Monday, 14 August 2017

Another Woman's Husband
by
Gill Paul
BLOG TOUR



1911 At the age of fifteen, carefree Mary Kirk and indomitable Wallis Warfield meet at summer camp. Their friendship will survive heartbreaks, separation and the demands of the British Crown until it is shattered by one unforgivable betrayal. 

1997 Rachel's romantic break in Paris with her fiancé ends in tragedy when the car ahead crashes. Inside was Princess Diana. Back in Brighton, Rachel is haunted by the accident, and intrigued to learn the princess had visited the last home of Wallis, Duchess of Windsor, only hours before the crash. Soon, the discovery of a long-forgotten link to Wallis Simpson leads Rachel to the truth behind a scandal that shook the world...
Richly imagined and beautifully written, ANOTHER WOMAN'S HUSBAND is a gripping, moving novel about two women thrust into the spotlight, followed by scandal, touched by loss.





Review
It’s no secret that I am a huge fan of Gill Paul’s novels, so when I found out that her latest novel, Another Woman’s Husband was based on the fictional connection between Wallis Simpson and Princess Diana, I just knew I would love this book! I am a passionate royalist and always loved Princess Diana from the very moment she came into the public eye. With the 20th anniversary approaching of Diana’s death, it seems very poignant that memories of her are kept alive. I will remember 31st August 1997 for the rest of my life as a day full of extreme sadness and unbelievable shock that one of the most famous women in the world had died so tragically.

Mary and Wallis meet at Summer camp in America in the early 1900’s when they were teenagers. From the very start, Wallis is the more dominant, confident character, with Mary tagging along in awe of her new found friend. Wallis seems very headstrong and mature for her age, especially in front of the young men!

Meanwhile Rachel and Alex are driving through the Alma tunnel in Paris on 31st August 1997 when just ahead there is an almighty crash and everything is at a standstill. Alex gets out of the car to see what has happened and returns shortly afterwards with a look of total shock on his face when he tells Rachel that the crash involves Princess Diana and she is in a bad way.

The chapters alternate from Wallis and Mary’s early lives to 1997 in the aftermath of the crash and the coming weeks when the press is full of conspiracy theories as to how and why Diana died. How could Wallis & Mary’s lives have anything in common with Diana?

This is a fantastic story which made me want to read “just one more chapter” so that I could find out what the connection was! The author is such a great historian, who researches her books wonderfully and this one is no exception. I have enjoyed all of Gill Paul’s books, but I really think this is my favourite so far!


To order a copy of Another Woman's Husband click here



Friday, 11 August 2017

** COVER REVEAL **


The Key
by
Kathryn Hughes



From the author of The Secret I am pleased to reveal the cover of Kathryn Hughes' new novel The Key. You will have to wait until next year for this one to be published, but i'm sure it will be worth waiting for!


Published by Headline in April 2018


Tuesday, 8 August 2017

The Wardrobe Mistress
by
Natalie Meg Evans



It's my turn on The Wardrobe Mistress by Natalie Meg Evans Blog Tour and here is my review.


Review

When I saw the cover for this book and the title, I knew straight away I wanted to read it. I haven’t read any of the author’s previous books, but I thought this one would be a great way to start!

One of Vanessa’s earliest memories is her Father taking her to a theatre in London and meeting all the fascinating people who worked there. She vividly remembers a lady called Eva making a huge fuss over her and Eva giving her a key on a chain. At 5 years old, Vanessa has no idea at the time how important the key becomes in revealing the secrets of her identity.

War breaks out and Vanessa finds herself being called up and posted to the other end of the country, which she finds a relief to get away from her difficult mother.

After the war ends, Vanessa feels drawn to the theatre once again and decides to apply for a position at the very theatre her Father used to take her to, as a Wardrobe Mistress. Huge obstacles lie in wait for Vanessa, especially as the post asks for the position to be held by a man with experience and she is neither a man or has any experience!! But with Vanessa’s true grit and determination, she doesn’t let small matters like that get in her way, especially with the new owner who happens to be one of her best friend’s husband!

This is the start of an unravelling amount of secrets and lies which Vanessa has to work out to find her true identity and she also finds out along the way that people aren’t who they really are!

