Monday, 30 March 2015

Review: His Other Life by Beth Thomas

"He was hiding a terrible secret . . .
Grace’s new husband Adam seems like the perfect package. Good looking, great job, completely charming – almost too good to be true . . .
So when Adam suddenly disappears from Grace’s life, she is left bewildered and heartbroken. And with a lot of unanswered questions.
As she tries desperately to find him, Grace opens a Pandora’s Box of secrets and lies – and starts to learn that Adam wasn’t so perfect after all.
What shameful secrets was her husband hiding? Is Grace in danger? And can she survive the truth? However terrible it may be . . ."

What a hilarious, funny read that I thoroughly enjoyed.

The story follows Grace, whose husband Adam leaves the house one day for a takeaway and doesn't return. This opens up Grace to take a proper look at her marriage – that it was actually a secluded, secretive marriage and that she didn't actually know as much about Adam as she thought.

The writing for this novel is hilarious; Beth has such a brilliant way with words that you are chuckling out loud. She is creative in how she describes situations and feelings in a way that makes you think ‘I wish I could write like that!’

It’s hard to pin down the exact genre of His Other Life. Part chick-lit, part thriller the story is a mixture of love, romance and mystery and I loved it. Bringing the two themes together made what would have been a usual ‘will they won’t they’ storyline more unusual and gripping. The thriller part wasn't obvious – you spend most of the time wondering, like Grace, what exactly happened to Adam and made him walk out and not return.

There wasn't a single character in this book that I didn't like or felt added another interesting element to the story. Adam’s mum Justine is, frankly, a little crackers which adds further intrigue and funny moments. Ginge, her best friend is brilliant and the kind of character you just want to head out to the pub with. She’s supportive in her own unique way and is hilarious while she does it. Grace’s parents are great- her mum is slightly eccentric but caring and her dad reminded me of my own, sensitive and caring and always giving her a bear hug. The family dynamic took me back to my teenage years and was a great element to the story. Finally, I need to talk about Matt. Matt is Ginges brother and has known Grace for most of her life. Gone is his geeky demeanor and emo hair and is replaced with a serious, handsome copper who wants to help Grace through a difficult time. Matt had me swooning – he’s charming, funny and a really, really nice guy. Part of me thought ‘do men like him really exist, he seems to perfect!’ – maybe they don’t, but he’s a great character and one of the few I've read recently that jumped off the page at me.

If you haven’t read this book yet, what are you waiting for? It’s a funny, easy read with a great element of mystery and intrigue that makes you want to read on and on until you've finished. You may get some funny looks from people as you crack up at some of the one liners (a business man in Costa coffee thought I’d lost it slightly as I chuckled away at my ipad) but it a great read and one I’d highly recommend. I hadn't read any of Beth’s other books before, but her previous novel Carry You is now on my to-read list. 

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Review: The Very Happy After-Life of Rosie Potter (RIP)

"Falling in love is never simple. Especially when you're dead.

When Rosie Potter wakes up one morning with what she assumes is the world's worst hangover, the last thing she expects is to discover that she's actually dead. With a frustrating case of amnesia, suspicious circumstances surrounding her untimely demise, and stuck wearing her ugliest flannel PJs, Rosie must figure out not only what happened last night, but why on earth she's still here."

First of all, can I just point out how PRETTY this cover is?! I absolutely love it. Anyway, I'm getting distracted... The Very Happy Afterlife of Rose Potter (RIP) follows Rosie, who wakes up one morning to discover that she is actually dead. She can’t remember how or why her dead body is on her bed, nor why she is still around to see her friends and family grieve.

It is a funny, heart warming book that I would thoroughly recommend.

Being honest, when I picked up this book I wondered how it would remain engaging throughout the story. As it follows Rosie, who is now a ghost, I thought that there would be limited interaction between her and the other characters and therefore it may be slow-paced and a bit too descriptive.

I am pleased to say I was wrong. Very wrong.

