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  1. A warm welcome to this week's Monday Meet Up guest blogger Kate Noble. Kate blogs at The Quiet Knitter.

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    Hi Kate,  Thank you for agreeing to guest on my blog. Grab yourself a cake and tell us a bit about yourself, why you blog, what inspired your love of books, what sort of books you like reading.

     

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    Hi Karen. I’m mum to 1 human child of the toddling variety and 2 canines (a border collie and a border collie x).  I’ve had a fascination with books for as long as I can remember and most of my spare time is spent either reading or knitting.  It all really came about as a place for me to witter away about my thoughts on the books I’d read as a hobby, but since then it’s grown into a place where I feel proud to share my thoughts and reviews and I’ve recently  taken the leap into participating in blog tours.   I grew up surrounded by books so it seemed only natural to pick one up and get lost in a new world.  My favoured books are generally crime fiction and thrillers, but I do dip into contemporary and historical fiction for a break now and again.

     Knitting and books sounds a good combination to me. What is your favourite book of all time?

    Without fail it has to be Alone in Berlin by Hans Fallada.  I read this in my teens and found it so hauntingly moving and it stayed with me.

    How many books, on average, do you read a month?

    Not enough to make a dent in my TBR pile!  I would guess between 6 or 7.

    Have you ever sat up all night because you were desperate to finish reading a book? If yes, what book was it?

    Absolutely, I have a bad habit of doing this, I fall victim to “just another chapter” every time! 

    Do you ever cheat and skip to the end of a book?

    Never.

    What sort of plots do you dislike reading?

    Anything overly silly, or takes too long to get to the point.  I don’t like reading something and feeling like I’m wading through treacle. 

    What sort of things would you like to see in a novel?

    Clever writing, creative plotting, interesting characters, and jaw dropping twists are all things that immediately spring to mind. 

    What is the most unusual place you’ve ever read a book?

    Erm I’m not too adventurous so it would either be in the bath or on a sun lounger in Tunisia.

    What author would you most like to have a cup of coffee with? Why?

    Ooh good question….erm I would say either Stuart MacBride, I really enjoy his books and he seems to have quite an interesting sense of humour (and it would make my dad very jealous) or maybe perhaps Sarah Ward as she has excellent taste in Bakewell tarts and writes some amazing books!

    Do you have any other hobbies?

    Knitting would probably be the only other hobby I have, as I don’t think ironing counts even though I seem to spend a ridiculous amount of time doing it.

    Do you write? If so, what sort of things do you write. If not, would you like to be an author?

    I would love to write, but I don’t really have the attention or imagination to pull it off.    

    You can find Kate here:

    Blog: https://thequietknitterer.wordpress.com/

    Twitter: @TheQuietKnitter

     

    Lovely to talk to you, Kate. Thanks for dropping by.

     

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    Bring a little sunshine into your life!      

    Sassy, feel good romance by Karen King. Just right to cosy up with on cold winter nights. Published by Accent Press

    Threebooks

     

  2. We're off to France for our Friday Read this week. Jennifer Bohnet has dropped by to tell us all about her latest release Rosie's Little Café on the Riviera.

     

     

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    Blurb

    It's a summer of taking chances for three different women down on the exotic French Riviera.

    Rosie is opening her dream cafe and intends to spend the summer turning it into a success -  only to find life tossing some unexpected events and people onto the menu.

    Then there's GeeGee who uses the cafe as her summer office - but this year she’s facing a summer of no money and no home.

    Recently widowed Erica runs a gift shop with a difference that she has been neglecting since the death of her husband. This summer, together with her young daughter Cammie, she needs to find a way of moving on with her life.

    What none of them expects is a summer romance.

    Buy Links 

    Amazon link: goo.gl/wDA6gy

    Amazon Book page: http://goo.gl/UzPSMx

     

     Meet Jennifer

     

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    I asked Jennifer to tell us a big about herself

    I’m English but I’ve lived in France for the past 17 years. After 11 years down on the Cote d’Azur where Richard was a guardien for a villa, we moved from the Mediterranean coast to a small quirky cottage in Finistere, Brittany. A bit of a culture shock to say the least! When I’m not writing I love reading, cooking and having friends around for lunch - lunches that follow the French tradition of lasting for several hours. Rosie’s Little Cafe on the Riviera is my tenth book and I’m thrilled @HQDigital are issuing it in paperback in conjunction with Sainsburys.

    Have you always wanted to be a writer?

    Always, but it took a long time for me to achieve my dream.

    What do you like writing most?

    The genre I read most of - women’s contemporary fiction.

    Do you have a special place for writing?

