and runs workshops on the art of fiction. She’s spoken at festivals and events nationwide, including London Metropolitan University, GladLit, University of Kingston, and The Women’s Library.

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To buy the e-book: https://Mybook.to/RedemptionSong
To buy the paperback: http://mybook.to/RedemptionWilkinson
If you’d like more information about Laura and her work visit:
laura-wilkinson.co.uk
Twitter @ScorpioScribble
Facebook: Laura Wilkinson Author
Instagram: https://instagram.com/laura_wilkinsonwriter/

A meetcute of sorts with Katey Lovell

Today I am super excited to welcome author Katey Lovell to the Love of a Good Book:


Katey Lovell is fanatical about words. An avid reader, writer and poet, she once auditioned for Countdown and still tapes the show every night. Getting the conundrum before the contestants is her ultimate thrill.

She loves love and strives to write feel-good romance that’ll make you laugh and cry in equal measure. 
Originally from South Wales, Katey now lives in Yorkshire with her husband and their seven year old son.
  



Can you describe the Meet Cute series in one sentence?I’ve always said they’re short and sweet romantic reads to warm your heart – the ‘once upon a time’ before the ‘happily ever after’.

If you could choose one of your characters to spend the day with, who would it be and why? 

Ooh, this is a tough one. Of the characters in these first three stories I’d say I’d like to spend the day with Jade from The Boy in the Bookshop. She’s quite an introvert but loves to express herself through her style – plus, she adores books. 

Can you share with us one of your favourite quotes from The Boy at the Beach, the second part of the Meet Cute series? 

It’s only one line, but it’s the pivotal part of Toby and Lauren’s story.

‘And with every email I knew. I was falling for him, even though I didn’t know him.’ 

What’s next for Meet Cute? 

The first three stories ‘The Boy in the Bookshop’, ‘The Boy at the Beach’ and ‘The Boy at the Bakery’ are kicking off the series, one a week for three consecutive weeks. And without giving too much away, there’s more to come soon!

What’s your writing routine? 

When I was writing The Meet Cute stories there was no routine. I honestly didn’t know if anyone would publish them, so I wrote without planning – I had a title and just started typing to see where the story took me. I’ve been working on longer projects since and generally write a blurb or synopsis first, because I find it helps me get everything straight in my mind. And a Pinterest board is a must! When I’m actively working on something I try and write 5,000 words a week, normally on weekday afternoons as that fits around my day job, family and other commitments.

You are trapped in a book shop (isn’t that living the dream), which section will we find you in and with whose book in hand? 

Being honest, I could be anywhere! However, either the adult fiction section (where I’d most likely be browsing for romance) or the young adult section would be a good place to start. I’d probably have books by Rowan Coleman and Erin Lawless in my hand.

The best piece of advice you’ve ever been given? 

In terms of writing and getting published, I’d say the best advice was to treat it like a job. Protect your writing time and keep going. In terms of life, it’d be to be true to myself. 

Name one of your favourite places in the world? 

I’m lucky to have been to some wonderful places, but of everywhere I’ve been I adored Florence. It was the most gorgeous and inspirational city – I actually wrote quite a lot when I was there, even though I’d said I’d take the holiday as a break from writing. And seeing the statue of David was absolutely mindblowing.

  
Meet Cute is being given its own cocktail, what are the ingredients?

It would need to be short and sweet – maybe peach schnapps, pineapple juice and a cherry on the top!

Quick fire:
One Direction or Take That? – Argh! For the years I’ve loved them, Take That

Cheese or Cheesecake? – Cheesecake!

Tea or Coffee? – Tea, but I’d prefer a hot chocolate if there’s one going

Apple or Android? – Android

Dog or Cat? – Both! But I only have a cat

The Boy Under The Mistletoe is the fourth part of the Meet Cute series and will be published on the 17th of December  

Q&A with Cressida McLaughlin

Today on Love of a Good Book Cressida McLaughlin talks about her four part serial and full length novel.

A Christmas Tail is published TODAY 

Cressy was born in South East London surrounded by books and with a cat named after Lawrence of Arabia. She studied English at the University of East Anglia and now lives in Norwich with her husband David.Cressy’s favourite things include terrifying ghost stories, lava lamps and romantic heroes, though not necessarily at the same time. She doesn’t (yet) have a dog of her own, but feeds her love vicariously through friends’ pets, and was once chased around a field by a soaking wet, very mischievous Border Collie called Wags.

