Blog Tour · Guest Post · Historical Romance

Guest Post: “The Lady in the Veil”, by Allie Cresswell

Hello Friends!

You may be wondering what today’s post is about. Allie Cresswell‘s new book is out and I bring you a guest post to celebrate it. Allie’s message. Bellow you will also find the author bio and the blurb to “The Lady in the Veil” with the purchase links.



Guest Message

I think it is a sad fact of life that that a person looks like is given far more importance than what they are like as people.

Although social media, TV, magazines and adverts tend to be full of young, beautiful and well-toned human beings, the world isn’t. Speaking personally, as a woman past sixty, my grey hair, sagging body and wrinkles have taken a bit of getting used to. I’ve never been a beautiful person, certainly never well-toned—although I was once young. I have no problem being inside this ‘old lady’ carapace but I’ll admit that catching sight of myself in a mirror (or on my daughter’s Instagram) is a shock.

The reason these things have been on my mind lately is my new novel, The Lady in the Veil. It has turned out to be about being judged by appearances. The eponymous character—Georgina—hides herself from public view for reasons that she does not quite understand. Her mother is extremely retiring, shying from the possibility of being recognised, and Georgina has assimilated this behaviour. Also, a very unpleasant encounter in her pubescent years has given her cause to distrust her appearance; it has an unnerving effect on people. It distracts from who she is. There is something quite extraordinary about her appearance. Increasingly, she hides herself from view, adopting a thick veil.

When she is forced to go to London, where the 1835 season is at its height, far from affording her anonymity, the veil marks Georgina out. Society gossips are galvanised; who is the mysteriously veiled lady? And what horrors does her veil conceal? A modern equivalent of this might be cosmetic surgery that goes wrong; the subject is looked at—but for all the wrong reasons. The kindest thing would be to say nothing, but people are not kind and social media goes crazy with cruel pictures, speculation and scorn. My character finds herself the subject of the same kind of feeding-frenzy. If she had hoped—via the cloaking mechanism of the veil—to be judged for her personal qualities rather than for her appearance, she is sorely disappointed.

What surprised me about the way my story developed was that Georgina’s veil not only skews the way she is seen, but also obscures the way she sees. Necessarily, to keep her face hidden, the gauze of the veil must be thick. How, then, did she see out? My research suggested that the fabric of the veil would be fabricated or decorated in such a way as to allow a greater transparency across the eyes. But it seemed to me impossible that the wearer’s vision could not be hampered. At one point Georgina describes everything ‘as seen through a dirty window’; she is suspicious and distrustful of the outside world, fearful without quite knowing why.

Not only does she not see the world clearly, she does not see herself clearly either. ‘I never look in a mirror,’ she says. How can she expect to be seen, valued, accepted by others if she does not see, value or accept herself?

The Lady in the Veil is the story of a young woman who needs to see and love herself, written by an older woman who, perhaps, needs to do the same.

~Allie Cresswell

Author Bio


Allie Cresswell was born in Stockport, UK and began writing fiction as soon as she could hold a pencil.

She did a BA in English Literature at Birmingham University and an MA at Queen Mary College, London.

She has been a print-buyer, a pub landlady, a book-keeper, run a B & B and a group of boutique holiday cottages. Nowadays Allie writes full time having retired from teaching literature to lifelong learners.

She has two grown-up children, two granddaughters, two grandsons and two cockapoos but just one husband – Tim. They live in Cumbria, NW England.

Social Media Links – Facebook | Twitter | Website


What secrets hide beneath the veil? When her mother departs for a tour of the continent, Georgina is sent from the rural backwaters to stay with her cousin, George Talbot, in London. The 1835 season is at its height, but Georgina is determined to attend neither balls nor plays, and to eschew Society. She hides her face beneath an impenetrable veil. Her extraordinary appearance only sets off gossip and speculation as to her identity. Who is the mysterious lady beneath the veil?

The Lady in the Veil continues the story of the Talbots in The House in the Hollow but stands equally well alone.

Purchase Links: Amazon UK | Amazon US

Don’t forget to comment, don’t be stranger. If you have any book recommendation you can leave a message using the form on my Contact Me page.

If you are an author or publisher and want me to do a review of a book please check out my Request Review page to learn more about the reviewing policies.

I always welcome new books to add to my list and I’m always excited to do reviews and read books. And I’m open to debate and exchange opinions, so let’s talk.

Also, if you would like to join me as a guest on my blog, check out the Guests Post page to know more and contact me so we can start planing your visit.



Blog Tour · Guest Post

Guest Post: Help the Aged! Getting rid of stereotypes in fiction, by R J Gould

Hello Friends!

Today I bring you a different post. As part of a blog tour for R J Gould‘s “The bench by Cromer beach“, I have a Guest Post from the author. Enjoy!

Help the Aged! Getting rid of stereotypes in fiction

Coming across a podcast got me thinking about how old age is represented in novels. In (B)older: Making the Most of Our Longer Lives, Carl Honore challenges common clichés about the elderly – forgetfulness, stuck in their ways, bulging waistlines, no interest in a new relationship. Add that lot up and all they might seem to be doing is hanging around until death, while the actuality is that people are living longer and staying fitter than ever before. Adverts perpetuate the stereotype. Although more new cars are bought by the over-50s than any other group, how many car adverts feature older drivers?

As a writer of fiction, that podcast provided much for me to reflect on.  Perhaps particularly in my genres – Women’s Literary Fiction, Relationship Satire and Romance, the old, including the younger protagonists’ parents, are often merely seen as the problem to deal with that gets in the way of forming a relationship.