The author must have done a huge amount of thorough research for this book and it clearly shows in the in depth description to detail.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book as I am a true theatre buff and am looking forward to reading more from this author in the future.



To order a copy of The Wardrobe Mistress from Amazon click here

Saturday, 5 August 2017

** COVER REVEAL **

Fatal Masquerade
by
Vivian Conroy



I'm delighted to show you the cover for Fatal Masquerade by Vivian Conroy. I love anything Art Deco, so I love this cover!


Blurb

Lady Alkmene Callender has always loved grand parties, but when she receives an invitation to a masked ball thrown by Franklin Hargrove – oil magnate, aviation enthusiast and father of her best friend, Denise – she’s never seen such luxury. The estate is lit up with Chinese lanterns in the gardens, boats operated by footmen float across the pond and the guest list features the distinguished, rich and powerful!
But below the glamour, evil is lurking. When a dead body is discovered, it forces Lady Alkmene to throw off her mask and attempt to find the true killer before Denise’s family are accused. If only her partner, Jake Dubois, weren’t hiding something from her…
This case might just be more dangerous than either of them could have imagined.



Fatal Masquerade is published on 4th October 2017, but you can pre-order it from Amazon here

Friday, 4 August 2017

How Not to Fall in Love, Actually
By 
Catherine Bennett

Guest Review
by
Julie Williams




Review by Julie Williams


I must start off this review of How Not to fall in Love, Actually by saying what a fun read this is. 

Emma George’s life is chaotic to say the least and contributing to this is her ‘head in the clouds’ boyfriend Ned. 

When Emma discovers that she is pregnant, she makes a brave decision to leave Ned and start a new life for herself. Joe, a drunken stranger, turns up on her doorstep one night and ends up staying not only as her lodger but also as a reliable dependable friend.

I did find that at times Emma could be a bit ‘woe is me’ but nevertheless I thought this novel entertaining and fun packed with plenty of laugh out loud moments to brighten my day.


Publisher: Simon & Schuster


You can order a copy of this book from Amazon by clicking here




Thursday, 27 July 2017

The Secrets of Villa Rosso
by
Linn B Halton
BLOG TOUR
&
COMPETITION



GUEST POST

Writing The Secrets of Villa Rosso – what’s in a name?

With ten full-length novels already published and two more out this year with Harper Impulse - The Secrets of Villa Rosso (21 July 2017) and Christmas at Bay Tree Cottage (Oct 2017), I’ve hit a dilemma. Writer’s block, you might be thinking. But no … with four books due out next year and two of them already written, I’m … struggling for … character names!

My recently-acquired agent pointed out that I’d used the same Christian name for a very prominent character in both of my next two manuscripts, which are currently awaiting edits. Time to slap my own wrist, because the original plan was that they would have different names - one was Nic and one was Sam. But when I began writing the second story the character wanted to be a ‘Nic’ and I changed it. In fact, changing it back again after writing ‘The End’ didn’t seem very wrong, but very right! And then I realised that I have favourite names … oh dear!

Because I don’t plan my storylines but begin with either a simple title (that often changes) or a one-liner idea, as each character appears in the story they sort of dictate their own name, depending on their traits. Which is fine, until I realised that I’m in danger of having my stories littered with Nic, Sam, Ellie, Tom … names I associate with lovely people I know, or have known.

So, I sat down and listed out the names of the characters in every book I’ve written so far. Rather remarkably, there wasn’t as much duplication as I’d feared. All the main characters in each book were different - albeit there were a few side characters named Tom. It’s just such a nice name that makes me think of someone trustworthy and kind, often an older character. That made me laugh - now I was pre-assigning traits to names before the characters had even uttered their first words!

Armed with my master list, I’m going to have to be more inventive in future. How will my characters be affected when I’m expecting them to come up with names that won’t simply jump into my head, or will feel strange to me? Will they revolt? Will they go on strike? And without the comfort of my favourites stalwarts when I need a ‘Tom’, will a ‘Stewart’ or a ‘Marcus’ rise to the challenge and give me that warmth, comfort and sense of trusting that they can develop their role?

