TUESDAY TALK WELCOMES RNA NEW WRITER’S SCHEME MEMBER LES MORIARTY CHATTING ABOUT FOOTBALL, HIS LOVE OF MUSIC…AND FOOD

DSC01450Welcome to Tuesday Talk Les, first can you tell us a little bit about you…

 Hello Jo, thank you for the invite. I’m pleased to be here. I studied Geography as part of my B.Ed and qualified as a teacher. I’m also a qualified RGN (nurse), but had to leave both behind after having two 13 hour heart operations in a 5 month stay in St.Thomas’ in 2008. After a couple of years of recuperation I decided to give writing a go. I have attended a few retreats in England, France and Italy and slowly picked up the basics of how to approach writing a novel. I’m on the second draft of that as well as editing a flash fiction piece for a competition in November.

I was an avid traveller, having ben to New Zealand three times, Australia and Japan twice and numerous countries in Europe, especially the Nordic countries. I could quite happily live in Finland. I still like travelling but my partner is bored with it and she no longer wishes to, so I go off on my own.

You’re part of the RNA’s New Writer’s Scheme, what made you join and what does this involve?

I attended the Festival of Romance awards weekends in 2012 and 2013, meeting lots of faces to names from Facebook, making a lot of good friends some of whom suggested I apply to the NWS, which I duly did and got on. I have received a lot of good advice, but due to circumstance did not send in my work, so hopefully I will get on next year and will have something ready to send earlier.

Who are your favourite authors and what do you like most about their work?

Favourites include Emily Barr, Haruki Murakami, Donna Tartt, Nick Hornby, Peter James, Lisa Jewell, Matt Dunn and Stephen King. Their ability to continue to write page turners never ceases to amaze me.

You’re a huge Arsenal fan.  Has that been a long term thing?  Have you ever played football yourself?

thFOWH78AL Yes, I have supported Arsenal all my life, it runs in the family. My mother and I were season ticket holders at Highbury in the 70’s and I am now a silver member which enables me to get match day tickets if I so wish and can afford, which is not often. I did play football to the age of 16 when I dislocated my kneecap which put paid to that. I had a trial with Southampton when I was 14.

You’re obviously a great foodie. What are your favourite dishes.  Do you cook at home?

Food plays a big part in my life. My mother was a trained chef and I learnt from her at an early age. I do all the cooking, I find it relaxing and see it as an artform, something to be created.  I love cooking any chicken dish and attempting all kinds of fish dishes. I also love baking, making all our bread and cakes for residents meetings.

Like me you’re a music lover.  Who are your favourite artists? Did you ever play in a band?

2e7985cc610dc9c95798db7884e401d1 Music lover is an understatement. Having been taken to see The Beatles twice by my parents I have loved music ever thDUKXYGJ5since. I have a collection of well over 40K and love to keep bang up to date with the continual changing trends in music. Amongst staunch favourites are The Smiths, Pink Floyd, Laura Marling, The Beatles, John Grant, Bombay Bicycle Cub, Tom Waits, Sigur Ros, Roxy Music and Coldplay.

I never played in a band but learnt the piano as a youngster.

And lastly, you are having a dinner party for four celebs.  What would be on the menu and who would you invite?

Starter of tomatoes and avocado with a lemon dressing;  main would be Sea Bass with samphire, Jersey royals and green beans or ratatouille for vegetarians. Desert (not my forte) a fresh fruit salad with ice-cream or cream. A selection of good thG79KZ4YJwine, mineral water and fruit juice for non-drinkers.

Invitations go to Sylvia Plath, John Lennon, Alan Bennett and Stephen Fry. Should make for an interesting evening.

You can catch up with Les on Facebook (Les Moriarty) and Twitter (@lesLondon).  His website, he tells me, is currently a WIP.

BOOK PROMO AND INTERVIEW : LIFE CLASS BY GILLI ALLAN

P1010802 - Copy (2) - CopyToday I have a very special guest: writer Gilli Allan. She’s here to talk about her life and her writing journey and to showcase her latest release LIFE CLASS.

Gilli many congratulations on your book deal with Accent.  Can we go back to the beginning?  How did your writing career start?

I came a little late to reading.  Once I’d experienced that light bulb moment – you know the one, where you suddenly realise that reading is not a kind of magic from which you’ve been excluded – I began to hoover up every book within reach. I quickly ran out of books suitable for my rapidly expanding horizons, and began on the adult fiction in the house.  At the time Young Adult didn’t exist as genre so, to further feed my habit, I began writing my own ‘books’.

To all intents and purposes I stopped writing when I went to art school, and only started again when I was taking a career break to be at home with my son.  Although I found a publisher very quickly and saw two books published in swift succession, I was only able to enjoy my new status for a short time.  My publisher ceased trading and I was suddenly a wannabe all over again.  From then on I spent many years in the wilderness, trying and failing to find a new publisher.   With the launch of the Kindle I eventually went ‘independent’.  But self-publishing is not as easy as it looks unless you write in a popular sub-genre, you’ve a lot of chutzpah and media savvy … plus you possess a very thick skin.  So, in the summer of 2014 I was extremely happy to be taken on by Accent Press. TORN was published in 2014, and FLY OR FALL earlier this year.  LIFE CLASS is the last to be published in the three book deal.