In reverting to stereotypes of the elderly, writers miss an opportunity to portray characters who are as active, creative, diverse and as interesting as their younger counterparts, perhaps even more so due to the juggernaut-load of baggage that they are likely to carry. In the real world, the late fifties onwards generation are seeking relationships in record numbers (they’re the fastest growing age group on online dating sites); are taking on new interests including extreme sports; and yes, are even having sex.

Beyond the fun of the writing, another aspect of depicting older people beyond caricature is the sales potential. There’s a large market out there of ageing baby-boomers. They were the first generation to embody youth culture, they were radical, and despite age, now refuse to be regarded as old or to behave according to previous norms and expectations. You’ll find them dancing at a Rolling Stones concert or setting off to a yoga retreat in India. They are big consumers of fiction and they want their novels to reflect their drive, resilience and determination. They aren’t merely hanging around waiting for dementia to set in or for their children to place them in a warden-controlled flat, so that’s not what they want to read.

These thoughts influenced my approach to writing The bench by Cromer beach, set in this beautiful, largely unspoilt, town on the North Norfolk coast. During my first visit there I noticed a line of benches overlooking the sea along the clifftop, all occupied by elderly citizens. One man peering down onto the beach particularly caught my attention and a fictional version of him is featured in this novel. What he thinks he is seeing is wildly removed from the reality – this is the starting point for a bittersweet novel featuring five lead protagonists including that man on the bench. As their lives intertwine, for each of them cracks emerge and restlessness grows. 

~ R J Gould


The bench by Cromer beach Cover

Five people in a sleepy English coastal town. One year that changes everything. 

They seem to have it all. They’re in good health and are financially secure. They live in a pleasant and comfortable town. But as their lives intertwine, cracks emerge and restlessness grows.  

For Clive, is retirement the beginning of the end? Can fun-loving Saskia break free from her adulterous husband? Will Andy marry his childhood sweetheart? Is Jamie prepared to change his dishonest ways? Might Ellie’s happy marriage be shattered by temptation?

Heart-warming and heart-breaking collide in this novel about aspirations, expectations and the realities of everyday life.

Purchase Links: Amazon

Visit   for a free copy of R J Gould’s award-winning short story The Kiosk.

Author Bio

R J Gould Author Photo

R J Gould is published by Lume Books and Headline Accent and is the author of five novels: A Street Café Named Desire, The Engagement Party, Jack and Jill Went Downhill, Mid-life follies and The bench by Cromer beach. He is a (rare male) member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association. Having been selected for the organisation’s New Writers Programme, his first novel was short-listed for the Joan Hessayon Award. ​​Ahead of writing full time, R J Gould led a national educational charity. He has published in a wide range of educational journals, national newspapers and magazines and is the co-author of a major work on educating able young people. He lives in Cambridge, England.

Social Media Links: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

Don’t forget to check out all the other bloggers that given their contribute in this Blog Tour, from reviews and basic promo/spotlight posts.

Don’t forget to comment, don’t be stranger. If you have any book recommendation you can leave a message using the form on my Contact Me page.

If you are an author or publisher and want me to do a review of a book please check out my Request Review page to learn more about the reviewing policies.

I always welcome new books to add to my list and I’m always excited to do reviews and read books. And I’m open to debate and exchange opinions, so let’s talk.

Also, if you would like to join me as a guest on my blog, check out the Guests Post page to know more and contact me so we can start planing your visit.



Guest Post

Guest Post: 5 Ways to Support Your Favorite Authors, by Desiree Villena

Unless a book makes it to the top of the bestseller lists, it can be pretty hard for authors to make a living. Which is why your favorite authors rely on you, their fans, to sustain their careers and give them the chance to write more of the books you enjoy so much.

With COVID-19 having massively affected the global economy, the impending recession is bound to be a difficult time for authors and publishers. And as readers, many of us would have had a bleak, desolate time during lockdown without the work of authors there to provide a much-needed escape — which is why it’s our responsibility to do what we can to support the industry that allows us to journey to imaginary worlds. Here are five ways to do just that.

1. Buy their books

It sounds obvious, but one important way to show your support is with your money. You can buy a book in many ways: hardback, paperback, ebook, or audiobook. Each format is priced differently, and the total amount reaching the author will differ depending on how you buy it.

Often, the pricier the version you purchase, the greater the royalties reaching the author! So if you have the funds to buy a beautiful, ornate hardback, know that you’re not just indulging yourself, but possibly also supporting a writer more. It’s also good to remember that if you buy books from independent bookshops, you’ll be helping out authors as well as indie booksellers. (Booksellers, too, will struggle post-coronavirus, so it’s important that we have their backs!)

Because no one has unlimited book-buying funds (we wish!), you can establish a few book-buying goals for yourself to make sure you give more support where it’s needed. For example, you can aim to buy more physical books by independent presses, but get J.K. Rowling or Stephen King’s next books in ebook format, to balance out your spending.

2. Review their books

Even if you can’t buy brand-new copies of books, you can still borrow them from libraries or buy them second-hand, which means you can still access the writing of authors you love. If you’ve borrowed something that really moved or spoke to you, why not write a review on the Internet?

These can go on your own book blog (like this one!), on Goodreads, Amazon, or anywhere else that accepts reviews online. The purpose is to add to the publicity hype around a book. Even a lukewarm or a negative review can add authority to the book’s sale page, especially in the case of authors who have self-published; these writers often start out with small numbers of reviews, so by adding to these, you can make sure other readers see a book as legitimate.