    When we moved up here to Brittany there was a room of sorts at the back of the cottage - corrugated roof, windowless and damp. Richard has done a great job in converting it into a ‘proper’ room and it’s now my office cum spare room for visitors.

    Are you a pantster or a plotter?

    I’m a pantster desperately trying to be more of a plotter - after ten books I’m getting better but I still hate it when editors ask for an outline upfront!

    Is your writing ever inspired by your family or real life incidents?

    Inspired yes - but never ever used verbatim.

    What are you writing at the moment?

    I’ve just started my eleventh book which I can’t talk about because I’ve no idea yet whether it’s actually going to work!

    What time of the day do you write best?

    I find the mornings best for writing - if I don’t start writing then, I don’t seem to do any that day. This year I’m trying to be strict with myself - mornings are for writing, afternoons for e-mails and life stuff and the evenings for editing etc. It’s trying to fit in all the promo and networking that has to be done that I find so difficult.

    What are your hobbies?

    I occasionally get the urge to do some knitting or sewing. Not really a hobby but I also try and have at least an hours walk every day. The countryside around us here is lovely and it’s good thinking time - and hopefully goes some way to helping banish writer’s bottom!

    What advice would you give to other writers?

    To remember that you’re in it for the long haul - and it can be a very long haul! Very few achieve overnight bestseller status.

     Good advice, Jennifer!

    You can contact Jennifer here:

    Website: http://www.jenniferbohnet.com/index.html

    Facebook Author Page: goo.gl/6hsfZw

    Amazon.com author page: http://amzn.to/299rvVv

    Twitter: @jenniewriter

    Thanks for dropping by to tell us about your book, Jennifer. :)

     

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    Bring a little sunshine into your life!     

    Sassy, feel good romance by Karen King. Just right to cosy up with on cold winter nights. Published by Accent Press

    Threebooks

     

     

     

     

  3. I'm interviewing fab blogger Lorraine Rugman on 'Monday Meet Up' today. Lorraine blogs at https://thebookreviewcafe.com/

     

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    Thank you for agreeing to guest on my blog, Lorraine.  Grab a cuppa and tell us a bit about yourself.

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    Thanks, Karen. I’m Lorraine, born and bred in a small village on the outskirts of Bristol and married to my childhood sweetheart Andy. We have one son, who's married. I’m the wrong side of 50, but you know what they say? 50 + is the new 40 right! Family are a very important part of my life, followed by books. I have always been an avid reader and especially love crime and psychological thrillers. I think I've always had a "love affair" with books from the moment I could read and my love for reading has stayed with me. 

    What inspired your love or reading and why do you blog about books?

    Last year I was off work for 3 months with a hand injury, I spent the time reading one book after another and posting my reviews to Amazon, but I soon got bored and decided to fill my time by creating a book blog, so after much research, tweaking and lots of swearing (I’m not particularly technology minded) The Book Review Café was born. I didn’t really think about where it would lead, I just thought I could have a personal record of the books I really enjoyed all in one place. 

    What's your favourite book of all time, Lorraine?

    I don't have a favourite book as such as I read so many but I guess every time I see an Enid Blyton book it brings back happy memories of my childhood as those are some of the first books I can remember reading by myself. 

    So many people say this. She was one of my favourite authors too. How many books, on average, do you read a month?

    It depends as I work shifts so some months it can be as little as four or other months it could be 10-12, at the moment I'm in between jobs so I'm reading approximately 5-6 a week which is bliss. 

    Have you ever sat up all night because you were desperate to finish reading a book? If yes, what book was it?

    Yes more than once but the last one was A Suitable Lie by Michael J Malone it was just one of those books I couldn't bear to put down

    Do you ever cheat and skip to the end of a book?

    No never I haven't even been tempted. If I don't like a book I just give up on it.  

    What sort of plots do you dislike reading?

    I'm a huge fan of crime and psychological thrillers, so I'm not too keen on having this sort of read spoilt by a lot of the plot being taken up with romance, this very often spoils a book for me and distracts from my enjoyment of the read. 

     What sort of things would you like to see in a novel?

    The unexpected. I love it when a book keeps you guessing right until the last page, Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough did just that, I would never have guessed the ending not in a million years. I like my books to be dark and twisted, guaranteed to keep me reading and I also love well developed characters, I feel they can make or break a book, and obviously a good plot with lots of twists and turns 

    What is the most unusual place you’ve ever read a book?

    Hmmmm that's a hard one but I would have to say sat on a boat on the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, I wouldn't get in the water as I was convinced I would get attacked by a shark so I sat and read instead 😂

    Wow! That's certainly an unusual place, Lorraine!