Although Rosie herself does have limited interaction with other characters, she keeps her eye on those closest to her which, to the audience, provides dialogue and exchanges between characters as well as amusing and touching scenes as she looks on. One of my favourite moments is when her parents, brother and Charles are sat talking about her ‘remember the time when she...’ and so on. As a reader, you have the dialogue and engagement between characters as they talk about Rosie, as well as having her reaction to their feelings and conversation.

Rosie is a really funny character who I loved from the very start. She takes the whole ‘being a ghost’ thing in her stride, using it to watch over her family and friends and also haunt her horrible ex-boyfriend, which creates some really funny scenes I won’t go into too much as I don’t want to spoil it. She is cheeky and mischievous in her new state, acting exactly how I would act if I woke up one day and found out I was a ghost – walking through walls, moving things around to confuse people and yelling loudly to see if people can hear (they can’t).

As well as the humorous parts of the story, you also sympathise with Rosie throughout, as she tries to deal with no longer being part of the world those closest to her occupy, and even though she is the one that has died, she grieves for what could have been and what is no longer, especially as she watches her loved ones grieve. This book shows grief and loss from a different perspective which makes it unique and even more enjoyable.

This is a fabulous, well written book that I became engrossed in. Once I picked it up, I was hesitant to put it down as I was intrigued as to how it would end. The ending itself didn't disappoint, in fact it was perfect. It surprised me that this is Kate’s debut, she is a very talented and engaging author and I’m already looking forward to whatever else she has in store for us!

The book is currently available in e-book from on Amazon, but is also due to be released in paperback form in May. You can follow Kate on Twitter @KatiCut 

Sunday, 22 March 2015

One month reflections

So today marks my one-month bloggiversary. I know it's not a long time to celebrate, but I've thoroughly enjoyed it so far and I've also been really surprised some elements of blogging. I thought I'd post today about some of the brilliant things I've already discovered, only one month into blogging. 

1) The blogging community is fab

When I first started blogging, I wasn't sure how to promote or get the word out about my page. I reached out to a couple of my favourite book bloggers, who spread the Twitter word! Special shout of to Becca at Becca's books for giving me that initial shoutout - it helped so much.
Fellow bloggers have been so welcoming, friendly and encouraging. They have spurred me on from the very start and made me believe in what I'm doing. Thanks to the wonder that is Twitter, I speak to many other bloggers on a daily basis which makes me smile. It's nice to be able to chat to other bookworms about what I'm reading or a good blog article. 

2) Authors are are really friendly

Don't get me wrong, I never imagined that authors wouldn't be nice. I've just been surprised by just how nice and genuine they are. Every author that I have reviewed so far has tweeted me not only to say they've read my review but also that they enjoyed it! It makes the process so worthwhile and I'm so grateful for the lovely comments I've had from some of my favourite authors. They genuinely appreciate the feedback or reviews you provide and seem to love hearing that their book has brought a smile to your face, but it's great that they interact and tell you it's appreciated! 

3) It's fun 

Now, I can see how blogging can turn from a fun hobby to become overwhelming. I can imagine that the larger the pile of books to read grows, or the closer a deadline for a review approaches it can become stressful and all-encompassing. I know some bloggers have had to take a break as it became too much stress and work, and I can see why. Blogging should be FUN, it should be a way to interact with other people, write about things you love and enjoy what you do. It's early days for me at the moment but so far, it's nothing but fun. I'm reading faster than I used to so that I can post a review, but I'm trying to keep things manageable and fun. Hopefully it stays this way! 

4) Netgalley is awesome

Until I started Little Northern Soul, I had no idea this fantastic site existed. Netgalley is a website used by nearly all publishers to allow professional reviewers to access many books to read, review and provide feedback. For me it's a bookworms dream and I'm lucky to already have been given access to some fantastic books to read and review. 

5) There's more than just reviews 

I've been opened up to just how much you can do on a book blog. Within my first month I've taken part in cover releases, book tours, author Q&A's and I'm looking forward to attending Rebecca Raisin's book blogger party in London next week! 

I'm so pleased I took the step to start Little Northern Soul, I'm enjoying being creative and being able to keep track of the books I read, as well as interact with some lovely people and take part in fun events! 