3. Tell others about these books

Many authors rely on word-of-mouth marketing for their books to reach the right audience. So tell your book club, your friends, and your Insta followers about the book you enjoyed recently. Tell your neighbors, your dad, and your colleagues. Shout it from the rooftops! Tell anyone you think might be interested, especially if they share your taste in books. If you’re struggling to describe a book, consult its book description online — just make sure you do it justice!

Authors from marginalized groups need you more than you realize, since they have to overcome more biases to get their books into the mainstream. So make it your mission to champion diverse books by minority or socio-economically disadvantaged authors — like this very blog did by reviewing Common People.

You really have to sing a book’s praises if you want its author to be successful enough to write more books for you to enjoy. And even on a pretty basic level, it’s only polite to give something back to the person that worked their writerly magic on your brain. So show your gratitude!

4. Be a loyal reader

While we’re on the topic of gratitude, another way to express it to your favorite writers is to simply be a loyal reader. Keep up to date with what they’re writing and be the first to buy when it comes out!

Especially if you love an ongoing series, stay on the lookout for its next release (and keep reviewing a series’ new releases). The easiest way to do that is to sign up to your favorite authors’ mailing lists. You can also work backwards — for example, if you read Sally Rooney’s bestseller Normal People and loved it, you can turn to her debut novel next.

5. Write to them

It sounds silly, but if you feel an author’s work has genuinely touched you, you should write to them and let them know! Most authors’ websites or blogs will have a contact form that you can use to send a message – if not, you can try reaching them on Twitter!

Even if they aren’t very active online, fan mail is guaranteed to make any author’s day. Some writers really engage with their readers, even shaping their new writing in line with what readers say they want. (On that note, why not submit a writing prompt for Jess to write her next short story here?)

There are so many ways you can support a great author, and not all of them have to be financial. Buying someone’s book is great, generating publicity online is fantastic, but a simple email or a letter from a fan can also work wonders for a writer’s confidence. So channel that gratitude out there, and decide how you want to say thank you — every little bit counts.

Desiree Villena

Desiree Villena is a writer with Reedsy, a marketplace that connects authors and publishers with the world’s best editors, designers, and marketers. In her spare time, Desiree enjoys reading contemporary fiction and writing short stories.

Social Media Links for Reedsy: Website | Instagram | Twitter

First, I want to thank Desiree for the wonderful guest post. Second, I have to say that I 100% agree with what has been said in this post, and it was some of the reasons why I started this blog.

Also, if like Desiree, you have something to say and would like to be a guest on my blog you can check out my Guests Post to know more about it or you can leave a message using the form on my Contact Me page.



Blog Tour · Guest Post

Guest Post “Writing History for Young Adults”, by Rina Z. Neiman

Hello Friends!

I hope you are having an amazing Friday and I hope you have a good weekend. Today I bring you a guest post as part of a blog tour.

Enjoy what she has to say.

Are you interested in writing history for young adults? If you are, you will absolutely want to visit Jess’ blog today where author Rina Z. Neiman talks about writing history for young adults and what grabs them and what loses them.

I remember the first time I read historical fiction as a young adult. The book was Michael Shaara’s The Killer Angels set during the Civil War, a topic that reminded me of a boring high school history class. But a friend couldn’t stop raving about the book and convinced me to give it a try.

Shaara’s story transported me into another world. The gruesome fighting on battlefields with vaguely familiar names were brought into sharp focus by the author’s descriptive prose. The characters were strong, the story lines interesting, and most importantly, the time period felt real. Suddenly, history was compelling and I was learning a lot to boot. I was hooked on historical fiction.

It’s been years since I first read that book, but the feeling of reading a living, breathing history stayed with me. When I decided to write my own historical novel, Born Under Fire, my goal was to bring to life the birth of the State of Israel in the way Shaara’s novel deepened my understanding for the Civil War.

The main character in Born Under Fire, Shula, is based on my mother. Through Shula we experience not only pivotal moments in the historical timeline, but her feelings, emotions and reactions to these events. Based on my experience, I knew I needed to avoid the history-lesson-voice and concentrate on the human dramas in each event.

An example of this is the dramatization the United Nations vote on the partition plan in 1947. Reading the transcript of this historic meeting, it was clear that I had to find a way to make this event, (which includes an extremely long roll call vote), engaging and interesting.

During my research, I learned that most everyone in Tel Aviv listened to the live broadcast on their radios that night. I created a scene where Shula’s extended family gathers in her apartment to listen to the vote. There is a buzz in the air and Shula sees the same scene repeated in every window on her street. Her 10-year-old brother holds a hand-drawn chart and stands ready with the new pen he bought for the tally. While the roll is called, family members interject and interrupt the proceedings, which keeps the action moving and the suspense building.

YA readers of historical fiction are looking for good stories with believable and relatable characters. Avoid rote repetition of facts and figures and instead opt for Interesting scenarios as a way to pass on information to the characters, and in turn, the readers.

Rina Z. Neiman


BornUnderFire_Cover.jpgBorn Under Fire is a historical novel that tells the story of a girl coming of age and her drive to excel despite the devastating effects of long-term war.

Born in Jerusalem under British rule in 1928, Shula grows up in a world in turmoil as Hitler rises to power and nations enter into war. Amid a landscape of ancient stone ruins next to modern Bauhaus architecture, and desert scrub ending at newly verdant farmlands, Shula grows into her independence as the State of Israel is born.

