Friday, 11 May 2018

Ace of Shades Blog Tour

Hello everyone and welcome to my stop on the Ace of Shades blog tour! Today I'm hosting an extract from the book and a chance for you to win a copy over on Twitter!

Intrigued? Don't miss your chance to win! 

Make sure you check out the rest of the blog tour

Thursday, 10 May 2018

The Beast's Heart Blog Tour

Hello everyone and welcome to my stop on The Beast's Heart blog tour! Today I was supposed to be hosting a review for this beautiful book however I haven't received my copy, it seems to have gone astray off having its own little adventure, so I'm improvising with five reasons I can't wait to read The Beast's Heart (when I do finally get my hands on a copy!)

1.) Fairytale retellings are my thing. I love seeing what unique spin each author puts on their retelling. I love all of the little nods that pay homage to the classic and the new twists and additions their story takes on. My favourite fairytale retellings have to be The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer, her books are a perfect example of fairytale retellings done right!

2.) I'm a big fan of all fairytales but Beauty and the Beast is my favourite and has been since I was a little girl. I've always related to Belle, with her endless curiosity and love of books and I still want to be her when I grow up. Even as an adult I'm still madly obsessed with Beauty and the Beast. I have everything from funko pops, to t-shirts, to my very own Chip mug!

3.) I first heard about The Beast's Heart back last summer when they handed out the beautiful purple proof copies at YALC and since then I have been counting down the days to the books release. If you haven't seen the proof editions you need to Google them - they're so, so pretty!

4.) Unlike a lot of Beauty and the Beast retellings, The Beast's Heart is told from Beast's point of view! I've never come across this before and I'm so excited to read from his side of the story.

5.) The final cover. Seriously? Does this need any more explanation? Just look at it! If that doesn't draw your eye in a bookshop I don't know what will!

 Hopefully I'll get a copy soon so I can review it for you guys 
but until then make sure you check out the rest of the stops on the blog tour!

Friday, 4 May 2018

I Was Born For This Blog Tour

Hello everyone and welcome to day two of the musical I Was Born For This blog tour! The way this works is each host is hosting a song chosen by Alice Oseman herself from the I Was Born For This playlist with a little bit of info on how it connects to the book. We're then adding our own song to create one epic giant YA playlist that celebrates fandom so make sure you stop by each day to get the full playlist!

Alice's Choice: Starz In Their Eyes – Just Jack 
This song could have been written for I Was Born for This. The lyrics explore the fleeting and sometimes traumatising nature of fame and being put in the spotlight. That’s definitely something IWBFT’s boyband narrator, Jimmy, is struggling to deal with throughout the book! “Since you became a V.I. person / it’s like your problems have all worsened” could be I Was Born for This’ tagline…


My Choice: Castle On The Hill - Ed Sheeran 
Hands down my favourite artist is Ed Sheeran. I've followed him since his days of posting on MySpace so it's amazing to see how far he's come in the industry. Last year I finally got to see him perform live on his Divide tour and the first song he played was Castle On The Hill which is my personal favourite from the album. I'm going to see him at Wembley next month and I can't wait! 

Make sure you follow the rest of the blog tour 
to hear all of the songs from the playlist!

Friday, 13 April 2018

Our House Blog Tour: Q&A With Louise Candlish

Hello everybody and welcome to my stop on the Our House blog tour! Today I'm interviewing the wonderful Louise Candlish about Our House, writing and life as an author.

Q1.) Hi Louise, welcome to the blog! Can you tell us a little bit about Our House and what sparked the idea behind it? 

Thank you for having me! Our House is a thriller about property fraud inspired by the growing number of news reports about conveyancing crime. That was the starting point, then I created a bespoke crime, one that hinges on the fact that a married couple is in the process of separating. My couple, Bram and Fi Lawson, set out with the best intentions for conscious uncoupling, but end up in the most horrific danger.

