Character interview: Sukie McLaren from Rock ‘n’ Roll Lovestyle

Synopsis

So who exactly is Sukie McClaren?

A Christmas-loving Cat lover? A Sound of Music Fanatic? A Fiercely Independent Woman?

She is all of the above. And when she is sent to Salzburg for a business trip a few weeks before Christmas, she thinks all her dreams have come true. As she packs her suitcase, the only things on her mind are Christmas markets, lots of snow and finally seeing the Doh-Ray-Me steps. Becoming the new best friend of the world’s hottest rock-star doesn’t even get a look in.

Pete Wallace is a reclusive, reluctant, rock-star and the world’s Number One, best-selling, male solo artist. It’s been three years since his last tour and he’s now preparing to go back on the road again. A week in Salzburg, schmoozing with the music press, is one of his worst nightmares. 

He can’t wait for it to be over.

When Pete and Sukie meet, it is the beginning of a beautiful friendship. Lonely for too long, he begins to remember how it feels to be happy and, for the first time in six years, Christmas feels special again. 

Eduardo di Santo however, whose kid sister suffered life-changing injuries at a Pete Wallace concert, is all set on getting revenge. When Pete’s new tour is announced, he begins to make his plans. Plans that will culminate in Pete’s demise.

Will Pete and Sukie’s new friendship die before it has a chance to flourish?

A Christmas tale full of love, laughter, friendship and revenge.

Character Interview

Sound of Music….Really?? What is it about the Sound Of Music that you love so much?

My parents split up when I was seven years old and my dad moved to Australia. I haven’t seen him since. My first Christmas without him was really hard and I couldn’t understand why he wasn’t with us. I remember my mum sitting me on the sofa with a big tin of sweeties on my lap. She sat on one side of me and my grand-mother sat on the other. My grand-dad was on the chair at the side. The Sound of Music came on the television and we all tried to sing along to it. My grand-dad kept making up silly words when he didn’t know the correct ones. It really cheered me up and helped me cope with the change in my life. Every year after that, my mum and grand-parents would sit and watch it and it became a little family tradition. When my grand-parents passed away, mum and I continued to watch it every year. It has very special memories for me. The great music and wonderful scenery are added bonuses.  

If someone offered you a gorgeous new kitten but on the condition that you could never watch the sound of music again what would you do?

I would have to politely decline. My family memories are far too precious to me. Even for the most smunchiest, cuddliest, gorgeous little kitten.

Have you been to many Christmas Markets?  What’s the best thing you brought from one?

I’ve been to a few in the UK – The Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park in London, Lincoln, Birmingham, Buxton, Chatsworth, Nottingham and, later this year, Stratford-upon-Avon. In Europe, I’ve only had the pleasure of seeing some of the Austrian markets in Innsbruck, Seefeld and, of course, Salzburg. The best thing I have bought is my Nutcracker men which came from Salzburg.

What drew you to Pete Wallace?

(Pauses…) His vulnerability. When people live in the public eye, it’s all too easy to forget that they are human beings. We put them on pedestals. Pete had found out the hard way that many people take advantage of you when you’re famous and it has left him very distrustful. As such, he had very few friends and was lonely. As I got to know him better, I found him to be a really kind, caring and funny man.

When people learn your story what do you want people to take away from your adventure?

That, no matter what, we should never be scared to follow our heart. So many opportunities are missed because we’re too scared to make the leap, too worried about looking foolish or aren’t prepared to make the compromises that will help us to overcome the obstacles in our way. You only have one life so grab every opportunity you can to laugh, to live and to love.

About the Author

Kiltie grew up in Scotland, Glasgow to be precise. A very unique city with a very unique way of looking at life. When she was old enough to do so, she moved to London and then, after several years of obtaining interesting experiences -which are finding their way into her writing – she moved up to the Midlands.

She currently lives in Staffordshire with five cats and one husband. The cats kindly allow her and her husband to share their house on the condition they keeps paying the mortgage!

Her little home is known as Moggy Towers, even though despite having plenty of moggies, there are no towers!

She loves reading, watching movies, and visiting old castles. She really dislikes going to the gym!

Her biggest desire is that one day she can give up the day job and write her stories for a living.

