Henry’s Tale – David Pipe / #PromoPost #BlogTour @rararesources @dfpwriter

 

 

Henry Ford, the cutest Border terrier puppy, lives with his papa Alan and mama Jenny. Alan loves his job, playing golf and above all, Henry. Jenny loves designer clothes, handbags and shoes. She doesn’t love Henry. When Jenny insists on a week of high life on Majorca, Henry’s world takes a nosedive.

An attempted dognap and a traumatic stay in the veterinary clinic leave Henry a sad and confused puppy. Desperately lonely he sets off on an adventure with his friend Bully, a streetwise Essex bulldog, where he meets the beautiful Paula and for the first time experiences the heartbreak of puppy love.

Back at home, his mama and papa’s marriage is on the rocks – will Alan agree to Jenny’s ultimatum? Will he choose Jenny or Henry?

 

 

Promo Post

Thank you, David Pipe and Rachel’s Random Resources.

 

About the author 

David Pipe was born in 1949 in a small Essex village. He attended a local grammar school then the University of Hull where he took a B.Sc in chemistry. He worked in the pharmaceutical industry in England and South Africa before studying for a PhD in organic chemistry at Imperial College. After spells at universities in Geneva and Mulhouse he joined the oil industry in Germany where, aged 53, he gratefully took a redundancy package. Following a period of self-employment he wound down his business, eventually giving it up to scratch the writing itch which has produced Sacrificing Starlight, a timely reminder of the risks our children face and Henry’s Tale, where ghostwriting for his furry friend he describes the emotional growth of a puppy on the rollercoaster of life, compressed into a few weeks because puppies learn faster than their staff.

When he’s not writing David spends his time travelling, reading, swimming and jogging. He is married and lives in Hamburg with his wife and their Border terrier Henry.

 

Social Media Links 

Twitter @dfpwriter

FB https://www.facebook.com/DavidPipeBooks/

 

 

Book Link 

GetBook.at/Henry

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Taken to the Grave – M.M. Chouinard / #Review #BooksOnTour @bookouture @m_m_chouinard

 

Detective Jo Fournier #2

When a girl’s body is discovered in a park in the sleepy Massachusetts town of Oakhurst, local detective Jo is shocked to the core. Because the girl is the second innocent victim to turn up dead in three days. And just like the first, a tarot card has been left by the body. The meaning of the card: betrayal.

After uncovering a series of threatening messages targeting the girl, a student at the university, and the first victim, her teacher, Jo thinks she’s locked the killer in her crosshairs. The primary suspect is a volatile ex-military student with an axe to grind for failing grades, and the frightened town is out for his blood. But the next day, a much-loved member of the community is found dead in her home, a tarot card in her mail. There’s no clear motive to link her death to the others, and the message on the card this time is even stranger: domestic bliss.

With a fourth body and card appearing the following day, Jo knows she’s running out of time to crack the code and bring the killer to justice. And the pressure only gets worse with heart-breaking news about Jo’s father forcing her to choose between helping her family heal or the victims’ families get justice. Can Jo find the twisted murderer sending the town into a panic before another life is lost? Or this time, will the dangerous killer find her first? 

 

 

My review

Time to meet up with Jo and it’s always a pleasure following her around. 

The author gives us a lot of background information about her main character and it enables you to understand her a lot better. It must weigh heavily on her and it’s something you can never forget. My heart went out to her.

In this second part you feel the police struggle and I did too. 🙂 I could not point my finger in the direction of the culprit. One minute you were like ‘it has to be X’ and a moment later you were convinced it had to be Y or maybe even Z.

The author made your brain doing overtime and kept a few vital pieces of information very well hidden. Once these key elements were found, the lock to the ‘door’, behind which identity of the murder was concealed , sprang open.

Jo not only has to deal with perpetrators but also with personal issues. The murder cases, she has solved, but what has the future in store for her private life? Stay tuned. 🙂

This story is a very good workout for your grey matter. 4 stars.

Thank you, M.M. Chouinard and Bookouture (via Netgalley)

 

About the author

M.M. Chouinard’s first fiction story was published in her local paper when she was eight, and she fell in love with Agatha Christie novels not long after. While pursuing a Ph.D in psychology and helping to found the first U.S. research university of the new millenium, the stories kept rattling around inside her skull, demanding to come out. For sanity’s sake, she released them. She’s currently at work on her seventh novel. 

 

Social Media Links

Website: www.mmchouinard.com

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/m_m_chouinard

 

 

Book Links

Amazon: https://geni.us/B07VSPZGKRSocial

Apple Books: https://apple.co/2ZacLdW

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2HffEEg

Googleplay: http://bit.ly/2MpSlM0

 

Everyday Superheroes – Erin Twamley / #Review @STEMsuperheros

Women in STEM Careers

Deep in space, on Mars, a robot rover searches for traces of water, one of the key things needed to support life. Back on Earth, Dr. Vandi Verma guides the robot, Curiosity, in its search. People all around the world were enchanted by animations like Princess and the Frog and Bravest Warriors, but before they ever hit the screen, Sonya Carey imagined and designed them. These are just some of the colorful careers of these Everyday Superheroes making the world a greener, healthier, and cleaner place.

