Anne Bonny #BookReview & #Extract The Secret by @jenwellswriter 5* Genius #Saga #NewRelease @Aria_Fiction #DualTimeline #HistoricalFiction #TheSecret

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The Secret by Jennifer Wells
Review Copy
Synopsis:

A tightly woven story full of secrets and lies with a breathtaking finale.

London 1920 – Troubled young dancer, Lily, is invited to remote Elmridge House, home of the wealthy theatre benefactor Dr Cuthbertson to escape her troubled past. An isolated guest room and a surprise pregnancy leave her longing to return to the stage and her London life. She soon discovers that Elmridge House is not all that it seems – the house holds secrets which make it difficult for her to leave.

Missensham 1942 – Young nurse Ivy Watts is called out to a patient at Elmridge House, home of the aloof Mrs Cuthbertson and reclusive Dr Cuthbertson. Ivy is entranced by the opulence of the house and its glamorous past, but when she tells her mother about Mrs Cuthbertson, her mother becomes fearful and forbids her from returning to the house. What secrets does Elmridge House hold? And why does Lily’s mother live in fear of the mysterious Mrs Cuthbertson?

My Review:

I have previously read and reviewed The Murderess by Jennifer Wells, which I found to be perfect for a Sunday afternoons reading. With The Secret, I personally think the author has really stepped up her game, in carving out her name within the saga genre.
I was absolutely gripped throughout and found both historical era’s to be fascinating. From the 1920s ballet scene, to the district nursing in a humble village in the 1940s.
The author has managed to create drama that lures you to both timeframes.

The novel opens in 1943, with Ivy living in fear but from what or whom we are not sure. Then the novel jumps back to September 1942 and begins to tell the tale of what lead to Ivy’s fear. We learn of her first acquaintance with Mrs Cuthbertson!
Ivy is a local nurse, but she works specifically within the area of adoption and often in the upper most secrecy, given the era. I got the impression Ivy’s heart was always in the right place. She just simply never had enough life experience to know any different. Ivy has grown up in poverty and taking care of her ailing mother, who has suffered childhood polio. They scrape by with the help of their good friend Sadie. The midwife that also brought Ivy into the world.

Mrs Cuthbertson comes across at first as a cantankerous old battle axe. Especially, when she first meets Ivy demanding un-prescribed medication for her son. Why does she want the medication? And what is it that made her so set in her horrid ways?

‘There was something not right with her mind’ 

Ivy makes friends with fellow nurse Bridget, whom is brash and gossipy. Also quiet local assistant Violet. The three form the team at the Missensham Cottage Hospital. But it is when Ivy begins snooping into Mrs Cuthbertson’s need for medication, that she uncovers a world of secrets that will shake her to the core…

Past secrets come to life and we uncover a wealth of knowledge about Ivy and everyone she knows. It is a clash of culture, class structure and life choices made, that brings all the characters together in their shared past deeds.

I love that women’s issues lay at the heart of the story. The dual timeline of 1920s/1940s works exceptionally well, given that these era’s generated so much change for women of the future. There is a shocking showdown at the end and one I NEVER saw coming at all! With extra side note ‘THAT LAST PAGE!!!!5* Genius 

Jennifer Wells
Jennifer Wells
Twitter
Website

Extract:

