LIFE PLAYLISTS: This week it’s reader and blogger Kerry Robinson’s turn to make those five special choices…

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I’m Kerry Robinson and I blog over at Herding Cats. I am a wife, mother of two, a primary school teacher and an avid reader. When I’m not reading, working or doing family things, I can be found rehearsing with a local theatre group or enjoying a glass of wine in-front of the TV. I’m delighted to be joining Life Tracks today as I’ve loved music since I was very young and many of my memories are tied up in song.

 

 

You can find me at:
Blog – https://likeherdingcatsblog.wordpress.com/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/cats_herding
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/blogblogbloggingalong
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/herding_cats_bookstagram/

1. Mrs Robinson by Simon and Garfunkel

On our wedding day we had decided not to bother with a first dance and didn’t really have ‘a song’ but my husband surprised me with this one and although the content of the song isn’t very romantic – it was such a fun song to have and a lovely surprise.

2. Stevie Nicks – Edge of Seventeen

This song is just immense. Stevie has such a beautiful voice and this is an epic song. I love this one because until about three years ago I was scared to sing in front of people. I mean really scared – couldn’t even sing a jingle if friends asked me how it went. I was convinced that I couldn’t sing, and my husband disagreed, so we made a bet and I took singing lessons. On my first lesson I told my coach that I’d love to sing this song, but I knew it was well out of my ability. Several months later and I was singing it. I’m no Stevie but I did it. Now I belt it out whenever I hear it.

3. Van Halen – Little Dreamer

Both my husband and I are huge Van Halen fans and listened to them all the time. This song in particular reminds me of when we moved to Hertfordshire. It was such a big move for the two of us as we were only in our early 20s. Chris had a university placement year and I was going to start my first teaching job. We listened to Van Halen – by Van Halen for the drive down there.

4. Paloma Faith – Make Your Own Kind of Music

In August we met and adopted our daughter. She is a huge music fan and has a fantastic voice at such a young age. One of the songs we used to play in the car during our first meets was this one and as well as being a beautiful song, it will always remind me of those first days we spent together.

5. Middle of the Road – Chirpy Cheep

This seems like a completely random choice and this song drives me insane but it has such a special meaning that I couldn’t leave it out. It’s a song my mother always used to sing (badly and out of tune) when I was a small child so I grew up knowing it but when my son was a toddler it was the only song that would get him to settle down and go to sleep. He called it Sherpy Sheep. Despite listening to it umpteen times a day, it will always make me smile and remind me of him.

 

IT’S THURSDAY 18TH APRIL AND PUBLICATION DAY FOR DEBUT SAGA AUTHOR MOLLIE WALTON’S DAUGHTER’S OF IRONBRIDGE

DAUGHTERS OF IRONBRIDGE

Perfect for fans of Maggie Hope and Katie Flynn – the first in a heartwarming new series set against an ironworks in 1830s Shropshire, by debut saga author Mollie Walton.

Anny Woodvine’s family has worked at the ironworks for as long as she can remember. The brightest child in her road and the first in her family to learn to read, Anny has big dreams. So, when she is asked to run messages for the King family, she grabs the opportunity with both hands.

Margaret King is surrounded by privilege and wealth. But behind closed doors, nothing is what it seems. When Anny arrives, Margaret finds her first ally and friend. Together they plan to change their lives.

But as disaster looms over the ironworks, Margaret and Anny find themselves surrounded by secrets and betrayal. Can they hold true to each other and overcome their fate? Or are they destined to repeat the mistakes of the past?

‘Feisty female characters, an atmospheric setting and a spell-binding storyline make this a phenomenal read’ – Cathy Bramley

The Daughters of Ironbridge has that compulsive, page-turning quality, irresistible characters the reader gets hugely invested in, and Walton has created a brilliantly alive, vivid and breathing world in Ironbridge’ – Louisa Treger

mollie waltonMollie Walton is the saga pen-name for historical novelist Rebecca Mascull. Visit her websites for more information: https://molliewalton.co.uk/ & https://rebeccamascull.co.uk/

She has always been fascinated by history and on a trip to Shropshire, while gazing down from the iron bridge, found the inspiration for what has become her debut saga novel, part of a trilogy titled THE IRONBRIDGE SAGA, published by Bonnier Zaffre. She is currently hard at work on the three books, with the first novel due for release in April 2019, set in the dangerous world of the iron industry: THE DAUGHTERS OF IRONBRIDGE.

