Monday, 22 January 2018

The Write Stuff with... Michele Campbell

Today it's my pleasure to welcome debut author Michele Campbell to the blog on the first stop for her It's Always the Husband blog tour with a guest post 'Fiction, Brought to You by Reality'.

“Write what you know,” is a storied piece of advice so often given that fiction writers are probably sick of hearing it.  Yet, like most clichés, it exists for a reason, that reason being its profound practicality and common sense.  I adore historical fiction and aspire to one day write a book set in Tudor England or in Virginia during the Civil War.  Yet, I also know that doing good research is extremely challenging and time-consuming, and what’s more, research will only get you so far. As an author, you still need to bring yourself and your inner life to bear on your material in order to build a world that speaks to the reader. The flip-side of “write what you know” is another familiar aphorism about writing – “all novels are autobiographies.” Taken together, these two old war-horses point to a secret truth that all fiction writers understand.  No matter the genre we work in, or the heights of imagination and inventiveness to which our stories soar, we are always, at some level, writing about ourselves.

This is especially true for me, because I’m a former prosecutor, and I write crime novels. I also have the good fortune to live in a quaint New England college town, and my new novel, It’s Always the Husband, is set in a fictional quaint New England college town.  If the three building blocks of novels are plot, character and setting, then I’ve drawn two out of the three (plot and setting) directly from my personal experience. Some might say that makes me lazy, but I think it makes me smart, and not because I’m trying to avoid doing research.  (Though maybe I am, just a little.)  There is an amazing alchemy to the process of writing a novel.  Paul Simon once said that the process of songwriting, when it’s really working, feels like taking dictation, and to me, writing fiction is the same.  But that magical process of letting go, and allowing fictional characters to speak through me, can only happen if I have the sort of complete and intimate knowledge of their reality that comes from having lived it myself.

Sunday, 21 January 2018

Birthday Giveaway: Win a Tote Bag, BookBandz & Book

Even though today is my birthday I wanted to do a little giveaway to share the love and thank you lovely followers for all your support over the last 6 years.  The last few years have been a bit rough for me personally but the book community is a wonderful thing to be a part of and there's always someone on hand with a listening ear or a few words of support to provide the pick-up needed.

I recently did a poll on Twitter to see what people wanted for a giveaway choice, the options were tote bag, BookBandz, book or voucher and the winning choice was a book.  But I've decided to be generous and offer a prize package of this 'My Weekend is all Booked' tote bag, gorgeous Chocolate BookBandz handmade by the lovely Karen (check her out on FB) and a book of your choice from the selection of books below 😍

Emma's Review: The Betrayal by Kate Furnivall

Reviewed by Emma Crowley

Could you kill someone? Someone you love?

Paris, 1938. Twin sisters are divided by fierce loyalties and by a terrible secret. The drums of war are beating and France is poised, ready to fall. One sister is an aviatrix, the other is a socialite and they both have something to prove and something to hide. 

Amazon Affiliate Links: Kindle or Paperback

Saturday, 20 January 2018

Books Read: The Innocent Wife by Amy Lloyd

Twenty years ago, Dennis Danson was arrested and imprisoned for the brutal murder of a young girl in Florida's Red River County. Now he's the subject of a true-crime documentary that's whipping up a frenzy online to uncover the truth and free a man who has been wrongly convicted.

A thousand miles away in England, Samantha is obsessed with Dennis's case. She exchanges letters with him, and is quickly won over by his apparent charm and kindness to her. Soon she has left her old life behind to marry him and campaign for his release.

But when the campaign is successful and Dennis is freed, Sam begins to discover new details that suggest he may not be quite so innocent after all...

Amazon Affiliate Links: Kindle or Hardcover

Thursday, 18 January 2018

Emma's Review: The Pets at Primrose Cottage: Part Three Trust Your Heart by Sheila Norton

Reviewed by Emma Crowley

Emma Nightingale finds she’s accidentally becoming something of a local celebrity in the small town of Crickleford, and it seems that everyone wants her to look after their pets.

While looking after a hamster, she accidentally uncovers a mystery that threatens to draw even more attention to her. With nowhere to turn, soon Emma will have to make a decision that could cost her everything…

Amazon Affiliate Link: Kindle

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Books Read: Her Last Lie by Amanda Brittany

She thought she was free of the past. She was wrong.

Six years ago Isla was the only victim to walk free from Carl Jeffery’s vicious murder spree. Now, Isla vows to live her life to the fullest and from the outside it appears perfect.

Determined to finish her book Isla plans her final trip to Sweden, but after returning from Canada and meeting a man she never thought she would, her life begins to derail.

Suddenly Isla is plagued by memories of the man who tried to murder her, and the threat that he could be back causes her to question everything, and everyone around her.

Amazon Affiliate Link: Kindle