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Sunday, 26 June 2016

Author Q & A Sue Watson



Does first love deserve a second chance?
When she was almost seventeen, Rosie Draper locked eyes with a charismatic student called Peter during their first week at art college, changing the course of her life forever. Now, on the cusp of sixty-five and recently widowed, Rosie is slowly coming to terms with a new future. And after a chance encounter with Peter, forty-seven years later, they both begin to wonder 'what if' . . .
Told with warmth, wit and humour, We'll Always Have Paris is a charming, moving and uplifting novel about two people; the choices they make, the lives they lead and the love they share.

Title:        We'll Always Have Paris
Author:    Sue Watson
Published By: Sphere
Date:        ebook: June 27th 2016
Link:        UK: Amazon   US: Amazon

Author Q & A

Today we are delighted to welcome the lovely Sue Watson to the blog to talk about her new book 'We Will Always Have Paris.
Hi Sue, What was the inspiration behind this novel? 
I’ve always been intrigued by the idea of ‘the one that got away.’ Most people remember their first love, their BIG love and who hasn’t wondered where they are now? And faced with a chance encounter with that lost love after many years - what would we say … what would we do? I wanted to explore what happens after all this time, how we change, who we are and if we’re the same people in a different world. I spoke to many people who’ve been through this and it’s been a fascinating and enlightening book to write.

Did you always want to be a writer? 

Actually I was desperate to be an actress, it was my dream to go to drama school, but I ended up playing it safe and doing a degree in English. This lead me into journalism, then I became a TV producer, which I loved and while working at the BBC I started to write my first book. I was just making notes, but the idea for Fat Girls and Fairy Cakes was a big pull and I left TV to write and realised it was what I’d been looking for all my life.

What other jobs have you had? 

At university I worked as an usherette in a theatre – it was as close as I could get to being ‘on stage,’ but sadly the star was never on my dressing room door. After Uni I took a post grad course and became a journalist, working for agencies, then women’s magazines and landed a brilliant job on the TV pages of The Sun. It was great fun and involved meeting and interviewing many celebrities and attending glamorous launch parties, but being young (and stupid!) I thought I shouldn’t be having so much fun at work. I wanted to be taken more seriously so became a TV researcher at the BBC which was also great fun and I couldn’t believe I was being paid for it – that lead me to producing. I’ve been very, very lucky.

How did it feel when your first novel was published?

Amazing! I miraculously managed to find an agent quite quickly – and she was really encouraging. However, she offered my book to all the major publishers and it was turned down – so she dumped me. I was devastated, and had to go it alone with my book, eventually finding a small publisher who wanted to publish it. The road had been long and rocky and the process had taken several years – but the day those copies of Fat Girls and Fairy Cakes arrived in the post was like holding my baby for the first time… well, almost!

Have you ever had writer's block? If so how did you overcome it?

I think, if I allowed it to happen I could easily have writer’s block, but I try really hard not to let it in. Some books are tougher to write than others, and I always have the ‘this is rubbish’ days but I keep going and the next day it feels better. Sometimes it’s difficult to lose myself in the writing, especially working at home with a family around. I write in the kitchen because I don’t want to miss anything, but it has its disadvantages especially when I’m in the middle of a love scene and someone’s asking where their clean socks are. I suppose that can be a sort of writer’s block, but I plough on through all the chaos because if I didn’t I would have to stop making stuff up for a living and find a ‘real’ job, and I couldn’t possibly do that!

What motivates you to keep writing?

I write a lot about disillusioned women with disappointing lives – we’ve all been there at some point. But I want to laugh or at least smile about life and recognise we’re all in this together and we can and should do something about it if we can. In the great scheme of things it’s not the end of the world to be overweight, in a frustrating relationship, or a disappointing job – but it affects your life. Many of my readers contact me to say they have identified with my heroines, laughed at my books, then done something about it. I’ve received messages on Facebook that have made me cry and when someone says my books have inspired them to chase their dreams and have the courage to make a change, that’s what really motivates me.

The other motivation is my characters, who never let me rest. I’m ‘in between’ books at the moment and had looked forward to the down time of a couple of weeks with a head free from characters and plots, but I can’t let go. My head is constantly filling with voices - I feel like psychic Sally! I’ll burst if I don’t start another book soon – and I only finished two days ago.

