Monday, 22 January 2018

DAY IN THE LIFE OF AN AUTHOR | Chris Chalmers

Hey guys, and happy Monday! Today I am very excited to be back with another DITL of an author post! These are one of my favourite features to do and I absolutely love reading them, so I hope you do too.

The author I am featuring today is Chris Chalmers,  author of the novels Five To One, Light From Other Windows and for children, Gillian Vermillion — Dream Detective. His third adult novel, Dinner At The Happy Skeleton is published by J.Mendel Books on November 2nd. 

So without any further ado, here is Chris Chalmers to tell us all about his day! 

I have two sorts of writing days. The ones where I write my novel, and the ones writing the other stuff.

My ‘day job’ is advertising copywriter. It has been since the late Eighties, though it’s changed a bit since I went freelance in 2002. I mostly work in London agencies, helping out where there’s an overspill of creative briefs or someone is on holiday, maternity leave etc. All those predictions I read in my Dr Who Annual when I was ten— how by 2020 we’d all be working remotely with a robot dog to bring us coffee — aren’t looking good. Ad agencies still like bums on seats, so when I’m freelancing you’ll usually find me somewhere glassy and open-plan in Farringdon or London Bridge. I’m the one waiting for I.T. to hook me up, trying not to look twenty years older than all the bearded, tattooed striplings around me.  

You can’t blame a chef for settling for beans on toast after a long day at work. Similarly, I can’t bring myself to dive into my novel after a shift writing about mortgages. I have deep admiration for those novelist mums, up at half-past five, putting in two hours before they whip up the family breakfast and rush off to work. Hence my other sort of writing day.

When I’m not copywriting I write contemporary fiction about people-like-us — with a side order of helicopter crashes, tsunamis and murderous cryptozoologists. I’m awake about seven a.m. My other half, a fervent yogi, is long gone by then, off to his early morning practice in Soho. My own kick-start isn’t quite so reliable, but I’m usually at the MacBook by eight. After four adult novels and another for children, I’ve weaned myself off starting the day by reading what I wrote yesterday. It’s too easy and it eats away the productive hours. And hell, I’ll be redrafting this thing again and again and again — so why worry what colour I chose for next door’s cat?       

Five days out of six, at 10.45 everything stops for gym. This is preceded by a coffee for the necessary caffeine boost; out, if I’m feeling flush, at home if I’m not. Keeping to a routine comes easily to me, a big advantage for a writer. I’ve kept a diary since I was 13 and never missed a day, bar the odd double-duty after a messy night out. I find the gym as easy to stick to. I don’t claim superhuman willpower — it’s just the way I am. I also think I’d go crazy if I spent all day at my desk, so I relish the excuse to get out.

That’s followed by lunch, cooked by my adept husband who makes vegan eating a delight even when you’re not one yourself. He is a concert pianist and composer, so much of the time we’re both at home, which I love. My study is upstairs overlooking the garden. He works downstairs, at one sort of keyboard or another. Our house is small, so when he's practicing I can hear every note — if I want to. Mostly I don’t even notice, for which I thank years of crashing out ad concepts in offices with Spotify blaring in the corner.   
I’m back at my laptop by two, and work through till six or seven. When I’m writing a first draft, I try to hit a thousand words a day and feel bad if I don’t. (Where would we be without that little word counter?) I’d like to say I’m the driven sort, who takes his writing down to dinner, the settee and eventually up to bed. But I have no problem switching off. I rarely give my novel a thought till I’m back at the coalface next morning. A bit of distance does me good — and by then I’m ready to pick up the threads all over again.   

Thank you so much, Chris, for appearing on my blog! 

Check Chris Chalmers out here: www.chrischalmers.net

Facebook @chrischalmersnovelist

Twitter: CCsw19

Until next time :) 





Thursday, 18 January 2018

DELIGHTFUL KIDS BOOKS | I SWAPPED MY BROTHER ON THE INTERNET | Blog Tour Extract

Hey guys, and happy Thursday! Today I am very excited to be back with my children's book feature, to celebrate the publication of I Swapped My Brother on the Internet by Jo Simmons! This is a hilariously fun read that I think you all will enjoy, great for kids to read by themselves and to be read to as well!

Intrigued? Check out the blurb here...