Over the years, I’ve moved from the South East of England to Gloucestershire. My career was as an illustrator in advertising before I began writing seriously.  I have been a school governor, a contributor to local newspapers, and an early campaigner for the establishment of a community shop in my village, where I worked as a volunteer for many years.  I am still a keen artist, attending art classes*, designing the family Christmas card and, in 2013, producing the narrative illustration for the children’s book, The Tale of King Harald – The Last Viking Adventure. I had never before undertaken book illustration, but this year I followed it up with another small illustration commission.

*LIFE CLASS, published in September, 2015, is a book which draws on my extensive experience of attending life drawing classes.

How did your career as an illustrator come about?

My other hobby, in childhood, was drawing. My parents were both artists – my father, a graphic designer, my mother an enthusiastic amateur painter.  Drawing is, of course, something all children do long before they are able to write. And when I began writing my books (or should I say beginning my books, as I never finished anything), doodling in the margins of whatever I was currently engaged in was a good way to fill the thinking time.

The writing was not taken seriously by my parents; they were more interested and amused by my doodles. Even I didn’t take writing seriously. Only girls who were university material could realistically harbour such ambitions. Though I’d managed to get into grammar school, I wasn’t a star pupil. I reasoned that anything I wrote had to be juvenile, trite and soppy. Art was the only subject I was good at.  I’d grown up thinking that to be an artist (particularly a commercial artist like my dad) was a “good thing”, and that is where both my parents and I thought I was headed. Feeling very grown up and certain of my future I went to art school, aged 16. Writing books was one of the childish things I put behind me.

When I emerged from college full of optimism, it wasn’t as easy as I’d thought it would be to get a job in the art world. The old chestnut seemed to apply: You couldn’t get a job without experience, but you couldn’t get experience without doing the job.  So, to keep body and soul together, I worked as a sales assistant in various West End department stores. I then worked as a beauty consultant (don’t laugh!) and as a bar maid in several pubs.  I also did a job which involved picking up US tourists from London hotspots, and offering them a free sightseeing tour and lunch.  There was a catch…!

There was no one happier than I when this period of my life came to an end and – through a fluke and a coincidence – I landed the position of junior illustrator in an advertising design studio. It was my dream job and I worked there very contentedly for several years.  Eventually I went free-lance, although still within a studio environment.  During this time I married and eventually had my son, Tom.

What prompted you to become a writer?

It was only after I’d taken a career break to look after my son, that I began to consider what else I could do to earn a living from home.  It was theoretically possible to be a free-lance artist from home, but there were big obstacles. This was a period before the internet – before PCs in fact – I didn’t drive, and we didn’t live near a tube station.  The idea of travelling into central London, with a toddler in tow, to pick up and deliver jobs – jobs which were typically wanted first thing the next morning – was very unappealing.

Then I remembered my teenage passion and Gilli Allan, the author, was born.

Is there anything in particular that draws you to the characters and situations you write about?

I usually say that my guiding principle is to write what I would like to read. Before I began my own adventure as an author, the kind of story I really wanted to read did not seem to exist. As a young adult I’d read my share of ‘romances’, but I had long since ceased to read them, preferring women’s fiction which did not gloss over inconvenient or unpalatable aspects of contemporary relationships. I enjoyed the romantic element in a story, but I wanted it set within a reality I could recognise.  But in those days it seemed to be one thing or the other.

When I was at a home with my son, my serious intention was to be published and to have an income.  And so, even though I didn’t particularly enjoy reading category romance, I didn’t have a lot of confidence in my abilities. By aiming at Mills & Boon, I was not (in my view) setting the bar too high. Having not read one for years my attitude was unforgiveable and ignorant. And I know I greatly underestimated the difficulties.

Once I’d given myself permission to unleash my imagination, it shot off in a very non M&B

direction. I may have been ignorant, but even I knew I was missing the target. Writing ‘Just Before Dawn’ (a story about a single girl who, right at the start of the story, miscarries an unplanned pregnancy!) was a magical experience, and I found I didn’t care. In my view the story I’d come up with was very romantic; more importantly, it had to be written and I absolutely loved writing it. Because I already knew it was unsuitable for M & B, I wasn’t surprised or let down when they rejected it, and I didn’t try to remodel the story to make it suitable. I simply carried on submitting to other publishers. And I quickly found one.

In retrospect, I was very lucky to have been published.  But after bringing out my second book, Desires & Dreams, the demise of my publisher – whose mission statement was to publish unconventional, non-clichéd love stories – is an indication of how difficult it was back then to try to buck the system.

I can’t really come up with an explanation for why I am drawn to stories which examine – without flinching or looking away – the realities of contemporary life, good and bad; stories about ordinary people, and how they deal with love, life, marriage, sex, parenthood and infidelity.  There isn’t always a perfect solution to life’s dilemmas; a happy ever after ending isn’t necessarily a credible resolution.

My ideal readers are women like me, women who have grown out of fairy stories and want a feel-good read, with an unpredictable and unconventional love story at the core. A story in which the flawed characters carry baggage from the past, they don’t always do the right thing, but ultimately they find peace, and a credible and satisfying, happy-for-now, ending.

Now your three books have been published what’s next for you?

This is a culture clash novel. I have no title but my elevator pitch is Educating Rita meets Time Team.  It is about an academic (desk) archaeologist, working in an old university, coming up against an Essex girl (left school at 16) conference and events organiser.  But I am only a third of the way in and – given I’m an into the mist type of writer – everything could change. Watch this space.

Where is your favourite holiday destination and what makes it special?

The last place we went on holiday is almost always my favourite.  I went to Yugoslavia when I was twenty, and absolutely LOVED it (nothing to do with the holiday romance with Zoran, of course!).  Dubrovnik is absolutely magical.  A few years ago I went back again, to celebrate a big birthday, with my husband. It was his first visit to Croatia.

We stayed on the island of Lopud, half an hour off the mainland, and got a boat taxi in to Dubrovnik on several occasions.  I still loved it. It’s still beautiful and magical, but….  There were several of those huge cruise ships – like floating blocks of flats – moored up in the commercial harbour, having disgorged thousands into the walled city.  So the place was stuffed to the gills with gawping tourists.  The shops were all high-end.  The restaurants were sophisticated.  Where were the street markets I remembered?  Where were the ordinary people, their shops, cafes and bars?

Last year we went to the Greek island of Paxos. We stayed in Loggos and it was absolutely the very best place I’ve ever been to, and the best holiday I’ve ever had. It was beautiful and the people were lovely. Perfect. As soon as we got home we began planning to go back.  But my mother-in-law was very poorly (she died in the spring of this year) and in the end we didn’t book anything abroad.  But next year….?  Will be go back to Paxos?  I don’t know.

There was a gap of decades between my two visits to Dubrovnik, and so things were bound to have changed, but even so…   Perhaps it’s best to go to lovely places only once, in case returning will leave you with that slight sense of disappointment and anti-climax and the feeling “It was better last time….”

And lastly, if you were marooned on a desert island what three ‘must haves’ would you need with you?

Paper and pencils or pens

Solar powered radio (so I could listen to radio 2 for Ken Bruce and pop quiz, and radio 4 for the news, the plays and Sorry I Haven’t a Clue).

My photographs

-o0o-

 

LIFE CLASS

Life Class - new

SYNOPSIS :Four people hide secrets from the world and from themselves. Dory is disillusioned by men and relationships, having seen the damage sex can do.  Fran deals with her mid-life crisis by pursuing an on-line flirtation which turns threatening. Dominic is a lost boy, trapped in a life heading for self-destruction.  Stefan feels he is a failure. He searches for self-validation through his art alone.

They meet regularly at a life-drawing class, led by sculptor Stefan. All want a life that is different from the one they have, but all have made mistakes they know they cannot escape. They must uncover the past – and the truths that come with it – before they can make sense of the present and navigate a new path into the future.

ABOUT LIFE CLASS…

About art, life , love and learning lessons

About art, life, love and learning lessons, LIFE CLASS follows four members of an art class, who meet once a week to draw the human figure. All have failed to achieve what they thought they wanted in life. They each come to realise that it’s not just the naked model they need to study and understand. Their stories are very different, but they all have secrets they hide from the world and from themselves. By uncovering and coming to terms with the past, maybe they can move on to an unimagined future.

Dory says she works in the sex trade, the clean-up end. She deals with the damage sex can cause. Her job has given her a jaundiced view of men, an attitude confirmed by the disintegration of her own relationships. The time seems right to pursue what she really wants in life, if she can work out what that is. She moves back from London to the country town where she grew up and where her sister still lives, yet she remains undecided whether to make it a permanent move. She’s always been clear eyed realist  ̶  love doesn’t figure in her view of the future – and yet she finds herself chasing a dream.

Stefan is a single-minded loner, whose overriding ambition is to make a living from his sculpture. So how the hell did he find himself facing a class of adults who want their old teacher back? If he can sell the big old house he’s inherited, he’ll be able to concentrate on his work and maybe give up the part-time teaching job. Love is an emotion he long ago closed off  ̶  it only leads to regret and shame  ̶  but it creeps up on him from more than one direction. Is it time to admit that letting others into his life is not defeat?

Fran ̶ Dory’s older sister ̶ is a wife and a stay-at-home mother without enough to keep her occupied. Her husband’s early retirement plans throw her into a panic. She sees her life narrowing into staid middle-age. On a collision course with her mid-life crisis, Fran craves the romance and excitement of her youth. An on-line flirtation with an old boyfriend becomes scarily obsessive, putting everything she really loves at risk.

Dominic is a damaged child. He has lived his life knowing all about sex but nothing about love. If he can only find his mother perhaps he can make sense of his past. But perhaps it is a doomed quest and it’s time to look to the future? If he can grow up enough to accept the help and love that is now being offered to him, he has the chance to transform his life.

Biography

Gilli Allan started to write in childhood, a hobby only abandoned when real life supplanted the fiction. Gilli didn’t go to Oxford or Cambridge but, after just enough exam passes to squeak in, she attended Croydon Art College.

