Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Reasons To Be Cheerful

The book reviews for Natalie's Getting Married are coming in and I'm ecstatic! Nothing below a 4* rating so far, plus a few 5* ratings for this novel under my belt already.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not being boastful - just proud. On a dreary January in London, who can blame me for looking for reasons to be cheerful?

When I read the reviews, I imagined the wonderful book bloggers and reviewers, who gave up their time to read my book, and pictured them all with smiles on their faces!
So what comes next?

Well, next I wait for publication day on 14th March - I thought I'd plan a Giveaway, so watch this space. The week before publication there is a week long cover reveal, organised by Brook Cottage Book Tours and a blog tour, starting on 14th March by the fabulous Hello Chick Lit! Can't wait.

Until then, why not pop over to Goodreads and share my joy?

I found my reasons to be cheerful - hope you have too :)

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

New Year New Books Tour and Giveaway

I hope by now you have checked out Ama et Bemma for more details about the NYNB 2016 Tour and Giveaway!

If you have you will know that I have been participating in a book tour that will feature some new independent authors.

Today, I feature Chikamso Efobi and her book Twisted In A Positive Way

Novel Blurb
Spanning decades in the heart of Mushin, Lagos Nigeria, this coming-of-age tale of a charming heroine unfolds delicately and is based on the story of a young girl, Adaugo who faces difficult odds. The loss of a loved one and navigating cultural expectations and gender roles are major themes in this personal narrative documenting the growth and learning of a young girl with big dreams.

As Adaugo listens to the still small voice within her, her growth from a young girl in boarding school to a precocious brave woman is studded with precious gems of divine insight.

Her journey is one that any person, young or old will learn from as it illustrates the beauty and triumph of dreaming big and never giving up.
Author Interview
When and why did you begin writing?
I am not sure when exactly I began writing. I know that I have wanted to write a book for a while but kept putting it off. I didn’t realise how far back I had been wanting to write until some months ago when discussing my book with my mother, she told me of how as a child, I used to create little make-shift books from my school exercise books. It is amazing how these things happen because I had completely forgotten all about it.
I started writing because I love creating stories out of my imagination and I see myself as a medium for getting these stories out to the world. I also enjoy the feeling of holding my finished book in my hand, knowing that, I have created it from nothing but my imagination and general experience.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I only seriously started considering myself a writer after I published my first novel in September 2015. Prior to that, I had written numerous unpublished short stories, as well as some motivational posts on my blog which is also called Twisted in a Positive Way.
How did you come up with the title?
The title of my book was actually inspired back in 2012 by a lovely man called Stuart Thomas who delivered a personal development training at the company where I work. At the training, he asked us what our dreams were, and I told him that I had always wanted to write my novel, but I was only just blogging at the time. We discussed a bit further and after I told him what I loved to write about, he blurted “Twisted in a Positive Way” and the name just completely stuck.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Twisted in a Positive Way is a fictional story meant to inspire the reader to dream big, look beyond one’s present circumstances and never give up.
How much of the book is realistic?
I think one of the things that endears Twisted in a Positive Way to the people who have read and fed back to me is how real and relatable the characters are. The issues the main character, Adaugo, has to overcome are issues which almost everyone faces i.e. when one’s dreams conflict with cultural and social expectations. The main character, Adaugo is very likeable and you would want to see her overcome the obstacles.
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
You know the way people say you write what you know, some minor elements of the book are based on my life but it is essentially a pure work of fiction.
What books have most influenced your life most?
The War of Art by Steven Pressfield
The Alchemist by Paul Coelho
Rich dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki
The Secret by Rhonda Byrne
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Paulo Coelho without a doubt. He is such a wise man and his ability to teach through his stories, is amazing.

What book are you reading now?
I am reading two books at the moment; Marie by Ana Elise Meyer and Fire War by T.T Michael.
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Lincoln Cole, author of Ripples Through Time has grasped my interest. I just finished reading Ripples Through Time and thought it was very a beautiful and well-written book. I am now a big fan of his.
What are your current projects?
I am currently working on my new novel which is based on one of the minor characters from my latest book.
Do you see writing as a career?
At the moment, I only write part-time but would love to be able to write full-time in future.
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
My current book will be based on a minor character from Twisted in a Positive Way. She has just lost her fiancĂ©, who is in the military, to the fight against Boko Haram insurgents, and then gets abducted by sex traffickers. Will she survive? Will she find love again? It is a story that aims to teach about courage and the character’s journey towards self-rediscovery after a tragic loss.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Getting started is usually the biggest challenge for me. Twisted in a Positive Way took about 8 years before I finally sat myself down to write it. However, once I started, the ideas flowed naturally. I understand that this is a challenge which most aspiring authors have to overcome and I have started working with few authors to coach and motivate them through the process.
Who designed the covers?
The cover for Twisted in a Positive Way was designed by a guy called Debo Adesuyan. His Instagram handle is HOUSE.OF.PICTURES
Are there vocabulary words or concepts in your book that may be new to readers?  Define some of those.
Twisted in a Positive Way has few Nigerian words and expressions because it is set in Nigeria. However this does not take away from the story because I included the translation to each of the Nigerian expressions right after the comma in the few sentences where they appear. Some examples of expressions that show up in the book are:
Biko, Jor and Abeg which mean please
Oga which means Boss
Sha is something people just add to show indifference
O is a form of expression or exclamation. For instance “I don’t know o” means I really don’t know.
It is important to point out that Nigeria is a country with more than 52 languages and it is very common to find words from the 4 major languages; Igbo, Yoruba, Hausa and Pidgin English, used freely and interchangeably within sentences. This just adds to the beauty of communication and I thought it was very important to make sure that this was captured within the story.
To connect with Chikamso, click on the following:
Blog, Goodreads, Facebook, and Twitter
And for your Kindle copy of Twisted in a Positive Way
Amazon UK 
Amazon US 

 or Paperback
Amazon UK
Amazon US

And if that isn't enough, don't forget the giveaway related to this tour and enter below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, 18 January 2016

New Year New Books Tour and Giveaway

Last week I told you I was taking part in the NYNB 2016 Tour and Giveaway. Well, the tour continues and if you'd like to find out more about the tour, please hop over to Ama et Bemma!