Do your characters moods ever affect your mood and vice versa? 

What a great question. Oh yes. When I wrote Summer Flings and Dancing Dreams I laughed a lot because my hero is hilarious and gorgeous and I loved spending time with him. But he’s not your typical romantic hero – he’s gay and his opening line is ‘I’m not interested in women, so you can’t take me to bed, take me shopping instead. I miss him, he cheered me up if I was feeling low.

And when I wrote Love, Lies and Lemon Cake I fell in love along with my heroine! Faye is a hairdresser in a dead-end marriage and a dead-end job who falls for Dan, a cool, gorgeous Australian who cares and listens and loves her like no-one else. Her husband Craig, on the other hand is a plumber, whose idea of excitement was a wet flange and a flick through ‘Plumbing Monthly.’ I felt like I’d had an affair after writing that book - and kept reminding myself that I wasn’t Faye and my husband wasn’t actually Craig the plumber!


What three pieces of advice would you give to an aspiring writer?
1.     Write, write, write. Seems obvious, but stop dreaming about writing ‘that’ novel, just get it on paper.


2.     Try not to worry about what everyone else is doing and achieving – that way madness lies. Just focus on you and your writing.


3.     It’s a cliché – but I can’t stress this enough - don’t give up. The rejections, the lack of money and the way some people look at you at the school gate like you’re deluded when you say ‘I’m writing a book.’ All these things, and more, will make you feel like absolute rubbish - but if, after all that you’re still writing, then you might just make it, because half the battle is to just keep on keeping on.

If your book was made into a film what song would you choose for the opening credits?
Oh that is just such a good question because I have absolutely the song. My teenage daughter and I don’t often like the same music but we both love a singer called Lily Kershaw. We play her album in the car constantly – and one of the songs really inspired me while I was writing ‘We’ll Always have Paris.’ It’s called ‘As it Seems,’ – it’s beautiful, about the fragility of life, the choices we make on the journey – and the stories we leave behind. The song gives me goosebumps and I can’t hear it without thinking of Rosie, my heroine… and it always, always makes me cry. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=utXz08ICZg4

Who would you choose to play your favourite character in the film of your book? My heroine in ‘We’ll Always have Paris,’ is in her sixties, and my editor loves the idea of Felicity Kendall which I do too. I also love the idea of Amanda Redman, who is actually in her fifties, but she’s sexy and feisty and fun – and who knows, if they ever made a film she might be old enough by then!

What is your next book about? 

My next book is a Christmas book, the working title is The Christmas Cake Café – and where ‘We’ll Always have Paris’ is an emotional read written with humour, this is a humorous read with emotion like my other books. The story involves Jenny, a forty-something woman who, having been dumped by her boyfriend on Christmas Eve plans to spend the rest of her life and her Christmases alone with her cat, a tin of Quality Street and Downton Abbey. But her younger sister convinces her – against her better judgement – to go on a Christmas ski-ing holiday, promising roaring log fires and glittering landscapes. But on arrival, things aren’t quite what she expected and the fact Jenny’s suitcase is lost and she can’t even ski is just the beginning of her problems.

And now think about the books you've read and just give the first one that comes into your head for our quickfire 'Which book round.'

Which book has made you:


Laugh out loud?
Jen Lancaster’s ‘Such a Pretty Fat.’
Cry your heart out? Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel
Want to read it again? ‘Her’ by Harriet Lane
Think more? ‘The Last lecture’ by Randy Pausch
Wish it would be made into a film? ‘The Mistress’s Revenge,’ by Tamar Cohen
Shocked? ‘I Let you Go,’ by Clare Mackintosh
Scared? ‘Behind Closed Doors,’ by BA Parish


Thank you so much Sue for joining us on our blog today and good luck with the book. 

Sincerely
Book Angels x

About the Author

Sue Watson was a TV Producer with the BBC who combined motherhood and family life with a busy career. However, one day it dawned on Sue that Cosmo magazine may have been telling porkies about 'having it all,' and her life had become a slightly crazed juggling act.

So after much soul searching (and comfort eating) Sue abandoned her TV career, bought a pink laptop and wrote 'Fat Girls and Fairy Cakes.' It was then Sue realised she couldn't stop writing and produced 'Younger, Thinner, Blonder' 'Love, Lies and Lemon Cake' and 'Snow Angels, Secrets and Christmas Cake,' 'Summer Flings and Dancing Dreams,' and 'Bella's Christmas Bake Off.' Her next book 'We'll Always have Paris,' comes out in June 2016.

