Country Rivals (Tippermere #3) by Zara Stoneley Cover Reveal

12:00 Daniel Riding 0 Comments

CR Banner1 Today we’re revealing the gorgeous cover for COUNTRY RIVALS the third book in ZARA STONELEY’S Tippermere series, which will be released in May 2016. Country Rivals eBook Country Rivals by Zara Stoneley Series: Tippermere #3 Published by Harper Impulse on May 2016 Genres: Chicklit, Humour, Love & Romance GoodReads, Amazon
Note from the author – Hi, I’m really excited to be working with Star Crossed Tours for my cover reveal, and thrilled with the new look that HarperCollins have come up with for my Tippermere books. I’ve always loved the covers of the first two books in the series, STABLE MATES and COUNTRY AFFAIRS, but this third one is quite different and extra special. I think it really gives you a sense of where Lottie comes from, and what the story is about. I hope you love it as much as I do! Zara x
ATA   ZaraStoneley_authorpicBestselling author Zara Stoneley lives in deepest Cheshire surrounded by horses, dogs, cats and amazing countryside. When she’s not visiting wine bars, artisan markets or admiring the scenery in her sexy high heels or green wellies, she can be found in flip flops on the beach in Barcelona, or more likely sampling the tapas! Zara writes hot romance and bonkbusters. Her latest novel, ‘Stable Mates’, is a fun romp through the Cheshire countryside and combines some of her greatest loves – horses, dogs, hot men and strong women (and not forgetting champagne and fast cars)! She writes for Harper Collins and Accent Press.


Blog Tour: The Silent Girls | Ann Troup

07:00 Daniel Riding 0 Comments

Hello folks, I am super excited today to be a part of the blog tour for 'The Silent Girls', the latest novel by the lovely and talented Ann Troup. As many of you already know, I love interviewing authors so Ann was kind enough to agree to answer some of my questions. So make yourself a brew, get comfy and have a read.
Hello Ann, thank you so much for agreeing to an interview, I am pleased to welcome you to my blog.
Thank you for having me, I’m very pleased to be here.
So tell me a little bit about yourself, where are you from and what do you write?
I currently live in Devon, but I was born in Gloucester. I’m on the move again this year, so who knows where I will end up? I write women’s fiction with psychological/crime elements, or at least that’s how my books are categorised. From my personal point of view I just write stories of the kind I like to read. I hope other people will enjoy them too.

What can you tell me about your latest book ‘The Silent Girls’?
The Silent Girls is a fairly dark tale that explores the effect of secrets and lies on a community. It is set fifty years after a series of grisly murders which have left a terrible legacy for the residents of the fictional Winfield. The women who were murdered are long dead, but their constant and silent presence has allowed rot and moral decay to flourish in the area. Every character is affected by the past and cannot escape it, even when they think they have discovered the truth.

Where do you find your inspiration for your wonderful books?
This is always such a hard question, it’s difficult to pin down a single answer. Each book usually starts with a character who takes shape in my head, I never write about real people as such, but it would be true to say that all my characters stem from people I’ve met and known - I cherry pick the traits that I find interesting and mould someone new from them. The plots stem from what if situations. For instance The Silent Girls begins with the death of an elderly reclusive woman who devoted her life to caring for her mother and brother. Why would a woman choose to do that? What motivates that level of self-sacrifice? Equally I like to look at situations and surmise the effects they might have on a wider group. How does a community overcome the legacy of a serial killer? Does it ever fully recover? So, in short my inspiration always comes from picturing a situation, populating it with characters and exploring what might happen if… There is always a tiny grain of truth in there somewhere whether it be a set of circumstances, elements of the characters or an actually happening that panned out differently in real life.

What can you tell me about your typical writing day and what your process is?
I’m definitely a planner, I spend a long time working out time lines and plot. When I’m writing I do allow the characters to bring their own twists into the story, but I do stick to the essence of the plan because there’s nothing worse than a total re write when you’re working to a deadline.  I’m horribly undisciplined about my writing day, but usually sit down in the morning, write, break for chores and go back to it throughout the day as new ideas strike me. If I’m on a roll I will write all night sometimes. If I’m stuck I may only get a few hundred words out in a day. It’s important to me that writing is always a pleasure, the day it becomes a chore is the day I won’t want to do it any more so I always try and make it an enjoyable process.