Everyday Superheroes: Women in STEM Careers will spur reader’s imaginations and introduce them to 26 STEM careers (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). Readers will: 
– Learn about STEM real-life superheroes from an environmental lawyer to a robotics engineer. 
– see diverse women working in STEM and changing the world. 
– explore six superpowers important to STEM fields: curiosity, observation, problem solving, collaboration, data-collection and communication. 
– Discover how dreams and imagination can lead to an exciting STEM career.

 

 

My review

When you speak about jobs in the STEM industry, you always think about men doing them. The saying ‘It’s a men’s world’ is slowly but surely becoming something of the past.

More and more women are taking places in this area but unfortunately they still seem to remain hidden.

The author puts some of these ladies in the more than deserved spotlight in a very pleasant way. The book has a pretty nice layout and is attractive to leaf through (and read of course). 

It’s also very educative and I learned a lot. I also like the way the author has added some assignments to carry out for those who want to.

I think it would be really interesting to use this book in the classroom. 5 stars.

Thank you, Erin Twamley for making this such a enjoyable and worthwhile read.

 

About the author

Erin Twamley is working to create a new generation of Everyday STEM Superheroes. As an author and educator, her STEM publications focus on sharing the adventures of diverse STEM professionals and their use of six STEM superpowers. Currently, she has authored three non-fiction STEM-focused books for children ages 8-14 years old with three new books currently in the works. The newest STEM book release Everyday Superheroes: Women in STEM Careers shares stories of 26 diverse women in STEM. 

Erin provides author and S.T.E.M. encounters for schools to encourage the next generation of STEM professionals. She can be reached at erinedu365@gmail.com

 

Social Media Links

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Book Links

Amazon US : https://www.amazon.com/Everyday-Superheroes-Women-STEM-Careers-ebook/dp/B07QZV4M4M/ref=sr_1_1?crid=1K1QPNKMGYZI0&keywords=everyday+superheros&qid=1567363030&s=digital-text&sprefix=everyday+su%2Cdigital-text%2C248&sr=1-1

The Weighing of the Heart – Paul Tudor Owen / #Interview #BlogTour #LoveBooksGroupTours @PaulTOwen @ObliteratiPress

 

Following a sudden break-up, Englishman in New York Nick Braeburn takes a room with the elderly Peacock sisters in their lavish Upper East Side apartment, and finds himself increasingly drawn to the priceless piece of Egyptian art on their study wall – and to Lydia, the beautiful Portuguese artist who lives across the roof garden.

But as Nick draws Lydia into a crime he hopes will bring them together, they both begin to unravel, and each finds that the other is not quite who they seem.

 

 

Q&A

– When and where do you prefer to write?

The Weighing of the Heart is about a young British guy living in New York called Nick Braeburn, who moves in with a couple of rich older ladies as a lodger in their opulent apartment on the Upper East Side. He gets together with their other tenant, Lydia, who lives next door, and the two of them steal a priceless work of art from the study wall.

The work of art that Nick and Lydia take is an Ancient Egyptian scene, and as the stress of the theft starts to work on them, the imagery of Ancient Egypt, the imagery in the painting, starts to come to life around them, and it’s intended to be unclear whether this is something that is really happening or whether it’s all in Nick’s head.

My wife Eleanor and I have just come back from a few years living in New York, where I was working for the Guardian newspaper, so people usually assume that I based the book on my own experiences as a Brit in Manhattan. But actually I started it a long time before we ever moved there; it was all part of living out through writing a long-time fantasy I’d had about living in New York, going back to my teens growing up in Manchester, wrapped up in my love for all those great novels and films and songs set in the city – The Great Gatsby, Mean Streets, the music of Simon and Garfunkel.

So I wrote a lot The Weighing of the Heart at my kitchen table or on my sofa in my old flat in north London, and then when we moved to New York I finished the ending of the book in a library quite near our flat, in SoHo, just round the corner from where David Bowie lived. We only had a very small flat so it would have been pretty antisocial of me to write at home.

Then later the Guardian office moved to a co-working space run by WeWork, which meant that at the weekends I could book space in any of the other WeWork offices anywhere in New York.

So when I would work on my writing on Saturdays or Sundays I would go to a different WeWork each time, which was great because I really got to explore the city and work in lots of different places, and it was brilliant to feel immersed in New York and to be seeing the sights of the city out of the window as I was working. There was one office in Midtown that I really liked with a great view right into the forest of skyscrapers. At another one in Tribeca, I came downstairs once at about 5pm and the other WeWorkers were having a rave on the ground floor.

Now that I’m back in London I often have to work at weekends, which means I get a day off in lieu in the week, which is great for me, because I try to use that day as often as possible for working on the new book I’m writing.

Before starting I try to get as many of my chores, responsibilities and tasks out of the way so that I have as long a block of time to write as possible, because I find that the more you can immerse yourself in the world of the book the more new ideas will spark up.

I usually work in the kitchen and try to give myself as much natural light as possible. I get a cup of tea and a glass of squash… This isn’t a Charles Bukowski-type situation where I’m downing shots of whiskey and then furiously tapping out whatever drunken visions come to me.

But I am very easily distracted and it’s not always great trying to work at home. I’ll go and water the plants or tidy something up or sort my books out… There’s a cliche about writers’ homes, that they are very tidy because the writer who claims that they were spending the day writing has actually been pottering about tidying everything up. I’m sure Charles Bukowski had that problem too.

– What is your favourite book?