Originally from Manchester, Sue now lives with her husband and teenage daughter in Worcestershire where she bakes (and eats) lots of cake. She spends much of her time making big decisions about whether to have Caramel Chew Chew or Peanut Butter ice cream (or both?) while watching 'The Biggest Loser USA,' and procrastinating over her latest novel.

For more info visit Sue's website; http://www.suewatsonbooks.com/
Sue would love to meet you on FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/suewatsonbooks

Follow Sue on Twitter @suewatsonwriter

Friday, 17 June 2016

That Girl from Nowhere by Dorothy Koomson


From the bestselling author of The Ice Cream Girls, The Woman He Loved Before and My Best Friend's Girl, an emotional story about love, identity and the meaning of family. ‘Where are you coming from with that accent of yours?’ he asks.
‘Nowhere,’ I reply. ‘I’m from nowhere.’
‘Everyone’s from somewhere,’ he says.
Not me,’ I reply silently.

Clemency Smittson was adopted as a baby and the only connection she has to her birth mother is a cardboard box hand-decorated with butterflies. Now an adult, Clem decides to make a drastic life change and move to Brighton, where she was born. Clem has no idea that while there she'll meet someone who knows all about her butterfly box and what happened to her birth parents.

As the tangled truths about her adoption and childhood start to unravel, a series of shocking events cause Clem to reassess whether the price of having contact with her birth family could be too high to pay...

Title:        That Girl from Nowhere
Author:    Dorothy Koomson
Published By: Cornerstone Digital
Date:        April 9th 2015
Link:        UK: Amazon   US: Amazon

My Review

I am a huge fan of Dorothy's ever since I found a copy of The Chocolate Run in a Spanish apartment we were staying in one year. After reading that I read her whole back catalogue and then bought everything she wrote and loved them all. However in the year since I've been blogging I've been inundated with so many other fabulous books and so when I met Dorothy at Isabelle Broom's book launch I was determined to catch up and she very kindly signed my copy for me. The book covers are always beautiful and intriguing.

One of the main things to say about Dorothy's books is that they deal with issues head on and I think that's what makes them so real and heart wrenching.
That Girl from Nowhere deals with the painful issue of adoption, Clemency Smittson has always known she was adopted and although she has had a happy childhood and was very much loved and wanted by her adopted parents she still was actually made to feel inferior and as if she didn't belong by other people including some family members.

I had always assumed that adoption would bring complications into a person's life but poor Clem did not deserve what she had to go through. Even meeting up with the biological parents caused such a lot of grief for her in that she felt guilty for meeting them incase it upset her mum but she also felt guilty for reminding her biological parents that she was responsible for causing problems in their lives. My heart broke for Clemency as she always had to be the bigger person in every aspect of her life and the feeling of being the girl from nowhere wasn't helped by meeting the biological family because they already had their roles within the family. One of the most heartbreaking scenes for me  was when her biological mother explained that she hadn't gone to University in the end and the room went quiet as everyone realised the reason why was because she got pregnant and then Clemency felt awkward, how absurd that she should feel awkward for being born!

I was horrified and angry for Clemency when her grandmother asked her to help her to do something as to me that just showed that she wanted to use her without any regard to how she might feel and the repercussions that would follow.
This story explored emotional blackmail, racism, family loyalty, pain and heartbreak. The adoption aspects were handled very sensitively and really made me feel empathy for everyone involved in this sort of situation. I feel that Clemency was actually a very strong character although she probably doesn't realise just how strong she is.

Another fabulous deep and meaningful book from Dorothy, interesting, heartbreaking and full of substance. I now need to catch up on the latest book When I Was Invisible.

About the Author



I wrote my first (unpublished) novel when I was 13 - and I've been making up stories ever since.

After finishing my masters degree, I had several temping jobs before getting my big break in journalism working on small newspaper. In the evenings I continued to write fiction and in 2001 I had the idea for The Cupid Effect. Two years later it hit the shelves and my career as a published novelist began.