Kiltie first began writing ‘A Rock ‘n’ Roll Lovestyle’ over ten years ago. The project was shelved on Chapter Seventeen as she felt the story wasn’t flowing as she would like it to.

In her own words “The images in my head would not come out of my fingers!” Fast forward to November 2016 when, having finished reading Lizzie’s Christmas Escape by Christie Barlow, she read more about the author and was inspired with how Christie herself came to be a best-selling author.

In that thunderbolt moment, Kiltie knew – with a deep certainty- that she needed to reacquaint herself with ‘A Rock ‘n’ Roll Lovestyle’ and begin writing again. She did this in January 2017 and found the words flowed faster than she could type them. Finally, the time was right for her to write her novel.

Her determination to finish what she had started all those years ago was absolute and the first draft was completed on Sunday 16th April 2017.

Since beginning to write again, the ideas have not stopped flowing. She has begun typing up her second book, ‘Of All the Unlikely Places’, and book three (not yet titled) has been worked out and is waiting in the wings for its turn in the spotlight.

She currently has a further ten plots and ideas stored in her file (it’s costing a fortune in USB drives as each story has its own memory stick!) and the ideas still keep on coming.

She now lives her life around the following three quotes:
“I love having weird dreams, they’re great fodder for book plots!”
“Why wait for your ship to come in when you can swim out to meet it?”
“Old enough to know better, young enough not to care!”

Website / Facebook / Twitter

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Extract: Live like you give a F**k by Nicola Findlay

Live Like You Give A F**K!

The No Nonsense Philosophy for Smart Girls who Want to Smash It!

Boss a bitch? Diet a hot mess? Broke after payday? Ghosted on tinder?

If life feels like a constant hangover why not take five f**king minutes for yourself to decide what you really want. Slam on the brakes, kick off your heels and unplug from the social media circus.

Stop Surviving – Start Thriving

Live Like You Give A F**K will show you how to create the future you want, not the one that’s been shoved down your throat. It will shake and wake you from the hypnosis of modern living. The triple shot of empowerment, confidence and motivation will unleash the badass in you.

Nicola Findlay is the straight-talking, bold, coaching diva who isn’t afraid to tell it like it is. If you ask her advice about your lame partner she’ll give you a bitch slap, tell you to raise your standards and get rid of that loser.

She’s your best friend, your enemy, your punchbag and your cheerleader. Some people call her a diva, some people call her a badass bitch but whichever you decide you will get results.

WARNING: If you’re afraid of a few swear words on a page put this book down and go cry to your Mama. I’m not here to offend anyone.  I’m here to tell you how to rock your world, and because I’m so passionate about it I’ll be shouting and swearing from the rooftops.

Purchase from Barnes & Noble

Extract

Our assumptions, values and beliefs are the way we view and judge ourselves and other people which then informs our outlook on the world. Our unique outlook on the world then influences how we behave, think and act. Some of these influences will be positive and help you to grow while others will hold you back and inhibit you; these shitty ones are called limiting beliefs. We have personal beliefs about all the different areas of our own lives which usually start with words like I’m too young, old, I’m rubbish at, I can’t, or I’m not. We also have global beliefs about everything outside of ourselves such as politics, money, work, relationships and pretty much anything else you can think of.

For example, as a child you were witness to your parents’ marriage. And they may have had a happily ever after kind of relationship, or they shouted and screamed until they got divorced kind of relationship. What you witnessed in that time will have subconsciously influenced your current view of marriage which has now in adulthood become your belief.

The freaking scary thing is you’re not consciously aware of your beliefs and you believe them to be true even if they’re not, so watch out for your own #fakenews. Our beliefs are very subtle and are affecting how we deal with our grown up ass lives and often they just don’t serve us well anymore.

Why do these beliefs even exist? During your formative years you adopted your perceptions, values and beliefs about the big wide world from your parents, carers, teachers, family and just about anyone who influenced you during that time.

Some of our childhood beliefs were designed to protect us; hands up who heard ‘don’t talk to strangers’? Yet others were based on our upbringings, social backgrounds and our carers’ prejudices and beliefs about the world. The things Beliefs 21

they believed to be true. Some parents had beliefs that their children should be seen and not heard. If you grew up in that environment it may influence how you now behave as an adult, you just may not be conscious of it.