When she isn’t writing, Cressy spends her spare time reading, returning to London or exploring the beautiful Norfolk coastline.

  

 

Can you describe the Primrose Terrace series in one sentence?

Cat Palmer starts a dog-walking business in the sunny, seaside town of Fairview, but with her curious nature and talent for misadventure, it soon becomes clear that Cat’s new job isn’t going to be a walk in the park.

 If you could choose one of your characters to spend the day with, who would it be and why? 

 Cat, definitely! She might have a tendency to get into trouble, but she’s got a warm heart, good intentions, and is able to find the fun in everything. We’d take the Primrose Terrace dogs to the beach and stop at the ice cream parlour along the way, except it wouldn’t be as straightforward as that. It would be a day of happy chaos!    

  

Can you share with us one of your favourite quotes from the first part of the Primrose Terrace series, Wellies and Westies?

Outside, Disco had managed to tie the lead round and round the leg of the bench, and was sitting with her nose pressed into the wood, as if she’d been told to sit in the naughty corner. It was exactly how Cat felt.

Are any of the characters in the series anything like you?

I think I’m probably a mixture of Cat and Polly – I’m not as outgoing or as impulsive as Cat is. I am a dog lover who’s never owned a dog, so in that sense we’re the same, but while she has the confidence to start up her own business, I just like spending time with my friend’s dogs and looking at pictures of Cockapoos on the internet.

  

They say the journey to being published is one of the hardest an author can take, please can you describe the journey that you went on?

It was full of highs and lows and roundabouts, lots of rejections and perseverance and eventually a lucky break. But always knew that I loved writing too much to ever stop, and while I was writing I may as well keep trying to get published too.

I met my amazing editor Kate at a launch event for Alex Brown’s brilliant book Ice Cream at Carrington’s, which I was covering for Novelicious. Over one of the best ice-cream sundaes I’ve ever had, I told her I’d written a book which was out on submission, she asked me to send it to her and, a few months later, we met up. It feels right, somehow, that both Novelicious and one of my favourite authors played a part in me getting my deal.

What’s next for Primrose Terrace? 

 The full Primrose Terrace, A Christmas Tail, is out as a paperback on the 5th of November. It’s been amazing to read reviews and talk to readers about it as the novellas have been published, but holding my paperback, and knowing that it will soon be going into bookshops, is one of the best feelings in the world.  

 What’s your writing routine? 

 My brain always works best in the mornings, so I try and start writing early. I’ll usually read over what I wrote the previous day, just to remind myself where I’m up to, and then dive in. I try not to get stuck into editing until I’ve got to the end of the novella, at which point I’ll go back and try and fix all the things I know are wrong with it.

 As it’s published in four parts, I have to be really careful about planning so I don’t tie myself in knots when I’m writing the end. I can’t change something at the beginning of the book if it’s already been published, so I make sure all my ducks (or dogs) are in a row before I start the first chapter.

  

 You are trapped in a book shop (isn’t that living the dream), which section can we find you in and with whose book in hand? 

I would have a strategy that meant I could cover more than one section. I’d make a beeline to women’s fiction and look for anything new by Lucy Robinson, who in my opinion is writing royalty, as well as Kirsty Greenwood and Miranda Dickinson. I’d also have to go to the crime section. I love crime thrillers, especially Elly Griffiths who writes fantastic books set in Norfolk, Sharon Bolton and, if I’m after something seriously grizzly, Mo Hayder. How long could I be stuck in there – a week? A month? Could I order takeaway?

 What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

 It’s the least original, but the most true. Never give up. There were a couple of points where I thought about it – not the writing, but submitting and trying to get published – and I was told not to by a close friend and brilliant writer, and I didn’t, and then a couple of months later I met my editor. I’m very glad I listened!

 

Who or what inspires you? 

Other writers, and hearing writer journeys on sites like Novelicious. The feature ‘My book deal moment’, reading about how other writers took a long time to get a book deal, and how much it was worth it when they did, really kept me going when I was trying to get published.

