Blog Tour: And a Sixpence for Luck by Lilac Mills @LilacMills @NeverlandBT


Goodreads|Amazon US|Amazon UK
Release date: September 30, 2017

Publisher: Lilac Tree Books

Genre: Chick Lit

Blurb: 

Daisy Jones has hit rock bottom. Or so she believes.

A cheating boyfriend, trouble at work, having to move back in with her mother, and being forced to compare her brother’s loved-up, newly-wed status and brand-new shiny house with her own dire lack of prospects, isn’t what she imagined her life was going to be like at thirty. To top it all off, Christmas is just around the corner!

 

Daisy, bless her, thinks things can’t possibly get any worse, but when her ancient great-grandmother persuades her to plant a silver sixpence in the Christmas pud for luck, Daisy is about to discover that they most definitely can.

I’m thrilled to be one of the stops on the blog tour for And a Sixpence for Luck today! I have a fabulous guest post from the author to share.

Guest Post:
Most of us like routines, and most of us stick to them, whether it be a regular game of squash on a Thursday night (nope, not me), or going out for a drink with friends on the third Saturday in every month (that’s more like it!), we all tend to do set things, at set times, on set days.

Now, some of us have no choice – like having to get the kids ready for school and/or going to work – and others, such as my elderly mother, enjoy the familiarity of knowing what they will be doing today when they get up in the morning.

As for me? I’m the Routine Queen. I wouldn’t be able to survive without one! Aside from the work thing (meh!) which I can’t avoid if I want to pay the bills, now that I’ve become an author as well I find I have more and more to shoehorn into my day.

I start at 6am (before that if I wake earlier), and quickly check my emails to make sure nothing untoward has happened overnight (it never really does…), then a swift look on social media, and a glance at the sales figures (I often have to psych myself up to do that), then I give myself a stern talking to get myself to write, because if I was left to my own devices, I’d sit and read a couple of chapters of someone else’s hard work instead of concentrating on my own.

Then the family decide to come downstairs purely to annoy me. Okay, that’s a lie – they’ve got to get ready to face their own working day, but it feels like they’re interrupting my stream of thought on purpose.

As usual, I leave it to the very last minute to hop into the shower, and then it’s a frantic dash to get to work on time.

During my lunchbreak I write if I can find a quiet corner to hide in, or I do some marketing and promotional stuff, or check my emails again (and sales, but I don’t want to talk about it because it sounds as if I’m slightly obsessed), if all the quiet corners have been appropriated by others wanting to hide from their managers for five sneaky minutes.

Then, finally home-time and some peace to write a few words more before the family descend on me again, demanding to be fed, and wanting to have clean clothes for tomorrow, and annoying stuff like that. At the end of a long day I get to luxuriate in the bath and, if the mood takes me, I scribble away some more, but it’s not easy balancing my phone on the edge of the bath, and paper tends to get a bit soggy from all the steam.

But if I’m really tired then I crawl into bed, and try to sleep. I say “try” because those darned voices in my head are louder than an elephant snoring, and sometimes they won’t let me snooze until they’ve had their say.

Ah well, I’m not going to knock it, because without the characters in my head I’d not have any stories to write, and writing stories, I’ve found, has become a bit of addiction.

 

 About the Author:


Lilac spends all her time writing, or reading, or thinking about writing or reading, often to the detriment of her day job, her family, and the housework. She apologises to her employer and her loved ones, but the house will simply have to deal with it!
She calls Worcester home, though she would prefer to call somewhere hot and sunny home, somewhere with a beach and cocktails and endless opportunities for snoozing in the sun…
When she isn’t hunched over a computer or dreaming about foreign shores, she enjoys creating strange, inedible dishes in the kitchen, accusing her daughter of stealing (she meant to say “borrowing”) her clothes, and fighting with her husband over whose turn it is to empty the dishwasher.
Website: http://www.lilacmills.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/lilacmills

Facebook: https://en-gb.facebook.com/LilacMills/

 

 

Blog Tour: The Man Who Died by Antti Tuomainen @antti_tuomainen @orendabooks


Goodreads|Amazon US|Amazon UK
Release date: October 10, 2017

Publisher: Orenda Books

Genre: Crime Fiction 

Blurb: 

A successful entrepreneur in the mushroom industry, Jaakko Kaunismaa is a man in his prime. At just 37 years of age, he is shocked when his doctor tells him that he’s dying. What is more, the cause is discovered to be prolonged exposure to toxins; in other words, someone has slowly but surely been poisoning him. Determined to find out who wants him dead, Jaakko embarks on a suspenseful rollercoaster journey full of unusual characters, bizarre situations and unexpected twists. With a nod to Fargo and the best elements of the Scandinavian noir tradition, The Man Who Died is a page-turning thriller brimming with the blackest comedy surrounding life and death, and love and betrayal, markinng a stunning new departure for the King of Helsinki Noir. 

I’m so delighted to be helping to kick off the blog tour for The Man Who Died today! I have a fantastic guest post from the author to share today. 


Guest Post: 
 The Truth is a Funny Thing

 

Two and a half years ago I found myself at another curious crossroad. Life has a habit of doing that: taking you down one road as far as you can go, then suddenly announcing that this where it ends. ‘Thanks a lot’ you might say, but it doesn’t really solve the geographical problem.

I had recently published my fifth novel The Mine, and I was trying to think of the next book. I wanted to write and needed to write – because that is what I do and have to do in order to be happy – and I was trying to get started, but it wasn’t happening. It wasn’t happening for several reasons.

 

One reason was that by that time I had written five very dark novels ranging from the icy North of The Mine to the dystopia of The Healer and I honestly felt I had given all I had in that direction, at least for the time being. (You never know about the future. I might decide tomorrow that I’m going to write something that is darker than all those five books combined.) I also realized a far more serious predicament. I had held back.

