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Amanda Prowse

Amanda ProwseAmanda has always obsessively crafted short stories and scribbled notes for potential books. Her first book, ‘Poppy Day’ is a contemporary novel following an army wife whose incredible love for her husband gives her the courage to set out to rescue him after he was taken hostage in Afghanistan. Originally self-published in October 2011, ‘Poppy Day’ quickly became a bestseller and Amanda joined the prestigious Head of Zeus publishing house. The second in the No Greater Love series, ‘What Have I Done?’ was an eBook sensation where women worldwide identified with the theme of domestic abuse in middle class households and it was subsequently voted a ‘Best Book of 2013′ by Amazon Kindle. Amanda followed this by joining the team of the ITV This Morning show as their resident author in 2013 when a series of her ‘Summer Shorts’ were featured on the ITV website. ‘Perfect Daughter’ is her latest book.

  1. Can you tell us what your new book ‘Perfect Daughter’ is about?
    ‘Perfect Daughter’ is Jackie Morgan’s story, set in Weston Super Mare, she struggles with the pressure cooker of life, caring for her kids, her ailing mum and in a marriage that has lost its sparkle. She is tired and often dips into her past as a way to get through the drudge of every day. As Jacks says herself, I live in a house where time, space and money are all in short supply. Jacks pins all her hopes on her daughter, wanting her to live the life she never could. And when her past comes back to haunt her, she learns a lot about herself, her family and what is important…
  2. To the readers of the website, tell us about yourself and how you got into writing.
    I am a regular wife and mum and had always wanted to write, but didn’t really know how to get started or even if I could. I became sick and that life-changing event made me realise that this was my one time around the block and so I quit my job, sold the house and all my possessions and started to write! I had never been so skint or so happy. Being in control of my own destiny was scary but life affirming!
  3. What’s your favourite opening line from a book?
    “First the colours. Then the humans. That’s usually how I see things”. – ‘The Book Thief.’ I was instantly intrigued/confused/fascinated – and remained like this throughout this brilliant, brilliant book.
  4. Perfect Daughter

  5. Your stories are often of complex and sensitive issues such as post natal depression. What has been the hardest book to write?
    I think ‘Will You Remember Me?’ The story of a young mum struggling with cancer. When I was diagnosed my son was small and my biggest fear was that he wouldn’t remember me. I felt he was too little to have the right foundations and I wasn’t ready to leave him. When writing the story, it brought back a lot of memories that were quite hard to cope with, but also made me extremely thankful that I am still here to tell the tale.
  6. What’s been the highlight of your writing experience?
    I think it has to be the first time I saw a stranger reading my book on the tube. I sat down and a lady opposite was reading my novel Poppy Day. I stared at her face, delighted that she was lost in the story! It was surreal and I felt very emotional. I shan’t ever forget it.
  7. What’s your favourite book of all time?
    I hate picking one! But if I have to, it would have to be Thomas Hardy’s ‘Tess of the D’Urbervilles’ or no, I have to change my mind, ‘Far From the Madding Crowd’, actually no! ‘Under The Greenwood Tree’… you see, I just can’t do it!
  8. Who is your favourite literary hero/heroine?
    That would have to be Sunny Baudelaire from Lemony Snickets ‘A Series Of Unfortunate Events’ she is only 3 but does some of the funniest things I have ever read. Literally laugh out loud moments that really appealed to me!
  9. What area do you suggest a budding writer should concentrate on to further their abilities?
    WRITING! And I’m not being obvious or flippant but the more you write, the better you become at your craft and so do it, do it every day, whether it’s writing your story or a paragraph or jotting ideas, or a list! Whatever it is, keep practising and see how you evolve. I don’t know any writer that hasn’t looked at their early jottings and noted massive improvements.
  10. If you were to start your own book club, what authors would you ask to join?
    Ooooh so many! Isabel Allende for her wisdom, Lee Child for his fast paced brilliant story structure, Thomas Hardy for his beautiful prose, Joanne Harris as she writes my favourite books, Heather Hill for humour and Oscar Wilde because I can’t imagine any event he attended would be anything less than brilliant fun!
  11. If you were stranded on a desert island, which 3 books would you bring with you to pass the time?
    Please NOT JUST THREE don’t make me choose! What a terrifying thought. I guess it would have to be, ‘The Bible’, as I reckon that would take some reading and might help my thought process. ‘Tess of the D’Urbervilles’ as I love love love it and ‘The Practical Guide to Desert Island Survival’ (or similar!) as I would be rubbish and not have the first clue!
  12. When sitting down to write, what is the one item you need beside you?
    A very, very large mug of strong coffee!
  13. And finally, do you have any projects or releases on the horizon that you would like to share with the readers of the website?
    Ooh yes please, my new novel ‘Three And A Half Heartbeats’ is the story of Grace and Tom, a happily married couple who lose their beloved daughter to Sepsis. It’s the story of their marriage and how they try to rebuild their lives, not knowing if they can as they are so bent out of shape. Every penny from the book is going to www.sepsistrust.org to help save lives. Please buy it and help us fight this horrible disease that kills more people the UK than breast, bowel, prostate cancers, aids and road accidents COMBINED every year! 37,000 people, approx a hundred a day! …and I had never heard of it. Here’s the link http://bit.ly/SepsisNovel. From the bottom of my heart, thank you X

