It’s Publication Day for A Convenient Marriage by Jeevani Charika

 

It was the perfect marriage… until they fell in love.

 

Chaya is a young woman torn between her duty to family and her life in the UK. While her traditional Sri Lankan parents want her to settle down into marriage, what they don’t know is that Chaya has turned away the one true love of her life, Noah, terrified of their disapproval.

Gimhana is hiding his sexuality from his family. It’s easy enough to pretend he’s straight when he lives half a world away in the UK. But it’s getting harder and harder to turn down the potential brides his parents keep finding for him.

When Chaya and Gimhana meet, a marriage of convenience seems like the perfect solution to their problems. Together they have everything – friendship, stability and their parents’ approval. But when both Chaya and Gimhana find themselves falling in love outside of their marriage, they’re left with an impossible decision – risk everything they’ve built together, or finally follow their heart?

Buy link : Choose from your favourite book seller – https://books2read.com/u/3LpL2N?affiliate=off

Or Amazon UK
https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07YXDHNMW]

 

 

 

 

Today Life Playlists welcomes writer and broadcaster Chris Penhall who is choosing five tracks which come with special memories for her…

I have music on constantly, and my tastes are pretty eclectic so choosing five tracks has been quite difficult. If I did it next week the list would be different, too, as what I’m listening to and what feels significant changes all the time! Thinking about my favourite songs has also given me the chance to play these one after another, and that’s put me in a fabulous mood. I’ve done a bit of dancing around the living room too…

1 Daydream Believer – The Monkees

I have loved this song forever and ever. I used to watch The Monkees TV show as a child when I lived in Harlow in Essex, and Davy Jones was my first crush (if you discount Scott from Thunderbirds – I was so young when I watched that I didn’t realise he/it was a puppet!)  Whenever I hear the introduction to Daydream Believer it lifts my heart. When I think about The House That Alice Built, I think of the title of this song – I never gave up my dreams of writing and being published, but I think Alice may have given up dreaming for a while. She just needed a bit of a nudge to remember how to do it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xvqeSJlgaNk

2 Do Anything You Wanna Do – Eddie and the Hot Rods

So, I’m 16 years old and dancing around my parent’s living room in Neath to this iconic anthem released in 1977. I still love it as much now as I did then. I think it sums up being young with the whole world in front of you, if only you can find it. I’ve discovered I know all the lyrics off by heart!  A couple of years ago I got to chat to the lead singer, the late Barrie Masters, as I was setting up some programmes about music for BBC Essex. I cannot tell you how chuffed I was, and how I was as excited as I would have been when I was a teenager, if a little more coherent, probably.

Here’s the live version

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ggk0p0b7BJE

 

Que Bueno baila usted – Oscar de Leon

I have been an enthusiastic social salsa dancer since about 2002. These days I just go to a club in London on Sundays called SOS which I have to say is one of my favourite places to be. I cut my teeth on creative writing in the mid-2000s when I wrote some pieces about my experiences of salsa and used to send them out to a small group of subscribers. I then got a website designed, where I wrote my Salsa Diaries – some of which are still on my new website. I also made three music-based radio documentaries about salsa for BBC Essex. So, you could say it’s been an important part of my life for many years. When I hear the music I just want to dance. In fact, I’ve been listening to this whilst writing, and have been wiggling around in my seat…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9TFdhChyYCM

 

One Day Like This – Elbow

I think this song is absolutely gorgeous, from the way the strings build operatically and evocatively to the wonderful lyrics. And as for Guy Garvey’s voice – I have no words apart from – this is perfect. I remember it being released in 2008 when I was at the height of my salsa dancing craze and driving into an event in London with my friends in the back of the car with this blasting out. When I hear it, that’s where it takes me. Or I can feel myself opening the doors onto a wide terrace, with the warm tiles under my feet, and gazing at the sea glistening in the distance. If there is ever a film of The House That Alice Built, this should be in it!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0NFV8dHrZYM

 

At Last – Etta James

Oh, I love this so much – it’s so soulful, rich and gorgeous. I go to a café called Doce Tentacao in Lagos in Portugal when I’m staying there, and it plays jazz in the background. This is on frequently, and so when I hear it, I’m immediately sitting under a tree in a quiet little cobbled square, drinking a coffee or a glass of vinho verde, eating a pastel de nata, and reading a book. Once I turned the corner to go to the café and this totally co-incidentally began to play loudly as I did so. Imagine walking to your table to Etta James singing, “At last……!”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S-cbOl96RFM

About Chris Penhall

Chris Penhall is the winner of the Choc-Lit Search for a Star 2019 competition, sponsored by Your Cat Magazine, with her debut novel, The House That Alice Built.