Q2.) What can fans of your previous books expect from Our House?

They can expect the same irrepressible social commentary! There was a lot to sink my teeth into with this one. Anyone who enjoyed The Sudden Departure of the Frasers will recognise Our House as a development of the cautionary note I tried to strike there about our dangerous love of property. Fi has a line where she says if she had her time again she would concentrate less on her house and more on the people in it. That’s the message in a nutshell.

Q3.) What’s been your best moment as an author so far?

It’s hard to beat the moments when you see your book in a chart alongside one of your literary heroes. If feels like it must be some sort of fantastic accident. From a technical point of view, the best moments are when your plot is all tangled up and you know it needs something very clever to release it and then you finally have that moment of solution. You feel like a genius. (It doesn’t last.)

Q4.) What does your typical writing day look like? 

I’ll work for about five hours during the day, then, if I have a deadline, I’ll do a few more hours in the evening and at weekends too. For the last seven years, I’ve structured my day around dog walks. I’m simplifying this: in reality, I’m easily distracted and work time is fractured.

Q5.) Do you have any advice for aspiring thriller writers?

I’ve been very instinctive in my thriller plotting, so I might not be the best model to follow. I’m anti-formulaic and quite rogue, which is probably not what they teach you on courses. I would say that mood and voice are as important as the technical plotting. The key is the central idea, so read widely to expose yourself to all the stranger-than-fiction stuff going on in the world. Almost anything can be reconfigured as fiction.

Q6.) What books would you recommend to fans looking for stories similar to your own?

I’m not sure who is similar but I can tell you which current British suspense writers I really like: Clare Mackintosh, Fiona Barton and Harriet Lane. With each, you’ll get a combination of mystery and psychological dissection. On my TBR rock and calling like sirens are Gillian McAllister, Erin Kelly, Mark Edwards, CL Taylor, Amanda Jennings, Louise Jensen, Liz Nugent and BA Paris. I’m always behind with my reading and genuinely ashamed about it as other authors are incredibly generous and supportive.

Q7.) Can you tell us a bit about what you’re working on next?

I’m just finishing the first draft of a novel about a group of neighbours obsessed with a newcomer to the street, who has destroyed the perfect suburban lifestyle they’ve created for themselves. When tragedy strikes, the police try to discover if they’ve plotted to kill him.

Q8.) And lastly, what three words best describe Our House

Homeowner’s worst nightmare.

 Don't miss the rest of the blog tour!

Wednesday, 28 March 2018

The Fear Blog Tour: Q&A with C.L. Taylor

Hello everyone and welcome to my stop on The Fear Blog Tour! Today I'm so excited to be interviewing one of my favourite thriller writers C.L. Taylor where we're talking about trauma, writing inspiration and being a bestselling author.

Q1.) Hi C.L. Taylor, welcome to the blog! I absolutely loved The Fear, what sparked the idea behind it? 

Hi Jess, thanks so much for having me on your blog.

I’d had the basic idea for The Fear for a while but it wasn’t until last year that it all started to come together. Without wanting to give too much away I wanted to write a novel about the power play between a prisoner and their captor but, when I sat down to write it I realised I had the back story all wrong. Instead of my main character confronting the man who was responsible for her sister’s disappearance eighteen years earlier she would be confronting the man who groomed and seduced her as a teenager and convinced her to run away to France with him. The idea immediately appealed. It was so much more powerful and – importantly to me – unusual than my original idea. There was one particularly high profile news story about a school girl who ran away with her teacher that dominated the paper for months. I was interested, not so much in the grooming angle, but on the impact that experience would have on the girl as she became a woman and started relationships with other men.

Q2.) What can fans of your previous thrillers expect from this one?