Do you have your own special Writer's Room?
I have an ‘office’ (which sounds very grand, but is my daughters old bedroom that has fast become the room of requirement, in that it’s where we put everything we don’t know what to do with but can’t throw away!) I mostly write in there, however as long as I’m comfortable and the muse is present I can write anywhere at home. I’m not someone who can write in public, say in a coffee shop or library - I’m too nosy and would spend way too much time people watching and not writing.

Can you tell me about your journey to publication? How did that all happen?
Some years ago I self-published a book, it was a decent story but wasn’t really ready for publication so I took it down and sat on it for a few years - I’m still sitting but it hasn’t hatched yet! Self-publishing taught me a lot about what people want from a book and how complicated the publishing process really is - you can’t just throw a book out into the world and expect it to fly. I carried on writing but did nothing with it until January last year. I had written The Lost Child and my resolution for 2015 was to pitch it and see what happened, I wanted to go down the route of traditional publishing. So, at the end of January I sent the book to an agent and a publisher, my plan was to send it out to two agents/ publishers at a time and await the rejections. If it hadn’t found a home in that year, I would think again, use any feedback as constructive criticism and start again. To my immense surprise and excitement Carina offered on the book within two weeks - on the day I received my contract I received a rejection from the agent. I’m very self-conscious about telling this story because I know that other writers have fought for years to get their chance. I have been immensely lucky and fortunate and am grateful every day for my opportunity.

What can you tell me about your publisher Carina UK an imprint of Harper Collins, and what are they like to work with?
Carina are lovely to work with, the editors are enthusiastic, encouraging but pull no punches when they think something needs work. They are a relatively small imprint, but work tremendously hard to build their authors and will take chances where other imprints might not. Digital first has a fast turnaround and deadlines can be tight, but it’s a thrilling challenge and very exciting to know that your book will be out in months not years but that every aspect of the process will receive thorough attention. I came on board with Carina just as Harper Collins took over so it’s been interesting to be part of the transition. I visited the HC offices in the News Building last year, which was a brilliant experience - so many books and mine is one of them!

What do your family and loved ones think of your success?
Haha, like most people they think that unless I achieve JK Rowling’s sales there hasn’t been much success! To be fair, they are very pleased and proud that I’m doing something that I love and enjoy earmarking my royalties for their own ends ;) My wider family are very surprised at how little authors earn per book - friends and family seem to be far more interested in how much money, whereas I am more concerned about how much enjoyment readers get from my books. The other notable comment form friends and family is that if I can do it, so can they - anyone can write a book, right?

Are there any particular career highlights or funny moments you would like to share?
Haha - I did outsell Lee Child’s latest book for a day back in September! My funniest, or most embarrassing moment, came last May. I had inadvertently, having not even realised I’d entered, won tickets to Crimefest in Bristol. So off I trotted… being the polite sort I thought I ought to thank the people who had sponsored the tickets, Goldsboro books, so I spent some time waffling rubbish at the man selling the books and expressing my gratitude for the opportunity, blah blah. He was very charming, affable and tolerant of the bonkers blond woman who was taking up his time. It was only when I got home that i clicked that I’d been waffling like an idiot to David Headley - dream agent extraordinaire! Duh! Possibly a badly missed opportunity there… My other funny moment was the lowlight of myself promo - talking about the book during a mammogram. Well, she asked what I did for a living - nothing like trying to flog a book whilst someone is manhandling your boobs! As you can see, my professional writerly persona needs considerable work!

So what’s next for Ann Troup? I would love to hear what is coming up for you.
Two more books! I’m currently working on my third for Carina, with a fourth due later this year. So in 2017 I will have four titles out. In the meantime I’m looking forward to meeting up with other authors and you lovely bloggers at various events this year.

Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions Ann, it’s been wonderful having you.
Thank you for having me - it’s been my pleasure.

Blurb: What if everything you knew was a lie…

This house has a past that won’t stay hidden, and it is time for the dead to speak.

Returning to Number 17, Coronation Square, Edie is shocked to find the place she remembers from childhood reeks of mould and decay. After her aunt Dolly’s death Edie must clear out the home on a street known for five vicious murders many years ago, but under the dirt and grime of years of neglect lurk dangerous truths.

For in this dark house there is misery, sin and dark secrets that can no longer stay hidden. The truth must come out.