Based on historical documents and events, Born Under Fire is also about the context surrounding the founding of the State of Israel, as well as the horrors and dangers of growing up in a conflict zone. Shula battles grief and depression due to the shattering events affecting her, her family, and the entire world.

Despite this struggle, her resilient spirit enables her to reach great heights as a concert pianist..

Print Length: 258 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
ISBN-13: 978-1986349147
ISBN-10: 1986349144

Born Under Fire is now available to purchase on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Thrift Books.

Don’t forget to comment, don’t be stranger. If you have any book recommendation you can leave a message using the form on myContact Me page.

If you are an author and want me to do a review of your book you can go check out myRequest Review page.

I always welcome new books to add to my list and I’m always excited to do reviews and read books.

And if you would like to join me as a guest on my blog, check out the Guests Post page to know more and contact me so we can start planing your visit.



Guest Post

Guest Post: “The Do’s and Don’ts of Writing”, by Sam R. (Literary Khaleesi)

I don’t want to be a teacher. But I love to lecture. I don’t know why, I just do. And today’s “lecture”-if you didn’t read the title of this guest post-is about what to do and what not to do when you’re writing. And, of course, I don’t follow my own advice even though I really should. I’m hoping you all will take from this and apply it to your own writing, and maybe even learn something. So, here goes.


          This is a total given, obviously. But in reality there is truth to this. Writing everyday betters yourself as an author. You want to find the right place to do this, too. If you’re uncomfortable, chances are your desire to right will be limited to once in a while. Also, create a routine. When I was writing my first draft, Legend, I created a routine where I’d sit down for at least two hours (not all at once,) and just write. Word count was important, but I didn’t worry too much about it as long as I got those two hours in. Because why? Because writing EVERYDAY is important.
          Here’s some more advice that I don’t follow, but is useful. I’ve tried doing this, but we live in day and age where we have constant access to technology, i.e. our phones. I have a notepad dedicated to bookish thoughts and rambles. Now, I say carry a journal because physically writing your thoughts down tend to be much more helpful. I don’t know why, but that’s the case. I do have a tiny little notebook that was intended for this purpose, and I hope that one day it will be put to good use, but that day isn’t anywhere near me just yet. 
          Yeah, read.  Just like my first two points, this is also important. Reading is what got me into writing. And reading also keeps my brain fresh. Reading other authors works and learning their styles actually helped form my own style and create my own ideas. I answered a QOTD on bookstagram about how I write scenes, and I admitted that I pulled from books and twisted and pulled and punched until another author’s scene became my own. Reading affects how we write, and if you want to write well, I suggest starting by picking up a book.
          Just recently I told a few members of my family that I’m writing a book, that I have written a book. My family is very…..conservative and typical. I wish typical wasn’t the word to use, but unfortunately what we want to be typical isn’t how it is just yet. Anyways, my family isn’t exactly supportive of my dreams and career decision. My dad is trying to act like he is; he made a comment about a book I started when I was like 12 about a magic mirror set during WWII. I never finished it, and, as I think of it, it seems like a good historical fiction novel to write-or at least take a quick look back at it. So, his comment was that I should stop writing my current WIP, Legend, and pick the WWII story up instead. I understand he’s at least trying, but I don’t think he understands that what I’m writing now is what speaks to me now. I put the history novel down almost a decade ago. Clearly there was a reason why. 
          So, the moral of this paragraph is that I’m not going to write what my father wants me to. I’m not going to write what anyone else wants me to. And if the day comes that my old man wants to take a look at Legend, I already know he’s going to dislike it. He’s a conservative man set in old ways, and I exploit men like him in my novel and bring important views into the light, views not a lot of white men, or men in general agree with. Write what YOU want, and don’t let anyone else’s opinion get in the way.
          About a month ago I picked out a few bookstagrammers and friends of mine as Beta Readers. This decision is a very important one. Don’t just randomly pick family members or close friends. Your introductory readers need to be people who’s opinion you value, and if they say something negatively-most likely for your own good and for the sake of the draft-you need to be able to take it like a strong person. Don’t melt under the pressure and critique. Part of being an author is living under the pressure and wearing the good and bad reviews like a cape. And if you happen to get published, the good and the bad won’t stop at your friends. It’ll be from the world. So, chose your friends wisely for the role of Beta because it is an important one. 
          I think I’m struggling with this one the most. As of right now, Legend is very much all mine. No other eyes but my own have seen it, not even my boyfriend’s. (He’s been trying to sneak a peek haha!) This point is especially true if you’re writing a series. Once that first book is out, your readers are the ones shadow guiding you through the writing process. Yes, you have a say in what you write, but this is the introduction anymore. You have an audience to please. And as I say that, do remember that you have yourself to please, too (you, ultimately, come first.) As long as your remember any published works are no longer yours, becoming an excellent author will be easier done than said. 
          Back to the journal. That could be a place where you keep your research, especially if the journal is always on your person. But like I said in the journal paragraph, we live in a technological world. All my research and notes is on an app called Padlet. Everything is color coded, columned and sectioned off. It’s easy to read and quick to navigate. That’s how it should be. 
          Word count is nothing to freak out over. If you’re doing a program such as NaNoWriMo, then yes, ignore this piece of advice. But unless that isn’t the case, please heed what I say. Quantity has no hold over quality. I spent a month going on two battling both Qs, and while I did finish my first draft, I’m almost positive the quality of my first take would be a whole lot better if a part of me wasn’t concerned with keeping track of how many words I got in a day. So, don’t stress over the numbers. 
          Also, don’t worry about anyone else’s word counts either. They are a completely different person, and should have no affect on you once so ever. Alright?
          At least during your allotted writing time. I made this mistake one too many times. I have a highlight on my bookstagram profile following me as I wrote, from day one to finish. And while that is cool, it prevented me from writing. It chipped time of me getting words in. It took away from me doing what I love to do. Social media can be a good thing, but it can also be a bad thing. And in my case it’s riding the line. If I hadn’t finished my first draft, I’d say it was pretty bad. So, try to stray from using your phone while writing. 
          This makes me laugh so much when I see all those people online purchasing writing books, and thinking that it’ll change how they write, that it’ll make them better. And maybe that is so, but the chances of that are slim to none. Those books are directed to the author. That’s how the author writes, that’s how the author recommends you to write. But we are all different. Our styles are different, our voices are different. How can a writing book make us better when we’re already better on our own? I fell into this loop over the summer. Want to know how it went? I didn’t get past the third chapter. I realized I was wasting my time trying to be someone else and not who I am. My tone, my voice, my writing is perfect the way it is. And I can only better it by writing and reading everyday (reading actual books that aren’t about writing. Too much writing can be a turn off for the mind, fyi!)
          I’m sorry, but you’re a fool if you think your first draft is ready to be completed as is. Unless you’re someone like V.E. Schwab who edits extensively as she goes then maybe so. And props to you for being part of the ~1% who can do that. Schwab’s first draft is like a third draft. Mine….well, mine is a first draft. A crappy, no good first draft in need of LOTS of help. Don’t stress that is isn’t perfect. 
          Also, don’t make everything in your story fit to your plot. After all, this is only a first draft. Chances are you’ll change at least half of it. So, forcing scenes to play into the plot isn’t the best way to do so. Everything will come together as you go through edits and rewrite that second, third, fourth draft. No force, just time and effort, and everything will fall into place. 
          Another thing is this: don’t tell us everything about your character when first meeting them. You want to drop a few details and then drop a few more later on, and later on, and later on. Those will add up and the reader will learn who this character is naturally. And eventually your character will tie into the plot and the little details you’ve dropped every so often will make sense. Dropping it at one time will cause forgetfulness (too much all at once,) and it won’t help your plot either. 
          You are the only person there is to please. Unless you’re already published and working on a series. But if not, you’re the only one who’s opinion should matter. It’s your story, isn’t it?
          I had this problem for SIX years! Six years I changed, and, changed, and changed Legend, and where did it get me? No where. I finally said to myself, “Sam, stop it! You know how you want this book to go. So why are you doing this to yourself?” It’s fear that makes you continuously change your mind. Which is why your change your story. So, tell yourself to quit it, and get a move on. Your book is waiting on you, and wants to be written. 
and most importantly….
          You can’t underestimate writing. It’s a tricky thing. It’s a difficult thing. Writing trips you when you least expect you. I’ve met mainly people who think it’s easy, that anyone can do it. Sure, anyone can write, but how many people can throw together made up characters into a made up world with a plot and execute it properly? Not everyone. So, don’t forget that writing isn’t easy and you’re not alone if you’re struggling. Trust me, we’re all struggling, even those best sellers like Stephen King and J.K. Rowling. 
If you have anymore questions about writing, I do have a blog, an email, my DMs on bookstagram are always open. I like to think I’m a friendly person, just ask Jess lol! Thanks for checking out my guest post about writing. I sincerely hope you were able to take away from this post, and if so, please do let me know! I would love to hear back from any and all of you!