I thought nothing more of Mrs Cuthbertson for almost a week. It turned out that she was Bridget’s problem and I was glad of it. Even when I walked in on Bridget fumbling through the medicine cabinet, her hands full and her face guilty, I said nothing and turned on my heel. Over the week, however, I did notice some changes in Bridget; she had a new coat from Partridge’s, had lightened her hair from its original chestnut to a shade that was almost blonde, and when I borrowed one of her textbooks, I found six new pound notes which sprang into tight curls when I opened the pages.
But Bridget’s luck did not last and she was called back to her family home in Fulham on Friday morning as an unexploded bomb had been found at the back of her parents’ garden, leaving them shocked and in need of their daughter. It was customary for a nurse to have twenty-four hours off for a family emergency and I wondered how I would cope without Bridget, but between us, Violet and I managed to tend to all the patients, changing dressings and administering medicines as if we had been doing it for years.
It was not until I came off shift on Sunday morning that I felt I could really relax. I left the hospital and went straight to the nurses’ house, putting the kettle on before slumping down in the armchair by the stove without even changing out of my uniform. An hour had passed since Bridget had called the main hospital from a telephone box outside Parsons Green tube station with the news that she was on her way back to Missensham and, although she missed the doctor’s rounds, I was relieved to know that she was returning.
When the phone in the hallway rang, I answered, expecting Violet’s voice on the hospital line with a request for help on the ward or a notification about more patients transferring in from London. But when I took the call, I knew instantly that it was not Violet.
‘Nurse, are you there?’ Despite the crackle on the line, the woman’s voice was unmistakable and as I heard the words, I could imagine them on the lips of the night visitor, the woman who had sat opposite me at the kitchen table and demanded medicine that had not been prescribed.
I glanced at the clock, the hand clicking on to the hour as I did so. It was ten o’clock. This was the call that Bridget usually took from the woman known in the book as Mrs Cuthbertson and as she spoke her name, I remembered how I had heard it on Bridget’s lips exactly one week ago when she had stood in the hallway and answered the telephone just as I was now. As I had suspected, the woman who had visited me in the kitchen and the woman Bridget listed in the book were the same.
‘With whom am I speaking?’ she said, but the words had a tone to them which made me unsure whether she wanted an answer or just to know that someone was listening and ready to take orders.
‘This is Nurse Watts at the Missensham Cottage Hospital Nurses’ House,’ I said, but my greeting seemed to be a detail that did not matter to her.
‘I need someone up at Elmridge House today,’ she said. ‘As soon as you can, for I must attend a church service and my son cannot be left alone for long.’
Her voice was sharp and somehow I felt as if I was being scolded for breaking an engagement I did not know I had agreed to. I took a deep breath. ‘I am afraid that there are no nurses working at this time,’ I said. ‘If you have a medical emergency, I can telephone a doctor or ambulance for you, but if you require a routine visit from a nurse, you may telephone Dr Crawford at the surgery on the green and he can get you added to the rounds of the district nurse…’ but my last words were lost under her own as if they did not matter.
‘I cannot wait for the district nurse,’ she said. ‘This is a private appointment and I will pay you directly. I understood that a nurse would be free from duties at this time. I assume you are not on duty as you have answered this number.’
‘Well, I…’ I glanced at the clock again, but it told me only that it was a few minutes past the hour and not what time Bridget would arrive back. ‘All right,’ I said, reluctant to let down Bridget’s patient. ‘A nurse can come out to you this morning, but it will not be Nurse Bradshaw, for she has been called away unexpectedly. It will be me, Nurse Watts, and I—’
‘I shall need to leave Elmridge House on the half hour,’ she said, ‘so be prompt. It is on the Oxworth Road. I need you at half past ten, it will only take you half an hour, so you have sufficient notice, and don’t come smelling like a brothel this time.’
‘Please,’ I said. ‘I am not the nurse who—’
‘Oh, and be sure to bring the medicine.’
‘Which medicine?’ I said. ‘For I cannot bring anything that has not been prescribed by—’
But the line was already dead.
I put the receiver down and stared at my reflection in the mirror above the telephone table. I took off my cap and smoothed my hair back into a bun, then I removed my apron and belt, leaving just my blue dress. We were forbidden from wearing our uniform off duty, but the plain blue dress was the only thing I could imagine a private nurse wearing and I remembered how I had seen Bridget leave the nurses’ house without her cap and apron the previous Sunday. I sat on the floor next to my nursing bag. I checked the contents – everything was clean and replenished, but it was just the usual array of metal instruments, tubing and jars, and I did not know what else to take. Then I remembered the little bottle of Luminal and the caller’s insistence that I bring ‘the medicine’. Maybe now she had a prescription to show me – I would take some just to be sure.
I ran across the lawn and through the trees to the back of the hospital, passing a startled Violet as I barged through the back door. In the sluice room I found the key to the medicine cabinet under the kidney bowl and rummaged for the little glass bottle with the blue label among the packets and jars. I found the Luminal near the back. There were a few bottles and I fancied that one would not be missed and thought that I could always sign it out later if Mrs Cuthbertson did have a prescription to show me after all. Then I ran back to the nurses’ house to collect my bag and burst in through the kitchen door.
‘Nurse?’
A girl perched on the chair by the fire. She was barely bigger than a child and wore a floral print pinafore and a cardigan which seemed two sizes too big for her. By her feet was an old-fashioned wicker basket lined with straw and as many real eggs as I would usually see in a whole month.
Her face was not one that I had seen before and something about her made me think of an evacuee, although since the bombs had started to fall on the outskirts of London, Missensham was no longer considered a safe area and most evacuees had returned, which made me wonder if she had anywhere left to call home.
‘Can I help you?’ I asked impatiently. ‘For I must go out to a patient.’
‘I heard that you can do things for ladies in trouble,’ she said in a voice with more depth than I expected and I realised her a woman, but only just.
‘Oh!’ I said. ‘Yes, of course,’ but could manage nothing more. To see such a girl sat where I had seen so many others was a shock to me. I was more used to dealing with middle aged women who could not afford another mouth to feed, farmers’ wives fearing they had no strength left to carry another and women who were having flings with soldiers. That someone like her would come to me asking for help was something that I could not quite understand. Somehow she was in the same situation as these women, yet she was so unlike them.
‘Is this not the right place?’ she said. ‘For I heard that—’
‘Yes, yes,’ I said quickly. ‘Yes, this is the place, but surely it can’t be for yourself…’
She nodded. ‘There was this gentleman,’ she said, ‘and now I am late.’

