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Interview with Clare Chase. Author of A Stranger’s House.

Interview with Clare Chase. Author of A Stranger’s House.

I have been a fan of Clare Chase since I read her first book ‘You Think You Know Me’ back in 2014. So I was very pleased to hear that Clare had written another book ‘A Stranger’s House‘ which has just been published in paperback. (February 7th 2017). I reviewed this book previously and you can read my review HERE!

Today, I have the honour of asking the very talented Clare a few questions. So I cordially introduce to the the wonderful Clare Chase, Author of You Think You Know Me. A Stranger’s House and One Dark Lie.  

Check out these other blogs on the book tour.

ash-blog-tour

 

Hi Clare, Can you tell us a little about your book ‘A Stranger’s House’?

Hi Amanda – thanks so much for having me on your blog today!

A Stranger’s House opens just after the heroine, Ruby, has walked out on her unfaithful partner. With nowhere else to go, the house-sitting job she’s offered in Cambridge seems like a godsend: a way to escape the gossips in her village and earn some extra cash at the same time. But it’s not long before she starts to feel uneasy. The signs of the absent-owner’s dysfunctional life are everywhere, from the unsettling paintings on his bedroom wall, to the bloodstain on the rug in his sitting room. As Ruby pieces together clues from his home, she feels closer and closer to a man she’s never met, and would rather be distanced from.

In an effort to take control, she starts to dig for information, but Nate, who owns the house-sitting business, is dead against her sleuthing.  It leaves Ruby wondering what he has to hide. When she finally unearths his secret, it knocks her for six.

Where did your inspiration come from for the plot and characters? Did you take inspiration for characters from anyone you know?

I’ve always been fascinated by what you can glean about people from looking at their home environment, and it was this that gave me the idea for the book.

When creating characters I sometimes pinch aspects of people I know, but in the main they develop inside my head and are almost entirely made up!

 

 

Do you have a favourite place to write? And is it tidy or a mess of papers?

 I’m happy to write pretty much anywhere, and have a nice, light laptop with good battery life! When I’m at home I frequently avoid our study (which is messy and currently home to things like an old chemistry set, some woodwork tools and a cuckoo clock, all waiting to be freecycled)! My favourite place to work is the kitchen, which is nice and light with a view of the back garden.

I don’t tend to have too many papers around since I mainly work on my computer, after an initial stage of scribbling ideas into notebooks.

 

Did you have to do much research for this book? Do you have any amusing tales of while you were ‘researching’? 

A lot the background knowledge that went into A Stranger’s House was gleaned through living in Cambridge for over twenty years, so effectively I’ve been absorbing information as I go along. I find it’s the perfect setting for crime fiction. Despite being a city, it’s fairly small, so inequalities are concentrated.  You get millionaire Nobel laureates living cheek-by-jowl with squatters, and while there are college choirs singing Elizabethan madrigals by the river, there are also drunks dealing drugs on the commons. The contrasts can be stark and I imagine life must seem very unjust to some of the city’s residents. Cambridge’s size means news travels fast, too. A high proportion of the locals work for the university, and if you want to keep a secret you have to be careful who you talk to! And then there are the rivalries which abound in both academia and industry, which can lead to tensions too. The stakes are high, and when people have a lot to lose, there’s potential for conflict.

I used to work at the university and also one of its colleges, and I’ve overheard some interesting things, but I probably shouldn’t repeat them here!

 

 You have two great characters, I found Ruby to be so developed in your writing that I could understand her thoughts and actions. Did you know the characters Ruby and Nate before you wrote them or did they develop as the book did?

Thanks, Amanda! I did a lot of thinking about both Ruby and Nate’s back stories before I started writing, and that dictated their main character traits. So I feel I knew them pretty well before I began the book. Having said that, each time they were faced with a new situation I got to know them that bit better as I realised exactly how they’d react in that particular circumstance.

 

Were there any ‘deleted scenes’ that we might be intrigued about?

In the original version of A Stranger’s House, Ruby was pregnant. As you can imagine, the reworked version involved quite a few tweaks!

What book are you reading now and who are your favourite Authors?

I’ve just started The Zig Zag Girl by Elly Griffiths, which is the first in her Stephens and Mephisto series set in Brighton in 1950. I’m a massive fan of her Dr Ruth Galloway mysteries, and having read them all I’m delighted there’s another set of books to immerse myself in! As for my favourite authors, I could list hundreds! Can I cop out and tell you my main influences instead? Alongside Elly Griffiths, these would be Liane Moriarty, Kate Atkinson and Sophie Hannah! 

A Stranger’s House by Clare Chase is now available to purchase in paperback. Click here for buying options: http://www.choc-lit.com/dd-product/a-strangers-house/

 

strangers house

About the book: 

What if you were powerless to protect the person you cared about most?

When Ruby finds out that her partner has done the unforgivable, she has no option but to move out of their home. With nowhere else to go, a job house-sitting in Cambridge seems like the perfect solution.

But it’s soon clear the absent owner hurts everyone he gets close to, and Ruby’s faced with the fallout. As violent repercussions unfold, her instinct is to investigate: it’s a matter of self-preservation. And besides, she’s curious…

But Ruby’s new boss, Nate Bastable, has his eye on her and seems determined to put a stop to her sleuthing. Is he simply worried for the welfare of a member of staff, or is there something altogether more complicated – and potentially dangerous – at play?

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About the Author:

Clare Chase writes women sleuth mysteries set in London and Cambridge. She fell in love with the capital as a student, living in the rather cushy surroundings of Hampstead in what was then a campus college of London University.