Today I feature author Lo-Arna Green and her book All The Darkness which was released on 16th January 2016 at the following outlets:
Apple iTunes
To connect with Lo-Arna please pop over to Goodreads, Facebook, or on Twitter @loarnagreen

I mentioned the Giveaway attached to this tour, so go ahead and enter below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, 15 January 2016

New Year, New Books 2016 Tour and Giveaway

Continuing with the NYNB 2016 Tour I pleased to introduce author Ruth Kaufman and her book, The Bride Tournament

An Excerpt:

Eleanor moved through the crowd, absently greeting those who offered good wishes. Her father
stood with several friends, imposing in his midnight blue velvet robe and beaver hat. Their
conversation came to a halt when she approached. 
“My pardon. Father, where is Arthur?”
Lord Edmund de la Tour turned, a grim expression on his narrow face. His companions stared as if they’d
never seen her before.
What did they know that she didn’t? Foreboding trickled through her.
“You’ll see him anon.” He raised his voice over the guests’ conversations.
Only twice had her father looked this serious. Once when he told her that her older brother had been
killed in battle, and last week when he caught her in his alchemy workshop.
Eleanor could barely suck in enough air to speak. Music blared, no longer festive.
“What’s wrong?” Tears welled in her eyes. “Is he ill? Injured?”
“Arthur is well.”
Several guests inched closer, clearly sensing something was amiss. No doubt they wondered what juicy
tidbit of gossip they’d be first to hear.
Her father directed her into an alcove removed from avid listeners. Alyce and Maud crowded the small
space. The air was so still the gauze veils on their tall headdresses didn’t dare flutter.
“Leave us,” her father ordered with a wave of his beringed hand.
Her sister and friend turned in a swish of trailing skirts and hurried away.
“You’re scaring me.” Eleanor couldn’t keep her voice from trembling.
“You’ll think me the bearer of bad tidings, daughter,” he said. “But ‘tis for the best. You cannot marry
Arthur. Not now. Not ever.”

To connect with Ruth go to her blog, or find her on Goodreads, or Facebook or follow her on Twitter on @RuthKaufman

And don't forget to drop in on the tour coordinator Ama et Bemma for more updates and sign up below for the Giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

New Year New Books Tour and Giveaway

For the next two weeks the NYNB 2016 Tour is happening. It started on 12th January and will last for two weeks.

Blog tour coordninator, Ama et Bemma hosted the first stop here! There is also a Giveaway, so check it out.

I will be hosting posts of independent authors that are completely new to me so I hope a lot of people can discover some new writers and their books over these next two weeks.

My first author spotlight is on Eva Flyn and her book The Renegade Queen

Read on for an author interview:

Tell us your latest news?
I just published my first novel, The Renegade Queen, which follows the life of Victoria Woodhull, the first woman to run for President of the United States. She campaigned for the office in 1872, fifty years before women were allowed to vote in national elections.
What inspired you to write your first book?
My father was a political science professor for 40 years and my mother was well versed in feminism, and neither one had heard of Victoria Woodhull or knew her story, I felt that it was important to get it out there for the world so we can understand the sacrifices that were made in pursuit of equality. I first wrote the screenplay and received a lot of positive feedback from Hollywood, and then decided that I should go ahead and write the novel version.

How much of the book is realistic? 
All of the main events in my novel are true and based on years of research.

What are your current projects?
I’m working on the sequel to The Renegade Queen which follows Victoria Woodhull’s later life and I’m also refining the script for The Renegade Queen.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Several interesting items and events were uncovered during my research, but I had to choose which to put in and which to discard. Knowing what to exclude was the biggest challenge.

Do you have any advice for other writers?
Patience and persistence are the keys!

Did you learn anything from writing this book and what was it? 
It is very difficult for me to write sex scenes. I blush when I write them and try to avoid using clichés and tired metaphors, but it is a challenge!

Is there a message in your novel that you hope readers will grasp? 
I would like readers to think about how we treat and dismiss outsiders or radicals. Victoria Woodhull was condemned for her beliefs and suffered for them, but 150 years later every legislation she proposed as become law. We need to consider the viewpoints of others and not discount them so easily.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
Learning about Reconstruction in the United States, the time period after the Civil War. Most historians dismiss this time and their people as failures, but there were some decent, brilliant politicians who were trying to change the world for minorities and there is beauty in that effort.

Are there vocabulary words or concepts in your book that may be new to readers?  Define some of those.
I think it is difficult for most of us to fathom the deeply ingrained societal belief that women were inferior to me. Women were not allowed to vote or to own property after The Civil War. Husbands were allowed to beat their wives as long as a “reasonable instrument” was used and women were not allowed to divorce. It was believed that unmarried women would go to hell for their failure to procreate and become the leader of the apes in hell. Against these conditions, you had brave women such as Susan B. Anthony and Victoria Woodhull challenge these notions.

And there you have it. To connect with Eva Flyn click here!
To purchase your copy of The Renegade Queen follow this link.
And don't forget there is a giveaway. Enter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway