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Places I Have Written. Or Tried To Write Anyway By Maddie Please

A Year Of New AdventuresOn the book tour for Maddie Please’s new book called ‘A Year Of New Adventures’, Maddie talks about her favourite places for writing.

On the train
It’s not often I go on a train but when I do it’s the ideal place to write. I like a table seat with a charging point, a large coffee and possibly a biscuit or two and I’m off. Surprising how many people are also typing away although I expect they are doing spread sheets for international trade expositions or finance deals with the World Bank.

At the hairdresser
I don’t enjoy these visits but somehow I am now in a never-ending cycle of going to the hairdresser. I’m sure it’s a cunning plan. Otherwise I look like a sad old bag lady with stripy hair. The place is far too chic for me; the staff are all depressingly young, thin and cool. As the visit usually lasts at least two hours I take a notebook and pencil so I can write. The alternative is watching my reflection with a head covered in plap and foils, looking unnervingly like my mother.

In the office
I try to write every day. My husband also works from home and we share a garden office and have desks that face each other. I’ve heard it said the perfect view for a writer is a brick wall, but I have a gorgeous view over some wonderful Devon countryside that can be quite a distraction. So can the birds that flock to our garden because I keep tempting them in with over priced fat balls. I’ve just registered for the RSPB annual bird watch much to my son’s amusement. He says I’m now officially middle aged, which is unexpectedly kind of him. As our house is white and on top of a hill I think we are a landmark for the Devon Air Ambulance and some huge military planes that routinely go over us. I love it when that happens and I usually run outside and wave. Sad really.

On holiday
This is really the best. I’ve written on patios overlooking the sea (The Summer of Second Chances), in an old stone longère in Normandy, by the side of swimming pools (A Year of New Adventures) and in huge Malls in America. My absolute favourite was last year on the Queen Mary 2 when my wonderful husband took me on a fantastic trip. The quality of eavesdropping to be had on a transatlantic crossing cannot in my opinion be bettered. I found a favourite spot in the Commodore Club with a fabulous view over the front of the ship (we sea dogs call it the Bow). Every morning I went there to edit my next book, provisionally called ‘The Girl at the End of the Garden’. There were waiters within hailing distance, a beautiful painting next to my favourite chair, and in the adjacent room (glass doors) variously there were meetings of AA, a renewal of wedding vows ceremony and an 80th birthday party for a lady who looked twenty years younger. Sailing obviously agrees with her; I can’t recommend it highly enough.

You can pre-order A Year of New Adventures from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops from 5th April 2018.

Shame On You By Amy Heydenrych

Shame On You‘Shame On You’ is the latest book by Amy Heydenrych.

Meet Holly. Social media sensation. The face of clean eating. Everyone loves her. Everyone wants to be her. Or do they? When Holly is attacked by a man she’s only just met, her life starts to spiral out of control. Was she targeted because of her online wellness empire, or is there a darker reason behind the attack? He seemed to know her – but she doesn’t know him. Or does she? What if Holly isn’t who she seems to be? What if Holly’s living a lie? But surely we all lie a bit online, don’t we . . .?

I started reading this book late one Friday night and reluctantly had to stop reading it when I couldn’t keep my eyes open.

With short and snappy chapters that leave the reader wanting more this book is one of the grippiest books of 2017.

The story is seen through the narratives of Holly Evans and her attacker Tyler on the lead up to and after her attack.

Holly is an influential and powerful character who has a huge following on instagram after proclaiming that after a healthy diet and vitamins, she was able to cure herself of cancer and stay away from the more rigorous and traditional method of chemotherapy. But one night, she meets a handsome man who attacks her slicing her face and taking away her beautiful looks and confidence. As her army of fans rally around her, Tyler is determined to bring her down for the destruction, she caused to his life.

Both characters are equally fascinating and unlikable. Holly, is so caught up in the glory of her popularity and her legion of followers, that she fails to see the error of her ways. She’s determined to keep her mistakes a secret, she thrives on likes and loves from social media.

Whilst Tyler is consumed by hatred for the woman who unknowingly ruined his life. His bitterness leaps off the pages as he goes on a one man quest to ruin her life. He hates social media and everything that it stands for and as a doctor himself, doubts that Holly was able to cure her cancer solely through a healthy diet.

Fast paced and gritty from the very first page, ‘Shame On You’ is a dark, possessive and telling read about the power of social media and how much it controls people’s lives, reminiscent of an episode of ‘Black Mirror’, this book was a thrilling read.

You can pre-order Shame on You from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from July 26 2018.

Book Tour – She’s Not There By Joy Fielding

She's Not ThereToday on the book tour for Joy Fielding’s thrilling new book called ‘She Not There’, sit back and enjoy an extract from the exciting tale.