After graduating in English Literature, she moved to Cambridge and has lived there ever since. She’s fascinated by the city’s contrasts and contradictions, which feed into her writing. She’s worked in diverse settings – from the 800-year-old University to one of the local prisons – and lived everywhere from the house of a Lord to a slug-infested flat. The terrace she now occupies presents a good happy medium.

As well as writing, Clare loves family time, art and architecture, cooking, and of course, reading other people’s books.

She lives with her husband and teenage children, and currently works at the Royal Society of Chemistry.

 

Here is where you can buy A Strangers House and find out more about Author Clare Chase:

Goodreads.

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

Any good bookshop!

Here is where you can find Clare:

Twitter/@ClareChase_

ClareChase.com

 

 
9 Comments

Posted by on February 12, 2017 in author interviews, Books

 

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Interview with Rico Lamoureux. Author of Riker’s Calling.

Interview with Rico Lamoureux. Author of Riker’s Calling.

 Today I am very happy to be able to share with you an Author interview with Rico Lamoureux, Author to fantastic new crime thriller ‘Riker’s Calling’.  Rico’s new book is available for pre-order now. His publication day is August 4th. I shared my book review of ‘Riker’s Calling’ here on ChocolatePages. If you read my review, book description and Rico’s thoughts here, I’m quite sure you will be interested in the 25% off price that you can get the book for if you pre order.

You can read my review of Riker’s Calling HERE!

rikers calling

Would you like to start by telling us a little about yourself?

Sure:) In a nutshell, I’m an American author who has been living in the Philippines for fourteen years now. Very long story short, I met the girl of my dreams and we fell in love. After knowing each other in person for only two weeks, (and a few letters over six months as pen pals) we got married. I was unable to acquire a marriage visa for her due to income restraints, and so unable to leave her for who knew how long, I decided to stay. 

My whole life ended up turning upside down, losing the comforts of a First World country and having to adapt to Third World harshness, but for true love, I did it. (Yeah, just as dramatic as one of my books, only this story is true!)

As an indie author I’m still trying to write my way back home. I don’t know if I’ll ever meet that income limit to reach such a goal, but I have no regrets, my main priority now being to at least be able to make enough as an author to where we can finally have the priceless gift of a child. I think after fourteen years of perseverance and patience we deserve such:)

I’ve read that you are classified as legally blind this must make writing much more difficult, but perhaps much more satisfying?

Yes, VERY difficult. And this is why I couldn’t get a ‘normal’ job back in 2002 to get that visa. I’m totally blind in my left eye and legally blind in the right due to Acute Retinal Necrosis. I just know that if I had 20/20 I’d feel like I had a super power, and be at least 100% more productive than I currently am capable of, but this was the card I was dealt, so I just have to make the best of it, pacing myself so as not to strain my remaining sight as I read and write with a magnifying glass held up to my eye. 

Riker’s Calling must have taken some imagination! to portray the mind of a serial killer. What was your inspiration or thought process for this novella?

With writing, as with anything else in life, I feel it’s important to be in alignment with truth, so as far as writing a serial killer, this means lots of research– to know their thought process, impulses, etc. And yes, then there’s the writer’s best friend– imagination. 

I believe a great story requires being true to all the characters. In other words, an author needs to care enough for each to understand them and do them justice. For example, an antagonist doesn’t see themselves as bad. In their mind they’re doing what’s right, so one has to capture such when writing. Walking that thin line between serving all involved and story is what’s crucial to great storytelling. 

I can imagine that ‘Riker’s Calling‘ would make a great film, would this be something you would be interested in?

I’m glad you were able to pick up on that! I have a number of publications out, but I believe the two most cinematic are Riker’s Calling and my dramatic horror story, The Mirrored Staircase. I studied screenwriting in film school, (one year before my eye condition affected my right eye, the left one having been affected eleven years prior and left totally blind.) 

I take an organic approach to writing, which is why each one of my novellas is truly different, the story idea of each telling me how it wants to unfold. So yeah, with Riker’s Calling, it really did come to life like a film, and if given the chance, I really believe it would do well up on the big screen.

Alex Cross…

Jason Bourne…

Riker could be next!

There is a nice quote from Riker’s ‘Niece’ Jaime in the story: 

“Treat your passion like a pastime, you’re a hobbyist. Treat it like it’s your life, you’re an artist.”

Is this how you see your writing, as an artist?

Absolutely! I studied a number of arts during my younger years, including a combat-oriented martial art, acting, and music. But the art of words is what I have been a practitioner of since childhood, and continue to be. Any artist knows that magical feeling of creation, and for me it’s writing. 

What’s next for you?

If Riker’s Calling does well out in the wide vastness of cyber space, which would be a feat in and of itself, I plan to release a companion book for it, revealing a lot of things behind the story, including a secret within the cover. 

I’ll also be releasing my autobiography soon, and maybe even a few more surprises no later than Christmas:) This will all be shared on my social media, and when it comes to twitter, I follow all who follow me, as I feel it’s the right thing to do. 

And whats next for Riker?

Riker has a natural instinct to protect, and with that kind of warrior’s heart he’s going to have to face The Ghostwriter, a disenfranchised writer who snapped and is now wreaking deadly havoc on the publishing industry. (His origin is told in the short story The Ghostwriter, which is now up on Amazon).

This is going to get really personal for Riker, because for the first time in a very long time he will open his heart to someone, The Ghostwriter a looming threat to such happiness.

 As a writer, I imagine that you enjoy reading too? Who are your favourite Authors?