I had an amazing A-level English literature course, where we studied The Great Gatsby, The Remains of the Day, The Catcher in the Rye… All of those had a big impact on me in different ways and you can see their influence in The Weighing of the Heart: The Catcher in the Rye for its depiction of New York, The Great Gatsby for its elegiac tone and study of the American Dream, and The Remains of the Day for its peerless use of the unreliable narrator.

And then at university I loved the modernists like Faulkner, Eliot, Woolf, the idea of fractured narratives, and I took a great course on contemporary writers that introduced me to postmodernism – John Fowles, Salman Rushdie, Julian Barnes – and the idea that you could present the reader a story within a story and play with their perception of exactly what they were reading. I didn’t go down this exact route with The Weighing of the Heart in the end, but it’s something I want to explore with my next book.

Another novel I always recommend to people – but not always successfully – is Don DeLillo’s Underworld. Some readers are put off by the fact that it’s a 1,000-page masterpiece that weighs a tonne; others get past that and then are disappointed to find it starts with a baseball game. But his characters are wonderful, his depictions of urban life are so vivid, and his sentences and turns of phrase are stunning: “Landing lights appeared in the sky and the planes kept dropping toward the runway across the water, another flight every half minute, the backwashed roars overlapping so everything was seamless noise and the air had a stink of smoky fuel.” I would say that my own writing style was something of a sub-DeLillo pastiche for many years (and perhaps still is).

My favourite section of Underworld involves a nun in the Bronx in the 80s visiting homeless people with AIDS, which is also published as the lead story in his collection The Angel Esmeralda. A miracle seems to reveal itself to the characters, and I love the way that in the middle of this purely realist novel DeLillo branches out suddenly and presents you with something that can’t quite be reconciled with realism. I tried to do that at moments in The Weighing of the Heart too.

Despite its size and scale, reading Underworld for the first time in my early 20s made writing fiction seem manageable for me for the first time. It’s constructed from several different interlinked narratives – something that made me see that writing a novel didn’t have to consist of an intimidating process of starting at the beginning and then setting down pages of story one after another – you could write smaller fragmented sections and eventually knit them together. In the end that wasn’t how I wrote The Weighing of the Heart, but it definitely helped me when I first set about writing.

– Do you consider writing a different genre in the future?

I like sci-fi films and books set in dystopian future-worlds, and I’ve sometimes thought about writing something in that field one day. I know some sci-fi fans despair when literary authors wade into their genre, don’t bother to try to explain any of the science properly, and then insist in every interview that their book isn’t even sci-fi anyway. Unfortunately that’s exactly what they’d get from me…

– Do you sometimes base your characters on people you know?

I think you always base characters on aspects of people you know, or aspects of yourself. The Weighing of the Heart was recently up for an award called the Not the Booker Prize and the finalists were decided by public vote. My dad left a vote and a comment which said: “An exciting read this, as we ponder the reliability of the narrator, the tension of the crime and whether we (the parents of the author) appear in any thinly disguised form in the narrative…”

Aside from that, I get a lot of ideas from art exhibitions and one in particular was crucial to The Weighing of the Heart.

Originally the artwork Nick and Lydia steal wasn’t an Ancient Egyptian scene at all; it was a 1960s pop art work. But not long after I had started the book I went to a fascinating exhibition at the British Museum called The Ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead, which told the story of what the Ancient Egyptians believed happened to you when you die.

As I learnt from the exhibition, the Ancient Egyptians believed in a ceremony called ‘the weighing of the heart’, something in some ways similar to the Christian idea of St Peter standing at the gates of Heaven, deciding whether or not you have lived a worthy enough life to come in.

In the Ancient Egyptian version, Anubis, the god of embalming, presides over a set of weighing scales, with the heart of the dead person on one side and a feather on the other.

If the heart is in balance with the feather, you get to go to Heaven, which they called the Field of Reeds.

But if your heart is heavier than the feather, you get eaten by an appalling monster called the Devourer, who has the head of a crocodile, the body of a lion, and the back legs of a hippopotamus – three of the most dangerous creatures that Ancient Egyptians could encounter.

To the Ancient Egyptians, the heart, rather than the brain, was the home of a person’s mind and conscience and memory, which was why it was the heart they were weighing.

And, intriguingly, one thing they were afraid of was that the heart would actually try to grass you up during this ceremony – sometimes the heart would speak up and reveal your worst sins to Anubis at this crucial moment. You could prevent this from happening by keeping hold of a little ‘heart scarab’.

I was spellbound by this ornate mythology, which had formed over centuries and millennia; I loved the way it was so familiar in its overall concept but so strange and unfamiliar in its details.

And I realised that the painting Nick and Lydia should steal should be an image of this ceremony, the weighing of the heart. It was so fitting, because the book is essentially about guilt and innocence; it’s about you weighing up as a reader how much you trust Nick as a narrator, and it’s about Nick himself and the people around him weighing up how much they trust him, what they think of him, what they know about him and his character. And without

spoiling it for anyone who hasn’t read it, I hope that I found a way to knit all that imagery into the book effectively, especially towards the end.

– Do you take a notebook everywhere in order to write down ideas that pop up?

I used to when I first started writing. It was easy to do it because I was working as a local newspaper reporter, so I always had a notepad and a pen on me. But I quickly graduated to using my phone to take notes, and I still do that; I probably jot something down every day. You’ve got to write it down when it comes to you – you’ll never remember it otherwise. The most dangerous moment is when you’re just falling asleep. If you don’t roll over and catch that thought it’ll be gone for good.

– Which genre do you not like at all?

I have never been into fantasy, but Game of Thrones (the TV show rather than the books) steamrollered over all my doubts, like it did for many people, I’m sure. It’s a cliché now to say it’s not about dragons and zombies, it’s about politics and human relationships, but it really is, and in the first few seasons especially the characters are brilliantly rounded and compelling. You can be watching, say, Jaime Lannister interact with his sister Cersei and hate him, and then a couple of scenes later see him in a different context with Brianne or Catelyn and view him in a completely different light. The writing was fantastic. I got so obsessed with it at one stage that I even wrote a short song about the popular fan theory that Bran Stark was going to turn into the villain, the Night King.

As everyone agrees, the show got worse and worse as the writers were forced to strike out alone after exhausting George RR Martin’s novels, and by the end of the final season I could tell that my obsession had almost completely disappeared. It was like a fever breaking. It was almost a relief.

– If you had the chance to co-write a book. Whom would it be with?

I can’t think of too many great books written collaboratively, and I wonder if a good novel has to have such a singular vision that it would make it difficult to join forces with another author. Ezra Pound’s notes for TS Eliot on The Waste Land – for which Eliot famously credited him as “the better craftsman” – might be as close as you can reasonably get. The only other one that springs to mind is Wordsworth and Coleridge’s joint volume Lyrical Ballads, but that’s really like Outkast’s Speakerboxxx/Love Below – they didn’t really collaborate, they just wrote half each.

That said I would love to enlist David Lynch’s help with the novel I’m working on at the moment. It’s set in the mid-‘70s and it’s about a failing newspaper journalist in New York who starts investigating conspiracy theories about the moon landings and getting drawn deeper and deeper into that world.

I want it to end on quite a complex, ambiguous note, and so far I just haven’t been able to pull it off. I know that Lynch would instinctively understand where to take it. I keep thinking about the moment at the end of Lost Highway when you realise that in some sense you’re back at the beginning. He’s been called the world’s only popular surrealist, but as a friend of mine once said that does a bit of a disservice to Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer.

– If you should travel to a foreign country to do research, which one would you chose and why?

I’ve been travelling back and forth to the US, especially New York, for most of my adult life, since I spent my year abroad during my degree at the University of Pittsburgh. And consciously and unconsciously those visits have been research trips for my novels, including The Weighing of the Heart. I feel like in terms of my writing New York is like a stage for me, a stage I feel confident moving my characters around on. Perhaps it’s because I know it well but not too well – it might stymie my imagination if I knew it inside out, if I’d grown up there or lived there for decades. I’ll probably test that theory one day when I write something set in London or Manchester.

Thank you, Paul Tudor Owen and Love Books Group Tours.

 

About the author

Paul Tudor Owen was born in Manchester in 1978, and was educated at the University of Sheffield, the University of Pittsburgh, and the London School of Economics.

He began his career as a local newspaper reporter in north-west London, and currently works at the Guardian, where he spent three years as deputy head of US news at the paper’s New York office.

 

Book Link 

https://amzn.to/2Ygx8tz

Margate Bookie / #TheFriendlyLiteratureFestivalByTheSea @andsoshethinks @margatebookie

History, seaside, postcards and crime combine in a brilliant line up for Margate Bookie’s fifth year

 Tickets are now on sale

 

The friendly literature festival by the sea, Margate Bookie, is back for its fifth year, with a line up that’s bigger and better than ever.

 

Headliners are Mark Billingham, creator of the Tom Thorne crime series, and Lisa Jewell, who’s sold over 4.5 million copies of her psychological thrillers. They’re joined by Louis de Bernières (Captain Corelli’s Mandolin), Alison Weir (the top-selling female historian in the United Kingdom) and Richard Skinner (head of the Faber & Faber academy).

 

Mark Billingham

 

Lisa Jewell

 

Louis de Bernières

 

Alison Weir

 

Top names include Tom Jackson, the man behind the cult Twitter and books Postcards From The Past. Travis Elborough, author of Wish You Were Here and described by The Guardian as ‘one of the country’s finest pop culture historians’ discusses working class culture alongside Melanie McGrath, writer of Pie and Mash down the Roman Road. And in an intoxicating hour of burlesque, ballet and banana dancing, SelfMadeHero and Dr Sketchy’s Anti-Art School team up for a unique life drawing experience.

 

You’ll get a chance to meet superstar psychological novelists like Nicci Cloke (Toxic), Sunday Times No 1 Bestsellers Renee Knight (Disclaimer) and Lesley Kara (The Rumour), as well as SJ Watson who wrote Before I Go To Sleep which was turned into a movie starring Nicole Kidman and Colin Firth. PJ Whiteley and his band play the music that inspired his third novel, A Love of Two Halves.

 

Writers are always well looked after at the Bookie. Sebastian Baczkiewicz, author of Radio 4’s Pilgrim, shares trade secrets on how to write drama. In How to Perfect Your Submission, Scott Pack of Guardian Masterclasses offers practical advice on how to pitch your book to agents and publishers. In their latest workshop applying the science of happiness to creative writing, Elise Valmorbida and Vanessa King explore how to engage your senses to write freely. Graphic novelist and team builder Meirion Jones presents his unique course The Graphic Experience.