Many of my clients have subconscious values and beliefs about relationships, money, sex, what career they ‘should’ do, what they think they’re good and bad at, but understanding this concept is the first step in cutting this crap out of your life and creating awesome beliefs that will work with you not against you.

Knock out your limiting beliefs before they take you in the next round.

 

Think of a limiting belief like a nasty little bitch that lives in your mind. Every time you want to move forward in life, to stretch yourself or to attempt something amazing and new she is there with her stink attitude telling you why you can’t do it.

Do not pay attention to her, do not entertain her, do not give that bitch the time of day. Starve her ass out of your system because she was sent here on a mission from the dark side to totally fuck you up and hold you back. She thinks she’s protecting you from failure and pain but oh no, she’s keeping you small and from realising your fullest potential. Just when you think; ‘Yeah that’s an awesome idea I’m going to step into my greatness’, here she comes with her negative attitude and backchat, with all the reasons why you can’t do something or why your idea won’t work. And then what happens? You listen to her bullshit and don’t take action.

Don’t get me wrong, she sometimes manages to wrangle her way into my mind when I’m doing something challenging. This is an example of what ‘Sandra’ (yes, give the bitch a name, it makes it easier to deal with her and very satisfying to tell her to fuck off!) said to me when I was about to pitch my audio programmes to an online company a few years ago.

“Oh, so you really think you’re going to get a deal with Audible and Apple iTunes. REALLY?! You?!! You’re a nobody. Who is going to want to listen to what you’ve got to say. No one will care about what you think. In fact, I wouldn’t even waste your time pitching the idea, I’d just give up now and save yourself the embarrassment.”

So, as you can see, it ain’t much fun having a Sandra lurking around. The best thing you can do is turn that bitch into a beast who’s going to make you ROAR!!

About the author:

Nicola Findlay, a former British Airways air stewardess, is a qualified neurolinguistic practitioner and accredited international coach with over a decade of experience. She runs personal group workshops, 1-2-1 coaching and corporate training working with companies such as Specsavers and Stella & Dot. Previously she managed the Brighton branch of Life Clubs where she ran weekly personal development workshops with different themes each week before starting her own company The Coaching Diva in 2015. In 2018 she is planning a series of live events in London and New York including; Attracting Mr Right and Live Like You Give A F**K! Nicola lives with her 7 year old daughter and husband in Surrey, England

Website – https://www.nicolafindlay.co.uk/

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/nicolafindlaytcd/

 

Review: How I Magically Messed Up My Life In Four Freakin Days by Meghan O’Russell

Synopsis

ver wanted to grow a five-story tall flower in central park? How about fight a deadly battle under the subway tunnels of Manhattan?

Don’t worry. I never wanted to either. But if you’re ever being chased by ladies made of mist and you have to save the girl with the sparkly eyes you’ve never had the guts to say actual words to, there’s an app for that.

I found a magic cell phone, opened an app I shouldn’t have, burned down the set shop for my high school’s theatre, and it was all downhill from there. A drag queen seer who lives under a bridge is my only hope for keeping my mom alive, and I think the cops might be after me for destroying my dad’s penthouse.

But it gets better! Now I’m stuck being the sidekick to the guy who got me into this mess in the first place. It’ll be a miracle if I survive until Monday.

Review

Bryant Adams spends his life feeling out of place and awkward. His best friend is more attractive and outgoing than him, his Mum is the most popular teacher at his school and his Dad is a millionaire. Bryant however is decidedly average…until he starts to develop some pretty unusual skills.

The best thing about YA fiction is that it is full of typical teenage angst and frustration and this is no exception. Wether he is chasing mythical creatures or evading death, all that really matters is will Bryant ever build up enough courage to ask out the girl of his dreams.

A well written, light hearted Autumnal read, perfect for an October evening curled up at home. The book is set up perfectly for a sequel and leaves you wanting to know what’s next for the heroic trio.

Jessica

Disclosure: The Pursuit Of Bookiness received a copy of this book free of charge in return for an honest review.  All opinions are our own

Blitz: Enchant by Micalea Smeltzer

Enchant
Micalea Smeltzer
(The Enchanted Series #1)
Publication date: November 17th 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Mara Pryce never imagined that her life was anything but normal and then a strange gray-eyed young man appears at her graduation. When he vanishes without a trace, she’s convinced he’s a figment of her imagination. Then he appears again and shatters her whole world.

