Sunday, 30 October 2016

The Wendy House by Pauline Barclay

The Wendy House is a compelling story that tells the touching story of the horrors of abuse and the deep emotional scars it leaves behind. The author writes and captures the true feelings and emotions of the trauma the victim is going through and how it effects the whole family dynamics, with the shock waves and secrets of the feelings of fear and repercussions of speaking up.

A very difficult and taboo subject to write about in a novel, some readers may find its content upsetting, but the author handles the difficult scenes in a gentle, honest and respectful way. The book really makes you become involved with the leading character, it is gripping and you want to reach in among the pages and offer help and understanding. 'Tell someone', you feel yourself saying. I have read all of author Pauline Barclay's books and they are all very good and excellent reads, but this is her best work to date. 

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Echoes of Time (The Guernsey Novels Book 5) By Anne Allen

Natalie moves into her dream cottage. The cottage had been modernised and rebuilt after a fire had destroyed the original cottage. Although unique and a beautiful place to live in Guernsey, the cottage itself is quite isolated and secluded, so when strange things start to happen when she moves into the cottage, which look like ghostly goings on, and Natalie finds out that the previous owner disappeared under mysterious circumstance she decides to look into the story to try and find out what is the cause of the hauntings from the past.

Set in the modern day and during the Second World War this is a beautifully told story, this is not just a ghost story, it also about a forbidden romance, a love story added together with mystery and suspense. There is not a dull moment in this story from start to finish and you find yourself caught up in the sad and haunting emotions of the book. 

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Killer Diamonds by Rebecca Chance

Diamonds owned by the Oscar winning actress Vivienne Winter are about to go under the hammer in a glamorous auction expected to make millions. Vivienne's multi-million-dollar jewellery collection is not just attracting buyers, wicked grandson Angel has his own agenda, assisted by the unscrupulous Nicole. Taking in innocent and ambitious jewellery expert Christine in their scheme to scandal.

Wow! Is all I can say about this book. Speechless I am. How can you sum up just how good this book is? It is fabulous. With sizzling and steamy sex scenes that are so well written and done in the most outrageous and entertaining way, that they will steam your reading glasses right up. Leaving you flushed on the train journey home. A sensational story with all the characters needed and personality and charisma to make you want to keep on reading and it is one thrill of a ride. Living up to the bonkbuster naughty name this book is pure dynamite.

Monday, 1 August 2016

Eight Tips I Wish I Had Known Before Becoming An Author by Lynda Spiro

Before writing There Is Always More To Say, I had never disciplined myself into writing an entire novel. I had neither the experience nor the knowledge. I just started writing down my thoughts! What I have learnt along the way has been invaluable to me. Particularly as I prepare for my next great adventure. Below are some tips which I would like to share with you. Tips that I believe have helped me to become a better writer over time.
  1. Finding my environment
    1. I found this to be incredibly important. Personally, I love writing early in the morning or late in the evening when my mind isn’t distracted by other things in my day. I love being alone with my thoughts. It also gives me more time to think, sometimes reading passages aloud or listening to music. But this is just me! Think about how and where you work best and try to make it as constructive an environment as you can.
  2. Listening to my characters
    1. I don’t always know what my characters are thinking. I don’t always know what they are about to say, or what they want to do. It’s only when I start writing that it comes to me. This isn’t because I don’t plan. But I like to be flexible and see what happens. Where I get taken to. Try to take some time to listen to your characters. You never know where they might end up taking you.
  3. Write, write, and write again!
    1. Before I wrote There Is Always More To Say, I never knew how long the writing process would take. Although I did set myself a deadline of one year! And I didn’t really think about what the process would be like. Or what it would entail. I also didn’t realise that I would not be writing the story from beginning to end. But in individual sections that I would then combine to create the whole book. Because seemingly this is what worked for me. When I wrote each piece, I would always return to it at a later date. This meant that many aspects of the story changed along the way. This was because I had the framework, but not always the details. I recommend you try the same! You never know how your fifth draft will differ from your first draft. It takes practice and refinement. Rewriting my work helped me establish the universe in which my novel was set. I hope you try the same.
  4. Story comes first – always
    1. Sometimes I wanted to take my characters on crazy adventures. This may have been because of something that had happened to me during that particular day on which I was writing, or something I had recently overheard or seen somewhere. Did it benefit the story I was trying to tell? No. Always remember the story you are trying to tell, and that the actions of your characters have reactions. Do they make sense for the novel as a whole? I learnt along the way that it’s not always either necessary or beneficial to include every idea. The story is paramount. There are always more stories to tell! There is always more to say!
  5. Leaving the comfort zone
    1. I would say that writing a novel allowed me to completely leave my comfort zone. I think it has been one of my greatest achievements to date! I loved the whole experience from beginning to end. I loved realising a project that I had never attempted before. The same should be for you. You never know where your imagination will take you by trying new things. Trust me, it is so much fun!
  6. Don’t be afraid of constructive feedback
    1. It can be a scary process when you seek feedback on a piece of work. Especially when it’s your creative baby. I found that the initial responses from a friend and also from my husband helped to propel the story into a more refined and perfected product. It really helped both me and the story. Their unanswered questions were easy for me to answer. I was given the opportunity to fix some crucial issues that I hadn’t seen whilst I’d been writing. I had left some ‘holes’ in the story. These were easy for me to fill in as they were in my head. But I had assumed that the reader knew more than I had explained. I recommend finding someone you trust and giving them snippets to review for tone and story. For me, it was my best friend and husband. For you, it could be a friend, a family member, or even a stranger! It’s extremely important to get a second pair of eyes along the way. Or maybe even a third and fourth! Whatever works best for you
  7. Always read, except for when you write
    1. I love reading, but I found it very distracting whilst I was actually writing There Is Always More To Say. This was because sometimes the tone, style, or language of the author I was reading would want to appear in my work. So although I think it’s really important to never stop reading, for me whilst writing I cannot read other people’s work for fear of being influenced by their words. Remember you want to keep your words yours. And the subconscious can do strange things.
  8. Write everyday – it is always a success
    1. Whilst I was writing There Is Always To Say, I would never let a day go by without writing anything. Even if it was just a few sentences in the notebook that I carry around with me. I wanted to maintain my flow and keep by creative style alive. It was very important to me that once I had started my novel, it wasn’t interrupted. I wanted to keep the flow, the tone, and the journey constant. That’s why I would suggest writing everyday – if only a few words. Never let your story leave your mind.