I like to say that my four indirect literary teachers were Stephen King, Robert Cormier, Anne Rice, and Ken Follett. I’ve been trying to get King’s attention to see if he’d be a hero that would blurb The Mirrored Staircase, so if anyone out there knows him…LOL!

You’ve also been on another mission, haven’t you? One involving a tattoo?

Yep! If Riker’s Calling becomes my first bestseller, I’m going to get the cover of it tattooed to my forearm. (Prime real estate, as Jaime would say!) It’ll be my first, and I’m not a fan of needles, but such a milestone would be very important to me:)

Thanks for the great interview, Amanda!

 

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Links for Rico Lamoureux and ‘Riker’s Calling.

Twitter/RicoLamoureux

FACEBOOK/RicoLamoureux

GOODREADS

AMAZON.CO.UK

AMAZON.COM

 

kcacols200x200

 

 
13 Comments

Posted by on August 2, 2016 in author interviews

 

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The Death of Anyone, by D J Swykert. Book Review and Author’s Inspiration!

The Death of Anyone, by D J Swykert. Book Review and Author’s Inspiration!

This is a book that I have been intrigued about, I love crime and legal thrillers. I was excited when the Author D J Swykert asked if I would be interested in reading and reviewing his book. Of course I did! Thank you DJ. And guess what…..

AMAZING

I was so intrigued by the main discussion point of this book that I asked the Author to write me a guest post on familial DNA and what the legalities are and how this influenced his creativity and inspiration for this book. You can read this at the end of my post, after my review. Its really interesting!

Description:

Detroit homicide Detective Bonnie Benham has been transferred from narcotics for using more than arresting and is working the case of the killer of adolescent girls. CSI collects DNA evidence from the scene of the latest victim, which has not been detected on the other victims. But no suspect turns up in the FBI database. Due to the notoriety of the crimes a task force is put together with Bonnie as the lead detective, and she implores the D.A. to authorize an as yet unapproved type of a DNA Search in an effort to identify the killer. Homicide Detective Neil Jensen, with his own history of drug and alcohol problems, understands Bonnie’s frailty and the two detectives become inseparable as they track this killer of children.

Published February 25th 2013 by Melange Books, LLC

death

MyThoughts:

This book interested me straight away from the blurb when the Author told us that an ‘as yet unapproved type of DNA search’ is requested to be used. I really enjoy legal / criminal /mystery type books, especially when you know the Author knows his stuff. DJ Swykert really did his homework with this novel! This book is filled with gritty crime scenes, detectives trying to work out what was going on and who was the criminal despite there seemingly being no leads. But what about this ethical DNA evidential dilemma? Bonnie has to convince her boss’s that is it a good idea, but is it ethical? and does the end justify the means? 

“They do this as policy in the UK, but it’s not common practice here in the states. There are only two states, California and Colorado, that even have a policy on it…..”

We follow Bonnie as the hardcore detective on this case, and Jensen who becomes more than just a cop to Bonnie! We also have Lagrow who is Bonnie’s partner. Bonnie’s character is really well developed, we get a great insight into her mind and why she does the things that she does. She has had her challenges in life, but this just equates to the reader seeing her as a ‘real’ and believable character.

“Knowing something and accepting something are two different things.”

The book was fast paced, a real page turner that I just wanted to keep reading. You know the kind whereby, you think I’ll just finish this chapter, but as you finish it another twist of excitement, wonder, intrigue happens and then you just need to read another one! Swykert is very vivid and descriptive in his words, I would say this book is not for the timid types. His descriptions of the victims of these crimes are beyond my imagination in the evilness of humans! How somebody can do these awful crimes is beyond me, and it is a comforting thought (for me to believe) that this is only fiction! However saying that, the crime force that are working to find and capture this criminal are bad assed, tough guys! Bonnie makes a great point when she says:

“Maybe that’s why we’ve never had any contact with aliens, they take one look at what’s going on down here and head back into outer space…”

Aside from reading the book, I was really interested in the facts of familial DNA, and through a few emails, the Author explained to me how he came across it and how it came as inspiration for his book. I am very pleased to be able to share this information with you all, and hope that you will find it as interesting as I do.

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From the Author about familial DNA and his inspiration for A Death of Anyone

 Unique DNA Search Catches the Grim Sleeper

By DJ Swykert.

The underlying theme in The Death of Anyone, Melange Books, poses the Machiavellian question: Does the end justify the means? Bonnie Benham, the lead detective in my story, has her own answer. But the legality of this question will be answered in a real life courtroom in the California trial of a serial killer dubbed by the media: The Grim Sleeper. Lonnie David Franklin, the Grim Sleeper, was caught because his son’s DNA was the closest match to DNA collected at the crime scenes in the database.

Investigating Franklin’s son led them to investigate Lonnie Franklin. But there was no direct DNA evidence that linked Lonnie to the crime scene until they obtained a sample from him after his arrest. Lonnie Franklin will be the first person in the U.S. to ever stand trial for murder based on this type of evidence, and its admissibility issues will be thoroughly tested by defense attorneys.

 Only two states at this time, California and Colorado, have a written policy concerning the use of Familial DNA in an investigation. The admission of Familial DNA, with its potential Fourth Amendment violations, has never been tested in court. The California trial of Lonnie David Franklin will become a landmark case for the future use of Familial DNA Searches by law enforcement agencies nationwide.

This is an update on the legal progress of the trial. Franklin was arrested on July 7, 2010, The Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office charged him with ten counts of murder, one count of attempted murder, and special circumstance allegations of multiple murders in the cases. A grand jury indictment was issued on March 23, 2011. The Grim Sleeper has been resting comfortably in jail since his arrest awaiting trial; the large quantity of evidence in this case, some dating back thirty years, has caused a lengthy pretrial discovery.

