A Lover of Books

Interview with Daniel Ingram-Brown

Photo taken by Raj Passy

I would like to introduce you all to Daniel Ingram-Brown.  Daniel has a new book coming out soon and was interested in being interviewed.

 

Firstly, you mentioned that you have a new book coming out in May. Can you tell me a little bit about it please?

Yes, it’s called The Nemesis Charm. It’s the second book in The Firebird Chronicles series. The first book, Rise of the Shadow Stealers, came out in 2013. The Nemesis Charm continues the story of Apprentice Adventurers, Fletcher and Scoop. They train at a school called Blotting’s Academy, where all Story Characters go to be trained. The departments at Blotting’s Academy orbit around different types of story – so, for example, Apprentice Heroes train in the Department for Overcoming Monsters and Apprentice Spell-Shakers in the Department of Seasons. Fletcher and Scoop are part of the Department of Quests.

Book Cover

When the story starts, the two Apprentices are enjoying life. They’ve been at the Academy for a year – their Beginning year – and are just about to move into their Middle year. They’re well known and well liked at the Academy, almost having celebrity status because of their exploits in the first book. But all that is about to change. The Storyteller (the mysterious king of the island where Blotting’s Academy is based) has become aware of a sickness that is threatening Fletcher and Scoop’s world. It’s been slowly seeping through the sea, causing many in the surrounding islands to fall into a deep sleep, from which they cannot be woken.

The Storyteller has discovered that the sickness is spilling from a doorway that has opened up in the sea, a Threshold between worlds. He knows that if he is to save his own world, he must find somebody to cross that doorway, to reach the source of the sickness and bring it to an end. He knows that to send somebody on such a quest is tantamount to sending them into the mouth of death itself, but it has to be done. And the Storyteller has two people in mind for the task – two children. I’m sure you can guess who they are!

As you might have picked up, The Nemesis Charm (and the whole of The Firebird Chronicles series) is about stories. Stories are the magic in Fletcher and Scoop’s world. This second book in the series is about the battle to control the doorway through which the sickness is spilling. Whoever controls that doorway will control the story itself and will hold the destiny of that world in their hands.

 

How long did it take you to write?

It took me about three years – not working on it constantly (I’ve had lots of other projects on in that time too), but it was about a three year process in all.

 

How many more books in the series are there to come?

There’s one more book in this series – Fletcher and Scoop’s Ending year.

 

Can you relate to any of your characters at all?

I think I relate to a lot of them. In many ways, all the characters in a book rise from the author’s subconscious, so they all express a part of me. If I had to pick one though, I’d probably pick Fletcher. He doubts his core identity. He struggles to accept that at heart, he’s a redemptive figure. That’s probably a struggle I have too, perhaps we all do. It’s the struggle to see the good in ourselves, as well as have an awareness of our faults and failings. Fletcher’s also moody and lacks social skills – I think I was like that when I was a teenager! He’s sharp, though. He sees things for what they are, he’s just not always good at dealing with that sensitively. These days, I think I’m a little more like Scoop – friendlier and more rounded! I hope so. Perhaps it’s good to have a mix of both of them!

In terms of who I’d like to be (I realise you didn’t ask that, but your question got me thinking…) I’d like to be like the Yarnbard or the Storyteller – those wise older characters who handle the seriousness of life lightly and in a playful way, who carry paradoxes in themselves and so are able to hold the world together. But I also know that there’s a side of me like Grizelda too – the manipulator, lurking in the shadows. She’s a side I’m trying to shed, although she is great fun to write!

 

Will you be having a book launch?

I will! It’s on 27th May at Waterstones in Leeds, as part of the Leeds Big Bookend Festival. There’s going to be live music and free drinks. I’ll be reading from the book, being interviewed, and there’ll be a Q&A. I can’t wait! (https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/book-launch-for-the-nemesis-charm-by-daniel-ingram-brown-tickets-23707953126)

 

Who designs your book covers? 

A designer employed by my publisher, Our Street Books (an imprint of John Hunt Publishing). I’m lucky enough to have quite a lot of input in the cover, though. The ship image and the dark colours were something I had in mind right from the start. I think having an image in mind helps me to find a direction and feel for the book. I know what the image for the third book will be already…

 

I see that you are also a playwright.  What sort of projects do you get involved in?