These are some of the biggest lessons I learnt whilst writing There Is Always More To Say. It was an incredibly exciting journey for me. It was difficult at times, and sometimes disheartening. But that’s what having a creative mind is! Throughout the ups and downs of writing my first novel these eight points helped me to achieve my dream. I hope they help you achieve yours. Good luck!

Lynda x

The Brazilian Husband by Rebecca Powell

This is one of those wonderful books that dives the reader straight into a story. The story is very well written about a woman called Judith, who after losing her Brazilian husband of fifteen years, makes a journey to Brazil with their daughter Rosa. There is an added mystery to the story, that slowly reveals itself throughout the book. Things are not what they seem and the ghosts of the past must be faced and laid to rest, before they can look to the future.

Set in 1994 with the backdrop of the football World Cup and capturing the heart and culture of Brazil, this is an excellent storyline that is so neatly done and so orderly set out that it is just perfect. The author clearly has a huge talent for storytelling and creating words that deliver a good story. Before you know it with this book you are well past the halfway point and you will just want to keep on reading. A very satisfying and enjoyable read.

Thursday, 21 July 2016

There Is Always More To Say by Lynda Young Spiro

A chance meeting, an instant attraction and a forbidden love. Thoughts of intimacy and what could have been are the essence of this book. Our leading character takes the reader on an intense journey of a long distance relationship of only a small space of time spent together, that shows a lifetime of love.

Every once in a while a manuscript or book is sent to me that you can see has the potential to be something really special and this is one of those amazing times. The book can be read in one sitting and it was read in one sitting with me. I could not put the book down. Emotionally charged with feelings, this is a book that deep emotions pour out over the pages. Words created beautifully, some may find it a touch repetitive, but the narrative which it written the character would often have those repetitive thoughts on her mind. So I thought it to be poetic. The jumping back and forth between decades was done well and does not confuse the reader. I liked the way the writer made the focus on the love between the two characters and not on their sexuality. A beautiful book. More please! Dear author.

Saturday, 16 July 2016

Kidnap by Barbara Spencer

Five children are kidnapped, all have wealthy, powerful and influential parents. A serial kidnapper is on the loose and when news of an unaccounted for plane crashing reaches the families and police they must act fast to save the lives and to bring the youngsters home safe.

Told from both the captured youths and the police and families looking for them points of view this story builds into quite an adventure for the youngsters, who are used to living very privileged lives and now find themselves having to fight for their freedom and form a friendship bond with each other in order to survive.

I enjoyed the pace of the book and the chapters at times left me in suspense and made me want to read on and find out what happens. I found all the characters likeable and I found the storyline original, although I did find the ending a little bit abrupt and would have preferred a more neater ending, but I can see why the author chose to give it the ending she did and it does work.