I can get a new brother? On the internet?' Jonny muttered. 'Oh sweet mangoes of heaven!'

Everyone has dreamed of being able to get rid of their brother or sister at one time or another - but for Jonny, the dream is about to become a reality with SiblingSwap.com! What could be better than someone awesome to replace Ted, Jonny's obnoxious older brother.

But finding the perfect brother isn't easy, as Jonny discovers when Sibling Swap sends him a line of increasingly bizarre replacements: first a merboy, then a brother raised by meerkats, and then the ghost of Henry the Eighth! What's coming next?! Suddenly old Ted isn't looking so bad. But can Jonny ever get him back?


A hilarious tale of wish fulfilment gone wrong that every child will relate to - perfect for fans of Pamela Butchart, My Brother is a Superhero and David Baddiel's The Parent Agency.

And here is an extract from chapter one and two which should hopefully get your tastebuds tingling!

The advert popped up in the corner of the screen. Jonny clicked on it instantly. The Sibling Swap website pinged open, showing smiling brothers and happy sisters, all playing and laughing and having a great time together.

What crazy alternative universe was this? Where were the big brothers teasing their little brothers about being rubbish at climbing and slow at everything? Where were the wedgies and ear flicks? What about the name-calling? This looked like a world Jonny had never experienced, a world in which brothers and sisters actually liked each other!
‘Oh sweet mangoes of heaven!’ Jonny muttered.

It was pretty bonkers, but it was definitely tempting. No, scrap that: it was essential. Jonny couldn’t believe his luck. Just think what Sibling Swap could offer him. A new brother. A better brother. A brother who didn’t put salt in his orange squash, who didn’t call him a human sloth, who didn’t burp in his ear. That kind of brother.

Jonny had to try it. He could always return the new brother if things didn’t work out. It was a no-brainer.


He clicked on the application form. What could go wrong?

Only a little while before Jonny saw the Sibling Swap advert, he and his older brother, Ted, had had a fight. Another fight.

It was a particularly stupid fight, and it had started like all stupid fights do – over something stupid. This time, pants. But not just any pants. The Hanging Pants of Doom.
Jonny and Ted were walking their dog, Widget, on the nearby Common. They arrived at a patch of woodland, where an exception- ally large and colourful pair of men’s pants had been hanging in a tree for ages. These pants had become legendary over the years the brothers had been playing here. There was a horrible glamour about them. The boys were grossed out and slightly scared of them, but could never quite ignore them. And so the pants had become the Hanging Pants of Doom, and now, unfortunately, Jonny had just lobbed Widget’s Frisbee into the tree. It was stuck in a branch, just below the mythical underwear.

‘Oh swear word,’ said Jonny.

‘Nice one!’ said Ted. ‘You threw it up there, so you have to get it down.’

Jonny frowned. Two problems presented themselves. One was the fact that the Frisbee was very close to the pants, making the possibility of touching the revolting garment very real. Second, Jonny wasn’t very good at climbing.

‘Go on, Jonny, up you go,’ teased Ted. ‘Widget can’t wait all day for his Frisbee. Climb up and get it ... What’s that? You’re rubbish at climbing? Sorry, what? You would prefer it if I went and got the Frisbee, as I’m truly excellent at climbing?’

‘All RIGHT!’ fumed Jonny, ripping off his jacket. ‘I’ll climb up and get it. Look after my coat.’

‘Thanks!’ said Ted. ‘I might use it as a blanket. You’re so slow, we could be here until midnight.’

Jonny began his climb slowly, as Ted had predicted, and rather shakily, as Ted had also predicted.

‘I’m just taking my time, going carefully. Don’t rush me!’ said Jonny, as he reached for the next branch.

‘Spare us the running commentary,’ Ted said.

After several minutes, a tiny dog appeared below the tree, followed by its elderly owner, and it began yapping up at Jonny.

‘That’s my brother up there,’ Ted said to the lady, pointing up. ‘He’s thrown his pants into the tree again and has to go and get them.’

The lady squinted up. Her dog continued yip-yapping.

‘Oh yes, I see,’ she said. ‘Well, they’re rather splendid pants, aren’t they? I can see why he wants to get them back. Are those spaceships on them?’

‘Cars,’ said Ted.