 

I had been restraining myself in my writing. I vividly remember a scene in one of the earlier books that I was writing and suddenly saw that I could make it funny. Very, very funny. But it didn’t fit the overall mood of the story. It would have stood out like a pink suit at a funeral. So I kept that alternative scene to myself and actually forgot about it for a while. Then, as I was searching for a new story, I remembered the scene and the feeling I had had at the time. It was almost an epiphany. It was obvious what I needed to do.

 

What are some of my greatest loves as far as artistic influences go? Noir. Comedies.

 

So there.

 

I was on my way. I watched and re-watched all that I had always loved so much, starting from The Marx Brothers. I love their lunacy, intelligence, sheer lovable insanity. I watched Fargo again. What a great, great film it is. (The television series is brilliant, especially season 1.) I re-read Elmore Leonard’s novels. I discovered they were even better than I remembered. He was one of the writers that got me into this writing life to start with. Same with Lawrence Block. He’s written both dark books (his Matt Scudder books are simply great noir novels and highly recommended) and lighter, funnier books starring burglar Bernie Rhodenbarr. I returned to those as well. It was like finding a well of fresh water all over again.

 

Most importantly, I followed my instinct. It’s such a cliché – to follow one’s heart – but there you go. It is true. Especially if you’re a writer. You simply have to write what you have to write. No way around it. And so many happy things followed that turn in the crossroads.

 

I told my literary agent what I was going to do. He said go for it. I didn’t have much in the beginning. Just a man going to see his doctor about flu-like symptoms and then hearing that he has been poisoned over a very long period. Then: enter the mushrooms and the mushroom business that was perfect for a host of reasons. One: I didn’t know anything about it. Two: I made nearly all of it up. Three: it had just the perfect amount of absurdity to it.

 

At first I was unsure of the setting. I had previously set all my novels in Helsinki and had made the city I love one of the characters in the books. Now I wanted to change that with everything else. I only had to look in my own past. I spent my childhood summers in Hamina, a small seaside town about two hours from Helsinki. I made it the golden, sunny, offbeat place that I remembered.

 

I had a blast writing the book that became THE MAN WHO DIED. By that, I don’t mean that writing was easy. It never is. But I knew I had a good story and the tone I had been missing even though I hadn’t really known it. I felt free. I was able to paint with all the colors, to go as far as I wanted, because now it all fit. It was the kind of story I wanted to tell.

 

I think I learned my lesson. As a writer, I need to trust my heart and instinct. If I love to laugh and be moved, and if I find life both tragic and comic I can’t exclude neither one. And what I hope to achieve as a writer – what I would like to do – is make the reader see the same and make the reader laugh and perhaps cry while enjoying a wild ride filled with twists and surprises.

 

Because, sometimes, the truth is the funny thing, and vice versa.

About the Author: 


Finnish Antti Tuomainen (b. 1971) was an award-winning copywriter when he made his literary debut in 2007 as a suspense author. The critically acclaimed My Brother’s Keeper was published two years later. In 2011 Tuomainen’s third novel, The Healer, was awarded the Clue Award for ‘Best Finnish Crime Novel of 2011’ and was shortlisted for the Glass Key Award. The Finnish press labelled The Healer – the story of a writer desperately searching for his missing wife in a post-apocalyptic Helsinki – ‘unputdownable’. Two years later in 2013 they crowned Tuomainen ‘The King of Helsinki Noir’ when Dark as My Heart was published. The Mine, published in 2016, was an international bestseller. All of his books have been optioned for TV/film. With his piercing and evocative style, Tuomainen is one of the first to challenge the Scandinavian crime genre formula, and The Man Who Died sees him at his literary best.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blog Tour: Disenchanted by Heide Goody and Iain Grant 


Goodreads|Amazon US|Amazon UK
Release date: May 5, 2017

Publisher: Pigeon Park Press

Genre: Chick Lit

Blurb: 

Ella Hannaford has a small business to run, an overworked father to look after and a future stepmother who wants a perfect wedding. 


Can she avoid a girly night out with her clueless stepsister? Can she side-step lovesick suitors at every turn? Not if it’s up to that team of foul-mouthed dwarfs who want to forcibly drag her into her happily ever after.


Gingerbread cottages, dodgy European gangsters, gun-toting grannies, wisecracking wolves, stubborn fairy godmothers, ogres, beanstalks and flying carpets abound in a tale about what happens when you refuse to accept your Happy Ending. 

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Disenchanted. I have a funny guest post to share with you today.


Heide and Iain’s latest novel, Disenchanted, is out this month. The fairy tale fantasy comedy was written with no small assistance from Dr Epiphany Alexander of Sheffield University’s Department for Folklore and Oral History. As an insight into the research material used to create Disenchanted, we present another of Dr Alexander’s letters to the author duo.


 

My Dear Friends,

 

Apologies for the state of this letter and the quality of my handwriting. I am having to write it in peculiar circumstances.

 

I have surprising news. I am currently in Arizona! This is, as they say, a turn up for the books. Quite apt as I have literally turned up for the book, namely Lang’s Black Fairy Book, his missing thirteenth volume of fairy tales.

 

When I last wrote to you, I had just heard that the book was perhaps with the domunculus reliquary in Cleveland, Ohio. A few phone calls later and I was speaking to a Professor Raposa of the University of Arizona where the reliquary is on loan. Professor Raposa, I am embarrassed to say, is a fan of my work and both an invitation to visit and plane tickets were soon sent my way! I was naturally thrilled but Pak Choi, my faithful companion, was less pleased. He had heard rumours about the questioning some people are put through at US border control and was worried that the officials might give one of the Fair Folk a tough time. I said he should simply not say anything to annoy them and just keep them happy.

