Anne Bonny #Author #QandA Violet by @LSTateAuthor #Indie #NewRelease #LavenderBlues #ThreeShadesOfLove

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Violet – Lavender Blues: Three Shades Of Love by Leslie Tate
Synopsis:

The passionate, late-life love of Beth and James begins in 2003 on a blind date in a London restaurant. Attracted by James’s cheerful openness, Beth is drawn into an unlikely encounter between his larkiness and her own romantic faith. From then on they bond, exchanging love-texts, exploring sea walks and gardens and sharing their past lives with flashbacks to Beth’s rural childhood and her marriage to a dark, charismatic minister.

Telling stories runs in Beth’s family, so she keeps up with her friends, following their efforts to find love in a soulless, materialistic world. But Beth’s own passion for giving and commitment is pushed to the limits as she and James struggle with her divorce, problems with each other’s children, and life-threatening illness. In the end, tested by pain, they discover something larger than themselves that goes beyond suffering and loss.

Q&A:

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

A) I studied Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia and have been shortlisted for the Bridport, Geoff Stevens and Wivenhoe Prizes. I’m the author of the trilogy of novels ‘Purple’, ‘Blue’ and ‘Violet’, as well as my trans memoir ‘Heaven’s Rage’, which has been turned into a film. On my website https://leslietate.com/ I post up weekly creative interviews and guest blogs showing how people use their imagination in life, in many different ways. I run a comedy club, a poetry group and a mixed arts show in Berkhamsted, UK.

‘Violet’ is the third in my trilogy about modern love, but it stands on its own, without having to read the other two books. It’s a rite of passage novel about two fifty year-olds who meet and regain their youth together, only to find themselves tested by divorce problems, each other’s children, and life-threatening illness. In the words of the blurb: ‘The passionate, late-life love of Beth and James begins in 2003 on a blind date in a London restaurant. Attracted by James’s openness, Beth feels an immediate, deep connection between his honesty and her own romantic faith. From then on they bond, exchanging love-texts, exploring sea walks and gardens and sharing their past lives with flashbacks to Beth’s rural childhood and her marriage to a dark, charismatic minister…’

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

A) ‘Violet’ began as ‘Beth’ and was partly written on my University of East Anglia course. I wanted to capture the experience of older people falling in love, partly because it’s so common in today’s society, but also because I’d experienced it myself when I met my wife and author, Sue Hampton.
I wrote it very slowly, editing as I went – something I do because I write by feel allowing the characters to lead me, so one false step could easily send me off in the wrong direction. I aim in a novel to find a route in and out of unknown territory, rather than following a preconceived plot line.
I’m lucky if I complete 250 words a day, so the book grew slowly. The first half, switching between Beth’s late-life love affair with James and her unhappy first marriage, took two years to write. The second half, Beth’s diary ten years on when she’s ill, came more quickly. I then put on a sprint to reach the finishing line, followed by another six months of revisions.
Writing a book is a major feat of endurance. Only writers know the feeling of weariness at the beginning of the day, the hours spent agonising over single lines, and the double-edged feelings that follow after publication when the book goes off into the world and leaves the author behind. It’s like bringing up a child whose growing up travels the full story arc – from complete parental absorption to pride, separation and sudden loss of purpose. In the end the book stands in the world on its own, but the author can always see the child it used to be. So a book is a gift, a portion of someone’s life that cannot be measured by the bottom line or market forces.
Publication with Magic Oxygen Press, my green publisher, was all about spotting errors and didn’t involve rewrites. If I’d had a larger publisher the chances are I’d be told what to put in and what to cut out.

Q) What are your favourite authors and recommended reads?

A) Carol Shields, particularly The Republic of Love; Drusilla Modjeska, The Orchard; Toni Morrison, Beloved; Marilynne Robinson, Home; Anne Tyler, Breathing Lessons; Michael Ondaatje, The English Patient and my classics – Virginia Woolf, Mrs Dalloway and James Joyce, Ulysses.

Q) What were your childhood/teenage favourite reads?

A) Alice in Wonderland stretched my imagination, Arthur Ransom’s Swallows and Amazons offered adventure, and Jules Verne took me to other worlds. I moved on to Sons and Lovers by D H Lawrence and Portrait of an Artist by Joyce. These last two teenage reads allowed me to fantasise about being an author myself, something I didn’t achieve till much later in life.