***Don’t miss other bloggers on the blog tour & apologies for my late post***
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Anne Bonny #BlogTour #BookReview The Foyles Bookshop Girls by @RobertsElaine11 #WW1 #Saga #NewRelease @Aria_Fiction ‘The clever story of three very different women’s journey through The Great war’

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The Foyles Bookshop Girls by Elaine Roberts
Review Copy
Synopsis:

London, 1914: one ordinary day, three girls arrive for work at London’s renowned Foyles bookshop. But when war with Germany is declared their lives will never be the same again…

Alice has always been the ‘sensible’ one in her family – especially in comparison with her suffrage-supporting sister! But decidedly against her father’s wishes, she accepts a job at Foyles Bookshop; and for bookworm Alice it’s a dream come true.

But with the country at war, Alice’s happy world is shattered in an instant. Determined to do what she can, Alice works in the bookshop by day, and risks her own life driving an ambulance around bomb-ravaged London by night. But however busy she keeps herself, she can’t help but think of the constant danger those she loves are facing on the frontline…

Alice, Victoria and Molly couldn’t be more different and yet they share a friendship that stems back to their childhood – a friendship that provides everyday solace from the tribulations and heartbreak of war.

My Review:

What makes this saga so unique?
Aside from its absolutely gorgeous cover and brilliant synopsis?
For me personally it would have to be that this novel focuses on The Great War as opposed to most of my saga reading is ww2 fiction. The novel opens in London 1914 and I really think the author did an outstanding job of finding a niche in the saga genre. The genre is heavily dominated by ww2 fiction and I think The Foyles Bookshop Girls offers a welcome break and exploration of the ww1 era.

The Foyles bookshop girls are Alice, Victoria and Molly. They come from very different backgrounds and have their own unique life experiences. Yet they compliment each other perfectly.
Alice is who I would class as the central protagonist.

The novel opens amongst the backdrop of the ‘votes for women’ although the suffragette movement is not heavily featured within the novel. I was glad that the theme was present and included. Alice’s younger sister Lily is heavily involved in the movement and I think of all the characters, I would have liked to have been Lily. She is a rebel with a cause and doesn’t fear a fight for what she believes is right.

Mr Leadbetter is the manager of the bookshop where the three young women work. Alice Taylor, Victoria Appleton and Molly Cooper. Their pasts are explored and they each struck a chord with me or various reasons.
Molly has a new boyfriend Tony Fletcher. The only problem is, Tony has a roving eye and Alice and Victoria are sure it’ll end in tears. But as friends do, they vow to be there for Molly when the time comes.