    What author would you most like to have a cup of coffee with? Why?

    Ohhh there are so many I would love to chat to and learn more about, I haven't long read Deep Down Dead by Steph Broadribb aka Crime Thriller Girl. She trained as a Bounty Hunter, it  sounds like a fascinating a job so I would love to question her about this part of her life. 

    Do you have any other hobbies?

    Blogging takes up much of my spare time reading then writing reviews, and then making them in to posts take up so much time, I never realised when I first started blogging how much time it would take up, but I love it. I do enjoy baking when I have the time and I love spending time with my family, eating out and going to the cinema. 

    Do you write? If so, what sort of things do you write. If not, would you like to be an author?

    No I don't write. Everyone keeps telling me I should write a book, but I don't have the imagination or the patience 

    You can find contact Lorraine here: 

    Blog: http://thebookreviewcafe.com 

    Twitter: @reviewcafe

     Thanks so much for dropping by to talk to us, Lorraine.

  4. It's always a pleasure to welcome someone I know personally to my blog. I met Diane Need, my guest author this week, a few years ago when she came to one of my writing courses and I'm delighted to feature her debut novel, Press Three for Goodbye, as my Friday Read this week.

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    Blurb

    A cheating husband

    A confidence crisis

    Does life really begin at 40?

    When Beth, a stay-at-home wife who is fast approaching forty, decides to put some romance back into her flagging marriage, her plans are thwarted when her husband announces he’s leaving her for his intellectual equal. All he leaves Beth with is an order to vacate the family home and the wrath of her acid-tongued mother-in-law. Beth has no career, no money and no self-esteem.   

    Beth’s best friend Jackie manages to find her a job at a care home. The work is challenging, and, with a string of obstacles being dropped on her, one after another, her life descends into chaos.

    There is a flicker of light on the horizon when handsome Ryan Morgan enters her life and offers to dog-sit her beloved dog, Rodney. But are Beth and Ryan meant to be together?  And will they be able to pursue a relationship when she discovers more secrets about those she thought she knew so well?

    It sounds fab, Diane. Press Three for Goodbye is released next week and will be available to buy from Amazon or Diane Need - Author Page. 

     

    Meet Diane

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    I'm a trained Counsellor with a background in education and social care, and I believe my work and personal life has given me insight and understanding into how life issues can impact upon people. 

    I've always had a great passion for writing fiction and poetry for pleasure. In the last couple of years I've undertaken writing courses to help develop my skills, and I’ve finally written my first book; something I’ve always dreamed of doing. 

    I've had poetry published in a publication called 'Dawntreader,' and I was recently short-listed in a local short story competition.

    That's fantastic, Diane, congratulations! Have you always wanted to be a writer?

    Yes, since I was a child.

    Has any author inspired you?

    I’ve found inspiration from many different authors, but I was inspired to write my debut novel after reading Sue Watson’s Younger, Blonder, Thinner.  It had the ingredients to make me laugh out loud one minute, yet it was extremely poignant and brought a tear to my eye the next.

    What do you like writing most?

    I like writing about things that could happen to anyone, and things that may help inspire others.

    Do you have a special place for writing?

    I had an office decorated and fitted out; complete with a rug for my dog to lie on – but she doesn’t want to be there and sulks like mad when I go in there!  I tend to write on my lap in my living room, where she can curl up on the sofa next to me.

    Are you a pantster or a plotter?

    I begin as a plotter, but find a story thread can lead me off the beaten track, so I end up being both!

    Is your writing ever inspired by your family or real life incidents?

    Yes, definitely – especially the antics of my dog!  I don’t think I could have written about the dog in my book without her inspiration!

    What are you writing at the moment?

    I’ve just finished my debut novel, Press Three for Goodbye.  I’ve started to plan out novel number 2, but it’s going to be a completely different to my first book.

    What inspired you to write this book?

    I have a background in counselling, and I believe that stories that people can connect with and relate to may help them in some small way, even if it’s the realisation that sometimes bad things happen to good people. 

    What time of the day do you write best?

    I have M.S. and a consequence of this is fatigue, so I try to pace myself.  I pick a slot in the morning and a slot in the afternoon to write, and try to take a break in between.

    What are your hobbies?

    Writing now takes up the majority of my time and energy, but I also love to read and I have a very eclectic taste.  My other hobbies include meeting up with friends, watching films and travel.

    What advice would you give to other writers?

    Never, ever feel you’re not good enough. Writing isn’t a “one size fits all”, and if it’s what you want to do – just go for it!

    Good advice, Diane!

     You can contact Diane here:

     Facebook: Diane Need - Author Page. 

