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Guest Post by John Mayer ~ @CarolineBookBit @johnmayerauthor

I am delighted to welcome John Mayer, author of the Parliament House Books to my blog.  This series sounds really interesting and is one I hope to read at some point.  Links to the books are towards the bottom of this post.

John has written a guest post for my blog which I hope you enjoy.

 

Guest Post

On Writing – John Mayer

Writing is precious, or at least, it was. When people first began to write what we would call books – which was in Sanskrit – the technique was open and free for anyone to learn. As soon as writing spread to Europe, words were used to influence and even scare people into beliefs they didn’t have before and didn’t actually want.

With the advent of Amazon Books, I think book writing has come full circle and is once more open and free to learn. As a life-long learner though, I’d prefer the openness would not cause ‘us’ writers to dismiss the learning curve – with each book we write we strive to make it better than the one before.

A carefully crafted story which suspends the reader’s disbelief is a very difficult thing to do well and has to be both learned and practised regularly. After all, attentive readers appreciate and recognise quality when they see it. I’m proud to say that many reviewers of The Parliament House Books feel this way about my books. That’s very satisfying because quality lasts in the mind of readers and makes them eager for more, the next book of their favourite author. I imagine it is like dining out in a nice restaurant or eating a fast-food meal: the latter is to stop your stomach from rumbling, the first is as much food for thought as it is enjoyable to digest.

I like to think that my stories actually help people to shape their own opinions on the subject matter of my series, ‘injustice in high places.’ I feel very strongly about this. I have had feedback from readers saying that my books are different and that pleases me as my books and writing style are an intrinsic part of who I am.

How do I write? I don’t plan, or plot or stick to any kind of formula. I start with a single word: but that word has to be an important one which contains many ideas; not just legal ideas, but social and personal ones too. For instance, the words Cross, Cycle, Boots, Trial, Order, Bones, Trust all contain multiple ideas. Of course, I write about Parliament House and legal cases, with my twenty years’ experience as an Advocate in the Supreme Court of Scotland which gives me a unique depth of insight. I then develop the single word by imagining how it applies to people in a court case as well as how the court case impacts on their lives and the lives of those around them. The American lawyers who write books are all office lawyers, which is a world apart from Parliament House in Edinburgh. When I’ve got the word at the centre of a number of ideas, I then start to sculpt the word – which is like a stone block at this early stage – into a shape which, I imagine and hope, readers can appreciate from many angles.

My central character, Brogan McLane QC, lives in two worlds. One is the grandness and splendour of Parliament House in Edinburgh where he practises law at the Bar of the Court. The other is the Calton Bar in Glasgow where he grew up and has his blood brother – Big Joe Mularkey – by his side. The stories reveal how the low life in high places in the old town of Edinburgh are often disguised by their finery and the characters in each book have to look to another kind of Bar for help in getting justice. Mind, my books are fiction and this is not to say that all Advocates and Judges in Parliament House are corrupt or incompetent: but some are and they casually wreck lives on a regular basis.

Perhaps injustice sounds boring to you but to me, the burning pain of injustice is what motivates and drives me – imagine your loved one wrongly convicted. Anyone in that situation will tell you that the long hard slog trying to turn injustice into justice is a very humiliating and lonely place to be. Similarly in civil cases, trying to get justice for a wrongful act done to you in a few seconds, can take years and drain you of all your hard earned money. Those trying that task will tell you, that it eats into your soul so that you live and breathe the injustice, often for years or decades. There is an old Arabic curse which says ‘May your life be filled with lawyers.’ Anyone who’s had that experience will tell you that it wrecks you emotionally, financially and spiritually until many people surrounded by injustice take their own lives. Any politician will tell you that there are no votes in fighting injustice; but there should be. I think so.

I hope you will never have your life filled with lawyers. May you only experience that curse through the world of Brogan McLane QC in The Parliament House Books.

Best wishes,

John Mayer.

 

The Parliament House Books

Welcome to the Parliament House Books. John Mayer’s protagonist is Brogan McLane QC – who lives in two worlds.

McLane inhabits two worlds. One is the rarified world of Parliament House in Edinburgh, where he practices law, while the other is in Glasgow where he frequents the Calton Bar. To get in to the Calton Bar, you’ll need to first understand its ways. Those ways are to be found in the first and second prequels to the Parliament House Books, The Cross and The Cycle respectively.

