From the creators of the incredibly successful, ‘Oh My God, What A Complete Aisling’, Emer McLysaght and Sarah Breen share their writers tips.
It sounds like a no-brainer, but write the book you’d like to read. If psychological thrillers are your bag, hone your detective skills. Not every book has to be a work of literary genius. Just start writing!
The police say she’s guilty. She insists she’s innocent. She’s your sister. You loved her. You trusted her. But they say she killed your child. Who do you believe?
‘No Further Questions’ is the second book by Gillian McAllister and I found the book to be quite a struggle to read at times, as the topic was off.a sensitive nature that made for hard reading.
The story is seen through the narrative of sisters Martha and Becky as they deal with the aftermath of one fateful night when Becky was put in charge of Martha’s only child, 8 week old Layla, only for the baby to die in her care. Now Becky is potentially facing jail time for a death, that she maintains she isn’t responsible for. The story flows back and forth during events leading up to the night and also includes perspectives who are also witnesses in the case.
This story was a struggle to read, as two sisters go head to head and try to piece together the missing pieces of the night, Martha is distraught that she has lost her little girl, but try as she might, she cannot believe that her sister is responsible for her daughters death. Whilst Becky has her struggles and issues to deal with, her quick temper and flair for drama, makes people suspicious of her actions, even though she and those around her are convinced of her innocence.
Complex and twisty from the start, the story is a dark tale that made for compulsive reading, the book touches on subjects of alcoholism, infidelity, mental illness and really tackles the issues with honest and sensitive writing.
A reflective and heart wrenching story about love, loss and sisterhood, ‘No Further Questions’ is a suspenseful story that really pulls the reader in.
You can buy No Further Questions from Amazon
While researching flowers for ‘The Memories of Us’, I set about creating my own cut flower garden in my own backyard. I pulled up all the veggies in my veggie patch and replaced it with flowers. I created garden beds for roses, peonies, dahlias, sweet peas and most of the varieties that Gracie cultivates at Summerhill. Here’s how you can go about creating your own mini flower farm.
Make a list of your favourite varieties
Start by making a list of flowers you love and the kind of colours you’d like to see in your garden or flower arrangements. You may like to plant several plants of the same variety so you can harvest multiple stems at the one time.
Some great cut flower varieties include: dahlias, peonies, ranunculus, sweet peas, hybrid tea roses, tulips, daffodils and gerberas.
Beside your list, make a note of when the sowing time is for seeds or bulbs, along with another column for the time you can expect your flowers to appear in the garden. You may not be able to order all the seeds or tubers at the same time, so it pays to keep track and add them to your garden as you go. For example, dahlias will come into bloom over the summer, peonies have only a short flowering window of around three weeks, and roses will last over a period of several months. If you can ensure you’re planting a range of flower varieties, you can be assured you’ll have a nice range of blooms to pick for as long as possible.
Don’t forget to plant filler foliage! Dusty miller, hypericum berries and seeded eucalyptus make great filler foliage. Bulking up an arrangement with greenery makes flowers look even more stunning in a vase or bouquet.
Decide on perennials versus annuals
When planning you’re cutting garden you may like to like to take into account how many perennials and annuals you’ll be planting. Bell flowers, asters and foxgloves are great examples of perennials that will grow back each year.
Stagger planting windows
Once you’ve made your list, plot out on a calendar, when you can look at planting each flower variety in your garden.
Decide where to plant your flowers
Deciding where to plant your flowers will depend on how much room you have. Raised beds and pots are a great option if you have limited space.
Keep your garden healthy
Be sure to adequately water and fertilise your garden. Don’t be afraid to cut flowers and when you do, be sure to cut stems a little longer than you’ll need them so you can recut when you arrange them in a vase.
You can buy The Memories of Us from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.
‘One In A Million’ is the latest book by Lindsey Kelk.
Annie Higgins has 30 days to make Sam famous. But when the time’s up, will she choose followers and likes – or real relationships and love? Tired of the advertising idiots across the hallway making fun of her business, social media specialist Annie Higgins (iPhone in one hand, glass of wine in the other) accepts a bet that she can make anyone famous in thirty days. Even when the advertising idiots choose the office weirdo, Sam, as her target, she’s determined to win – whether he likes it or not.Annie soon discovers that getting to know Sam means getting to know more about herself – and before the thirty days are out, has a difficult decision to make about what’s really important.