She didn’t work on any of the broadsheets, in publishing or television. Instead she was a shop assistant, a beauty consultant and a barmaid before landing her dream job as an illustrator in advertising. It was only when she was at home with her young son that Gilli began writing seriously. Her first two novels were quickly published, but when her publisher ceased to trade, Gilli went independent.

Over the years, Gilli has been a school governor, a contributor to local newspapers, and a driving force behind the community shop in her Gloucestershire village.  Still a keen artist, she designs Christmas cards and has begun book illustration. Gilli is particularly delighted to have recently gained a new mainstream publisher – Accent Press. LIFE CLASS is the third book to be published in the three book deal.

 

Gilli’s  Links

To connect to her:

http://twitter.com/gilliallan  (@gilliallan)

https://www.facebook.com/GilliAllan.AUTHOR

http://gilliallan.blogspot.co.uk/

LIFE CLASS: hthttp://myBook.to/LifeClass 

LINKS TO HER OTHER BOOKS

TORN:  MyBook.to/gilliallansTORN (universal) or

FLY OR FALL:  myBook.to/GilliAllan (universal)

TODAY TUESDAY TALK HAS AUTHOR MARIA SAVVA IN THE SPOTLIGHT…

MariaWelcome to Tuesday Talk Maria, first can you tell us a little bit about you…

I was born in London many years ago and have always loved reading. I studied law at university, mainly because I thought it would be a glamourous career as portrayed in Dallas and Dynasty in the ‘70s and ‘80s. It’s not. I worked as a solicitor for about fifteen years. I started off as a litigation/family lawyer, then went on to do criminal law and immigration law for about a year. I finally settled into conveyancing and specialised in that for about 8 years. I’ve written 5 novels and am just about to complete my sixth. I’ve also written quite a few collections of short stories. Most of my novels and stories are inspired by my life experiences. I love music and have a music blog on the UK Arts Directory where I feature interviews with up and coming bands

How do you combine a busy career as a solicitor with writing?

Most of my novels were written when I was out of work. I had a couple of extended periods where I was unemployed in the early part of my career and again a few years ago when I was made redundant after the housing crash. I was working as a conveyancing solicitor so there was basically no work for me anymore! Anyway, it’s quite easy to write short stories at weekends and in the evenings even when I work a busy job. They don’t take as long to write or edit, so I’ve found myself writing more short stories than anything else.

At the moment, I work as an administrator which doesn’t require much brain work, so it leaves me more mental energy to be able to write as well as work.

When working on a novel, I am often up into the early hours of the morning, even when I have to get up for work the next day.

What was the inspiration behind your first book?

I had read “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho and I loved the way it was such a simply written story but had a lots of depth and had the power to change the way people look at the world. I suppose that inspired me to try to write a novel. I remember thinking at the time that it would be great to write something that changes people’s lives. That was the idea behind starting to write a novel. Up until that time I’d mostly written short stories.

The inspiration behind the story itself was probably a lot of different things. In my first book, “Coincidences”, Alice basically follows her dream to find out more about the father she’s never met. I have always had dreams that have meanings. When I was younger, I would sometimes dream about a particular person, maybe someone I hadn’t seen for a while, and then see them that day, for example. I used to keep a dream diary because my dreams were so vivid and I was sure they must have some kind of significance. When I read over the diary a year or so later, I was amazed to read things that seemed to be pointers to events that would happen in the near future. That kind of thinking was behind the dream that Alice has in “Coincidences”. I used to watch a lot of Oprah, Montel, Jerry Springer, and Ricki Lake when I was in my teens and early twenties. Those kinds of shows talk about family relationships of all types. I’m sure that some of the stories I heard on those shows may have inspired Alice’s story. I’ve always been interested in true life stories, so many of my books have a based-on-reality type theme. In the ‘70s and ‘80s I used to like the ‘based on a true story’ movies that were popular then.

Your books are all very different. Is there anything in particular that draws you to the characters and situations you write about?

The genres are all very different but the underlying themes are more or less the same. They are mostly about human nature and relationships. My interest in human nature, psychology, and behaviour leads me to write very character-driven books and some of my novels are almost character studies of individual characters, “Haunted” for example.

By nature, I’m quite shy and introverted. When younger, this meant that I did a lot of sitting and watching rather than taking part and I think that helps you notice things about people and behaviour that others might miss because they’re chatting and not necessarily paying attention to anything like body language, etc. My tendency to observe from the outside has helped a lot with the realism aspect of my writing, I think. I’ve always wondered why people do certain things, and try to get my head around behaviour that I find difficult to comprehend. This all goes into my writing. With characters, I make up backgrounds for them that might have resulted in them behaving in a certain way, that sort of thing.

 My fiction has been inspired by my own life and also by things that I’ve heard. I heard a lot of stories when working as a solicitor. When you have a writer’s brain, this means that all those stories are then churning around and evolving into fiction. For example, with my book “A Time to Tell”, the character Penelope, who suffers domestic violence, is inspired by the many women I met when working as a family lawyer.