 

To distract him from worry on the flight, I told him my favourite Arizonan story. It concerns Grey Fox, hero of the Yuman-speaking Native Americans. Giants had come out of the east and from their camp atop a mesa attacked the people of the land, eating those that they could catch. The king rode out to meet the giants and he too was eaten. After that, no one wanted to be king. Grey Fox, who was a reluctant hero at best, knew he had to face the giants. As he walked towards the mesa, he met a horned toad, who offered his help in defeating the giants. He gave Grey Fox his ‘horned helmet’, his ‘horny breastplate’ and his ‘scaly wings’ and told him that he should fight the giants so that the giants had their backs to a cliff edge. Grey Fox went to the mesa and, using the toad’s wings, flew up to meet the giants. They threw spears at him but they broke against his breastplate. They fired arrows at him but they bounced off his helmet. The giants, fearing that Grey Fox was a spirit, dared not take their eyes off him. As the toad had instructed, Grey Fox fought them so they had their backs to the cliff edge so when he leapt at them, they stepped back and fell down to their doom. The last of them to fall reached out and ripped the wings from Grey Fox’s back. Grey Fox returned to the horned toad and gave back the helmet and breastplate. But, seeing that his beautiful wings had been destroyed, the toad was overcome with sadness and anger which is why, to this day, the wingless horned toad cries bitter tears of blood whenever the fox comes near.


 

 

The man at the immigration desk had clearly not seen a passport from the Fair Lands before. They are rare after all and composed primarily of pressed leaves and petals. I suspect Pak Choi might have taken my earlier words too literally. He whispered certain words to the man and the man started laughing. He did not stop laughing, even when they had wrestled him from the booth and taken him away on an ambulance stretcher. We hotfooted it out of the airport as quickly as possible.

 

Professor Raposa was a delightful host who put me up in his Tucson home. Of late, all the men I meet seem to either be suspiciously monobrowed or have some sort of romantic interest in me. It appeared that Professor Raposa was one of the latter. At dinner, with an honesty and charm that British men simply don’t have, Professor Raposa explained that he had first seen me delivering a speech at a symposium in Illinois some years earlier and had ‘taken a shine’ to me. I recall delivering a paper at the event entitled “People in Glass Slippers shouldn’t own Thrones: Why Cinderella would have been a Rubbish Queen” but I had no recollection of meeting the professor.

 

I rebuffed the professor’s gentle advances and we spent a perfectly pleasant evening over a bowl of chili, a plate of something called cheese crisp and a glass of Sonoita Malvasia, an American wine that was far more pleasant than certain European wine-snobs of my acquaintance might have me believe. The following day, we went to the Arizona State Museum in the grounds of the university and to the domunculus I had come all this way to see.

 

However, I was distracted by the sight of the infamous Silverbell Road Crosses that the museum also has on display. The crudely cast lead crosses are perhaps evidence of a mythical colony of religious exiles who fled from Rome over twelve hundred years ago and settled in Arizona centuries before the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors. The badly-formed Latin inscriptions and the carved imagery (including a dinosaur, no less!) offer hints of a marvellous story of great adventure, remarkable encounters in the Arizona desert and possibly even dinosaurs. Or, they all form part of an elaborate hoax, created for unknown reasons by a local Mexican sculptor. If only I had the time to study them further and draw my own conclusions! Pak Choi’s own conclusions are evidenced in this delightful drawing he has rendered.

 

 

Professor Raposa took me to a gallery attended by two young men and there he presented to me, wrapped in a protective sheet, the Uttoxeter Casket. The reliquary was both smaller and more intricately carved than I had imagined. The boxwood carvings show various scenes from the life of Christ, including the nativity and the crucifixion. I told Professor Raposa that it was beautiful but, in all honest truth, I wanted to look within. Professor Raposa obliged and lifted the lid.

 

Oh, dear friends, did I expect to see Lang’s missing book of fairy tales just sitting there? Did I foolishly think that it had remained hidden for decades because no one had thought to look inside the box? The answer, sadly, is yes. But, naturally, the reliquary box was empty. Well, almost.

 

At the bottom of the box was a black and white photograph. I inspected it and saw that it was a photograph of a section of medieval manuscript, featuring an image of a fair queen upon her throne.

 

Professor Raposa was keen for my interpretation of the photograph which had arrived with the box. I was not quick to come to any judgement. Jumping to hasty conclusions will have people believing in cowboys riding dinosaurs and wotnot. Professor Raposa became unaccountably impatient and then angry and he demanded that I tell him where the Black Fairy Book was. He made a passing remark about ‘the cheese-dangling witch!’ but I was suddenly and acutely distracted by the guns that the gallery attendants now pointed at me. I was struck by two almost instantaneous thoughts: one was that the two gallery attendants had rather thick eyebrows, the other was that it seemed something of a cliché for my current adventure to only feature firearms when I travelled to the United States. Oh well, such is life.

 

Unable to answer Professor Raposa’s demands for the location of the Black Fairy Book, even at gunpoint, I soon found myself in an unusual position. In short, I am currently writing this from the confines of the boot of what I understand to be a Lincoln Continental (you might have been curious as to why I have been forced to write this letter on end papers torn from your latest novel. It is no reflection of the regard in which I hold your book; it was simply the only paper to hand). It’s not the ideal space in which to write a missive but it could be worse. I will say this for our American friends, they do build cars with plenty of trunk space. I am not sure where the malicious Professor Raposa and his accomplices are taking me but I hope to post this letter to you as soon as I am let out.  

 

I am deeply conscious that I said I would be at your book event in four days’ time. Be assured I very much intend to be there and to have read your book in full by that time. I am sure all this nasty business will be wrapped up long before then.

 

Yours,

 

Dr E. Alexander

 

Dr Epiphany Alexander’s latest book, “High Ho, High Ho: Drug Use and Prostitution in Fairy Tales” is currently available from Sheffield Academic Press.

Heide Goody and Iain Grant’s novel, Disenchanted, is available now from Amazon.

 

Blog Tour: Too Sharp by Marianne Delacourt @DeadlinesCrime @12thPlanetPress


Goodreads|Amazon US|Amazon UK
Release date: March 26, 2017

Publisher: Twelfth Planet Press

Blurb: 

Tara Sharp’s new case brings her to Brisbane, where she is placed in charge of Slim Sledge, a high-maintenance rock star. Tara’s a sucker for a backstage pass, and it’ll provide some much-needed distance between herself and her mother’s not-so-subtle hints about getting a “real” job, not to mention crime lord Johnny Viaspa, the only man on the planet who wants her dead. 