‘Very fetching,’ said the lady. ‘But he shouldn’t throw them into the trees again. A magpie might get them.’

‘That’s what I told him,’ said Ted, trying not to laugh. ‘Sorry, I better go and help or we’ll be here until Christmas. He’s like a human sloth!’

With that, Ted bounced up into the tree, pulling himself quickly up its branches and passing his brother, just as Jonny was within touching distance of the Frisbee.

‘Got it!’ said Ted, snatching the Frisbee and tossing it down to Widget, before swing- ing off a branch and landing neatly on his feet. ‘You can come down now, bro. Unless you really do want to touch the Pants of Doom. You’re pretty close, actually. Look! They’re just there.’

Jonny made a noise in his throat – a bit like a growl – and felt his face burning bright red. He was shaking with anger and humiliation as he slowly began making his way down.
By the time the brothers banged back into the house, Jonny was speechless with fury. He ran upstairs. He could hear his mum telling him off for slamming the front door, but too bad. He smashed his bedroom door shut too. There! How’s that? He was sick of Ted teasing him, sick of being the younger brother. And as for telling that old lady that the Hanging Pants of Doom were his ...

Jonny flipped open his laptop and, miracu- lously, there was the Sibling Swap website telling him that all this could change. What perfect timing. Had the Sibling Swap team climbed into his head and read his thoughts? Who cared?
He read the home page:
S
ometimes you don’t get the brother or sister you deserve, but here at Sibling Swap, we aim to put that right. With so many brothers and sisters out there, we can match you to the perfect one!

His heart began to beat faster.

Swapping your brother or sister has never been easier with Sibling Swap! Simply fill out the application form and we will supply you with a new brother or sister within twenty- four hours, carefully chosen from our massive database of possible matches. Our dedicated team of Swap operatives works 24/7 to find the best match for you, but if you are not completely happy, you can return your replacement sibling for a new match or your original brother or sister.

Amazing! For the first time in his almost ten years, this website was offering Jonny power, choice, freedom! It felt good! He rubbed his hands together and began filling out the form.

First, there were two options:

Are you swapping a sibling?

Are you putting yourself up to be swapped?

‘Easy,’ Jonny muttered. ‘I’m the one doing the swapping. Me. I have the power!’ He did a sort of evil genius laugh as he clicked on the top box. By Tic Tacs, this was exciting! Next, the form asked:

Are you swapping a brother or sister?

‘Also easy,’ muttered Jonny. ‘Brother.’ Then:

Would you like to receive a brother or a sister?
Jonny clicked the box marked ‘Brother’. Then he had to add some information about himself.

Age: nine.

Hobbies: biking, swimming, computer games, doughnuts, messing about. Least favourite things:

• my brother, Ted (he teases me all the time and reckons he’s cool just because he goes to secondary school)
• being nine (I am nearly ten, but can I have a brother who is younger than me or maybe the same age please?)
• sprouts
• climbing
• being sick

Then there was a whole page about the kind of brother Jonny might like. He quickly ticked the following boxes: fun; adventurous; enjoys food; enjoys sports and swimming; likes dogs. He didn’t tick the box marked ‘living’ or the one marked ‘human’. He just wanted a brother, so it was obvious, wasn’t it?

That ought to do it, Jonny reckoned. His heart was galloping now. In just three minutes it was ready to send. He sat back in his chair. ‘Just one click,’ he said, ‘and I get a brother upgrade by this time tomorrow. Friday, in fact! Ready for the weekend!’

Jonny felt slightly dizzy. He giggled quietly to himself. He felt giddy with power! All he had to do was send off the form. Easy! But then he hesitated ... Should he do this? Was it OK? Would he get into trouble? Jonny’s dad no longer lived with him and Ted, so he might not notice, but what would his mum say? She’d be pleased, Jonny decided quickly. Yes! After all, she was fed up with Jonny and Ted arguing. This was the perfect solution. Then, with a tiny frown, he wondered how Ted might feel about being swapped, but before he could puzzle this out, there was his brother again, shouting up the stairs.

‘Dinner, loser!’ Ted yelled. ‘Let me know if you need help climbing down the stairs.

They are quite steep. It could take you a while.’

That was it! For the second time that day, Jonny felt the anger bubbling up inside like a can of shaken Pixie Fizz. Enough! Double enough!