The trial was originally scheduled to begin the summer of 2014, but was put on hold. It was rescheduled for June 30, 2015, but that didn’t happen. On Monday August 17, 2015, at a pretrial hearing, the trial was rescheduled for October 14, 2015, which also didn’t happen. The trial finally began on February 16th, 2016 and is currently in the defense phase.

I first heard of the technique while working as a 911 operator in 2006. It came up in conversation with officers. I thought at the time it would make an interesting premise for a book. I began writing the mystery some three years later after leaving the department. I had just finished editing a first draft of The Death of Anyone in the summer 2010 when news of The Grim Sleeper’s capture in Los Angeles was released. I read with interest all the information pouring out of L.A. regarding the investigation and the problems confronting prosecutors. All of which are explored in The Death of Anyone

In my fictional story Detroit Detective Bonnie Benham has been transferred from working undercover in narcotics to homicide and is working the case of a killer of adolescent girls. She is a straight forward investigator who describes herself as a blonde with a badge and a gun. CSI collects DNA evidence from the scene of the latest victim, which had not been detected on the other victims. But no suspect turns up in the FBI database. Due to the notoriety of the crimes a task force is put together with Bonnie as the lead detective, and she implores the D.A. to use an as yet unapproved type of a DNA Search in an effort to identify the killer. 

The Death of Anyone is available on the Melange Books website and also on Amazon.com in Kindle and print formats.

Bio:

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DJ Swykert is a former 911 operator writing and living in the Cincinnati area. His work has appeared in The Tampa Review, Detroit News, Coe Review, Monarch Review, the Newer York, Lunch Ticket, Gravel, Zodiac Review, Barbaric Yawp and Bull. His books include Children of the Enemy, Sweat Street, Alpha Wolves, The Pool Boy’s Beatitude and Maggie Elizabeth Harrington. You can find him at: www.magicmasterminds.com/djswykert. He is a wolf expert

LINKS:

GOODREADS

AMAZON.COM

AMAZON.CO.UK

Twitter/djswykert

 

Have you read any of DJ Swykert’s books? are you going to? Have you heard of familial DNA before? Tell me your thoughts, I would love to hear from you. 

 

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday
 
16 Comments

Posted by on April 16, 2016 in author interviews, Books

 

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Guest Post. Ten Desserts Inspired by Books! by Andrea Lochen

Guest Post. Ten Desserts Inspired by Books! by Andrea Lochen

Welcome my fellow chocolate and books lovers, today I have a treat for you!

I have Andrea Lochen on ChocolatePages with a deliciously inspired guest post. Andrea is going to share with us some tempting deserts which have been inspired by books. Welcome Andrea, and lets get our sweet teeth tempted. 

eat cake

 

Ten Most Delicious Desserts Inspired by Novels

by Andrea Lochen

 

As an avid reader with a major sweet tooth, I love when authors include the recipes for the yummy desserts they’ve made me drool over throughout their book.  It’s a marriage of two of my favourite activities—reading and baking!  And if you’re a book club member, what better treat to bring to your meeting than a dessert straight out of the novel?  Here are ten of my favourite book-inspired desserts!

 

1) Southern Caramel Cake from The Help by Kathryn Stockett

help

Who hasn’t wanted to try a bite of the scrumptious-sounding caramel cake that Minny makes in The Help?  (Maybe not so much her chocolate pie, however!)  Though Stockett didn’t include the recipe in the back of her book, this food blog has the The Junior League of Memphis Cookbook recipe that supposedly inspired her.

scrumpdillyicious.blogspot (Minnie’s caramel cake)

 

 

2) Coconut Cake from Amy E. Reichert’s The Coincidence of Coconut Cake

COCO

The titular coconut cake in Reichert’s The Coincidence of Coconut Cake earned its place on the cover of this heartwarming book. To the main character, Lou, baking her grandmother’s cake is the ultimate expression of love. In the book, those who get to eat it earned their slice, which certainly made me crave a piece all the more!

tipsonlifeandlove.com (Grandma Luellas coconut-cake)

 

3) Crème Caramel Flan from Anita Hughes’ Island in the Sea: A Majorca Love Story

island

 In Hughes’ newest novel set in Spain, she describes how Majorca’s restaurants serve a mouthwatering variety of delicious fresh fish and locally grown vegetables and how many diners like to end the meal with a dessert that satisfies any sweet tooth while not being heavy or cloying.  This creme caramel flan recipe certainly does the trick!

a2zmallorca.com

 

4) Lemon Cream Cake from Juliette Fay’s Shelter Me

shelter

Fay introduces the concept of “pology cake” in her first novel, Shelter Me, as something you bake for someone you’ve wronged in the hopes of that person forgiving you.  Though according to Fay, it doesn’t need to be a particular kind of cake, her recipe for lemon cream cake in the back of the book and on her author website sounds fabulous!

Juliettefay.com/pologycake.

 

5) Peanut butter bars from Kitchens of the Great Midwest by J. Ryan Stradal

kitchens

Though there are several delicious dishes described in Stradal’s debut novel about Midwestern foodie culture, it was the blue-prize winning peanut butter bars recipe from Lutheran church lady, Pat, that caught my eye.  I made this for my book club and these chocolate-frosted bars are just as decadent as they sound

ReadtheSpirit.com/PeanutButterBars

 

 

6) Thumbprint Cookies with Jam from Kelly Simmons’ One More Day

one more

Baking figures prominently in Kelly Simmons’ book because in One More Day, the main character, Carrie Morgan, bakes with her grandmother, as she did when she was a little girl. However, it’s not clear whether her grandmother is dead or alive!  These thumbprint jam cookies look like just the thing to bake when you’re in a nostalgic mood (or simply in the mood for something buttery and sweet)!