The trip had started out well enough. Samantha had fallen asleep almost as soon as the car was out of the driveway, and Michelle had seemed content playing with her new Wonder Woman doll. Unfortunately, fifteen minutes into the drive, an ill-advised attempt to get the doll to fly had sent Wonder Woman crashing to the floor, where she disappeared under the front seat, unleashing Michelle’s first flood of tears. Then heavy traffic along Interstate Highway 5 coupled with a delay at the San Ysidro border crossing at Tijuana had stretched the thirty-mile drive into a ninety-minute ordeal. Caroline wondered if she should have listened to Hunter when he’d suggested leaving the girls at home for the week. But that would have meant entrusting them to her mother, something Caroline would never do.

Her mother had made enough of a mess with her own children.

Caroline pictured her brother, Steve, two years her junior, a handsome man with sandy brown hair, a killer smile, and gold-flecked hazel eyes. His easy charm had made him their mother’s pride and joy. But what he had in charm, he lacked in ambition, and he’d spent most of his adult life shedding careers as regularly as a snake sheds its skin. A year ago he’d gone into real estate, and much to the surprise of everyone—except, of course, his mother, in whose eyes he could do no wrong—he seemed to be prospering. Maybe he’d finally found his niche.

“I’m thirrrrrsty,” Michelle wailed, the word threatening to stretch into eternity.

“Sweetheart, please. You’ll wake the baby.”

“She’s not a baby.”

“She’s asleep . . .”

“And I’m thirsty.”

“Okay, that’s enough,” Hunter snapped, spinning around in his seat and waving his index finger in the air. “Listen to your mother and stop this nonsense right now.”

Michelle’s response was immediate and complete hysteria. Her shrieks filled the car, bouncing off the tinted windows and pummeling Samantha awake. Now two children were screaming.

“Still think kids were a good idea?” Hunter asked with a smile. “Maybe your brother is right after all.”

Caroline said nothing. Hunter was well aware that her brother and his wife, Becky, had been trying unsuccessfully for years to have a family of their own. Their failure to do so was a constant source of tension between them, a situation Caroline’s mother took great pains to exploit, chiding Becky regularly for not providing her with more grandchildren and causing unnecessary friction between her daughter and her daughter-in-law.

Divide and conquer, Caroline thought. Words her mother lived by. What else was new?

“How much longer?” Caroline asked.

“We should be there soon. Hang in there.”

Caroline leaned her head against the side window and closed her eyes, her daughters’ cries piercing her ears like overlapping sirens. Not exactly an auspicious start to their vacation. Oh, well, she decided. It can only get better.

Sounds good, doesn’t it?

You can buy She’s Not There from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

I Heart Forever Book Tour – Extract

I Heart ForeverI’m delighted to be kicking off the book tour for Lindsey Kelk’s amazing new book, ‘I Heart Forever’. I read it and loved it and you will too!

To give you a taster of what Angela has in store for you in the latest book, here’s a short extract to wet your appetite. Enjoy!

‘There’s still time for you to change your mind, you know,’ Alex said, nursing his beer. ‘This time tomorrow we could be on a river beach in Laos. This time next week, we could be checking out temples in Myanmar, next month dancing at a full moon party in Thailand.’

‘You know that I would if I could,’ I whispered, staring at his perfect features. His full lips, his sharp cheekbones, his shiny black hair that had obviously seen shampoo in the last forty-eight hours. ‘You know I’d love it more than anything, but asking for two months off at work would basically be the same as handing in my notice.’

It was a complete and utter lie. Two months of nothing but Alex Reid, all to myself? Yes, please. Two months of living out of a backpack in dirty clothes, without telly or online food delivery? I just couldn’t see it. The closest I’d ever come to roughing it was an abbreviated weekend at Reading Festival when I was seventeen and even that ended with my dad picking me up on the Saturday afternoon after I’d caved and tried to use the toilets. I hadn’t seen the inside of a tent since.

‘You could just quit,’ Alex stage-whispered into my hair, one arm snaking around my waist. ‘You could just leave.’

‘I really wish I hated my job,’ I replied, sliding my hand along his cheek. ‘And having a home. And food. And things.’

‘You do love things,’ Alex agreed with a theatrical sigh. He squeezed my hand in his and my engagement and wedding rings pressed sharply against their neighbouring fingers. ‘And I guess someone has to hold down a steady job.
Looks like I’m stuck with Graham.’

Just because I would rather perform laser hair removal on myself than spend two months living out of a backpack did not mean I was fully OK with his going on this trip without me. Sure, I could play the supportive wife for a while but I’d seen Eat Pray Love, I knew what happened on these adventures.