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

A) When I watched the first showing of the film of ‘Heaven’s Rage’, based on my book of the same name. I’d acted in it, side by side with a 13 year-old boy playing my younger self, and experienced the long waits and endless retakes of tiny actions. But the result, when I saw it, was uplifting – full of wild, soulful, dream-like images. The director, Mark Crane, is a friend who used to work in Hollywood. Like the book, his film explores the power of the imagination.

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

A) My wife, Sue Hampton, who has written 30 books for both children and adults. We listen and suggest ways around blockages, comment on each other’s scripts and give each other love, support and pep talks on the way.

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Leslie Tate
Website
Facebook – ‘Leslie Tate’ where I post weekly interviews with people about their creativity
Facebook – ‘Violet by Leslie Tate’ where I offer pre-publication extracts from my forthcoming novel with commentaries revealing how I worked on them.
Twitter

Leslie Picture

 

#PublicationDay Q&A with @StuartJames73 #Author of, The House On Rectory Lane #Indie #Thriller

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The House On Rectory Lane by Stuart James
Synopsis:
Jake and Kate live in Camden, London and have had enough of the hassle with parking, overbooked restaurants and burglaries.
After an altercation with a stranger who pulls a knife on Jake, they take their son Sean, and move to a house in the woods.
It’s their dream home, or so they think.
People in the village warn them they shouldn’t have come.
Neighbours are over friendly and who was the face at the window Kate saw late at night?
They find a tape hidden in the loft of their new house, a home made video recording of the previous family, the Prescotts.
What they view, chills them to the bone.
They realise that the family living there before them have disappeared and now, they could be next……

Q&A:

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

A) Ok, so I have always been a little creative. I played traditional Irish music from a young age, starting on the wooden flute and then the piano accordion. It was a difficult instrument to carry around and had wished I learned the guitar earlier. When I was around 19, I started writing songs and sang in a band for around 20 years, playing everything from rock and roll to chart music. As I wrote songs, I found it also easy enough to adapt and write my first book.

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

A) I first told my kids that I was going to write a book and they both laughed. That made me more determined ha ha.
I came up with the idea and jotted down the major parts etc. As I started writing, I  are up with more plot twists and more ideas.
It’s hard work. You have to write everyday so you don’t lose track of the story and the goal is to get to the end. That’s when the hard work starts. i.e., editing, changing parts, re-writing etc.

Q) What are your favourite authors and recommended reads?

A) My favourite author is Linwood Barclay. I would recommend too close to home or no time for goodbye.
I also love Stephen King and I love B A Paris. My favourite book this year has to be the couple next door or behind closed doors.

Q) What were your childhood/teenage favourite reads?

A) I remember one book in particular called the demon bike rider. I couldn’t find it as I wanted my kids to read it, and my daughter came home one day from school telling me the librarian managed to get a copy for me as a gift as she knew I was trying to get it. I thought that was a lovely thought.

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

A) I do really enjoy the blogs but I also enjoy the reviews that I get and the buzz I try and create on social media.

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

A) I would say my wife, kids and friends. They are the backbone and keep me going.

*Thank you for taking part in the Q&A on my blog, I wish you every success with your writing career.

SJ: Thank you so much for asking me to feature on your blog and I am also very grateful.

SJ
Stuart James
Author links:
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17131046.Stuart_James
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Stuart-James-Author-798982316950555/
Instagram: http://ipovi.com/stuartjamesauthor-5956096407
Twitter: https://twitter.com/stuartjames73?lang=en-gb

Q&A with @GlynnHolloway #Author of, 1066 What Fates Impose #Indie #HistFic @matadorbooks

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G.K. Holloway
Synopsis:
England is in crisis. King Edward has no heir and promises never to produce one. There are no obvious successors available to replace him, but quite a few claimants are eager to take the crown. While power struggles break out between the various factions at court, enemies abroad plot to make England their own. There are raids across the borders with Wales and Scotland. Harold Godwinson, Earl of Wessex, is seen by many as the one man who can bring stability to the kingdom. He has powerful friends and two women who love him, but he has enemies who will stop at nothing to gain power. As 1066 begins, England heads for an uncertain future. It seems even the heavens are against Harold. Intelligent and courageous, can Harold forge his own destiny – or does he have to bow to what fates impose?