What's your favourite thing about blogging? 

L xx 

Friday, 20 March 2015

Review: I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh

 "A tragic accident. It all happened so quickly. She couldn't have prevented it. Could she?"

 In a split second, Jenna Gray's world descends into a nightmare. Her only hope of moving on is to walk away from everything she knows to start afresh. Desperate to escape, Jenna moves to a remote cottage on the Welsh coast, but she is haunted by her fears, her grief and her memories of a cruel November night that changed her life forever.Slowly, Jenna begins to glimpse the potential for happiness in her future. But her past is about to catch up with her, and the consequences will be devastating . . ."

Oh my goodness - I'm still reeling from this gripping read.

Straight away it pulls you in and, ironically, doesn't let you go,  emerging you into the lives of the two main characters- Jenna Grey, who is struggling to come to terms with a tragic accident while attempting to start a new life in Wales, and Ray Stevens, the DI investigating the accident who is finding it difficult to juggle a demanding career and a busy family life. 

It is fantastically written and I particularly enjoyed the split between a first person and third person narrative from the dual-perspective, which worked really well. Clare has the ability to make everything stand out throughout the story - one minute I was on a run-down terraced street and the next I was transported to a welsh clifftop, overlooking the beach with the strong waves crashing against the rocks below. 

It's easy to fall for the characters and will them on- not only to do what's right but also what's best for them. You really feel for Jenna following the accident and root for her to be able to move on and make something of her new life. You also hope the police will solve the case and be recognised for the hard work they put in, and that Ray will finally be able to progress within his career as well as have a happy home life. 

Once I realised I was getting close to the end I just couldn't put it down- I ignored my ringing phone, delayed dinner, told my other half to shush and hid in the bedroom so I could become engrossed in the last few chapters and find out what happened. I'm glad I did, and you certainly need to prepare yourself for a dramatic conclusion - I didn't expect such a twist at the end even though the rest of the novel is full of them! It's the type of book that when you're finished you have to sit back and absorb it - you can't just walk away. 

I've found it hard to review this book without giving too much away, there's loads of points I'd like to mention but it would ruin it. What I will say is that there are many twists and turns throughout that keep you on your toes. It's certainly not an easy read but it shouldn't be, it covers many emotional and hard-hitting topics, on occasion with enough detail to make you gasp with shock - it opened my eyes to a whole different world that I knew nothing about. 

I Let You Go is a sharp, dark but fantastic book that I would highly recommend. If you haven't read this yet, do. It's brilliant. 

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Cover reveal - Lynsey James, Just The Way You Are

Do you want to see something pretty?


Oh, go on then, here you go...... 


Here is the BEAUTIFUL cover for the new Lynsey James novel, Just The Way You Are.

Dear Ava, How do you start writing a letter to someone, six years after breaking their heart?
 Ava is unlucky in love as well as in life. The new office bitch has landed the dating column Ava wanted, and she can't remember the last time she had a second date. It's a good thing she has best friends Max and Gwen to pick up the pieces.  
 Deep down, Ava knows the reason why one date never turns into two - she's in love with someone else. Someone she's never even met.  
It all started six years ago, with a letter from a secret admirer, Mr Writer…but then they suddenly stopped and Ava was heartbroken.  
Now the letters have started again and Ava knows it could mean winning back the dating column at work. This time she's determined to unmask Mr Writer...and find out once and for all if he's Mr Right or Mr Very Definitely Wrong!

It will be released by Carina for eBook in Summer 2015 and you can get it from: 

If you want to follow Lynsey on twitter, you can find her @Lynsey1991 

Friday, 13 March 2015

Friday Faves - My top 10 fictional characters

This week I seem to have been in a reading frenzy. I finished Silent Scream on Monday and then turned to Ellen Faith’s debut ‘Learn to Love again’,  a brilliant read which I'll be reviewing on April 23rd for my stop on the blog tour. I’m now engrossed in Kate Winter’s debut The Happy Ever Afterlife of Rosie Potter (RIP), which I’m tremendously enjoying so far.So that means it’s a bit quiet on the review front, but I felt the need to ‘get my blog on’! (Do you think that phrase can catch on?!) so I thought in the spirit of Friday, I’d post some Friday Favourites.