‘So I’m the rubbish younger brother, am I? Well, here’s one thing I can do really bril-liantly,’ he muttered and, jutting out his chin, hit the send button.

CLICK!


‘Done!’ he said, and slammed the laptop shut.

Keep an eye out for a review on my kid's book feature soon!

Make sure you guys check out the other spots on the blog tour <3

Buy I Swapped My Brother On The Internet here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/I-Swapped-My-Brother-Internet/dp/1408877759

Check out Jo Simmons here: http://visitpipstreet.com

Until next time :)

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

AUTHOR INTERVIEW | 5 Minutes With... Non Pratt

Hey guys, and happy Tuesday! Today I am really excited to be posting another author interview, this time with the absolutely brilliant Non Pratt! I have been a huge Non fan ever since I read Trouble back in 2015, so today I am thrilled to have her on my blog to chat about her brand new book, Second Best Friend! You can take my word for it, Second Best Friend is one of Non's best books yet - it is so incredibly real and relevant, with such an authentic YA voice. 

Sounds intriguing? Check out the blurb here...


Jade and Becky are best friends, but when Jade’s ex-boyfriend lets on that everyone thinks Becky is the better of the two, Jade finds herself noticing just how often she comes second to her best friend. There’s nothing Jade is better at than Becky. 


So when Jade is voted in as Party Leader ahead of her school’s General Election only to find herself standing against Becky, Jade sees it as a chance to prove herself. If there’s one thing she can win, it’s this election – even if it means losing her best friend.

So without any further ado, here's Non to talk all things Second Best Friend, friendships mixed in with student politics, and why YA is so totally awesome <3

What was the inspiration behind Second Best Friend?

I’m obsessed with friendship novels and I’ve been wanting to write about the less positive side of female friendships for a while. When I read an article in The Pool speculating about Rosamund Pike being content to be number 2 in her career because she was a happy number 1 to all her friends and family, I started thinking about what it would be like to feel like you were second best in your career (or at school) and all your friends and family thought you were second best compared to your best friend.

Tell us a bit more about the main character in the book, Jade. Do you have anything in common with her?

Yes. I frequently put my best friends on a pedestal – I think everything about them is so brilliant and I want to spend all my time with them, but by doing that I’m setting myself up to see myself as inferior. There’s been many times in my life when I’ve experienced some of the things that happen to Jade – someone getting better marks than me in a test, a boyfriend telling me my friend’s prettier, not getting picked for something that really mattered, people always asking where my friend was if I went out without her. Fortunately, when it’s only here and there, it’s a lot easier to handle than when the comparisons seem to pour down like a deluge, drowning the better part of your character and turning you into something you’d rather not be, which is what happens to poor Jade. 

What made you want to write about teenage friendships, particularly in the context of a school election?!

I always want to write about friends. Much as I love romance, I find friendship more varied and tricksy – and important. Having said that, if I wanted to write a novel where I set one friend against another, I didn’t want it to fall into an over-familiar trope of two girls wanting the same guy (or girl), or competing in a beauty pageant. I wanted an arena that gave Jade and Becky a chance to be measured on something more than their looks or their value as a sexual partner – what better way to set them against each other than within a political environment?

What advice would you offer aspiring writers?

My main advice is to write for love – it can be lonely and tiring on both a mental and emotional level at times, why spend your time doing that it if you don’t love it?! The added advantage of writing for love, means that it’s OK to stop sometimes, when it feels too much like a chore. You’re allowed to take a break and come back to it. Also, be patient, especially if you’re a younger writer who feels like time is running away from you. Some writers find their voice quickly, others take time and that’s OK. It’s not a race.

Sum up Second Best Friend in three words!


Friendship, politics, rivalry.

Thank you so much Non, for appearing on my blog!

Keep an eye out for my review of Second Best Friend coming soon...

