Archive | September, 2016

Frost Like Night Blog Tour: Which Season are you? Quiz!

17 Sep

Something of a first for me today – the first quiz that I’ve created for One More Page in celebration of the release of the final book in Sara Raasch’s Snow Like Ashes series, Frost Like Night which is released on September 20th!

frost like nightPerfect for fans of Graceling and Game of Thrones, this high-fantasy adventure follows Meira as she fights to defeat the evil king of Spring once and for all. The final book in the Snow Like Ashes series.

Angra is alive, his Decay is spreadingand no one is safe.

Meira will do anything to save her world. With Angra trying to break through her mental defenses, she desperately needs to learn to control her own magicso when the leader of a mysterious order from Paisly offers to teach her, Meira jumps at the chance. But the true solution to stopping the Decay lies in a labyrinth deep beneath the Season Kingdoms. To defeat Angra, Meira will have to enter the labyrinth, destroy the very magic she’s learning to controland make the biggest sacrifice of all.

Mather will do anything to save his queen. He needs to rally the Children of the Thaw, find Meiraand finally tell her how he really feels. But with a plan of attack that leaves no kingdom unscathed and a major betrayal within their ranks, winning the warand protecting Meiraslips further and further out of reach.

Ceridwen will do anything to save her people. Angra had her brother killed, stole her kingdom, and made her a prisoner. But when she’s freed by an unexpected ally who reveals a shocking truth behind Summer’s slave trade, Ceridwen must take action to save her true love and her kingdom, even if it costs her what little she has left.

As Angra unleashes the Decay on the world, Meira, Mather, and Ceridwen must bring the kingdoms of Primoria togetheror lose everything.

One of the things I loved about this series right from the start was the concept of kingdoms based around the four seasons. As I read Snow Like Ashes, Ice Like Fire and now finally, Frost Like Night, I’ve loved discovering more about the seasonal worlds of Spring, Summer, Auntumn and Winter and imagining which one I’d like to live in most (it’s always going to be Winter – the little heatwave that we’ve just had in London nearly finished me this week!)

So for my stop on the Frost Like Night blog tour, I’ve created a fun quiz to see which season you most have an affinity with. I hope you enjoy it – do let me know which season you get!

Guest post: Writing characters – how to make them believable by S.C. Stephens

16 Sep

Please welcome fab author S.C. Stephens to One More Page today with a little guest post to celebrate the release of her new novel, Furious Rush. S.C. Stephens is a bestselling author who enjoys spending every free moment she has creating stories that are packed with emotion and heavy on romance.

In addition to writing, Stephens enjoys spending lazy afternoons in the sun reading fabulous novels, loading up her iPod with writer’s block reducing music, heading out to the movies, and spending quality time with her friends and family. She currently resides in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her two equally beautiful children.

I truly believe that everyone does things for a reason. A guy sleeps with a ton of women–there’s an underlying reason. sc stephensStealing, drugs, drinking–somewhere, buried deep at times, there’s a reason behind it. One of the key parts of making a character believable, is showing the reader that reason, and letting them know why the character does the things they do. That’s what my editors call character motivation and it’s a major plot-mover.

Every writer’s process works differently, but for me, I have the two main characters drawn up in my mind long before anything is on the page about them. I imagine what their problems might be, what keeps them apart, what eventually brings them together, and then I consider how those things might happen in real life.

It feels very natural for me to think about them as people, and by the end of the story, it’s almost as if they’ve become real people to me. In my THOUGHTLESS series, Kellan was inspired by ­­­­music, and the lifestyle that musicians have. In FURIOUS RUSH, Hayden was the natural hero to me for Kenzie in this high pressure sport. Where she is strict and regimented, he is wild and adventurous. Just being around him causes her character to grow. He’s the yin to her yang.

furious rushFURIOUS RUSH by S.C. Stephens (Piatkus) is out now in paperback and ebook formats.

For Mackenzie Cox, racing motorcycles is in her blood. Born into a family legacy, she’s determined to show the world that she has inherited her father’s talent in this male-dominated sport. The last thing Kenzie needs is to be antagonised by her rival team’s newest rider, Hayden Hayes. Hayden, exceedingly arrogant and outrageously attractive, immediately gets under Kenzie’s skin and she can’t help but be distracted.

As Kenzie and Hayden push each other on the track, the electric energy between them off the track shifts into an intense – and strictly forbidden – attraction. The only rule between their two ultra-competitive teams is zero contact. Kenzie needs a win, and she also needs to stay away from Hayden. Unfortunately for her though, one thing has become all too clear: she can’t.