Under the pen-name Rebecca Mascull, she is the author of three historical novels.
Her first novel THE VISITORS (2014) tells the story of Adeliza Golding, a deaf-blind child living on her father’s hop farm in Victorian Kent. Her second novel SONG OF THE SEA MAID (2015) is set in the C18th and concerns an orphan girl who becomes a scientist and makes a remarkable discovery. Her third novel, THE WILD AIR (2017) is about a shy Edwardian girl who learns to fly and becomes a celebrated aviatrix but the shadow of war is looming. All are published by Hodder & Stoughton.

She has also recently completed the final chapters of her friend and fellow novelist Vanessa Lafaye’s final work, a novella called MISS MARLEY, a prequel to Dickens’s A CHRISTMAS CAROL. This novella will be published in November 2018 by HarperCollins.

Visit her Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/MollieWaltonbooks/

Her agent is Laura Macdougall at United Agents.
http://www.unitedagents.co.uk/rebecca-mascull

Rebecca has previously worked in education, has a Masters in Writing and lives by the sea in the east of England.

IT’S PUBLICATION DAY FOR DAUGHTER OF THE HOUSE (CORNISH TALES BOOK 4) by VICTORIA CORNWALL

DAUGHTER OF THE HOUSE PIC

Evelyn Pendragon is spirited but lonely, and largely ignored by her parents whose attentions are taken up with her brother, Nicholas: the expected heir to the family’s Cornish estate and the one who will carry on the Pendragon name.
Stifled by her aristocratic existence, Evelyn finds companionship in an unlikely place when she befriends Drake Vennor, an apprentice gardener on the estate.
But When Evelyn’s life is thrown into turmoil by a tragedy, she realises just how much she has come to rely on Drake. Will family expectations and the burden of the Pendragon name mean she must turn her back on him when she needs him the most?

BUY LINKS

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

61O6t8BvhEL._UX250_Victoria Cornwall grew up on a farm in Cornwall and can trace her Cornish roots as far back as the 18th century. It is this background and heritage which is the inspiration for her Cornish based novels.

Following a fulfilling twenty-five year career as a nurse, a change in profession finally allowed her the time to write. She initially self-published two novels, Old Sins Long Shadows and The Gossamer Trail under the name B.D.Hawkey. In 2016, award winning publisher, Choc Lit, acquired both books as part of a four book deal. Old Sins Long Shadows is now published under the new title, The Captain’s Daughter, and The Gossamer Trail is now titled, The Daughter of River Valley.

Victoria is married and has two grown up children. She likes to read and write historical fiction with a strong background story, but at its heart is the unmistakable emotion, even pain, of loving someone.

She is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association.

 

TODAY LIFE PLAYLISTS CATCHES UP WITH WRITER JUNE KEARNS FOR HER FIVE SPECIAL CHOICES…

Thank you Jo, for this lovely invitation.
(So tough though, making the choices!)
When I was six, we went to live in a tiny Victorian railway terrace, with gas lighting (these be ancient times!) and one dark, dripping, cobwebby outside loo, half-way down the garden.
Ooh, the absolute horror of racing out and back in your Winceyette nightie in the dark, before the baddies lurking out there could leap out and grab you!
That was when I started to love the Westerns on our tiny black-and-white TV – that contrast of big sky and open, empty land, stretching out to the horizon. (It probably spawned the idea for my first book, too!)
Wichita Lineman by Glen Campbell still sums up that wide-plains feeling for me.

At eighteen, I started my two-year photographic course in London.The girls I flat-shared with had just spent the summer in America and brought back two LPs by someone I’d never heard of before. To my ignorant ears, his voice sounded a bit like a dog with it’s back leg caught in barbed wire.
(Me:‘Ha, that’ll never catch on!!’)
It was my first introduction to Bob Dylan and later, ‘Don’t Think Twice It’s Alright’

In my twenties, a boyfriend from home introduced me to jazz and Ronnie Scott’s club in London. The atmosphere was always electric and over the years, I saw some wonderful musicians play there.
Telephone Song from Stan Getz and Astrud Gilberto brings back the absolute thrill of those early visits.

When our eldest son graduated, he decided to go to San Francisco for further study. The other side of the world! I couldn’t imagine when we’d next be able to see him. Those introductory strains of Tony Bennett and I Left My Heart in San Francisco, always made me boo-hoo, (and sometimes still do!)