As well as brilliant books, (which probably goes without saying) I’m inspired by TV programmes. If I love a TV show, and the writing is brilliant it really spurs me on – I always want to be that witty or sad or romantic. I’ll finish watching it, have a burst of energy and rush straight to my laptop.

My husband is a real inspiration too – he’s my ultimate romantic hero, and is so supportive of everything I do. I’m sure I wouldn’t have got to this point if it wasn’t for his encouragement over the years.

  

Name one of your favourite places in the world?

Whitehaven beach on Whitsunday Island in Australia. I went there when I was eighteen, between A Levels and University, and it is the most breathtakingly beautiful place I’ve ever been. It is definitely making it into a story at some point in the future.


Primrose Terrace is being given its own cocktail, what are the ingredients? 

This is the best question ever! Books and cocktails? Wow. The complete Primrose Terrace is A Christmas Tail, so it’s going to be sparkly and festive, and probably needs to be a bit fizzy.

I’ve just discovered there’s such a thing as a Primrose Martini, which is whiskey, peach schnapps, pineapple juice and lime juice. I love the sound of this, (I’m a big whiskey fan) and I’d only make one very necessary addition and have a shot of prosecco on the side, which would basically make it a Primrose Pornstar Martini. Perfect!

  

About the Book

A Christmas Tail was first published as a four-part serial set in Primrose Terrace.
Catherine ‘Cat’ Palmer realizes that bringing an adorable puppy into work is a bad idea, especially when it gets her the sack. Deciding it’s the perfect opportunity to launch her dog-walking business, Cat enlists the help of flatmates Polly and Joe. After all Primrose Terrace, the street where they live, is full of home-alone hounds.

Getting to know the owners and their precious pooches isn’t all plain sailing, but soon Cat is making friends, particularly with sexy Mark and his Collie, Chips. But is he the right man for her?

With her talent for misadventure, Cat’s new life starts to show some cracks, and when one of the street’s loveable schnauzers gets ill, it looks like this Christmas could be turning into a dog’s dinner. But Cat has never given up on anything in her life – and this is one Christmas that’s definitely worth saving…

 

Katie Kirby talks Could It Be You

Today I am pleased to welcome Katie Kirby to Love of a Good Book

                      Amazon 

Katie Kirby is an actor and writer currently living in Dublin, Ireland. She graduated from the Gaiety School of Acting in Dublin in mid 2000’s and has worked in theatre, television and film ever since.She has been writing since her youth and over a year ago began the journey of Could It Be You, her debut novel, which is very close to her heart.

Six months ago Rachel Kane was married and trying for a baby. 

But then her world came crashing down when she found out her husband was leaving her for another woman. 

Suddenly she found herself nearing thirty and living back home with her parents. No relationship, no space of her own, and struggling to make ends meet. 

The soap she makes and sells through market stores gets great feedback, but she is finding to turn it into a proper business, and she is beginning to wonder if she will ever catch her big break. 
When she finds out two of her best friends are getting married in the South of France she can’t wait for a relaxing break. 

But will it be relaxing, or will it bring up a host of unwanted emotions? 

Will she find it hard to be happy for her friends, when her own love life has fallen apart? 

To make it worse she finds divorce papers waiting on her doormat the day before she is due to leave. 

She knows she should hate Doug for what he did to her, but suddenly it all seems to final. 
Feeling emotionally fragile, Rachel is determined to plaster a smile on her face and make the most of her time away. 

She is especially excited to catch up with Nick – they were always best friends until she got married and her husband grew jealous of their relationship, and now it is time to get things back on track. 

Things perk up when she finds herself next to an attractive man – Tom – on the plane. Not only that, but he is really interested in her products. 
And – even better – he is also a guest at the wedding. 
Rachel could be on the brink of her first big sale. 

But could her meeting with Tom lead to more than just business? 

Will she manage to re-connect with all her best friends? 

Or will the wedding prove to be all too much for her…? 
‘Could It Be You?’ is a fun, holiday read about new starts, best friends and learning to love again

  

Can you describe Could it be You in one sentence?

A sweet and funny story about a second chance at love.

If you could choose one of your characters to spend the day with, who would it be and why? 

Probably Nicholas as he would always keep me laughing.