Fuelled by passion, driven by desire, Hayden and Mackenzie both want to win more than anything else. Except for, maybe, each other. But anger, jealousy and extreme competitiveness aren’t their only obstacles . . .

Find out more about S.C Stephens and her writing at: http://authorscstephens.com/

Giveaway! Win a Matilda DVD and bag to celebrate Roald Dahl Day!

13 Sep

As I’m sure many of you will already know, today is Roald Dahl’s birthday! 2016 is also his centenary year. Did you know 2016 is also the 20th anniversary of the release of the film of Matilda – one of Dahl’s most loved books?

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We’re huge fans of Matilda in this house and it was an absolute pleasure to introduce my son to her world this summer as part of The Big Friendly Read.

In celebration of this special day, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has given me a fab new copy of the Matilda DVD bearing the new #RoaldDahl100 sticker and a gorgeous Matilda tote bag to give away to one lucky reader  – I so wish I could win this giveaway myself!

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To enter this giveaway just leave comment in the box below or re-Tweet one of my tweets with the link to this post or like one of my posts about this giveaway on my Instagram page. I’ll pick a winner using Random.org after the closing date.

This giveaway is open to UK residents only and will close at midnight on Sunday 18th August. Good Luck!

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 2016 celebrates Matilda’s 20th anniversary and Roald Dahl’s 100th birthday. You can purchase Matilda on DVD via Amazon here.

 

Book review: The Girl From The Savoy by Hazel Gaynor

12 Sep

151661-FCXDolly Lane is a dreamer; a downtrodden maid who longs to dance on the London stage, but the outbreak of war takes everything from her: Teddy, the man she loves – and her hopes of a better life.

When she secures employment as a chambermaid at London’s grandest hotel, The Savoy, Dolly’s proximity to the dazzling guests makes her yearn for a life beyond the grey drudgery she was born into. Her fortunes take an unexpected turn when she responds to an unusual newspaper advert and finds herself thrust into the heady atmosphere of London’s glittering theatre scene and into the sphere of the celebrated actress, Loretta May, and her brother, Perry.

All three are searching for something, yet the aftermath of war has cast a dark shadow over them all. A brighter future is tantalisingly close – but can a girl like Dolly ever truly leave her past behind?

I’m delighted to be taking part in The Girl From the Savoy blog tour today by sharing my review with you. Hazel Gaynor is a new author for me although this is her third novel. Having absolutely loved The Girl From The Savoy, this is definitely one of those brilliant times when I’m so happy that an author I’ve just discovered has earlier books that I can read next! I’ve already ordered copies of The Girl Who Came Home and A Memory of Violets to read as soon as I get chance!

The Girl From The Savoy is set in my favourite era – the 1920s and, as the title suggests features the beautiful Savoy Hotel in London. As a huge fan of 20s glamour and Art Deco style, I’ve always loved The Savoy. I work nearby and for me it still holds that sense of glamour and excitement that Hazel captures in this book. Reading Dolly’s story was like stepping back in time and getting a wonderful ‘behind the scenes’ look at life in the hotel at the height of its fame.

This is a story of glamour and glitz, theatre, fame and bright young things but what I loved about this book is that it’s also a story of love, loss and heartbreak and cleverly shows both the ‘upstairs’ and ‘downstairs’ sides to life as well as the emotional ups and downs that affect the characters whether they are rich or poor.

Dolly is a brilliant leading lady. As we meet her she’s just starting a new job as a maid at The Savoy; what she hopes will be the first step to the future that she dreams of. It’s hard not to love Dolly – she is the perfect  mix of good Northern practicality, ambition and dreams and I was soon swept up in her story. But Dolly isn’t the only narrator in the book and I also found Teddy and Loretta’s stories equally compelling. The ups and downs of Dolly, Teddy and Loretta’s lives had me gripped and I loved the sense of adventure and triumph over adversity that was a key theme.

Each character has their secrets and mysteries and The Girl From The Savoy surprised me more than once! This is a skillfully researched book and I loved the descriptions of places, music and clothes that transported me to another era. The combination of excellent historical detail, heart-stealing characters and a plot that mixes heartbreak with hope to have you cheering those characters on, is a winner and there are a lot of wise words in this story that I will remember.

I could easily see this book as a wonderful TV series – please someone bring Dolly and friends to life on the screen for me!

5/5

The Girl From The Savoy is out now in paperback, audio ebook formats.