Victoria has known the greatest struggle, having lost both parents she is solely responsible for raising her younger siblings Stephen (16yrs) and Daisy (18yrs). An unfortunate situation that cost her the love of her life. . . .

‘Her brother and sister had taken her life, just as the rail crash had taken her parents’

Alice has the most upbeat situation, she is currently courting a young police officer named Freddie. She hopes he will propose. Freddie certainly has an announcement to make. Alice’s father is a domineering bully, one that often makes life at the Taylor household unbearable.

In the background to the central storyline of the girls. The political and community pressure faced by young men to enlist, is explained. With many facing accusations of cowardice if they do not enlist. Eventually several of the men very close to the women enlist and we see the friendships tested by the strain of war and personal loss.

‘War is about innocent people
Killing innocent people’

The clever story of three very different women’s journey through The Great war. 4*

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Elaine Roberts
Twitter
Website

***Don’t miss the other bloggers on the blog tour***
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Anne Bonny #BookReview The Murderess by @jenwellswriter 4* #WW2 #HistoricalFiction just £1 on Ebook #WeekendReads @Aria_Fiction A family legacy laid bare. . .

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The Murderess by Jennifer Wells
From my own TBR pile
Synopsis:

1931: Fifteen-year-old Kate witnesses her mother Millicent push a stranger from a station platform into the path of an oncoming train. There was no warning, seemingly no reason, and absolutely no remorse.

1940: Exactly nine years later, Kate returns to the station and notices a tramp laying flowers on the exact spot that the murder was committed; the identity of the victim, still remains unknown.

With a country torn apart by war and her family estate and name in tatters, Kate has nothing to lose as she attempts to uncover family secrets that date back to the Great War and solve a mystery that blights her family name.

My Review:

The novel is set between two timelines 1931 and 1940. It surrounds the childhood and adult life of Kate Bewsey and the mystery that has blighted her life. Kate has grown up in having known wealth and luxury. Living her life at ‘The Grange’ her parents estate in Missensham town. The Grange was once a hot spot of social activity. Parties, cocktails and jazz. Now it just reminds them, of all they have lost since that fateful day; her mother pushed a young woman to her death!

‘My life would not be the same after that day’ – Kate

Kate had an unusual relationship with her mother, her entire childhood. With her mother viewing her more of a possession and smothering her with her love.

‘Always remember you are mine’ – Millicent Bewsey

The novel opens in May 1940, with Kate arriving at Missensham rail station. Awaiting the arrival of her aunt Audrey and cousin Jemima, she notices a homeless man. The man is dressed in the attire of a veteran of the great war and it is this, that catches Kate’s eye at first. He is laying flowers, red peonies and it is then, that Kate recalls the date.

In 1931 a young teenage Kate witnessed her mother greet a woman at the rail station. They discussed the timetable and then for no known reason, Millicent pushed the woman from the platform onto the tracks and into the path of an incoming train. The story created a huge scandal with stories of the ‘well-bred’ woman with murder on her mind. Kate’s mother remains at Holloway prison and has never spoken of the incident.

‘As far as I am concerned, I no longer have a mother’ – Kate

Kate still lives at The Grange, but she is no longer the young lady of the estate. Kate and her father live in the basement, the old servant’s quarters. It is only through the charitable acts of her aunt Audrey, they have kept The Grange in the family.
There life is one of poverty, isolation and waiting.

Despite it having been nine years, since the murder and Kate now being a young woman of 25yrs. It is remembered annually in the newspaper, much to Audrey’s disgust. But this year there is some added news, as Millicent is due a parole hearing and possible release on the tenth anniversary of the crime.

Kate’s father requests that she visit the prison, in the hope at getting a statement from her mother. Which may help with her release.
But Kate refuses to assist in any way shape of form.

‘That woman should have hung’ – Kate

The emotional pull of the entire situation, leads Kate to investigate. Why did her mother push the woman onto the tracks? Who was the victim? And who is the homeless man? What do the flowers mean?

Kate returns to the station to enquire about the homeless man. She learns via the station master that he appears every year, on the anniversary of the murder. At a second glance Kate notices the card on the flowers.

‘For my darling Rosaline’

This becomes the first piece in the mystery and Kate becomes hellbent on solving the secrets that surround her mother’s life. But can Kate uncover the reasons for the murder? And can she live with the truth?

