Friday, 2 October 2015

A Tiny Feeling of Fear by M. Jonathan Lee

Andrew Walker lets the reader into his life and talks to us about what is going on in his mind, the difficulties he faces suffering from anxiety and depression and how he sees the world around him and how on the outside he seems fine and successful in his career, but inside he is struggling and fighting a battle within himself.

Andrew Walker is a fictional character but with the story been told from his first person point of view he becomes very real and the lively, fast pace of the book draws you into Andrew's world. Here the reader becomes the confidant. This makes the book interesting and different and because it is so well written it really works and the reader does not become disinterested from this point of view. A lot of people will be able to relate to the circumstances Andrew is going through too.

Welcome to my special guest Mandy Baggot

Merry Christmas! Too much too soon? OK, well, in my opinion, it’s never too early for winter wishes and the excitement of life in New York City! Welcome to my brand new novel, One Wish in Manhattan.
The temperature is dropping, snow is on its way and Hayley Walker is heading for New York with one wish… to start over. 

With her daughter Angel, Hayley is ready for adventure. But there’s more to New York than twinkly lights and breathtaking skyscrapers. Angel has her own Christmas wish – to find her real dad. 

While Hayley tries to fulfil her daughter’s wish, she crosses paths with billionaire Oliver Drummond. Restless and bored with fast living, there’s something intriguing about him that has Hayley hooked. 

Can Hayley dare to think her own dreams might turn come true – could A New York Christmas turn into a New York Forever? 

Travel to the Big Apple this Christmas and join Hayley and Oliver as they realise life isn’t just about filling the minutes… it’s about making every moment count. 

A big warm-hearted story, full of Christmas sparkle that will delight fans of Jane Costello, Miranda Dickinson and Lucy Diamond. 
So grab yourself some buttered bagels and hot chocolate and curl up by the fire!

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Meet the Author - Suzie Tullett

I was chatting to a lady recently who commented on how exciting my life must be. I smiled in response, pleased to know I wasn’t the only one with a furtive imagination. At the time, I’d just sent The Trouble with Words to the publisher. Having written, re-written, edited and re-edited, exciting wasn’t quite the word I’d have chosen. Even so, the lady’s enthusiasm reminded me how lucky I am to be able to write full-time in the first place.
Yes, as with all professions, being a writer has its ups and downs. However, the positives do out weigh the negatives. For example, we get to visit interesting places and meet fascinating people, all in the name of research. Depending what we’re writing, we get to fight pirates, solve murders, or fall in love with our heroes. We’re also able to work from home and mostly to our own schedule, something that, naturally, calls for a degree of self-motivation.
Thankfully, when it comes to the life of a writer there are lots of motivating factors to draw upon. Such as the sense of achievement we get when turning a grain of an idea into a full blown storyline, or develop an innocent mannerism into a well rounded character. Even the constant re-writing to make sure our work is as good as it can be feels like an accomplishment, particularly when we manage to get a difficult paragraph or chapter to finally convey what we intended.
Obviously there are times when our enthusiasm begins to wane, but by then we’re usually so far into a project we tell ourselves it would be ridiculous to give up on it now. Especially when we think about all the time and effort we’ve spent on it already.
However, one of the biggest motivating factors has to be our ability to communicate with people, many of whom we’re more than likely never going to meet. Again depending on what we write, we hope to make people laugh or cry, we hope to surprise or scare. And all of this in situations that we might never ourselves experience. And because our novels are being read on that particular beach or are sitting on that particular book shelf, it’s nice to think that a little bit of us can be found there too. 

The Trouble with Words by Suzie Tullett

Release Date:
October 1, 2015

Blog tour
September 21–October 11, 2015

Promises – easy to make, hard to keep.
Having long made a promise to her husband, young widow Annabel has no intentions of breaking it. What she does plan to do, though, is have a baby. Not the easiest of tasks for a woman with a deceased other half, and having explored all her options, her only choice is to take the unconventional route. Setting out to find her own donor, Annabel meets Dan. Single, fun-loving and definitely not looking for commitment, this unruly blonde, blue-eyed man seems perfect for the job.
Dan wants nothing more than to find his dream woman. But with a mother intent on sabotaging his every relationship, he can't help but think he's destined to remain single. Of course, he knows his mother doesn't really want him all for herself, why else would she keep insisting he meet Maeve? Why else would she insist Dan promise to find himself a wife before she meets her maker?
Forced to negotiate matters of love, life and death, Annabel and Dan seem the answer to each other's prayers. But will they really be able to keep the promises they made? And is having a baby really the solution?