Chris is an author and freelance radio producer for BBC Local Radio as well as an Associate Producer of the Richard and Judy Book Club Podcast. She also works on an ad hoc basis doing PR and communications for a local hospice and compiles a charities news page for a local magazine.

Born in South Wales, she has also lived in London and in Portugal, which is where The House That Alice Built is set. It was whilst living in Cascais near Lisbon that she began to dabble in writing fiction, but it was many years later that she was confident enough to start writing her first novel, and many years after that she finally finished it! She is now working on her second.
A lover of books, music and cats, she is also an enthusiastic salsa dancer, a keen cook, and loves to travel. She is never happier than when she is gazing at the sea.

You can find more information about her on http://www.chrispenhall.co.uk
or follow her on twitter: @ChrisPenhall
Instagram: christinepenhall
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ChrisPenhallBroadcasterWriter

You can buy the e-book or audio book on

 

 

Life Playlists is returning for the Autumn and to start the new series I’m pleased to welcome Margaret James with her five special choices

Hello Jo

Thank you so much for inviting me to be a guest on the Life Playlists feature on your blog. Here are five favourite songs which have marked various stages of my life.

First off, Bob Dylan’s Mr Tambourine Man, recorded absolutely decades ago while I was still a child, but which has been part of the soundtrack of my life ever since. Anyone who says Dylan is not a poet just needs to listen to this song! I kind of went off Dylan as he grew older and more aggressive in tone. But this song has stayed with me.

 

Next up, All Around My Hat. When I was a teenager, a long time ago, I was totally hooked on all those remastered folk songs performed so brilliantly by folk rock bands like Fairport Convention and Steeleye Span. This song is so joyful and uplifting that it’s my go-to track whenever I am feeling a bit down. It’s so good to see that this band is still going strong!

 

When Freddie Mercury died I thought I would never get over it and wore black for a week. Bohemian Rhapsody – what can I say, except that it must be the best song by Queen, the best band ever! I’m just so sorry that at the stage in my life when I might have gone to their concerts I was the mother of small children and I never got to see them perform live. I once had a horrible job working for a small insurance company whose boss was an – insert your own bad word here – and I always played Queen’s greatest hits as I was driving home from work.

 

More recently, I’ve become somewhat hooked on hip-hop and rap, mainly as a result of seeing the musical Hamilton. I’ve never seen a show performed with such energy and emotion. It’s the life story of one of the founding fathers of the USA, and if you think you’ve seen his face before, that’s probably because his image is on the US $10 bill. What a life he led – born in the West Indies, the illegitimate son of a Scottish nobleman, he made his way to the fledgling USA, as it was to become. He lived a good life until – well, until it all went wrong for him in a very big way. As a subject – the musical biography of a politician who became the first Secretary to the Treasury of a new country – the show sounds deadly dull, but actually it’s mesmerising, and the music is fabulous. The theatre trip was a lovely Christmas present from my daughter. Here is the opening scene.

Finally, this is my most recent discovery, made earlier this year via Classic FM. It’s a piece of choral music that sends shivers down my spine. Composed back in the seventeenth century by a Portuguese missionary who worked in Peru, it’s sung in a Native American language. I can’t pronounce or spell the title, but this hymn to the Virgin is haunting. Give it a go and see what you think of Hanaq Pachap Kusikuynin.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OaiPw15q3cA

 

 

My crime and mystery novel The Final Reckoning is published by Ruby Fiction and is available in ebook and audio format from all the usual platforms, including Amazon and Kobo.