Buy Second Best Friend here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Second-Best-Friend-Non-Pratt/dp/1781127573/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1516055373&sr=8-1&keywords=second+best+friend+non+pratt

Check out Non Pratt here: https://www.thebookseller.com/tag/non-pratt



Until next time :)

Sunday, 14 January 2018

ZENITH BLOG TOUR | 5 Minutes With... Sasha Alsberg and Lindsay Cummings

Hey guys, and happy Sunday! Today I am soooo excited to be hosting a 5 Minutes With post - not only have I not done one in a while, but also I am interviewing none other than dynamic author duo Sasha Alsberg and Lindsay Cummings, authors of Zenith, which was released on Thursday! So if you haven't picked up your copy yet, I don't know what you're waiting for?!

If you need any more encouragement that this book is out of this world, check out the blurb here...


There is darkness sweeping across the stars. 

Most know Androma Racella as the Bloody Baroness: a powerful mercenary whose reign of terror stretches across the Mirabel Galaxy. To those aboard her fearsome glass starship the Maurader, she’s just Andi, their captain and protector. 

When a routine mission goes awry, the all-girl crew’s resilience is tested as they find themselves in a most unfamiliar place: at the mercy of a sadistic bounty hunter connected to Andi’s past and a harrowing betrayal. 

Meanwhile, on the far side of the galaxy, a ruthless ruler waits in the shadows of the planet Xen Ptera, biding her time to exact revenge for the destruction of her people. The final pieces of her deadly plan are about to fall into place, unleashing a plot that will tear Mirabel in two. 

Andi and her crew embark on a dangerous, soul-testing journey that could restore order to their ship—or just as easily start a war that will devour worlds. As the Marauder hurtles towards the unknown, and Mirabel hangs in the balance, the only thing certain is that in a galaxy run on lies and illusion, no one can be trusted. 

From internet sensation Sasha Alsberg and author Lindsay Cummings comes a new serialized space opera, full of action, fantastical intrigue, and steamy star-crossed romance.  


For fans of popular sci-fi books and fantasy books for teens such as Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff, Wool by Hugh Howey, Truthwitch by Susan Dennard, and A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas.

And without further ado, here are Sasha and Lindsay to chat with us all about Zenith, exploring outer space, and how they make their co-writing work...

What is the inspiration behind Zenith?

Zenith was inspired by our love of classic scifi like Firefly and Star Wars, with a little bit of Game of Thrones’ fantasy elements thrown in. 

Tell us a bit more about the main character, Andi. Do either of you have anything in common with her?

Andi is the captain of the crew. She’s a very strong character, but she’s got a really dark past. She’s done things she’s not proud of, but she’s also had strong reasons for why she does what she does. We love how loyal Andi is to her crew, but we also love how she learns how to lean on others over the course of the novel. There’s a lot of elements of both of us in each member of the crew! It’s fun to weave in things like that with our characters. For Andi, we’re both a bit stubborn like she is!

What made you want to write a novel about an all-girl space crew set in space? 

Because we’re young women who grew up fantasizing about exploring outer space! Now we’re able to do it through the pages of our own book!

What was your writing process like?

Scattered and messy but fun! We write on google docs, a live document that can be accessed by both of us at the same time. Our creative meetings on Facetime are a lot of chatting and then at the end we start to plan out Zenith stuff. It’s mostly just a big hangout with some work thrown in at the end (okay, a LOT of work, but it’s still fun!)

Why is YA literature so special?

It really meant something to both of us, growing up, and it will continue to mean something because it’s got a special place in both of our hearts. YA helped us both when we were in the midst of sadness and sickness and everything else under the sun, and now we hope Zenith helps others in their own ways.

What advice would you give to a young, aspiring writer?

Write! Write! Write! Write some more.

Sum up Zenith in three words.


Bloody. Sarcastic. Intergalactic! 

Thank you so much, Sasha and Lindsay, for appearing on my blog!

Make sure you guys check out the rest of the spots on the blog tour <3

Buy Zenith here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Zenith-Sasha-Alsberg/dp/0008228337/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1515879549&sr=8-1&keywords=zenith

Check out Sasha and Lindsay here: 

https://twitter.com/sashaalsberg?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor

https://www.lindsaycummingsbooks.com


Until next time :)



Monday, 1 January 2018

THE DBR AWARDS 2017 | My Year In Books

Hey guys, and happy Monday! Today I am really excited to be posting my yearly New Years post - my version of a Top 10 books I've read this year. The DBR Awards allow me to share with you which books really rocked my year - and I split them into categories so you can get a sense of what kind of book it is, in case you want to pick it up yourself! (And obviously, I would highly recommend that you do...)