The motto of the series is ‘Low Life in High Places in the Old Town’ and there is plenty of both in this series and, according to the author, in reality. Some Judges and Advocates in Parliament House are fine, intelligent and honest people. Others are mere pretenders. They are the schemers, members of secret societies from which they improve their chances of rising up the slippery pole of legal ranking.

 

The Prequels:

The Cross
The Cycle
The Boots

All three prequels are free to download at https://parliamenthousebooks.weebly.com/

The Books:

#1 The Trial                http://getbook.at/TheTrial-JohnMayer
#2 The Order             
http://getbook.at/TheOrder-JohnMayer
#3 The Bones           
 http://getbook.at/TheBones-JohnMayer
#4 The Trust              
http://getbook.at/TheTrust-JohnMayer
#5 The House
            http://getbook.at/TheHouse-JohnMayer

 

About John Mayer

Like his leading character, Brogan McLane, John Mayer was born in Glasgow, Scotland and spent much of his time in the Mitchell Library in central Glasgow where he devoured books of all kinds.

Having as the owner of a record company had a court battle with global giants, John decided to study law and became an Advocate in the Supreme Courts of Scotland – yes, at Edinburgh’s Parliament House. John acted for the downtrodden and desperate as well as Greenpeace International. His specialism was in fighting international child abduction.

John’s experiences as an Advocate are the foundation for his Parliament House Books, his battle to seek justice is what motivates and inspires his protagonist, crusading Scottish Advocate, Brogan McLane,  who fights injustice casually delivered by Low Life in High Places in the Old Town.

 

John Mayer on Social Media:

Author Website:           https://parliamenthousebooks.weebly.com/
FB Author Page:          https://www.facebook.com/JohnMayerAuthor/
Twitter:                         https://twitter.com/johnmayerauthor
Instagram:                    https://www.instagram.com/johnmayer_author/
Amazon Author Page: https://author.to/JohnMayer

 

Blog Blitz – ‘A Garden in Cornwall’ by Laura Briggs

Happy publication day to Laura Briggs whose new novella, ‘A Garden in Cornwall’, the twelfth and final novella in the A Wedding in Cornwall series is out today.

I am absolutely thrilled to be taking part in this blog blitz which was organised by the lovely Rachel Gilbey of Rachel’s Random Resources.  I have a guest post for all of you.  First though, here’s what the book is about.

 

Book Blurb

With their lives exactly what they’ve always dreamed, Matt and Julianne await the arrival of the third member of their family — but their happiness is threatened when their landlady Mathilda announces her intention to sell their beloved Rosemoor Cottage for an impossible value. Devastated, Julianne struggles to accept the cold reality of her and Matt making their home elsewhere.

Matt’s life has taken a new turn as he finally puts aside his academic work to pursue his gardening hobby as a career: his first new job as a landscape designer involves neglected Penwill Hall’s ‘lost’ garden — one with a truly romantic Cornish past. But the task of restoring its legendary beauty from nearly seventy years ago proves difficult among the ruins lost in weeds and wilderness.

With notions of secret gardens and wartime stories echoing in her thoughts, Julianne is determined to help Matt and the estate’s new owner after the discovery of a hidden mural in the hall itself, depicting a breathtaking garden that may well be the lost one. Her efforts to uncover the past lead her to a curmudgeonly local gardener who just may hold the knowledge that would restore the ‘lost garden’ to its former glory. Will Julianne’s quest help her find a way to deal with losing the home she loves?

Hellos and farewells abound as Dinah returns to lend a helping hand at Cliffs House and Julianne relives her favourite memories of her and Matt’s beloved cottage in Book Twelve — the final instalment in the bestselling series A WEDDING IN CORNWALL.

‘A Garden in Cornwall’ is available to purchase from:-

Amazon UK – https://amzn.to/2IUC9AY

Amazon US – http://smarturl.it/agardenincornwall

 

Guest Post

I would like to thank Sonya for inviting me to share about my writing with all her readers at A Lover of Books!

Two years ago when I penned the novella called A Wedding in Cornwall, I had no idea how readers would respond. After all, I’m an American author whose never set foot on Cornish land in her life and has mostly the internet and PBS airings of Poldark and Doc Martin to help them picture its beauty as a literary setting. But those breathtaking cliffs and images of water breaking on the rocky shore were just too good to resist. So in the end, my heroine, an American wedding planner named Julianne, took the leap ‘across the Pond’ to work at a beautiful Cornish manor house…and twelve novellas later, I’m happy to say it has been a fantastic experience.