 Often, it only takes an idea that comes to mind and then I can base a whole story on it. I don’t really understand the creative process and am fascinated by it because I never know how my stories or novels are going to end.

 Things that often recur in my books are themes of dreams (due to my tendency to have precognitive dreams), romance (as I’m a hopeless romantic and still believe in true love (!) ), secrets and lies (because I am fascinated by the lies that people tell and the reasoning behind it).

Stephen King is one of your favourite authors.  Would you ever consider writing a horror story?

Funny you should ask that because the book I’m writing at the moment contains some elements of horror. I don’t go in for any gory horror. I go for more of the classic psychological horror. “Haunted” contained some scenes that could be classed as horror. More of the psychological variety, again, rather than gory. In fact, a reader once told me that after reading “Haunted” she had sleepless nights and the only other book that had ever done that to her was Stephen King’s “Salem’s Lot”.

I don’t think I’ve ever read a whole Stephen King book but I’ve seen many of the films that were made out of his stories and novels. I watched them back in the ’80s. At that time I did go through a stage where I read a few horror novels, including “Haunted” by  James Herbert. That was very scary. I actually named my book after that novel as a kind of tribute.

In the ’70s there was a series called Hammer House of Horror and I used to watch that. I also saw a lot of horror films as a child because my dad was a fan and the films in those days used to be on TV in the early evening. So I saw things like “The Omen” trilogy, and some Hitchcock films. It could explain why my writing can be a bit dark at times!

Where is your favourite holiday destination and what makes it special?

Probably Cyprus because I have a lot of relatives that live over there and it’s great going to visit them and catching up. It’s a beautiful country too and the weather is usually good. I love the mountains and the beaches.

And lastly, you are organising a dinner party which includes four celebrity guests.  If you were free to choose a location for this, where would it be? And who would you invite?

 I’d invite Michael McIntyre, Eddie Izzard, Miranda Hart, and Paulo Coelho.

At any one of these restaurants! http://www.lifebuzz.com/35-restaurants

Maria Savva lives and works in London. She’s a lawyer, although not currently practising law. She writes novels and short stories in various genres, including drama, psychological thriller, and family saga. Maria is also a music blogger for the UK Arts Directory. You can find out more about her work on her websitewww.mariasavva.com

A Time to Tell_eCover_Final

A TIME TO TELL – AMAZON PAGE LINK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B015NL4VK0

A TIME TO TELL – BOOK TRAILER LINK: https://youtu.be/v2aCcN51FM4

Maria’s Social Media links:

Website: http://www.mariasavva.com/site/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Author-Maria-Savva-171466979781

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Maria_Savva

 

 

 

INTERVIEW EXTRA: CATCHING UP WITH AUTHOR JUNE MOONBRIDGE TO TALK ABOUT HER LIFE, WRITING AND SOME VERY INTERESTING DINNER GUESTS….

Hi June and welcome. My opening question – quite predictable by now – is can you tell us a little about yourself?June Moonbridge

Hi Jo. I’m very glad to be here and thank you for inviting me.

Hmmmm… a little about me. I come from Slovenia – a little country in the middle of Europe – (please, do not mistake us for Slovakia) where everything is at the touch of your hands.

I work full time as a supply manager (buying steel – so don’t send me buying you a lipstick, I can’t choose one, but I can choose steel 😉 ) I have two kids and husband who – I must confess – does lion’s share of our house work. I love to travel and I love the seaside… If it’s possible – and usually it is – I combine both for our vacations. I love the seaside, no matter the weather or the season… I’m also the one who tries to pursue her dream of being a writer… and live from my writing.

Your first book Racing Heart has just been published by Safhket Publishing, tell us about how that came about?

 Before I decided to write in English I published several stories in my language and three novels. Then when I realised how much it’s actually lost due to a bad translation – and believe me I have seen and read so many ‘crazy’ translations, that I decided to try and write my novel in English which is – surprise, surprise – my second language.

When I had written my first novel in English – before I wrote Racing Heart – I’ve submitted it to the Safkhet Publishing – the story was turned down. But I’m a stubborn one… so two years later I submitted Racing Heart (which at the time had different title) and it was accepted… But to be honest, the second time it was done properly; edited, re-read and proof-read too… it takes time but it’s worth it.

Which writers have inspired you and why?

I could say I have been inspired by every writer I’ve ever read. In my teenage years I loved to read everything from Victoria Holt (and other pen-names she used) and I also loved Kathleen E. Woodiwiss. I had almost every Holt’s book translated in my language, but then I made a mistake of lending too many of those books to different people, never to find the way back to my shelves. Of course I cannot forget Charlotte Brontë or Jane Austen…

But I would be lying if I would say that romance was/is the only genre I loved and love to read… I enjoy to read everything and I mean everything – as long as is well written… 

Is there anything in particular that draws you to the characters and situations you write about?

Interesting question, not easy to answer. I could say the characters are drawn to me… 😉

It happens that I see a photo of a place, or hear a music/song, visit a place, attend or hear about an event and the story just pops into my head. The characters are ‘alive’ through the complete process of writing. I don’t do their biography before actually writing, they are developing and growing through the story till the end… and this is perhaps the reason, why I have such a hard time to write the last few scenes of my novels… it’s hard to let them go.