The Fear is slightly different from my other books (where women find themselves in strange or dangerous situations) because Lou actively goes after Mike, to confront him for what he did to her when she was fourteen. She’s the strongest, most pro-active female character I’ve written so far, although she’s also quite vulnerable. I also write from the point of view of Wendy and Chloe, the other women in the book and I think what makes the book quite powerful is that each of their stories are gripping and unusual and, when they all meet for the first time…well, that would be telling.

Q3.) The characters in your books typically deal with some sort of trauma and this is especially the case in The Fear, how do you get into that mind set to be able to write their stories? 

You’re absolutely right about that, my poor characters! When I start writing my books I normally know what each character wants (their goal), what their flaw is and what they fear. I spend a lot of time thinking about their past. What happened before the stories starts that made them the way they are? We’re all the result of our childhood and the relationships we’ve had since, whether we like it or not and I spend a lot of time thinking about my character’s pasts. Once I know all that it’s normally time to start the first draft. I think this is true of most writers but, when I write from the point of view of my characters, I become them. I see what they see, hear what they hear, feel what they feel. That makes writing traumatic scenes from their point of view really emotionally taxing because I’m feeling their fear, anticipation or dread. To get myself in the mood to go to a dark place in my mind I often write those scenes at night, with a couple of candles burning and some atmospheric instrumental music playing. Afterwards I’ll leave my study and go and watch something light hearted on the TV to try and shake myself back out of the character.

Q4.) Last year you released your first YA book The Treatment do you have any plans to return to the genre? 

I do! I’ve got a two book contract with HarperCollins HQ for young adult thrillers and, hopefully, I’ll be writing the second one this year. It’s going to be a little tricky through as the publishing process for the adult psychological thriller I’m writing now goes on until mid-September so I’ll have to try and write the young adult book in the two week gaps where my editor’s doing her structural and line edits or the copyeditor is doing her thing.

Q5.) What’s been your best moment as an author so far? 

I’m very lucky in that I’ve had a lot of amazing experiences since becoming an author in 2009 and it’s hard to pinpoint just one. Holding my debut in my hands for the first time has to be a highlight. So is winning a Dead Good Books award for The Escape last year, and being presented with Specsavers Nielsen Book Awards for The Accident and The Lie this year. Oh, and being able to give up my day job to write full time was a dream come true. So maybe that.

Q6.) Do you have any advice for aspiring thriller writers? 

Watch your pace and keep the action going. I get sent a lot of proofs and I can’t possibly read them all. As a result I’m pretty brutal about putting a book down when I get bored and picking up another. There are a couple of reasons why I get bored:

1) Too much description

2) Not enough action

3) Too much (character) reflection

4) Too much repetition (of how a character is feeling or summarising events I’ve already read about)

5) The plot is predictable or OTT

Each scene in your book should move the plot forward or give the reader a valuable (not redundant) insight into a character. As my author friend Julie Cohen says ‘make shit happen’. When I read through my own first drafts I always mark on the page (or use Kindle notes) when I feel my attention waver or I’m bored and want to stop reading. If I feel like that the chances are the reader feels like that too. Inevitably the reason I’m bored is that there hasn’t been any interesting action for a while so it’s time to cut or rewrite that scene.

Q7.) What books would you recommend to fans looking for stories similar to your own?

There are so many brilliant psychological thriller authors out there that I always feel bad when I answer this question in case a friend sees it and thinks, ‘why didn’t she mention me?’ But I do see certain similarities between my style and Mark Edwards’, and Tammy Cohen is the queen of a twist ending. Oh, and I hugely recommend Lisa Jewell’s psychological thrillers. They pack an emotional punch as well as being gripping reads.

Q8.) Can you tell us a bit about what you’re working on next? 

Not really as I’m only 24,000 words in and I’m superstitious about talking about a book before I’ve finished it in case it takes some of the magic away. But it will be the first of my books with a single word title and I’m hoping it will appeal to readers who really loved The Lie.

Q9.) And lastly, what three words best describe The Fear

Tense, claustrophobic and gripping.

 Don't miss the rest of the blog tour!

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