Readers in the UK have overwhelmed me with their support for Julianne’s world. Overlooking the cultural inaccuracies (and I fear there are many, many of them), they have embraced its tiny fictional village and its characters, returning again and again for each new adventure. From a holiday ball to a baking competition, a royal wedding, and even a talent show, they have followed Julianne and her friends with a level of enthusiasm I never anticipated. Their reviews are a joy to read, especially those who know and love Cornwall and feel the series has a special meaning for them as a result. One reader even remarked that it inspired them to revisit that very county after many years—a truly lovely sentiment to hear as an author hoping to pay tribute to the place they’re writing about.

Now, as the story draws to a close with the bittersweet A Garden in Cornwall, I look forward to sharing new projects, including another Cornish-based romance series for 2019. A different heroine discovering Cornwall under very different circumstances than Julianne, but I very much hope that readers will enjoy these new characters and adventures.  I’ll be releasing details on Book One and the series as a whole throughout the year, including title and cover reveal, story synopsis, and special excerpts from the manuscript’s rough draft. I’m very excited for readers to meet these new characters (especially the dreamy hero!) over the next few months.

And I’m not forgetting those who enjoy the excitement of the wedding planning world. In fact, this summer will launch the first book in a new wedding-themed series I’m writing for the UK publisher Bookouture. I can’t wait for readers to meet its trio of plucky heroines as they navigate their own romantic troubles while making sure their client has a picture-perfect big day.

To be notified of all my new book releases, readers should be sure to follow my Amazon author page here: http://author.to/briggsauthorpage

 

Giveaway

Win an e-copy of A Garden In Cornwall (Open Internationally)

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

Click on the link to enter http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/33c6949487/?

 

About Laura Briggs

Laura Briggs is the author of several lighthearted romance novels and novellas, including the bestselling Amazon UK series A Wedding in Cornwall. She has a fondness for vintage-style dresses (especially ones with polka dots), and reads everything from Jane Austen to modern day mysteries. When she’s not writing, she enjoys spending time with family, caring for her pets, going to movies and plays, and trying new restaurants.

 

Social Media Links

Facebook:   https://www.facebook.com/authorlaurabriggs/   

Twitter:        https://twitter.com/PaperDollWrites

 

Blog Tour – ‘The Silver Bells Christmas Pantomime’ by Lynsey James

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‘The Silver Bells Christmas Pantomime’ was published on the 10th November 2016 by HQ Digital UK. Having previously read one of Lynsey James’ books I was delighted to get involved in this blog tour. Read on for my review.

The story is set in Luna Bay, a small village in Yorkshire. It’s getting close to Christmas and the annual pantomime is about to be the talk of the town. It could really do with some help. Unfortunate then that Alice Woods who used to be on Broadway isn’t feeling Christmassy.

When the pantomime comes under threat Alice is forced to push her personal pain aside and step in. With some help from her recently new found friends and a very gorgeous Hollywood A-list celebrity the play starts to come together. Will the pantomime be a success and will Alice finally start believing that Christmas can be a time for miracles?

I really enjoyed reading ‘The Silver Bells Christmas Pantomime’. I thought it to be such a delightful, relaxing and fun story. I like the way Lynsey James writes and makes her characters come to life. It didn’t take long to meet them all and I soon felt as if I had known them for a while.

Luna Bay was definitely a magical village and one I would have liked to visit. Most of the people there seemed to be really warm and loving. The Moonlight Café sounded amazing and the cakes to die for.

Alice had been grieving for quite a while and she really needed something to get her out of herself and to help her to move on. Luckily she had some very supportive friends, plus Ethan coming into her life was a godsend. The change in Alice was absolutely astounding and she did an amazing job with the pantomime.

I think readers will get a lot out of this story. It’s sure to leave you feeling all warm and fuzzy inside.

I give this book 4 out of 5.

 

About Lynsey James

Lynsey James was born in Fife in 1991 and has been telling people how to spell her name ever since. She’s an incurable bookworm who loves nothing more than getting lost in a good story with memorable characters. She started writing when she was really young and credits her lovely Grandad- and possibly a bump on the head from a Mr Frosty machine- with her love of telling stories. She used to write her own episodes of Friends and act them out in front of her family (in fact she’s sure she put Ross and Rachel together first!)