She expected the music industry to be cut-throat, but Tara soon uncovers more problems than just Slim Sledge’s demands and his rabid fans. Everywhere she turns, the grudges run deeper and the danger ramps up. 


Has Tara finally pushed her luck too far? 

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Too Sharp. I have a guest post from the author about her writing inspirations. 


Guest Post: 

Inspirations for, and thoughts on, creating Tara Sharp and her unusual gift

 

I used to be terrified of flying and I found that the only books that could keep me distracted on a flight were the Stephanie Plum novels by Janet Evanovich. The series had such good narrative energy and engaging characterisation that it held my attention when all other books left me glancing anxiously out of the window. I’d also just finished writing a very exhausting four book feminist sci-fi space opera and I was looking for a change of genre. Those two factors seeded the gestation of Tara Sharp.


Then it was all about the characters. Who was going to be in this story? Once I’d imagined Tara’s personality, the secondary characters just wrote their way onto the page without any forethought. It was like they’d been waiting for me to set them free to live and love.


But as I set out to write the first novel, I realised I was looking for something a little different to hang the series on. I’d always been particularly fascinated by body language and began reading about it in earnest. When Sharp Shooter was first released there were a few psychic shows on television like The Mentalist and Medium, but there weren’t a lot of books in the crime genre that played with those ideas. (I think there are more now.) As I was researching body language, I suddenly remembered that as a teenager we used to spend lunchtimes at school standing up against a big white door trying to read each other’s auras. I widened my reading and was fascinated to see there was a whole lot of new age material on just that topic. But instead of borrowing someone else’s interpretations of auras, I created my own colour meanings. So I have this whole foolscap exercise book full of colour coding and then an index of the colour mixes of each character’s aura. I’m constantly thumbing through it, to check and tweak things. It’s my aura bible!


It was by far one of the most enjoyable things I’ve ever done as a writer!


 

The third novel in Marianne Delacourt’s series of paranormal crime novels about unorthodox PI Tara Sharp, ‘Too Sharp’, launched 28 March. The novel is available from all online retailers, including Twelfth Planet Press and Amazon. Readers new to Delacourt’s Tara Sharp series can spark their addiction with ‘Sharp Shooter’, the ebook of which is available for free for a limited time to celebrate the launch.

 About the Author: 


Author MARIANNE DELACOURT is the alter ego of award-winning, internationally-published Science Fiction writer Marianne de Pierres. Renowned for dark satire in her Science Fiction, Marianne offers lighter, funnier writing under her Delacourt penname. As Delacourt, Marianne is also the author of Young Adult fiction series Night Creatures (Burn Bright, Angel Arias and Shine Light). She is a co-founder of the Vision Writers Group and ROR – wRiters on the Rise, a critiquing group for professional writers. Marianne lives in Brisbane with her husband and two galahs.


Blog Tour: Guest Post by T. A. Williams @TAWilliamsBooks

Title: To Rome, with Love

Author: T.A. Williams

Release Date: February 17, 2017

Genre: Romantic Comedy

Publisher: HQ Digital

About TO ROME, WITH LOVE



It’s a summer of second chances…



Just a week before her big day, Sarah returns home to find a note from her husband-to-be – the wedding’s off! So when her boss decides to send her on an epic cycling trip, from Venice to Rome, it seems like the perfect distraction…



Although she never expected the distraction to come in the form of her oh-so-handsome, but slightly serious, cycling companion, Miles. And with still 600 miles of beautiful scenery, mouthwatering food and delicious wine yet to cover, anything could happen!


Where to find TO ROME, WITH LOVE

Goodreads  ||  Amazon  ||  iTunes  ||  Barnes & Noble

Enter the Giveaway!

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Guest Post: 

T. A. Williams (Trevor) tells us why he decided to set his latest romantic comedy in Italy.

 

  Why is To Rome, with Love set in Italy? Easy answer – I love the place. After university (I did French and German) I couldn’t find a “sensible” job in the UK, so I decided to learn another language. I was offered a job teaching English in Italy and it changed my life forever.

  I spent almost four years living in the very north of Italy, in the Alps, and then moved to Florence for another four years. In the course of my time in Italy I met and married Mariangela, my wife of 41 years now, and made a lot of friends. If you live in a country for all that time you get to learn the language really well and get to know the people really well, with all their quirks.

  So, what do I really love about Italy?

  Well, there’s the climate. I come from Devon, down in the southwest of England where the winters are normally mild, but grey, and the summers occasionally warm, but often punctuated by a lot of rain. The thing about Italy is that it has a climate, not just weather. If you want to invite friends round for a barbecue on a summer night, you can be pretty sure it won’t suddenly develop into a mad rush for cover as the heavens open. All right, in spite of what some people say, this global warming business seems to be a real thing and climates aren’t quite as predictable as they once were but still… summer in Italy generally means hot and dry, and winter cold and dry. The way I like it.

  The people are wonderful. When I arrived in Italy, unable to speak a word of the language, I found people only too happy to help me out with odd words of English, French or, on one memorable occasion, Latin. I have been invited into so many people’s homes for dinner, I have lost count. If you ignore the pickpockets in the big cities and, of course, the Mafia, the Italian man (and woman) in the street is almost invariably warm, welcoming and very generous.

  So, I like the place and the people. So why set the book on a bike ride? Venice to Rome is a ride I did myself a few years back with a group of friends and the experience has stayed with me. Hopefully, as you read To Rome, With Love, you will get a sense of the overwhelming beauty of what it’s like to cycle round the Venice lagoon, through the wonders of Umbria, or up the infernal climb to the little Republic of San Marino. I would like to think that my love of the historical splendours of Italy will shine through, particularly as my group of cyclists visit amazing places like Ravenna, Gubbio or Orvieto and, of course, Rome itself.