I’ve mainly been involved in small-scale touring; big community productions, or journey based performance. In fact, journeys as a motif is probably the thing that ties all my work together. At the moment, I’m Artistic Director for Suitcase and Spectacles Children’s Theatre. We have a one woman show that tours to schools – it’s a classroom show. Everything comes out of an old suitcase (including a ladder – I like the shows to feel magical). At the end of the performance, the classroom is transformed, with a sort of tree having emerged from the suitcase. It’s great fun. Our next show is going to be a stage adaptation of Rise of the Shadow Stealers! The other production I’m working on at the moment is a journey based performance of Wind in the Willows – the audience walk from a castle, down along a river to a stately home, and along the way meet Toad, Mole, Ratty and Badger. I wrote the adaptation and am directing the show. It’s on in August. Hopefully it’ll be sunny!!

 

How long have you been a playwright for?

I started writing plays after university, when I set up my first company – that was about nineteen years ago now.

 

Where do you get your ideas from?

Everywhere – walking, films, people, books, philosophy, dreams. That’s the great thing about ideas, they’re always leaping out at you!

 

Describe a day in your life?

My days are always different. I find myself leading workshops, designing books or fliers, organising events, chairing meetings, directing actors, applying for funding (boring), writing in cafés or in my little office at home, meeting people.

On a good day, I get to the gym and spend some time in silence. Everything else is up for grabs!

 

Who are your favourite authors?

Philip Pullman, C.S. Lewis, Umberto Eco, Salman Rushdie, Neil Gaiman – those authors that ask big questions about life, but deal with them in playful ways.

 

About Daniel Ingram-Brown

Born in East London, Daniel now live in Knaresborough, in a house built from the stones of the town’s ruined castle.

As well as being an author and chair of the Leeds Big Bookend Festival, he works in the field of performance and is currently Artistic Director of Suitcase and Spectacles Children’s Theatre.

Daniel enjoys leading workshops and giving author talks in schools, and has led numerous community theatre projects that explore how stories shape us and what mark they leave on the places we live.

Daniel is interested in exploring philosophical and spiritual questions in fun and engaging ways that inspire children and adults to think and to wonder.

 

Links

Author’s Website – www.firebirdchronicles.com

Publisher – http://www.ourstreet-books.com/authors/daniel-ingram-brown

Facebook Page – www.facebook.com/danielingrambrown

Twitter – www.twitter.com/daningrambrown

 

Cover Reveal – ‘Escape to the Riviera’ by Jules Wake

Book Cover

I have another cover reveal for you today.  ‘Escape to the Riviera’ is being published on the 30th June 2016 by Avon as an eBook and in paperback.  I have already totally fallen in love with this gorgeous cover.  With it’s lovely scenery and colours it is absolutely stunning.  Read on to find out more about this book.

 

Book Blurb

In St Tropez, anything can happen…

Carrie Hayes leads a perfectly nice life, with a perfectly nice job, and a perfectly nice boyfriend called Alan.

But Carrie’s life wasn’t always like this. As a young, wild drama student, she married fellow actor, Richard Maddox, after a whirlwind romance. Life back then was full of possibilities and when Hollywood beckoned, Richard followed, leaving her behind.

Now an A-list superstar, Richard’s life couldn’t be more different to Carrie’s, so when their paths cross in glamorous St Tropez, she can’t help but wonder what might have been.

But with lovely, sensible Alan in tow, Carrie knows she needs to do the right thing. The only problem is, Carrie and Richard never quite got round to getting a divorce…

Lose yourself this summer on the French Riviera – the perfect read for fans of Lucy Diamond and Jane Costello.

 

‘Escape to the Riviera’ can be pre-ordered from Amazon UK:-

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Escape-Riviera-perfect-summer-read-ebook/dp/B01BB1XLL6?ie=UTF8&keywords=jules%20wake&qid=1462036804&ref_=sr_1_1&s=books&sr=1-1

 

 

Cover Reveal – ‘No Turning Back’ by Tracy Buchanan

Book Cover

I am delighted to be taking part in this cover reveal.  ‘No Turning Back’ is being published on the 28th July 2016 by Avon as an eBook and in paperback.  This book sounds really good and is one I am planning to read.

 

Book Blurb

You’d kill to protect your child – wouldn’t you?

When radio presenter Anna Graves and her baby are attacked on the beach by a crazed teenager, Anna reacts instinctively to protect her daughter.