KellyASimmons.blogspot.com

 

 

7) Mantecadas from Tina Ann Forkner’s Ruby Among Us

ruby among us

In Ruby Among Us by Tina Ann Forkner, Kitty and her granddaughter Lucy spend a lot of time together talking over cookies and tea. Lucy even has a special tea cup that she drinks out of with her grandmother Kitty who is keeping a lot of secrets about Lucy’s past.  Below is a link to Kitty’s secret recipe for Lucy’s favorite cookie, Mantecadas.  Yum!

TinaAnnForkner.wordpress.com/novelrecipes

 

8) Nanaimo Bars from Miracle Beach by Erin Celello

miracle

Nanaimo Bars are served in the cafeterias of the ferry boats between Vancouver Island and mainland Canada.  In Miracle Beach, when main characters Magda and Jack come to the Island, they fall in love with the sinfully sweet bars.  Author Erin Celello testifies that they’re amazing!

Nanaimo.Ca

 

9) Damascus’ Pumpkin Spice Pound Cake from The River Witch by Kimberly Brock

river witch

In The River Witch, a family feast brings an estranged southern family together. When ten-year-old Damascus Trezevant’s summer ends with a bounty of pumpkins, she sets out to heal deep wounds with a sweet, old recipe for Pumpkin Spice Pound Cake and faith in the magic of a mother’s love.  You won’t be sorry you tried this recipe!

KimberlyBrockBooks.com/DamascusPumpkinSpice

 

 

10) The Best Chocolate Cake Ever from The Repeat Year by Andrea Lochen

repeat year

 What dessert list is complete without a delectable chocolate cake?  In The Repeat Year, main character Olive is named after her maternal grandmother who passed away the week before she was born.  In addition to her grandma’s name, Olive also inherited her recipe for the “best chocolate cake ever” which her mom bakes as a peace offering for their family in a time of major transition.

AddaPinch.com/BestChocCake

 

 

Andrea Lochen is the author of two novels, Imaginary Things and The Repeat Year.  She earned her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Michigan and her BA in English at the University of Wisconsin.  Since 2008, she has taught undergraduate writing at the University of Wisconsin-Waukesha.  When she isn’t teaching, reading, or baking, she is hard at work on her third novel.  To learn more about her, visit her website: www.andrealochen.com.

 

 

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Thank you very much Andrea for that delicious post. We have the books, the cake, all that is left is the cup of tea. Andrea and myself would love to hear what books you have found divine deserts or any kind of food love in? Let us know below.

Author Links:

AndreaLochen.com

Facebook   Twitter

Amazon.com/ImaginaryThings.

BarnesandNoble.com/ImaginaryThings.

 

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday
 
26 Comments

Posted by on April 10, 2016 in author interviews, Baking, Books

 

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Coffee, Tea and Caroline James. Author Interview

Coffee, Tea and Caroline James. Author Interview

Vacances Plage Couple-couche de soleil

Today, I am bringing you an interview with Author Caroline James whose book ‘Coffee, Tea, The Caribbean and Me’ has just been released. I also have a brilliant book trailer to share with you.

AUTHOR CAROLINE JAMES (PROFESSIONAL PROMO SHOTS 14.08.2015)

AUTHOR CAROLINE JAMES

I have read Caroline’s book, my review will follow this post. I loved the book, and recommend it to all who enjoy a good hearty book of comedy, romance, food and laughs.

Coffee, Tea, The Caribbean and Me’ by Caroline James. 

February 12th 2016 by Ramjam Publishing Company

 

I loved that clip, and if you read the book you will really want to go to the Caribbean! Now onto my questions for Caroline. 

Hi Caroline, thank you for answering my questions. I was unsure whether to have Tea, Coffee, Champagne or Rum punch to drink during this interview! 😉 

book on beach

1. I love that your book is based in the Caribbean, the West Country (UK) and London. Did you spend time in all 3 places for ‘research’? 

Yes I did. I lived in Cumbria for several years and visit as often as I can. I am very

fond of the Lake District and the beautiful countryside and it is a great pleasure to

write about it. I have family in the Caribbean and have been travelling there for many

years. Barbados is a stunning island and life there is very different from the one I

lead here. It seemed natural to send my two Cumbrian characters, Jo and Hattie, to

a place that I know well and let them, through the pages of the novel, feel the warm

restorative glow of a welcoming Caribbean holiday. 


 

2. It was great to find out what all the characters that I love have been up to. Do you have a favourite character and did they come from a certain inspiration (e.g a person, or people)?

Hattie is probably my favourite character. She is a no-nonsense sort of person who

has a heart of gold and in her own way is very funny without trying to be. She’s not

based on anyone but an amalgamation of characters that I’ve observed in the past. I

would like us all to have a Hattie in our lives – a true friend and supportive rock when

you need her.


 

 3. I love your quote ‘ The time to be happy is now’, do you want to tell us where you got this from?

My mum always said this to me. What she meant was that we should be happy right

now, in the moment, no matter what is going on around us. I think it is a lovely quote

and say it often to myself. She had a very positive attitude towards believing that

living life in the positive not the negative enables good things to happen. I think she

was right.