‘Who really ever knew your mother’ – Audrey

This novel is a slow-burning, cosy mystery that is perfect reading for a Sunday afternoon. It has emotionally charged scenes, that are very well written. My heart really warmed to Kate and I longed for her to solve the questions and set her mind to rest. There is a huge twist in the novel halfway through and this has been expertly done by the author. It adds so much more depth to the narratives. It builds and builds to a dramatic and shocking ending.
A family legacy laid bare 4*

JW
Jennifer Wells
LBA Books Website
Twitter

#PublicationDay Q&A with @heatherbwriter #BornBad @Aria_Fiction

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Born Bad by Heather Burnside

Synopsis:

Book 1 in this new, gritty Manchester crime trilogy. When your enemies get close, family loyalty is all you can trust.

Brother and sister Peter and Adele Robinson never stood a chance. Dragged up by an alcoholic, violent father, and a weak, beaten mother, their childhood in Manchester only prepared them for a life of crime and struggle. But Adele is determined to break the mould. She studies hard at school and, inspired by her beloved grandmother Joyce, she finally makes a successful life for herself on her own.

Peter is not so lucky. Getting more and more immersed in the murky world of crime and gangs, his close bonds with Adele gradually loosen until they look set to break altogether.

But old habits die hard, and one devastating night, Adele is forced to confront her violent past. Dragged back into her worst nightmares, there’s only one person she can turn to when her life is on the line – her brother Peter. After all, blood is thicker than water…

Q&A:

Q) For the readers can you give a summary of yourself and your latest release Born Bad?

A) I have been writing for 18 years since I started studying for a creative writing diploma. During that time I have been involved in many aspects of writing, from having articles published in popular national magazines to running a writing services business for a broad range of clients. Nowadays I mainly focus on my books and in 2014 I had my first novel, Slur, published, which was book one in a trilogy of gritty crime novels.

Born Bad is the first book in a new gritty crime trilogy based in Manchester. It features Adele and Peter Robinson, the children of a violent, drunken father and an inept, beaten mother. As a result of their turbulent upbringing Peter drifts into a life of crime.

Adele, on the other hand, studies hard to better herself, encouraged by her beloved grandmother, Joyce. Adele and Peter have each chosen a different path in life and this eventually drives a wedge between them.

But, one devastating night, Adele is forced to confront her violent past and events spiral out of control. Worried and desperate, she turns to her brother for help. Their shared secrets and tortured past bring them closer once more. But perhaps even Peter can’t get her out of this particular fix. With no-one else to turn to, Adele puts her trust in her brother and hopes that he will help her find a way out of her dilemma.

Q) The synopsis sounds intense and the main protagonist Adele comes across as relatable and realistic. Can you tell us more about Adele?

A) Adele is basically a good person with a conscience but she is also a troubled soul because of her unstable upbringing. At times her temper gets the better of her and she sometimes acts out of character. This is usually because she is hitting back at the way she is treated by adults and life in general. However, she then gets an attack of conscience and often regrets her actions.

Q) Adele is raised in a childhood marred by alcohol and violence. Yet she has a resounding desire to create a different life for herself. What was the inspiration behind Adele’s life story?

A) Having spent my teens on a tough council estate and having seen quite a few bad home situations, I was interested in how some children manage to break the chain. For the majority, the cycle seems to be repeated but there are a few who change their lives.

I think that adult influences can play a huge role, which is why I have introduced the positive influences of Adele’s grandmother and her school teacher. Because of her intelligence she is encouraged by them to better herself and she achieves this to some extent. Her brother, on the other hand, doesn’t receive any encouragement and he drifts into a life of crime.

However, another aspect that interests me is how, even for people who have escaped their past in a physical sense, the emotional effects can be far more damaging. Do they ever really escape the mental anguish brought about by a turbulent childhood or does it stay with them for the rest of their lives?

Q) The novel also features a brother/sister dynamic, which I found unusual within the genre. I have 5 brothers and 2 sisters myself, so I think this is a brilliant concept. As there is nothing stronger than the bond between siblings. What made you choose a brother/sister relationship as the driving force of the novel?