  My books always tend to be set in lovely places like Tuscany, Cornwall, the south of France (my next book is set in Provence) or rural Spain. I always like to try to transport my readers away from their own lives for a few hours, to somewhere different, beautiful and fascinating. Hopefully, as you read To Rome, With Love, you will get a taste of why I love Italy so much.

About T.A. Williams

Firstly, my name isn’t T A. It’s Trevor. I write under the androgynous name T A Williams because 65% of books are read by women. In my first book, “Dirty Minds”, one of the (female) characters suggests the imbalance is due to the fact that men spend too much time getting drunk and watching football. I couldn’t possibly comment. Ask my wife…


I’ve written all sorts: thrillers, historical novels, short stories and now I’m enjoying myself hugely writing humour and romance. Romantic comedies are what we all need from time to time. Life isn’t always very fair. It isn’t always a lot of fun, but when it is, we need to embrace it. If my books can put a smile on your face and maybe give your heartstrings a tug, then I know I’ve done my job.


I‘ve lived all over Europe, but now I live in a little village in sleepy Devon, tucked away in south west England. I love the place. That’s why you’ll find leafy lanes and thatched cottages in most of my books. Oh, yes, and a black Labrador.  


I’ve been writing since I was 14 and that is half a century ago. However, underneath this bald, wrinkly exterior, there beats the heart of a youngster. My wife is convinced I will never grow up. I hope she’s right.


Where to find Trevor

Website  ||  Facebook  ||  Twitter  ||  Goodreads  ||  Amazon

Blog Tour: Something Missing by Glenice Whitting @GleniceW


Goodreads|Amazon|Book Depository
Release date: December 11, 2016

Publisher: Madeglobal Publishing

Genre: Fiction 

Blurb: 

Two women, two countries. Serendipity, life, friendship

 

Diane, a young Australian mother meets Maggie, a sophisticated American poet, in a chance encounter. Everything – age, class and even nationality – separates them. Yet all is not quite as it seems. Maggie is grieving for her eldest daughter and trapped in a marriage involving infidelity and rape. Diane yearns for the same opportunities given to her brother. Their lives draw them to connect. This is the story of two unfulfilled women finding each other when they needed it most. Their pen-friendship will change them forever.

Welcome to my stop on the Something Missing blog tour! Though I haven’t had the pleasure of reading this yet, I’ll be making time for it soon.  I have a guest post from the author about the inspiration behind the book. I also have a giveaway where one person will win a copy of the book! This is an international giveaway as well so everyone can participate. 


Guest Post: 

 

Q: How did you come up with the idea for this book?

 

Purely by chance! I’m definitely a late bloomer. During my early years I never dreamt I’d become a writer. However, fate intervened and eventually I leant to write about people and events important in my life. I wrote from the heart and was true to myself. Something Missing, is based on my thirty-five year pen-friendship with an older American poet. It was a chance to explore our unique relationship and eventually to understand my journey as a mature aged student. Something Missing, published by MadeGlobal Publishing, is the result.

 

The journey began when I left Malvern Girls Domestic Arts School at fourteen to become an apprentice hairdresser, and later, wife and mother. When I turned fifty, goaded by my American pen-friend’s well educated letters I went back to school to sit for my VCE (Victorian Certificate of Education). My results meant I was offered a place at Monash University to study for my Bachelor of Arts where my majors were English Literature and Sociology. At the end of my course, thinking I’d eventually work as a sociologist, I needed one more class to complete my literature major. The only course available to fit in with my day job was a night class in fiction writing. I wrote a short story based on my father’s life about a boy, a great-hearted German Grossmutter and a man caught between two worlds. That story was highly commended in the Judah Waten International Short Story Competition. It didn’t win but I was hooked. However, the story haunted me day and night and I decided to continue writing, but needed guidance. To study for a Diploma of Professional Writing and Editing at TAFE (Technical and Further Education) was perfect and under the guidance of Australian author, Liam Davison, my story grew into a novel.

 

A play written in Ray Mooney’s class at TAFE, based on my hairdressing experiences, was performed during the Fertile Ground New Plays Festival. The result was acceptance into the Masters of Creative Writing at Melbourne University. During that time the manuscript of the novel was short listed for the Victorian Premiers Literary Awards and later won the Ilura Press International Fiction Quest. Pickle to Pie was launched by Ilura Press during the Melbourne Writers Festival.

 

Publishing the first novel meant I could apply to Swinburne University for a PhD by artefact and exegesis and to my delight I was awarded an Australian Postgraduate Award Scholarship. Here was my opportunity to learn the rules of the craft of writing and know why I was breaking them. I grabbed the chance. But what would I write? What would my next novel be about? Would I follow on with another German Australian story and use all those files and folders containing years of research?

 

Instead, I did what most writers do and wrote from the heart about something I felt familiar with. I decided to explore and record my thirty-five year pen-friendship with an older American poet. It would be the story of two countries, two women and the lies they told each other that led to truth. I titled the story, Hens Lay, People Lie and my PhD focus would be autoethnography, (using my own experiences as research) and epistolarity (interweaving extracts from letters, journals, newspaper articles etc). In my journal I wrote:


‘I am writing an epistolary, autoethnographic novel grounded in both feminism and post modernist paradigms with the aim of revealing women’s hidden stories in the hope of instigating social change.’

 

What lofty aims, but here was a chance to use our letters, interspersed with text, to explore the influence this elderly poet had on a young woman who unconsciously yearned for the education given to her brother and denied to her. And what did my elderly pen-friend gain from our correspondence? My journey had begun.

 

I began by introducing an older American woman’s voice in first-person narration; an elderly Australian woman in second person; and the young Australian mum in third person. The story had embedded dialogue, following author, Debra Adelaide’s example, where only the formatting and actions of the characters, rather than dialogue marks, reveal to the reader who is speaking at that time. The elderly Australian woman would reveal the pitfalls and joys of writing a novel in a humorous, tongue in cheek, style.