 

4. Do you have a specific or special place to write? 

Yes, I do. I have a small oak desk that I bought at an auction a few years ago. I use it

just for writing and writing paraphernalia. This is in a corner of the room with a high

ceiling and vermillion painted walls, it is very atmospheric. I tuck myself away with a

favourite chair and cushion, light a fragrant candle,sip from a big mug of coffee and

nibble on a packet of biscuits and then when everything is just right, I begin to write.


 

5. What book are you reading at the moment?

I’ve just read The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid. It is a short novel,

beautifully written and I read it very quickly as the tale gathered tension. It is an

interesting analysis of the state of the world we live in today. I really enjoyed it.


 6. I love that your books and characters love their food, especially cake! I understand that you love to bake too. What is your favourite cake or recipe and do these help your inspiration in your books?

My background has always been in the hospitality industry. I loathed school and the

only two subjects I ever took an interest in were English and Cookery. Cookery has

always been a part of my working life and I love to bake and nurture my friends and

family through baking. A visitor will always get a slice of cake with their cup of tea.

My favourite is probably salted caramel brownie – so easy to do but so scummy, but

I made baklava for the first time recently and experimented with the spicy filling, it

was delicious!


7. Are we going to hear more from Hattie, Jo and the rest of the ‘Coffee, Tea’ crew? I hope so. 

Yes, I am afraid you are! Coffee Tea The Boomers & Me will be published later in the

year and introduces some new characters into the mix. We have an aging Major who

is sozzled most of the time and Kate, an IT specialist who has sold her successful

business and is looking for love and finds it in the arms of the irresistible Andy Mack.

The all come together when they stay at Boomerville – Jo’s new business. The book

is about having a blast in middle and later years when most folk think they are over

the hill. With Hattie’s help and hair-brained schemes, life for our boomers most certainly begins again.


 

About Caroline James.

car james


Caroline James was born in Cheshire and wanted to be a writer from an early age. She trained, however, in the catering trade and worked and travelled both at home and abroad.

Caroline’s debut novel, Coffee, Tea, The Gypsy & Me shot to #3 on Amazon and was Ebook of the Week in The Sun newspaper. Her second novel, So, You Think You’re A Celebrity… Chef? has been described as wickedly funny: ‘AbFab meets MasterChef in a Soap…’

Coffee Tea The Caribbean & Me was a Finalist at The Write Stuff, London Book Fair 2015 and the judge’s comments included: “Caroline is a natural story-teller with a gift for humour in her writing.” The book will be published February 2016.

Caroline has owned and run many catering related businesses and cookery is a passion alongside her writing, combining the two with her love of the hospitality industry and romantic fiction. She has published short stories and is a member of the RNA. Caroline writes articles on food and celebrity based interviews and is Feature Editor for a lifestyle magazine. When she’s not running her hospitality business and writing, Caroline can generally be found with her nose in a book and her hand in a box of chocolates, she also likes to climb mountains and contemplate life.

CJ Books on beach background

 

LINKS:

GOODREADS Coffee, Tea, The Caribbean and Me.

AMAZON.CO.UK

AMAZON.COM

TWITTER CAROLINEJAMES12

CarolineJamesAuthor.co.uk

Facebook – AuthorCarolineJames

book on beach

 

My book review of ‘Coffee, Tea The Caribbean and Me’ will be on my blog soon, so keep your eyes open for it. If you have read any of Caroline’s other books, I’d love to hear your thoughts. 

What did you think of the book trailer? Are you inspired to pick up this book? What would you ask an Author if you had the pleasure of asking them a question? 

Until next time, Happy Reading! ♥

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday
 
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Posted by on February 27, 2016 in author interviews

 

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‘Tremor’ by Ryan Mark. Video Trailer and Q & A.

‘Tremor’ by Ryan Mark.  Video Trailer and Q & A.

I have just finished an amazing book called Tremor by Ryan Mark. I will share my review with you tomorrow, but today I’m sharing the video trailer of this brilliant book and a question and answer from Ryan Mark himself.

The Author was kind enough to offer my readers a signed copy of his book, the giveaway will start tomorrow, so keep your eyes out for it.

Have a look at this video trailer for the very exciting book Tremor.

Thank you very much for my copy of your book ‘Tremor’, and let me first say how much I enjoyed it! It was an exciting, page turner. I loved it, but my review will be tomorrow. I just have a few questions for you today. 

tremor

1. You write with amazing imagination, can I ask where the ideas came from?

The Dystopian and Post-apocalyptic genres have fascinated me for a long time. I believe these are the most frightening and potentially life changing genres around at the moment. I’ve always wondered what would happen if the world we knew changed forever, if society fell and the human race had to start again. How would this change the world, and what would we be left with? This led me to the question: What if? What if the world you knew was destroyed? If the life you knew was torn apart? And it was from these thoughts that the imaginings of a story formed, which became ultimately became Tremor.

2. I loved the book so much, I hope there is more coming from you and the Tremor characters?

The characters will be back! The sequel to Tremor will be released later this year. Fracture is scheduled to be released on the 1st of October and is now available to pre-order. Here’s the blurb:

The Earth is starting to recover from the destruction left behind by the tremors and Terrafall. William’s life is settling and he has finally found a place where he feels he belongs. With the opportunity to flourish, the Haven Development has been able to secure the future of its lands and people, bringing forth a period of peace and stability.