Well, I guess that’s something we’ll all find out next year! Wish me luck …

But in the meantime, the cast of The Secrets of Villa Rosso were characters that became firm friends and I’m still missing them, almost one year-on from writing ‘The End’. Some friends stay with you forever and …

Some places stay with you forever…
When Ellie Maddison is sent on a business trip to Southern Italy, she's reminded why she loves her job – set amongst rolling vineyards and rich olive groves, the beautiful Villa Rosso is the perfect escape from her life back home. But what Ellie isn't prepared for is the instant connection she feels to the estate's director Max Johnson, or the secrets they share that are as intertwined as the rambling vines that cover Villa Rosso.
It's not long before Ellie finds herself entangled in the history of the place, trying to understand the undeniable effect Max is having on her. As their relationship grows, what will Ellie discover about this idyllic villa and those who have walked through its doors?
What started as a simple work trip will change Ellie's life forever. 

Linn is rep’d by Sara Keane.

The Secrets of Villa Rosso is available to pre-order now: http://smarturl.it/SecretsofVillaRosso






Genre: Cosy mystery/romance
Release Date:21 July 2017
Publisher: Harper Impulse

The Secrets of Villa Rosso:
Escape to Italy for a summer romance to remember
When Ellie Maddison is sent on a business trip to Southern Italy, she's reminded why she loves her job – set amongst rolling vineyards and rich olive groves, the beautiful Villa Rosso is the perfect escape from her life back home. But what Ellie isn't prepared for is the instant connection she feels to the estate's director Max Johnson, or the secrets they share that are as intertwined as the rambling vines that cover Villa Rosso.

It's not long before Ellie finds herself entangled in the history of the place, trying to understand the undeniable effect Max is having on her. As their relationship grows, what will Ellie discover about this idyllic villa and those who have walked through its doors?

What started as a simple work trip will change Ellie's life forever.

BUY LINKS

Amazon: http://smarturl.it/SecretsofVillaRosso
KOBO: http://ow.ly/2ANQ30bbpBZ


EXTRACT
It isn’t just the sunshine and the electric blue sky, but the musical calls of the countryside that reach out to me. A chorus of low-level sounds play like a soft melody in the background. It’s breathtakingly beautiful and I feel like I’m watching a re-run of a favourite film. I could stand here for a long time simply taking in the detail and with each sweep of my eyes noticing something new.
Spinning around I look back at the villa, taking in the rustic beauty of the stonework and the pale orange-red hue of the sun-bleached roof tiles. This is, quite simply, unreal. It’s a little piece of heaven and, so far removed from my daily life that it’s hard to believe this is on the same planet. The sheer scale of the landscape literally steals your breath away. I’m a mere speck, small and insignificant in the grand scheme nature is presenting to me. But rather bizarrely, it doesn’t feel alien in anyway at all. The vastness isn’t overwhelming, but strangely comforting.
I walk back to a cluster of wooden tables surrounding a small fountain and take a seat. As I dive into my bag to extract some sunglasses, I hear a polite cough and look up at the face staring down at me.
‘Mrs Maddison? I’m Max, Max Johnson. Welcome to Villa Rosso.’
I stand, automatically plastering a pleasant smile on my surprised face as recognition kicks in. I know this man, I mean, I’ve met him before. At least I think I have, but there’s nothing similar reflected back at me, only a warm smile. The sort of smile that radiates out from mysteriously deep, hazel eyes. We shake hands. He’s younger than I expected, probably in his early forties and tall. Six foot something that’s for sure, because I feel he’s towering over me.
‘I’m sorry to disturb you. I just wanted you to know that I’m here at your disposal whenever you are ready to begin. Would you like me to fetch you a coffee so you can sit for a while and enjoy the view?’
Although I knew he was British, his tan and elegant demeanour lend an air of cosmopolitan sophistication. I would not have been at all surprised if he had been Italian. He’s hovering politely and I still haven’t answered him…



ABOUT LINN B HALTON


Bristol-born Linn B Halton lives in the Forest of Dean, in the UK.
"I'm a hopeless romantic, self-confessed chocaholic, and lover of strong coffee. For me, life is about family, friends, writing ... and house renovation! Oh, and the occasional glass of White Grenache..."
An Amazon UK Top 100 best-selling author with A Cottage in the Country in November 2015, Under the Stars and A Little Sugar, A Lot of Love also became best-sellers in 2016 & 2017. Linn's novels have been short-listed in the UK's Festival of Romance and the eFestival of Words Book Awards. Linn won the 2013 UK Festival of Romance: Innovation in Romantic Fiction award.
Linn writes chick lit, women's contemporary fiction and psychic romance for Harper Impulse, Choc Lit and Endeavour Press.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LinnBHaltonAuthor/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/LinnBHalton Goodreads Author Page: http://ow.ly/mk3H30atV5h Website: http://linnbhalton.co.uk/


COMPETITION (no purchase necessary)
A pamper kit (UK ONLY)




a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Mothering Sunday
by
Rosie Goodwin
BLOG TOUR




I have a Q&A with the lovely Rosie Goodwin for you today.


Hi. Thank you so much for agreeing to answer some questions on my blog about your writing.

Firstly, please could you tell readers a little about yourself?
I live with my husband and my five dogs in a very old character house in Hartshill on the outskirts of Nuneaton. I spent many years fostering children for our local authority and also worked as a placement support worker for our area. I now write full time but love gardening and spending time at our lodge at the coast walking my dogs along the beach.

When did you first realise you wanted to be a writer?
I can’t remember a time when I didn’t write. I’ve always loved it but it was my husband who first persuaded me to send some of my work away to see if it was worthy of being published.

What did you do as a job before becoming a writer?
I worked as a full time foster carer and a placement support worker for our local authority and over the years I fostered dozens of children. In my job as a placement support worker I travelled all over Warwickshire running training courses and I was also a qualified NVQ level 3 Assessor.

How do you carry out the research for your novels?
I like to visit the places I am setting the book if possible but also do a lot of research with books and online. I always feel the research is really important, just enough to make the book believable and to achieve the sense of time and place but not too much to make it factual and lose the thread of the storyline.

Which aspects of your writing do you find easiest and most difficult?
I don’t really find any of it difficult. I love all of it, it’s great when I start a book to find my characters coming to life and developing their individual personalities. I grow to love them all, even the baddies and always feel sad when a book is finished and I have to say goodbye to them.

What are your writing routines and where do you do most of your writing?
I don’t really have a set routine, especially in the summer when I love to be out in the garden but I do love writing in the evenings when all the household jobs are done and everywhere is lovely and quiet. All my writing is done in an office up in the attic of our house accessed by a spiral staircase. There is a glorious view of acres and acres of woodland from there but I had to move my desk away from the window because I was spending too much time enjoying watching the wildlife rather than writing.

When you're not writing, what do you like to read?
I read almost anything and everything as long as it’s well written but I’ve always been a huge fan of Catherine Cookson. I think it was her that inspired me to write.

How important do you think social media is to authors in today's society?
Social media is a lovely way to interact with my readers. I love to hear from them and see what they’ve all been up to.

Could you tell the readers a bit about your latest book?
My latest book,Mothering Sunday is set back in time and centres around a child who is left on the steps of the Union workhouse shortly after her birth. I truly loved writing this book and was delighted when it went straight into the Sunday Times bestsellers within days of it being released.

Which of your characters would you most like to be and why?
Oh, there are so many of them! I like characters that can rise above adversity and make their mark on the world but it would be really hard to settle on just one.


Thank you so much for your time in answering my questions.



To order a copy of Mothering Sunday click here

Monday, 24 July 2017

Not Thomas
by
Sara Gethin
BLOG TOUR
&
GIVEAWAY


Today I am delighted to be part of the Blog Tour for Not Thomas by Sara Gethin. I have an extract for you and also a Q&A with the author.

Genre: Fiction
Release Date: 15th June 2017
Publisher: Honno Press

Tomos lives with his mother. He longs to return to another place, the place he thinks of as home, and the people who lived there, but he’s not allowed to see them again. He is five years old and at school, which he loves. Miss teaches him about all sorts of things, and she listens to him. Sometimes he’s hungry and Miss gives him her extra sandwiches. She gives him a warm coat from Lost Property, too. There are things Tomos cannot talk about – except to Cwtchy – and then, just before Easter, the things come to a head. There are bad men outside who want to come in, and Mammy has said not to answer the door. From behind the big chair, Tomos waits, trying to make himself small and quiet. He doesn’t think it’s Santa Claus this time.
When the men break in, Tomos’s world is turned on its head and nothing will be the same again.



