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Heidi Swain Writers Tips

“HeidiHeidi Swain shares her writing tips with budding writers.

I think the most important thing is to just keep writing. The more you practice, the better you’ll get. Push yourself to find the time and make the commitment to write every day and don’t abandon projects before you’ve written or typed The End. Every piece of fiction, no matter how short or long will have tricky patches but you have to work through them otherwise you’ll never learn how to finish anything.

Five Years From Now By Paige Toon

Five Years From Now‘Five Years From Now’ is the latest book by Paige Toon.

Nell and Van meet as children when their parents fall in love, but soon they are forced worlds apart. Five years later, they find each other. Their bond is rekindled and new feelings take hold, but once again they have to separate. For the next two decades, fate brings Nell and Van together every five years, as life and circumstance continue to divide them. Will they ever find true happiness? And will it be together?

Paige Toon is back with another rollercoaster of a story that tugs at the heartstrings as one couple battle against all odds to be together.

The story is seen solely through the narrative of Nell, a young woman who reflects back on her life as her one big love called Van is constantly taken away from her.

Nell first met Van when their parents started dating and moved in together. As the years pass, they become close friends but when Van’s mother is tragically killed in a car accident, Van then moves to Australia to live with his father and so begins the couple’s turbulent relationship.

At fifteen, Van returns home and that’s when the couple’s feeling develop towards each other, moving from friends to potentially boyfriend and girlfriend, they struggle with guilt and secrecy, especially Nell as everyone thinks of the two of them like brother and sister.

As the story progresses, we regularly see the pair of them get close to the being a couple but with Van living in Australia and Nell living in the United Kingdom, there’s always so many complications and distance between the two of them.

I genuinely loved this story. Both Nell and Van are sweet and heartwarming characters, I really wanted them to get their happy ever afters and found it so frustrating that so many things stood between them and everytime they thought that they were getting somewhere, it would all be harshly snatched away. Their stolen moments together make for bittersweet reading, that it was hard not to also fall in love with the young couple

Like Paige’s previous novels, nothing is ever straight forward and there are many emotional rollercoasters along the way. Sweetly written and quite the heartbreaker of a story from the start, ‘Five Years From Now’ is a poignant and tender story about love, soulmates and the heartbreaking difficulties of finding love at the wrong time.

You can buy Five Years From Now from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Heidi Swain

“HeidiHeidi Swain gained a degree in Literature and flirted briefly with a newspaper career. She married and had two children before she plucked up the courage to join a creative writing class and take her literary ambitions seriously. Her debut novel, ‘The Chery Tree Café’ was published in July 2015 (paperback June 2017) and ‘Summer at Skylark Farm’ hit the shelves the following June. ‘Mince Pies and Mistletoe at the Christmas Market’ was a hugely successful Christmas 2016 release and her fourth book, ‘Coming Home to Cuckoo Cottage’ was published in July 2017. She is currently celebrating her October 2017 Christmas release, ‘Sleigh Rides and Silver Bells at The Christmas Fair’. Heidi lives in Norfolk with her wonderful family and a mischievous cat called Storm.

  1. To readers of the blog who may not be familiar with you or your writing, can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you got into writing.
    Hello Bronagh! Thank you so much for inviting me along today and hello to everyone who has dropped in to have a read. My name is Heidi Swain and I am an author of ‘feel good fiction’ signed to Simon and Schuster.

    I have written stories for as long as I can remember, but my big break into publishing came after I submitted my debut novel, ‘The Cherry Tree Café’ to my publisher via their #oneday open call for submissions.

  2. What made you decide to write female fiction?
    Female fiction has long been my favourite genre to read and I wanted to see if I had it in me to write the kind of book I would enjoy snuggling up with.
    I know it probably sounds self-indulgent, but I wanted to write about characters I would love to be friends with and who live in places I would love to visit. Fortunately, my readers feel the same way. I’ve lost count of the number of messages, emails and tweets I’ve received from folk who want to move to Wynbridge.
  3. If you were to start your own book club, what authors would you ask to join?
    That’s a great question! My goodness, so many authors… Without a doubt I would have to invite Trisha Ashley, Milly Johnson, Jilly Cooper and JK Rowling.
  4. What’s your favourite part of the writing process?
    That’s tricky to answer, because it can vary from book to book, but more often than not, as long as the words and ideas are flowing, writing the first draft is my favourite part of the process. I never end a writing session without knowing how I will carry on the next time I sit down. I’ll scribble a few notes, perhaps write the opening line and then mull the action over from then on until I start writing again.
  5. Sunshine And Sweetpeas In Nightingale Square