 

I always love to hear from readers, so please feel very welcome to contact me!

https://www.facebook.com/margaret.james.5268

https://twitter.com/majanovelist

https://margaretjamesblog.blogspot.com/

 

A gripping thriller from this successful historical novelists and creative writing tutor. Perfect for fans of Erin Kelly, Linda Green and Laura Marshall.

What if you had to return to the place that made you fall apart?
When Lindsay Ellis was a teenager she witnessed the aftermath of a violent murder involving her lover’s father. The killer was never found.

Traumatised by what she saw, Lindsay had no choice but to leave her home village of Hartley Cross and its close-knit community behind.

Now, years later, she must face up to the terrible memories that still haunt her. But will confronting the past finally allow Lindsay to heal, or will her return to Hartley Cross unearth dangerous secrets and put the people she has come to care about most at risk?

CONGRATULATIONS TO LYNDA STACEY – IT’S PUBLICATION DAY FOR HER NEW SUSPENSE NOVEL KEEPER OF SECRETS

Fabulous new suspense novel from the author of best selling novels, The Fake Date and House of Secrets.

Should some secrets stay buried?
For as long as Cassie Hunt can remember her Aunt Aggie has spoken about the forgotten world that exists just below their feet, in the tunnels and catacombs of the Sand House. The story is what inspired Cassie to become an archaeologist.
But Aggie has a secret that she’s buried as deep as the tunnels and when excavation work begins on the site, Cassie is the only one who can help her keep it. With the assistance of her old university friend, Noah Flanagan, she puts into action a plan to honour Aggie’s wishes.
It seems the deeper Noah and Cassie dig, the more shocking the secrets uncovered – and danger is never far away, both above and below the ground …

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lynda grew up in the mining village of Bentley, Doncaster, in South Yorkshire and went to both Bentley New Village School, and Don Valley High School.

She is currently the Sales Director of a stationery, office supplies and office furniture company in Doncaster, where she has worked for the past 25 years. Prior to this she’d also been a nurse, a model, an emergency first response instructor and a PADI Scuba Diving Instructor … and yes, she was crazy enough to dive in the sea with sharks, without a cage.

Following a car accident in 2008, Lynda was left with limited mobility in her right arm. Unable to dive or teach anymore, she turned to her love of writing, a hobby she’d followed avidly since being a teenager.

Her own life story, along with varied career choices helps Lynda to create stories of romantic suspense, with challenging and unpredictable plots, along with (as in all romances) very happy endings.

Lynda joined the Romantic Novelist Association in 2014 under the umbrella of the New Writers Scheme and in 2015, her debut novel House of Secrets won the Choc Lit Search for a Star competition.

She lives in a small rural hamlet near Doncaster, with her ‘hero at home husband’, Haydn, whom she’s been happily married to for over 20 years.

You can find Lynda at http://www.lyndastacey.co.uk to hear her latest news. Or follow her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/lyndastaceyauthor or watch out for her tweets @Lyndastacey

Life Playlists is returning…

After a summer’s break I’m relaunching Life Playlists where invited guests choose five tracks which mean something to them and share the reasons why.  If you’re a writer it’s also an opportunity to promote your work.

In between this I’ll have my own music feature and for this first post the guitar is definitely the star as I choose five of my favourite tracks…

Soft rock group Bread with lead singer David Gates were rarely out of the music charts in the late sixties/early seventies. The Guitar Man, the title track from their 1972 album was a departure from their normal love songs and reached No 16 in September 1972

I first heard Alone Again Or… in the late sixties when it was released by a band called Love featuring Arthur Lee. It was covered in 1987 by The Damned.  However I still think this, the original version, is still the best.

 

Cream, Blind Faith, the Yardbirds and Derek and the Dominos are just a few of the bands Eric Clapton has played with. He’s also worked with artists like J J Cale and B B King.  And of course, he’s had a solo career.  This from the 1990s is one of my favourite tracks.

American traditional rock band Boston were around in the 1970s and 80s.  I bought their 1978 album Don’t Look Back. Love this track although I think More than a Feeling is probably the one everyone knows best…

Another 1970s band.  Remember being in the car on the way home when this came on the radio.  It marked the arrival of another great guitar band.