Mara is an enchanter, part of an ancient line of Wiccan power, and a war is raging—one of good and evil—between the Enchanted and the Iniquitous.

The Iniquitous want her dead and it’s Theodore’s job as her protector to keep her safe.

When Mara and Theodore arrive at a safe house, where Mara will remain hidden while learning about her powers, they find that the real threat might be a little closer to home than they want to believe.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks

 

Author Bio:

Hi. I’m Micalea. Ma-call-e-uh. Weird name, I know. My mom must’ve known I was going to be odd even in the womb. I’ve written a lot of books. Like a lot. Don’t ask me how many, I don’t remember at this point. I have an unhealthy addiction to Diet Coke but I can’t seem to break the habit. I listen to way too much music and hedgehogs have taken over my life. Crazy is the word that best sums up my life, but it’s the good kind of crazy and I wouldn’t change it for anything.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

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Special Needs Children’s Book Helps Parents Talk To Kids About Kindness And Empathy

Helen Hipp, author of children’s book A Different Kind of Safari, recognised as one of the top ten autism books by Special Needs Book Review, and the Rosie and Friends adventure series, announced her second book in the series will be released on November 13, World Kindness Day.

A series written for ages four and up led by Rosie the pink Hippo, Rosie and Friends: One-Of-A-Kindness, is a value tale that helps children learn to appreciate themselves and others for their differences. Opening up conversation in a positive way, Hipp’s books offer hope and insight, that can help parents talk about difficult issues in their child’s world. The discovery book series provides children with the opportunity to identify, understand and feel supported by the characters handling similar fears, interests and concerns.

“Rosie and Friends helps children to understand their uniqueness is not a weakness,” states Hipp, “and that they should be encouraged to celebrate the positives of being different.”

About Rosie and Friends

The Rosie Adventure series are unique books, inspired by a once-in-a-lifetime trip led by the author’s father to Africawith her 14-year old son Ray, who has special needs. Helen Hipp has created a very effective way to teach children the value of seeing things as they appear compared to how they really are. She presents the issue of being different from other children in a way that children can relate to and understand – how to find happiness in spite of the challenges everyone faces.

ABOUT HELEN HIPP

Helen gained first-hand experience with autism helping her son face his unique challenges., and overcoming the barriers to finding adequate services for her son. Helen holds an M.A. in counselling, and is a certified psychotherapist and life coach at WithinULifeCoaching.com, focusing on individuals with special needs and their families.

 

Review: Trader Down by

Synopsis

‘If this program is run, it will destroy this bank as surely as a neutron bomb.’

A chilling financial thriller that brings home the true threat of cyber terrorism, perfect for fans of Stephen Frey and Robert Harris’ The Fear Index

A terrifying look at what would happen to the world if the banking infrastructure was entirely destroyed, written by longest-standing ex-CIO of RBS Global Markets 

Inspired by 20 years’ experience, Norman reveals the real world behind the trading floors: the greed, the politics, and the relentless pressure to perform.

London – Chris Peters loves his work: the excitement of the trading floor, the impossible deadlines and the constant challenge of the superfast computers in his care. But the dream turns sour as mysterious meltdowns begin to hit datacentres across the grid and a true banking collapse threatens. Desperately trying to hold his marriage together as systems crash and traders turn on him, Chris must uncover the sinister truth before chaos is unleashed…

Yemen – When Zahra’s father fails to return from a work trip to Dubai, she is sure there is a simple explanation… until gruesome warnings arrive on the doorstep. As the threats become more violent Zahra’s family are thrown into a desperate race to pay off their father’s captors. But how far will her family go to meet the abductors’ demands?

About the Author

“The world has experienced cyber-warfare since the 1980s and built up elaborate defences against external attacks.  The elephant in the room is treason – an attack from within. Every week we see the devastating effect of accidental IT errors on airlines and banks and phone companies.  A determined insider could create mayhem on a different scale entirely.  Without its hundreds of systems, a major bank would sink as swiftly as the Titanic, leaving its customers without cash, wages, cards, loans and repayments – and threatening the entire financial system. 