 

Elise Valmorbida and Vanessa King 

 

The festival supports local writers as well as big name authors. There will be a mask workshop with Annie Sutton, group storytelling and rope making from the Listening Post and Waste Land Walking Group, and special movie shows at the Margate School. And local writers will read from their latest works, covering everything from comedy to yoga, love stories to local history, and everything in between. We’ll welcome comedy writer Dale Shaw (Russell Howard’s Good News, That Mitchell and Webb Sound), musician and author Marianne Dissard (Not Me), Maggie Harris (In Margate By Lunchtime) and many, many more.

 

The festival takes place from Friday 22nd – Sunday 24th November, and coincides with the Turner Prize being resident at the Turner Contemporary, offering an amazing opportunity for visitors to each event to explore new and interesting art forms.

 

To find out more go to MargateBookie.com. Or buy tickets direct from Eventbrite.

 

About Margate Bookie

The Margate Bookie is a registered charity (number 1174819) which works to encourage a love of literature. We’ve held a literary festival in Margate every year since 2015. Lovingly looked after by Andreas Loizou.

Contact details info@margatebookie.com Francesca Baker fbaker@live.co.uk http://www.margatebookie.com

@margatebookie

Jaffle Inc – Heide Goody & Iain Grant / #GuestPost #BlogTour #RandomThingsTours @annecater @heidegoody @IainMGrant

 

Alice works for Jaffle Tech incorporated, the world’s biggest technology company and the creator of the Jaffle Port, the brain implant that gives users direct access to global communications, social networks and every knowledge source on the planet.
Alice is on Jaffle Standard, the free service offered to all people. All she has to do in return is let Jaffle use a bit of her brain’s processing power. Maybe it’s being used to control satellites. Maybe it’s being used to further space exploration. Maybe it’s helping control self-driving cars on the freeway. Her brain is helping Jaffle help the world. And Jaffle are only using the bits of her brain she doesn’t need…

But when a kind deed goes wrong, Alice gains unauthorised access to her entire brain and discovers what she has been missing out on her entire life: music, art, laughter, love…

Now that she has discovered what her mind is truly capable of, how long will the company bosses let her keep it?

 

 

Guest Post

How did we come to write Jaffle Inc?

Iain and I have been writing together since 2011. We’ve co-created more than 20 novels and novellas, and we’ve come up with concepts for our stories in every imaginable way.

While there’s generally nothing duller than someone telling you about their dream, we have recognised that from time to time a dream can spark a great concept for a novel. We’ve written a few novels now that began as a dream, and Jaffle Inc was one of them.

The dream that I had was set in a world where it was accepted that people could rent out some of their brains in exchange for benefits (financial or otherwise). The anxiety that I felt when I woke up made me realise that the idea really terrified me, partially because it signified a loss of control, but also because it seemed so very plausible.

Iain was also seized with the idea when I described it to him. He was drawn to the very real notion that we freely give away personal data every time we go on social media and the fact that our emotional lives are increasingly lived on-line rather than in face-to-face social situations. We spent some time discussing plot ideas that would work in this world. What if people had lost or willingly surrendered some of the wonderful aspects of human lives in exchange for a simpler, cleaner, more understandable on-line life? In Save the Cat, the famous screenwriting book by Blake Snyder, there is an assertion that a main character should ideally face challenges that would be recognisable to a caveman. In other words, while we might feel some empathy for a character who has lost her favourite hat or broken her iphone, to make a really powerful story, the stakes must be higher. A character that is in danger of losing her life or her home is much more likely to grip us.

We realised that we needed to take a character on a journey to face these challenges, but to begin with, the character must also realise how much more there is to be lost. If a character spends a lifetime not understanding the value of music, love and laughter, how much worse it would be to glimpse the joy that they can bring before having it threatened! Can you remember those moments, perhaps when you were much younger, when you heard your favourite kind of music for the first time or when you discovered your favourite comedians for the first time? What if someone had lived their life never having any of those joyful experiences and then suddenly had them all at once?

And so we came up with the central idea for Jaffle Inc, that Alice, our heroine, has spent her entire life, up to now, on “Jaffle standard” which means that she does not have access to the parts of her brain that we all take for granted. When she accidentally gains access to these things, she is very much a fish out of water in trying to understand what’s happening, which is great for some comedy scenes. The real peril comes later when she uncovers a plot that will affect all Jaffle users. Can she possibly succeed in taking on a global corporation who have the power to turn people’s brains off if they pose a threat?

Thank you, Heide Goody and Random Things Tours.

 

About the authors

Heide has been co-writing with Iain Grant for several years now.
The Clovenhoof Satan-in-suburbia comedy series goes from strength to strength, check it out!
You might also enjoy the Oddjobs series, especially if you’ve ever had a terrible job.
Don’t forget to look at the standalone novels too, there are some gems in there.

3 Fun facts about Heide and Iain*:
Heide and Iain are writers in residence of a Warwickshire phone box
Heide and Iain were commissioned to write an Adrian Mole story to celebrate the character’s 50th birthday.
Heide and Iain operate a premium line phone service where they will read stories to your pets when you’re on holiday
* One of these is untrue

Heide lives in North Warwickshire, England with her husband and children.