Can you share with us one of your favourite quotes from Could it be You?

I did enjoy the La Roche Possay confusion at the airport.

Are any of the characters in the series anything like you? 

Rachel is a very heightened version of me. I’m not quite that cynical.

In Could it be You, Rachel Kane is about to head to the South of France, if you could choose any destination in the world where would you want to travel to?

I have always wanted to visit Chile ever since I read Isabel Allende’s My Invented Country.

They say the journey to being published is one of the hardest an author can take, please can you describe the journey that you went on?

I was lucky that Endeavour Press showed interest early on so the publishing process wasn’t overly dramatic fortunately.

What’s next for Katie Kirby?

I am about to embark on the second part of this story. The end of the novel kind of ends on a high but there is still a lot in store for Rachel’s character.

What’s your writing routine? 

When my children go to sleep in the evening we have dinner and then I will try and do about two or three hours of writing in the evening. I can also sneak an hour during the day when they have their nap time.

You are trapped in a book shop (isn’t that living the dream), which section will we find you in and with whose book in hand?
I love the poetry section and probably something by Sylvia Plath.

The best piece of advice you have ever been given? 
My dad always says ‘You’ve got to get up and go to work every day.” A work ethic whether it’s going to work or making a schedule for yourself at home is so important.

Who or what inspires you? 

My parents. They are very positive and upbeat with a strong work ethic and are very loyal loving people.

Could it be You is being given its own cocktail, what are the ingredients?

Probably a mint mojito cocktail
Thank you for stopping by Katie

Enter the SW19 Club with Nicola May

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Award winning author Nicola May lives in Ascot in Berkshire. Her hobbies include watching films that involve a lot of swooning, crabbing in South Devon, eating flapjacks and enjoying a flutter on the horses. Inspired by her favourite authors Milly Johnson and Carole Matthews, Nicola is looking forward to sharing her charming, heartfelt and funny books with you.

Can you describe the The SW19 Club in one sentence?
When Gracie Davies is told she can’t have children, she sets up The SW19 Club, where women in similar situations can chat openly about the unspoken issues of fertility in a supportive and fun environment.

If you could choose one of your characters to spend the day with, who would it be and why? 
I think it would have to be Professor Princeton. He likes a drink and a bet on the horses and is extremely un-pc on occasions. It would be good fun.

Can you share with us one of your favourite quotes from The SW19 Club
‘Never hold back, Gracie. Tears are words that have been trapped in your heart.’

Are any of the characters in your new novel anything like you?                                                   To be honest I think there is always a little piece of me in all of my female characters. But Gracie, the heroine in The SW19 Club was born from my own life changing situation. Very sadly I lost twins and had to have a hysterectomy. I wanted to depict a character with great inner strength, combined with a feminine softness who many women could relate to.

If you were to set up a club, what would it be and what rules would be on the door?      

It would be The Self Esteem Club for young women. The world of social media is causing so many body image problems that need to be addressed. Rules on the door:
Smile
Think Positively
Dream Big

SW19(bluetext)What would you do if you were told you could never have children? Faced with this news, Gracie Davies is at an all-time low. But with the support of some new Wimbledon friends, an unorthodox therapist, her hippy-chick sister Naomi and Czech call-girl Maya, she sets up The SW19 Club and begins her rocky journey to inner peace and happiness. Add in a passionate fling with handsome landscaper Ed, a fairytale encounter with a Hollywood filmstar and the persistence of her adulterous ex, life is anything but predictable

They say the journey to being published is one of the hardest an author can take, please can you describe the journey that you went on?        

 Wow, a big question for me, but I will try and précis the answer. I started writing 19 years ago. I amazingly got an agent. For 2 years I received rejection letters. My agent let me go. I kept writing. After losing my treasured twins, I decided my books would become my babies. So… I self published 6 of them myself. And, after a lot of hard work and winning 2 awards for Best Author Read at the Festival of Romance, I got myself an agent, – the lovely Sarah Taylor at Kate Nash and subsequently, 6 months ago my long awaited publisher – Accent Press.

What’s next? 
The sequel to The School Gates is constantly bubbling around in my head, but I’m currently writing a new one based around a widely used dating app.