  My top 10 fictional characters

 1. Tracey Beaker – Tracey Beaker by  Jacqueline Wilson

As soon as I got this book when I was younger, I was entranced by the feisty, strong-willed character of Tracey Beaker. I liked how she never let her situation get her down, and she embraced change and hard times. I never liked the TV series as much as the book, which I read from cover to cover on numerous occasions. 

2. Matilda - Matilda by Roald Dahl
Any girl who reads endlessly and is mischievous yet sweet is a favourite for me. Need I say more?

3. Eeyore – Winnie the Pooh by A. A. Milne 
I know this is a random one, but I've always loved Eeyore. His gloomy, sad nature has always made me want to give him a hug. I think it strengthens the friendship story-line in all the Winnie the Pooh books - the rest of the characters support and love him, and do all they can to make him happy. 

4. Ron Weasley – Harry Potter series by J.K Rowling
I love Ron and his goofy, funny personality. He always stood out to me in the books for his one-liners, and ability to make even the most serious of situations funny. A firm highlight for me is his constant muttering of "bloody hell!" all throughout the series.

5. Hermione Granger – Harry Potter by J.K Rowling
Another Harry Potter favourite had to make it onto this list. Although I liked Ron for his humorous nature, I also liked Hermione for her studious, geeky personality. She championed her love for learning and reading and subsequently, made it okay for girls around the world to be geeky too. Not only that, but I admired her for her involvement throughout the series in fighting against Voldemort, using her knowledge and intelligence to her advantage to solve problems. 

6. Helen Walsh – The Mystery of Mercy Close by Marian Keyes
I absolutely loved this book and subsequently loved the character of Helen Walsh, a ditzy, slightly goofy private investigator. She made me howl with laughter one minute and wince at her misfortunes the next. She was an engaging, funny character that I came to miss after I'd finished the book.

7. Caroline Harris – Turnham Malpas series by Rebecca Shaw

I loved the first few books in the Turnham Malpas series. Now standing at a 16 book series, I do feel it went on for longer than it should have, but the first few books were lovely.  Caroline is the rectors wife in an small, idyllic village, but when a shocking secret is revealed it almost tears her marriage, and life, apart. I don't want to spoil it as if you haven't read the first few books in the series I would recommend you do, but she handles it with grace and dignity (more so than I could have) and her strength alone is why she is in my top 10. 

8. Katnis Everdeen – The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
What a great character - a strong, powerful woman doing all she can to fight for herself, her family and her community. I loved this series and that the main character was a woman. 

9. Sophie Wells – The Unpredictable Consequences of Love by Jill Mansell 
One of my favourite books by Jill Mansell and one of my favourite characters, Sophie is a stubborn yet sensitive character and is really lovable. It made me laugh how adamant she is throughout the story that she doesn't want to be with Josh (the handsome newcomer to the village) because of her past, even though it's obvious they are meant to be together. I liked her as she was a genuine character and the kind of person you'd want to be friends with. 

10. Neil (the puffin) – Beach Street Bakery series by Jenny Colgan
For those that haven't read the Beach Street Bakery Series, Neil makes his grand entrance in the first book and ever since has followed main character Polly wherever she goes. He made me desperately want a pet puffin! 

When I looked back on my favourites, it surprised me slightly. I didn't want this list to be the typical list of standard fictional favourites; I wanted it to be honest of my personal preferences, but I was still surprised when I realised that a lot of the characters are from books I read as a child or a teenager. I think that reflects how long I've been a bookworm and how some of the characters that I read when I was younger have stayed with me as I grow up, and remain part of my life.

I’d love to know who are some of your favourite characters – let me know in the comments below. 