‘You’ll barely notice I’m gone,’ he said, picking up a piece of tuna pizza and sniffing it with great suspicion before taking the tiniest of bites. He looked to be struggling far too much for a man who was about to spend several weeks subsisting on flash-fried insects, but whatever, all the more for me.

‘You’re going to be so busy with work and I know Lopez isn’t going to leave you alone for more than two minutes while I’m away. And I’m gonna call you all the time.’

‘You don’t need to convince me,’ I promised and the butterflies fluttered back into life as he ran a finger along my jawline, brushing against my bottom lip.

‘I’m glad you’re doing this. You’ve wanted to go forever, I know.’

‘It kind of feels like now or never,’ he agreed.

‘I’m glad you’re going,’ I said, forcing certainty into my words. ‘It’s just, you’ve never been away for so long before. I’m going to miss you, that’s all.’

‘I’m going to miss you too,’ he said. Alex grabbed hold of both sides of my chair and turned it around to face him. ‘I’m going to miss you every minute of every day.’

‘That’s clearly an exaggeration,’ I replied as my heart began to beat just a little bit faster. His hands were still holding on to the seat of my chair and he leaned in towards me. He pushed my hair out of the way and pulled gently at the neck of my jumper, kissing my shoulder, my collarbone, my throat. ‘You won’t miss me while you’re asleep.’

‘I will,’ he protested, whispering right into my ear. I shivered all the way down to my toes. ‘I’ll dream about you every night.’

‘Well, that’s just ridiculous,’ I said, gasping as he pulled me out of my seat and into his lap. ‘You can’t control your dreams. You dream about whatever’s in your subconscious.’

‘Then let’s give my subconscious something to remember,’ he said, taking off my jumper and tossing it onto the settee. ‘We’ve got twelve hours.’

‘I’ve never been one to turn down a challenge,’ I replied as I yanked his T-shirt over his head and ran my hands down his tight, taut back. ‘You’d better set an alarm.’

Closing my eyes, I tried to concentrate on being right where I was. What good would it do to worry about what might happen?

Alex would go, Alex would come back, and it would be fine. Everything was exactly how it should be, exactly at that moment.

Now, all I had to do was keep every single thing in my life exactly the same, forever.

How hard could that be?

Sounds good, doesn’t it? And it is! You can read my review of ‘I Heart Forever’ here.

You can pre-order I Heart Forever from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 7th September 2017.

Jon Rance

Jon RanceHappy Publication day to Jon Rance and to celebrate the release of his new book, ‘About Us’, Jon Rance chats to Handwritten Girl about the book and why we should buy it.

This is the story of Rosie and Pete. From the beginning until the end.

I’m excited and proud because today is publication day for my sixth novel, ‘About Us’. Firstly, thank you to Bronagh for having me on her wonderful blog. It’s such a pleasure to be here on day one of my blog tour. So, ‘About Us’, what’s it about and why should you buy it?

About Us, is the story of Rosie Willis and her relationship with husband Pete. The inspiration for the novel was I wanted to write a story about an entire relationship. My last book, ‘Dan And Nat Got Married’, was a fun romantic comedy about a couple just starting out and falling in love. I find the trouble with romantic comedies is that I always want to know what happens next. Once the honeymoon phase is over and people grow up and life changes, what happens next? When the sparkly optimism of youth is replaced with the bitter mundanity of middle age. ‘About Us’, gives us everything from the moment Rosie and Pete meet at university in the 90’s until twenty years later where most of the novel is set. We see all of the important moments in their life and relationship, while seeing how it impacts the present and the subsequent choices they’re forced to make.

About Us

If you haven’t read any of my previous books, most of my novels are comedies. I love writing humour and although there are elements of comedy in this book, it’s more dramatic than my other work. After my last novel, which was pure romantic comedy, I knew I wanted to write something deeper with a bigger emotional canvass. ‘About Us’, is my most emotional book to date and it’s something I’m really proud of. It definitely took my writing to new areas. I also and for the first time, wrote the entire book from the female perspective. I knew this was a risk, but the reaction I’ve had so far has been extremely positive. I’m really embracing my feminine side!

So today is publication day and here’s why I think you should buy, ‘About Us’. If you love authors like Jojo Moyes and David Nicholls, I think you’re going to love this. If you love television shows like ‘Cold Feet’ and ‘This Is Us’, I think this will be right up your street. If like me you’re a parent, or have parents, have children, are married or in a relationship, there will be something in this book you can relate to. One of the things I wanted to do in this book was write a novel that almost anyone could relate to on some level. It has everything. It’s truly a novel about life, about love, about us. ‘About Us’, is out today exclusively on Amazon! Grab your copy now for just 99p for a limited time!

Follow Jon on Twitter Jon Rance for updates or check out his website at Jon Rance

You can buy About Us from Amazon