Sam, aka literarykhaleesi

Sam as been a great friend in this past year, since I started my bookstagram adventure, and I’m happy and honored to call her my best friend from Instagram. She’s an amazing person, a great writer, hardworking young woman, and I hope you guys go check out her blog and Instagram account, she has wonderful and fun reviews.

Sam is a 21 year old bibliophile that dreams of running her own bookshop one day, born in Arizona and stuck in Ohio. Author of WIP “Legend”. Owner of a blog called “Literary Khaleesi”.

Social Media Links – Blog | Instagram | Goodreads | Twitter | Contact her by email

If, like Sam, you would like to join me as a guest on my blog, check out the Guests Post page to know more and contact me so we can start planing your visit.



Blog Tour · Guest Post

Guest Post: “Right On The Monet”, by Malcolm Parnell

P1060847When it comes to writing I have no particular working method. I generally find I am at my most productive early morning when the world is waking up and all is quiet. I know some authors like to have background noise such as music or the sound of a TV but that would never work for me. Nor do I write to a specific time frame. Around one thousand words at a time are ok by me and I have never written more than three thousand at any one sitting. The important thing is to get the stuff written down and try to encourage some kind of flow and with that in mind I don’t edit or correct anything until I have finished the session.

There is a lot of advice given to novice writers, particularly concerning structure and planning. For me, once I have the nucleus of an idea I let it simmer and grow in my head until I have a broad outline of a beginning and then I sit down to write. How other authors can plan each chapter from start to finish before writing anything is a mystery to me. If I adopted this method I would never get anything done and in fact would probably not even begin. Personally I have no idea as to how my books will end until I get there and the ending is as big a surprise to me as hopefully it is to the reader. The exciting part for me is to let the characters develop and tell their own story.

P1060862The character of Harry Chase is a mixture of my own plus a sprinkling taken from one or two people I know. I wanted to create an ordinary bloke who is unwittingly placed in an extraordinary situation. Harry is not a hero in any sense and would generally run a mile rather than face a conflict and stand his ground. He is not a weak person but rather someone who all his life has been lead to believe he is an also ran rather than a front runner. He is the sort of person who believes his opinion is correct until he listens to someone else with a different one.