In 2006 my third novel, My Best Friend's Girl, was published and was selected for the Richard & Judy Summer Reads Book Club - going on to sell over 500,000 copies. To date I've written six bestseller list books, and they have been translated into 28 languages across the world.

I live near Brighton and am currently working on another book and a screenplay. Find out more info at www.dorothykoomson.co.uk

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Summer at Skylark Farm by Heidi Swain

For everyone dreaming of escaping to the country, fall in love this summer at Skylark Farm...
Amber is a city girl at heart. So when her boyfriend Jake Somerville suggests they move to the countryside to help out at his family farm, she doesn't quite know how to react. But work has been hectic and she needs a break so she decides to grasp the opportunity and make the best of it.

Dreaming of organic orchards, paddling in streams and frolicking in fields, Amber packs up her things and moves to Skylark Farm. But life is not quite how she imagined - it's cold and dirty and the farm buildings are dilapidated and crumbling.

But Amber is determined to make the best of it and throws herself into farm life. But can she really fit in here? And can she and Jake stay together when they are so different?

A story of love in the countryside from the author of the bestselling The Cherry Tree Café. Perfect for Escape to the Country dreamers, Cath Kidston fans and Country Living addicts!

Title:        Summer at Skylark Farm
Author:    Heidi Swain
Published By: Simon & Schuster
Date:        June 2nd 2016
Link:        UK: Amazon   US: Amazon

My Review

Another super book from the delightful Heidi Swain.

Amber has a high powered job in the city which is her whole life. That is until she meets Jake who offers her a chance to taste the country life by moving into Skylark farm which belongs to his auntie Annie.

It doesn't take long for Amber to fall head over heels  in love with the place and she fits in really well but soon she discovers that secrets have been kept from her and Jake's ex, Holly, seems determined to get her claws back into him no matter what.

I was really taken with Amber's character and the way she threw herself into any challenges that came her way, she had a lovely relationship with Annie and made some great friends in the village.
I loved the descriptions of Skylark Farm and Meadowview Cottage and really felt as though I was there attending the May Fair and being a part of the community myself. It was also nice to revisit the Cherry Tree cafe and see how Lizzie and Jemma were doing.

I felt sorry for Amber as I really think Jake over reacted but he was helped into that situation by the trouble causers who made an innocent situation seem much worse.
Congratulations to Heidi for an excellent second novel and I can't wait for the next one. It's been a real treat watching Heidi embark on her writing journey and I've had the pleasure of meeting her on a number of occasions now.

Huge thanks to netgalley and Simon & Schuster for the review copy.

Sincerely
Book Angels x

About the Author

Although passionate about writing from an early age, Heidi Swain gained a degree in Literature, flirted briefly with a newspaper career, married and had two children before she finally plucked up the courage to join a creative writing class and take her literary ambitions seriously.

A lover of Galaxy bars, vintage paraphernalia and the odd bottle of fizz, she now writes contemporary fiction and enjoys the company of a whole host of feisty female characters.

Heidi can be found at the keyboard at all hours of the day and night and quite often scribbling longhand in her car during her lunch break. She lives in stunning south Norfolk with her wonderful family and a mischievous cat called Storm.

Saturday, 11 June 2016

Sunshine over Wildflower Cottage by Milly Johnson


New beginnings, old secrets, and a place to call home: the new novel from top five bestseller Milly Johnson
Viv arrives at Wildflower Cottage, a tumbledown animal sanctuary, for the summer. Her job is to help with the admin, but the truth is she is here for something much closer to her heart…
Geraldine runs the Wildflower Cottage sanctuary. She escaped from her past to find happiness here, but now her place of refuge is about to come under threat. Can she keep her history at bay and her future safe?
Back home, Viv’s mother Stel thinks she might have found a man who will treat her right for once. Ian is kind, considerate, and clearly head over heels for her. That’s what she has wanted all along, isn’t it...?

Escape to Wildflower Cottage this summer for love, laughter and friendship…

Title:        Sunshine over Wildflower Cottage
Author:    Milly Johnson
Published By: Simon & Schuster
Date:        June 16th 2016
Link:        UK: Amazon  US: Amazon


My Review

Well what can I say, Milly Johnson is one of my all time favourite authors and once again this book has exceeded my already high expectations of a Milly book.