Find out more about Hazel and her writing at: http://www.hazelgaynor.com/

Book review: The One Real Thing (Hart’s Boardwalk) by Samantha Young

5 Sep

one real thingWelcome to Hartwell, a quiet seaside escape where uncovering old secrets could lead one woman to discover the meaning of a love that lasts…

While Doctor Jessica Huntington engages with the inmates at the women’s correctional facility where she works, she’s always careful to avoid emotional attachments in her personal life. Loss and betrayal taught her that lesson long ago. But when she comes across a set of old love letters in the prison’s library and visits the picturesque town of Hartwell to deliver them to their intended recipient, she finds herself unable to resist the town’s charm-and her attraction to the sexy owner of a local bar proves equally hard to deny.

Since his divorce from his unfaithful ex-wife, Cooper Lawson has focused on what really matters: his family and the boardwalk pub they’ve owned for generations. But the first time Jessica steps into his bar, Cooper is beyond tempted to risk his heart on her.

Yet as their attraction grows hotter and Jessica remains stubbornly closed off, he begins to realize it will take more than just passion to convince her there’s only one real thing in life worth fighting for….

I became a fan of Samantha Young’s books with the On Dublin Street series and I loved her standalone novel Hero too. So when I saw she was starting a new series set in an American boardwalk town, I jumped at the chance to review it.

The One Real Thing pretty much has all the ingredients for my perfect book; it’s set by the sea, it has a lovely community of eclectic residents to get to know, a beautiful inn and a strong but imperfect heroine with an equally strong male lead and of course, a sizzling romance! I loved that Jessica and Cooper are both adults with pasts and I enjoyed reading about characters close to my own age (Jessica is 33 and cooper 36.)

The setting for The One Real Thing is just beautiful and I could absolutely see why Jess was so drawn to it. Young has created a great history to the town of Hartwell and as Jessica discovers it’s stories and legends I was hooked. There’s a lovely  flavour of fate and a little magic to the story which is stopped from being too sugary by the grittier parts of the story.

Jessica is a doctor in a woman’s prison. her reasons for her choice of career and why she works in a prison are a key theme in the book. As we meet her, it’s clear that there is much in her past that she needs to come to terms with and I enjoyed getting to know Jess and slowly unpicking her history. Cooper has his secrets too and this gave an edge to the story. As Jessica takes a holiday to Hartwell she soon meets many of its lovely residents and I found myself falling in love with the town along with her.

Samantha Young’s love of reading and books comes across in her writing very well and I was delighted to see that she’d included a book shop among the businesses that populate the boardwalk. Bookshop owner Emery was one of my favourite characters in this book and I hope Samantha tells her story one day too. There’s huge potential for many more books based around Hart’s Boardwalk and I can’t wait to read more so I was pleased to see that Inn owner Bailey’s story will be the focus of the next book in the series, Every Little Thing which will be out in March 2017.

With a good dose of mystery and a some seriously hot romance, The One Real Thing has a brilliant message that it’s never too late for a new beginning and I finished reading with a big smile on my face. This is a book that will appeal to romance lovers, fans of Nora Roberts and Gilmore Girls –  an excellent start to a new series!

4/5

The One Real Thing is out on Tuesday 6th September from Piatkus.

Find out more about Samantha and her writing at: https://authorsamanthayoung.com/

Cover reveal! Who’s Afraid Too? By Maria Lewis

2 Sep

I loved Maria Lewis’s fab debut Who’s Afraid and was very excited to hear that Maria has lots of books planned for this series so today, I’m very very happy to be taking part in the cover reveal for book two! Who’s Afraid Too? will be out in Australia in January. We have a little longer to wait in the UK but that just gives you plenty of time to read or reread book one ;-)

WHO'S AFRAID TOO cover

 

Book Two in the bestselling Tommi Grayson series is a gutsy, fur-flying, feminist read for fans of urban fantasy and strong heroines. If you love Darynda Jones, Keri Arthur, Kelley Armstrong or Harley Quinn, don’t miss Maria Lewis!

 After the sh*t show that was her family reunion, Tommi needed to get gone. Leaving Lorcan behind, she’s spent the last few weeks trying to understand her heritage – the one that comes with a side order of fur as well as her Maori history and how she can connect to it.

But she can only escape for so long – when an unspeakable evil, thought long destroyed, returns, Tommi needs every bit of the skills she’s learned. With the help of allies both old and new, it’s time to take the fight to the enemy . . .

Find out more about Maria and her writing at: http://marialewis.com.au/