A careers adviser at school once told Lynsey writing wasn’t a “good option” and for a few years, she believed her. She tried a little bit of everything, including make-up artistry, teaching and doing admin for a chocolate fountain company. The free chocolate was brilliant. When Lynsey left my job a couple of years ago, she started writing full-time while she looked for another one. As soon as she started working on her story, Lynsey fell in love and decided to finally pursue her dream. She haven’t looked back since.

When Lynsey’s not writing, eating cake or drinking tea, she’s daydreaming about the day Dylan O’Brien FINALLY realises they’re meant to be together. It’ll happen one day…

 

Links

Amazon: –

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Silver-Bells-Christmas-Pantomime-Luna-ebook/dp/B01D4WRFCG/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1474730052&sr=8-5&keywords=lynsey+james

Goodreads:-

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30376050-the-silver-bells-christmas-pantomime

 

Book Launch – ‘The Gingerbread Cafe Trilogy’ by Rebecca Raisin

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Today is a very exciting day indeed for Rebecca Raisin.  ‘The Gingerbread Cafe Trilogy’ collection published by Carina is out.  I’m just loving the cover! 🙂

 

Book Blurb

Enjoy the warmth, cupcakes and hot chocolate of The Gingerbread Cafe series, and follow Lil’s journey to happily ever after…

Lil has every recipe down, from gingerbread men to cinnamon muffins. So when gorgeous outsider Damon opens a shop opposite The Gingerbread Cafe, Lil refuses to let him steal her customers without a fight – no matter how much he makes her heart flutter.

When it comes to love, Lil’s never quite got the method right! But it looks like this time, deviating from the recipe might just lead Lil to the magic ingredient she’s been missing all along…

Don’t miss this delicious series from best-selling author Rebecca Raisin – the ultimate romantic indulgence.

 

Book One – Christmas At The Gingerbread Cafe

The icing on her Christmas cake!

Christmas is the season the Gingerbread Cafe in Ashford, Connecticut was made for…but owner Lily couldn’t be feeling less merry if she tried. She’s spent another year dreaming of being whisked away on a sleigh-ride for two, but she’s facing festive season alone – again. And, just to give her  another  reason to feel anything other than candy-cane perky, a new shop across the road has opened… Not only is it selling baked goods, but the owner, with his seriously charming smile, has every girl in town swooning.  But Lily isn’t about to let her business crumble — the Gingerbread Cafe is the heart of the community, and she’s going to fight for it! This could be the Christmas that maybe, just maybe, all her dreams – even the  someone-to-decorate-the-Christmas-tree-with  ones – really do come true!

 

Book Two – Chocolate Dreams At The Gingerbread Cafe

Chocolate…the most irresistible temptation?

The Gingerbread Cafe is all a buzz! This Easter, Lily and the rest of the town of Ashford, Connecticut are planning a truly decadent Chocolate Festival. Cooking up a storm, CeeCee and Lily are not just baking a batch of their sinfully delicious chocolate-dipped gingerbread men, but an excess of chocolate truffles, squidgy, cinnamony hot cross buns and melt in your mouth chocolate eggs. The Gingerbread Cafe staff have definitely enjoyed the tasting process!

Add in Damon’s cute-as-a-button seven year old daughter, Charlie, up for a visit and Lily’s perfect Easter may just be around the corner. Until her ex-husband Joel turns up demanding twenty thousand dollars… Suddenly the future of the Gingerbread Cafe is not so clear…and Lily finds herself eating far more of The Gingerbread Cafe’s treats than her skinny jeans allow…

Can Lily concoct a brilliant plan to save her beloved café, convince Damon she has no feelings for Joel and still throw a Chocolate Festival the town will be talking about for years? There’s only one way to find out…

Welcome back to the warmth, cupcakes and hot chocolate of The Gingerbread Cafe – your home away from home.

 

Book Three – Christmas Wedding At The Gingerbread Cafe

You are invited to the wedding of the year!

Snow is falling thick and fast outside the Gingerbread Cafe and inside, its owner Lily is planning the wedding of the year. Her wedding! She never dreamt it would happen, but this Christmas, she’ll be marrying the man of her dreams – in a Christmas-card-perfect ceremony!

The gingerbread is baking, the dress is fitted and the mistletoe’s in place – for once, everything’s going to plan. That is until her mother-in-law arrives… Suddenly, Lily’s famous cool is being tested like never before and her dream wedding is crumbling before her eyes.