It was utterly brilliant, a sheer indulgence, it was filled as always with Milly's northern wit and humour which will make you laugh out loud but also includes such tender moments between friends and families that will really pull on your heartstrings. This book had some really quite dark scenes in it which will make you so angry you will want to spit but sadly that just makes it even more real because unfortunately in this world there are some very hateful controlling people and I really admire Milly for not shying away from this subject and telling it exactly how it is.

One of the skills that Milly has is how she is able to use observational comedy in her writing especially in the relationships between women of all ages but I have to say the scenes with the menopausal women were hilarious especially when they start sharing the fans. I think that all Milly's characters have traits that we see in the women around us in our everyday lives and that's why we are immediately drawn to them because they are real women of different ages and all different shapes and sizes and we can relate to them.

So about the story, our main heroine Viv is a young girl who takes on a job in an animal sanctuary called Wildflower Cottage, even though she is actually terrified of animals. Whilst there she meets Geraldine who shows her the ropes and as it turns out has needed a sanctuary herself. She also meets moody but very handsome Vet Heath Merlo, who is not in the least bit impressed with her and is too busy trying to save Wildflower Cottage from ruthless landowner Nicholas Leighton. Heath is very suspicious of Viv as he can't understand why she would want to work for such little money, Viv has to remain secretive about the reason why she is really there and finds herself abandoning her admin role and having to get used to the animals when one of the staff members becomes temporarily incapacitated.

Watching the relationships blossom between the animals and the people at Wildflower Cottage was really lovely and involved such a lot of trust and I know that Milly did lots of research and was able to meet birds of prey and I think that really shone through in the descriptions of the birds.

I thought the book was balanced really well between Viv's new life at the sanctuary and then what her mum and friends got up to back home. I could really feel the bond between Viv and her mum Stel and felt so sad for Stel when she was trying to hide things from Viv as Viv was more like the parent.
All in all this book tore me up because I was conflicted with the fact that I wanted to devour it and savour it at the same time. I devoured it!

Milly's writing has a magical and ethereal quality about it which I find irresistible and addictive, there is always so much going on that you would never ever feel short changed by her, she is a very generous and giving author with a huge heart.

I thoroughly recommend this book and if you've never read a Milly book before then I promise that once you've read one you will want to read them all. I now can't wait for the next one.
Thank you to Milly and for the Books and the City Team at Simon & Schuster for this advanced copy. I feel very privileged to be part of the amazing #Teammilly

If you would like to read our review of Afternoon Tea at the Sunflower Café then please click here
Please buy Milly's short story The Barn on Half Moon Hill as all proceeds are to go to a very special cause close to her heart.

Would you like to treat a loved one? From next week Milly has some personalised Sunshine Over Wildflower Cottage gift packages which include a signed book and lots of goodies, click here for more information.

Sincerely
Book Angel x

About the Author

Milly Johnson was born, raised and still lives in Barnsley, South Yorkshire. As well as being an author of 12 published novels, 2 short story books and 2 novellas, she is also a copywriter for the greetings card industry, a joke-writer, a columnist, after dinner speaker, poet, BBC newspaper reviewer, and a sometimes BBC radio presenter.

She won the RoNA for Best Romantic Comedy Novel of 2014 and 2016 and the Yorkshire Society award for Arts and Culture 2015.


She writes about love, life, friendships and that little bit of the magic that sometimes crops up in real life. She likes owls, hawks, eagles, vultures and meringues but hates marzipan. She is very short.


Milly's website is www.millyjohnson.co.uk. She is on Twitter @millyjohnson and FB www.facebook.com/milly.johnson1

Thursday, 9 June 2016

Author Q & A Lorelei Mathias


Sparky dialogue and a lovely depiction of friendship. I loved this!' Katie Fforde
This story is a celebration of the people that bring you back to life when your world closes in: your mates. Relationships come and go, but the Break-up Club membership never truly expires.
'Sparky dialogue and a lovely depiction of friendship. I loved this!' Katie Fforde
'You'd be DAFT to miss out on this fab book – it's blimmin' marvellous! I LOVED IT' Miranda Dickinson
THERE’S NEVER BEEN A BETTER TIME TO BE SINGLE . . .
Holly Braithwaite and loveable loser Lawrence have been together for five years. But the obvious cracks in their relationship can no longer be ignored and Holly soon finds herself saying ‘it’s not me, it’s you’.
In the shock aftermath of their break up, Holly finds unlikely companions in Olivia, Harry and Bella. Together, they form the Break-up Club, as they support each other through their mutual melancholy and find ways to love, laugh and function as human beings again.
Break-up Club meets every Sunday. Each week, as the comedy and drama unfolds, they discover a new BUC ‘rule’. And, one by one, the rules become vital markers on their journey to recovery . . .
‘BREAK-UP CLUB’
To our members, we’re the first emergency service