Q&A:

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

A) There was a castle built high on a hill, just outside of my home town. When I was a little boy, from my bedroom window on summer evenings, I used to watch the sun set behind it. Perhaps that’s why I’ve always been interested in history. It’s the subject I studied for my degree. The stories of who got what, where, why and when, have always fascinated me. When I had the inspiration, the inclination and the time to write a book, I jumped at the chance. It’s always been something I’ve wanted to do.

In the middle of the eleventh century, England was facing a crisis. King Edward the Confessor had promised never to produce an heir and there were no obvious successors – but there were quite a few claimants who wanted the crown. As time passed, tensions rose at home and abroad; family feuds, court intrigues, papal plots and a few assassinations paved the way to 1066, the year of three battles. One of them the most important ever fought on English soil. Most people know the outcome but how many know the many twists and turns that marked the way.

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

A) For one of my Christmas presents, my wife Alice bought me a book entitled, Harold: The Last Anglo Saxon King, by Ian W Walker. I found it a fascinating read and wanted to know more. I read anything I could find on pre-Conquest England and found it so interesting and exciting I couldn’t understand why I no one had made a film or written a novel about it, so I decided to write one myself.

The first thing I did was to make copious notes until I had the outline of a story and then I flushed out the main characters to make an exciting tale. I discovered I had to make up a few individuals to enable the narrative to flow more smoothly and in more detail. Once I had a final draft, I gave it to my family to read. I had quite a bit of feedback from them, most of it positive enough to make me want to take the next step and approach an editor. I sent her what I thought was a manuscript perfect in every way. After all, I’d checked it I don’t know how many times and the family had read it thoroughly. When the editor returned the manuscript came back to me I was amazed at the number of errors. So, after making the necessary corrections, I sent of the manuscript to my publishers. I brought 1066 out as an Ebook at first, just to see how it was received. It went down so well I bought out a paperback as well. Now I’m working on the sequel.

Q) Who are your favourite authors and what are your recommended reads?

A) My favourite authors – there are a lot. There are old favourites, like George Orwell, John Steinbeck, D H Lawrence, Thomas Hardy, F Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway but I also enjoy William Boyd, Ian McEwan and Carlos Ruiz Zafon and books I’d recommend, in respective order are, 1984, The Grapes of Wrath, Sons and Lovers, Far From the Madding Crowd, The Great Gatsby, A Farewell to Arms, Any Human Heart, Enduring Love and The Shadow of the Wind.

Q) What were your childhood favourite reads?

A) Any Biggles book by W E Johns. I read the lot when I was a kid and thought they were brilliant. When I’d finished reading them I wasn’t interested in any other children’s’ books and went straight on to Literary fiction – Animal Farm.

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

A) It’s a marvellous feeling to get a great review or even win an award but the moment I cherish is the moment when I opened a box full of books, fresh from the printers, and held in my had the book I had written. I think that’s the moment when you really feel like an author.

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

A) My wife, Alice. If it wasn’t for her support the book would never have been written, let alone published.

GH
G.K. Holloway
Authors links:
Website: http://www.gkholloway.co.uk/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/G-K-Holloway-219766941394283/
Twitter @GlynnHolloway

Q&A with @WendyDranfield #Author of #YA novel, The Girl Who Died #Indie

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The Girl Who Died by Wendy Dranfield
Synopsis:

Fifteen year old Hannah has killed her best friend, Katie. Whether or not it was intentional, only they know. With the police and Katie’s family desperately demanding answers, Hannah’s world is torn apart as she has to decide what to do next and whether that involves doing the right thing. Hannah’s choice is made more difficult due to her new closeness with Katie’s older brother, Josh. The traumatic event of Katie’s death unearths secrets best left untold, but to leave them untold would put another life at risk.