     Twitter - @dianeneed

     Lovely to talk to you, Diane. Lots of luck with your book.
     
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    Bring a little sunshine into your life!    

    Sassy, feel good romance by Karen King. Just right to cosy up with on cold winter nights. Published by Accent Press

     

     Threebooks

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

  5. Delighted to welcome the lovely Kaisha Holloway to my Monday 'meet the blogger' spot. Kaisha blogs at https://thewritinggarnet.wordpress.com/

     

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    Thank you for agreeing to guest on my blog, Kaisha. I've brought along a chocolate cake for us to munch while we talk. Let me cut you a slice.

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    Can you tell us a bit about yourself, Kaisha. What inspired your love of books and why did you start a blog?

    Hiya, thank you for having me! Some of you may know me as Kaisha but the majority of you may know of me as The Writing Garnet (TWG)! I'm 27 and live on my own with my little girl, Eva. I blog because I have been a huge bookworm since the moment I could read (apparently). When I was growing up I used to get tested on books that I had read weeks before, just to ensure that my speed of reading didn't mean that I wasn't paying attention to what I was reading! Blogging is important to me because I use books as my form of escape; from my personal life. I get no respite from my daily challenges and find that reading lets me escape to other destinations, other emotions; all at the drop of a hat. Because of that, I needed to do something to say 'thank you' to all the authors who write books that are a huge part of my life; that is where my blog came in. You'll find books from various genres on my blog from chic lit to psychological thrillers to crime fiction to comedy. The only books you won't see me reading are sci-fi, fantasy or anything overly gorey. Sorry, that was long, haha.

    A great answer, Kaisha. What is your favourite book of all time?

    Oh geez! The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton would have to be THE book.

    Oh, one of my favourite childhood authors too. How many books, on average, do you read a month?

    It varies. I usually am able to read about 4/5 books a week; sometimes more, sometimes less. But, if it helps, I read 23 books in January!

    Wow! That's quite an achievement. Have you ever sat up all night because you were desperate to finish reading a book? If yes, what book was it?

    There has been a couple actually! Sister, Sister by Sue Fortin, A Mother's Confession by Kelly Rimmer and more recently, A Song for Tomorrow by Alice Peterson.

    Do you ever cheat and skip to the end of a book?

    Nuhuh, no way. I personally don't see the point in that.

    What sort of plots do you dislike reading?

    Predictable ones! I don't like the whole boy meets girl, they fall in love, break up, realise they're meant to be together and end up getting back together just like that. Whilst that may be real life for some, it's far too predictable for me. Also, I don't really like reading plots based around rape or any form of child abuse. I have read books with those in but those topics appear fleetingly, I'm talking about books having those topics as the centre of the novel.

     Totally agree, I don't like those topics either.What sort of things would you like to see in a novel?

    I would like to see invisible illnesses (mental illnesses/physical illnesses) and chronic illnesses appear in more novels as they are STILL misjudged subjects.

    What is the most unusual place you’ve ever read a book?

    How boring am I, I don't read anywhere unusual!

    What author would you most like to have a cup of coffee with? Why?

    Oh that's a really tough question. I have many, many authors that I wish to stalk over a cup of Nescafe gold blend. Sorry, MEET, ahem, all for very, very different reasons. BUT, if I had to choose just one to meet for coffee right now it would be Lisa Jewell. I find her writing style so enticing and completely different to the vibe she gives off over social media and I would love to be able to talk to her face to face about finding that writers balance. Plus, she knows I fangirl her anyway!

     Do you have any other hobbies?

    Photography has been a huge passion of mine for many years, I don't do it as often as I would like to. Well, unless you count photos of the mini me as photography? Exercise will forever be a hobby of mine, even if I am unable to do it like I used to.

    Do you write? If so, what sort of things do you write. If not, would you like to be an author?

    On my blog I don't just write book reviews, I do actually write real life pieces and honest posts; hopefully one day I will get them published. Yes, I would love to be an author or a published writer. I have to find work from home on a freelance basis so I am hoping my blog opens doors for me in the writing/marketing/publishing world. Would be a dream come true.

    Blogging is a good place to start, Kaisha. Keep on writing and I'm sure your dream will come true.

    You can find Kaisha here:

    blog: https://thewritinggarnet.wordpress.com

    twitter: @kaishajayneh

     
    Instagram: @thewritinggarnet

     

    Thanks for dropping by to talk to us, Kaisha. :)

    ****

     

    Bring a little sunshine into your life!    

     

    Sassy, feel good romance by Karen King. Just right to cosy up with on cold winter nights. Published by Accent Press

    Threebooks