Special Guest: Joy Norstrom – author of Out of Play

About a month ago, I was asked by Joy Norstrom if I’d like to read her debut novel and provide an endorsement (if I enjoyed it) for the cover. How sweet is that, and how honoured was I?! And, my honest opinion was that ‘Out of Play’, about a married couple torn apart by LARP (live action role play), is a brilliant read. Very funny, but also emotional. I loved the narrative and felt like the main character, Gillian, became a friend.

out-of-playAs you can see, my comment is now on the cover (how cool is that?)

So, I thought I’d invite Joy to my blog for an interview, find out a bit more about her and her great book – which I highly recommend you go and buy right now.

Firstly – Joy, welcome to my blog. Do you want to tell us a bit about your new book in your own words?

Thanks for the warm welcome, Sarah!

Out of Play is about a marriage that has become disconnected over time. Gillian, our protagonist, believes the problem stems from her husband choosing a hobby (live-action roleplay or LARP) over spending time with her. Like many other people struggling in a relationship, Gillian enlists the help of a counsellor.

The counsellor challenges Gillian to move from judgment to openness; she encourages Gillian to try LARP with Ralph. Does Gillian follow-through? Well…she takes her own spin on the advice and secretly attends a larp event as a kitchen volunteer. Spying may not be the best choice for fostering a healthy marriage, but who says marriage always involves making the best choices?

The physical journey in Out of Play is interwoven with an emotional journey. Gillian must face the underlying issues that have left emotional scars in order to find connection and peace.

I’m sure many women can identify with their spouse’s hobbies taking them away from their marriage (be it larp, golf, the X-Box …) – what inspired you to write this story?

I’ve had several people ask if my husband plays larpJ. The answer is no, but I’m certainly not always on friendly terms with his hobby: beer-league hockey.

I believe that we, as women, live a great deal of our lives post falling in love. I wanted to explore a reality that might be faced later on in an intimate relationship.

How long have you been writing?

I have been writing for 6 years. When it was first suggested to me that I should write a book, I was dismissive of the idea. I didn’t see myself as a creative person, but the idea took root. The more I explored storytelling and character development, the more important it became for me to pursue.

Being at home with young children was both rewarding and challenging. I felt run down and as though I didn’t have space or time for myself. Writing became a way to engage my brain in learning something new and exploring my creativity.

I hope your next novel is in progress! What can you tell us?

I can tell you that it is messy, but so was Out of Play 🙂

My current work-in-progress is about a single parent trying to balance competing demands on a very restricted income. Sound fun? Definitely not! So of course I have injected some laughter as she moves forward in love, life and motherhood. I’m having fun with this new character because she has a whole load of past hurts, habits and hang-ups to explore.  I’ve also got a cast of eccentric older women who are looking to my main character for sex and dating advice.

joy-norstrom-authorFinally, tell us something about you, who is Joy (other than a fabulous author, of course)?

Thanks for the kind words, Sarah!

First off, I’m this person with what my husband calls ‘fire in the belly.’ I tend to be loud and opinionated and not easily swayed. I often say things from the heart without analysing the long term consequences. People either like this…or they don’t!

We share our home with two daughters, who are night and day to each other. They are our raison d’etre.

We’ve two of the gentlest old lady sheep dogs and a pair of breeding finches. I confess to buying the birds while my husband was in Nevada on a boy’s golf trip. It might have been a mistake on my part…but these things happen in even the best marriages!

Thanks so much to Joy for visiting my blog today… everyone else: go buy her book 😉

Buy on Amazon >

Find Joy online: www.joynorstrom.ca

T: @norstrom_joy

F: facebook.com/joy.norstromaut

Jeff Gardiner’s new book: Pica

IMG_0971Today I’m very happy to welcome Jeff Gardiner – editor of my last 3 books – onto my blog for an interview about his new book Pica. I love Jeff’s writing and can’t wait to read this one…

What are the main ideas or themes in your book?

My new novel, PICA, explores the relationship between people and the natural world. Luke is a cynical teenager who is slowly introduced to the wonders of nature by an enigmatic young man called Guy, who seems to possess strange powers, such as shape-shifting. Luke discovers ancient secrets and magic that will change his life forever. The very future of planet Earth itself is in his hands.

What is the setting or context of the narrative?

Luke lives in an unspecified but typical British town. His family and school life will be familiar to most readers, and the narrative is set in the modern day. However, fantastic events begin to occur within this naturalistic setting. I want readers to believe in the reality of all that takes place. Even though some of the action is fantastical, the underlying theme and message is very real.

Tell us more about the main characters and their dilemmas:

Initially, Luke hates going on walks in the countryside, preferring to mess about with his air pistol or massacre alien species on computer games. When he first meets Guy he joins in the general bullying before witnessing the new boy’s strange control over nature. Luke is the character who changes the most. He has to decide whether to stick with his mates who are being mean to Guy – or turn his back on them and befriend the new kid. Making that decision rips his life apart…

Why did you write this novel? Any issues or ‘big ideas’ behind it?

PICA (which is the first book in the ‘Gaia’ trilogy) deals with environmental issues. Humans are slowly destroying planet Earth with our pollution, greed, consumerism, over-fishing and deforestation. Someone has to stand up to the politicians, multinational ‘fat-cats’ and world leaders.

How do you go about writing a novel? Is it a simple or complex process?

You have to think long-term when writing a novel. It’s very complicated, with many strands to consider. I spend some time planning and structuring what to write – with enough flexibility to include changes and new ideas. Then I find it’s best to just get on with writing – not worrying too much about editing at that point. I’ve come to realise that it’s important to get words on paper. I write the first draft (I’ve made that process sound simple – it isn’t: it involves a lot of sweat and tears and decisions to give up) and then I look at how the structure can be improved (particularly the beginning and ending), plus what else can be added. The next editing phase involves looking at what does NOT work and deleting or changing those sections. You have to be brutal and if you read something and remain uncertain about it, then it probably needs to go.

What advice do you have for less experienced writers?

Never give up and keep believing in yourself. If you don’t believe in yourself then nobody else will. Act professionally and take your writing seriously. Think long-term in your writing career too. Unless you’re very lucky (or a celebrity), it will take time and effort for you to establish yourself, or even to get published. Take rejections on the chin and don’t let the bastards grind you down.

Great answer! What are you working on currently?

I’m currently writing the third book in the ‘Gaia’ trilogy. Book two, Falco, is with the editor.

What would your perfect day be?

