A Lover of Books

Archive for the day “February 14, 2016”

Guest Post by Nina Whyle

Author Picture

I would like to introduce you to Nina Whyle, a writing duo whose new book ‘My DisOrganised Life’ has recently been published by So Vain Books.  Here is a guest post from them.




Nina: We are a writing duo. We’ve been friends for 14 years and writing together for the last 4 years. I used to work in the film industry and left the industry to have a baby. I had this vision that I would finally get around to writing that novel – you know while the baby slept! LOL. There’s no other response to that naïve thought but LOL! I really didn’t have a clue.

One night I was talking to Clare on the phone, she was living in Denmark and I was probably, no definitely, complaining about lack of “me” time and at this rate I’d be finishing the novel five years from now when I had a light bulb moment – hey, we should write it together! I knew Clare (the Whyle) was frustrated in her current job and she too wanted to write something other than marketing materials for fine jewelry. As neither of us had much spare time it wouldn’t matter because together we would keep each other motivated and wouldn’t it be so much fun! That’s exactly what we did; we emailed the manuscript back and forth, writing in our evenings and weekends until we eventually had our finished manuscript. It wasn’t all plain sailing, we learnt that we should never EVER proof read our own work but we were utterly stunned when Moving Up On Manolos reached no.11 in the Amazon Charts. But sharing the profit on a £1.99 eBook was never going to line our pockets with gold or pay the phone bills, let alone our penchant for nice wine. So writing continues to fit around our day jobs (and yes, I consider motherhood a full-time job) egged on by kind reviews and our desire to write fun, romantic reads.

Clare: Over the last four years we’ve written and self-published three books but with our latest book, My DisOrganised Life we approached So Vain Books because we felt we had lost our way with self-publishing and didn’t’ really know how to reach new readers. We needed the expertise of a publishing house and so were delighted when So Vain Books wanted to publish our book.



Nina: We chat almost everyday and with the chat comes an idea and then we just start writing. We tend to leave each other notes on the manuscript where we think the story should go and sometimes leave a smattering of ‘xxx’ because the word is on the tip of our tongue but we can’t think of it. Then the other will come along and fill it in – it’s like a sixth sense of knowing what the other wants to say there.

Clare: I’m chuffed that we can say we’ve written four books and that we’re done it together. Having each other at the end of a phone is motivational, and to be honest a bit of a giggle too, which makes the whole process much more fun and surprisingly productive!  The idea that you weren’t sure at the beginning of a chapter suddenly becomes the best thing the other has ever heard. The support (i.e. the chatter times) creates it’s own impetus. Golden Rule though: when it sucks, say it sucks. There’s no room for being too precious, that’s how most partnerships really work.



Nina: Book number 5, hopefully. We’ve just started writing it. We’ve also finished writing a screenplay together and have started mapping out a Sci-Fi/Fantasy Trilogy.




Clare: It started with two questions. The first question – What if you did something really embarrassing and it was caught on video and that video went viral?

Before the internet, if you did something embarrassing just a handful of people might have witnessed it. Nowadays, someone will pull out their mobiles and film it and suddenly its gone viral in a matter of seconds.

Nina: The second question – What do you want to do with your life?

Ok, that’s a really difficult question for most of us and it’s something our protagonist, Eve tries to figure out. This leads me nicely on to list, if in doubt, write a list. Write down all the things you want to do or try because goals motivate you into action and give you a sense of direction. It’s what motivates Eve and suddenly she’s got a vision for her future, a list called, Things to do while I’m still twenty something.

Clare and I are both incessant list-makers. We love nothing better than crossing something off, we’ve even been known to write something down on a list after we’ve completed it, just to feel a rush when we cross it off. Lists give you a sense of achievement, control and can make sense of the small and mundane things but also make sense of the most important things in life.

Clare:  In all our books we want to get women out of messes because let’s face it we all face obstacles in our lives, both professionally and personally. We all makes mistakes, wish we didn’t do something, wanting to change ourselves, picking the wrong guy, working for a tyrant boss… The trick is to surround yourself with a good set of girlfriends who can help you see the funny side and help you get through the tough times. It’s one of the reasons why we always have strong female friendships in all our books because we are both lucky enough to know what it means to have a small set of girlfriends who mean the world to us.







Blog Tour – ‘Song of the Sea Maid’ by Rebecca Mascull

Blog Tour Poster

‘Song of the Sea Maid’ is Rebecca Mascull’s second novel.  It was published in paperback by Hodder & Stoughton on the 11th February 2016.  I was asked if I would like to take part in the blog tour and as I really liked the sound of this book and I love historical fiction I was delighted to.

This story is set in the 18th century.  Dawnay Price has had a hard childhood so far.  Living on the streets of London, she is then taken to an orphanage where she stays for many years.  Dawnay is a very bright child and wants to learn as much as possible.  Luckily she gets the chance to be educated and this opens up many avenues for her. A woman of science, she is a natural philosopher.

Dawnay is determined not to let her background stand in the way of what she wants to achieve.  In an era where women very rarely travel alone, she sets sail aboard The Prospect to the beautiful Iberian Peninsula in Portugal to develop her theories.  Having fought hard against convention, Dawnay is determined to put her career above all else.  Yet as war approaches she finds herself divided by feelings she cannot control.

I have already read some great books so far this year but this was one absolutely amazing and fascinating story.  I loved ‘Song of the Sea Maid’.  Totally engrossed, it was difficult to put this book down.  You can tell that Rebecca Mascull has done a lot of research.  With wonderful descriptions throughout I could actually imagine what it must have been like on board The Prospect and picture the islets.  I also really like the cover of this book, it’s been so cleverly designed.

I thoroughly enjoyed following Dawnay Price’s journey.  I liked how the reader is given an insight into her life from the beginning.  That’s very important I think for a story like this.  Dawnay was a very determined and brave young lady.  It wasn’t always plain sailing for her and she witnessed lots of tragedy and destruction, but somehow Dawnay carried on.  She was a real trooper!  For me she will probably be one of my favourite fictional characters of all time.

‘Song of the Sea Maid’ is not a story I’ll forget and it is definitely going on my list of my favourite ever books.  Well done on writing such a brilliant story, Rebecca.  I really can’t wait to read your next novel.

I give this book 5 out of 5.


‘Song of the Sea Maid’ is available to buy on Amazon – http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1473604370?keywords=song%20of%20the%20sea%20maid&qid=1455451771&ref_=sr_1_1&s=books&sr=1-1


Social Media Links for Rebecca Mascull








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