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Book review: Silent Scream by Angela Marsons

Silent Scream - Angela Marsons
Published February 2015

"Even the darkest secrets can’t stay buried forever…Five figures gather round a shallow grave. They had all taken turns to dig. An adult sized hole would have taken longer. An innocent life had been taken but the pact had been made. Their secrets would be buried, bound in blood … Years later, a headmistress is found brutally strangled, the first in a spate of gruesome murders which shock the Black Country. But when human remains are discovered at a former children’s home, disturbing secrets are also unearthed. D.I. Kim Stone fast realises she’s on the hunt for a twisted individual whose killing spree spans decades. As the body count rises, Kim needs to stop the murderer before they strike again. But to catch the killer, can Kim confront the demons of her own past before it’s too late?"

Really, if it wasn't a cop-out, this could quite easily be a 1 word review.
That's all I need to say about this book, perhaps also with the line 'buy it. Buy it now'. But, as a book blogger I know I need to tell you more, so here goes!

This has been one of the best books I've read so far this year. Usually,I'm not a reader of crime novels. I love murder mystery programmes - Broadchurch, Lewis, CSI, Criminal Minds, DCI Banks, even Midsomer Murders - I watch and enjoy them all but for some reason I rarely think to pick up a crime novel. However, it's been hard to miss the good things being said about Silent Scream. My twitter account has been full of fellow book bloggers, authors and fans commenting on how fantastic this book is, so I had to give it a go.

I'm so glad I did.

The novel follows DCI Kim Stone as she investigates a series of murders in the Black Country that all seem to link back to a closed, derelict former children's home. It is a gripping book that hooks you in from Chapter One. Take some time out to read this one, as you won't want to put it down once you start. 

The only thing I found hard to believe is that this is Angela's debut novel. It reads like a product of a well-established, long published author. It is fantastically written- the location, characters and level of detail around crime scenes are well thought through and jump off the page. It's clear a lot of research has gone into making police procedures and crime scenes as realistic as possible - and it pays off. 

DCI Kim Stone is a 'stony' character (see what I did there?!) - she is hard to please and a workaholic, pushing her team to their limits. Despite this, you really root for her to solve the crime and find the murderer. You get a glimpse of her difficult past which explains her brash nature and difficulty to form relationships. She may be prickly and stern, but I still really liked her. From the very start I was thinking GO! GO KIM! You also warm to the other members of the team, they all work extremely hard and are good at their jobs. 

Another point I really liked was the split chapters. The bulk of the novel follows Kim as she investigates the case, but on occasion some paragraphs are written from the point of view from the killer. This was an effective way to easily explain the murders and how the victims had been killed, as well as give you an insight into the murderers mind and why he was doing this. I was worried the book would be really gory and filled with finite details about each death. Now, some of the murders are pretty gruesome, but thankfully there isn't play-by-play details of the murders, more of a brief overview that even for someone squeamish like me, it's fine to read. 

Overall, this is a fantastic book that if you haven't read already I'd urge you to buy now. I'm also really pleased that Angela's second novel in the series Evil Games has been confirmed and will be published soon - I know for sure that one will be on my Kindle as soon as it's out! 

Monday, 9 March 2015

Book review: As Good as it Gets? by Fiona Gibson

As Good As It Gets - Fiona Gibson
Published Jan 2015

“Midlife crisis? WHAT midlife crisis?!”
Charlotte Bristow is worried about her husband Will. With her 16-year-old daughter Rosie newly signed to a top modelling agency, and Will recently out of a job, things are changing in their household.
As Will dusts down his old leather trousers and starts partying with their new, fun neighbours, Charlotte begins to wonder what on earth is going on.
So when Fraser, Charlotte’s ex – and father of Rosie – suddenly arrives back on the scene, she starts to imagine what might have been…

I have just finished reading 'As Good as it Gets' and I enjoyed it so much, I thought it was best to write a review. 

The book follows the life of Charlotte, a middle age mother working to support her husband Will and their two children, after Will is made redundant from his job with an environmental charity and her daughter Rosie is signed to a modelling agency and starts asking about her biological dad, Fraser. 