My perfect day would involve writing, as it’s what I love doing. I also enjoy being with my kids. So a walk in the countryside with my children, followed by a pub lunch with family and friends. Then the chance to write, whilst sitting by the beach or a lake, somewhere secluded. If I could fit in a rock concert or the chance to watch Liverpool win the FA cup then that works for me…

Name a book or a film that means a lot to you:

Smoking Poppy by Graham Joyce is a beautiful tale of a father whose daughter is caught smuggling drugs in Thailand and sent to prison there. So he travels to Thailand to help her. It’s a brilliant and emotional journey of love and reconciliation.

If you could leave a message to the world, what would it be?

Stop being selfish and think of others – especially those who are struggling. The real heroes of this world are selfless and compassionate; helping those who are disadvantaged.

Thanks Jeff, for visiting my blog!

More about Pica:

picanewrelPica explores a world of ancient magic, when people and nature shared secret powers.

Luke hates nature, preferring the excitement of computer games to dull walks in the countryside, but his view of the world around him drastically begins to change when enigmatic loner, Guy, for whom Luke is reluctantly made to feel responsible, shows him some of the secrets that the very planet itself appears to be hiding from modern society.

Set in a very recognisable world of school and the realities of family-life, Luke tumbles into a fascinating world of magic and fantasy where transformations and shifting identities become an escape from the world. Luke gets caught up in an inescapable path that affects his very existence, as the view of the world around him drastically begins to change.

Available now to buy from: WHSmith | Barnes & Noble | Amazon UK | Amazon US | Amazon Australia

Connect with Jeff:

Jeff’s website | Accent Press

More about Jeff

Jeff Gardiner is the author of four novels (Pica, Igboland, Myopia and Treading On Dreams), a collection of short stories, and a work of non-fiction. Many of his short stories have appeared in anthologies, magazines and websites.

Pica is the first in the Gaia trilogy – a fantasy of transformation and ancient magic, which Michael Moorcock described as “An engrossing and original story, beautifully told. Wonderful!”

“Reading is a form of escapism, and in Gardiner’s fiction, we escape to places we’d never imagine journeying to.” (A.J. Kirby, ‘The New Short Review’)

Visit Jeff’s website > and his blog >

 

Interview with author Isabella Louise Anderson

Today I have Isabella Louise Anderson joining me for an interview. Isabella’s novel The Right Design is out now, and I for one can’t wait to read it! Welcome to my blog, Isabella!

Firstly (I always ask this!) how long have you been writing fiction and what first inspired you? I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember, but didn’t really start taking it seriously until March of 2010. After I took a Gotham Writers’ Workshop class, I was inspired more than ever to become an author.

The Right Design Isabella Louise AndersonTell us something about The Right Design: In 2011, I wrote “The Right Design” during National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). It was my first time to try to win, and on day thirty, though I was exhausted, I was thrilled to say that I wrote a book in a month.

I see the novel is mostly set in Palm Beach, is that a favourite spot of yours? No, I’m more of a country girl, who loves living Texas, but since my family has a vacation home in Palm Beach, it seemed like the right place for the storyline to take place.

Tell us a bit about your main character, Carrie? She’s worked for everything she has, and is very successful in her career as an interior designer. Carrie is also very close to her sister and brother-in-law, and would do anything for them. Carrie is a very independent woman, though at times, and in certain situations, she can be vulnerable to a man. She’s the kind of woman who would like to give people a second and third chance, but after Roger cheated on her, she just can’t trust again.

And what about your next book, what can we expect? **SMILES** My next book, “Cards From Khloe’s Flower Shop” is very different from “The Right Design.”

Here’s just a quick summary:

“Florist owner, Khloe Harper is focused on creating original and exquisite arrangements for her clients, not upon the fact that she’s single. However, on one of her busiest days, Derek walks into her shop. He immediately mesmerizes her with his charm and striking good looks. The next day, he has to leave for an unknown amount of time. As they get to know each other through phone calls, emails, texts, Khloe can’t get him out of her mind, or a possible future together. However, her dreams of thinking she’d found the one are shattered when a woman’s voice answers his phone, leaving Khloe heartbroken.

Determined to get over Derek, Khloe concentrates on her work, and her customers: Gabriella, a widow who begins dating again; Richard, a married man who’s having an affair; and Connie, an insecure woman who sends herself flowers from her imaginary boyfriend.

What will Khloe do when she learns the truth about the woman on the other end of the line?; Will Gabby move on with her life, and accept a proposal?; What bomb does Richard’s wife drop on him, and will he try to save their marriage?; And will Connie’s lie be revealed?”

I’m can’t wait for this release, and am working really hard to make it the best it can be. I’m hoping to publish it at the beginning of 2015!

Sounds fab, I look forward to reading that too! Who’s your favourite author and why? Emily Giffin is my all-time favourite Chick Lit author. After I read her book “Something Borrowed,” I knew I’d finally found the genre that I loved to read, so I tried to write one. It didn’t work that well, but I kept trying, because it’s certainly not dying. 🙂

When you’re not writing, what do you like to do? Besides writing, I love to spend time with my hubby, our cat, and read! 🙂

Thanks so much for joining me, Isabella 🙂

About Isabella:

Isabella grew up with a book in her hand, and to this day nothing has changed. She is a member of the Romance Writers of America and has been featured on several blogs. While Isabella doesn’t blog a lot, she focuses her time on featuring other writers, along with working on her next book.

She created Chick Lit Goddess to share the love of the following genres: Chick Lit, Contemporary Romance, Romance, and Romantic Comedies!  She loves featuring authors and their books.

Currently, she lives in Dallas with her husband and cat. She enjoys spicy Mexican food and drinking margaritas, and can be found spending time with family and friends, cheering on the Texas Rangers, and reading.

Isabella’s short story, Meet Me Under the Mistletoe, was featured in Simon & Fig’s Christmas anthology, Merry & Bright, in November 2013. The Right Design is her first novel.

Visit Isabella’s website >

Connect on: FacebookGoodreadsTwitter.

Buy The Right Design:

Amazon – US: Kindle … Paperback … Amazon, UK …  Amazon, Canada … Barnes & Noble 

Guest post from author Miriam Drori: Arranged Marriage

Today fellow Crooked Cat author Miriam Drori is a guest on my blog. Her new novel Neither Here Nor There is out now.

Arranged Marriage

Miriam DroriIn modern western society, we tend to have a very romantic view of love and marriage. You meet a partner, you fall in love, you decide that this person is the only one in the world for you, you get married and you live happily ever after.

How often does that happen in real life? Not very often, it seems, if we look at the divorce statistics. I found some other interesting statistics:

55% of marriages worldwide are arranged.
90% of marriages in India are arranged.

So what’s so bad about arranged marriage? Why do we turn up our western noses at the very idea of such a practice? Do young people really know who will be suitable for them better than their parents or the matchmaker?

Before I go on, I should mention two disclaimers. Firstly, I’m not talking about forced marriage. Forced marriage, in my view, is wrong and should be condemned. Secondly, my husband and I met by chance and have been happily married for 36 years.

Amongst the haredi community (they’re the Jews whose menfolk wear black hats and black suits with tassels hanging down while the women always have their arms and legs covered) marriages are arranged, usually by a matchmaker. Couples are introduced, meet two or three times and then have to make a decision. How can they decide so quickly? I don’t know. But it seems this procedure generally works well.

In the musical Fiddler on the Roof, based on Sholem Aleichem’s story Tevye the Milkman, Tevya and Golda meet for the first time on their wedding day and gradually fall in love. In the song Do you love me? Tevye asks Golda if she loves him. At first she thinks he’s crazy, but then she realises that over the years she has come to love him. Far-fetched? I don’t think so.

Neither Here Nor ThereIn my novel Neither Here Nor There, heroine Esty has been brought up in just such a community and is expected to marry one of the men introduced to her by a matchmaker. Esty has other plans.

Bio

Miriam Drori was born and brought up in London, and now lives in Jerusalem where she single-handedly demonstrates female superiority against three males, now that her daughter has left home.

Following careers as a computer programmer and a technical writer, Miriam has been writing creatively for the past ten years and has had short stories published online and in anthologies. Neither Here Nor There is her first published novel.

Miriam began writing in order to raise awareness of social anxiety. Since then the scope of her writing has widened, but she hasn’t lost sight of her original goal.

Find out more

Visit Miriam’s website >

Neither Here Nor There is available from:

Crooked Cat Books >

Amazon UK >

Amazon.com >

Interview with author Nancy Jardine

Today I have fellow Crooked Cat author Nancy Jardine joining me for an interview.

Welcome, Nancy!Nancy Jardine

Firstly (I always ask this!) how long have you been writing fiction and what first inspired you?

I’ve been seriously writing fiction since 2008, the point at which I stopped teaching full-time and slid back to doing only 3 or 4 days a week.

However, my writing career started back in 1999 when I volunteered (read arm proverbially twisted) to write non-fiction historical teaching materials, which became my first published work. Then, in 2005, I was again ‘encouraged’ to write a non- fiction history of Kintore School. Kintore was the school I taught in, and is the village I currently live in. I spent yet another summer holiday writing the school history and loved it. I had to do some really interesting research for it since I’m not from Aberdeenshire, and was amazed to find there had been a ‘properly documented’ school in the village since the early fifteen hundreds- though there may have been some form of schooling even before that.

The reason, for penning the history book, was extremely important for my future as a fiction author. The Victorian school building was being knocked down, with a new purpose-built block replacing the old. The new site which lay directly to the rear was already known to be a site of archaeological importance. As such, a thorough ‘dig’  had to take place before any new building work could occur. The archaeological findings were stupendous. The Roman ‘Marching Camp’ had originally been estimated to house around four thousand soldiers. The ‘dig’  of 2002-2004 unearthed findings which upped the level of Roman involvement to perhaps ten thousand soldiers, deciding that it possibly had three Roman occupations at different times. That site lies around 400 yards from my house! I was inspired by the thought of so many Romans tramping my garden soil and had my current Primary 7 class (11-12year olds) write stories of local Celtic children and Roman invaders. Their stories were so brilliant I just had to write my own novels, and thus moved into the realm of fiction writing- again spending my school summer holidays scribbling away.

I have always enjoyed historical fiction, and am looking forward to reading your novels. How much research do you have to do when you’re writing?

The initial research for my Celtic historical novels was done when I was teaching my classes about Celts and Romans. What I used in class wasn’t really in much depth but being a ‘history junkie’ I’m constantly seeking out more and more about the fascinating era for my own learning. I didn’t have to do very much extra research for the time travel novel –Dabbling With Time (still unpublished)-which I wrote for early teens, and only needed to top up a little for The Beltane Choice (Crooked Cat Publishing). However, I’ve had to do a lot of in depth research for After Whorl: Bran Reborn, due for publishing on the16th December 2013, since I like to use as accurate a fact base as possible.

And what about your next book, what can we expect?

The third book in my Celtic Fervour series – After Whorl: Donning Double Cloaks  – will be published around March 2014 and this continues the story in book 2. For this, I was desperate to write about the Roman Campaigns of AD 78-84 when the Governor of Britannia -Gnaeus Julius Agricola – marched his troops northwards through what is now Yorkshire, over the borders into Scotland, and all the way up to Aberdeenshire. I think you might see a connection there since the book culminates in a very large battle in Aberdeenshire – The Battle of Mons Graupius. Not quite on my current doorstep but pretty near since the site of my battle is on the foothills of Bennachie, a range of hills only 9 miles away! (Bennachie is one of the official contenders for the battle site- the actual place not named in any ancient Roman documentation) I’m currently planning at least one more in my Celtic Fervour series, perhaps more.

I’ve also started the first of a Family Saga trilogy set mainly in Scotland which begins in 1845. I also loved teaching the Victorian era and equally love searching out more and more information for that, too.

Who’s your favourite author and why?

I don’t really have a favourite, I’m afraid. I love Jane Austen and Morgan Llywelyn but equally love Tolkein, and the Lyndsey Davis’ Falco series, which I found very funny when they were published years ago, and there’s Steven Donaldson, and Charles Dickens- the list is endless. I’m reading a lot of different genres, so the favourite author is sometimes the one I’ve just read- fickle that I am!

When you’re not writing, what else do you like to do in your free time?

I’ve a big garden which takes up a lot of my time and energy. I also have a two year old granddaughter who equally takes up a lot of time and even more of my energy since I officially child mind her a few days a week (unpaid of course – silly me!). If I have any time left in the evening, I read as much as I can. I feel very deprived if I don’t manage a good read. I don’t watch much TV now, only some BBC classic serials and history programmes. Sounds really boring but I’ve never been a soap fan, and can’t abide ‘fly on the wall/reality shows’. The news I don’t count, since that’s just something to catch, if possible.