But her life falls apart when the schoolboy dies from his injuries. The police believe Anna’s story, until the autopsy results reveal something more sinister.

A frenzied media attack sends Anna into a spiral of self-doubt. Her precarious mental state is further threatened when she receives a chilling message from someone claiming to be the ‘Ophelia Killer’, responsible for a series of murders twenty years ago.

Is Anna as innocent as she claims? And is murder forgivable, if committed to save your child’s life…?

 

‘No Turning Back’ is available to pre-order from Amazon UK:-

http://www.amazon.co.uk/No-Turning-Back-Tracy-Buchanan-ebook/dp/B01BB1VMKI?ie=UTF8&keywords=tracy%20buchanan&qid=1461951070&ref_=sr_1_4&s=books&sr=1-4

 

 

Guest Post by Pamela Holmes

Author Picture

‘The Huntingfield Paintress’ is being published on the 2nd May 2016 by Urbane Publications.  The author, Pamela Holmes has written a guest post which I am very happy to be able to share on my blog.  There is also a chance to win copies of her book at the end.

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Don’t Ask Them

I probably did many things wrong when raising our two boys. But one mistake I did not make was to ask: ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’  I winced when a friend or relative, seeking to find something to say to awkward teens, posed that most dreaded of questions.  Why my dislike? Because I know there is no answer. What we want to be and to do changes as we go along, and that is to be applauded. For our lives and our wishes and even our skills change as we age. I have always feared that a child or teenager, keen to provide a polite answer to a polite question, may settle with equanimity, even relief, on an automatic reply, putting in place an assumption about what they ‘will be’ or ‘will do’ that he or she never re-visits.  How many lawyers and bankers and dentists have wandered into those professions because their mother or father did that job? Or worse, felt pushed to follow in the family business or job, having never asked themselves what they wanted?

Behind the question is an assumption that there is only one answer. But these days more of us are living longer, healthier lives so why should we settle to one profession or job or work type? Due to finances, health, caring responsibilities, even boredom – the prompts are myriad – many of us will change what we do and do so happily. I have worked as a farmhand, nurse, journalist, TV presenter, campaigner and dementia trainer. I am now embarking on a career as a novelist. My first book, The Huntingfield Paintress, comes out in May when I will be 61 years old. It is based on a true story, a Suffolk Victorian vicar’s wife who created a medieval ceiling, a fresco of angels and saints, in her parish church over a six year period starting just before she turned 50. As Mildred Holland worked from 1859 onwards, she would have been considered bonkers to risk life and limb painting up a ladder at this age.

Of course many people start writing in later life, and thank goodness for it. Diana Athill, Penelope Fitzgerald and Frank McCourt are examples of three people who, after employment or child-rearing or teaching, embarked on highly successful careers. Martin Amis may have argued that writers lose their edge once they reach old age (although I do not understand how he can deny that Tolstoy, Goethe, Yeats wrote with virtuosity as they aged) but he cannot challenge the fact that increasing numbers of people begin successful writing careers in later life.

Writing is not the only imaginative endeavour which marinates with experience and understanding. Many of us in the UK are engaged in creative activities but I wonder how many would have predicted in earlier years that this would be the case? So don’t ask the young what they want to be when they grow up. It assumes that we human beings stop developing and changing and growing as we go along.  I don’t want to do that. Do you?

 

Links

‘The Huntingfield Paintress’ is available as an eBook from Urbane Publications and the paperback can be pre-ordered – http://urbanepublications.com/books/the-huntingfield-paintress/

Can be pre-ordered from Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Huntingfield-Paintress-Pamela-Holmes/dp/1910692662/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1461510776&sr=1-1&keywords=the+huntingfield+paintress

Author’s Website – http://www.pamela-holmes.com

 

Competition

Book Cover

Matthew Smith of Urbane Publications is very kindly giving away three copies of ‘The Huntingfield Paintress’.  To enter just leave a comment telling me why you want to read this book.

 

Terms and Conditions

This competition is open worldwide.

The closing date is 11:59 p.m. on the 9th May 2016.

The winners will be notified of their win within 7 days of the closing date and their details passed on to Matthew Smith who will arrange to have the prizes sent out.

 

Good luck!:-)

Cover Reveal – ‘Time After Time’ by Hannah McKinnon

Book Cover

This is the gorgeous cover for ‘Time After Time’ by Hannah McKinnon.  It is being published as an eBook on the 2nd June 2016 by Maze.  Read on to find out more about this book.