What is your writing routine? 
When I start to write, I write. Sometimes for hours on end without even stopping for food, and I love food! It really does take over my life. I love the feeling I get when ideas start flowing and I think writing this way makes it easier for me to maintain the consistency and characters.

You are trapped in a book shop (isn’t that living the dream), which section will we find you in and with whose book in hand? 
I would be in the main fiction section with a Patrick Gale book in my hand. He writes real, gritty characters who are far from perfect. So many times I read lines from his books and say out loud ‘I wish I’d written that!’

The best piece of advice you’ve ever been given? 
That thinking positive thoughts bring positive happenings.

Who or what inspires you? 
Every day life inspires me. I’ve had a lot happen in mine and I love watching the world and current influences, hence writing the new novel around a fast-paced dating app. Marian Keyes, Carole Matthews and Milly Johnson are my personal heroines.

Name one of your favourite places in the world? 
It is actually a tiny little village in Devon, called Dittisham. It is sat on an estuary opposite Agatha Christie’s old summer home and represents ‘peace’ to me. It actually features in my novel, Let Love Win.

The SW19 Club is being given its own cocktail, what are the ingredients? 
A shot of sadness
A hint of spice
A big dash of hope
And a bucket full of love

A big thank you to Nicola for stopping by and talking to Love of a Good Book!

Miranda Monday’s: Jake Steinmann talks I’ll Take New York

Today I am very excited to welcome Jake Steinmann to The Love of a Good Book, you can discover more about Jake in I’ll Take New York by Miranda Dickinson which is available for pre order now!

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Hi Jake, thank you for stopping by The Love of a Good Book.

As a born and raised New Yorker, what would you recommend everyone should do in the city?

Just come and wander through New York. There are so many awesome neighbourhoods, sights, sounds and smells to experience. New Yorkers are proud of their city – and we love people visiting! I’d say make sure you see the city from up high as well as on the street. Top of the Rock and the Empire State both give you amazing views across Manhattan – you’ll see why we think New York is the best city on earth!

You’ve experienced some heartbreak this year. For anyone experiencing the same, what advice would you give them?

Man, just hang in there. Tell yourself it isn’t your failing – because it isn’t. You can try as hard as you can to make something work, but you can’t make someone love you if they choose not to. It sucks, but that’s life. What I would say is to never shut the door on what might be possible. Life can throw your curveballs that knock you off your feet, but it can also surprise you when you least expect it. I believe that. Even if I’ve made this Pact with Bea to never date again, I still believe true love is possible.

Your brother Ed is very loved up, care to share with us a secret about Ed and Rosie?

Ha! OK, but you have to swear not to breathe a word of it to my bro and soon-to-be-sister-in law… I love them dearly but they are the most disorganised couple you ever met! They are useless at planning anything that isn’t for their florists’ store, Kowalski’s. I mean it. Do you know they haven’t even gotten round to throwing an engagement party yet? I’m going to have to step in and organise it for them, or else it will never happen…

With Bea owning a bookshop, it got me thinking, what book about New York would you recommend everyone should read?

That is a tough question – there are so many. Can I choose two? I’d recommend The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald and Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote. Both books show a New York long gone, but the magic and glamour of The Big Apple never really goes away.

One of my favourite films is Serendipity and as a slightly bitter singleton, I wonder if you could tell me is it really that easy to meet the person of your dreams?

Oh sure, it’s easy – when it happens. It takes you by surprise, you know? You think you’re happy with being on your own and then, wham! It hits you. Even when you’ve made a Pact to avoid relationships, like I have with Bea. Your heart can sneak out and fall for someone when you’re looking the other way and then… Well, then that’s when the real trouble starts…

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What is your favourite part of Christmas in New York?

I love the togetherness of it. Wherever you go in New York people are out in the snowy streets, laughing and making the most of the Holiday season. It really is a special place to be at Christmas. Our Steinmann family Christmas celebrations are pretty much legendary. I gather together with my folks and two brothers, Ed and Daniel at my parents’ house on Long Island, where we eat far too much food cooked by my mother. We end up huddled around the fire pit outside late at night in the snow, swathed in blankets and getting seriously hammered on Dad’s infamous spiced bourbon toddies, while we swap stories and laugh.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?