What have you learnt since becoming a published author?

I’m working as hard as I did when I was teaching full time. I’m learning many new tricks for marketing and using social media (though it’s not my forte and probably never will be). As all writers likely say, the easy bit is creating the novel – the rest is hard slog, and maybe luck. Sadly, I’ve not got the luck down off pat yet, but I have been slogging! I’ve always been a fairly patient person but it was very frustrating while I was awaiting my first book contracts – so patience is another of those learned ‘things’  with regard to marketing progress.  Seeing the sales creep up slightly and then drop way down again on the Amazon rankings can be soul destroying, so I’ve tried not to look too often- another salutary learning curve. Another thing to learn has been the trick of writing Tweets. Not got the gist of that yet: mine tend to still be promotional, since I find time is not available for ‘chat’.

Tell us something about each of your books:
cover x 600

Monogamy Twist (The Wild Rose Press), my debut novel, is my version of a ‘Dickensian-style’ bequest of an old English estate. It’s a sensual ‘bosom heaver’, allusions to sex on almost every page (the way a friend described it) It’s an ancestral based mystery but since The Wild Rose Press only publish romance the romantic elements are strong. Take Me Now (also The Wild Rose Press) is a corporate sabotage mystery- highly sensual, but also intended to be funny. The main characters zip about in a floatplane from a Scottish island base and jet on to worldwide locations under some trying circumstances – but to tell you more would spoil the reading of it! I will say, though, that Barcelona and Paris are memorable, as are Tallinn and Muscat in Oman, but for all different reasons. My hero, Nairn, is my almost tongue-in-cheek contemporary version of the quintessentially highland hero- since being Scottish myself, I felt I wanted to write my own ‘take’ on the big brawny Scotsman.

The Beltane Choice (Crooked Cat Publishing) is the first of my Celtic Fervourseries of Celtic/ Roman Britain historical novels. Set in AD 71 Brigantia (modern day Yorkshire) it’s a romantic historical adventure – the Roman Empire encroaching on northern territory has dire effects on the previously warring tribes of the north. As you have read earlier, I absolutely love writing about this era. I’m pleased to say it’s garnering a nice crop of mainly 5 * reviews, though more is always very welcome.

Topaz Eyes (Crooked Cat Publishing) is my second ancestral based mystery, though the family tree created for this was deliberately far more complex than the one designed for Monogamy Twist. It could be termed a ‘sweet’ romance, with a lot of menace and intrigue, as the main protagonists gad about on a dangerous treasure hunt to find a long dispersed family jewellery collection which once belonged to a Mughal Emperor. There’s a lot of distrust before the ‘never-before-clapped-eyes-on-each-other-third generation cousins’ get their co-operative act together before any more people are harmed or murdered. Deadly deeds aside, there are some lovely locations in this one, too – particularly Heidelberg, Vienna, Amsterdam and Edinburgh cities I adore visiting. I’m totally delighted, and not too proud to brag that Topaz Eyes has been nominated for the Fiction section of The People’s Book Prize 2014. Any votes for this from your blog readers would be so welcome- pass on the message please, the more votes the merrier! (See, I’m trying harder with this marketing deal! 😉 )

Click here to vote! 

Thanks so much for joining me, Nancy 🙂

Sarah – It’s a real pleasure to nip down south to visit you today. Thank you for being part of my launch tour.  (I’ve been to Milton Keynes a couple of years ago, so know your locale a little bit too!)

Find out more about Nancy and her books:

After Whorl: Bran Reborn book trailer video

After Whorl: Bran Reborn is available for pre-order in paperback from Amazon UK, e-book available on the 16th December 2013.

Facebook Launch Party ** with giveaways**

triquetra chopped x 1000For a chance to enter the draw for a ‘triquetra’ necklace and other prizes join Nancy’s Facebook Launch party and look for details of how to win the prizes on offer.

Blog launch Tour **Special Prize**

A special Blog Tour ‘friend’ will WIN a mystery gift for the most commented visits to blogs during the launch tour for After Whorl: Bran Reborn. (i.e. most comments between 9th Dec and 18th Dec wins the prize)  To be sure you don’t miss any blog posts check Nancy’s Blog regularly between the 9th Dec and the 17th Dec.

About Nancy

Nancy Jardine lives in the fantastic ‘castle country’ of Aberdeenshire, Scotland, with her husband. She spends her week making creative excuses for her neglected large garden; doesn’t manage as much writing as she always plans to do since she’s on Facebook too often, but she does have a thoroughly great time playing with her toddler granddaughter when she’s just supposed to be ‘just’ childminding her twice a week.

A lover of all things historical it sneaks into most of her writing along with many of the fantastic world locations she has been fortunate to visit. Her published work to date has been two non fiction history related projects; two contemporary ancestral mysteries; one light-hearted contemporary romance mystery and a historical novel. She has been published by The Wild Rose Press and Crooked Cat Publishing.

Blurb: After Whorl: Bran Reborn

Ravaged by war

…AD 71. After the battle at Whorl, Brennus of Garrigill is irrevocably changed.

Returning to Marske, Ineda finds her grandmother dead, though Brennus is not. Snared by a Roman patrol, they are marched to Witton where he is forced to labour for the Roman IX Legion.

Embracing his new identity as Bran, Brennus vows to avert Roman occupation of northernmost Brigantia. Ineda becomes his doughty spying accomplice, though sometimes she’s too impetuous. Trading with the Romans lends excellent opportunities for information gathering. Over time, Bran’s feelings for Ineda mar with his loyalty to Ineda’s father.

When she disappears, and cannot be found, Bran enters direct service with Venutius,

Guest post from author Karen Martin

Today I welcome author Karen Martin to my blog. Her new novel Modogamous is out now, and I for one can’t wait to read it!

Over to you, Karen… Karen Martin

Dishin’ the Dirt on Me:  Entertainment!

I’ve been doing a lot of posts lately about writing and the book, so I thought it’d be nice to mix things up a little with some personal info. So here’s your chance to get to know me a little better, one of my favorite topics:  entertainment. Let me know your thoughts by leaving a comment! (By the way, leaving a comment is also how you enter to win a copy of my e-book, “Modogamous”…just sayin’!)