 

Book Blurb

Hayley Cooper, a powerful but now struggling lawyer, fantasizes about what her life would be like if only if she’d made different choices. It’s understandable; the past two years have been hell. She barely sees her kids, her boss is trying to sabotage her, and her marriage is falling apart.

Burnt out, Hayley goes to sleep wishing for a different life. When she wakes up married to her first boyfriend, one she has not seen in over twenty years, she realizes there might be some truth in the saying “be careful what you wish for”. Over a single weekend, like Ebenezer Scrooge, Hayley gets to see her life on other side of the white picket fence – not just with her first ex, but with each of her past loves. But is the grass always greener, and will she ever want to go home?

 

‘Time After Time’ can be pre-ordered from Amazon UK – http://amzn.to/1T74GfS

Hannah McKinnon is on Twitter – @MrsElectrilight

 

Interview with Zara Stoneley

Author Picture

Today I have an interview with Zara Stoneley, author of ‘Stable Mates’ and ‘Country Affairs’ for you.  Zara’s new book (the third in the Tippermere Trilogy) is coming out soon and I wanted to know more about it.

 

Can you tell me a bit about the type of books you write please?

One reviewer said ‘Think Bridget Jones in the Country’ which is pretty accurate! I like to think they’re a more modern take on Jilly Cooper books – less intense, with a lot more humour and strong independent women – but still lots of sexy men! I hope they make you laugh, cry, and cross your fingers for the perfect romantic ending. They’re set in the Cheshire countryside so there are stately mansions, dashingly handsome men, horses and dogs, but also footballer’s wives, celebrities and a good dollop of sex, secrets and scandals!

 

What’s your new book, ‘Country Rivals’ about?

Country Rivals is the third Tippermere book (but you don’t need to read the other books in the series to enjoy it – they are all standalone). After a fire at her ancestral home, Lottie’s wedding business has to be put on hold, and she desperately needs to find a new source of income – but she’s got bride-to-be’s on the warpath, a film crew causing mayhem, scandalous reports in the press, marital problems and family tragedy – so life is far from straightforward. The race is on to see if she can see through all the deceptions, come up with a plan, and work out what she really wants before it’s too late – and she loses her husband as well as her home.

 

When is it due out?

The ebook is out on 26th May 2016 (you can order it now), and the paperback on 11th August.

 

How long did it take you to write and was any research involved?

It’s taken about 6 months to write. I live in a village, and have always had horses and dogs, and know lots of wonderful characters ranging from competitive horse riders to farmers, and a nearby village is home to lots of celebs including footballers, so I didn’t need to do too much research! A friend of mine is involved with the Cheshire Polo Club, so I did go along to a few matches and chatted to some of the players.

 

Where did you get your ideas from for this book?

The initial idea for Country Rivals came from a real-life event – when a disgruntled guest at a function set fire to a country house hotel (which happened to be a castle) near here. In the second Tippermere book, Country Affairs, my heroine Lottie had set up a wedding business in her stately home (Tipping House) – I wondered what she’d do if this happened to her, if her business, and the means of keeping the family estate going, went up in flames? I then threw in a film crew (because there is so much filming goes on around here – check out the gorgeous Lyne Hall which was used for Pride and Prejudice for example), a man from Lottie’s past, some scandal (there is always lots of gossip in villages), and some emotional turmoil… and there you go!

 

What’s next for you writing wise?

My next book is a bit of a departure from my Tippermere books, its set in two locations – a UK country village and Barcelona in Spain. If you loved the film ‘The Holiday’, this could be the book for you! It’s already up for pre-order on Amazon and you can find it here.

 

Have you got any pearls of wisdom for anyone thinking of writing a book?

Know your characters before you start, set yourself deadlines and targets (even if it’s only 100 words a day), believe in your story.

 

Will you be doing any book signings?

I will – but I’m afraid dates aren’t finalised yet. I will be updating my Facebook page and website soon!

 

Describe a day in your life.

Coffee. Sit down and write at least 500 words. Breakfast. Write until lunchtime. Jog (this is new for me and I’m trying hard to keep it up!). Have a snack, catch up with emails and social media. Write any blog posts I’ve promised. Then mid-afternoon onwards I get back to my story and write until I run out of steam (which can be 6pm or late into the night!). At some point I fit in an evening meal and a TV break – which is when I tend to get more inspiration, so end up grabbing my laptop again.