His strengths are he is loyal, honest and kind. He has a genuine fondness for helping others and would not turn his back when someone needed help. His weaknesses tend to be he can be easily swayed and he is a sucker when it comes to the opposite sex.

I am and always will be very grateful to Harry Chase for allowing me to join in with his exploits and at the same time have great fun along the way. Harry has featured in three novels to date and although I have quietly retired him from the mainstream for the time being, I have no doubt he will return at some point in the not too distant future along with his good friends, Tony, Dave and Steve.

– Malcolm Parnell

About Author

Right on the Monet - 20170901_183648 (2)Malcolm Parnell has a passion for painting and teaches art and drawing skills when he is not working on his next novel.

His other passion, apart from his good lady wife, Marion, is Leicester City Football Club. Becoming an author and Leicester win the Premier League have been two of his greatest ambitions realised.

Social Media Links – Twitter | Facebook


Right on the Monet CoverNew York

Claude Monet painting is stolen


Of all the things Harry Chase had imagined in his life, being a drummer on a cruise ship band was not one that would have occurred to him. And yet, there he was. Centre stage, behind a young female singer along with his mates, Dave, Tony and Steve.

Which meant that getting involved in a jewellery theft, an on-board massage parlour and the hunt for an Old Master was even further from his mind as he cracked the snare drum.

And yet, this was exactly how he found himself being questioned by Interpol …..

I want to thank Malcolm Parnell for being today’s guest on my blog as part of the blog tour hosted by Rachel, at Rachel’s Random Resources.

Right on the Monet

Don’t forget to check out all the other bloggers that given their contribute in this Blog Tour, from reviews and basic promo/spotlight posts.

Right on the Monet Full Tour Banner

Don’t forget to comment, don’t be stranger. If you have any book recommendation you can leave a message using the form on my Contact Me page.

If you are an author and want me to do a review of your book you can go check out my Request Review page.

I always welcome new books to add to my list and I’m always excited to do reviews and read books.

And if you would like to join me as a guest on my blog, check out the Guests Post page to know more and contact me so we can start planing your visit.



Blog Tour · Guest Post

Guest Post: “The Victoria Lie”, by Sarah Marie Graye

P1060722It’s a common misconception that most suicides are an impulsive act – and something I thought was true as well. Although we can’t speak to those who have killed themselves, we can still ask those who survived about their ordeal. And many admit to planning out their suicide for months, maybe even years, before taking any action.

If you remove the impulsiveness from suicide, then it becomes a measured act. From a writing perspective, this slows everything down: the suicide is all the time leading up to the act – and for those that survive it is all the time after it too.

Time is an important tool in a novel. In thrillers, for example, there’s often a race against time to recue someone; in a romance, there might be just five days until the prom to ask someone out. The way we tell stories distorts time, and I wanted to explore how a suicide can both speed up and slow down time.

Part of the “planning” of a suicide includes whether or not to leave a note. Only 1-in-5 people who take their own lives leave any kind of message saying sorry or explaining why. Again, speaking to those who survive, for many it’s because they don’t know how to say what they want to say or they don’t want their words to be misinterpreted.

In The Victoria Lie, this is the case for Zoe too:

“It wouldn’t have mattered what I wrote in a note, it wouldn’t have been enough. It could be the simplest language and it would be overanalysed, each sentence disassembled. Goodbye is a really simple thing to say face-to- face, but impossible in a note.”

She wants to explain to boyfriend James and best friend Alison her wish to die is nothing to do with them and to ask them to move on with their lives. She wants to do this face-to-face, but without this giving them the means to stop her. So she takes a Paracetamol overdose.

P1060700When I was researching overdosing on the Internet, I discovered that Paracetamol kills you by destroying your liver. It’s a slow, painful death that can take up to 10 days. A Paracetamol overdose can be treated within the first few hours, but if the treatment is given too late and fails, the only option is a liver transplant – an option rarely available to those who’ve taken a purposeful overdose.

This slow death gives Zoe an opportunity to talk to James and Alison from her hospital bed – after she’s taken the overdose.

“I knew a Paracetamol overdose would give me a window of a few days, before I died, to talk to you about it, to explain. I didn’t want to leave you wondering why, wondering if there was anything you could have done. I knew this way you’d have the chance to ask, so you wouldn’t be left with any niggling questions. I wanted to make sure you could move on.”

I wanted to make sure Zoe’s story was feasible, so I researched further – and found two real life cases of people taking Paracetamol and because they wanted to use the post-overdose period of time to say goodbye.

When someone is dying every second important: but if they’re dying slowly then the days yawn ahead of their death. Both James and Alison struggle to come to terms with what’s going on: they find it difficult to be around Zoe but know if they don’t spend time with her they’ll regret it once she’s gone.

When you have a few days left, you have no time at all and all the time in the world.

The Victoria Lie

Author BioSarahMarieGraye-Headshot

British writer Sarah Marie Graye is the author of The Butterfly Effect series, which looks at suicides and those left behind. The Second Cup, the first book in the series, was published in July 2017, and this Blog Tour is to celebrate the launch of the second book in the series, The Victoria Lie.

Social Media Links – Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Amazon


TheVictoriaLie-BookCoverWhen is a lie a lifeline? To Tori lies are everything.

ZOE wants to end her life. But she can’t just leave a note. She needs to say goodbye to boyfriend JAMES and best friend ALISON.