TELEVISION/MOVIES

Favorite New TV Show This Year: The Paradise! Love, love, love it—thank you, PBS. John Moray, you can take over my department store anytime. Lol. But really, it’s a great show. I’ve always loved period pieces, and it’s been awesome to have a series for a change instead of just movies. Although waiting every week for the next episode has been torture, in this day and age of instant gratification. Along the period piece lines, here are a few of my…

Favorite Period Movies:  the BBC version of Pride & Prejudice, Impromptu, Dangerous Liaisons (John Malkovich version), and what may be my all-time favorite, A Room with a View.

Guilty Pleasure TV Show:  It’s Survivor. What can I say, I freaking love it. I’ve spent some time in some pretty rough conditions (including two years as a Peace Corps volunteer on the edge of the Sahara desert in Morocco), so in a way, the show brings me back to that time. It’s also kinda fun to sit there and laugh at the contests eating bugs while you’re lying on your comfy couch eating a bowl of popcorn, y’know? Plus, Jeff Probst is a hottie. *grin*

Guilty Pleasure Movies: I like stupid movies that make you laugh:  The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Wedding Crashers, 50 First Dates, Superbad, Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle, Sixteen Candles, Weird Science, Monty Python’s Holy Grail (although that’s arguably a smart movie that makes you laugh)…that kind of thing.

BOOKS

Favorite Fiction Genre:  It’s probably Fantasy, believe it or not. I adore George R.R.Martin and will never fail to be astounded at what a master of plot he is. Another favorite is Guy Gavriel Kay; the books he writes are so elegant and poignant. Long ago, I used to read Terry Brooks, Roger Zelazny, Tolkien, and the like. And of course, my favorite series growing up was The Chronicles of Narnia. Those books still sit on my bookshelf today. I always loved the idea of whole different worlds out there, populated with fantastical creatures and awe-inspiring people with mystical powers.

Favorite Nonfiction Genre:  I probably read more books on personal development than anything (self-actualization / understanding yourself; creating the life you wish to live / positive thinking; spirituality / the personal mythos). And of course, in the last year, I’ve been absolutely consuming books on writing and publishing.

MUSIC

Favorite Music:  My favorite band in recent years has been Los Amigos Invisibles. Their shows are really high-energy and fun. I’ve also been to some fantastic concerts by Jonny Lang, The Smashing Pumpkins, and an absolutely sick DJ set by Moby in a club in Washington, D.C. a couple of years ago. I can’t say I’m up on truly current music, as I rarely listen to the radio. I work at home…no commute, so I really don’t even drive much of anywhere.

First Albums I Ever Bought: Cyndi Lauper (She’s So Unusual) and Twisted Sister (Stay Hungry) cassettes; bought ‘em on the same day.

First Concert: Def Leppard, with Queensryche opening, in Wheeling, WV.

What about you? What’s your favorite? 🙂

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ModogamousAbout Karen’s novel, Modogamous:

Kate Adams has it all figured out. Five years out of college, she’s got a steady job, a home she loves in the big city, and good friends who always keep her laughing:  her stylish but nosy roommate Evette, happily-married Cecie, and of course, good old Mitch, her seriously cute co-worker who’s been stuck in the Friend Zone since the day they met.

Everything is going just fine—until the night Kate crosses the line with Mitch, and the boundaries between friendship and love begin to blur. Things get even more complicated when hunky JP enters the scene. What’s a girl to do? Add to the mix a spunky little pug Kate never expected to fall for, and her neatly-ordered life is starting to look more like a dog’s dinner.  Maybe her roommate has the right idea after all:  forget the men, and stick with a canine companion instead.

It’s time for Kate to figure out what she really wants in life. But can she dig her way out of the mess she’s created before she ends up permanently in the doghouse?

Win a copy here >      Buy Modogamous from Amazon UK or Amazon US.

You can Karen on: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, GoodReads, and on her blog about writing, publishing, and literature.

Guest post from author Alissa Baxter

Alissa BaxterToday I welcome fellow author Alissa Baxter to my blog.

Have you ever dated a frog? Email Alissa to share your dating experience and stand a chance to win a free ebook copy of The Blog Affair. Competition closes on 7 November 2013.

Over to you, Alissa…

Thanks so much Sarah Louise for welcoming me to your blog, and letting me tell your readers about my latest book.

My second chick lit novel, The Blog Affair, has just been released by Decadent Publishing’s Ubuntu line – a new line that focuses entirely on African romance and stories set in Africa, which is exciting as Africa is quite an underused setting in the chick lit genre.

The first two novels I published were Regency romances, before I decided to branch into chick lit, and wrote a novel called Send and Receive, which was brought out by a South African publisher. The Blog Affair features characters from Send and Receive and is set in Cape Town. My main character, Emma Bradshaw, has a pattern for falling for unsuitable men and decides to start a blog about these so-called “serial datists” in order to make sense of her dating past.

Technology has changed the way we communicate with each other. On the one hand, social media is a very open platform where people often reveal intimate details of their lives. There is also a more secretive side to online communication, however, where people can post their innermost thoughts anonymously. This anonymous form of communication became the premise for my novel, and cyberspace is the place where Emma vents all her pent up feelings about the men she’s dated. However, when an anonymous male reader of her blog challenges her on her ideas about men, Emma realises she must confront her past before love can blossom again in her future.

The Blog Affair was such a fun book to write. Anyone who’s been on the dating scene knows that there are sometimes so many frogs out there that it should be called a dating pond rather than a dating pool! Emma’s blog called “Penelope’s Pantry” analyses the different types of men, and the ones it’s best to avoid.

The-Blog-Affair coverHere is an extract:

“For the past few weeks, she had been thinking a lot about changing her life, and had been toying with the idea of creating her own blog so that she could clarify her thought processes. She’d always kept a diary, and a blog, in a lot of ways, was an online diary—with the added benefit that she could interact with people online. The idea of venting her emotions in cyberspace was appealing, and in some way, symbolic of letting go…. And she certainly needed to let go.

She went through the blog registration process, and then frowned at the blank screen as she contemplated what she should write for her first post.

After a few moments, she started typing.

PENELOPE’S PANTRY

…A PLACE FOR YOU TO POINT OUT YOUR VIEW

Serial Datism

The first time I ever met a serial datist, I was nineteen years old. At that age, I wasn’t capable of recognising the warning signs of this particular species of the human male. Needless to say, I got burned. Badly.

Serial datism is a concept I’ve been pondering recently. And it’s something I hope to examine in this blog. Any comments from readers are welcome, therefore, as I attempt to shed light on a variety of the dating male that has me completely bemused.

The best way to do this, I’ve decided, is to debate in an open forum—where I, and any other participants in the discussion, can flick on the switch, in a manner of speaking, and illuminate the matter.