If my son is home from Uni, or I’m in Barcelona with my husband, then mealtimes tend to be more rigid and I quit my desk mid-afternoon. We usually then go for a nice long walk along the beach.

 

Who are your favourite authors?

I’d hate to try and single out one or two as I do like to discover new authors. I love reading, my TBR pile is a dangerous thing, and I read all kinds – whatever suits my mood, sometimes a thriller, another day something light and funny, one day a full blown romance, the next a bonkbuster…

 

What three things could you not live without?

My family, coffee and something to write with.

 

Country Rivals eBook

Book Blurb

A hilarious, sexy rom com for fans of Jilly Cooper and Fiona Walker!

Dashing eventer Rory is ready to button up his breeches and settle down. His gorgeous wife, Lottie, wants a bank balance in the black so she can protect the beautiful family estate for future generations.

But with the wedding business at Tipping House going up in flames, and rumours that it was arson not accident, Lottie begins to wonder who she can trust with her future.

Tranquil Tippermere is under siege as movies moguls and insurance investigators invade the countryside, and as events gather pace rescue plans start to look too good to be true, and intentions may not be as honourable as they seem.

As a moody, but definitely marvellous, polo player enters the fray and squares up to the eventing hero of Tippermere, does Lottie stand to lose her husband as well as her home?

‘A great treat for readers…jam-packed with sexy men and horses.’ Bestselling author Fiona Walker

 

Author Bio

Zara was born in a small village in Staffordshire, educated in Cheshire, and went on to study at Liverpool University. After a successful career as an IT consultant, she decided to follow her heart and ran a dog grooming business for several years before becoming a full-time writer.

Her fun, romantic, romps draw on her experiences of village life, and her various love affairs with dogs, cats and horses. These days if she’s not at her laptop, you can usually find her trudging across fields on foot, or sat on the back of a horse.

Zara divides her time between a country cottage in Cheshire and an apartment in Barcelona. Her most recent novels include the popular Stable Mates, Country Affairs and Country Rivals.

 

Links

You can buy ‘Country Rivals’ from Amazon or visit Zara’s website to see all buy links.

And you can grab the other Tippermere books (all the books can be read independently) here –

Stable Mates’   –    ‘Country Affairs’    –     ‘A Very Country Christmas’ (FREE!)

 

Find out more –

Website     Twitter    Facebook    Amazon    Pinterest

 

Cover Reveal – ‘Milkshakes and Heartbreaks at the Starlight Diner’ by Helen Cox

Book Cover

I am delighted to be taking part in this cover reveal today.  It’s a very retro cover isn’t it?  I love all the sparkle.  ‘Milkshakes and Heartbreaks at the Starlight Diner’ is being published as an eBook only on the 4th July 2016 by Maze, the digital-first imprint from Avon Books.  Read on to find out a bit more about this book.

 

Book Blurb

Next time you’re in New York, take a turn off Broadway onto East Houston Street.

There, you’ll see it: The Starlight Diner. A retro eatery curious enough to delight tourists and locals alike. Fifties tunes stream out of the jukebox long into the night, and it serves the tastiest milkshakes in the five boroughs.

Esther Knight waitresses at The Starlight Diner. She’s sharp, sarcastic, and she’s hiding something. Nobody at the diner knows why she left London for New York – or why she repeatedly resists the charms of their newest regular, actor Jack Faber.

Esther is desperate to start a new life in the land of the free, but despite the warm welcome from the close-knit diner crowd, something from her past is holding her back. Can she ever learn to love and live again?

 

‘Milkshakes and Heartbreaks at the Starlight Diner’ is available to pre-order from Amazon UK – http://amzn.to/1Xp5mB8

Helen Cox is on  Twitter – @Helenography

 

Blog Tour – ‘In Her Wake’ by Amanda Jennings

Blog Tour Poster

I am absolutely thrilled to be part of this blog tour.  ‘In Her Wake’ has already been on one hell of a journey this year and it’s only April.  It’s been published as an eBook, limited edition hardback of which I am the proud owner of a copy and now it’s out in paperback as well.  How amazing is that!

Imagine living your life and then one day discovering that it was all a lie and that you are not who you think you are.  Unthinkable isn’t it?  That’s exactly what happened to Bella.  When a tragic family event turns her whole world upside down, Bella makes the decision to find out the truth.  After a bit of digging around she embarks on a trip to Cornwall where past betrayals and 25-year-old mystery threaten not just her identity, but also her life.