How do you spend your chill out time?

 My chill out time…. Hmmm… what’s that? Kidding or perhaps not…

With two children, one at the brink of puberty the other one not that far behind and with special needs, with full time working… my chill out time is actually my time when I write. If I’m lucky enough I squeeze in some time for reading when waiting at different appointments my son has… yup… that’s sums up everything.

If you could choose anywhere in the world to visit, where would it be?

 I would love to go back to Ireland and the UK – (yup, don’t laugh) and I would love to go back to Tunisia… but basically I would be satisfied everywhere as long as the beach is very near… I’m not that picky…

 And lastly, if you could invite four famous faces to dinner who would they be and why?

 

Four famous faces:

1st: Ayrton Senna da Silva – the legend!

2nd: Thor – impersonated by Chris Hemsworth – I really don’t think this needs an explanation

3rd: David Coulthard – one of my favourite F1 drivers

4th: Pope Francis I – although I started to differentiate between my faith and the Church very early in life, he’s somehow managed to make me believe that changes are possible – he seems like a person with a great deal of common sense.

RACING HEART

BY JUNE MOONBRIDGE

11 -Racing_Heart

Desiree Hart in desperate search for her kidnapped son, does everything in her power possible to find him. Due to a letter she receives after official search was closed, she changes everything; her appearance, her hometown and even her name.

When she meets Lorcan Shore, the Five Times F1 World Campion, their encounter is everything but ordinary. Out of pure fear for her life, she loses her temper and spits over everything he is absolutely certain he can do the best; how to drive.

Leaving him alone on Grand Corniche she is certain she would never see him again. But the next morning proves her being totally wrong. He was no quitter and no matter how she tries to run and hide, her heart desires at the end come back to the surface…

Will the man of her dreams be able to fulfil them all? Including the most important will he help her find her missing son?

BUY LINKS: AMAZON UK  AND AMAZON US

And here is a taster from the book… 

I dropped my mobile on the counter and slowly went to the back office. There I quickly checked the computer. The news I had missed the evening before was still on the first page of the news channel’s website: ‘Free practice cancelled’.

I was sitting down, trying to read the article, when I heard the front door open. A quick check into the security camera’s screen revealed that I had a customer; a male customer wearing a baseball cap. That was interesting. Usually all the male customers were accompanied by women and weren’t dressed so casually.

“Good morning,” I heard as soon as the door closed behind him. He looked around and finally approached the shelves containing my own collections of fragrances.

I fixed my glasses in place and went back to the perfumery.

“Good morning,” I answered. “How can I help you?”

Something in his figure was dangerously familiar. He was dressed in jeans and a tight grey tee shirt. Then I recognised him. I stopped abruptly.

“I came back here yesterday afternoon,” he said slowly as he saw me in the wall mirror. He turned around. His silver eyes were looking at me.

“I’m sorry; you must have come after I locked up.”

He removed his cap with his left hand and ran his right hand through his slightly long black hair. I knew that move of his. He repeated it frequently on the screen and at every press conference … and interview … and … .

Stop it! I reprimanded myself silently.

“Are you really?” he asked.

“It’s the same every year when the Formula 1 is in the Principality,” I explained.

“You wanted to watch the race?” He looked intrigued.

“It wasn’t the race, it was free practice,” I automatically answered and then felt like an idiot. I was explaining to the World Formula 1 Champion what had happened the day before.

Touché. You’re absolutely right,” he said simply. I wanted to be free of him as soon as possible. Pushing my fake glasses back on, I asked again:

“How can I help you?” I was all business.

“I came to get the perfume,” he answered.

“Which one?”

“The one, on the … .” he turned back to the shelf and suddenly fell silent.

“But … that perfume was there only yesterday …,” he said. In the mirror I saw him wrinkle his forehead. “In a small crystal bottle …”

“All perfumes are in crystal bottles.”

“in the shape of a tear,” he continued and turned back to face me.

I could hardly conceal my surprise. He was the first customer who had recognised the shape of the bottle. Usually they didn’t bother with that level of detail.

“I know which one you’re talking about. Unfortunately it was there by mistake. The perfume was not for sale.” I opened my hands in fake sorrow. I felt victorious.

He looked like he’d lost the ability to speak and suddenly I felt awkward. To break the silence I walked past him to the shelf and moved the other four bottles. Pretending to rearrange the shelf wasn’t helping. Those strange feelings went through me again, similar to the ones I had felt on the Grande Corniche. I was standing too close to him. I searched his face in the mirror and there it was; that ‘trance’ look on his face.

“Don’t understand.”

“The perfume you’re talking about was on a sale test for a month. It should be removed after the testing period was finished, but it wasn’t,” I lied and turned around. “The management decided not to continue with the sale. It didn’t meet the sales criteria.”

“What? I don’t understand. My card should mean something.” He was reverting to his celebrity personality again. I almost laughed. Not this time!

“I’m sorry.” I wasn’t sorry.

“Who can I talk to?”

“In Monte Carlo? No one.”