Great question! You know, I’d like to visit England. Bea’s told me so much about it and it sounds wonderful. I visited London once when I was at university, but I’d quite like to go back and see more of the country. I know it’s a cliché for Americans to want to visit castles and mountains in the UK, but I’d love to do the whole tourist thing. Germany would be good, too – the Steinmanns travelled to America back in the eighteenth century to make a life for themselves in the New World, so it would be fun to investigate my roots there…

If there was one saying that could sum up your life to date, what would it be?

I love the quote by Marie Curie:
‘Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.’

And this one by E, M. Forster:
‘We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.’

Thanks to Jake (and Miranda) for stopping by.

Thanks for having me!

#TeamBea

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Lets talk; hot men & nasty neighbours with Amelia Thorne

Today I am very excited to welcome Amelia Thorne to The Love of a Good Book.
Amelia Thorne is an International woman of mystery, who owns a goat and rides a penny farthing. She may also have a secret identity. 
Some of the above may not be true.   
Follow her on Twitter @Amelia_Writes
   

     

This week your debut novel Beneath the Moon and the Stars is published, in 10 words, how would you describe it? 
Its a story of love, friendship, secrets and misguided revenge
The story has a few men that need to be described as HOT, are this based on anyone in your life?
Oh I wish, I love big men, there is something very hot about someone big and tall. The pierced nipplewas someone from my past. When i worked as a hotel receptionist, there was a chef who had a piercednipple. I don’t know why, but seeing it, touching it was the biggest turn on for me.
Finn is described as very muscular and tall, what kind of research do you do for a character like that?
Oh haha, lots and lots of photos of Chris Hemsworth. The man is HUGE and freaking gorgeous. Beingan author is such hard work.
Casey is very big on discovering secrets, care to share with us a secret of your own?
I have a secret identity, sshhhhhh. Although quite a few people have guessed who i am already, apparently my tweets are very similar.
I love Joy’s attitude to life and honestly I commend her for living in Bramble Hill and putting up with some of those people. Have you ever had any problems with your neighbours? 
When i was a student in Liverpool, i lived in a house next door to some drug dealers. Our house was thelast front door in the street, but their house was the last house in the street, with their front door roundthe corner, on another road which led to much confusion, the police were always coming round, demanding to speak to Colin. Other neighbours would bang on our door because there had been breakins and things stolen and drugged up people would bang on our door very early hours in the morningasking for drugs. We lived in the nicest area!!!!!
In the book with have the gorgeous hunk of a man Finn, the charming and charismatic Casey and the ever attentive Zach; Who would you snog, marry and avoid? 
Snog Finn, definitely, he is hot, but very com
Marry Casey, i think he would be a lovely friend to spend time with, he would be loyal to the end. I couldn’t snog him, I’d definitely wouldn’t be his type.
I’d avoid Zach i suppose, he’s hot and charming and a complete and utter womaniser
                             



Let’s talk a little about you,
What’s your goat called? Hugo. Hmmmm Hugo the three legged goat, that sounds familiar
Who would you dream date be? Oh Chris Hemsworth obviously and I’ve always had a thing for OrlandoBloom 
Have you ever been starstruck? 
Around hot men i become a bumbling mess, I’ve never really met anyone properly famous
What inspired you to write Beneath the Moon and Stars?
I wanted to write something different, a different job. A secret chainsaw carver appealed to me
The best book you’ve read this year?
I have a few, Waiting for Prince Harry by Aven Ellis, You Had Me At Merlot by Lisa Dickenson
If you could travel anywhere in the world where would it be and why?
New Zealand, I’ve always wanted to go ever since watching Lord of the Rings, it looks simply stunning 
Quick fire round: 
Cake or Ice cream? Cake, always
Wine or pop? Pop and i love you call it Pop, only us brummies really call it that
Cumberbatch or Gosling? Erm gosling
Shakespeare of Austen? Shakespeare
Summer or Winter? Summer
Youu can pre-order your copy here.http://amzn.to/1sdZ0rw

                             A big thank you to Amelia for talking to The Love of a Good Book!

An interview with Ellie Darkins

Today I am pleased to welcome Ellie Darkins to The Love of a Good Book!