“It is difficult to convey the terror and mind numbing panic that accompanies the simple words ‘The trading floor is down.’  During my 20 years in the financial markets, I experienced that fear many times.  When you read Trading Down, I hope you will share it, and also glimpse the brutal, high pressure world behind the slick images of traders and trading floors that you see on the news.”  Stephen Norman

Stephen Norman spent 20 years at the forefront of investment banking IT, facing industry turbulence, from the rise and fall of the dotcoms, the destruction of 911 and the banking collapse of 2008. He has worked in financial centres across the world – from London and New York, to Hong Kong and Tokyo – and has fulfilled a range of high powered roles including Chief Technology Officer at Merrill Lynch and an unusually long 7 year stint as CIO of RBS Global Markets. In 2012, he left the world of finance to focus on his writing. Trading Down is Stephen’s first novel.

Review

A gripping novel that takes the reader through a roller coaster of a story.  Fast paced and rapidly evolving story line keeps you turning the page.  The author is very adept at ensuring that the reader remains engaged with the key characters but also develops a number of sub-plots with the other characters that keeps the reader guessing how the story will unfold.

Two distinct story lines run in parallel with a number of twists and turns, keeping the reader wondering and guessing as to how the stories inter-link with a subtle twist at the end – albeit if you follow the story closely, one which becomes apparent as the characters evolve.

The only criticism, if there is one, is that the book progresses at a rapid pace without the overall story progressing.  In hindsight this was necessary but at times proved frustrating; however, without the sub-plots being developed, the final twist would not have been as gripping.

A great book that is written well, this book is a fantastic read and kept me fully immersed throughout.  I’d highly recommend this book to fans of ‘who dunnit’ books as there is plenty to keep you guessing throughout.

Reviewed By Nick

Trading Down by Stephen Norman is out now, published by Endeavour Press

 

Review: The Girl in The Glass Box by Andi Adams

 

 

 

Synopsis

A witch. An apple. A mirror. That’s all most people think of when they recall the story of Snow White. But the truth is rarely so simple. What if the Queen wasn’t born evil and the princess wasn’t always so pure of heart? Is it possible that these two women could have ended up in one another’s place?

The Girl in the Glass Box tells the story of Agrippine and Genevieve, two women who are not all that different, but who quickly learn through a series of choices, encounters, and devastating losses that the course of their fates can change in an instant. Through the influences of the people they love and lose, both are redefined as their stories head for a different sort of happily-ever-after.

Review

A dark adaptation of the classical fairy tale Snow White. The plot differs from the traditional tale as do the characters.  There is the evil Queen, beautiful Princess and handsome Prince but non are as you expect them to be. The characters are very unpredictable; which make the read more exciting.

The book invited me to develop a connection with both of the main characters Agrippine (the Queen) and Genevieve (Snow white). To my surprise they are very different yet very similar.

The tale begins with Agrippines own story allowing us to understand the reasons behind her dark choices and the fate that led her to become the evil Queen and step mother to Genevieve.  The rest of the story quickly unravels into a spiral of love and devastation.

There are small similarities throughout the book to the original tale but this version continuously shocked me with the twists and changes of events throughout.

This is not your typical happily ever after fairy tale as there are elements of romance but more heartache and hatred.

This book made a good read from start to finish. I found the final chapter provided the shock of element and surprise but was slightly disappointed how the chapter closed. I feel the writer should have ended the story sooner at the moment when Agrinnine realized she was still not the most beautiful of all.

Reviewed By: Jessica

Disclosure:  The Pursuit Of Bookiness received a copy of this book free of charge in return for an honest review.  All opinions are our own.

Douglas Wells interviewed by His Better Self

I’d like to introduce you to the Author Douglas Wells, I have had the pleasure of reading his most

recent Satirical piece, The Secret Of All Secrets a great fun poke at the establishment!

 

I have also had the please of getting to know Douglas a bit better through our emails about his book and I present to you today an interview with Douglas by his better self.

 

 

Interviewer: How would you describe your work?

Wells: Demented, but in a good way.

Interviewer: Where did the idea of The Secrets of All Secrets come from?

Wells: Firstly, so that readers won’t think I’m an insufferable prig, I’m going to ignore your dangling preposition. Secondly, there’s this troll who lives under my bed. He found a USB drive under there, which gave me the idea.

Interviewer: A troll lives under your bed? What does he eat?