Longlisted for the Mslexia Novel Writing Competition and adapted from Wendy Dranfield’s previously published short story ‘Blue’ (published by Fish Publishing and also available in Wendy Dranfield’s short story anthology ‘End of the Road’).
*Novel currently available via kindle unlimited or for just 99p in Ebook*

Q&A:

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

A) I have been an avid reader ever since I was small, always preferring books over dolls for presents, and that love of reading resulted in an inevitable love of writing. I started writing stories from about ten years old and I still have some I wrote as a teenager (they’re not good but they make me smile!). I eventually completed some Creative Writing modules as part of my degree and found they really helped me focus on writing every day.

The Girl Who Died was the first novel I wrote. It centres around fifteen-year-old Hannah, who thinks she’s killed her best friend, Katie, and then has to deal with the aftermath. From dealing with the police investigation to starting a friendship with Katie’s devastated older brother, Josh, Hannah is put in some awful situations that she isn’t mature enough to deal with. It’s not an easy read when we learn what Katie was going through before she died, but I believe it’s important to be honest when writing Young Adult fiction. When I was a teenager I would have liked to have read something like this, to show I wasn’t alone in what I was going through.

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

A) This novel started as a nightmare I had when I was fifteen years old. I must have been arguing with my best friend that day because I dreamt I killed her, cut her up into tiny chunks and then buried her in various places in our local field! I woke up drenched in sweat and feeling the worst guilt I’d ever experienced. Not because I thought I’d killed my best friend (we had a love-hate relationship!) but because I thought I’d get caught! It took me a while to realise it was a dream. But that dream stuck with me for years and I finally turned it into a short story in my early thirties. That story got published in the ‘Fish Anthology 2010’ and I had such a good response to it that everyone wanted to know what happened next to Hannah, the main character. I decided to find out by continuing the story and that turned into the YA novel ‘The Girl Who Died’. Although I wrote it in my thirties (I’m 39 now), I’ve received great feedback about how realistic the fifteen-year-old characters are, which is great.

Q) What are your favourite authors and recommended reads?

A) Stephen King’s earlier books such as Pet Sematary and IT had a huge influence on me growing up and I still read everything he writes. I’m also a huge fan of George RR Martin’s Game of Thrones series, which was unexpected for me because I hadn’t read any fantasy before that. I am currently working my way through everything ever written by Joyce Carol Oates as something about her writing draws me in. I also love Daphne Du Maurier and Shirley Jackson.

Q) What were your childhood/teenage favourite reads?

A) I grew up on Stephen King. I would search the local car boot sales for any of his books I could find and ended up collecting them. I prefer his earlier work such as Pet Sematary and IT because I’m a horror fan at heart, but I still read everything he writes. I’ve learnt a lot from him. At college I had to read Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood and that became a favourite, which meant I went on to read his other work. It’s so important to read widely and not just stick to one genre. I’ve started reading crime thrillers this year and have realised I love them too!

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

A) When I got a story traditionally published for the first time I was so proud of myself. I had entered a short story competition but I wasn’t bothered about winning the cash prizes, I just wanted to make sure I was at least one of the runners up as they would be published in the anthology. Once I found out I was a runner up I couldn’t have been happier than if I’d have won the money. Receiving five complementary copies of the anthology and seeing my work in a ‘real’ book for the first time was a huge moment for me. It made me realise for the first time that I can start saying out loud than I’m a writer. I didn’t feel like I was pretending anymore.

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

A) I never had anyone to encourage me while I was growing up and I never told school/college/work friends that I was writing in my spare time, as I felt embarrassed about it. It was only when I met my husband at 25 that I revealed my writing hobby, and it took me a couple of years before I could show him any of my work. I had such low self-esteem due to my upbringing that I didn’t feel confident enough to submit to competitions or publishers until I was in my thirties. My husband has supported my writing ever since we met. I’ve recently finished writing my next novel, a crime thriller, and my husband read the whole thing as a beta-reader for me. At 85,000 words long and in a genre he’s not keen on, that’s true love!

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Wendy Dranfield
Author links:
Twitter: @WendyDranfield
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13513643.Wendy_Dranfield
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Wendy-Dranfield/e/B00XGLIHAK/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1476544391&sr=8-1
Instagram name: wendydranfield

WD: Thanks Abby!
Huge thanks to Wendy for being part of a Q&A on my blog! I wish her much success with her writing career!