 

For four years I was caught up in a world where my mind kept bouncing backwards and forwards between my creative writing of this novel and the formal academic exegesis. After completing the PhD I took a long hard look at what I’d written, and following the suggestions of American author/editor, Cindy Vallar, I inserted quotation marks to all the dialogue. It then took a huge leap of faith and much rewriting to take the story from literary faction into popular fiction.

 

It was an invaluable lesson. To be a writer I had to be myself and write the way I really wanted to write, down to earth, uncomplicated and honest. I made both Maggie and Diane third person narration, threw in a handful of suspense and Voilà… Something Missing was born. I was so excited the day I received the email saying that Tim Ridgway of MadeGlobal Publishing loved the story and would I sign the contract etc.

 

It is every writer’s dream to hold their book in their hand. It gives them a chance to thank all the people who have helped along the way. There have been so many people I could list who have patiently and painstakingly worked with me through all the versions. However, there is an indescribable joy in being able to finally thank them formally, via the acknowledgment page, in the published reincarnation of the manuscript now titled Something Missing.

 

Thank you, Amy for hosting me at your site. It is greatly appreciated.

About the Author: 


       Glenice Whitting is an Australian author and playwright and has published two novels. She was a hairdresser for many years before she became a mature age student. It was during an English Literature Fiction Writing course that her great midlife adventure began. Rummaging through an old cardboard shoebox in the family home she found a pile of postcards dating back to the 19th century, many of them written in Old High German. The translated greetings from abroad introduced the hairdresser to her long hidden German heritage and started her on a life changing journey. She fell in love with the craft of writing and decided to pursue a writing career. Her Australian/German novel, Pickle to Pie, was short -listed for the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for an Unpublished Manuscript. It co-won the Ilura Press International Fiction Quest and was launched during The Age Melbourne Writers’ Festival.

Three years as an on-line editor and columnist at suite101.com introduced her to web writing and resulted in an ebook Inspiring Women. Glenice’s play Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow was produced during the Fertile Ground New Play Festival. Her published works include biographies, reviews, numerous short stories and two novels. Her latest novel, Something Missing, published by MadeGlobal Publishing is about two countries, two women and lies that lead to truth. She completed the journey from VCE to PhD when she gained her Doctorate of Philosophy (Writing) from Swinburne University in 2013. Along the way she was awarded entry into the Golden Key International Honour Society for academic excellence. She currently enjoys teaching Memoir Writing and encouraging other women to write their stories. Glenice’s blog Writers and Their Journey can be found at her website




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Blog Tour: Combatting Fear by Sandy Vaile @Sandy_Vaile

Welcome to my stop on the Combating Fear blog tour and a happy publication day to Sandy! I have a fabulous guest post from the author AND a giveaway for your chance to win a copy of the book.


Blurb: 

How far would you go to save a child that wasn’t yours?

Mild-mannered kindergarten teacher, Neve Botticelli, leads a double life. At home with her paranoid father, she is a combat trained survivalist who lives off-the-grid.

When self-made billionaire, Micah Kincaid, storms into town in search of his four-year-old son, Rowan, he’s pushy, entitled, and stands for everything Neve despises.

But something far more sinister than a cheating estranged wife, is lurking in rural Turners Gully, and it has its sights set on little Rowan’s inheritance. It turns out there is one thing Micah and Neve can agree on, and that’s keeping Rowan safe.

As they work together to free Rowan, they glimpse beneath one another’s guises, and realise that falling in love could be even more dangerous than hunting deadly criminals.

Goodreads|Amazon

Guest Post 

Hi, I’m Sandy Vaile, a motorbike-riding daredevil who isn’t content with a story unless there’s a courageous heroine and a dead body. When I’m not devising horrible things to do to fictional characters, I write procedures for high-risk industrial activities, mentor new writers through the Novelist’s Circle critiquing group, judge romance writing competitions, present literary craft workshops, and write the odd articles and blog.

I’ve been looking forward to dropping by for a chat with Amy, and to give you some insight into how I came to be here.

I imagine you can all relate to being side-tracked from your dreams by everyday life. Well, that’s exactly what happened to me. All through high school the plan was to become a journalist, but I moved out of home when I was 16 y.o., and then work, marriage and children all happened to divert me from writing. For more than a decade child-rearing magazines were the extent of my reading, and correspondence with pen pals the extent of my writing.

I was middle-aged when a friend insisted I read the Harry Potter series. I so loved the complex plot and diverse characters, that my inner creative being was awakened. The smouldering tinder only ignited further with each book I read, until I was desperate to write again.

Now, you many have guessed I’m not one to do things by half, so I didn’t bother starting with short stories or diary entries. No, I decided I was going to write a whole novel! Nothing to it, right?

So, I drew on my life experiences to come up with a few characters that stirred my curiosity, and formed the idea of a conflict. I wrote 60,000 words in the first six weeks. Now that’s enthusiasm! Unfortunately, the family eventually wanted to be fed and have clean clothes to wear, so I had to slow up a teeny bit.

It didn’t deter my focus though, because I’d already figured out one vital thing. The most important difference between a published and unpublished author is that one actually finished the book. So that was my first goal.

That first book represented a huge learning curve for me, because I’d left pesky little things like grammar and literary devices behind in high school, and had to learn them all over again. But learn them I did, and finish that book in nine months I did. It took another year before I felt it was polished enough to submit to publishers. Unfortunately, that manuscript remains in the figurative bottom drawer.

Now, this is the part of my journey where I learnt to embrace rejection, because there was a lot of it, but thankfully I was also tossed a few scraps of positive feedback along the way, and that’s all it took to keep me motivated.

When I saw an advertisement by Crimson Romance (a subsidiary of Simon & Schuster) for stories with gritty heroines who break stereotypes, I knew I had what they were looking for. And that’s how my first book, “Inheriting Fear” got picked up and sent into the wide world.

Now you are helping me celebrate the release of my second romantic suspense book, “Combatting Fear”, and I have to pinch myself now and again, just to make sure this high is real. (Ouch! Okay, it is.)