Title:        Break Up Club
Author:    Lorelei Mathias
Published By: Maze
Date:        May 19th 2016
Link:        UK: Amazon 

About Break Up Club



Author Q & A with the lovely Lorelie Mathias

Welcome to Sincerely Book Angels blog Lorelei, it was so lovely meeting you at the author\blogger shenanigans organised by Bookouture's Kim Nash.

What was the inspiration behind this novel?
I wrote Break Up Club because I felt very strongly that what my friends and I were going through in the latter part of my twenties - this pathetic thing we jokingly referred to as a break up club - was actually rather brilliant, and it didn’t seem fair to keep the idea to ourselves. Perhaps it's melodramatic and #FirstWorldProblem-tastic but I firmly believe that the death of love is one of the saddest things you can ever go through (and I don’t say that lightly; I’ve been through some pretty brutal things!). But the joy of The Club is, that the moment you make your break-up communal, it, suddenly all becomes fun. Less of a tortuous hell and more of a game. For us, it was so much fun that I even had a boyfriend say once, ‘you’d rather be in the club than in this relationship, wouldn’t you?’ And I’ve lost count of how many times people said they were jealous and wanted in! I guess I’m just lucky my friends happen to be amazing people, and funny as hell. But it really was true for us, that a break-up shared is a break-up halved. That’s what inspired me - I wanted to share this realisation with others. I wanted to help other people get through their break-up hell quicker, by learning to laugh their way through it!


Did you always want to be a writer?
Yes and no. I’ve always loved words! But I think I was always a bit cautious about saying I really wanted to be a writer. I didn’t dare! So to begin with I set my sights on being a copywriter in Advertising - which I’ve been doing as a day-job for the last 15 years - it’s lots of fun!

It was my dad who always said I’d be a writer-writer. He just used to announce it every now and then, to my mum, and to my step-mum. He had this strange kind of confidence. In the same way he’d always be like, ‘when is your third book coming out?’ in the last few years of his life. Happily I can now finally say – ‘it’s finally out now! Sorry about the wait…’

What other jobs have you had?
Oh - SO many! Some highlights include: Library Assistant, McDonald’s server (they tried me in the kitchen, but I was terrible at it!) Barman, waitress, admin assistant in an adhesive factory, and for the last 15 years, advertising copywriter-creative director!

How did it feel when your first novel was published?
A cross between immense relief and excitement - and feeling chuffed that my dad finally got his wish!

Have you ever had writer's block? If so how did you overcome it?
I’m never sure if that’s a thing, and not just ‘I’m feeling a bit lazy today’. But I definitely have days when nothing’s flowing and I don’t feel inspired. On those days, I just go ok - this is an ‘admin day’ or an ‘editing day’ - or I go for a run, go swimming outdoors, or look at an amazing view. Preferably of water. Water’s magic.

What motivates you to keep writing?
The thought of the finished product. Imagining who might play the film or TV series of the book, and what song might be playing during that scene! And the excitement of new ideas, that’s a big driver.

Do your characters moods ever affect your mood and vice versa?
Yes sometimes they make me laugh- or I make them cry !

What three pieces of advice would you give to an aspiring writer?
Don't do what I did with my latest book…! Haha. What I mean is, this book came out of a funny period in my life, where I was forever going – oh, that’s funny, imagine that in a scene with this character! People often say – anything bad that happens – use it as material! But in reality, the 'funny material' you get actually weighs you down like an albatross, and you end up having to shed a lot of it as it's not driving any kind of narrative. I’d be the first to admit that BUC isn't a hugely plot driven book; it's more of a slow-burner.