The author also has two short story collections available:
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Ends Of The Road

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It Lies With You

 

 

 

#BlogTour #Review Chasing The Traveller by @AlexKaneWriter 4* #CrimeFiction #NewRelease #Indie

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Chasing The Traveller by Alex Kane
Synopsis:

‘I’ve fled from my husband and the only life I’ve ever known. I’m terrified that if he finds me, I’ll never find myself.’

Kat is trapped in a world where she has never belonged. As a traveller, she has always felt lost, especially since the death of her parents in a fire when she was fourteen years old. Having been taken on by the Denton family as their own, Kat falls in love with their son, tearaway Jimmy. His charm soon wears off and Kat finds herself married to a controlling and violent thug.

Sixteen years later, Kat decides enough is enough and begins plotting her escape from a lifetime of abuse.

Stripped of her personality, Kat has no idea how to start again but she finds an unlikely ally in her sister-in-law Ellie who shows Kat that she is not alone.

Kat and Ellie Denton begin their venture into a new world, where they meet new people and build new lives. But Kat still wants to know more about her parents’ past and when she seeks the location of an address on the back of a family photograph, Kat begins to uncover more than she expected including a revelation that will lead Kat back to the traveller site she had been so desperate to escape from.

Will she find the answers she is looking for, or will she fall prey to the violent Jimmy Denton once more?

My Review:

This novel opens with a prologue, which is a scene of brutal domestic violence. We become rapidly aware that Jimmy Denton is a jealous thug and his ‘wife’, has been subjected to physical violence, rape and being spat on regularly!
Jimmy’s wife Kat, is the central protagonist. She has lived a life of fear, dominance, and complete and utter control! Jimmy decides what she eats and wears. He views her, merely as his property! Kat is alone in the world with no family of her own. She is apathetic and accepts a lifetime with the ‘Denton’s’ on their traveling site. That is until a ray of hope is offered from an unlikely source……

Jimmy’s sister Ellie Denton, has always treated Kat with contempt. But one day, the women take a moment to confide in each other of the psychological scars they both bare due to Jimmy’s violent ways.
Together they are stronger, and it is together, a plan is forged!

“This is no way to live. You know it as much as the rest of us here” – Ellie

Kat after years of being victimised and dehumanised, relies upon Ellie tremendously, for their plan to work!
Their plan is one of escape, but an escape, that must be secretively, carefully and meticulously planned. If their plan is discovered, Jimmy may kill both the women.
When Kate discovers she is pregnant with Jimmy’s child, she fears for not only her own safety but the safety of her unborn child. She must put all her faith and trust in Ellie.

The traveller site that the Denton family ‘rule’, is fully explained. Denton women are forbidden to leave the site unless accompanied by a Denton man. It is easy to see how a community such as this, can easily harbour domestic abuse and sexual violence. Women are treated as possessions to be owned, rather than partners to be loved.

“Kat we’ll do it together. We’ll change our names so no one can trace us, we’ll start a new life together and we’ll get away from this shit hole” – Ellie

The women leave, with Kat clutching nothing but a single photograph of her parents. They are positively terrified, and fear follows their every step away from the site…….

I really admired the characterisation of the women. Kat as the victim and Ellie as the saviour. It was refreshing to read a novel where a female character, is helped by a fellow female, to save her own life. I found this very accurate and realistic. Ellie nurtures Kat, back to her former self.
There is a lot to be said, for the power of sisterhood amongst women and this novel is a perfect example.

The novel then progresses to one year later. Kat is now Katelyn with a three-month-old daughter named Lucia. Auntie Helen (Ellie) is still helping Katelyn overcome her painful past. Helen encourages Katelyn to seek therapy, as the women live their lives, always looking over their shoulder!
Katelyn begins to investigate the photograph, her only one possession taken from the site. What she uncovers is decades of secrets and a glimpse into her own family’s history on the traveller site!

The opening pages that describe the travellers site and the violence easily meted out. I could have quite easily believed to have been a Martina Cole novel. The writing was so detailed and brutally honest! The mental hold of domestic violence and dehumanisation is fully explored!
Beat, control and dominate!

Can Kat set herself free? Can she overcome the past? What will become of baby Lucia, if Kat fails to find the strength? Will Jimmy seek revenge?
To find out more of Kat’s journey, you will have to read the novel! But remember
“Don’t allow your past to define your future”
4*