Author bio
Ellie Darkins spent her formative years as a committed bookworm devouring romance novels. After completing her English degree (which had Mills & Boon on the syllabus!) she decided to make a living from her love of books. As a writer and freelance editor her work now entails dreaming up romantic proposals, hot dates with alpha males and trips to the past with dashing heroes. When she’s not working she can usually be found manning the desk or sampling the coffee at her local library, or out for a run – listening to an audiobook, of course.

In less than 10 words, how would you describe Frozen Heart, Melting KissA romance where food, love and family are inextricably entwined.

Your main character is Maya Hartney, how would you describe her? I adore Maya. She’s passionate, full of energy and ideas, always wanting to make people happy. But her enthusiasm and passion hides a vulnerable side that runs very deep. 

Maya is a caterer, what dish would she recommend to make someone fall in love/lust? I don’t think that Maya could pick just one dish, because she would really get to know someone to find out what makes them tick. For her food is so personal, it would be different every time.

Of course a great caterer like Maya would throw a dinner party, who would you 5 dream guests be? Only five?! Okay, Anne Boleyn, because she’s a fascinating character who wielded an enormous amount of power at a time it was almost impossible for a woman to do so. She’s also been so romanticised and villified I’m dying to know who the real Anne was. Marian Keyes, because I think she’s one of the funniest people alive. I’d hope that if I asked her really very nicely she’d explain her theory of feathery strokers to me. Can I have fictional people? I’d love to invite Doctor Who, and would demand to know how he can be in love with River and flirt with Clara at the same time? Margaret Thatcher, another divisive woman with unprecedented power in this country. And lastly I think I’d go for … Jon Snow, because I just finished a Game of Thrones marathon and am very much in love! (and so I could quiz him and try and work out who his parents are).

They say the journey to being published is one of the hardest an author can take, please can you describe the journey that you went on?I’ve been really lucky with my writing to have had fantastic support and feedback ever since I started sharing my stories. I started writing seriously after taking part in National Novel Writing Month, and as soon as I felt I had a story that I thought readers might enjoy I entered it into Harlequin/Mills & Boon’s writing contest, SYTYCW. After they read my manuscript the editors sent me some really useful feedback, and that book published as Hiding from Hollywood with Crimson Romance in January this year. The next time I entered a Mills & Boon contest, it led to a two-book contract! The editors saw promise in my story and worked with me for six months to really get the best out of my writing, my characters and my story. I couldn’t be happier to be working with them!


When you aren’t writing, how do you spend your days? In my day job I’m a freelance book editor, so I mainly spend it reading. I also volunteer in my local library, so basically I’m surrounded by books as often as possible. When the eyes get tired I head out for a run, though I usually listen to an audiobook at the same time.

Writers put so much time and energy into their characters and I have been told in the past that a writer carries their characters around with them.
So my question is if you could go out for a day with any one of your characters: who would it be, what would you do and why did you pick this particular character?
Oh, it would be Maya, no question. I absolutely love her — she’s such a mixture of passion and vulnerability. The more time I spent writing her the more layers and facets to her character I discovered. She spends so much time making other people happy, I’d want to make sure we did something she enjoyed: a food festival perhaps, like the one she visits with Will. 
If you could choose one book that you think everyone should read, what would it be and why?I have so many that I like to recommend to people it’s hard to choose just one. But the most thought-provoking book I’ve read recently isApple Tree Yard, by Louise Doughty. It’s an absolute masterclass in authorial control, and unlike anything I’ve ever read before. I still find myself thinking about the characters months after I finished it.
What can we expect next, any future books in the pipeline?My next book for Mills & Boon is almost finished! It’s Rachel’s story (a minor character in Frozen Heart, Melting Kiss) and features a beach, a one-night stand and a very big surprise for my hero and heroine!


Blurb
Shy and vulnerable Maya Hartney has one great passion—cooking. She’s turned her greatest pleasure into a thriving business, and nothing fulfills her more than delighting her clients. Until she’s hired by taciturn workaholic Will Thomas to cater a charity dinner.…
Only, where Will’s concerned, Maya can do no right! The solution? Sign him up for one of her cookery courses and force the man to fall for her food. A week, one-on-one, cooking and tasting, proves to be a lot more intense and emotional than either of them are expecting! And it comes with a delicious new taste sensation…a kiss…