Wells: Your dreams if you give them to him, and he’s responsible for hiding my car keys and sunglasses just before I’m about to leave the house.

Interviewer: One of the themes in your novel is “what is the meaning of life.” Why is that important to you?

Wells: That’s an interesting question.

Interviewer: When someone responds to a question by saying, “That’s an interesting question,” it usually means he or she doesn’t have an answer.

Wells: Wait a cotton pickin’ minute there, Bub. I said it’s an interesting question because it implied that you aren’t concerned with the meaning of life. Is that true?

Interviewer: Uh, I’m the one asking the questions here.

Wells: You got me there.

Interviewer: So, why is knowing the meaning of life important to you?

Wells: Since you asked, I have to confess I put it in the book because, since time immemorial, to coin a phrase, humankind has obsessed over this question, but there’s no definitive answer to what is the meaning of life, which means if I don’t reveal what the meaning of life is, I’m off the hook. No one else knows, either.

Interviewer: That’s pretty profound.

Wells: It’s what I get paid for.

Interviewer: Do you think writers should embrace politics in their work?

Wells: I wouldn’t embrace politics or politicians anywhere, especially politicians. And don’t shake hands with one. You might not get that hand back.

Interviewer: Well, The Secrets of All Secrets seems to cast you as left-leaning.

Wells: If so, I didn’t intend it.

Interviewer: After all, one of the book’s epigraphs is a quote by Karl Marx.

Wells: No. It’s by Harpo Marx. His witticism are priceless.

Interviewer: Wasn’t Harpo the silent Marx brother?

Wells: Exactly. You know, brevity is the soul of wit and all.

Interviewer: Then why is the epigraph attributed to Karl Marx?

Wells: I dunno. Printer’s error.

Interviewer: Yes, I see. Let’s move on, shall we? How would you describe your work ethic?

Wells: Eat, drink, write, drink, write some more, nap, drink, write some more, eat, drink, sleep.

Interviewer: When you say “drink,” does that mean alcohol?

Wells: Duuuuuuhh!

Interviewer: Does alcohol improve your writing?

Wells: No, but it improves my mood.

Interviewer: Your novel lampoons many American character types. Why is that?

Wells: Hey, man. All you have to do is look around.

Interviewer: Right. The book satirizes corporate America, the government, and extremist groups. Why these three in particular?

Wells: One: they’re low-hanging fruit. Two: they’re the three entities that Americans fear and loathe the most.

Interviewer: One of the most quirky characters in your book is Speque, the grandiloquent, courtly hit man with a Ph.D. What does he represent?

Wells: I believe it was D.H. Lawrence who said, “Trust the tale, not the teller,” so my interpretation is no more accurate than yours. I will, however, give my slant on it. Speque is particularly American in that he is two sides of the American character: the educated, scholarly professor who deals in the fictional depictions of violence, and the hired gun who makes it a reality. American culture pays little heed to intellectuals but is fascinated by killers. I mean, how many movies have you seen that featured an educated, articulate person as the hero versus how many movies have you seen that features a skilled gunman as the hero?

Interviewer:  I saw Speque as simply a southern whack job with flowery manners and a penchant for aphorisms.

Wells: Interpretation is nine tenths of the law.

Interviewer: It is interesting that Speque comes from academia, like you do as a Professor of English. Do you think there are real Speques in your profession?

Wells: Oh, more than you can possibly imagine.

Interviewer: What do you want readers to take away from your book?

Wells: As long as they don’t take away the book without paying for it, mainly I want them to laugh and recognize the world I have created.

Interviewer: Who are some of your favorite writers?

Wells: Snoopy, Tolstoy, Dr. Seuss, Groucho Marx, and the guy who wrote “Novel Writing for Dummies,” or is that “Novel Writing is for Dummies?” I think a lot of writers would agree with the latter title.

Interviewer: Wait a minute, did you say Snoopy? You mean the dog in “Peanuts?”

Wells: Yep. Have you ever read his work?

Interviewer: Can’t say that I have.

Wells: You should. He’s got “It was a dark and stormy night” nailed.

Interviewer: But Snoopy and Tolstoy together? That is odd.

Wells: Therein you have the yin and yang of Literature.

Interviewer: Many writers have an overall vision about the world which appears throughout their work. What is your vision?