So yeah, plot. Get yourself one of those! If that doesn’t come naturally to you – read books on it. Or go on a course to workshop ideas with other people. And if plot isn’t your strength, but character is – use that to your advantage. Make sure that the plot is coming out of your characters’ traits of some sort. For example, (and I’m not saying this is a great example, but just the first one that springs to mind!) Olivia doesn’t just get ill randomly – she gets ill because she’s run down and not been eating enough, because she’s got some issues to do with self-worth, and hasn’t processed her break-up properly. It would be boring to read that she just suddenly gets ill by chance. Having it come out of her character trait, that’s more interesting because there are clues you can pick up on as a reader. 

Another thing is to have a point of view. With BUC, I set out to say that in this day and age, friendship is the most important love of all. I knew it was true for me and for my friends, so that was my backbone. I had it written down where I could see it a lot of the time when I was writing. So long as you have one of those – an idea that you want to get across, that’ll help you see in the dark.

Lastly, something I’ve learned writing this last novel – don’t have too many main characters! I had to kill a whole one off, there were too many. There probably still are. Don’t make life hard for yourself! Three is plenty to be going on with!

Which authors inspire you?

Lucy Ann Holmes
Matt Haig
Mark Haddon
David Lodge
Irvine Welsh
Gwendoline Riley
Tom Stoppard
Wendy Cope

What are you reading at the moment?
Polly James' 'Would like to meet’, and I’m re-reading 'Downstream - a history and celebration of swimming the River Thames' by Caitlin Davies - I’m actually writing a non-fiction book at the moment about swimming, so this is primarily for research - but it’s fabulous!

If your book was made into a film what song would you choose for the opening credits?
Brilliant question! I would love love love it if BUC became a film, and I've already sound-tracked it! Click here to hear it! (spotify:user:1117541431:playlist:21OhGTa72s5AkRcWhQC6Iw )

So it's tough to choose but Maybe The Sixths ‘Falling out of love with you…’ which is brilliantly euphoric sounding with lyrics that break your heart. Or Simple Minds ‘Don’t you forget about me’. It plays at the end of ‘The Breakfast Club’, so playing it at the start of mine might be nice and ironic.

Who would you choose to play your favourite character in the film of your book?
Another fab question! If it was a tv show set in london - Esther Smith who is in the Comedy series ‘Cuckoo’ - she looks like Holly, and has brilliant comic timing. She's brilliant in this short film Elephant. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02j75pt

If it was a big budget movie then Jenny Slate is just frickin hilarious and looks the part too.


What is your next book about?

My next book is actually a non-fiction book where I romance something else entirely - outdoor swimming! More will be announced on that soon though :)

My next novel though - which I’ll hopefully be getting on with after - is a romantic comedy about flat-sharing. There was a real life '249A' flat very much like the one in BUC, but it wasn't in Tufnell Park. My time in that flat was a pivotal one in my twenties, and inspired a wealth of stories, but one big one in particular. So if/when I get back into writing that, it’ll be a book that finds comedy in the slovenliness of flat-sharing - which BUC touches on in places! And it’ll be a book about that weird limbo in between being a student and adult, and the sense of trying to find 'your place' in the world – whether that’s in a warehouse community in Tottenham, to couch-surfing through Craigslist in Venice Beach. It's a book about home, and how that's not just a place, it’s a person. Funnily enough, the title I had for the book I was writing during that time was Maison D'etre. At the time I was intensely proud of the wordplay I had achieved, but then a cafe opened up with that same name - literally across the road. Which is beyond eerie, but such is life!   

And now think about the books you've read and just give the first one that comes into your head for our quickfire 'Which book round.
'

Which book has made you:


Laugh out loud?

Lucy Ann Holmes ‘Fifty ways to find a lover'

Cry your heart out?
Vikram Seth ‘An equal music'

Want to read it again?
John Fowles 'The French Lieutenant's Woman'

Think more?
Mark Haddon, Curious Incident of the dog in the night-time

Wish it would be made into a film?

Eve Chase 'Black Rabbit Hall'

Shocked?
Irvine Welsh 'Porno'

Scared?
Julia Crouch ‘Cuckoo'

Thank you so much for joining us on our blog today Lorelei and good luck with the book
.

Sincerely

Book Angels x


About the Author

"Made me want to break up with someone, just so I could join the club immediately."
Part comedy, part self-help, but wholly fabulous." B & H Independent

Lorelei Mathias' new novel, 'Break Up Club' is a romantic comedy about friendship, and was inspired by her experiences in a pathetic yet funny break-up club of her own... which taught her that a break up shared, is a break up halved. One day she'd like to set up an official refuge for the broken-hearted, so that no one should ever have to go through one alone.