I have read so many brilliant books this year, and for that, I would like to thank the wonderful publishers and authors who have kindly sent me the most fabulous new publications, the friends who have recommended to me some great reads, and my university professors who have put some excellent stuff on my reading lists...


 I will link my review (If I wrote one) if not, I will link the Goodreads page <3

So without further ado, here are the winners of the DBR Awards 2017!

Best Historical Fiction

The Rasputin Dagger - Theresa Breslin 

http://delightfulbookreviews.blogspot.co.uk/2017/08/book-review-rasputin-dagger-by-theresa.html

The Game-Changer

Things a Bright Girl Can Do - Sally Nicholls 

http://delightfulbookreviews.blogspot.co.uk/2017/11/5-book-review-things-bright-girl-can-do.html

Best Adult Fiction 

The Girls - Emma Cline 

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26893819-the-girls?from_search=true

Best Non-Fiction

Beyond Magenta: Transgender Kids Speak Out - Susan Kuklin 

http://delightfulbookreviews.blogspot.co.uk/2017/01/book-review-beyond-magenta-transgender.html

Tearjerker 

Phantom Limbs - Paula Garner 

http://delightfulbookreviews.blogspot.co.uk/2017/04/5-book-review-phantom-limbs-by-paula.html

Best 'Classic' Novel

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man - James Joyce 

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7588.A_Portrait_of_the_Artist_as_a_Young_Man?ac=1&from_search=true

The Important Book

The Hate U Give - Angie Thomas 

http://delightfulbookreviews.blogspot.co.uk/2017/04/5-book-review-hate-u-give-by-angie.html

Best Poetry/Short Story Collection

Almost Midnight - Rainbow Rowell 

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35269543-almost-midnight?ac=1&from_search=true

Funniest Book 

Freshers - Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison 

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28936274-freshers?from_search=true

If you have great reading taste like me and have read any of the books above let me know!

Congratulations to all of the authors whose books have won, and thank you for all the wonderful books you write (and please, PLEASE continue to write more PLEASEEEEE)

And another huge thank you to all the bloggers who continue to spread the word about the amazing books that these wonderful authors write! 


Until next time :) 






Monday, 11 December 2017

DAY IN THE LIFE OF AN AUTHOR | Isabella May

Hey guys, and happy Monday! I hope you all had great weekends and are looking forward to fast approaching Christmas...

Today I am delighted to share with you another DITL post, this time with author Isabella May, who writes fab novels such as Oh! What a Pavlova and The Cocktail Bar. Isabella May lives in (mostly) sunny Andalucia, Spain with her husband, daughter and son, creatively inspired by the sea and the mountains. When she isn’t having her cake and eating it, sampling a new cocktail on the beach, or ferrying her children to and from after school activities, she can usually be found writing.

As a co-founder and a former contributing writer for the popular online women’s magazine, The Glass House Girls - www.theglasshousegirls.com - she has also been lucky enough to subject the digital world to her other favourite pastimes, travel, the Law of Attraction, and Prince (The Purple One).

She has recently become a Book Fairy, and is having lots of fun with her imaginative 'drops'!

The Cocktail Bar is her second novel, following on from the hit sensation, Oh! What a Pavlova, published in 2017. Her third novel is currently being polished up and involves copious amounts of churros con chocolate: watch this space...

Check out Isabella May's day here...

What is a typical day for me as a debut author? I’ve long forgotten because it varies so much… so I will take the weekday mean, the average!
First off, I try – and frequently fail because my six year old has an innate ability to rise just as I do – to meditate. Just for fifteen minutes, that’s all. But inevitably, those golden moments of seeking that much sought after third eye chakra morph into me unloading the dishwasher. 

But if there is one thing I never fail to accomplish, it’s drinking my morning Pink Himalayan sole (water and a little mineral salt), followed half an hour later by a bowl of coconut porridge. Don’t worry, I definitely make up for this orthorexic ritual-like behaviour later…

If it’s a school day, then after drop off at 9am, I am usually straight back to my desk, fat cafe sombra in hand, to hit my target of 1000 words  – that’s if I am working on a new novel. I could also quite easily be editing, keeping up-to-date with my social media, eating cake or brainstorming new ideas. 