A) I was the only girl with four brothers and I am particularly close to two of them. I agree with what you say about there being nothing stronger than the bond between siblings. It is a unique relationship as you have so much shared knowledge and experiences. There are certain situations that nobody would ever understand as much as a sibling. My brothers and I even have our own wacky sense of humour, which nobody else really gets.

My own son and daughter are also very close. I’ve no experience of what it’s like to have a sister but I do know what it’s like having siblings. I really wanted to show the close bond between siblings and, with four brothers, it was more natural for me to choose a brother/sister situation.

Q) I can see the easy comparison to Martina Cole or Marnie Riches, with the specific type of genre. How do you feel about the comparison to other authors?

A) I’m very flattered to be compared to Martina Cole and Marnie Riches. However, when I started writing novels I didn’t consciously try to emulate any other authors. I had only read one or two books by Martina Cole at that time and I can’t remember having read any other books by authors in that genre before the comparisons began.

In the past I mainly read sagas and thrillers. One reader compared my style as Catherine Cookson meets Martina Cole and that comparison rang true with me. I like the strong characterisation and emotional depth that you get with many sagas so I try to include that in my writing.

I mainly draw influence from things that are happening around me and news articles. In the 90s gang crime regularly hit the news headlines in Manchester and a lot of it was a bit close to home. I therefore wanted to concentrate on these topics and try to see behind the headlines; to the families that are affected by gang culture.

Q) I noticed on the Amazon page, Born Bad is book 1 in a trilogy. What is next to come in the series?

A) I am already working on the second novel which follows Adele and Peter into adulthood. This is when Peter becomes established as a big name in the Manchester gangland scene. I can’t tell you too much about Adele without spoiling the second and third books for readers but the violent events of book one make a major impact on her throughout books two and three. Her damaged childhood also has a huge influence.

*Huge thanks to Heather Burnside for taking part in a Q&A on my blog. I wish you all the best with the release of Born Bad.

HB: Thank you very much. It was a pleasure. Thank you too for giving me the opportunity.

HB
Heather Burnside
Authors links:
Born Bad Universal Amazon link: http://viewBook.at/BornBad
Amazon Author Page: http://Author.to/HBurnside
Blog: https://www.heatherburnside.com
Twitter: @heatherbwriter
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HeatherBurnsideAuthor/

*Happy publication date to Heather Burnside, Born Bad is available from today via Kindle Ebook at just £2.48 🙂
Happy Saturday reading!

 

 

#Guest Q&A with Faith Hogan @GerHogan @aria_fiction

I am delighted to welcome author, Faith Hogan on to my blog for a Q&A 🙂

Q&A:

Q) For the readers, can you talk us through your background and the synopsis of your new novel?

A) First off, Abby thanks so much for having me on your blog, it’s lovely to be here! My new novel came out in February and it’s called Secrets We Keep. It’s a story about love, family, betrayal and – yes, you guessed it secrets. It’s set in a little corner of the west of Ireland and the action plays out around a local dilapidated bath house. The book follows the story of Kate who wants to make something of her future and Iris who’s trying to make sense of her past. They are two distant relatives, drawn together in companionship, both forced to confront their pasts and learn that some people are good at keeping secrets and some secrets are never meant to be kept.

Q) Can you talk us through the journey from idea to writing to publication?

A) Secrets’ We Keep is a story inspired by place. It’s very much of the place I come from, however the books I love are all very character driven and I suppose that will always be the case for my books too.

I’m a bit of a planner in that I like to have an idea of who I’m writing about, I do like to sit and think for quite a while before I decide to write. Sometimes, there’ll be a great idea, but then when I actually start to flesh it out, I just know it’s not going to ever be much more than ten thousand words!

I love writing that first draft; it’s like a long ramble in the woods. I start and keep on going, occasionally I’ll glance at what is a very shaky plan, but mostly I let my fingers walk across the key board.

Round two is the tidy up then if I think it’s half decent I let my sister read it. While she has it loaded on her kindle, I try to forget about it. I’ll concentrate on other things. Eventually, I won’t be able to ignore it anymore and I have to dive in again. There will be more re-drafting, more cutting, filling in, changing around and wrestling with it before I think it’s done.