I attract serial datists, and so it is perfectly fitting that I should introduce this topic into cyber space. But this doesn’t mean I’m an expert at identifying them. You see, the tricky thing about serial datists is that they aren’t easily defined.

They come in many shapes and sizes and forms, and they may even mutate! They can start off in one form and end up in quite another shape and size within a small space of time. And therein lies their danger.

Okay—to introduce myself. I’m Penelope (well, that’s one of my names) and this blog is called Penelope’s Pantry, because like Penelope from ancient Greek mythology, I’ve had loads of suitors in my life.

And the pantry part? Well, a pantry is a dark storeroom, and this is where I hope to stockpile my thoughts and feelings and emotions. On neatly stacked shelves, of course. I’m a fanatically neat person, and like things to be tidy.

So let’s start at the very beginning (my ordered mind demands this) with a definition of a serial datist: He is a male who, like a bee, goes from one woman to the next, landing on each female blossom for a short period of time. When he leaves, he stings them.

But unfortunately, unlike a bee, a serial datist doesn’t die after he stings. He goes on to sting again and again, and the only way to kill him is to swat him, or stomp on him with your heel. Or leave out a bowl of sugared water in which he can drown. But, on second thoughts, I think the latter technique is for ants….

Be that as it may, before anyone starts wondering whether I’m a convicted killer, I hasten to assure you I am not. I’ve certainly felt a strong desire to stomp on the various bees that have entered my life, but fortunately for these creatures, the thought of killing causes me to break out in hives. Therefore, it is only a fantasy I have indulged in from time to time.

Now that we’ve cleared up the fact that I’m not a murderer, I would like to point out that the bee who delivers his nasty stings is the real killer in the scenario. Why? Well, it’s obvious. He kills your feelings, and leaves your emotions bleeding to death. Some more pedantic readers out there might point out that bee stings don’t cause you to bleed. So what—I’m using it in a figurative sense.

But, and here I’m not being figurative at all, bees can make you swell up. Besides the fact that their stings can cause you to comfort-eat, it is possible to develop a life-threatening allergy to them. And I’m afraid that’s what’s happened to me. I am allergic to serial datists AKA bees AKA Emotionally Unavailable Men.

But I’m jumping ahead of myself. That is simply one of the categories of serial datists. According to my calculations, there are at least four others.

Allow me to list them:

1) The afore-mentioned Emotionally Unavailable Male

2) The Wannabe Player

3) The Commitment-Phobe

4) The Bad Boy

5) The Misogynist (before he finds a woman to control)

I will be examining each category in more detail later. But in the meantime—any comments from readers on what I’ve already expounded are most welcome.

Posted by Penelope on Tuesday, July 8 at 08:32 p.m.

BLURB FOR THE BLOG AFFAIR:

Emma Bradshaw has a pattern of falling for unsuitable men and starts a blog about these so-called “serial datists”.  Her search for new beginnings takes her to Cape Town, where she gets a job working for sexy author, Nick Reynolds. When an anonymous male reader of Emma’s blog challenges her on her ideas about men, Emma realises she must confront her past before love can blossom again in her future.

AUTHOR BIO:

Alissa Baxter was born in South Africa, and grew up with her nose in a book on a poultry and cattle farm. After school and university, where she majored in Political Science and French, she published her first novel, The Dashing Debutante. Alissa travelled to London, England, and did an odd assortment of jobs while researching her second novel, Lord Fenmore’s Wager, which she wrote after she moved back to South Africa and settled in Durban. Alissa then relocated to Cape Town where she wrote her third novel, Send and Receive, before moving to Johannesburg, where she currently lives with her husband and son.

Connect with Alissa:

Facebook … Twitter … Blog … Good Reads … Website

Find The Blog Affair: Amazon.co.uk … Amazon.com

Interview with author Cat Lavoie

Cat Lavoie - Author Pic

Cat’s first novel, Breaking the Rules, is one of the best books I’ve read this year so if you haven’t read that yet, you’re missing out! Her second novel, Zoey & the Moment of Zen was released just this week, and I can’t wait to start reading it. Welcome to my blog, Cat!

Firstly (I always ask this!) how long have you been writing fiction and what first inspired you?

Thank you so much for having me, Sarah Louise!

It feels like I’ve been writing fiction forever—either writing stories when I was a child or trying to write a novel when I was in my teens. I’ve always loved books and hoped one day I’d get to see my name on one. Thankfully, my first attempt at novel writing never saw the light of day. (It was awful.) I was in my twenties when I started working on (what would eventually become) Breaking the Rules.

As the world now knows, I loved Breaking the Rules – what made you decide to set it in New York? Is it a place you are particularly fond of?

Breaking the Rules CoverThank you! I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

When I started writing Breaking the Rules, I hadn’t visited New York City yet but I was fascinated by the bright lights and the energy. After visiting for a few days, I fell in love with the city and knew it was the perfect setting for Roxy’s story.

Tell us something about your new novel, Zoey and the Moment of Zen:

Zoey & the Moment of Zen FINALZoey & the Moment of Zen is the story of a woman who is sent to a tropical resort by her friends and family to get over an ex-boyfriend. She meets—and has a whirlwind relationship with—a man who looks exactly like her ex and she must convince everyone that she has finally moved on. It won’t be easy, especially since she’s not the only one who has trouble letting go of the past.

Who do you think you prefer, personally, Zoey or Roxy?

Such a tough question! I love them both but, if they were real people, I think I’d get along with Zoey a bit better just because we have a similar sense of humour. Also, Zoey owns a coffee shop so I’d probably get to enjoy a few cinnamon lattes on the house. (And maybe a muffin or two!)

Did you find it easier or harder to write a second novel than the first?

I found my second novel easier to write because I was a bit more confident and I also knew which mistakes I didn’t want to repeat. But, while I was writing, I was also nervous about how it would be received and if those who enjoyed my debut would also like this one. (I’m a worrier—I don’t think I’ll ever be able to write a novel without being afraid of everyone hating it!)

And what about your next book, what can we expect?

I’m still in the outlining stage but I’m very excited about this new project. It’s the story of a woman going through a sort of quarter-life crisis and—when she starts making changes in her life—it only makes things worse. There’s an evil co-worker and a hot chef so I’m having a lot of fun with it!

Who’s your favourite author and why?