I’d love to hear about your literary challenges and loves.

Leave a comment on this blog and get 1 entry to win the “Combatting Fear” eBook. Subscribe to my newsletter and get 3 more entries.

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About the Author:


I’m Sandy and my motto in life is…
I’ll try anything once

To that end, I take every opportunity that presents and have a wealth of life experiences to draw on when writing.
These include riding a motorbike, skydiving, hot air ballooning, getting tattoos, swimming with sharks and turtles, and having the privilege to carry the Olympic flame.
The common denominator in my stories is courageous, gritty heroines who don’t especially need the strong heroes who sweep them off their feet, but when they do find Mr. Right, they’re not afraid to hold on tight.
My love of adventure and action sports started early, with 3-day eventing horses and cross-country running. Living in Papua New Guinea as a child meant lots of water sports, outdoor living and learning the local Pigeon English.

Connect with Sandy: 

Facebook|Twitter|Website

Check out the other stops on the tour

Blog Tour: Uncoiled Lies by Liz Mistry @LizCrimeWarp @BloodhoundBook


I’m the last stop on the blog tour for Uncoiled Lies and I have a fabulous guest post from Liz Mistry to share. 

About the book: 

Murder. Love. Corruption. DI Angus McGuire and the team are back and have their work cut out. 
Murdered prostitutes and a turf war between local gangsters takes the investigation into Bradford’s Immigrant communities where tensions run high.


To make matters worse McGuire is juggling an illicit relationship with his boss’s daughter and has fraught family relations.


Who is The Old Man?


What is the link between three dead prostitutes and a long forgotten murder?


Will McGuire and his team get the answers they want or is the uncomfortable truth much closer to home?


Uncoiled Lies is the sequel to the best-selling, critically acclaimed, Unquiet Souls. It can be read as part of a series or as a stand-alone. It will appeal to fans of authors like; Angela Marsons, Helen H. Durrant, Mel Sherratt and Ian Rankin. 

Goodreads|Amazon
About the Author: 


As well as writing crime fiction, Liz is co-founder of and main contributor to The Crime Warp blog, which reviews all areas of crime fiction, interviews crime authors and participates in blog tours. She is the main publicist for the blog, using social media to promote our presence. 


Liz is an ex teacher who has taught in inner city Bradford schools for over twenty years. Her husband of 27 years is Indian and they have three children. They live in inner city Bradford and Liz likes to use the rich tapestry of her life in Bradford, combined with her Scottish heritage, in her writing.


She is currently completing her dissertation for an MA in creative writing at Leeds Trinity University and hopes to graduate in December with a distinction.

Guest Post: 

To Plot or Not to Plot… that is the question!

When the germ of an idea takes hold we writers jump up and down with sheer unadulterated glee. Great! – another yarn to explore, a tale to tell, a story to discover… but how does that germ of an idea blossom from a tadpole to a frog then into a handsome Prince in a (fairy) tale, to grip the reader by the throat with a ferocity that leaves them spellbound?

Well, for most of us writers, that’s the hard bit and I believe that the development of an idea into a full blown novel is a very personal thing for each writer. I’m one of those writers that likes to let the creativity flow as I write. I don’t do very much plotting ahead once I’ve got my idea. I tend to have a rough idea of the beginning and the ending, but like to work out the route from A to B as I write.

For me, in both my novels (Unquiet Souls, which was my debut and Uncoiled Lies, my sequel) a lot of my plotting was done in my subconscious – in those hours (I’m an insomniac) when I was trying to drift off to sleep, I was thinking creepy thoughts about ‘dump sites’, or how to kill off a character or how to slot in that final quirky little twist at the end that, hopefully, would confound the reader till the very last minute. These scenes were practically written in my mind before I even put pen to paper (or in my case fingertips to keyboard). Round and round they’d spin till I knew I just had to write the scene so I could move on to some other scene. Soon as I’d got it on paper (laptop) my mind was freed up to work on another aspect of my story. For Uncoiled Lies a lot of this plot cogitating was done whilst editing Unquiet Souls.

When I’m doing something mundane like shopping or driving I often have a brainwave. Maybe it’s the fluted music or sheer ennui, but there’s something about a quiet supermarket that provokes my sub conscious mind into full blown flights of fancy about my characters and the things they get up to. I’m also an obsessive eavesdropper and get a lot of ideas from overhearing other peoples’ conversations and then asking myself the ‘what if?’ question… ‘what if it was her brother who was cheating on her best friend?” What if, instead of shouting, she picked up a knife?” “What if he came home early and saw…?” The list is endless and with so many variables.

Currently I have loads of ideas gestating (or festering if you prefer) in the back of my mind and I know that some of them will become fully fledged DI Gus McGuire stories. I’ve already started on number three and have a rough idea of what numbers four and five will be… my subconscious throws up the ideas, I take a note of them and then let them do their thing.

That doesn’t mean everyone has to plot like I do. There is no hard and fast rule. I think the secret is to find what works for you and then go for it. My creative writing tutor, Martyn Bedford, from Leeds Trinity University gave me the best advice. He said ‘Just start writing. Get it all down and then edit.” Once I gave myself the freedom to do that I progressed quickly. But, if you’re a planner then that mightn’t work for you. I have friends who swear by writing a step by step breakdown of their plot and if that works for you, then do it. Only you know how you work best and only you can write your stories.

Make sure to go back and check out the other stops on the tour! 

Blog Tour/Guest Post: Waiting for Aegina by @EffieKammenou @HelloChickLit

Welcome to my stop on the Waiting for Aegina blog tour! I have a beautiful  guest post and info on the book for you today. 



Waiting for Aegina
By author: Effie Kammenou
Release Date:
Genre: Women’s Fiction

Blurb:

Book Two in The Gift Saga: The continuation of Evanthia’s Gift…

In 1961, five little girls moved into a suburban neighborhood and became inseparable, lifelong friends. They called themselves the ‘Honey Hill Girls,’ named after the street on which they lived. As teenagers they shared one another’s ambitions and dreams, secrets and heartaches. Now, more than thirty years later, they remain devoted and loyal, supporting each other through triumphs and sorrows.

