Sunday, 21 October 2018

Debut Spotlight: Pernille Meldgaard Pedersen

Although I'm not officially starting Christmas on the blog until next month, today it's my pleasure to be shining the spotlight on Pernille Meldgaard Pedersen and her debut novel Him With The Beard.

Pernille was born in 1988 and loves that she was born in the decade with the tallest hair, the most colourful clothes, and the best music.

Her imagination never stands still, and it’s often expressed in words and pictures.

She wrote her first story when she was six years old. It was about the cat she unfortunately never got but wished for more than anything.

She loves autumn and Christmas and believes in elves.

From day to day she is a knight in training, an animator, and a secret agent – she has saved the world a few times by now.
She’s also a professional daydreamer.

She thinks the recipe for a good book is the same as the one for having a good life – a sense of kinship, humour, love, and that one thing that gives you a daily smile.

Vestercity is a fictional city based on her upbringing near the city of Herning in Denmark.

Thank you so much to Sharon for letting me visit her amazing blog.

Read on for an excerpt of my debut Christmas Chicklit book ”Him With The Beard”.

I threw a little glitter here and a few spruce branches there, and with a high-pitched voice and the biggest smile on my face, I sang so loud the whole house shook.
  “You better watch out! You better not cry! Better not pout, I’m telling you why! Santa Claus is coooooming to tooooown!”
  Sausage, our chubby little dachshund, barked along with me. In my home, we loved Christmas. And not just loved – no, we LOVED Christmas!

Blogiversary Giveaway: Win a Purple/Lilac Book Charm BookBandz (suitable for HB or larger PB)

I can't believe it's that time of year again, a time to reflect and celebrate another year of blogging and sharing a love of all things books ably assisted by my good friend Emma.  And this year my blogiversary weekend also coincides with Salisbury Literary Festival so over the last few days I've been to 7 fantastic events featuring a diverse range of authors. I've really enjoyed being a part of the build up promotion to the festival so it's been great to go and listen to the authors in person who I've had as guests on the blog over the last 6 weeks.

I'm not sure whether it's the change of season at this time of year but yet again this year I have hit a bit of a bump in the road with regards to my reading over the last couple of months, partly due to a new health diagnosis that has meant a whole change of mindset, but also I have a few things going on workwise which has also left me a bit frazzled.  But I'm hoping to get back on track over the next couple of months as I have some exciting books in my TBR that I'm really looking forward to reading.

Friday, 19 October 2018

Books Read: The Other Sister by Elle Croft

How far would you go...

Gina Mills is desperate to be a newsreader, but her boss - the director of the struggling Channel Eight, won't help.

Walking home one night, Gina stumbles upon a dead body, and after calling the police, she makes the split-second decision to report the murder live.

When questioned by the police, Gina can't remember specific details about her discovery, but these memory gaps are explained away as shock. uncover your family's deadly secret?

But when Gina finds a second body, it's clear she's being targeted. But why?

And how is this connected to the death of Gina's younger sister so many years ago?

Amazon Affiliate Links: Kindle or Paperback

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Emma's Review: The Lost Daughter by Gill Paul

Reviewed by Emma Crowley

With the country they once ruled turned against them, the future of Russia's imperial family hangs in the balance. When middle daughter Maria Romanova captivates two of the guards, it will lead to a fateful choice between right and wrong.

Fifty-five years later . . .
Val rushes to her father's side when she hears of his troubling end-of-life confession: 'I didn't want to kill her.' As she unravels the secrets behind her mother's disappearance when she was twelve years old, she finds herself caught up in one of the world's greatest mysteries.

Amazon Affiliate Links: Kindle or Paperback

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

The Write Stuff with... Mary Jayne Baker

Today it's my pleasure to hand the reins of the blog over to author Mary Jayne Baker to talk about the challenges and benefits of writing a series.

The second book in my Love in the Dales series, The Perfect Fit, was released last month. In it, readers return to the sleepy Yorkshire village of Egglethwaite – first encountered in A Bicycle Made for Two – as the villagers try to save their village hall by organising a Christmas pantomime.

This is my first time writing a series – in fact, when I came up with the idea of Egglethwaite and its colourful inhabitants two years ago, I had no idea they were destined for more than one book. I wrote the first in the series, A Bicycle Made for Two, as a standalone. I think it was my agent who suggested to me that the characters were too good for a one-off and suggested turning it into a series.

I wasn’t sure at first. I worried that a series would be susceptible to the curse of the sequel, with fans of the first book comparing later instalments – perhaps unfavourably – with what came before. And then there were the main characters. A Bicycle Made for Two had a wonderful, feisty, no-nonsense heroine in Lana Donati, but at the end of that book I’d left Lana to her happily-ever-after. I wanted to write a brand-new blossoming romance rather than simply catching up with Lana and Stewart in the next phase of their lives.

Monday, 15 October 2018

Salisbury Literary Festival: The Write Stuff with... Richard Skinner

Today is the final feature for Salisbury Literary Festival ahead of the first event which starts on Wednesday.  I'm really looking forward to the mix of events I'm going to, I currently have tickets to 6 events and I'm still at this late stage thinking of buying 1 more!

It's my pleasure today to hand the blog over to Richard Skinner to introduce the event he is chairing, Food and Fiction at Fisherton Mill, which is a on the road version of the Vanguard Reading sessions that he set up.

I started Vanguard Readings because, at Faber Academy, I continually meet a lot of brilliant new writers who, as long as they remain unpublished, receive very few invitations to read their work. So, in 2011, I decided to do something about that and set up a monthly series of readings as a platform for new writers to read their work. The idea immediately struck a chord, our audience quickly grew and, seven years later,  Vanguard is now a thriving community of writers who meet once a month to share their experiences and support Vanguard and its ethos of promoting new work.

The set-up at Vanguard is simple: 6 readers per event reading alphabetically for around 10 minutes each. It doesn’t matter if you’re an unpublished writer or Ian McEwan, it’s done alphabetically and democratically. Over time, the 10 events held every year have shaped themselves into different kinds of event. For instance, I put aside four events per year for my Faber Academy alumni to read. I make sure to programme two poetry-only events per year, which tend to be very special nights. Also, a few years ago, I started to offer half the slots per event to small presses so that they could showcase their authors. So far, among others, we have hosted Galley Beggar Press and Boiler House Press from Norwich, the Smith Doorstop Laureate’s Choices series from Sheffield and Smokestack Books from Middlesbrough.