TORI is waiting in the wings to fill the space ZOE will leave behind, wanting to claim both James and Alison for herself.

But with ZOE still alive and Alison’s childhood friend RUBY now on the scene vying to fill the gap, TORI realises she has her work cut out.

Just what lengths is TORI willing to go to in order to claim Alison and James for herself?

(Trigger warnings: Suicide, depression, IRA bombings, ADHD, Autism, manipulative characters.)

Purchase Link – Amazon



For a chance to win 3 x Signed copies of “The Victoria Lie” by Sarah Marie Graye Click Here

(Open to UK Only)

*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

Today I have Sarah Marie Graye, author of “The Victoria Lie“, joining me on the blog as part of the Book Launch Blog Tour. And I’m so thankful for Sarah for bringing this subject into light on my blog.

Don’t forget to check out all the other bloggers that given their contribute in this Blog Tour, from reviews and basic promo/spotlight posts.

The Victoria Lie Full Tour Banner

Don’t forget to comment, don’t be stranger. If you have any book recommendation you can leave a message using the form on my Contact Me page.

If you are an author and want me to do a review of your book you can go check out my Request Review page.

I always welcome new books to add to my list and I’m always excited to do reviews and read books.

And if you would like to join me as a guest on my blog, check out the Guests Post page to know more and contact me so we can start planing your visit.



Blog Tour · Guest Post

Guest Post: Which Came First: the Dragon or the Egg?, by M. K. Wiseman

Which Came First: the Dragon or the Egg?

P1060616The Laws of Magick that drive much of the action in The Kithseeker have a rather peculiar origin: Book repair. The Bookminder series, as a whole, owes much of its genesis to my time working in the “Coll Pres” department of the UW-Madison Memorial Library during my undergraduate years. The bulk of my job was assessing broken books that came our way. Cracked spines. Bent and scribbled on pages. Mold. (And worse.) Some books could be repaired in house or commercially re-bound. Some had to be replaced. Others still might be candidates for preservation in other formats.

P1060647At the time, the heart of a plot was rattling around in my brain. [Spoiler alert for book 1] In essence: “Girl destroys library to attack a wizard.” But why? How? I knew what it looked like, could see the scene clearly played out in my head. My work in the library offered up some of these answers: Spell books would not function properly if damaged. Worse, they could “backfire” on the user if the wizard was unaware of the damage and tried to use the book.

From there, the Laws grew. For, while I can enjoy a good get-out-of-plot-free device as much as the next person (because sometimes a story just needs to be a story), I adore set and specific limits (I’m looking at you, sonic screwdriver!) In fantasy, an airtight magic system just sets me to rapture. A system that we, the entertained, get to actually see laid out? Bliss! And so we find ourselves in a bit of a “chicken or egg’ situation when it comes to fantasy magic. Which takes the lead? Is it a give or take? Is magic just another element of the story, another character, or a mere setting? I suppose it depends on the story, sure. But for me, the two develop hand in hand.

P1060648The Bookminder series has been arced out from day one. The Laws, too, were set and bound. Sometimes one has taken the lead, sometimes the other. Sometimes they’ve contradicted and I’ve had to really look hard at where the story is allowed to go. Some days, the Laws of Magick are a bit like that old “throw your character off a bridge when you’re bored” method of attacking writer’s block. If not plot, you’ll definitely get something going.

There is a point in story genesis that’s just playing in the sandbox. And out of that exploration comes something that takes on a life of its own, making it difficult to reverse engineer, to ask backwards all the way to chicken versus egg. But then the asking, the questioning, too, seems to be an inseparable part of the creative process.

Author Bio

The Kithseeker - MKWiseman_picM. K. Wiseman has degrees in animation/video and library science – both from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Today, her office is a clutter of storyboards and half-catalogued collections of too, too many books. (But, really, is there such a thing as too many books?) When she’s not mucking about with stories, she’s off playing brač or lying in a hammock in the backyard of her Cedarburg home that she shares with her endlessly patient husband.

Social Media Links – Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads | Website


The Kithseeker-front-coverFrance, 1680

Liara’s defense of the Wizard Nagarath has rendered Anisthe incantate–bereft of magick–but even this cannot guarantee her safety. Because the death of her father-in-magick would seal the girl’s fate, necessity demands she and her wizard maintain a watchful eye on the war mage, while protecting her from his dark designs.

Anisthe has embarked on a journey across Europe, aided by his half-fey manservant with an agenda all his own. They search for a legendary mirror that contains the world’s most powerful magick. Although the stuff of fairytales, the possibility of its existence compels Nagarath and Liara to seek the artifact themselves. Both know that should Anisthe lay claim to that power, Liara would be at his mercy and not even Nagarath could save her.

Thus, the pair find themselves at Versailles, surrounded by agents who ferret out magick users and destroy them. Uncertain who is friend and who is foe, with their rival on their heels, they must discover the mirror before Anisthe releases its evil, or worse, it lays claim to Liara’s magick and brings doom upon them all.

Purchase Links – Amazon US | Amazon UK

I want to thank the M. K. Wiseman for being a guest on my blog and for bringing this amazing post to us as part of the blog tour for her book “The Kithseeker”.

Don’t forget to check out all the other bloggers that given their contribute in this Blog Tour, from reviews and basic promo/spotlight posts.

The Kithseeker Banner

Don’t forget to comment, don’t be stranger. If you have any book recommendation you can leave a message using the form on my Contact Me page.

If you are an author and want me to do a review of your book you can go check out my Request Review page.

I always welcome new books to add to my list and I’m always excited to do reviews and read books.