During the fabulous 1960s, I worked in London – a time when absolutely anything seemed possible! The style and fashion, the music and buzz of that time all feature in my new WIP.
Aretha Franklin’s – Say A Little Prayer sums up the joy of it all for me.
(I met someone recently who’d saved every single one of the clothes she’d ever bought from Biba! Why didn’t I do that?!)

 

Biography
An only child, June Kearns was always a daydreamer who spent a lot of time staring into 0CD5AE44-22D4-4C79-9DD5-3FCBCD256025space and making things up.
She was brought up by women – grandma, mother, aunts – and it was their influence that made her want to write.
June started seriously after leaving teaching, and winning a national magazine competition for the first chapter of an historical novel.
A founder member of the indie publishing group, The New Romantics Press, she’s published two novels – An Englishwoman’s Guide to the Cowboy and The 20’s Girl – and currently, in a warm corner next to the airing cupboard, is working on a third, set in 1960’s London.
A member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, she lives in Leicestershire, with husband and family.

Website: http://www.junekearns.com
Twitter: @june_kearns
Instagram: junekearns
Facebook: June Kearns

 

An Englishwoman’s Guide to the Cowboy http://viewbook.at/B009XRRU2M

The Twenties Girl http://viewbook.at/20sgirlkindle

It’s publication day for Kim Nash’s Debut Novel Amazing Grace…

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AMAZING GRACE

by Kim Nash

She’s taking her life back, one step at a time…

Grace thought she had it all. Living in the beautiful village of Little Ollington, along with head teacher husband Mark and gorgeous son, Archie, she devoted herself to being the perfect mum and the perfect wife, her little family giving her everything she ever wanted.

Until that fateful day when she walked in on Mark kissing his secretary – and her perfect life fell apart.

Now she’s a single mum to Archie, trying to find her way in life and keep things together for his sake. Saturday nights consist of a Chinese takeaway eaten in front of the TV clad in greying pyjamas, and she can’t remember the last time she had a kiss from anyone aside from her dog, Becks.

Grace’s life needs a shake up – fast. So when gorgeous gardener Vinnie turns up, his twinkling eyes suggesting that he might be interested in more than just her conifers, she might just have found the answer to her prayers. But as Grace falls deeper for Vinnie, ten-year-old Archie fears that his mum finding love means she’ll never reconcile with the dad he loves.

So when ex-husband Mark begs her for another chance, telling her he’s changed from the man that broke her heart, Grace finds herself with an impossible dilemma. Should she take back Mark and reunite the family that Archie loves? Or risk it all for a new chance of happiness?

A funny, feel good romance about finding your own path and changing your life – readers of Cathy Bramley, Jill Mansell and Josie Silver will love this uplifting read.

Buy links:

AMZ: https://amzn.to/2MIAM7k
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2GeKm0D
Apple: https://apple.co/2MMvJD2

About the author

50777189_2415175988557120_8271694763955060736_nKim Nash lives in Staffordshire with son Ollie and English Setter Roni, is PR & Social Media Manager for Bookouture and is a book blogger at http://www.kimthebookworm.co.uk.

Kim won the Romantic Novelists Association’s Media Star of the Year in 2016, which she still can’t quite believe. She is now quite delighted to be a member of the RNA.

When she’s not working or writing, Kim can be found walking her dog, reading, standing on the sidelines of a football pitch cheering on Ollie and binge watching box sets on the TV. She’s also quite partial to a spa day and a gin and tonic (not at the same time!) Kim also runs a book club in Cannock, Staffs.

Amazing Grace is her debut novel with Hera Books and will be out on 10th April 2019

Connect with Kim on Social Media here:
Twitter: (@KimTheBookworm) https://twitter.com/KimTheBookworm
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KimTheBookWorm/
Instagram: @Kim_the_bookworm

 