  6. What’s your favourite opening line from a book?
    The opening line of ‘A Christmas Carol’ – “Marley was dead: to begin with”. If that doesn’t make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up, nothing will! I love the way Dickens then goes on to talk to his readers, leaving them in no doubt that he really is standing next to them as they read. Pure magic.
  7. You’re quite prolific on Instagram, what’s your top tip to take the perfect photograph?
    Truth be told, I have no idea! I just click away and hope for the best. That said, if I’m photographing a flower, I like to zoom in on the detail but if I’m snapping my baking or something in the house, I do pay attention to the background. No one wants to see a pile of dirty laundry or stacks of dishes!
  8. Who’s your favourite literary hero or heroine?
    I know you’ve asked for one or the other, but I have to pick two – the dynamic duo of Pop and Ma Larkin. Between them there’s no problem they can’t solve, no belly they can’t fill and no mood they can’t lift. I love their kindness, generosity and abundant love for their family and friends.
  9. What do you think makes a good book?
    A good book for me can be defined by its ability to carry me away and make me forget everything other than the words on the page. I want to be transported into the world the author has created and left in no doubt that if I bumped into the characters, or turned up in their town I would know who I was talking to and where I was, straightaway.
  10. If you were stranded on a desert island, which three books would you bring with you to pass the time?
    Three books! How about thirty three? Can I go for three collections? Let’s assume I can…
    The entire ‘Harry Potter’ series
    ‘The Darling Buds of May’ and all the other books H E Bates wrote about the Larkin family
    My Miss Read collection
    I know I’ve cheated but I’m guilt ridden have left behind ‘Wind in The Willows’, Trisha Ashley and Dickens!
  11. What area do you suggest a budding writer should concentrate on to further their abilities?
    I think the most important thing is to just keep writing. The more you practice, the better you’ll get. Push yourself to find the time and make the commitment to write every day and don’t abandon projects before you’ve written or typed The End. Every piece of fiction, no matter how short or long will have tricky patches but you have to work through them otherwise you’ll never learn how to finish anything.

    Also, read widely, and not just the genre you write in.

  12. When sitting down to write, what is the one item you need beside you?
    I have a few things on the table – tea, notes, pencil, laptop, the usual really, but I also have a feather bookmark decorated with amethyst beads and an owl. The Goddess Athena is the goddess of the arts and literature and she had an owl, so I like to have a representation of her by me when I sit down to write.
  13. And finally do you have any projects or releases on the horizon which you would like to share with the readers of the website?
    My sixth book, ‘Sunshine and Sweet Peas in Nightingale Square’, is due to be published at the end of May. It features a Wynbridge girl who is rebuilding her life after the breakdown of her marriage. She has made the brave decision not to move back to her home town and instead, she buys a house in Nightingale Square in Norwich.

    This will be the first book which isn’t set in or around Wynbridge and as daunting as that feels because my readers love the town, it has been very exciting. Creating somewhere new and filling it with a wonderful little urban community has been great fun and I hope the fine folk of Nightingale Square touch everyone’s hearts.

Follow Heidi Swain on Twitter Heidi Swain for updates or check out her website at Heidi Swain

Paige Toon Reveals New Book Called Five Years From Now

Five Years From NowWonderful news, as Paige Toon has revealed her new book called ‘Five Years From Now’

What the back cover says –

What happens if you meet the RIGHT person at the WRONG time?

Nell and Van meet as children when their parents fall in love, but soon they are forced worlds apart.

Five years later, they find each other. Their bond is rekindled and new feelings take hold, but once again they have to separate.

For the next two decades, fate brings Nell and Van together every five years, as life and circumstance continue to divide them. Will they ever find true happiness? And will it be together?

‘One day, maybe five years from now, you’ll look back and understand why this happened…’

Can’t wait to read this one!

You can pre-order Five Years From Now from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 17th May 2018.

Milly Johnson Reveals New Book – The Perfectly Imperfect Woman

The Perfectly Imperfect WomanOne of my favourite authors Milly Johnson is back with a new boo, wonderfully called ‘The Perfectly Imperfect Woman’.

What the back cover says:

Marnie Salt has made so many mistakes in her life that she fears she will never get on the right track. But when she ‘meets’ an old lady on a baking chatroom and begins confiding in her, little does she know how her life will change.

Arranging to see each other for lunch, Marnie finds discovers that Lilian is every bit as mad and delightful as she’d hoped – and that she owns a whole village in the Yorkshire Dales, which has been passed down through generations. And when Marnie needs a refuge after a crisis, she ups sticks and heads for Wychwell – a temporary measure, so she thinks.

But soon Marnie finds that Wychwell has claimed her as its own and she is duty bound not to leave. Even if what she has to do makes her as unpopular as a force 12 gale in a confetti factory! But everyone has imperfections, as Marnie comes to realise, and that is not such a bad thing – after all, your flaws are perfect for the heart that is meant to love you.

‘The Perfectly Imperfect Woman’ is the heart-warming and hilarious new novel from our queen of feel-good fiction – a novel of family, secrets, love and redemption … and broken hearts mended and made all the stronger for it.

You can pre-order The Perfectly Imperfect Woman from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 22nd February 2018.