 

Iain Grant is a writer of comedy fiction and fantasy.

He is, with Heide Goody, the author of numerous comedy novels, including the ‘Clovenhoof’ series (in which Satan loses his job in hell and is forced to live in suburban England). They are also co-authors of the increasingly popular ‘Oddjobs’ comedy series.

 

 

Social Media Links

http://www.pigeonparkpress.com/

 

Book Link

Amazon UK : https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jaffle-Inc-Heide-Goody-ebook/dp/B07WWNT61T/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?crid=2L57KL30NLX1R&keywords=jaffle+inc&qid=1568534072&s=digital-text&sprefix=jaffle+inc%2Cdigital-text%2C173&sr=1-1-spons&psc=1&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUEzNURCWUxTQUhWUzBVJmVuY3J5cHRlZElkPUEwNDc0ODk5MTBXRE5HWVlQTUFCVyZlbmNyeXB0ZWRBZElkPUEwNjE4NzE1T0sxVFFOVDRJSURRJndpZGdldE5hbWU9c3BfYXRmJmFjdGlvbj1jbGlja1JlZGlyZWN0JmRvTm90TG9nQ2xpY2s9dHJ1ZQ==

 

MORECAMBE & VICE / #CrimeWritingFestival

In September 2017, Morecambe & Vice made its sparkling debut at the glorious Morecambe Winter Gardens. Described as a weekend ‘full of warmth, wit and wisdom’, authors, speakers and guests from across the globe flocked to the sunny seaside for a weekend filled with criminal shenanigans.

Now, in 2019 we are back for our third year running! This year the North West’s quirkiest crime-writing festival will be bigger and better than ever before! Keep an eye out on our Facebook page and Twitter stream, as we start to announce authors and panels.

bring me some crime…

In 2018 we themed our entire festival around the idea of ‘hidden talents’: we had cocktail making, singing and even fire-eating! 

 

This year, the theme for Morecambe & Vice is (rather fittingly!) :

‘Bring Me Sunshine’ 

We’ll be shining a bright positive light on the world of crime fiction, filling our festival with tales of inspiration, overcoming hardships and that warm fuzzy feeling you get when good things happen!

The midland hotel

Built in 1933, this iconic art deco hotel is the jewel of the Morecambe Bay coastline, offering unparalleled views across the bay to the Lake District.

Find out more about The Midland Hotel, by visiting their website.

 

2019 authors & guests

Lin Anderson

Quentin Bates

Alison Belsham

Prof Dame Sue Black

SJ Bradley

Matt Brolly

Dr Liz Brewster

Anne Coates

Dr Jacky Collins

Adam Croft

Robert Daws

Ashley Dyer

Jane Elson

Mary Evans

Jennie Finch

Fleur Hitchcock

Noelle Holten

Sharna Jackson

Hazel Johnstone MBE

Lesley Kelly

Margaret Kirk

Gytha Lodge

Ceri Lowe

Bob McDevitt

Chris Merritt

Sarah Moore

Mandy Morton

Margaret Murphy

Barbara Nadel

Sheila Quigley

Danielle Ramsey

KA Richardson

Jacqui Rose

Robert Scragg

Rachel Sargeant

William Shaw

Graham Smith

Nicki Thornton

Sarah Todd Taylor

Nicola Upson

​Eileen Wharton

Appearing at Polari Salon

The Midland Hotel

Fri 27th Sept | 7.30pm

 Paul Burston, Lesley Thomson, 

Derek Farrell, 𝕃𝕚𝕝𝕛𝕒 Sigurðardóttir

Tickets £6.00

not included in the weekend pass price

She’s Back – Lisa Unwin & Deborah Khan / #Extract #BlogTour #LoveBooksGroupTours @shesback @UrbaneBooks

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Lisa and Deb draw on years of research across several diverse sectors and their experience working with and listening to the stories of thousands of women to provide a fresh, pragmatic and above all useful guide for returning to work.

Whether you’ve had a complete break or simply stepped back and done something different for a while, this book is for you.

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Extract

Manifesto: (noun) a written statement of the aims, beliefs and policies of an organization

Our aim is to help women to build meaningful and sustainable careers throughout their working lives.

It’s increasingly unlikely that any of us will have careers that begin at 21 and continue steadily until we retire. Whatever your initial ambitions, it’s highly likely that there will several bumps and changes of tack along the way. You may end up hating your chosen career, burn out, find a new passion, have health problems, take time out to bring up children, or find yourself looking after elderly relatives. Your career may well need to ebb and flow.

We want to see women build careers which are flexible enough to accommodate their ambitions beyond work, be that around parenting, caring, or other personal goals. Careers which can develop at different speeds, which can deal with breaks and gaps without being permanently thrown off course.

This aim is underpinned by core beliefs:

 Lives are long, complex and messy

 Work adds something to our lives

 Your value is not derived solely through work

 Being a parent develops a new set of skills

 Ageism is pernicious, rife and wrong

 We should be free to make choices

 Lives are complex and messy

They are also long. Like many women we know, when we graduated we were just as ambitious as the men around us. We were educated. The hard-fought battles around equality were all done and dusted, we had the pill to control our fertility, what could go wrong?

Hitting our thirties. Often, the point at which companies are looking to accelerate the careers of high potential people coincides nicely with the point at which many women are thinking about having children. Yes, many do progress in their careers but sadly others don’t.