It’s so hard to pick just one because I have so many favourites! Sophie Kinsella is pretty high up on the list. Confessions of a Shopaholic was my introduction to chick lit and, after reading it, I knew chick lit was the genre I was meant to write.

When you’re not writing, what do you like to do?

If I’m not reading, writing or doing anything book-related, I’m probably watching TV or shopping online. Or I’m on Pinterest. Or Facebook. Or Buzzfeed. I need to get out of the house more!

 Tell us something about your cat!image

Abbie! She’s an awesome cat. (I’m sure everyone says that about their pet, right?) I adopted her from a shelter over ten years ago and, at first, she was really mean and used to bite and scratch. But, over the years, she’s become one of the most affectionate cats I’ve ever encountered. She’s friendly with everyone and loves being cuddled. Writing with her around can be a bit of a challenge since she likes to sit on my keyboard or my notes but, more often than not, she sleeps next to me and purrs softly while I write. Until she’s hungry and then I have to drop everything. A (mostly perfect) writer’s cat!

Thanks so much for joining me, Cat 🙂

ABOUT CAT:

Cat Lavoie lives in Montreal, Canada with her tempestuous cat, Abbie. Her debut novel, Breaking the Rules, was published in August 2012 by Marching Ink. If Cat isn’t reading or writing, she’s most likely watching too much TV or daydreaming about her next trip to London. Her second novel, Zoey & the Moment of Zen, will be released in October 2013.

Connect with Cat!

Visit her website

Connect on: Facebook, or Twitter

Amazon.comAmazon UK Author Page

ZOEY & THE MOMENT OF ZEN

When coffee shop owner Zoey Everwood takes her obsession with ex-boyfriend Braden too far, everyone—except Zoey—is convinced a bit of fun in the sun at the Moment of Zen Wellness Resort will help her get over him once and for all.

But Zoey’s relaxing vacation turns out to be anything but peaceful when she meets Shane Lawson, a resort guest who bears a striking resemblance to Braden. And things get even more complicated when the resort’s owner starts spilling secrets about Zoey’s aunt Nessa, the woman who raised her. Add a snarky Wellness Coordinator and Nate Holmes—Shane’s grumpy friend—to the mix, and you’ve got the recipe for a perfect tropical storm.

When Zoey comes back home with a new husband instead of tacky souvenirs, she must convince everyone she hasn’t completely lost her mind. As Zoey and Shane struggle to keep the magic alive outside the resort, Zoey discovers that she isn’t the only one having trouble letting go of the past. And when Nate drops a bombshell that changes everything, Zoey must decide if the old saying is true—what happens at the Moment of Zen stays at the Moment of Zen.

Interview with author Patricia Mann

Today I have author Patricia Mann joining me for an interview.

Welcome, Patricia!

Firstly, how long have you been writing fiction and what first inspired you?

Is This All There Is? is actually my first stab at fiction! I’ve always kept journals and loved writing nonfiction. I used to envision writing self-help books and in some ways, there is a hint of that in Is This All There Is? I tried to tell the story of a good woman who makes a terrible mistake, in part because it might prevent others from making that mistake. I also hoped it might help those who have made the same mistake with healing and forgiving themselves. Many readers have told me that the book reads like nonfiction, that it seems too real – maybe because a lot of it is drawn from my own life, but not all of it, of course.

iTaTI-CoverI’ve been to your site just now to read the blurb for ‘Is this all there is’ and I’m already intrigued and adding to my reading list! Tell us about the inspiration behind it:

Thank you for adding it to your reading list! That means a lot to me. Many years ago, I was a tired, busy, overwhelmed wife and mother of two working one part-time job as a university professor and another as a consultant. I needed a creative outlet. A friend recommended a writing group. I decided to give it a try. It became the air I needed to breathe. I attended every week for four years. Not surprisingly, the story that came out of me was about a woman who is a tired, busy, overwhelmed mother of two working part-time as a university professor. The part where she gets drawn into an affair with a sweet, sexy former student was all her idea.

And what about your next book, what can we expect?

My mother and I are writing a book together and we’re having so much fun! She’s getting ready to retire from over 30 years as a critical care nurse and has the most jaw-dropping stories. I can barely type fast enough to capture all the shocking details as they pour out of her. I’ve always been a fan of shows like Grey’s Anatomy and ER, so writing about some of the most heartbreaking and miraculous medical stories my mother has seen is incredibly exciting. Everything in the book is based on true stories from my her career. Crazy stuff! I’m writing the romance part, with her support as well, because she’s a great writer. Our nurse has a steamy secret relationship with the hot ER doc, but he doesn’t seem as ready as she is to commit, so we’ll see where that goes. So far, I’m having the best time writing about the great sex they have. I almost couldn’t do it when I had to send my mother the first sex scene. But she loved it and encouraged me not to hold back in upcoming chapters. Whew! We’re shooting for a release date in early 2014… fingers crossed.

How wonderful, to write with your mother. Who’s your favourite author and why?

It’s strange, but I don’t tend to read multiple books by one author. I like to read a little of everything. So, I don’t exactly have a favorite author. But I do have a favorite book. It’s The Mists of Avalon, by Marion Zimmer Bradley. Reading this version of King Arthur’s tale transported me back in time. I was absolutely obsessed with it both times I read it. In my dreams (sometimes even while awake) I became a priestess with magical powers, just like the women of Avalon and Camelot in the book. I was also Sir Lancelot’s love interest, of course. I’ve just never found another novel so rich with imagery or a story so filled with riveting stories and characters.

How and when do you write? Tell us about your routine.

Sometimes I write my home office, but I don’t feel too inspired there. Maybe all the household chores pulling at me sap my creativity. I love writing at this little health food restaurant I sometimes bring my laptop to. Coffee shops work for me too. Something about being able to take little breaks to people watch or daydream without anything else that needs to be done nearby helps me stay focused for longer.

What have you learnt since becoming a published author?

Great question! These are all great questions! I’ve learned that hearing from readers who were deeply moved by my book makes up for the fact that it doesn’t make money. I’ve learned that there is a world full of talented authors out there to connect with, learn from, and support, which has been more rewarding and wonderful than I ever could have dreamed. I’ve learned that I must be a real writer because even though my first book hasn’t been a huge success by most standards, I’m excited to start my second and wouldn’t trade the experience of publishing my first for anything in the world! I’ve also learned a ton about social media and love playing with readers and writers online regularly!

I loved your blog post about what you’d tell your 20 year old self! What’s your one tip for a happy life?