Follow Amanda Prowse on Twitter Amanda Prowse for updates or check out her website at Amanda Prowse

Read An Extract On The SW19 Club Book Tour

The SW19 ClubToday on the final day of the book tour for ‘The ’SW19 Club’ by Nicola May, sit back and enjoy an extract from the story.

Prologue
The pain was so great inside and out that even Gracie’s scream was shocked into submission. Instead, she sat motionless on the toilet, whimpering like a frightened puppy. Blood was pouring from her. Her head lolled forward in rag-doll fashion. Losing consciousness, she had just one last wish -never to wake up from this insurmountable nightmare.

Six Months Later
Chapter One

‘A full fat cappuccino with nutmeg sprinkles and a flapjack, please.’

‘Gracie, did you really say a flapjack? It’s eight o’clock in the morning!’

‘Oh, no -is it really? I didn’t realise cakes cared what time they were eaten.’

Analize -spelled ‘with a z’ -shuffled her weight slightly from one designer trainer to another. Her Pretty in Pink nail varnish matched her expensive Nike sports top, which clung snugly to her over-exercised flat chest.

‘It’s just, you know . . . maybe it’s time you thought of losing your baby weight.’
Gracie shut her eyes to stop the tears and took a deep breath.

‘And maybe it’s time you weren’t so bloody insensitive,’ the petite blonde butted in from behind the coffee shop counter. Gracie noticed her very slight Eastern European accent and a tiny diamond stud in the girl’s nose. She wished that she could be brave enough to wear such a thing.

Shocked into silence by the stranger, Analize downed her two-shot espresso and headed for the door.

Doing some sort of weird arm-stretch, she called back, ‘Gracie, darling. I’m running to the Monument and back, should be at my desk for nine twenty. Cover me if Warhurst is on the Warpath.’

Leaving a trail of strong expensive French perfume behind her, she jogged off.

‘God, that’s pungent.’ Gracie turned her nose up.

‘Wonder what it is?’

‘Eau de Bitch, I expect.’ The blonde barista smiled and passed Gracie her coffee. ‘I’m Maya, by the way.’

‘Gracie. Gracie Davis. I work at Lemon Aid on Frath Street. For charity events that wow and deliver. This is my local. You must be new?’

‘Yes, I am.’ A queue had started to form. ‘I’d better get on.’

‘Yes, of course,’ Gracie said, ‘and thanks again for sticking up for me.’

‘Gracie Davies, it’s 9.04,’ Rob Warhurst’s deep voice boomed as Gracie took her seat. His grey beard made him look older than his forty-one years; his twinkling blue eyes gave away the fact that he wasn’t cross at all.

Gracie glanced at her watch while flicking open her laptop. ‘No, it’s not, you told me yourself that the server flashes up the wrong time on our screens for some reason. It’s 9.01.’

‘So you’re still one minute late. Where’s Pancake Tits anyway?’

‘Last seen in running gear in Marcy’s.’ Gracie laughed. ‘It’s a good job HR isn’t in earshot.’

Gracie’s relationship with her MD, Rob Warhurst, was one of humour and mutual understanding. It was an ongoing joke between them about her arrival time, because Rob knew that an old boss of hers used to monitor her every movement. In the end she had left her job because of her hatred of being micro-managed.

Rob tolerated Analize mainly because she was great at business development and, with Lemon Aid being a small company, he needed her. Her bad timekeeping didn’t really bother him at all, but he wasn’t going to let her know that, as the excuses that Gracie conjured up for her colleague usually made his morning.