Lives are long. In The 100 Year Life, Lynda Gratton and Andrew Scott explore the many ramifications of us all living for longer. It is increasingly unlikely that any of us – men or women – will have linear careers that encompass one job. We need to be prepared for that.

It should be possible to have careers that twist and turn with our lives, to slow down or accelerate, to step off and then step back, to find fulfilling work throughout our lives.

 Work adds something to our lives

Work gives you a distinct identity. You’re no longer defined as someone’s mother, partner or daughter. It can provide structure, meaning, friendship and a sense of community. Learning, being stretched and exercising your brain, are enriching and a very good thing.

Our research proved the major reason for women wanting to return was to find challenging, fulfilling work. Financial reward was a secondary consideration but a very important one. Who amongst us has really saved enough to glide into a comfortable retirement without many years of work ahead?

Women should have the opportunity to find work that makes a difference, is rewarded properly and meets their aspirations and ambitions. We’ve earned our right to be in the workplace. We deserve to be there. We’re valuable and we deserve to be rewarded for the contribution we make.

 Your value is not solely developed through work

“When women are strong, families are strong.” Hillary Clinton

Work pays far too little attention to the skills and experience people gain outside of the workplace. We look around at the women we know, the women we met through our research, and we marvel at what they’ve achieved.

They have navigated any number of minefields: brought up children; cared for elderly or sick relatives; supported partners; held down a job; moved house; moved countries, emerged from a messy divorce; survived serious illness; managed a household; completed years of admin; been a good friend; contributed to the community; and spent years listening to other people and their problems.

None of that is possible without grit, determination, resilience and the ability to innovate, plan, ask for support and learn new skills. They have grown as a result.

 Being a parent develops important leadership skills

“Based on my own experience, women will tend to be more inclusive, to reach out more, to care a little more.”

Christine Lagarde, Managing Director, IMF

The world is ever changing. The digital revolution is bringing with it more transparency in business and a need for greater collaboration. Internally and externally. Being open, listening, working with others, helping people, being agile, responsive and flexible – these are traditionally seen as female traits. They’re proving invaluable in today’s working environment.

As the wonderful Dr Wanda Austin, CEO of The Aerospace Corporation, put it on Woman’s Hour not too long ago, being a mother is all about leadership. You decide the rules, decide what the family has to eat, what manners are expected, how everyone needs to behave.

Mothers have to flex and adapt to the changing needs of their families. They help their children become better people, equipped to thrive as independent, thoughtful adults. This, in a nutshell, is leadership

 Ageism is pernicious, rife and wrong

We were enraged some time ago, when the newly appointed boss of a well-known high street retailer announced:

“I know my customer, she’s Mrs M&S, a woman in her 50s who …”

Once we calmed down, we questioned his statement, concluding that he had a reductive and myopic view of women like us. We drafted this ‘at a glance’, hopefully helpful, guide about what she is and isn’t, what she likes and dislikes. Ignore at your peril.

About the authors

Lisa Unwin is the founder of She’s Back, a business whose purpose is to enable business to access the unique talent in women returning to work after an extended career break.

A former partner with Arthur Andersen Business Consulting and Director of Brand and Communication at Deloitte, Lisa had a 20 year career in professional services prior to setting up She’s Back

 

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Deb Khan combines two successful careers, leveraging her background in the creative arts. She has a proven track record affecting change across a wide range of businesses in the Advertising & Media, Technology, Charity & Education sectors. Deb is a results driven Trainer, Workshop Leader, Facilitator & Coach.

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Escape to Giddywell Grange – Kim Nash / #Review #BlogTour @rararesources @KimTheBookworm @HeraBooks

 

 

Maddy Young thought she had it all.

Swanky city apartment? – yep. Fancy car? sorted. High-flying career? – tick.

Even if she’s lost most of her friends because of spending all her time at work, and can’t remember when she last had fun, it’s worth it.

Until she’s suddenly made redundant. Now she’s 37, jobless, and after the breakup with the former love of her life, unhappily single.

Enter Maddy’s childhood friend, Beth, the owner of Growlers, the doggy daycare centre at Giddywell Grange, on a mission to make Maddy see there’s more to life than work.

Soon, Maddy is swapping spreadsheets for volunteer duty at the library, daily Starbucks for cups of tea with elderly neighbours, and her Prada handbag for doggy poo bags… And with Beth’s gorgeous brother, Alex, back from the States, Maddy starts to think that Giddywell Grange might just be her happy place.

But when her old life – and her old boyfriend – comes calling, will Maddy go back to the job she loved so much? Or will she discover that the key to happiness lies in making others happy?

 

 

My review

If you have read the debut by this author you already know that she knows how to caputre an audience with her fluent writing style and her lovely story. If you have not read her first book, shame on you LOL 😉

I really loved ‘Amazing Grace’ and I adored this one as well. In my opinion you feel how much the author has grown. She writes even better here and she turned this one in to a must read for me as well, by putting a dog on the cover. 🙂

This book shows that the author is not a one-trick-pony. On the contrary, she came, she took us by storm and she is here to stay for a very long time. 

This story draws our attention to the fact that we often judge or look down on other people’s actions or interests. What you do and how you live your life is the only way, right? No way! You can only form a conclusion once you have tried it yourself and you might be in for a big surprise. You might even like that life a lot more than you did your own.