In the blink of a fairylight, the Gingerbread Cafe has been thrown into chaos! Lily thought she had this wedding wrapped up, but with so much to do before she says ‘I do’, can Lily get to the church on time – and make this Christmas sparkle after all?

 ~~~~~~~~~~~

About The Author

Rebecca Raisin is a true bibliophile. This love of books morphed into the desire to write them. She’s been widely published in short story anthologies, and in fiction magazines. And now she is focusing on writing romance.

Rebecca aims to write characters you can see yourself being friends with. People with big hearts who care about relationships and believe in true love.

 

Buy Links

AMAZON UK

AMAZON US

KOBO

NOOK

 

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Interview with Rebecca Bradley + Competition

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‘Shallow Waters’ is Rebecca Bradley’s debut novel.  I love reading crime fiction so was keen to interview Rebecca.

 

Can you tell me a bit about your book please?

I can! Shallow Waters is a police procedural crime novel with a female detective inspector protagonist, Hannah Robbins. It’s told in first person narrative for the most part so you know what’s going on inside her head, how she feels and what she’s thinking as she deals with some pretty ugly crimes and a difficult personal life. Teenagers are being murdered in the city of Nottingham but Hannah’s team soon discover that it is a crime that has its net cast much wider than their city and they find themselves up against the clock as they cross county borders trying to stop another murder.

 

Did you have to do much research for it?

I’m lucky in that I know a lot of police officers so I didn’t have to do a lot of research for this one at all. The next one is the one where research is necessary due to mode of death!

 

How long did it take you to write?

It took about a year to write, then there were some re-writes and edits with different people before it was finally published in December last year. 

 

What made you write crime fiction?

I absolutely love crime fiction. I have read practically nothing but crime from being a child. I started with the usual Enid Blyton stuff; Secret Seven, Famous Five, then moved on to Nancy Drew before finally making the leap to adult crime in the form of Agatha Christie. It was then a natural progression when it came to writing, that I would write crime.

 

Are there more books planned?

Absolutely. DI Hannah Robbins is a series character. I’m writing the second book. The synopsis is written for the third and I already know what the storyline is for the fourth. These are just for this series. I also want to write another series plus a non-crime book!

 

Where do you do the majority of your writing?

I’ve claimed the spare bedroom at home as my office. Because I’m ill, I do my writing in spurts throughout the day or even just once in the day. But I have a desk and chair and far too much crap on my desk!

 

Do you think book reviews help with sales?

I think they can. Seeing that a book has reviews as opposed to a book that doesn’t have any, is a positive, but I personally try not to read the reviews before buying a book online because it can colour my reading experience.

 

If you could start all over again would you still write books?

I would, but I would have had the guts to have started a lot younger than I did. I feel quite old to be trying to get into this world now.

 

Have you any good advice for anyone wanting to write their first book?

Keep trying and don’t give in. Don’t be disheartened. It’s those who keep going and keep trying that succeed. You won’t succeed if you give up at the first hurdle.

 

Thanks for having me on the blog Sonya.

 

About Rebecca Bradley

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Rebecca Bradley lives in Nottinghamshire with her family and her one-year-old Cockerpoo Alfie, who keeps her company while she writes. Rebecca needs to drink copious amounts of tea to function throughout the day and if she could, she would survive on a diet of tea and cake while committing murder on a regular basis, in her writing of course.

Once a month Rebecca hosts a crime book club on Google+ hangouts where you can live chat about a crime book everyone has read. It’s great fun. Members join in from the UK, the US, France and Australia on a regular basis. As it is online, there are no geographical boundaries and you can sit in your home to join in. You can find details of how this works on the blog http://rebeccabradleycrime.com

 

Links

Website – http://rebeccabradleycrime.com

Twitter – http://twitter.com/rebeccajbradley

Author Page – http://www.amazon.co.uk/Rebecca-Bradley/e/B00R9RVT98/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

 

Competition

One very lucky person has the chance to win an eBook copy of ‘Shallow Waters’.  To enter just leave a comment about the interview.

 

Terms and Conditions

This competition is open worldwide.

The closing date is the 6th April 2015 at 23:59 p.m.

The winner will be randomly picked and contacted within 7 days of the closing date and their details will be passed on to Rebecca Bradley.

 

Good luck! 🙂

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