Love yourself first. Do whatever it takes to be as proud as you can of how you spend your time, how you treat yourself and others, how you look, how you feel, and your goals in life. When that self-love is strong and emanates from your being, everything else will fall into place. Seeking your core of happiness from a relationship, title, or possession is a recipe for disaster.

Thanks so much for joining me, Patricia 🙂

Thank you, Sarah, for these fantastic, personalized questions! I love engaging with authors who I admire and I absolutely can’t wait to read both Amy & Zach as well as Izzy’s Cold Feet!

Is This All There Is? 

Beth Thomas has the perfect life. At thirty-five, she’s married to her college sweetheart, has two adorable kids, and teaches part time at the local university. But when a friend persuades Beth to go dancing on a rare night out, a chance meeting with twenty-one-year-old Dave, one of her former students, changes the course of her life. Loud music, too much to drink, and the thrill of feeling young again lead to an unforgettable kiss that was never supposed to happen. As she tries to put the memory behind her, Dave’s pursuit leaves Beth torn between what her mind says is right and what her heart and body crave.

Buy from Amazon UKAmazon US.

Patricia Mann Bio: Patricia Mann is a university professor and the owner of a communication consulting firm. She lives in California with her husband, their two kids, and a sweet, silly old dog.

Find out more at her website.

Interview with author Zanna MacKenzie

Today I have fellow Crooked Cat author Zanna Mackenzie joining me for an interview.

Welcome, Zanna!   ZannaM scale

Firstly (I always ask this!) how long have you been writing fiction and what first inspired you?

I’ve always wanted to write but I started out with writing non-fiction, then tried short stories and progressed to novels. I probably started writing my first novel about six years ago. I was in the middle of the Writers Bureau Comprehensive Writing Course and when I started the fiction modules I had to plan and plot a novel, develop characters etc for the various writing exercises and from that my first attempt at a novel was born.

I loved ‘How do you spell love’ – how much research did you do about magic before you wrote it?

Quite a bit – I love doing research though! I’m one of those people who love gathering together all the facts and getting them in order, making sense of everything. I read a lot of books on white witchcraft, crystals, folklore, herbs and aromatherapy. It was great fun.

I’m also looking forward to reading your second novel (it’s on my Kindle already!) – which did you write first and which protagonist do you prefer, personally?

The Love Programme was the second book I’d ever written ( the first book is currently undergoing major editing in the hope it might see the light of day as a published book at some point!) and it was published at pretty much the same time as How Do You Spell Love? (which was the third book I’d ever written) but with a different publisher.

Regarding a favourite protagonist, I think there’s probably quite a bit of ‘me’ in Lucy, the protagonist in The Love Programme including the fact she’s a travel agent (which I used to be) and she loves Scotland, so I’d probably choose Lucy as I can identify with her a bit more than Kat in How Do You Spell Love.  Astraea Press has recently published Back To Square One, my novella prequel to The Love Programme, and it was fun to be back in ‘Lucy’s head’ again when I wrote the novella. I’m even thinking about writing a sequel to it as well!

And what about your next book, what can we expect?

Not sure to be honest, it depends if the publishers like the books or not! I have one completed novel which is currently being considered by a publisher, another novel being revamped for sending out for consideration, another  is about half written and I need to get back into finishing that, whilst another one is outlined and has about 10,000 words of scenes written.  The books are all still within the same chicklit genre but there’s no magic or spell casting in any of them this time around -not so far anyway!

Sounds like you have been busy! Who’s your favourite author and why?

Oh, tricky one. I don’t think I have a favourite author anymore. Years ago, before I started writing and subsequently reading across a wider genre, it was Jill Mansell and Sophie Kinsella. Nowadays I’ve discovered so many amazing authors out there I couldn’t pin down a favourite. At a push I could probably give you my top 3 favourite recent reads…Martina Reilly, Even Better Than The Real Thing; Roisin Meaney, One Summer;  Paige Toon, Pictures of Lily.

I loved Pictures of Lily too… How and when do you write? Tell us about your routine.

I tend to have bits of ideas for plots, scenes, dialogue and characters pop into my head all the time – including the middle of the night, whilst burning (sorry, cooking) the dinner and walking the dogs.  When inspiration strikes I write the ideas down in a notebook so I don’t forget them, then type them onto the computer. I’m a self-employed editor/proof reader for business publications so the day job has to take priority but I try whenever possible to keep Fridays as a writing day when I can type up my notes and hopefully manage to write a few thousand words as well. I’m currently coping with the dreaded writers block so my notebook hasn’t been opened for a few weeks but I’m hoping to get back into the swing of things soon – I miss writing and escaping into the world of whichever book I’m working on!

What have you learnt since becoming a published author?

That finishing writing the book is just the beginning! After that there’s trying to get the book published, if you’re lucky enough to get to that stage then there’s the working with your editor and lots and lots of edits! After all of that there’s preparing your action plan re promoting the book and then hosting the launch and frequent blog hopping and social media activities to help with promotion too.  The past year has presented me with a staggeringly steep learning curve and I’ve still lots to learn but I feel privileged to have the opportunity!

I know, like me, you’re an animal lover! Tell us about your babies.
SONY DSCSONY DSC

We have 4 dogs, all Labradors. Tobi is 8, Meg is 6, Moss is 2 and Cassie is 10 months. The dogs are all working gundogs (my husband trains and works them) except for Tobi who is the boss and does exactly want he likes regardless of what we ask him to do! When we got Tobi we hadn’t got a clue about training him and consequently he’s always done pretty much what he wants. We learnt a lot from that and the other dogs do actually listen to us – well, some of the time…

Thanks so much for joining me, Zanna 🙂

Read Zanna’s interview with me, here.

Find out more about Zanna at: www.zannamackenzie.co.uk

How Do You Spell Love scaleHow Do You Spell Love?

Make A Wish…

Kat can’t help wishing there was more to life than this. What happened to her dream job? What happened with Nathan?

Summer is wondering where her life is going too… battling the developers of a controversial housing estate and working out why boyfriend Rob is increasingly distant.

When the developers win the battle and move into town everyone’s life is turned upside down.

Kat meets building site project manager Alex. She enjoys his company far too much, even though he’s on the town’s most hated list.

Summer meets Tom who has plenty of relationship troubles of his own, so things could get really complicated.

Soon everyone is keeping secrets, lives change and hearts are broken. Is everything falling apart, or does life just work in mysterious ways…

Find out more and download:

Crooked Cat Publishing * Amazon UK * Amazon USA *