The next stop is the agent – if all is good with it and she’s happy, it will go to the publishers. After that, I’m working off their suggestions – which are usually very good. The final draft is always a bit nerve wracking, you know you’ve done all you can, without driving everyone crazy, but it’s still hard to let it go…

Q) What are your favourite authors and recommended reads?

A) This is very much a moveable feast. I’ve read some superb Aria books over the last few weeks and I’d be hard pressed to pick a favourite there, so I’ll just recommend them all 😉

Over the last year or so, the most memorable have probably been ‘The Trouble with Goats and Sheep,’ by Joanna Cannon – I adored the language in this odd little book. ‘The Muse’ Jessie Burton and I must say, I really enjoyed ‘The Chilbury Ladies Choir,’ by Jennifer Ryan.

Q) What were your childhood/teenage favourite reads?

A) This is almost as hard! I loved books as a child and when I look back, most of childhood and teenage years are marked out in books. I was a big Enid Blyton girl, then it was onto Agatha Christie and from there onto Arthur Conan Doyle. When I was fourteen, I read Ivanhoe and I suppose I fell a little bit in love then!

Q) What has been your favourite moment of being a published author?

A) Honestly, there have been so many. I suppose, I’ll never forget that first email that Aria were interested in signing me for My Husbands Wives – that was one of those, once in a lifetime moments! Then holding the actual book in my hand, seeing it in a book shop…yes, there have been a few alright

Q) Who has been your source of support/encouragement, throughout the writing process?

A) It would be very hard to whittle this down to just one person, but suffice it to say, I’ve a great network of support around me. Without all of those people closest to me there would not be a chance to write and without their belief there may not be the sustained effort it takes to get to the finishing line every time.

Of course, outside of that, none of us would be writers without readers, publishers, agents and of course lovely bloggers! In the end, books come full circle, I think and sometimes it’s the feedback you get when they’ve flown the nest that makes you consider them all over again and gives you appetite for the next one!

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My Husband’s Wives by Faith Hogan

Synopsis:

One man, three wives, too many secrets. A heart-warming story of love, loss, family and friendship. A compelling debut that fans of Freya North will love. Paul Starr, Ireland’s leading cardiologist dies in a car crash with a pregnant young woman by his side.

United in their grief and the love of one man, four women are thrown together in an attempt to come to terms with life after Paul. They soon realise they never really knew him at all.

The love they shared for Paul in his life and which incensed a feeling of mistrust and dislike for each other, in his death turns into the very thing that bonds them and their children to each other, forever.

As they begin to form unlikely friendships, Paul’s death proves to be the catalyst that enables them to become the people they always wanted to be.

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The Secrets We Keep by Faith Hogan

Synopsis:

Some people are good at keeping secrets but some secrets are never meant to be kept…

Two distant relatives are drawn together and forced to confront their pasts. A bittersweet story for fans of Patricia Scanlan and Adele Parks.

The beautiful old Bath House in Ballytokeep has lain empty and abandoned for decades. For devoted pensioners Archie and Iris, it holds too many conflicting memories of their adolescent dalliances and tragic consequences – sometimes it’s better to leave the past where it belongs.

For highflying, top London divorce lawyer Kate Hunt, it’s a fresh start – maybe even her future. On a winter visit to see her estranged Aunt Iris she falls in love with the Bath House. Inspired, she moves to Ballytokeep leaving her past heartache 600 miles away – but can you ever escape your past or your destiny?

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Faith Hogan

Bio Faith Hogan

Faith Hogan was born in Ireland. She gained an Honours Degree in English Literature and Psychology from Dublin City University and a Postgraduate Degree from University College, Galway. She has worked as a fashion model, an event’s organiser and in the intellectual disability and mental health sector.

She was a winner in the 2014 Irish Writers Centre Novel Fair – an international competition for emerging writers.

Her debut novel, ‘My Husband’s Wives,’ is a contemporary women’s fiction novel set in Dublin. It was published by Aria, (Head of Zeus) in 2016.   ‘Secrets We Keep,’ is her second novel out on Feb 1st 2017.

Authors links:
Twitter (her favourite) https://twitter.com/GerHogan
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