Ok, now it’s time to open my bag of stars. How many do you expect after having read this review? 5 do I hear you say? That is indeed the correct answer. 🙂

Thank you, Kim Nash and Rachel’s Random Resources.

 

About the author

Kim Nash lives in Staffordshire with son Ollie and English Setter Roni, is PR & Social Media Manager for Bookouture and is a book blogger at www.kimthebookworm.co.uk.

Kim won the Romantic Novelists Association’s Media Star of the Year in 2016, which she still can’t quite believe. She is now quite delighted to be a member of the RNA.

When she’s not working or writing, Kim can be found walking her dog, reading, standing on the sidelines of a football pitch cheering on Ollie and binge watching box sets on the TV. She’s also quite partial to a spa day and a gin and tonic (not at the same time!) Kim also runs a book club in Cannock, Staffs.

Amazing Grace was her debut novel with Hera Books and came out in April 2019.

Escape to Giddywell Grange is Kim’s second novel and will be published on September 18th 2019.

 

Social Media Links

Twitter: (@KimTheBookworm) https://twitter.com/KimTheBookworm

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

Instagram: @Kim_the_bookworm

 

 

Book Links

AMZ: https://amzn.to/2ZdBcrL

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2YvQdIf

iBooks: https://apple.co/316BJwj

A Summer to Remember – Victoria Cooke / #Interview #PublicationDayPush @rararesources @VictoriaCooke10

 

 

Sam lives by the mantra that it is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.  

After the tragic loss of her husband, Sam built a new life around friends, her cat Coco and a career she loves. Fending off frequent set-ups and well-meaning advice to ‘move on’, Sam is resolutely happy being single.

But when Sam gets seconded to her firm’s Boston office for the summer, it is more than her career that is in for a shake-up. A spur of the moment decision to visit the idyllic beaches of Cape Cod could end up changing her life forever.

 

 

Q&A

  1. Did or do you like to read comic books/grapic novels? Which ones?

As a child, I loved The Beano and The Dandy but I never got into any of the proper superhero comics, I don’t think they were as popular when I was younger.

  1. Whom did you inherit your love for books/reading from?

My mum didn’t drive when my sister and I were children so going for days out took a lot of planning if my dad was at work. One of the things she did to keep us entertained was to walk us to the library (something I do now with my own children) and it stemmed from there.

  1. When you need a murder victim or someone you can diagnose with a serious disease or someone who is involved in a fatal accident do you sometimes picture someone nasty you have met in real life and think ‘got you’ LOL?

The only character I’ve killed off in any of my books was the most wonderful person ever. God, I’m a monster!

  1. How do you come up with the names for your characters?

If I don’t have a name in my head already, I look at the popular baby names for the year the character was born and look at the top 100 list for something that fits or inspires me.

  1. Do write other things beside books (and shoppinglists 😉 )?

Not really, I do have a book review blog where I share my thoughts on books I’ve enjoyed. It’s just a hobby for myself more than anything and I don’t accept review requests or anything like that.

  1. If your movie or series would be made from your books, would you be happy with the ‘based on’ version or would you rather like they showed it exactly the way you created it?

I’d be happy with the ‘based on’ version. It would be great to see what another mind or two would come up with.

  1. Who would you like/have liked to interview?

It has to be Stephen King.

  1. Do you have certain people you contact while doing research to pick their brains? What are they specialized in?

It varies depending on the advice needed. Who Needs Men Anyway? had a lot of legal detail surrounding the divorce and I spoke to my author friend, Rachel Burton about it who just so happens to be a qualified lawyer. It Started With A Note has some French letters in it. I wrote them and translated them myself but I had them checked over by a friend of mine who is French bilingual. She did have to make some tweaks and I’m eternally grateful to her for that.

  1. Is there someone you sometimes discuss a dilemma with?

I have a lot of fabulous friends who, at some point, have had their fair share of dilemmas and tricky situations but I’ve had plenty of my own too. I’d say the answer to this question is sometimes but not as often as I could / should.

  1. What is more important to you : a rating in stars with no comments or a reviewer who explains what the comments they give are based on (without spoilers of course).

The nosey and ambitious side of me loves to know why the reader gave the rating they did so I love the comments to go with the reviews. It also takes time and effort to write a review and it’s really nice to think that my book generated enough emotion (be it love of hate for the story) to prompt someone to do that.

Thank you for featuring me on your blog.

Thank you, Victoria Cooke and Rachel’s Random Resources

 

About the author 

Victoria Cooke grew up in the city of Manchester before crossing the Pennines in pursuit of a career in education. She now lives in Huddersfield with her husband and two young daughters and when she’s not at home writing by the fire with a cup of coffee in hand, she loves working out in the gym and travelling. Victoria was first published at the tender age of eight by her classroom teacher who saw potential in a six-page story about an invisible man. Since then she’s always had a passion for reading and writing, undertaking several writers’ courses before completing her first novel, ‘The Secret to Falling in Love,’ in 2016.

Her third novel, Who Needs Men Anyway? became a digital bestseller in 2018.

 

Social Media Links 

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16345710.Victoria_Cooke

https://www.facebook.com/VictoriaCookeAuthor/

https://twitter.com/VictoriaCooke10

https://www.instagram.com/victoriacookewriter/

 

 

Purchase Link 

getbook.at/ASummerToRemember