BUY LINKS http://www.honno.co.uk/dangos.php?ISBN=9781909983625 https://www.amazon.co.uk/Not-Thomas-Sara-Gethin/dp/1909983624/ https://wordery.com/not-thomas-sara-gethin-9781909983625



EXCERPT
The lady’s here. The lady with the big bag. She’s knocking on the front door. She’s knocking and knocking. And knocking and knocking. I’m not opening the door. I’m not letting her in. I’m behind the black chair. I’m very quiet. I’m very very quiet. I’m waiting for her to go away.
I’ve been waiting a long time.
‘Thomas, Thomas.’ She’s saying it through the letter box.
‘Thomas, Thomas.’
I’m not listening to her. I’m not listening at all. She’s been knocking on the door for a long long time. I’m peeping round the black chair. I’m peeping with one of my eyes. She’s
not by the front door now. She’s by the long window. I can see her shoes. They’re very dirty. If Dat saw those shoes he’d say, ‘There’s a job for my polishing brush’.
She’s stopped knocking. She’s stopped saying ‘Thomas’. She’s very quiet. The lady can’t see me. I’m behind the big black chair. And I’ve pulled my feet in tight.
‘Thomas?’ she says. ‘Thomas?’ I’m not answering. ‘I know you’re in there. Just come to the window, sweetheart. So I can see you properly.’
I’m staying still. I’m not going to the window. I’m waiting for her to go back to her car. It’s a green car. With a big dent in it. If I hide for a long time she’ll go. She’ll get back in her car and drive away. She’s knocking. And knocking again.
She’s saying ‘Thomas.’ And knocking and knocking again.
‘Thomas.’
That is not my name.


Q&A

Hi. Thank you so much for agreeing to answer some questions on my blog about your writing.

It’s a pleasure.

Firstly, please could you tell readers a little about yourself?
Well, just to be confusing, I have two identities. I write for adults as Sara Gethin but in real life my name is Wendy White. I grew up in Llanelli in west Wales, and for some reason I can’t now remember, I studied philosophy and theology at uni, even though I loved English. After trying out Berkshire and Brussels for a little while, my husband, Simon, and I settled back in Wales. We have two grown up children.
I began writing for children under my real name four years ago, and was fortunate enough to win an award for my first book. My children’s writing is light-hearted but ‘Not Thomas’, my novel for adults, is dark. My editor and I decided that using a pen name would keep my two styles of writing separate – and I’d always fancied having a pseudonym!

When did you first realise you wanted to be a writer?
I day-dreamed about being an author as a child and had lots of half-finished stories in my collection of notebooks. I loved the local library and spent every Saturday afternoon choosing books as slowly as I could just so I could spend as much time as possible there. I couldn’t imagine anything more wonderful than making up stories for a living.

What did you do as a job before becoming a writer?
I actually worked in the children’s library I loved so much as a child for a little while, which was just fantastic. Then I trained as a primary school teacher and I absolutely adored teaching. Unfortunately, though, I had to give it up in my early forties due to a heart problem, and that gave me the opportunity to turn to writing, so my cloud really did have a silver lining.

How do you carry out the research for your novels?
I’m not the kind of writer who enjoys doing lots of detailed research before I start a project. I write first then research as the need arises.
My new novel, ‘Not Thomas’, is about child neglect and I based some of the situations Tomos, the main character, finds himself in on the experiences of children I taught and heard about when I was a teacher. My first teaching post was in a very disadvantaged area, and the problems I witnessed and heard about left a lasting impression on me. In a way, my life as a teacher became my research for ‘Not Thomas’.

Which aspects of your writing do you find easiest and most difficult?
I love creating the story in my head, maybe for a year or sometimes much longer, before I start typing it up. That’s one of the easiest parts, along with revising or editing. Actually sitting down and tapping the keyboard – that’s the most difficult part for me. That’s the part where the beautiful story in my head might turn out to be terrible on paper!
What are your writing routines and where do you do most of your writing?
I can’t be creative in the morning – my brain just won’t work creatively until after lunch. So mornings are for emails and admin, and then I’ll write from the afternoon into the evening.
I like to sit at my laptop at the kitchen table, but I do have a lovely writing shed that I should make more use of - and a tiny, windowless home office I use when I have a really urgent deadline.