LIFE PLAYLISTS: THIS WEEK IT’S THE TURN OF WRITER ADRIENNE VAUGHAN TO CHOOSE HER FIVE SPECIAL MUSIC TRACKS…

This was great fun and relatively easy for me because all the selected songs are featured in my novel That Summer at the Seahorse Hotel.
I’m Irish, so music is in my DNA. Music filled our house from morning to night, my father Harry, was a trumpet-player who loved jazz, classical, pop, you name it, he even played in a brass band and introduced us to some wonderful colliery tunes.
We all loved to dance – ballet, tap, rock ‘n’ roll and I was taught The Twist by my aunts at a very tender age. I still know the words to most Billie Holiday songs and quite a few of Ella Fitzgerald’s too!
That Summer at the Seahorse Hotel is a gripping, romantic suspense staring Mia Flanagan, a costumier in the film business whose mother is a famous actress. Mia has never been told who her father is, and when Archie Fitzgerald, one of Hollywood’s favourites, decides to leave her his Irish estate she wonders, is he her father after all?
Set on the sunny east coast of Ireland, the music of the past is the backdrop to this contemporary tale of jealousy and betrayal, with as many dramatic twists and turns as these wonderful songs portray. Here goes…
The story opens with a young couple bursting through a secret door into a crowded library, where only minutes before Archie was playing Tiny Dancer on the piano … this song resonates with my Saturday job in Golden Discs in Dublin.
Playlist 1: Tiny Dancer by Elton John & Bernie Taupin – Tiny Dancer was released in 1971.

Fast forward to student days at the Dublin College of Journalism – Golden Years indeed! My hero, David Bowie has been a mentor in so many ways.

Playlist 2: David Bowie – Golden Years, from his 1976 album Station to Station.

As a young journalist, I worked in magazines and loved interviewing stars and celebrities. In a very ritzy cocktail bar in Covent Garden a tall, handsome man paid for my drink as I stood at the bar … yes, the divine Mr Bryan Ferry. Quite a few years later I reminded him I owed him a drink … Avalon is one of the most romantic songs I’ve ever heard and still adore it.

 

Adrienne & Bryan Ferry

 

Playlist 3: Roxy Music – Avalon – 1982 written by Bryan Ferry

I came late to this one and having been the proud owner of a beautiful horse who was a complete gentleman, I totally identify with this. It also resonates as the perfect lament to a lost love, or a love who has passed. Exquisite.

Playlist 4: Ride On by Jimmy McCarthy recorded by Christy Moore in 1984

And finally, the unique Elvis Costello. Last year my husband bought me a record player for our wedding anniversary. It’s in my writing shed with my collection of vinyl which includes an LP called That Summer – and features Watching the Detectives, which I still play over …and over…

Playlist 5: Watching the Detectives by Elivs Costello – 1977

Thanks for this wonderful delve into my book and my music Jo. Loved it.
Keeping singing, keep dancing, keep writing.
Adrienne X

Adrienne Vaughan – Author

AV-AuthorAdrienne Vaughan has been making up stories since she could speak; as soon as she could pick up a pen she started writing them down. No surprise she wanted to be a journalist, ideally the editor of a glossy magazine, where she could meet and marry a rock star! Today, she runs a busy PR practice, writing novels, poems and short stories in her spare time.
With Irish parents, Adrienne was born in England and brought up in Dublin. She now lives in rural Leicestershire with husband, Jonathan and a rescue cat called Agatha Christie – ‘So named because we never know who she’s going to kill next!’
They have a home in the Wicklow Mountains in Ireland and visit often. Although being a writer has always been her dream, Adrienne admits she still harbours a burning ambition to be a Bond girl.
To date she has written three award-winning standalone novels in The Heartfelt Series, The Hollow Heart, A Change of Heart and Secrets of the Heart. Her latest novel That Summer at the Seahorse Hotel is enjoying some fabulous reviews and her highly-acclaimed short story anthology Fur Coat & No Knickers is also available – as are all her other books – as both eBooks and paperbacks from Amazon.
Adrienne Vaughan is an award-winning author of 5 Star romantic suspense.

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That Summer at the Seahorse Hotel

 Purchase Links

Amazon UK
http://amzn.to/2rP6nxb
Amazon US
http://amzn.to/2GudjTH

Other Titles:

The Hollow Heart: http://bit.ly/HollowAV
A Change of Heart: http://bit.ly/ChangeAV
Secrets of the Heart: http://bit.ly/SecretsAV
Fur Coat & No Knickers: http://tinyurl.com/jky626h

Adrienne Vaughan – Social Media Links

Website: http://www.adriennevaughan.com
Twitter: @adrienneauthor

This week Life Playlists catches up with publicist Nikki Bywater as she chooses five of her most memorable music tracks…

When Jo Lambert invited me to very kindly share my love of music over five songs, I thought this would be an easy selection to make, but let me tell you it is so, so difficult. I have a huge back catalogue of music I simply love, and to select just five I found it really tough. I am glad Jo made it easier by wanting music relating to milestones in my life. That narrowed it down to about 750 songs!

