A Lover of Books

Archive for the month “November, 2013”

‘Trinity’ by Nigel May

Trinity

Nigel May asked me if I would like to review his book.  ‘Trinity’ is his debut novel and it is a right sizzler.

Regan Phoenix, Anoushka Silvers and Evie Merchant are the very best of friends.  They call themselves the Trinity and are certain that they will always stick together and that nothing will spoil their friendship no matter what life throws at them.

Regan’s mother Montana is a rich and famous actress who has never cared much about her daughter, preferring instead to put her career and men first.  As a result Regan has become something of a wild child, drinking and sleeping around.  Anoushka or Nush as she is called is a gossip columnist for her father’s newspaper.  She knows that her dad doesn’t really want her.  Evie has always dreamt of being a famous actress and she manages to achieve her dream, even though she has a lot of heartache along the way.

In the world of glitz and glamour things are about to change big time for the three friends and certain events will test their friendship.

I wasn’t really sure if I would like this novel, but I actually loved it.  The writing style was great and there was a lot more to the story than I thought there would be.  Quite a few of the chapters ended at really interesting points which left me totally intrigued.  I wanted to know what was going to happen to each of the three main characters straightaway.

Full of twists and turns this story has it all; scandal, stalkers, blackmail, money and lots of sex.  It’s a thrill a minute and is guaranteed to give the reader hours of pure pleasure and entertainment.  I can’t wait to read Nigel May’s next book.

I give this book 5 out of 5.

For more information about Nigel May and any new books check out his website:

http://www.nigelmay.net/writing

‘The Christmas List’ by Chrissie Manby

Christmas List

I loved the sound of ‘The Christmas List’ and was really interested in reviewing it.  Chrissie Manby kindly sent me a copy of her new novella when it was ready.

As children, Milly Arnold and her sisters always made a Christmas list on the 1st of December which was then sent off to Santa via the chimney, a family tradition continued by her married sister.  Milly who has always loved Christmas is especially looking forward to it this year, but things change within minutes when she unexpectedly gets dumped.

The last thing Milly wants to do on the 1st of December is go to her elder sister’s house for lunch, but she doesn’t really have a choice.  When her nephews sit down to write out their Christmas lists they insist that she also does one.  Milly doesn’t really expect to get any of her requests, but just goes along with it.  However, things can work in mysterious ways.  Will Milly find the happiness she truly deserves?

I really enjoyed ‘The Christmas List’.  Though predictable in places this was a magical little read.  I recommend getting a copy of this novella.  It’s bound to get you in the mood for Christmas.

I hope Chrissie Manby writes more novellas like this.

I give this book 4 out of 5.

Book Launch: ‘Nine Lives’ by Terry Tyler

Nine Lives

Terry Tyler has written several novels and her first book ‘You Wish’, was the winner of the ‘Best Women’s Lit/Chick Lit’ category in the eFestival of Words 2013.  I reviewed ‘You Wish’ last year and you can read what I thought here:-

https://aloverofbooks.wordpress.com/2012/10/14/you-wish/

Terry’s novels appeal to lots of people.  They make for addictive reading and deal with a number of everyday real life issues.

Never failing to surprise her readers, Terry has now tried her hand at writing short stories.  Her brand new book ‘Nine Lives’ is officially out this Wednesday and for five days, yes FIVE WHOLE DAYS, everyone has got a chance to download her new book for free.  Just click on the links below from Wednesday 20th November onwards.

UK Readers

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Nine-Lives-Terry-Tyler-ebook/dp/B00GQFDSI4/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1384768774&sr=1-1&keywords=Nine+Lives+Terry+Tyler

US Readers

http://www.amazon.com/Nine-Lives-Terry-Tyler-ebook/dp/B00GQFDSI4/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1384774808&sr=1-1&keywords=Nine+lives+Terry+Tyler

To learn a bit more about Terry click on this link to go to her Amazon page:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Terry-Tyler/e/B00693EGKM/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1384802076&sr=8-2-ent

If you do read ‘Nine Lives’ remember to leave a review on Amazon.

Interview with Alan Williams

alan_contrast2 (2)

Last week I reviewed Alan Williams debut novel ‘The Blackheath Séance Parlour’.  He very kindly agreed to an interview which can be read below.

Have you always wanted to write?

Always. I sent my first completed novel to a literary agent at the age of 13 and got a very kind letter back from them encouraging me to continue writing. I found it last year in my parent’s loft. I’d forgotten everything about it – it was dreadful, but full of adventure and a 13-year-old’s excitement. You could tell even at that age, the writing process excited me. I remember spending hours writing it in an attic trying quite hard to craft something readable.

If I was marooned on an island or locked in a prison for years as long as I had paper and a pen or the means to make my own, I’d be fine. My pockets are always full of pens and scraps of paper.

Are you interested in the spirit world?  If so, have you ever been in contact with a loved one?

While I was researching the book I met a lot of psychics. Every single one, except for one was a fake or dreadful, one of the two. But one told me very specific and very accurate things. She told me what I kept in a middle drawer of my wardrobe (I keep two little glass lamps of sentimental value in there wrapped and stored safely away). She also told me where I’d put something for safekeeping that I thought I’d lost which was also accurate. I got a bit of a jolt when I looked where I was told and there it was.

I’ve not tried to contact a loved one. I think the dead should be left where they are but sometimes things happen and I wish I could tell them about it. For example, I had an uncle that I was very close to. He died out of the blue on my 30th birthday with me at his side. I have always liked Olivia Newton John and so did he. It turns out that a restaurant we used to eat at regularly together in Cardiff was originally her living room. Neither of us had any idea at the time. That would have tickled him pink.  Those are the moments when I’d like to reach out.