When you're not writing, what do you like to read?
I tend to choose contemporary fiction, and I occasionally read historical and crime novels too. I try to keep up with what’s new, and I average about a book and a half a week. I’m enjoying the novels of my fellow Honno authors too.

How important do you think social media is to authors in today's society?
If you’d asked me before I had my first book published in 2013, I’d have said not very. Now I know better!
Social media is extremely important and because ‘Not Thomas’ has just come out, I’m spending quite a lot of time on twitter and Facebook. It’s a wonderful way to connect with readers, and I’ve also had a few exciting opportunities for magazine and newspaper reviews that began as messages on social media.

Could you tell the readers a bit about your latest book?
‘Not Thomas’ is about a five-year-old boy called Tomos who’s been removed from his lovely foster parents, Nanno and Dat, and sent to live with his mum. She’s hiding a drug addiction and doesn’t look after for him properly. Her drug-dealing boyfriend, Brick, often stays over and the men he owes money to call round causing trouble. Tomos misses Nanno and Dat terribly and longs to be back in the place he calls home.
The novel follows him from Christmas to Easter and while reviewers have said it’s a sad book, it’s also been called ‘ultimately uplifting’. I wanted to show what neglect feels like to a child, so it’s written from the viewpoint of Tomos himself, in his five-year-old voice, a little like Emma Donoghue’s ‘Room’.

Which of your characters would you most like to be and why?
It would be wonderful to be Lowri, Tomos’s teacher, as I’d love to have a class of my own again.

Is there anything else you would have liked to be asked?
Maybe: “How long did it take you to write ‘Not Thomas’?”
I used to be embarrassed to answer that question, but now I think it proves you should never give up on your dreams.
I started ‘Not Thomas’ in 2001, and wrote it slowly over a fourteen year period, just a scene every few months. I didn’t believe it would ever be published as it’s written from the viewpoint of a very young child. Then Emma Donoghue published ‘Room’ in 2010, and like so many other readers, I loved its child’s viewpoint. It made me believe there might also be hope for my novel – so I speeded up, finished ‘Not Thomas’ and approached a publisher. I’m delighted it’s finally been published, and I hope readers will care about little Tomos as much as I do.

Thank you so much for your time in answering my questions.


ABOUT SARA GETHIN


Sara Gethin is the pen name of Wendy White. She grew up in Llanelli and studied theology and philosophy at Lampeter, the most bijoux of universities. Her working life has revolved around children – she’s been a childminder, an assistant in a children’s library and a primary school teacher. She also writes children’s books as Wendy White, and her first, ‘Welsh Cakes and Custard’, won the Tir nan-Og Award in 2014. Her own children are grown up now, and while home is still west Wales, she and her husband spend much of their free time across the water in Ireland. ‘Not Thomas’ is her first novel for adults. 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SaraGethinWriter/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/sgethinwriter Blog: www.saragethin.com Website: www.saragethin.com




GIVEAWAY
3 e-copies (International) & 3 paperbacks (UK only)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

The Art of Hiding
by
Amanda Prowse

Guest Review 
by
Julie Williams



Guest Review by Julie Williams

I always look forward to Amanda Prowse latest novel as I have grown to know that I am in for a treat and The Art of Hiding certainly lived up to that.

The main character Nina shows strength, guts and courage when her life is turned upside down at the sudden death of her beloved husband Finn. 

Nina had been leading a charmed life since marrying Finn, a big house in a sought after area, numerous holidays, beautiful clothes, private school for their sons Connor and Declan, she didn’t want for anything. All their lives changes so rapidly after Finn’s death that Nina and her sons are not only left grieving for a man they adore but also they are left shell shocked when their lives are forced into the complete opposite of what they are used to. 

My heart went out to the boys especially and I thought the way Nina coped with the bereavement was truly admirable. 

This story is not just about grief and life changes but also family relationships past and present.

Thank you Amanda for another fabulous read your talent is endless. 

My thanks to NetGalley for the ARC.