One In A Million is the hilarious new book from Lindsey Kelk and this book had me hooked right from the start, with a fantastic lead, witty one liners and awkward situations, it’s no wonder I read the first 200 pages in one sitting.
The book is seen solely through the hilarious eyes of Annie Higgins, a successful woman with an award nominated company at her fingertips. Fluent in all things social media, she handles big clients and is always able to send out the correct message. Until, one day she is challenged about her job, she rises to the challenge and claims that she is able to get someone 20,000 Followers on Instagram in one month. The lucky victim is Dr Samuel Page, a man with wise head who has no interest in social media and prefers to reading about famous historical figures or working on his upcoming novel. He’s no desire to get involved in Annie’s project until she promises that she will be able to help him win back his ex-girlfriend. Suddenly, he has a reason to get involved and reluctantly agrees to the challenge, which sees them embark on a strange new friendship and hilarious and honest results.
I absolutely adored this book, but that’s to become expected when you are a fan of Lindsey Kelk. Her books are delivered with wit and drama that really keeps the reader engaged and her latest book was no different. I loved Annie, she’s funny, kind and has a frank and honest approach to life, determined to prove just how good she is at her job, she delivers with amazing results. I also developed a bit of a crush on Sam, who is the reluctant hero in the story. Like Annie, he’s straight forward but with a touch of innocence about him that does him very endearing to the reader. Not only are main characters of the story, wonderfully entertaining but so are their friends, which had me chuckling throughout.
Filled with plenty of laugh out loud moments, the book is really on trend with the power of social media, as well women having to prove their places in male dominated industries, which I found particularly insightful as it’s an industry that I also work in. A fabulously aspirational story that was impossible to put down, ‘One In A Million’ is a warm and entertaining story that is the perfect distraction from real life.
You can pre-order One in a Million from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 26th July 2018.
On the final day of the book tour for Kat French’s new book called ‘A Summer Scandal’, we talk about the great authors of the bonkbusters.
Every year I write a summer book; this year my release is called ‘A Summer Scandal’, about a girl who unexpectedly inherits a pier in a south coast town she’s never heard of and packs her bags for a summer of adventure. I love writing a proper sizzler of a book – for me, a good beach read needs to turn up the heat! I’m hugely inspired by lots of writers, but I’d like to focus particularly on a genre that holds a special place in my heart – the bonkbuster! Bonkbusters, named affectionately as a mash up of a blockbuster and bonking, never go out of fashion. Fabulously over the top, they fizz with sex and scandal and absolute beach appeal; here are three of the most legendary authors in this genre.
Jackie Collins – The Queen.
Sadly no longer with us, Jackie was the queen of the genre by a long chalk. I think I’ve read every book she ever released, a steady diet of glitzy, glamorous scandal from the age of about fifteen! Thirty-two novels, more than five hundred million books sold and translated into forty languages – what incredible stats! I can’t imagine any one will ever topple Jackie’s crown, she oozed glamour in real life and seemed to live an LA lifestyle right off the pages of one of her racy novels. She lifted the lid on Hollywood and gave us all a peep behind the curtain. We salute you with champagne, Jackie.
What Jackie is to LA, Jilly is to the rolling English countryside. Her Rutshire Chronicles (‘Riders’, ‘Rivals’, Polo, etc.) are a delicious thrill, full of adultery and scandal set amongst the British upper-class Polo and foxhunting crowd. Huge, heavy books that you read slowly so as not to get to the end too soon, and the ultimate sexy anti-hero in Rupert Campbell Black. Often loathsome but as sexy as they come, he is the poster boy of all things bonkbuster.
I read ‘Lace’ at a rather impressionable age, and it has stayed with me ever since! I doubt there is a romance writer alive who doesn’t envy the line “Which one of you bitches is my mother?” – it’s a twisty tale of revenge and revelations set in the sixties and seventies, and is as much a story of four women’s friendship and self discovery as it is about Lily’s search for her mother. Anyone who has read Lace will never look at a goldfish in the same way again…
You can buy A Summer Scandal from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.