Lorelei was born in 'Metroland' to English and Romanian parents. She studied English & Philosophy at Birmingham University, before working in London as a Copywriter in Publishing and Advertising. She also enjoys journalism and has blogged for both Campaign Magazine and Caitlin Moran's website.

Her first novel 'Step on it, Cupid', was published when she was 25, followed by 'Lost for Words'. As a member of the writers collective '26', she has had a poem exhibited at the Museum of Childhood, and a non-fiction chapter published in 'Common Ground: Around Britain in 30 Writers.' She enjoys coming up with ways to help authors market their own books; which is how she came to write and produce the two films for her books. The one on this page stars the fabulous actress Sarah Smart. The other one can be seen at Lostforwordsnovel.com. Credited as one of the first people to make a 'book trailer' she has also contributed to a number of books and articles about online marketing for authors.

When she's not writing, she enjoys making comedy sketches and short films, running a fictional bakery called Niche Quiche, and asking people where the nearest lido is. She is also named after a mythical German mermaid, which might explain the obsession with outdoor swimming.

See more at:

loreleimathias.com
@loreleimathias

https://www.facebook.com/Lorelei.mathias.author/

Sunday, 5 June 2016

The Night Stalker by Robert Bryndza

If the Night Stalker is watching, you’re already dead…

In the dead of a swelteringly hot summer’s night, Detective Erika Foster is called to a murder scene. The victim, a doctor, is found suffocated in bed. His wrists are bound and his eyes bulging through a clear plastic bag tied tight over his head.

A few days later, another victim is found dead, in exactly the same circumstances. As Erika and her team start digging deeper, they discover a calculated serial killer – stalking their victims before choosing the right moment to strike.

The victims are all single men, with very private lives. Why are their pasts shrouded in secrecy? And what links them to the killer?

As a heat wave descends upon London, Erika will do everything to stop the Night Stalker before the body count rises, even if it means risking her job. But the victims might not be the only ones being watched… Erika’s own life could be on the line.

The global bestselling author of The Girl in the Ice is back with a heart-racing, electrifying thriller. If you love Angela Marsons, Rachel Abbott and Peter James, you’ll be hooked on Robert Bryndza.

Watch out for more from DCI Erika Foster.

She’s fearless. Respected. Unstoppable. Detective Erika Foster will catch a killer, whatever it takes.

Title:        The Night Stalker
Author:    Robert Bryndza
Published By: Bookouture
Date:        June 2nd 2016
Link:        UK: Amazon  US: Amazon

My Review


This is the second in the Detective Erika Foster series and it certainly lived up to the high quality psychological thriller I've come to expect from Robert Bryndza.
The plot was fast paced and gripping, it starts with the discovery of a naked man's body who had been tied up, drugged and suffocated with a plastic bag. We quickly find out that it is the work of a vengeful serial killer and it becomes a race against time to prevent any more murders

I love Erika's tortured and flawed character even though she appears cold she is basically surviving with a broken heart after the death of her husband which she feels totally to blame for. I also really like the interactions she has with her colleagues Moss and Peterson. It's not a whodunnit as we find out who the killer is but we are then able to watch the game of cat and mouse unfold as Erika and the team try to solve the investigation.

This book grabbed me by the throat and didn't let go till I got to the end. I'm really looking forward to reading the rest of the books in the series and would definitely enjoy watching these on telly, move over Lynda La Plante. Another amazing success for Robert Bryndza.

To see our review of The Girl In the Ice please click here.
To see our review of Dark Water please click here.

Thank you to bookouture for the advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

Sincerely
Book Angel x

About the Author

Robert Bryndza
Robert Bryndza is the author of the international #1 bestseller The Girl In The Ice.

The Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestseller is the first in the new Detective Erika Foster series. The second book, The Night Stalker is available to pre-order now and will be released on June 2nd.

In addition to writing Crime Fiction, Rob has published a bestselling series of romantic comedy novels. He is British and lives in Slovakia with his Slovak husband Ján. You can find out more about the author at www.robertbryndza.com and on Twitter @RobertBryndza

Sign up to Robert Bryndza's New Release Mailing List here: http://eepurl.com/UITxz