So here we go…

I was born in the 1970s and music was always being played in our family home, and in my grandparents’ houses. It is through my grandfather that my love for country music was formed. However it would not be a country song I will select to be my first song. Well, it is the 70s, isn’t it? Also, I was a child back then. So the track I am going to select is from when I first remember dancing. I have always loved to dance and this for me is where it all begun. Now you’re probably thinking Nikki is going to choose some really cool 70s disco hit, are you not? I’m a child remember! So I was getting my groove on back then to the wonderful Wombles and Remember You’re A Womble.

Remember You’re A Womble by The Wombles

I can remember dancing around to this track and it brings back such happy memories of my childhood. I had all the Wombles memorabilia and The Wombles LP was bought at the local Woolworths. I still know all the words to every Womble song.

So for my second track, I am slightly older now. Lets move into the 80s. This is when I did almost most of my education at school, if I didn’t have far more important things to be doing with my time. I wrote my first song aged nine. Happy times at the school disco and WHAM!, the gorgeous George Michael, and to me Careless Whisper is still one of best ever written love songs. So there I was aged eleven, wanting to be cool with my ‘I Heart WHAM!’ bag and hoping high school was going to be more Kids from Fame than Grange Hill. It was at this time WHAM! posters were all over my bedroom wall and ceiling. The teenybopper days went by in leg warmers and on roller-skates, with Sony Walkman headphones permanently attached to my head. By the time I was leaving school this had changed to Pet Shop Boys and The Smiths posters, and being influenced fashion wise between Cyndi Lauper and Madonna. Public relation skills at work even back then as I soon negotiated a place on the back of the school bus! The song I am going to chose for my second track, is a song that reminds me of making decisions back then of what I was going to do once I was a grown-up.

Left to my own Devices by The Pet Shop Boys

Other bands from the 80s like Talk Talk, New Order, Depheche Mode and the fabulous Roxy Music left an imprint on my life, and here we now are in the 90s. In my student days dance music and raving was the scene. Dancing and ‘having fun’ all night long. Having a good time was all that mattered. Non-stop dancing and binge drinking. It was through those good times out clubbing in the famous Batley Frontier club, which was long ago known as Batley Variety club, that I met my husband Andrew and this song for me reminds me of when we first got together.

Never Tear Us Apart by INXS

Still only in our early twenties by the mid 90s Andrew and I were married and our two children Liam and Chloe were born. Now it was time to really settle down and become sensible. Driving around in the car when my children were small we would listen to Travis or The Verve, and from when Liam could first talk he would soon be singing along to songs in the car. It wasn’t until Liam was choosing a song for his prom a few years later, when he was aged eleven that when he asked for ‘The Trucks Don’t Work’ that we realised all this time he had been singing the wrong word along to my next track, which is…

The Drugs Don’t Work by The Verve

My children are now all grown-up and my daughter recently has been through some difficult times, which she has overcome. This is a song we would play and sing together during those times, and it helped get her through. As parents all you want is for your children to be happy, but sometimes under circumstances we cannot control, we cannot protect our children from harm. What we can be is there for them to pick up the pieces and give love and support. I think at the time this song provided a positive influence on going towards my daughter’s recovery. We go back to my love of country music and Chloe is also a huge fan of the TV series Nashville. So it’s the queen of country with…

Hard Candy Christmas by Dolly Parton

So there you have my final five, and never would I have thought out of the many songs that I love that they would have been the ones I would have picked!

Bio

48971445_10217724368971859_8746373218069118976_oNikki Bywater’s career in media began as a model and support artist, which lead to small acting roles in film and television. It was through her work in television she was given the opportunity to write. Nikki in her role as a book and script publicist is well-known for giving her time generously to new writers, many of them going on to be published and best-selling authors.

When not daydreaming and storyboarding ideas in Paris, Nikki lives in Cheshire with her husband Andrew and their two grown-up children.

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CONNECT WITH NIKI ON SOCIAL MEDIA:

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

https://www.instagram.com/nikkiinola/

http://nikkis-books4u.blogspot.com/