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  1. 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.

  2. 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

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

  3. 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. :)

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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

     

  4. My Friday Read this week is the romcom Gigi’s Island Dream written by Rosie Dean. The book is set on the beautiful Isle of Wight, where Rosie used to teach, and where she likes to go as often as possible.

     

    Gigis Island Dream

    Blurb

    Gabriella Gill-Martin – Gigi to her friends – ditches her privileged life in London’s fast lane, to live on an island, in her dream house, where she will build beautiful sculptures and grow vegetables. But she soon learns life in the fast lane is not all she has to give up.
    When dreams become nightmares – what’s a girl to do?

     It sounds a fun story, doesn't it? If you fancy a read then you can buy it here:

     Amazon

    Grab a cup of coffee, Rosie, and tell us a bit about yourself.

     Thanks, Karen. I'll have a mug, please!

    Rosie and coffee

    So how did you get started writing, Rosie?

    I’ve been writing stories since I was a little girl, when I was especially industrious and produced dolly-dressing books, complete with a typed story, a dolly to cut out on the back cover, and paper clothing with tabs on. I even sold a couple.

     After growing up, I studied ceramic design – gaining a ‘degree in crockery’ as the man-in-my-life likes to call it, which I once put to good use as an Art & Pottery teacher.

    Deciding I didn’t want to spend my entire life in the classroom, covered in clay and paint, I escaped to the world of corporate communication, where I wrote training courses and marketing copy.

    Now I’ve given it all up to write, full-time. When not writing, I love to cook and to read, I even read in the car (talking books) and have notched up countless unnecessary miles as a result.

    Not one to spend hours in the gym or pounding the pavement, I prefer Yoga and Pilates, which means I can tone and tighten whilst watching TV.

    Have you always wanted to be a writer?

    Yes – or an actress. When I was at junior school, I used to write plays for my friends to perform. I started writing my first novel when I was teaching, it’s a Young Adult novel, still lurking in a drawer.

    My first novel is still lurking in the drawer too. :)

    Has any author inspired you?

    When I first read Jilly Cooper’s romantic series – Harriet, Prudence, Emily, etc. I was doing my finals at Uni, and I thought, ‘This is what I want to write.’

    What do you like writing most?

    Uplifting stories, with plenty of humour in them and the occasional eccentric character.

    Do you have a special place for writing?

    No. I often write best at the library or in a café. So long as there’s fresh coffee available, I’m fine. It’s too easy to be distracted at home.

    Are you a pantster or a plotter?

    I used to be a pantster but I’ve learned the benefits of plotting. Mind you, I can go a bit ‘off-piste’ even when I have a plan. I love the alchemy of writing – where I suddenly discover a new and interesting route for my heroine to follow.

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

    All the time! Lots of little incidents have popped up in my writing. My first book, Millie’s Game Plan, is loosely based on a story a friend told me about a woman who was fed up not meeting Mr Right, so decided to draw up an Action Plan to find him. She thought the type of man she was looking for would probably play cricket, so she plotted a map of local cricket clubs and spent her weekends visiting them, hoping to meet him. And she did!

    What are you writing at the moment?

    My fifth book is another romantic comedy, this time about a girl who steps in at the last minute on a dating game show. Unbeknown to her, the guy she’s matched with has been deliberately set up by the producer to make the date as romantic as possible, in return for a professional contract. Since it’s her father who is producing the show, they both have something to hide. Their romantic trip, skiing in Vermont, opens up a whole can of worms.

    What inspired you to write this book?

    I once had a fabulous skiing holiday at Stowe, and knew I wanted it to be a location in a book. I also love TV dating shows, but often wonder how likely the candidates are to find lasting love together, which seemed like a great vehicle for a rom-com.

    What time of the day do you write best?

    Afternoons – unless I’m on a writing retreat. I need to clear through my emails, tidy the kitchen and shift all the clutter before I can settle down to write. I’m also pretty good at writing in the evening too – then reward myself by watching something like ‘I’m A Celebrity’ or ‘First Dates’.

    What are your hobbies?

    I love cooking, and have booked a Thai cookery day with my other half. I bought it as a birthday gift, for him, but thought he’d enjoy it more if we went together! Last year, I took up Adult Ballet – and absolutely love it, although I have no plans to don a tutu in the near future.

    What advice would you give to other writers?