Red-cheeked now but with good skin that belied her forty-three years, Analize shimmied across the open-plan office. Her tight pencil skirt accentuating her perfectly round little bottom, her stilettos making her already long legs look even leaner and her black bobbed hair, salon perfect.

You can buy The SW19 Club from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Miranda Dickinson Reveals New Book – A Parcel For Anna Browne

A Parcel For Anna BrowneMiranda Dickinson has revealed the cover to her first novel published by Pan MacMillan called ‘A Parcel For Anna Browne’ and it’s a mighty striking cover.

The story of ‘A Parcel For Anna Browne’ is –

Anna Browne is an ordinary woman living an ordinary life. Her day job as a receptionist in bustling London isn’t exactly her dream, yet she has everything she wants. But someone thinks Anna Browne deserves more . . .

When a parcel addressed to Anna Browne arrives, she has no idea who has sent it. Inside she finds a beautiful gift – one that is designed to be seen. And so begins a series of incredible deliveries, each one bringing Anna further out of the shadows and encouraging her to become the woman she was destined to be. As Anna grows in confidence, others begin to notice her – and her life starts to change.

But who is sending the mysterious gifts, and why?

Sounds like a lovely enchanting story and one I look forward to getting stuck in!

You can pre-order A Parcel for Anna Browne from Amazon

Girls On Tour By Nicola Doherty

Girls On Tour‘Girls on Tour’ is the latest book by Nicola Doherty.

Poppy is bound for Paris, the City of Love. Could this be her chance to end her epic dry spell? Lily is en route to her cousin’s wedding in LA, where she’s willing to break a few rules to land her dream role. Maggie can’t wait for her romantic ski holiday in Meribel – until it goes seriously off-piste. Rachel packs for a glamorous Roman holiday, but a blast from the past is about to sabotage la dolce vita. The girls get together and fly to Manhattan. But someone’s been hiding a big secret in the Big Apple.

‘Girls on Tour’ is a fun and snappy story that I thoroughly enjoyed. It was originally published as five short ebooks but they were all combined into this one story with a little bit of extra material. The book follows is spilt into five main parts following our heroines as they all go in the pursuit of love, travelling and new beginnings. Poppy travels to Paris on a work holiday, where she is looking forward to seeing the sights and taking in the culture, but when her annoying colleague Charlie, goes along to help her, her relaxing holiday doesn’t turn out quite as Poppy had planned and she finds herself looking at her workmate in a new light. Lily has always dreamt of being an actress but finds herself struggling to make ends meet, until her she is invited to cousin’s wedding in LA where she is bridesmaid and Lily hopes that this will be her opportunity to shine and finally get her big break. Maggie is looking forward to her romantic holiday to Meribel and finally spending some quality time with her busy boyfriend, but interruptions and accidents get in the way and finally there is quiet Rachel who is off on a Roman holiday excited to see the Colosseum and all the sights but when her ex boyfriend suddenly turns up, she finds herself thinking of old times and what might have been.

The thing I loved most about this story was the characters. The women were all snappy, fun, courageous and all willing to take chances and experiences new things. As the story progresses, we see their friendships blossom and it’s lovely to see the stories all interlinked and Nicola cleverly tidies them all up at the end. Bursting with attitude, exotic locations and handsome men ‘Girls On Tour, is a hugely enjoyable story about fun and friendship and makes for the perfect poolside companion.

You can buy Girls on Tour from Amazon and is available from good bookshops.

Alexandra Potter Reveals New Book – Love From Paris

Love From ParisAlexandra Potter is back with a new book called ‘Love From Paris’ which follows on where her previous book ‘The Love Detective’ left off.

The story of ‘Love From Paris’ is –

When new boyfriend Jack stands her up at the airport, Ruby Miller dries her tears, jumps on the Eurostar and heads to Paris. She thinks she’s going there to visit an old friend and have a total break from romance. But the City of Love has other ideas.

A locked apartment where time has stood still, a bundle of long-lost love letters and a flirtatious French lawyer sweep Ruby into a mystery that spans over seventy years. Who is the author of the letters? Why did the owner of the apartment close up the shutters and flee Paris before the war, never to return? And what secret was she hiding?

As the mystery deepens, Ruby turns love detective but it’s not long before the ghosts of the past throw her own love affair into jeopardy.

As a fan of Alexandra and having enjoyed her other books, I’m looking forward to the the release of ‘Love From Paris’.

You can pre-order Love from Paris from from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 24th September 2015.