Yet something sinister quakes beneath the surface, hiding in the shadows, unknown to William and the Haven Development. Not a tremor, but a new enemy who threatens to tear apart everything William and his friends have fought so hard to protect. The peace is about to fracture

fracture1

About the Author, Ryan Mark.

ryna mark

Ryan Mark lives in the rural county of Cumbria, on the outskirts of the Lake District. He is the author of The Tremor Cycle, a Dystopian series that takes place in a world devastated by war. Ryan has worked within the education sector for several years, with his most recent position being in a pre-school, caring for children before they take their first big leap into primary school. He enjoys creating different worlds through his writing, and draws inspiration from his family and historical hometown.

BUY THE BOOK HERE:

Amazon U.K

AMAZON USA

BOOK DEPOSITORY

Find Ryan Mark here:

Ryan Mark

FACEBOOK

TWITTER

GOODREADS

Keep your eyes out for my book review of Tremor and a giveaway of a signed book courtesy of Ryan Mark.

See you tomorrow and happy reading!

 
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Posted by on July 25, 2015 in author interviews, Books

 

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Help An Author: Hanging Tough by L M Bush.

Help An Author: Hanging Tough by L M Bush.

I mentioned in a previous post about a great website I have recently stumbled upon called BritainsNextBestSeller.

This website helps us readers chose and help Authors get published. If the Author gets 250 pre orders, then they get their book published. Well today, I want to give the biggest shoutout to new upcoming Author Lisa Bush. Her new book ‘Hanging Tough‘ is amazing. Watch this clip of her book trailer, and you will be asking me ‘Where do I pre order???’

.

Description:

From a tender young age, Tony had to learn to fend for himself. Growing up on a rough East London estate shaped an innocent child into the fearless and dangerous man he was to become.

Follow the ups and downs that Tony has to endure to survive as he grows up in a world that threatens everything he believes in. A roller coaster of events unfold in this gripping drama. From a childhood tainted with sadness, to underworld violence and crime, interlaced with heart breaking true love.

With so many dangerous individuals around you, would you stay safe indoors and hide? Or would you fight your corner and never give up?

hanging tough

Lisa tells us what inspired her to write this book?

Growing up in London, crime fiction has always captured my heart and my imagination. I have always read these books as well as being influenced by family and close friends. My stories are all fiction but based on true life events. And what amazing lives some people have. Having reached an age that I considered to be ‘now officially grown up’, I decided to dip my toe in the world of crime writing and my let my imagination run wild.

lm bush

Sounds pretty great doesn’t it? If you want to pre order the book, you can get it HERE!

Help make an Authors dream come true, and get yourself this fantastic new read.

Hanging Tough has been reviewed by The Crime Book Club, which you can see HERE

To find out more about this talented Author, here are her links:

FACEBOOK

LINKEDIN

TWITTER

Thanks for reading, let me know if you pre order this book and what you think of it! 

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Posted by on July 18, 2015 in author interviews, Books

 

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Guest Post: by Sue Webb – Author of ‘Sand in My Pants’

Guest Post: by Sue Webb – Author of ‘Sand in My Pants’

‘Sand in My Pants’ was released on 10th April, 2015. I read this book and really enjoyed it. Before I post my review up tomorrow, I have a guest post from the lovely author Sue Webb for you. 

Sue tells us all about her creation of Sand in My Pants, and why she chose Scuba Diving!

Thank you Sue, and here goes:

SIMPBANNER

The Creation of Sand in My Pants By Sue Webb.

People have asked me, “Sue, what is your book about?

It’s a great question…with no easy answer. Ostensibly, it’s a book about travelling the world, scuba diving. But,really it is more than just that….

I’m sitting on the patio feeling the warm embrace of the sun. The fountain softly gurgles; the mellifluous water compliments the melodic call of a meadowlark, atop an old oak. The faint flittering of a hummingbirds iridescent wings announces its arrival. It suspends itself in air, then dives to-and-fro extracting sweet nectar from its feeder.

The air is freshly scented with the fragrance of spring blooms, most distinctly, hyacinths. This is my world now; the world in my book is a different world.

It’s a world that most can’t relate to. It’s a bigger world- more exotic,lusher, more dangerous, and intriguing. It’s about parts of the planet – most will never travel to or be privy to. Having been fortunate enough to privilege the unexplored and underwater portions of our globe, I felt an obligation to share the beauty, the excitement, the discoveries and a bit of the knowledge I gained along the way.

My husband and I, spent over twenty years, exploring the globe. It enriched our lives in many ways. The places we visited, the people we met, the experiences we shared — all melded together — to provide me with an understanding of life, that otherwise I might have only dreamed of.

Comparing different countries, traditions and cultures proved insightful. Although distinct differences were apparent in people; overall people seemed to be pretty much the same. I saw people laugh and cry; express jubilance and sadness. I witnessed a variety of emotions among people, however their kindness impressed the most.

 I can recall many examples, I will share only a few for now. One rainy day on Tonga, out on a mountain bike ride —or push bikes, as the locals referred to them—we got stuck in mud about a foot deep.

Walking toward us, came a thin woman with two young children in tow. She motioned to them, saying something in Tongan; off the youngsters scampered. They soon returned, each with a stick in their hands. The frail female issued more instructions in Tongan. The young boy and girl, proceeded to use their sticks in an attempt to poke mud out from between the spokes.

As I stood there watching them, I thought, what can I possibly give them in return? I recalled I had stashed an orange pop in my backpack. As I pulled it out, the lean woman’s face lit up. “Never had a bottled soda.” I knew it would be shared.

I learned although we share many similarities as people—we are all individuals. Probably no two people who read my book will come away with the same impression. I wrote about what I found funny, intriguing, or of interest to me. The great thing about a book is, when you open it, you fall into it…and it becomes your world.