The characters are all really well written - there's an impatient and expectant mother-in-law, a teenage daughter doing all she can to be 'cool' and not need her mother, an uppity judgemental neighbour and a reliable, lovely best friend - all but to name a few. As a main character, Charlotte is great. She is trying her best to support and look after her family while also improver her marriage, and it doesn't always go her own way. To me, she was a vulnerable, conflicted main character which I actually enjoyed. It's realistic. When she is having a 'moment' (I don't want to spoil anything but there is a particularly hilarious scene involving the garden shed and some waders!)  you can relate to her. We all have moments of madness, where we doubt ourselves, and Fiona brilliantly incorporates these all-too-familiar moments into the book.  

As well as following Rosie's modelling journey and Will's search for a new job, the book delves into Charlotte and Will's marriage. From the outset you can see the strain on their marriage, the missing spark between them and the way Charlotte strives to make him want her. It tugs at her insecurities - is she not sexy enough? Is she not skinny enough? - common issues that lots of women, myself included, think time and time again. But it also shows the journey she goes on to become comfortable in her own skin, acceptance of time and age and to know that she IS good enough for Will. 

As the book is written from Charlottes point of view, for most of it I found myself siding with her and, if I'm completely honest, found Will to be abrupt and rude. At first, I couldn't really understand why she didn't just call it quits and leave him. But as the book gets going, you get more of an insight into his point of view, and why he is they way he is with Charlotte. I realised there is always two sides to every story, and Fiona portrays this in an effective and gripping way. I particularly felt for Will when Fraser, Charlotte's ex and Rosie's biological father, gets in touch.  Will has brought up Rosie since she was 18 months old, and you really feel how crushed he is that she wants to meet Fraser, her real father. 

On occasion, I wanted to shake Charlotte and say 'stop nagging!' when she was asking her children what they were doing or where they were going. After finishing the book I realised this actually showed how the writing created such realistic characters - I wasn't getting annoyed because she was a really irritating character (which she isn't) but actually because it is so familiar and realistic it took me back to being a teenager myself and getting annoyed at my parents for constantly asking questions - 'what time will you be home', 'are you in for dinner?' Now I've grown up, I've realised they were actually doing this because they care and wanted me to be safe and so as much as I wanted to tell Charlotte to calm down, you can understand why she is that way - especially as her daughter is venturing into the modelling world. 

The book has emotional ups and downs and overall is a fantastically written and hilarious read. I was laughing out loud at some parts and welling up at others. All the characters are equally intriguing and relatable, but I particularly liked Charlotte and really wanted everything to go well for her. If you haven't already I would certainly recommend you get a copy of this! 

Friday, 6 March 2015

Author interview: Amelia Slocombe

"Me Blackberry Fool, You Apple Tart" Amelia Slocombe


"Best friends Isla Butterfield and Rachel Ku are inseparable. Inseparable, that is, thanks to the wonders of modern technology and the humble smart phone. 

Isla is a lawyer in a cutthroat city law firm, working 90-hour weeks in a job she hates. The rest of her time is spent dealing with her recently divorced father, worrying about premature ageing, wishing she'd followed her dream of becoming an actress and hiding her designer clothes' receipts from her long-term boyfriend, Toby - a biologist with mild OCD. 

Rachel is stuck in a dead-end 9-5 marketing job for a manufacturer of commercial sink units. Her life is troubled by her crazy thoroughbred horse Aristotle (who she can't afford), her eccentric Malaysian mother with an internet shopping addiction, and her emotionally detached boyfriend, Spencer. Spencer never calls, is always late and prefers to spend his time at the beck and call of his best friend Alex Robertson, a well known and extremely good looking premiership footballer. 

After a chance encounter with the notorious Alex Robertson, Isla is given a glimpse of a very different existence. But does she really want a life of money, celebrity hangouts and Harvey Nicholls' stylists? And if she does, how much is she willing to sacrifice to get it?"

Debut Author Amelia Slocombe recently released her first novel 'Me Blackberry Fool, You Apple Tart' for Kindle at the start of February. The book follows the lives of  Isla and Rachel through their regular email conversations, offering a humorous and different take of friendships, love and careers. Amelia kindly answered my questions about her book, and plans for the future...