“Except you?” he said angrily. I wasn’t prepared for that tone. I took a deep breath and counted to ten, to stay calm. It was a technique I learned from my psychologist.

“I just explained. The perfume was there by mistake. It shouldn’t be there but unfortunately it was. I can help you find a similar fragrance if you want. I’m sure one of these will suit you perfectly.”

I gestured at the shelves housing the other fragrances, emblazoned with their celebrities’ names. Some of them were my creations, though that was never to be revealed.

His grey eyes became dangerously silver. It was like a storm gathering. I presumed he was accustomed to getting what he wanted.

“No, thank you,” he said sarcastically. “I wanted that perfume and no other.”

“I’m really sorry,” I said. My acting skills in his presence had improved enormously. He turned around, not saying anything. I did the same and started to rearrange the fragrances on the wall. I was sure he would leave if I ignored him for long enough.

I was wrong. The sound of breaking glass made me turn abruptly and I landed squarely on to his muscular chest. Before I could step back, he took my face into his hands, leaned in and kissed me—passionately.

It took my breath away, literally. Never in my life had I experienced anything like it. I was like stone, but that didn’t stop him. I felt his tongue brush over my lips and at the same time he wrapped his right arm around my shoulders and tightened his grip. He could not have held me any closer.

My mind went blank. My resistance failed completely. Before I could think properly, my body responded to his touch and I answered with a passion that scared me. His searching tongue parted my lips, probing my mouth and

Author Links:

www:junemoonbridge.com

www:facebook.com/JMoonbridge

TUESDAY TALK WELCOMES PUBLICIST NIKKI BYWATER TALKING ABOUT HER VARIED CAREER AND…SOCKS

Nikki

Good Morning Nikki and welcome.  First can you tell us a little about ‘you’

 Good Morning!  I am Nikki Bywater a publicist in the book world who works with new authors and writers, helping to get their book from manuscript to print and to raise authors profiles. It is also my job to make sure you know about their new book. Many of the authors I have worked with are now published and well known and their books are available to buy in shops. I work with amazing people. I like the variety of the job, how everyday is different. I am also a people person, very sociable and outgoing.  I also am a professional book reviewer and run a book blog. As much as I love my job my family time is the most important to me.  Spending time with my husband Andrew and my two teens is very special to me.

You have a background in media.  How did that come about?

I was given a wonderful opportunity by a well known writer to work on his latest TV drama.  This went on to give me my lucky break and I went on to work in television and film. I have always been drawn to media. I am also related to Don Robinson who is well known for the work he did in media and for Yorkshire Television. He is best known for bringing Little Richard to Bridlington and promoting the well known wrestlers from the 1980’s as well as owning a lot of the tourist attractions and theatres in Scarborough. I just wanted to do that, it sounded exciting, so I just knew from a young age that I would work in media.

In your work as a jobbing actress, what sort of things were you involved in?

I was lucky enough to be signed by an agent at a casting agency. They provided actors and support artist for small acting parts for well known television dramas and films. I worked with brilliant producers/writers/ directors and some well known actors.  I had some wonderful opportunities and worked on some great TV dramas and films. But it was always writing I was more interested in.  When I got the chance to become involved with storyboarding and writing scripts, I knew this was what I wanted to do.

What sort of support to writers does your blog Nikki’s books4you offer?

The blog gives a platform to new writers. It offers free guest spots and reviews to all authors and writers. This gives a chance for new writers to showcase their work and for readers to be introduced to new authors and books.

If you were planning to write a book which genre would you choose and why?

I am currently writing a new book now. I like human interest stories and the book I am working on is a very inspirational true story, that is very close to my heart.  I write under a pen name. I like having this a whole secret identity that no one knows about.

Can you tell us something about your paranormal work?

 My father is a psychic medium at the Spiritual Association of Great Britain.  This is something that goes back in my family for generations.  So I grew up with people like the late Doris Stokes. You will not find me running around in the dark with a big torch for my paranormal work. Mediums interest me more than ghosts, so I look and research mediums.  I think if we are going to find out if there is an afterlife mediums will be the key to unlocking this.  I also work to bring in testing for mediums. The situation now is with the internet anybody can set up and call themselves a medium and charge large amounts of money. It is easy to use our information on Google or social media to find knowledge and something needs to be done as you are dealing with the bereaved and vulnerable people who can get taken advantage of. It should always be done and handled in a very careful way. If like at the SAGB, mediums are tested and then the next stage would be to introduce a licence that mediums are given a qualification before they can practice.

And now we come to something that has intrigued me for a long time. Socks. You have a large collection, some of which you post on FB. When did you start collecting and how many pairs do you currently have?