You can order a copy of The Art of Hiding here


Published on Kindle 18th July 2017 and paperback on 22nd August 2017.



Saturday, 15 July 2017

Her Last Breath
by
Tracy Buchanan
Blog Tour
Q&A


and 
Guest Review 
by
Julie Williams



I love this authors previous books and cannot wait to get my teeth stuck into this one, but in the meantime I have the author's Q&As for you and also a guest review by Julie Williams, who beat me to reading it!!


Author Q&A

Firstly, please could you tell readers a little about yourself?

Thank you for inviting me on! I’m the author of four ‘beach noir’ novels with HarperCollins, something I now do full-time. I live just outside Milton Keynes with my husband, our sassy four year old daughter and our cheeky puppy, Bronte.

When did you first realise you wanted to be a writer?
From a very early age! I would come up with little stories, even create character scrapbooks from my mum’s catalogues. My daughter is now the same so maybe we have another novelist in the making!

What did you do as a job before becoming a writer?
I worked on social media at The Open University where I was involved in managing the university’s Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts. I loved it, was such a varied role and gave me an insight into what works and what doesn’t on social media. I really love the OU and its core values, great place to work! But being an author is what I always wanted to do full-time so here I am!


How do you carry out the research for your novels?
I love to watch documentaries and am on the internet a lot doing research, social media is really useful too. I also visit places to get a sense of location. I used to edit a travel magazine so went on lots of media trips, here in the UK and abroad, and I took notes which have come in really handy. For HER LAST BREATH, I watched documentaries and YouTube videos about landslides, and also followed lots of clean eating gurus to get an insight into that world as the main character Estelle is a clean eating blogger. I even went on a ‘clean eating’ diet. It was a bit too restrictive for me, but I have carried over some tips, like healthy made-from-scratch ‘pot noodles’ and overnight oats!
Which aspects of your writing do you find easiest and most difficult?
I really enjoy working on a new idea, it’s like when you fall in love for the first time, that exciting initial burst of excitement! I find the mid-point of a draft the most difficult, when you start to lose a bit of momentum and can get into plot tangles.


What are your writing routines and where do you do most of your writing?
I’m blessed enough to be able to write full-time. So each day, I head to my gorgeous office (one wall is dedicated to a forest scene so feels like I’m writing in a forest!) and
tend to get admin and publicity, like this article, done in the morning. After lunch, I focus on writing and don’t look up until my little girl returns from pre-school.

When you're not writing, what do you like to read?
I enjoy novels set in interesting locations with thriller undertones, so love authors such as Lucy Clarke, Charity Norman and the US writer, Anita Shreve. I’m currently reading Lie With Me by Sabine Durrant and really enjoyed The Girl Before by JP Delaney.


How important do you think social media is to authors in today's society?
It’s fantastic for connecting with readers and other authors. The walls between authors and readers have been broken down by social media and that’s just wonderful. I have some great conversations with readers via social media.

Could you tell the readers a bit about your latest book?
Her Last Breath is about Estelle, a food blogger whose perfect life begins to unravel after receiving a photo of a missing teenager along with a chilling note: I’m watching you. I know everything about you. It leads her back to the seaside town she once lived in which is on the brink of collapse after landslides, uncovering a web of secrets and lies.


Which of your characters would you most like to be and why?
I like Aiden in Her Last Breath. He’s a rock climber and works outdoors, no ties. There’s a sense of freedom with that.

Thank you so much for your time in answering my questions.


Guest review by Julie Williams


Talk about opening a can of worms – that is exactly what Estelle does when she returns to her foster parents in the coastal town of Lillysands, a place she thought she would never set foot in again. 

After receiving a rather worryingly postcard and discovering that the child she put up for adoption many years ago is now missing, Estelle decides she owes it to the father to let him know about Poppy’s existence before the police do. 

Soon after leaving her home in London we discover the awful childhood she endured and what her life was like with her foster parents Max and Autumn, son Aidan and Alice.

All is not as it seems with most of the characters which had me guessing throughout the book. A great gripping read that gives you plenty to think about along the way. Well done Tray on another fabulous thrilling read.


Thanks to Net Galley for the ARC , these are my thoughts on Her Last Breath.


To order a copy of Her Last Breath from Amazon click here