You know when you open a book, read the first page and you know straightaway that it’s for you?  Well, I can’t tell you just how much I enjoyed ‘In Her Wake’.  It’s a truly wonderful and beautifully written story which I absolutely loved.  Full of twists and turns and shocking revelations it kept me reading and dying to know what was going to happen next.

There were some interesting characters in this story.  I really wasn’t too keen on Bella’s husband David though.  He was a control freak and that together with the suffocating childhood she had did nothing to really help Bella, though at the time I guess she wouldn’t have seen it that way.  I think she was very brave to go it alone and discover the truth for herself.  It helped her grow as a person.  What Henry and Elaine did was totally wrong and not acceptable at all but as you’ll find out later there was a reason why they did what they did.

I enjoyed reading about Cornwall where the story is mostly set.  It sounds beautiful and is a place I would really like to visit one day.

I have already read a number of great books this year but ‘In Her Wake’ is definitely on my list of favourites.  This is one brilliant psychological thriller which I won’t forget in a hurry.

I give this book 5 out of 5.

 

About Amanda Jennings

Author Photo

Amanda Jennings made her literary début with the internationally bestselling novel Sworn Secret. Her second book, The Judas Scar, was optioned by a film and television production company shortly after release. She is fascinated by the ways people react to trauma and deal with its long-lasting effects, and also the complex relationships within a family unit. She used to work at the BBC, but now writes full-time and looks after her three daughters and a menagerie of animals. She writes a popular blog and is a regular guest on BBC Berkshire’s Book Club. She enjoys running writing workshops, is a judge for the Henley Youth Festival creative writing competition, and is involved with the Womentoring Project, which offers free mentoring by professional literary women to talented up-and-coming female writers who might otherwise not have access to such an opportunity. She is a regular speaker at festivals and book events, combining her childhood love of the stage with her love of writing. She likes to be active, preferably beside the sea or at the top of a snow-covered mountain, and when she isn’t writing she can usually be found walking her dog and enjoying the peace and solitude of the great outdoors.

 

‘In Her Wake’ is available to buy from Amazon UK – http://www.amazon.co.uk/Her-Wake-Amanda-Jennings-ebook/dp/B016721USK/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1460204931&sr=1-1&keywords=in+her+wake

 

 

Blog Tour – ‘The Magic Touch’ by Kelly Florentia

Book Cover

‘The Magic Touch’ is Kelly Florentia’s debut novel.  It was published on the 24th March 2016 by Accent Press in both eBook and paperback.  I’m thrilled to be taking part in this blog tour for which Kelly has written a guest post.

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They say that you should write what you know. I thought long and hard about this before I penned my debut novel, The Magic Touch. I didn’t want to base it on personal experience because then it would be more of a memoir, plus my life is far too dull to write about. I enjoy the research aspect of writing fiction and I like to inject my stories with a little bit of magic. But I also love to write about issues that readers can resonate with, to a point – I’ve done this with my short stories quite successfully. However, during the initial draft of my book, I realised that you do need something solid, a first-hand knowledge. So, I weaved in a Greek Cypriot family and set the story in north London. I then drew my inspiration from my curiosity with the paranormal and my interest in social and emotional issues, and went with it.

But my initial inspiration came from mobile phone applications. Everywhere you look these days people are glued to their phones, trawling through one app or another – playing games, checking the weather report, looking up recipes, posting tweets and Facebook updates. The list is endless. When I first bought my iPhone the seller told me that I’d absolutely love it – ‘It’ll do everything for you,’ he said, ‘it’ll even make you coffee.’ We both laughed. Then one evening it occurred to me, what if there was an app that could predict your future with alarming accuracy, what then? And The Magic Touch was born.

In the story, we follow Emma King, a 39-year-old divorcee who has just turned down a champagne-fuelled marriage proposal from her partner of five years, Harry Georgiades. The morning after seems to dampen his disappointment and all is well in Emma’s world. But when she accidently stumbles across a flirtatious text message on Harry’s mobile phone, her suspicious barometer goes from zero to a hundred in nanoseconds. Her mission? To get to the bottom of his secret affair with the help of her friends and psychic app, The Magic Touch.