So then, I welcome you. Open the cover, and become members of our family. For what I discovered, and you might also after reading my book, we’re all members of the same family- the family of man.

 sand in my pants

 

Sue’s- Why Scuba Dive?

1. 70% of the earth’s surface is water-covered.

2. Diving allows you to meet nice, like-minded people.

3. Gives you an opportunity to travel (to exotic locales).

4. Have a chance to enjoy various types of fresh seafood.

5. Have an opportunity to try unusual foods and experience new cuisines.

6. Provides you with a reason to spend a day outdoors, afloat, working on your tan.

7. Makes for fun-filled vacations with a good-time activity.

8. Allows the chance to observe a silent world of natural beauty, the only sound being the soft gurgle of a regulator.

9. It’s fun- being weightless in the water.

# 10. Schlepping your gear around helps create great muscles!!

Sue (Large)

Sue Webb. (Author).

Thank you very much to Sue for writing this guest post and explaining to us the thoughts behind her book and her travels.

My book review of ‘Sand in My Pants’ will be up on my blog tomorrow, so keep your eyes out for my thoughts on this marvellous book.

 
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Posted by on May 23, 2015 in author interviews

 

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Interview with Author, Rachel Tetley.

Interview with Author of Guardian of the Underworld, Rachel Tetley. 

Congratulations on your new book Rachel. It really was very good and I would like to say what a creative imagination you have. I have a few questions that I think yours and my readers would like to hear your answers for, so here goes.

 Would you like to tell us a little bit about yourself?

Well, even as a little girl, I was always someone who was ‘up for’ an adventure. My best friend was a boy called Billy Lang, who lived down the lane from me, and as a result, the adventures that we had, tended to be much more boysie than girlie. I think this fuelled my thirst for adventure even as an adult, leading me through a number of experiences as well as circumstances beyond my control, before eventually finding the space to be able to write an adventure for everyone to enjoy.

I started writing the story whilst I was pregnant with my first daughter Gaby, however I lost Gaby’s father in a car accident, followed shortly by my mother who had suffered with breast cancer in Gaby’s first couple of years. At that time, I didn’t really know what the story was going to be about. I had only written the first five pages and had set out to create a Blytonesque story for my daughter in a similar vain to The Magic Faraway Tree, but the five pages were filed away to allow me to concentrate on other things.

A couple of years later, I fell into the wrong relationship, having not given myself chance to truly get over the loss of Gaby’s dad and my mother, but decided to give it a chance despite my better judgement. I had always wanted to go to Oxford and study law, so I went back and studied some more a-levels, taking them in one year instead of two and was awarded my place at Oxford. In the meantime, I had my second daughter Charlotte.

Unfortunately, it became clear that Oxford wasn’t going to work for us at this time, so instead, I started my own catering business in Wiltshire whilst pursuing my second life-long ambition, to get to Badminton Horse Trials with my horse at the time ‘Pug’. The business became hugely successful over the five years that I ran it, however it was clear that my relationship with Charlottes dad was a destructive one, so I left with the girls and moved onto a Wiltshire farm. Shortly afterwards, I went to my father’s 50th birthday party and met the love of my life, Piers.

Piers already had two boys, Henry and William, who lived with him and were very similar ages to my two girls and as a result, got on with each other beautifully. We moved in together back down in Devon and Piers later proposed.

After running my catering business remotely for a year, I sold it on and at a similar time, Piers and I had our own little girl, Sophia. With Sophia sleeping for four hours a day, and the business sold, I came across the five pages of my story and decided it was time to finish it.

My daughter Charlotte, who is a very capable writer herself, had told me about a dream in which she had slipped into another world through a whirlpool. That alongside living in the most idyllic location in Devon surrounded by woodland with a river running through it, the rest of the story was born! I have now finished writing the next in the series, The Book of Light: Underworld Chronicles Book Two, which is currently going through the editing process, as well as working on a completely different type of story about a stowaway.

Apart from writing, I still enjoy eventing my horse, playing the piano by ear, Tennis, any extreme sports and of course baking. I like to try and make sure there is something homemade and yummy on the side every day, which little Sophia very much enjoys participating in! I have a website which I am in the process of putting together with some of my recipes called The Naughty Kitchen. I also enjoy baking our own bread.

Your storyline, characters and descriptions were so creative, how did you come up with the initial idea?

Well living with five children in the middle of a woods, as well as a dream which Charlotte had in which she had an adventure in another world having slipped into a whirlpool, were the perfect ingredients to put together the storyline for Guardian of the Underworld. Of course there are lots of elements of my childhood in the story and in particular, the characters are very much based on people in my life. For example, Grandpa was inspired by Piers parents, and Arianna-me!

What age range would you say your book is aimed at?

9-12

Did you design the cover and illustrations of the book yourself?

Yes, I love to draw and paint, so I really enjoyed the opportunity to try and bring the story alive with some of the images I had in my head whilst writing it.

 Your book is aimed at a young audience, is there a message or moral of your story you were hoping the readers would get? (Without any spoilers of course).

I certainly wanted to get across the importance of family, but also in particular, forgiveness.

And finally (and hopefully), is there another book on its way?

There certainly is! It is called The Book of Light: Underworld Chronicles Book Two, which is almost entirely based in the Underworld and talks about The Knights Templar. I hope to have it back from the editors and ready by April this year (2015)

Thank you for sharing your answers with us Rachel, it was lovely to speak to you and so interesting to hear how your book came about. I certainly am looking forward to your next book.

 
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Posted by on January 30, 2015 in author interviews, Books

 

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