W ells: About 20/70. Okay, that’s a joke, which the world often resembles, but seriously, everyone out there in reader land probably has at least some notion that the world is crazy, that 6 is 9, that our leaders don’t have a clue, that good doesn’t always triumph over evil, that idiots often get promoted over smart people, that love doesn’t always last forever, that there is no such thing as fairness, that our culture obsessively celebrates and worships the trivial, but that if there is any such thing as truth, you will find it in books.

Interviewer: Whoa, Nelly. That’s not only one helluva vision, it’s one helluva sentence.

Wells: Just wait until I get going.

Interviewer: Right, well, um, on that note, we’ll conclude this interview. One last thing, though. What is your advice to writers struggling to finish their work and get published?

Wells: Eat, drink, write, drink, write some more, nap, drink, write some more, eat, drink, sleep. Oh, yeah, and it really helps if you can live with rejection.

 

*Yeah, all right. I interviewed myself, but I still think it’s scintillating.

Douglas is a Professor of English at Gulf Coast State College in Panama City, Florida. He is the father of two grown sons, and he lives with his wife and two cats in Panama City Beach.

Review: The Gustav Sonata by Rose Tremain

 

Synopsis

Gustav Perle grows up in a small town in Switzerland, where the horrors of the Second World War seem only a distant echo. An only child, he lives alone with Emilie, the mother he adores but who treats him with bitter severity. He begins an intense friendship with a Jewish boy his age, talented and mercurial Anton Zweibel, a budding concert pianist. The novel follows Gustav’s family, tracing the roots of his mother’s anti-Semitism and its impact on her son and his beloved friend.

Moving backward to the war years and the painful repercussions of an act of conscience, and forward through the lives and careers of Gustav and Anton, The Gustav Sonata explores the passionate love of childhood friendship as it’s lost, transformed, and regained over a lifetime. It’s a powerful and deeply moving addition to the beloved oeuvre of one of our greatest contemporary novelists.

 

Review

A beautiful and sorrowful story about love, loss and hardship in post war Switzerland.

I didn’t know what to expect from this story and it isn’t my typical read but I can appreciate the beautiful skill that this author has.  Despite this not being my typical type of book I was captivate by the story of Gustav and how his life is affected by those around him.  I became fully immersed in the story line quickly and found myself saying….just one more page on more than one occasion.

The story showed how the tendrils of war reached Switzerland despite its neutrality and the effects that had on the lives of those that tried to help, tried to flee or tried to ignore!

Gustav’s life wasn’t one of unbridled joy and there is much sorrow in this book and I found myself more than a couple of times on the verge or tears and I loved reading the budding friendship of Gustav and Anton unfold and grow across the years.

My only disappointment with this story is the large jump from a young Gustav to a Gustav in his fifties I so wish there had been more about his time as a young adult and how he overcame the adversity he faced. I felt that I’d missed out on two chapters somewhere along the way!

 

Disclosure:  The Pursuit Of Bookiness received a copy of this book free of charge in return for an honest review.  All opinions are our own

Blitz: When Dawn Breaks by Melissa Toppen

When Dawn Breaks
Melissa Toppen
Publication date: November 10th 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Life is hard.
There’s no secret in that statement.
Life. Is. Hard.
Simple enough.
But my life hasn’t just been hard…

I’ve gotten used to it over the years—come to expect it really. So when fate hands me yet another big f*ck you, I’m not even a little bit surprised. Why should I be? I mean, after everything I’ve been through, why not throw my best friend’s ex-boyfriend into the mix and see how royally I can screw this up too.

It doesn’t matter that he loved her first.
It doesn’t matter that he’s wrong for me in every way possible.
It doesn’t matter that being with him could ruin everything.
One touch and I already know it’s too late.

When Dawn Breaks is a standalone Contemporary Romance.

Goodreads / Amazon

 

Author Bio:

Melissa Toppen is a Reader’s Choice Award Winning and Bestselling Romance Author of New Adult, Contemporary, Erotic and Romantic Suspense. She is a lover of books and enjoys nothing more than losing herself in a good novel. She has a soft spot for Romance and focuses her writing in that direction; writing what she loves to read.
Melissa resides in Cincinnati Ohio with her husband and two children, where she writes full time.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

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