Describe a day in your life.

I get up about 9, cup of coffee, then walk out of my gate onto Blackheath. The heath changes whatever mood you are in almost instantly. I think the trouble with London is people get used to seeing only streets and people and roads. You become less used to seeing far away and more used to concentrating on what’s immediately around you. Walking onto Blackheath is like being plopped down in a green desert – the part I live anyway. All around you is wide open, no people, not many cars, just wide skies, endless green and too many evil-looking crows giving you the eye, By the time I reach the top of the hill leading down into Greenwich where I work, I’m happy.

Work chugs along. I’ve done the same thing for the last 12 years so I’m a bit autopilot now. If it’s slow, I write. Afterwards, I sometimes go to the gym, though I’ve not been for about three months. I give myself the “you have to start back” lecture at least twice a week. I will go back, I promise.  Then I try to cram in a quick hour at my allotment. I am aiming to be self sufficient vegetable and fruit-wise for the entire year – I just need a bigger freezer.

After a shower its head-down, battle the rain and the wind on the heath and head to the Hare and Billet pub. I try to get there an hour before everyone so I can write. There’s nothing like a cold pint of lager, a half empty pub and being able to write uninterrupted.

At weekends I write up everything I’ve written into pads all week and knuckle down to about six hours of writing a day.

On the book jacket it says you are writing your second novel.  When is it due out?

Since completing Séance Parlour I have written two novels. Once I finish them I put them aside for six months and forget about them. Then I pick them up, re-read them and if they are good then I begin the rewrite. I am currently halfway through the rewrite on my second. I am hoping to have it completed and with my agent by January 1st. I am very excited about this one.

What advice do you have for any would be writers?

Write. Don’t think about it, don’t ask questions and don’t doubt yourself or turn to others for support, just write.

And just as importantly, read. If you don’t read, then you shouldn’t expect anyone to bother reading yours. You learn so much more about the craft of writing through reading than you realise. Also, when you have begun and at some point, get stuck or slow down, don’t ever –  ever begin tidying up and editing the book. Writing is creative, editing is criticism.  Don’t introduce one mind-set to the other. Keep them separate.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I garden. I love to travel. I have God-kids, one of which I fully intend to mould in to an evil genius and I write. I write whenever I have ten minutes.

Who are your favourite authors?

My favourite books are Crime and Punishment, Wuthering Heights, Atlas Shrugged, anything by Poe, Lovecraft… I tend to read a lot of classics. Though I devour anything by David Mitchell and I’m really looking forward to the new Donna Tartt. At the moment I am reading Steven King’s The Shining. I’ve seen the film a dozen times so I wasn’t sure about reading a book after the film but I can’t put it down. It’s disturbingly creepy and very atmospheric.

Roughly how many chocolate éclairs do you eat each week?

A packet of 12 a day, every day. Though I do wish they’d bring back the coffee ones. No, I’m joking. I don’t eat that many. And I’ve even stopped those now. It’s time to get on a diet and get fit. I’ll have to get back to that gym…

 

Here are a couple of useful links:-

www.blackheathseanceparlour.com

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Blackheath-Seance-Parlour-Alan-Williams/dp/190812251X/ref=tmm_pap_title_0

‘The Blackheath Séance Parlour’ by Alan Williams + Competition

The Blackheath Seance Parlour

Cutting Edge Press very kindly sent me a copy of ‘The Blackheath Séance Parlour’ when I expressed my interest in it.  I was immediately drawn both to the cover and the title.

It is 1842 in Blackheath and Judy and Maggie Cloak’s family chocolate shop is doing badly.  Whilst drunk the sisters decide on their future together.  They hardly have any money to buy food with and they know drastic action has to be taken before they starve to death.  Judy has come up with what she considers to be a very good idea, but Maggie isn’t so keen on it and puts her foot down immediately.  Judy doesn’t give up though and is determined to get her way.

A month later and with the help of a medium called Netta Walters, a séance parlour comes to Blackheath Village much to the shock and dismay of the locals.  Curiosity soon gets the better of people though who want to be able to contact their loved ones and the shop starts doing really well.  However, a rift starts to develop between the sisters.  Judy writes a novel and gets it published, meets a lovely man and seems to have more of a gift for contacting the dead.  This creates jealousy with Maggie deciding something more needs to be done.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book especially as it’s a subject I am interested in.  I really liked Alan Williams’ writing style throughout.  I found him to be very descriptive right from the first chapter where he described the storm over the heath.  I am not far from Blackheath and know the area quite well so I recognised a lot of the places mentioned in the book which to me made it even more interesting to read.

Judy was my favourite character in the story and I so wanted her to be happy.  Maggie with lots of practice developed the ability to be able to contact the dead which did actually help, but things went too far and I couldn’t help feeling bad for her.  This story seemed so real to me at times and I don’t think I will ever look at Blackheath in the same way again.

I give this book 5 out of 5.

 

For those of you who like the sound of this book and would love to read it I am running a competition.  5 lucky people have the chance to win a copy of ‘The Blackheath Séance Parlour’.  Just tell me which kind of shop you would open if you decided to run your own business.

Terms and Conditions

This competition is open to UK residents only.

The closing date is 11:59 p.m. on the 24th November 2013.

Winners will be notified within 7 days and their details will be passed on to the publisher who will send the prizes out.

Good Luck!  🙂

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