1 - Your twitter bio 'City lawyer who fled London for Leigh on Sea, all in the name of love' intrigues me - can you share any stories with me?
I used to be a London girl through and through - I was brought up there, I went to school there, I socialised there.  Then I started working as a lawyer in the City and I saw a side to London I didn’t enjoy.  Long commutes, tube delays, stressful days at work, a diet that revolved around Pret and Starbucks.  But then I had an epiphany.  Sure, I had to work there if I wanted to earn a decent salary as a lawyer, but I didn’t have to live there!  So my husband convinced me to move back to his home town of Leigh on Sea.  The day I got off the train from work, heard the seagulls, smelt the sea and met my husband for an ice cold glass of wine in a little pub in Old Leigh, I knew I’d made the right decision.  I’ve never looked back.

2- Where did the inspiration for your novel come from? It seems to have some connection to your life - is that what made you choose to write it?
The first page of my novel says it all really - there are so many stories lawyers could tell that I think would genuinely shock people (the working hours are really not exaggerated) but they simply don’t have the time to put pen to paper.  I wanted to shed a bit of light on the profession, but do so in a lighthearted manner.  Oh, and my friend did genuinely go out with the best friend of a premiership footballer.  Her experiences inspired the plot.  She is just about still talking to me.

3- The novel is written by email exchange between the two main characters - what made you decide on this format?
I wanted to try something a bit different.  I knew some people would hate it, but I thought it might make me stand out from the crowd.  Especially because there are so many excellent chick-lit novels out there.  I also thought I could write it by email in a way that was realistic.  It’s how my friends and I are forced to communicate nowadays.  If we didn’t email each other, we probably wouldn’t speak for months!

4- This book is only available electronically,  why did you make that choice? 
The book will soon be available in hard-copy.  I just haven’t gotten around to it yet!

5- This is your debut novel - how have you found the writing & publishing experience so far? Any tips for aspiring authors?
The writing experience took me a long time.  I am a bit of a perfectionist, and so every time I read the book, I couldn’t stop myself from making changes.  The best thing I did was give it to a few friends whose opinions I valued.  They gave me the confidence to publish it.  It was at that point, however, that I hit a bit of a brick wall.  I chose to self-publish because the process of finding an agent looked too daunting and by this point I was too impatient to upload it.  However, what I didn’t realise was how hard it would be to convince strangers to read it!  Simply telling people to read your book because it’s good doesn’t actually work!  My tip for aspiring authors is therefore to be very patient.  Don’t expect a bestseller straight away!  And also get to grips with the fact that if you self-publish, the actual publishing is the easy bit - it’s the marketing of the book that is the real challenge!

6- Do you have plans for another novel? If so, will it follow the same format and style as this novel? 
I do have plans for a second novel.  I like showing the point of view of different characters, so that aspect of my writing will stay the same.  However, that’s probably where the similarities end.  The next one is going to be a lot more serious.  My mum passed away five years’ ago after being diagnosed with early onset dementia.  The next book is going to be about the disease, and the impact it had on my mum and the rest of our family.  I would still like to inject a bit of humour into it though - I would hate for it to be too depressing!

7- You're a lawyer and the book centres around this career - what inspired you to become a lawyer? How did you have time to write a book? 
I wanted to become a lawyer to make a difference in the world (cheesy, but true).  What I discovered was that it’s actually a very hard, very stressful job.  Yes, lawyers in the City are well paid, but the hours are long, the people you work with are demanding, and the work you do is actually not particularly satisfying.  I wrote the book to make that very point.  People often ask me how I had the time to write it, especially because I also have a 2-year old little boy.  It was actually my commute that made it happen.  I wrote every day to and from work.  It took a long time, but I found that by dedicating myself to writing for two hours a day, I managed to get the whole book done over the course of a couple of years.

8- How do you enjoy spending your free time? 
 I love spending time with my husband, my son and my dog.  I work pretty hard during the week and so the weekends are all about lazing about at home.  I am also a bit of a foodie - I love eating out and trying new restaurants.