20151010_204311The socks! It seems to have become the thing I am becoming more known for and it makes20151002_131503 me smile. The socks all started a couple of years ago when I became very ill.  I found out I had an auto immune disease and I was immunosuppressed using meds, which means that my immune system now is turned off and this gives me a better quality of living. So one of my close friends decided I better keep warm in winter by wearing socks. So I posted a picture on Facebook and Twitter of me wearing the socks she gave me to say thank you. Then thanks to the power of social media and due to me at the time doing a lot of volunteer20150926_211716 work for new writers… I began to get socks in the post. Many from writers as a thank you, or just from the lovely people out there who had read and heard about my illness. I was overwhelmed with how much good can comes out of people when you are going through a tough time. I must have hundreds and each pair sent to me gets a photo on social media and a mention of thanks to the lovely person who sent them, or I am asked now just to post pictures of them as people say they make them smile too.  It has grown into a huge collection! I have boxes of them. I try to wear as many as I can and have been known to wear them to important writing meetings and they do cheer me up wearing them for hospital appointments too… But best of all they keep me warm throughout the winter. 

And finally, you’ve been stranded on a desert island.  What four essentials would you like to have with you?

 Post it notes, a pack of pens, notebook and thesaurus… Then I can happily write away until I am rescued!

 

To find out more about Nikki, simply click on her social media links below:

http://nikkis-books4u.blogspot.co.uk/

https://twitter.com/NikkiiNola

https://www.facebook.com/nikki.bywater

BROOK COTTAGE BOOKS PRESENTS: CAPE COD PROMISES – BELLA ANDRE AND MELISSA FOSTER JOIN FORCES AGAIN FOR ANOTHER UNFORGETTABLE READ

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Trent Rockwell has it all—a thriving legal practice, co-ownership of the Rockwell Resort, and a big, loving family. And yet his failed marriage to Reese Nicholson has haunted him for ten long years. Now that he has moved back to Cape Cod Bay to help run his family’s resort, he is surrounded by memories of Reese…and he can’t stop longing for the woman he’d always believed was his one true love.…

At nineteen, artist Reese Nicholson was swept off her feet by the handsome, charming, and incredibly sensual Trent Promises-FINAL-266x400Rockwell. After a whirlwind courtship, they married and moved to New York City, where they hoped all of their personal and professional dreams would come true. But six months later, Reese returned to Rockwell Island broken-hearted and disillusioned.

For a decade, Trent and Reese carefully kept their distance. But all it takes is one accidental late-night encounter to immediately stir the desires they have both tried to bury deep. Powerless to resist the heat between them, every passionate kiss, loving caress, and heartfelt apology draws them closer together. So close that they can’t help but wonder if the promises they once made to love each other forever are still true…

 

 Buy Links:

AMAZON UK

AMAZON US

B & N

iTunes

Kobo

Google Play

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

MELISSA FOSTER

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Melissa Foster is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling and award-winning author. She writes contemporary romance, new adult, contemporary women’s fiction, suspense, and historical fiction with emotionally compelling characters that stay with you long after you turn the last page. Her books have been recommended by USA Today’s book blog, Hagerstown Magazine, The Patriot, and several other print venues. She is the founder of the  World Literary Café and Fostering Success. When she’s not writing, Melissa helps authors navigate the publishing industry through her author training programs on  Fostering Success. Melissa has been published in Calgary’s Child Magazine, the Huffington Post, and Women Business Owners magazine.

Melissa hosts an annual Aspiring Authors contest for children and has painted and donated several murals to The Hospital for Sick Children in Washington, DC. Melissa lives in Maryland with her family.

Visit Melissa on social media. Melissa enjoys discussing her books with book clubs .

Sign up for Melissa’s newsletter to stay up to date with releases and giveaways

http://www.melissafoster.com/newsletter/

BELLA ANDRE

Bella Andre is the New York Times, USA Today and Publishers Weekly bestselling author of “The Sullivans” and 1_BellaAndre_MainPromotionalPhoto“The Morrisons” series.

Having sold more than 4 million books, Bella Andre’s novels have been #1 bestsellers around the world and have appeared on the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists 23 times. She has been the #1 Ranked Author at Amazon (on a top 10 list that included Nora Roberts, JK Rowling, James Patterson and Steven King), and Publishers Weekly named Oak Press (the publishing company she created to publish her own books) the Fastest-Growing Independent Publisher in the US. After signing a ground-breaking 7-figure print-only deal with Harlequin MIRA, Bella’s “The Sullivans” series is being released in paperback in the US, Canada, and Australia.

Known for “sensual, empowered stories enveloped in heady romance” (Publishers Weekly), her books have been Cosmopolitan Magazine “Red Hot Reads” twice and have been translated into ten languages. Winner of the Award of Excellence, The Washington Post called her “One of the top writers in America” and she has been featured by Entertainment Weekly, NPR, USA Today, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, and  TIME Magazine. A graduate of Stanford University, she has given keynote speeches at publishing conferences from Copenhagen to Berlin to San Francisco, including a standing-room-only keynote at Book Expo America in New York City.

Bella also writes the New York Times bestselling Four Weddings and a Fiasco series as Lucy Kevin. Her “sweet” contemporary romances also include the new Walker Island series written as Lucy Kevin.

If not behind her computer, you can find her reading her favorite authors, hiking, swimming or laughing. Married with two children, Bella splits her time between the Northern California wine country and a 100 year old log cabin in the Adirondacks.

Author Links

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GIVEAWAY

A series Tote bag!

For a chance to be the lucky winner of this fabulous tote bag simply clink the link below and register your details

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