Book Links:

Buy Links:

Author Bio:

Suzie Tullett is an author of contemporary humorous fiction and romantic comedy. As well as The Trouble with Words, her novels include Going Underground and Little White Lies and Butterflies, which was short-listed for The Guardian's 2013 Not the Booker Prize. She has a Masters Degree in Television & Radio Scriptwriting and worked as a scriptwriter before becoming a full-time novelist. And when she's not tapping away on the computer creating her own literary masterpiece, she usually has her head in someone else's.


Opening out the deckchair, she plonked herself down in it. “So how’s your week been?” she asked. She paused, not that she really expected a reply, but it was nice to know he was listening if nothing else. “Mine’s not been too bad,” she continued. “The shop’s still doing okay. Oh, and your mum called round the other day.” Remembering the visit all too well, Annabel tried not to scowl. “She said to say hello.”   
She reached down and dipped her hand into her bag again, this time pulling out a flask of coffee. “Caffeine, just what I need after the hassle of getting here,” she said. “As usual the traffic was horrendous.”
Pouring herself a drink, she knew her ramblings were an attempt at stalling the inevitable; that she was worried about Tom’s reaction once she’d told him what she was up to. While her plans for the future might be a positive move on her part, she certainly wasn’t daft enough to think everyone would understand. If anything most people wouldn’t, especially if his mother’s reaction had been anything to go by.
She thought it strange how everyone and their dog insisted she move on, yet the second she did they created such a song and dance over it. Although if Tom did choose to join in with the dissenters, then just like them he’d only have to get used to the idea; particularly when this was entirely his fault to begin with. Annabel didn’t want to play the blame game, but just like she’d said to his mother, she wouldn’t be in this position if he hadn’t upped and died in the first place. In her mind’s eye, she could see Tom sitting opposite, his hands clasped as he patiently waited for her to tell him what was really on her mind. The man always could read her like a book.
“Okay, okay,” she said. “Just give me a second.”   
She took a couple of sips of coffee, determined to reveal all. But, in spite of practicing her speech all week, now that it came to it, those well-chosen words seemed to fail her. Resting her cup on her knee and refusing to let her conviction wane, she realised she was just going to have to come out and say it.
After three, she told herself. One, two, three…
She squeezed her eyes shut, in anticipation of the lightning bolt no doubt about to strike her down.
“I’m going to have a baby,” she said.

Monday, 21 September 2015

Meet the Author - Carol E. Wyer

Grumpies On Board
Genre: humour, non-fiction
Release Date: 21st May 2105
Publisher: Safkhet
A "book it" list like no other, with humorous suggestions for extreme active ageing trips and why grumpies should not go snuffle trunting

Fancy a holiday with a difference? Then pack your bags and get ready for some extreme active ageing. Us 'older' folk are heading away from the traditional hotel holiday and at last, having fun!
This humorous guide, compiled by Mr and Mrs Grumpy, offers alternatives to the usual holiday—from sensible to outrageous—to suit every grumpy guts.
Learn about Arctic boot camps, ayurvedic retreats, drumming holidays, ice blokarting, motoring experiences, skijorking, tubing, Vespa excursions, voodoo trips and discover why Mr Grumpy will never go truffle hunting again.
With over 300 suggestions of how to get the best out of your vacation and live life to the maximum, this book aims to inspire and entertain.
Read it and put some choices on your "book it" list. After all, you only live once!
“An excellently researched insight into the world of the truly grumpy traveller. Youngsters beware..!” Nigel Vardy AKA Mr. Fostbite. Record breaking mountaineer, author and inspirational speaker.


Carol E. Wyer was born in Munster, Germany in 1960. She began her working life in Casablanca where she taught English and French in Language Schools and for companies. used to race around the streets on a clapped out VĂ©loSoleX bike, avoiding donkeys. She changed career to become a fitness instructor in her forties and appeared in Zest magazine as a ‘success story’. No longer able to touch her toes with her hands, she has now become a full-time writer. Having written a series of educational yet amusing books for children, she turned her attention to the adult market in 2010 when her son flew from the nest.