The process of writing and researching this novel was a remarkable experience, and I hope that readers will enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

 

About Kelly Florentia

Author Picture

Kelly Florentia was born and bred in north London, where she continues to live with her husband Joe. Her debut novel The Magic Touch was released on 24th March 2016. Her second novel Broken will be published on 20th August 2016.

Kelly has always enjoyed writing and was a bit of a poet when she was younger. Before writing her first novel, she wrote short stories for women’s magazines. To Tell A Tale Or Two… is a collection of her short tales. She is currently working on her third novel.

 

Links

Buy from Amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Magic-Touch-Kelly-Florentia-ebook/dp/B01A71UKT2/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1457972874&sr=8-2&keywords=kelly+florentia

Author Website: http://www.kellyflorentia.co.uk

Social media:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Kelly-Florentia-1682213928702931/?ref=bookmarks

Twitter: @kellyflorentia

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kelly-florentia-39ab764?trk=nav_responsive_tab_profile

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kellyflorentia/

Pinterest: https://uk.pinterest.com/kell9f/

 

Blog Tour – ‘The Father’ by Anton Svensson

Blog Tour Poster

Today sees the start of the blog tour for ‘The Father’ and I am very excited to be one of several book bloggers kicking it off.  Published by Sphere in paperback on the 24th March 2016, I was kindly sent a proof copy to read and review.

‘The Father’ is a work of fiction, inspired by the shocking true story of three brothers who came to be Sweden’s most wanted criminals.  In the early 1990s they committed a total of ten bank robberies in just over two years.  All under 24 years of age, they had never before done anything against the law.

In this intoxicating and heart-breaking thriller, the fourth brother, who was aware of what was going on but was not involved in the robberies, tells the story of three boys who grew up from innocent children to become public enemy number one, and of the father who made them that way.

This was my very first experience of Swedish crime fiction.  I was interested in giving this book a go especially when I saw that it was based on true events.  ‘The Father’ is quite a long book and I didn’t really know how I would get on with it but I soon found myself getting into the story.

I thought ‘The Father’ was very well written.  I found it to be an exciting, intriguing and addictive read.  It’s a story about sticking together as a family, brotherly love and the complex relationship between a father and his sons.  Leo was always so protective and loving of his two younger brothers, especially Vincent, his baby brother.  There was a lot of violence in this story and occasionally I had to put the book down for a little while as there was so much going on in my head, but I was soon back reading it.

Split into four parts, this book goes back and forth between the present and the past, the now and then, telling the story of the three brothers and their childhood.  As children they witnessed things they really shouldn’t have had to.  Their innocence was taken away from them at a young age by their father, Ivan, a hard and brutal man who believed in being able to protect yourself with your fists.  Perhaps he thought he was doing the right thing in teaching his eldest son, Leo, how to fight back.  I have to say I did wonder at times why so much emphasis was put on the brothers’ childhood, but as I saw later this was a very necessary part of the story.

‘The Father’ is the first part of a two-part series, with the second part, ‘The Son’ to be published in hardback in 2017 which I am looking forward to reading.

I give this book 4 out of 5.

 

Author Biography

‘Anton Svensson’ is a pseudonym for Stefan Thunberg and Anders Roslund.

Stefan Thunberg is one of Scandinavia’s most celebrated screenwriters. His body of work spans popular TV-series such as Henning Mankell’s Wallander and Håkan Nesser’s Van Veeteren as well as two of Sweden’s biggest box office successes in recent years: Hamilton and Jägarna 2. While Thunberg achieved fame as a screenwriter, the rest of his family became infamous in an entirely different way: his father and brothers were Sweden’s most notorious bank robbers, dubbed Militärligan (The Military Gang) by the media. The Father is Stefan Thunberg’s debut novel.

Anders Roslund is an award-winning investigative journalist and one of the most successful and critically acclaimed Scandinavian crime writers of our time. Roslund is part of the New York Times bestselling author duo Roslund & Hellström, who are recipients of many prestigious awards, including the CWA International Dagger, the Glass Key and the Swedish Academy of Crime Writers’ Award, and who boast sales exceeding five million copies. Films and TV series based on Roslund & Hellström’s novels are in the works, both in Hollywood and Europe. The Father is Anders Roslund’s seventh novel and the first he has co-authored with Stefan Thunberg.

 

‘The Father’ is available to buy on Amazon UK – http://www.amazon.co.uk/Father-Made-Sweden-Anton-Svensson/dp/0751557811/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1459172753&sr=1-1

 

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