In case you hadn’t guessed, I do have a tendency to go off at tangents, and I am a Cake Monster!

And if it’s the summer holidays then things are very different. The Spanish school summer holidays are 11 weeks long. Yes, you did read that correctly: Eleven. Entire. Weeks.
But normally, on a good day, I will hit that 1000 target before I have to pack up and go pick up the children for 2pm. One of the few downsides to living in Spain is the ridiculously short school days (and those super elongated holidays). 

We’ll drive back from school, I’ll fix the kids lunch, sort through the bags for hidden homework  (Spanish schools set a ridiculous amount from a young age, frequently making me want to flee to Denmark). Occasionally I will also come across a pilfered toy from a fellow classmate.

If I’m ‘lucky’ *read: if the children can entertain themselves and resist the temptation to argue*, I might get a nice thirty or forty minute stretch at the laptop to edit, add to a chapter, or answer my emails. Often though, I become Dance Mum – also known as Taxi Mum – a bi-weekly task that involves dropping off and picking up my daughter at the local studio… and all too frequently involves more coffee and cake! My younger son and I will take his reading books or colouring, and I will try my best not to look at my phone. Not to forget my quick change of costume to become Basketball Mum… another twice weekly escapade.

Dinner is served late here compared to the UK and once my husband is through the door just before 7pm, to take over, I will either have a session on my trampoline, jogging to high vibe music with a fabulous view of the Mediterranean sea, or I’ll carry out some Pranic Healing on my ‘guinea pigs’. I have just taken the Level 2 and 3 courses in neighbouring Gibraltar this year. Exciting!

We eat our own ‘grown up’ dinner slightly later than the children, mainly because we all have such diverse food tastes in our household and we’re all far too proud to compromise – plus us adults love our spice (in the food that is…). And then it’s a book and bed. One of the great things about Spain is we hardly ever watch English TV - and we really don’t miss it. We talk so much more in the evenings (well, book-worming aside), and I don’t think we could ever go back to the nightly lure of the box, even if we did move home.

Obviously, at the weekend we let our hair down, go out for tapas and cocktails, or treat ourselves to a fat gin and tonic on the balcony overlooking the sea! 

Thank you so much, Isabella, for appearing on my blog and for sharing your day with us :)

Check out Isabella May here: https://isabellamayauthor.com

Buy The Cocktail Bar here:  http://myBook.to/thecocktailbar








Friday, 24 November 2017

SWEET WILLIAM BLOG TOUR | 'Sweet William' by Iain Maitland (****)

Hey guys, and happy Friday! Today I am so excited to be on the final stop of the Sweet William blog tour, to celebrate the publication of this horrifying, electrifying, terrifying read! Sweet William is a rollercoaster read of a crime novel, where a young father escapes from a psychiatric hospital to be reunited with his young son. It is a story of danger, delirium and devastation. It is a novel that will keep you on the edge of your seat the entire way through. 

And if you don't believe me, check out the blurb here...

Life and death played out over 48 hours. A father intent on being with his young son escapes from a secure psychiatric hospital, knowing he has just one chance for the two of them to start a new life together. Sweet William is a breathtakingly dark thriller that spans forty-eight hours in the life of a desperate father and a three-year-old child in peril. Brilliant and terrifying, this is a debut novel that will stay with its readers long after they finish turning the pages.

Sweet William is an absolutely electrifying read that gripped me from start to finish. Right from the beginning I was tantalised by Maitland's writing and the too-close-for-comfort narrative perspective that made me feel like I was complicit in Rick's crimes. The narrative perspective was definitely one of my favourite parts of the book. It kept me on tenterhooks throughout the entire novel and I was always hesitant to turn the page in case something dreadful happened...

The characters were all carefully crafted to fit the novel and I loved how the narrative switched from first person to third person, so we could get a bit of an insight not only into Rick's mind, but the other family members, to make the situation seem a lot more urgent to the reader.

Overall I loved everything about this book. The plot was so well thought out and the suspense that Maitland created is remarkable. I didn't know what to expect from this book (I haven't read anything like it before) but I really enjoyed it and I definitely need something light and fluffy to read now!

Make sure you guys check out the rest of the spots on the blog tour <3


Until next time :)