Her first two novels Mini Skirts and Laughter Lines and Surfing in Stilettos won several awards for humour and much attention from the media. Since then, she has won the people’s Book Prize Award with Grumpy Old Menopause and has appeared on over fifty BBC radio stations, several international radio stations, Sky News, NBC television and BBC Breakfast television discussing age-related subjects such as ‘Irritable Male Syndrome’ and ‘Grumpy Old Menopause’. Her writing style has been described frequently by the media as 'witty' or 'humorous' and has even been compared to the acerbic wit of Jeremy Clarkson and the humour of Robin Williams.

Carol has written articles for and featured in several national women’s magazines including Take A Break, Choice, Woman’s Weekly and Woman's Own who also wrote about her journey to becoming a best-selling author.

Currently writing a series of novels and articles aimed at the ‘older’ woman and man, Carol is also engaged in writing by-line articles and posts for magazines and websites including Silver Travel Advisor and the Huffington Post.

Carol is also a regular Loud Mouth on BBC Radio Derby.

Last year, she took a crash course in stand-up comedy and is currently doing a comedy tour entitled Smile While You Still have Teeth to sell-out audiences, proving you’re never too old to try a new experience.

1st Prize – copy of the book (uk winner a signed paperback / non UK an ecopy)
2nd Prize – Grumpy old git / cow travel mug

Tell us about the inspiration for the Grumpies books.

Are you sitting comfortably?

Once upon a time there was a lonely housewife, facing a big birthday, whose husband had taken early retirement and was shattering her everyday peace by being at home all the time. No longer could she watch afternoon television in peace or go out to the shops without her husband joining her and preventing her from buying anything she fancied.

Life become intolerable. Not only was she going through “that” time of her life but her days were gloom-filled as her husband moped about the house, refusing to take up hobbies and wishing he were still young. He griped about the roads, potholes, the economy and failing stock markets, chuntered about their son and spent hours trying to hit the resident mole over the head with a spade. However, she was determined to get him interested in something and get him back out of the house so she could continue to laze about on the sofa on an afternoon, eating her bodyweight in Jaffa cakes and watching the afternoon soap operas.

Then she had a brainwave; she would hide from her husband, begin a blog and tell the world about her day-to-day life with the grumpy guts. He was, after all quite amusing when he ranted, his little red face all crumpled up in frustration, and surely there would be other women who would understand and empathise with her.

There were. In fact, within a few months thousands began to visit her blog and loved the stories about Hubby as he was then called. She used some of the stories and wrote a novel Mini Skirts and Laughter Lines about bored housewife, Amanda Wilson, whose husband Phil takes early retirement and drives her mad with his antics. To save her sanity, Amanda writes a blog and there are twists and turns along the way to surprise the reader. 

She stayed up every night working into the early hours to complete her novel – Hubby knew nothing about it until it was published. It went down a storm. She appeared in Woman’s Own magazine as a best-selling author and emails flooded her inbox. There were thousands of women who connected with her character, Amanda, and who claimed to be married to Phil’s brother. Many wrote to seek advice on how to handle a retired man and how to survive being at home all day with him. It gave her some ideas for more books. These would be separate to her novels—they would be a series of amusing guides filled with jokes and advice on how to survive various aspects of ageing including: the menopause, (male and female), retirement and divorce.

Meanwhile, she continued her quest to cheer up her hubby now known as Mister Grumpy. She enrolled them both for golf lessons that ended in disaster when the grumpy one lost all his fluorescent balls in the lake.  She signed them up to a gym but that led to an embarrassing situation meaning they could not return there. She searched the internet and discovered hundreds of hobbies and gradually week by week, presented him with a new challenge. He had a go at some of them. Others he flatly refused to try although why he wouldn’t go bungee jumping was a puzzle to her. The result was 700 ways to entertain a grumpy old man or as it is now called, How Not to Murder Your Grumpy. Sadly, 700 ways or not, none appealed to her grumpy old husband, so she started taking him away on holidays that would entertain him and offer him even more exciting opportunities and there, she succeeded.

The two of them travelled far and wide to some exotic destination and some less exotic. Each time, she ensured there was plenty for the Grumpy to enjoy. Eventually, after several years there was enough material to write a humorous guide for all who were looking for adventure and entertainment, or were stuck with a grumpy guts on holiday—Grumpies On Board.

So, my story has a happy ending. The lonely author is no longer lonely and spends many hours happily writing novels and articles, or socialising with her friends online, or being interviewed on radio and television shows. She still spends time hiding in her office from the old Grumpy though. You know the old adage “a Cheetah can’t change its spots”? It turns out an old Grumpy will always be an old Grumpy no matter how much you try to change him.
By the way, instead of watching television, the happy author now types all afternoon and eats her body weight in jelly sweets.
The End

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Meet the Author - Eleanor Smythe

Author biography

Eleanor Smythe was born in the east end of London, however struggles to call it home as she moved away in her teens, and continued to live in many places around the UK. Raising a family to secondary school level she then went on to obtain a degree in Occupational Therapy. Although she took the opportunity to work in various medical settings her greatest passion was working with clients in the community, where she claims real life takes place.
Now retired and living in Portugal Eleanor has more time to pursue her love of writing. Always intrigued by the way in which individuals cope with life's challenges and how they overcome the twists and turns of life, her stories attempt to embrace inner emotional turmoil that her characters might feel. Her characters are brought to life by showing humour, tragedy, conflict and betrayal and emotions that many of us face daily.
Her debut book, The Other Side of Town is full such characters.  

I am thankful to Nikki for inviting me to be a guest on her fantastic blog. Not being a great blogger myself I always welcome the opportunity to share my thoughts and processes with others.

I say processes because I feel writing is a process, a transformation of thoughts onto paper. Not only our own thoughts but the imaginary thoughts of our characters. As you would have seen from my author biography I can get quite caught up with the importance of sharing emotions, how people express their feelings and deal with situations. However in real life we can only know as much as we’re told or what we see. If someone smiles and says they’re fine, we have to trust that, even if we may think it to be insincere. People are often protective about the way they truly feel. Exposing ones emotions can be fearful, can bring about a sense of vulnerability and even insecurity, all of which are emotions in themselves, as is happiness – it’s all fleeting. Then we have the taboo subjects of death, grief, disability, sexuality and what’s politically correct in our current climate. Can we actually say what we feel, for fear we may upset somone even unintentionally?

When I write and I set out my characters, I love to imagine what kind of person they would be. Are they open? Do they tell all or are they closed off and secretive? I like to dig into their emotions and how they might deal with situations. I create situations for them to deal with and then I ask, would she or he do that, or say that? One reviewer thought my characters were depressing - well maybe that’s how she read them to be. I prefer to see them as strong and who come through difficult times with their heads held high, moving forward with life. Isn’t that what we have to do, if we’re to survive? Reality isn’t always happy and joyous, however we can have humour and strength even in the darkest of moments. My fictitious characters have fictitious scenarios to deal with but I aim to make it realistic to life. I don’t write a ‘sit on the edge of your seat’ thriller or horror and I’m yet to write with raunchy passion, but I hope my readers will enjoy the emotional roller coaster that my stories aim to give.

I once read, ‘write what you know’ it must have been a quote but couldn’t tell you who wrote it.
So am I qualified to talk about emotions with such passion? Now this gets personal, but as I’ve written with such conviction about emotion, it’s seems only fair that I open up  a little. I was married very young to my first husband, it lasted all of 4 years and a few months. I was seventeen. I don’t recommend it - not the best decision I’ve ever made. I was married long enough to have 3 sons and obtain a divorce. Now I can see you’re all doing your maths. It was considered to be an irretrievable breakdown in the marriage, the fact that he used me as a punch bag didn’t actually matter at the time, it was the fact that there was no way back. I had to write my account of the marriage, convincing enough to prove the marriage was past being retrieved. I could see the judge’s face contort as he read my discription. I was pretty sure he smiled when he read the part that stated, ‘I picked up a frying pan and hit my husband over the head to free myself.’  Now that was the best short story I’d ever written. I know the judge thought so as he granted the divorce.

I later met my wonderful husband. We’ve been together 42 years and this coming January married for 40 years. He adopted the boys and we went on to have two children of our own, a little girl who died at the age of 3 months from cot death and our son who died two years ago at the age of 36. After our daughter died I read that 75% of marriages end after losing a child, because it is so stressful on the relationship, and it is, but we hung on in there.

I saw my work as a privilege. It enabled me to see deep into peoples lives, through assessment and the grace of people sharing their intimate details with me, all confidential and none of which I would use for the pleasure of writing. However I was always moved at the level of endurance people actually have, whether through physical or emotional disability. How resilient we can be never ceases to amaze me.

We have tipped the iceberg of emotion and I know that I’m not alone, everyone of us has suffering in some way. It’s not the suffering that drags us down but the way we choose to deal with it. For me, I have found creativity and escapisim in my writing, my garden and the people in my life. We are all qualified to write with emotion, I just choose to write emotional journeys about people who come out the other side.

My second book is currently with the editor. Reflections talks about a woman called Sally who has to deal with the grief of losing her father, whom she’d known for only two years before he died. After the funeral she takes time out to be alone and reflects on her life. She had to make amends with her estranged mother and half sisters, to find out who her father was. We read about the lives of her parents and why Sally had always felt abandoned. She also reflects on her recent divorce. Whilst this is happening a Mr Leriche from interpol opens an old case of a stolen painting and before long Sally finds herself in the middle of a criminal investigation and the sole beneficiary to her fathers estate, which she has to develop or walk away from. Like I say, not a ‘sit on the edge of your seat thriller’, but an emotional journey with a happy ending.

Please look out for the cover which is currently being created for Reflections.

The link for The Other Side of Town
Twitter user name @authoreleanor1

The Other Side of Town -Synopsis
Maureen and Karina had been friends since childhood. However, due to betrayal and grief their lives have taken on very different paths. The Other Side of Town tells the story of the two families, brought together by tragedy.
Maureen marries John Evans and they soon have their fair share of misfortune. An accident at work impacts on their lives, forcing them to sell their home and move into social housing and a completely different lifestyle. Maureen has to find work with a multinational IT company called Millbrooks. Tragedy finds them again and their lives become consumed with grief while trying to find justice. Amidst all this, Maureen befriends a woman called Judith and although she has a chequered past, Judith brings a sense of humour and friendship into their lives.
Karina marries Rupert Millbrook, whose family span generations and are so influential that the town is named after them. Karina soon discovers that once you marry a Millbrook, you marry the family and its history. Karina becomes Managing Director of Millbrook's IT and Maureen’s boss. However, Karina’s life is not without it’s own difficulties, she finds herself struggling with her teenage children and the issues they bring. Rupert also a Member of Parliament, has his own problems. A criminal investigation, lead by Inspector Hennessy who is on a special assignment from London, reveals links between Rupert's business deals and a known international criminal, Yakov Volkov.

Sunday, 13 September 2015

When Somebody Loves You by June Tate

It is 1936 and Elsa is running a fruit and veg stall in the local market, engaged to Peter, a local reporter, the future is looking bright for the young couple. When Peter is away chasing a story that could make or break his career, Elsa meets handsome Frenchman Jean-Paul, who is selling antiques through fellow trader Clive's stall. There is something about Clive that Elsa does not trust and although she suspects Clive and Jean-Paul may be up to something dodgy, she still finds herself drawn to the charms of Jean-Paul.

I really enjoy the pace of June Tate books. There is never a dull moment. Not only is this a love story, but with the added suspense of crime and drama, it really makes the story have added depth and you do get quite involved emotionally with the characters… They are so real and I do like a book that plays out in your minds-eye like a film. I am a big fan of June Tate books and there are quite a collection of her books to read. I have always found them an enjoyable and very entertaining read.

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Meet the Author - June Moonbridge

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?

About June Moonbridge
The person behind the name of June Moonbridge, has many names and many faces too. Although living in the same area, she was born and raised in one country  and now living in another.
She studied economics, and quickly realised she hated it. Afterwards, she found herself working in mainly male businesses; at first in automotive and later - steel products productions. She can choose for you the best steel you need, but don't, please don't, ask her which lipstick to use.
She started to write in her high school and was negatively criticised by her teacher. Stubborn as she is that didn't stop her. Under different pen names for her stories she tried to get some independent opinions, which came back as good reviews in magazines and later she published three books.
Giving birth to two children, and learning that her second child has Autism, she married the father of them and continued to work. All that together took all of her free time. But the desire to write didn't die. When life somehow sorted itself out, she decided to write her novel in English and her first submission to Safkhet was rejected… 
For what happened later… read third paragraph, second sentence.

2 ecopies of the book