9- What's your favourite book genre and who's your favourite author? 
That’s a really difficult question.  I have a passion for historical fiction because I love learning about different time periods.  My favourite author is probably Khaled Hossein, who wrote Kite-runner.  I like reading books that have an element of truth to them, even if the plot itself is fabricated.  I suppose it makes me feel like I’ve learnt something.

10- Tell us something surprising about you
I always wanted to be an actress.  I was given the chance to study at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama but my parents told me I’d be better off going to university.  So I gave it all up to become a lawyer.  I’m not sure it was the best decision!

Quick fire round:
Coffee or tea? coffee - soya milk latte if I’m going to be really precise.  Not because I’m pretentious or lactose intolerant, I just really like the taste!
Paperback or Kindle? Difficult, but probably paperback.
Lazy day or 'out and about' day? Also difficult, but probably lazy.
In reference to your book title - Apple or Blackberry? Apple - I have an iPhone, an iPad and an Apple Mac!Fool, tart or pie? Neither - I don’t have a sweet tooth at all.  Can I have pizza instead?

You can purchase the book on Kindle for £1.99 and you can follow Amelia on Twitter @amelia_slocombe 

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Cover reveal - Mortiswood Tales: Kaelia Falling by Gina Dickerson

Mortiswood Tales

The second book in the Mortiswood Tales series is released today, along with a new cover for the first book in the series. These books are gripping fantasy/romance novels, and the first has been a real hit, with amazing reviews on Good Reads and Amazon. Below are the blurbs for both books and the wonderful new covers. 

Mortiswood: Kaelia Falling - (Mortiswood Tales Book Two)   
Release date: 4th March 2015
Losing those she loves and learning she’s The Chosen One catapulted Kaelia’s life into the fast lane. Having battled Dybbuk demons, discovered an unexpected ally in the form of a Vallesm, and ventured through Niflheim, her adventure is far from over.
Determined to fulfil her destiny as the one who will destroy The Salloki, Kaelia still has many obstacles to overcome. As secrets rise to the surface and Kaelia’s powers continue to evolve, she is not the only one fighting a battle...
Can Calix find a Rosealrium bloom in time to stop Cadence’s transformation? What exactly is the truth behind Bran’s connection to the goddess Hel? And will Kaelia finally uncover what happened to her mother?
One thing is certain, Kaelia is not the only one who is evolving . . .

Mortiswood: Kaelia Awakening - (Mortiswood Tales Book One) 

“They’ve been waiting lifetimes for you, Kaelia. They want you and will stop at nothing to have you.”
The warning’s rung in Kaelia’s ears since she discovered she’s far from the ordinary girl who grew up in the coastal town of Margate. She has power. The first time she shows it, death strikes, the second, she loses someone special, and on the third, her mother disappears.
Destiny is coming for Kaelia and there’s nowhere she can hide. THEY have stepped out of the shadows to find her. For generations, there have been whispers of The Chosen One. They speak of a name - Marrock - whose destiny entwines with that of The Chosen One.
Kaelia must avenge the wrongs, uncover who Marrock is, find her mother, and . . . FIGHT. Facing forces of depraved evil, magic, and myth, Kaelia’s search leads her through magical forests and unearthly realms. Who, or what, can Kaelia trust? Is she strong enough to survive the horror? All she knows is her life will never be the same again . . .

About Gina
Gina Dickerson lives by the Thanet coast on the north-eastern tip of Kent, in the UK, with her family and playful Siberian husky. She is a full-time author and writes romantic suspense with a twist, horror, and fantasy because her characters refuse to play nice and wind up with more than a few bone-rattling skeletons in their closets.

As well as being the author of The Pennington Christmas Curse, signed with Limitless Publishing, Gina is the author of the murderous romantic suspense novel Unveiling Christmas, the twisted short story collection, Underleaf, as well as the fantasy, adventurous romance series Mortiswood Tales, and has also written fashion and shopping columns for a local newspaper.

When she’s not writing, Gina loves rummaging in vintage clothes shops, taking way too many photographs, and leafing through fashion glossies.

Author Links