And if you would like to join me as a guest on my blog, check out the Guests Post page to know more and contact me so we can start planing your visit.



Guest Post

Guest Post: A bookish passion, by Sara Onnebo

There is something magical about books. Opening a new book for the first time is like entering a different universe. Through books, we can travel to distant places, to ancient times and to worlds that do not exist outside of the pages within. They allow us to get to know people we would never have the opportunity – or the misfortune – to meet in real life. Books take us on terrifying journeys from the safety of our living room, let us fall in love, over and over again, and stir our own imagination.

I was a book lover long before I could read. At night, I brought my favorite storybook, not a teddy bear, to bed. Even as an adult I rarely go anywhere without a book in my handbag. It’s like my security blanket. There are few people, outside of my immediate family, that I would want to spend as much time with as I do with books. There is a book for every mood and every occasion. You are never bored with a book. A book doesn’t judge you, it simply accepts you for who you are (however, I admit to sometimes judging a book by its cover). Books are the perfect company! They make us laugh, cry and view life from different angles and perspectives.

Stephen King once said:

“Books are the perfect entertainment: no commercials, no batteries, hours of enjoyment for each dollar spent. What I wonder is why everybody doesn’t carry a book around for those inevitable dead spots in life.” 

I couldn’t agree more!

Author Bio

Sara-A_1996[2]Sara Onnebo changed her science career for one which allows her to make up stories for a living, both as a writer of novels and in her “real” job as a freelance writer,  photographer and sometimes translator. She has published three mystery/suspense novels in Swedish with a fourth on the way. The Daughter is her first novel in English.  

Sara, who is an enthusiastic world-traveler, has previously lived in France, Australia, England and Spain, but has now settled down (for the moment at least) on the south coast of Sweden with her Finnish husband and their two children.

She got the inspiration for The Daughter on a visit to her husband’s family in Finland where she experienced her first smoke sauna, the bright summer nights and later on, the cold and dark winter.

Social media links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

I met Sara thanks to Twitter and I’m curious about her book, so I’m getting it as soon as I can. It’s on the list now.

I want to thank her for being a guest on my blog and for sharing her thoughts with all of us. It’s an honor to have her here.

If you want to have fun here and be a guest on my blog you can check out my Guests Post to know more about it or you can leave a message using the form on my Contact Me page.

I always welcome new books to add to my list and I’m always excited to do reviews and read books.



Guest Post

Guest Post: Successful Planner, by Lexi Rees

Thanks so much for having me on your blog today.

I know you’re part of the blog tour for Eternal Seas when it’s published on 28th September and I can’t wait to share the book with you. It’s been a long time in the making. I wrote the first draft whilst on a sailing holiday over three years ago.

I’m definitely more of a “pantser” than a “planner” when it comes to writing style. So that first draft of Eternal Seas had no plan, it was just a story that erupted from inside me and evolved through ice-cream fuelled discussions with my son, otherwise known as the “creative director”.

It was 18k words at that point. The big problem with being a pantser is, it had some enormous plot holes. So I started a very lengthy editing process, working with three fantastic editors: Brian Keaney, Gary Smailes, and Emma Mitchell. Each of them brought a different perspective to the story and their feedback was invaluable in knocking it into a fit state for publishing.

By the time I’d filled all the holes, including adding an extra character (I’m not telling you who though – you’ll just have to guess), it was 32k words and looked like a real book.

I wasn’t actually planning to illustrate it myself, but I had a bit of a disaster with the illustrator I wanted to work with who decided at the last minute that she was going to outsource the drawings to someone else. I think it was fate though as, at exactly the same time, my son found an old sketch pad of mine. And I mean old. It had doodles of “gonks” on it from when I was still at school. Let’s just count that as several decades ago. So, reunited with my school sketch pad, I bought a few 2B pencils and started drawing again. I’d honestly forgotten how much I loved drawing. In fact I had wanted to go to art college at one point but got swept down a formal university education route.

Of the illustrations in Eternal Seas, I think this one of Castle Gylen is my favourite. It’s actually a real castle, on the Isle of Kerrera about two miles from Oban in Scotland. 


So now that Eternal Seas has gone to print, I’ve started work on the book two in The Relic Hunters series. This time I’ve carefully planned the whole thing out chapter by chapter. I’m horse mad and most of my friends were surprised that I didn’t have any ponies in Eternal Seas so I’m correcting that glaring omission in book two. And a cat has snuck in.

I’ll illustrate it again, but I also have a little illustration related surprise which I’ll tell you all about with the blog tour.

Anyway, I’m hoping the detailed planning work will make the editing less stressful this time. Remind me of that comment when I am deep in my editing cave! But, as a “pantser”, the story might not behave and do what I’ve planned anyway. I’ll let you know.

Lexi ReesLorraine-16

Lexi Rees grew up in the north of Scotland but now splits her time between London and West Sussex. She still goes back to Scotland regularly though.

Usually seen clutching a mug of coffee, she spends as much time as possible sailing and horse riding, both of which she does enthusiastically but spectacularly badly.

Her first book, Eternal Seas was written on a boat; the storm described in it was frighteningly real.

You can connect with her using the following social media links:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Google + | Instagram

I had the pleasure to be a part of the blog tour for the cover reveal of Lexi Rees “Eternal Seas”, and I will be part of the blog tour with a review in September. So it’s an honor to have Lexi as a guest today, and I want to thank her for sharing this post with all of us.

If you want to join in as a guest on my blog check out the Guests Post page to know more, and them.