Evanthia’s Gift follows the life of Sophia Giannakos. In Waiting for Aegina the saga continues from the perspectives of Sophia and her friends as the story drifts back and forth in time, filling in the gaps as the women grow to adulthood.

Naive teenage ideals are later challenged by harsh realities, as each of their lives takes unexpected turns. Now nearing their fiftieth year, Sophia, Demi, Amy, Mindy and Donna stand together through life-altering obstacles while they try to regain the lighthearted optimism of their youth.

Buy the Book on Amazon:

AmazonUS
AmazonUS

Guest Post 

Inspiration

​Inspiration can come from any number of sources – a life experience, a fleeting yet compelling observation, or perhaps an unforgettable dream. For me it’s been all of the above and then some. I believe every writer draws from personal experience and any creative person tends to possess keen observation skills.

​My younger daughter is a graphic designer and art director. I can see her eyes light up when inspiration strikes. I may not understand what it is that caught her attention, but when she’s done setting up her shot and I see the final product of what she’s created, then I understand.

​The same is true for my eldest who choreographs dance routines. She’ll hear a piece of music that speaks to her and it’s as though a light switch was turned on and I can see her eyes dancing as her mind begins to create.

​The smallest seemingly insignificant moments can be the most inspirational of all. Each year my family and I attend the EPCOT Food and Wine Festival. It’s a crowded park at that time of the year. Actually, it’s always pretty crowded, but during the festival there are lines of people waiting to sample food & alcoholic beverages from kiosks that represent dozens of countries. I was sitting on a bench waiting for my family and I noticed a young couple that was each sampling one of the offerings. It was apparent that the young man enjoyed what he’d tasted and he brought the wax paper clad pastry up to his girlfriend’s lips. He watched her eagerly, hoping she would enjoy it as much as he did and smiled when her reaction was the same as his. He then sweetly brushed off a flake of pastry from her bottom lip and gently kissed her. The whole exchange couldn’t have been more than fifteen seconds but it stuck with me. There was so much love in the young man’s gestures. I could see from that tiny slice of their life that he cared deeply for her and it moved me. I decided I would work that sweet moment into one of my stories. (Hint – It’s in Waiting For Aegina)

​I began writing my first novel, Evanthia’s Gift, when my mother passed away. It had always been in the back of my mind to write, but I’d always dismissed the idea until this life-altering event and inspiration was born from grief. The story I had always played with in my mind grew from as simple love story to a family saga when I created a character that honored the essence of my mother’s heart and soul.

​My mother like her mother before her​never wanted to leave this earth, and they especially didn’t want to leave their family. My grandmother, who we called Yiayiá, would say in heavily accented English, ‘Don’t forget me,’ years before she had to worry about dying. My mother promised to always be with us and watch over us. And I believe she has done just that. I’ve had several dreams since I’ve lost her. Ones that contained an important message. I’ve used those dreams as inspiration although I changed the details and used them in a different context.

​In 2004 I reluctantly attended my thirtieth high school reunion. The committee chairperson, an old friend I hadn’t seen since those school days, contacted me repeatedly until I finally agreed to attend. I ended up having a wonderful time and reconnected with many old friends. We became a close-knit group, and twelve years later, we still get together. Because of this, the idea came to me to write a fictionalized story about a circle of friends who grew up together. I added these friends to Book One: Evanthia’s Gift as secondary characters, but in Book Two: Waiting For Aegina they are the focus of they story and each have their own subplot.

​Although there may be bits and pieces of my friends in these women they are purely a figment of my imagination. I thought back to those days when we were young and idealistic and remembered what we all thought we would be doing with our lives years later. I expected to be a successful actor. There was a 1:1,000,000 chance of that! I was certain one of my friends would be a fashion designer and another a very important politician. Neither is the case in their real lives but my teenage ideals for them was inspiration enough for me to develop completely new characters with different histories, backgrounds and physical attributes from my friends.

​I’m not sure where my next idea will come from—something I see in the newspaper or overhear at the dining table next to me when I’m out to lunch—who knows? There’s a world of possibilities out there.

 

 

 

 

About the Author:

a1ktemclmvl-_ux250_Effie Kammenou

Bio:

Effie Kammenou is a believer that it is never too late to chase your dreams, follow your heart or change your career. She is proof of that. At one time, long ago, she’d thought that, by her age, she would have had an Oscar in her hand after a successful career as an actress. Instead, she’s worked in the optical field for 40 years and has been the proud mother of two accomplished young women.

Effie is a first generation Greek-American who lives on Long Island with her husband and two daughters. When she’s not writing, or posting recipes on her food blog, cheffieskitchen.wordpress.com, you can find her cooking for her family and friends.

Her debut novel, EVANTHIA’S GIFT, is a women’s fiction multigenerational love story and family saga, influenced by her Greek heritage, and the many real life accounts that have been passed down. She continues to pick her father’s brain for stories of his family’s life in Lesvos, Greece, and their journey to America. Her recent interview with him was published in a nationally circulated magazine.

As an avid cook and baker, a skill she learned from watching her Athenian mother, she incorporated traditional Greek family recipes throughout the book.

She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theater Arts from Hofstra University.

Member of Women’s Fiction Writer’s Association & Romance Writers of America

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Visit all the tour stops below:

January 15th

Smokin’ Hot Reads Book Blog – Book Excerpt

January 16th

Hello…Chick Lit – Book Excerpt

January 17th

Novelgossip – Author Guest Post
Kristin’s Novel Cafe – Book Excerpt

January 18th

Steamy Book Momma – Book Promo

January 19th

Wonderfully Bookish – Author Guest Post

January 20th

Grass Monster – Book Review

January 21st

Book Lover in Florida – Book Excerpt
Rae Reads – Guest Post
Pretty Little Book Reviews – Book Promo