 

And finally, from 1972 Paul Rodgers and Free.  We were about to move house and remember being in the middle of helping pack boxes and hearing this track.  Paul went on to work as lead singer with Queen for a while following Freddie Mercury’s death.

In search of that all important moment…

Wordpress 2Arriving back from our week away in Dartmouth I’ve now settled back into writing. Once more  I’m nearly at the end of a book writing journey; one which has taken longer than usual. This is because I wasn’t happy with my opening chapter. I didn’t just revise it, I completely rewrote it . This had a knock on effect through the rest of the book, meaning more time working on changes. For me the first chapter is the most difficult to write. It is also the most important if you are planning to hook the reader and draw them into the story.  Therefore I have to be happy with it.

On 14th September I planned to leave my writing behind keen to take a complete break and spend some catch up time with family. However, there was one key scene I couldn’t leave behind; one I was sure distance and a new environment would help me sort out. The book was complete apart from one crucial scene where the two main protagonists get up close and personal for the first time.  It was all there – the location and scenes leading up to that all important moment.  All I needed was to sit down and hope sometime during that week I’d get the inspiration to write it.

For a couple of weeks prior to the holiday I’d worked through various options. On one occasion I’d actually  written a scene I thought would work.  To a certain extent it did, but not in a way that convinced me I’d cracked it.  So Dartmouth I decided,Wordpress 1 far away from domestic and other day to day distractions, was going to be my salvation.  In those moments between our days out and evenings  spent in one of the local restaurants I sat and watched the river from the window seat in our apartment. It was an opportunity to give the whole thing my total concentration.  And eventually it worked – that light bulb moment arrived.

So now I’m  sitting in front of my computer ready to write that final missing piece of the story. Wish me luck!

 

Happy Publication Day to Choc Lit’s Search for a Star Winner Chris Penhall and her debut novel for Ruby Fiction The House that Alice Built…

Home is where the heart is …

Alice Matthews is normally very sensible. But when a postcard from Buenos Aires turns Alice’s life upside down. One very unsensible decision later and she is in Cascais, Portugal, and so begins her lesson in ‘going with the flow’. But perhaps the most important part of the lesson for Alice is that you don’t always need a house to be at home …

Available to order as an eBook from:
* Amazon: https://choc-lit.us6.list-manage.com/track/click?u=719de65b48&id=6918c92cfd&e=fbe630dd3e
* Apple Books: https://choc-lit.us6.list-manage.com/track/click?u=719de65b48&id=4738f77c00&e=fbe630dd3e
* Kobo Books: https://choc-lit.us6.list-manage.com/track/click?u=719de65b48&id=c5e701c0cd&e=fbe630dd3e
* Google: https://choc-lit.us6.list-manage.com/track/click?u=719de65b48&id=a0870d1317&e=fbe630dd3e
* Nook: https://choc-lit.us6.list-manage.com/track/click?u=719de65b48&id=edc312613a&e=fbe630dd3e

About Chris

Chris Penhall is the winner of the Choc-Lit Search for a Star competition, sponsored by Your Cat Magazine, with her debut novel, The House That Alice Built.

Chris is an author and freelance radio producer for BBC Local Radio as well as an Associate Producer of the Richard and Judy Book Club Podcast. She also works on an ad hoc basis doing PR and communications for a hospice and compiles a charities news page for a local magazine.

Born in South Wales, she has also lived in London and in Portugal, which is where The House That Alice Built is set. It was whilst living in Cascais near Lisbon that she began to dabble in writing fiction, but it was many years later that she was confident enough to start writing her first novel, and many years after that she finally finished it! She is now working on her second.
A lover of books, music and cats, she is also an enthusiastic salsa dancer, a keen cook, and loves to travel. She is never happier than when she is gazing at the sea.

You can find more information about her on http://www.chrispenhall.co.uk
or follow her on twitter: @ChrisPenhall
Instagram: christinepenhall
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ChrisPenhallBroadcasterWriter