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Amanda Brooke’s Writers Tips

Amanda BrookeAmanda lives in Liverpool with her daughter Jessica and writing was most definitely a late discovery for her. She didn’t really begin to explore creative writing until she was almost 40, at which point her young son Nathan was fighting for his life. Poetry and keeping a journal helped me through those difficult times and the darker times to come when he died in 2006. He was three years old. She continued to write and in 2010, she found an agent. Shortly afterwards in 2011 she was offered a book deal with HarperCollins. Her first novel ‘Yesterday’s Sun’ was published in January 2012 and she was absolutely thrilled when it was selected for the Richard and Judy Spring Book Club List. ‘Don’t Turn Around’ is her latest book.

Today Amanda shares her writing tips for aspiring authors.

To be a writer you have to put in the hours and write, so the best advice I can give is not to talk yourself out of it. Don’t tell yourself it’s too late to start writing, or that the opportunity has passed you by. If you want to write, write and if that isn’t enough to get you filling that first page with words then ask yourself if you’ve found the right story. The story, when it comes, has to be one you’re desperate to get down on paper because you’re going to be spending a lot more hours than you think bringing it to life. And if a full length novel is too daunting, start off small to hone your skills. Writing competitions are a great way to develop discipline as they come with a theme and a deadline, and who knows, you might win the odd prize or two.

Read more about Amanda and her writing journey here

Fiona Barton Releases New Book – The Child

The Child If you’re like me and loved Fiona Barton’s debut novel, ‘The Widow’, then you’re in for a treat, as she’s back in April 2017 with a new book called ‘The Child’.

The story of ‘The Child’ is –

When a paragraph in an evening newspaper reveals a decades-old tragedy, most readers barely give it a glance. But for three strangers it’s impossible to ignore.

For one woman, it’s a reminder of the worst thing that ever happened to her.

For another, it’s the dangerous possibility that her darkest secret is about to be discovered.

And for a third, a journalist, it’s the first clue in a hunt to uncover the truth.

The Child’s story will be told.

I absolutely adored ‘The Widow’ so I can’t wait to get reading this book!

You can pre-order The Child from Amazon and will be available to buy from 6th April 2017.

The Last Anniversary By Liane Moriarty

The Last Anniversary‘The Last Anniversary’ is by Liane Moriarty.

Over seventy years have passed since sisters Rose and Connie Doughty found an abandoned baby near their home on the island Scribbly Gum. With no one to take care of it, Rose and Connie took the baby in as their own. Since then the ‘Munro Baby Mystery’ has brought fame and fortune, putting Scribbly Gum on the tourist map, especially for the island’s annual celebration. But now, with Connie dead and outsider Sophie Honeywell about to move into her home, Rose begins to wonder if they made the right decision all those years ago. How much longer can they cover up the lie that has sustained their community for generations? And what other secrets are about to be revealed?

Liane Moriarty has become one of my favourite authors over the last couple of years. So when, I received a copy of ‘The Last Anniversary’ I was eager to get stuck in but upon finishing it, I was disappointed to see that it lacked her usual hook that pulled the reader in, instead I found the book travelled at a slower pace and dragged along.

The story is a strange one and has the potential to a gripping tale with the strange island with few habitats and the mystery of the disappearing couple who left their baby behind, but the book failed to delivered.

Seen from the perspective of the women of island after the death of Connie, a strong and well respected woman. Over seventy years ago, herself and sister, Rose discovered an abandoned baby who they called Enigma. The little baby attracted a lot of attention and became the ‘Munro Baby Mystery’ bringing tourists and trade to the small island, to hear the tale of Enigma and to visit the house she was left behind in.

After Connie passed away, she left her house to Sophie, an outsider who broke her nephews heart much to the disgust of other family members who think they deserve the house more. The story follows on through the eyes of Sophie, Rose and Grace, Connie’s niece on the lead up the annual anniversary of the Munro Baby Mystery, which is day and night of festivities where Enigma becomes the centre of attention and recall her memories of that farewell day.

I think one of the reasons I didn’t particularly enjoy this book was the characters, the majority of them I disliked. Sophie played quite a big part in the book, having been left the house with an opportunity to start her life over but she is obsessed with love and not becoming an old spinster and it seems that she will stop at nothing. But it’s when her attentions begin to focus on a married man, I began to dislike more. Although she battled with her emotions, it was very evident her attractions for Callum. Callum’s wife, Grace was the only character that I liked in this book and that was because I felt sympathy and a sense of protection towards her as she battled with self worth and post natal depression. And finally there is Enigma, the principal character of the story, having lived a life of being the centre of attention, she sees herself as a celebrity who everyone wants a piece off and unfortunately, I just found her annoying and self absorbed.

Although the book was written in the authors sharp concise style and had an interesting twist at the end. I felt the story lacked pace and Liane’s usual page turning intensity. Regrettably, ‘The Last Anniversary’ was not as enjoyable as her other two books, but as Meatloaf says “two out of three ain’t bad”.

You can buy The Last Anniversary from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Eva Rice’s New Book – The Misinterpretation of Tara Jupp

The Misinterpretation of Tara JuppEva Rice is back with her latest book ‘The Misinterpretation of Tara Jupp’ which is the sequel to ‘The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets’ which was voted Runner up in the Richard and Judy Bookclub in their Best Read category of 2006.

The story of ‘The Misinterpretation of Tara Jupp’ is –

It’s 1962, the dawn of the swinging sixties. Seventeen year old vicar’s daughter, Tara, sings at a wedding, and discovered, is taken up to London- with her beautiful older sister, Lucy, to make her first record. In Chelsea, Tara’s adventures begin: she falls under the spell of two men, inadvertently invents the mini-skirt and has a surreal encounter in an endangered Victorian house with Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones and architectural historian, Nikolaus Pevsner. The Misinterpretation of Tara Jupp is a coming of age love story, set partly in the depths of the West Country, and partly in the capital city. Skirts are being hitched up as fast as the past is being pulled down, so can Tara hold on to who she really is while those around her do their best to change her? And can she piece together fragments of her broken childhood to make sense of the person she is becoming?

I read ‘The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets’ a number of years ago and thought it was a wonderful piece of intriguing writing, so ‘The Misinterpretation of Tara Jupp’ which has an exquisite cover is another sequel that I am eagerly looking forward to!

You can pre-order The Misinterpretation of Tara Jupp on Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 29th August 2013.