    Do it! There’s no time like the present. PLUS, join a local writing group. I wrote for years on my own – it was only when I joined a writing group that my work developed and I became more prolific. The Romantic Novelists’ Association has a New Writers’ Scheme for budding romance writers; once I joined that, I was even more focused.

    Yes, great advice.

    Author Links 

    E-mail   rosiedean.author@gmail.com 

    Website/blog   http://www.rosie-dean.com                    

    Facebook       http://www.facebook.com/RosieDeanWriter

    Twitter            http://twitter.com/RosieDeanAuthor

    Goodreads     www.goodreads.com/RosieDean 

     

    Thanks for dropping by to talk to us, Rosie!

     

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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. It's 'meet the blogger' time again and my guest this week is the lovely Kim Nash who runs the popular blog Kim The Bookworm.

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    Thank you for agreeing to guest on my blog, Kim. Have a cup of coffee while we chat.

     

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    Can you tell us a bit about yourself,  Kim and, what inspired you to start a blog?

    My blog was inspired by a book called A Spring Affair by the fabulous Milly Johnson.  It’s about a lady who clears her house of clutter and then realises that it isn’t her house she needs to make changes to but her life.  This book really resonated with me and so I dropped Milly an email and we wrote backwards and forward. I mentioned that I was thinking of setting up a blog to chat about my love of books and she fully encouraged me.  For that, I am eternally grateful to this lovely lady who changed my life more than she’ll ever realise.

    I love women’s fiction, chick-lit, thrillers and self-help, personal development books too! 

    What is your favourite book of all time?

    I think because of what I said above A Spring Affair has to be one of my favourites.  From my childhood, I’d say The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton.  I know that one definitely inspired my love of getting entangled in another world. 

    Oh yes, I was a big fan of Enid Blyton when I was a child too. Loved the Secret Seven and Famous Five.

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

    Around 10-12 a month I’d say.  Sometimes slower or quicker depending on other things I have going in my life.

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

    ALL THE TIME! I sometimes wake up in the night too and my first thought is to read. It’s a pain though because instead of it making me feel sleepy, it just makes me want to keep on reading. When I was a teenager, the books that made me do this were Danielle Steele novels always heartbreaking and amazing stories.

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

    NEVER! HOW VERY DARE YOU!  LOL! It’s funny because I co-run a book club in Cannock, Staffordshire and when the lady who co-runs it with me admitted to doing this at the very first book club there was a collective gasp around the room.  We were all horrified!

    Oh dear, not sure if I should admit that I sometimes skip to the end ....

    What sort of plots do you dislike reading?

    Probably not plots so much as genres, but horror and sci fi.  I just don’t get them! Plot wise, I do like everything to be tied up nicely at the end.  Can’t stand a cliff-hanger! It’s because I’m so flipping impatient I think!

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

    I love books that make you feel like your emotions are on a rollercoaster.  Whether that’s heart-pounding because you’re in suspense, or a bit scared, or a book that makes me cry big snotty heart-wrenching tears or tears of joy! I do love a happy ever after too! And obviously, everything to be tied up with no answers left unturned.  Things like that can bother me for weeks!

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

    Goodness me, that’s a toughie! I do have to admit to reading on the loo (sorry folks!) but sometimes it’s the only time I get a bit of peace and quiet.  That’s probably the worst place.  Don’t think I’ve ever read in an unusual place though. 

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

    Hope it’s ok to pick someone who isn’t around any more.  If so, Enid Blyton, just to get inside that magical mind.  If not, I find that really hard to answer because I’m so lucky to have met the majority of my favourite authors in either my blogging or publishing lives.

    Do you have any other hobbies?

    I don’t have an awful lot of time for hobbies.  I have a 9 year old son, work for Bookouture full time on publicity and social media, have an online skincare/makeup/healthcare business, run a book club, am on the PTFA at school, run my book blog, have a family review blog (which I’m desperately trying to spend more time on), organise book blogger events from time to time and phew, I think that’s it.  It doesn’t leave me much time for anything else. 

    It certainly sounds like you're very busy, Kim.

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

    I am dabbling in writing.  Women’s fiction, with humour and emotion – I’d like to think that anyway!  I’ve always said I’d love to write a book since I was young, so I suppose one day I thought, well I’d be closer if I actually started it! So I did!

    You can find out more about Kim here

    www.kimthebookworm.co.uk

    www.facebook.com/KimTheBookWorm

    www.twitter.com/KimTheBookworm

    Thank you for dropping by to talk to us, Kim.

     

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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