Finding herself dragged back into the horrific murders of the past, Edie must find out what really happened all those years ago. But as Edie uncovers the history of the family she had all but forgotten, she begins to wonder if sometimes it isn’t best to leave them buried.

An unforgettable and addictive story, perfect for fans of Lesley Thomson, Diane Chamberlain and Tracy Buchanan.

About Ann Troup: 

Ann Troup tells tales and can always make something out of nothing (which means she writes books and can create unique things from stuff other people might not glance twice at). She was once awarded 11 out of 10 for a piece of poetry at school – she now holds that teacher entirely responsible for her inclination to write.

Her writing space is known as ‘the empty nest’, having formerly been her daughters bedroom. She shares this space with ten tons of junk and an elderly Westie, named Rooney, who is her constant companion whether she likes it or not. He likes to contribute to the creative process by going to sleep on top of her paperwork and running away with crucial post-it notes, which have inadvertently become stuck to his fur. She is thinking of renaming him Gremlin.

She lives by the sea in Devon with her husband and said dog. Two children have been known to remember the place that they call home, but mainly when they are in need of a decent roast dinner, it’s Christmas or when only Mum will do. She also has extremely decent stepchildren.

In a former incarnation she was psychiatric nurse, an experience which frequently informs her writing. She has also owned a cafe and an art/craft gallery. Now she only makes bacon sandwiches as a sideline, but does continue to dabble with clay, paint, paper, textiles, glue…you name it. Occasionally she may decide to give away some of these creations (you have been warned!).


My Top 10 Obsessions | Nigel May

07:00 Daniel Riding 0 Comments

To celebrate the launch of his new novel, the gritty and glam Deadly Obsession, Nigel May fills us in on his top 10 obsessions in life…..

1.       Travel – I adore travelling and now with the books being set in exotic and glamorous locations around the world I have the perfect opportunity to clock up as many air miles as possible. Deadly Obsession is a perfect example. Even though a lot of the action is UK-based I do have chapters set in Rio, on safari in South Africa, Italy, Paris and Barcelona. All places that I have been over the last few years so it meant that I could write from experience. My favourite place to visit was India. I adored it there. That was for Scandalous Lies

2.       Devious Maids – one of the best TV shows to have been on in years. Season 4 is being made at the moment and I can’t wait for it to air. It’s full of fun, fabulous, feisty females and is soaked in murder and intrigue. Just like my novels! I would love to have one of mine (or more) made into a TV show or mini-series. I live in hope.

3.       Grace Jones – just the most amazing singer, model and entertainer. I love everything about her. One wall of my writing office is covered in Grace’s album covers. I am reading her memoirs at the moment and they are an awe-inspiring read. 

4.       Shirley Conran’s Lace – the book is just one of the best blockbuster reads ever. I remember watching the mini-series when I was younger and just falling in love with the glamour and the deception of it all. It has everything you want in a story – family feuds, best friends, foreign travel and of course the immortal line, “which one of you b***hes is my mother?” – pure unadulterated class. 

5.       Facebook and Twitter – I am always on social media. I think I may have an addiction. I saw in the news that Facebook was 12 recently. I think I have been on it pretty much every day for those twelve years! Well, most of it anyway. And Twitter I love too. It’s very voyeuristic to see what people are doing with their lives. It’s the first thing I look at in the morning.

6.       Theatre – a lot of my free evenings are spent at theatres. I love a good murder mystery or a wonderful singalong musical. If somebody could fuse the two and make a Miss Marple with a few song and dance numbers I would be so pleased.

7.       Retro comedy – I grew up on Carry On…films and 70s comedy like Are You Being Served, Dick Emery and Man About The House. Really British and really daft. I love them. They had it all – sauciness, larger than life characters and some brilliant one-liners. If a Carry On… pops up on the TV, that’s me gripped for the next 90 minutes.

8.       Craft – I work on a TV channel dealing with craft when I am not writing and I love it. Being surrounded by glitter and shiny things all day, what’s not to like? I adore what craft can give to people. You can be really down in the dumps and making a card or a scrapbook page seems to instantly put a smile on your face. It’s therapeutic and a wonderful thing.

9.       Eurovision Song Contest – I have been obsessed with this since Abba won it back in the 70s. My dream job would be to present it. I used to pretend I did in the mirror when I was a teenager. I’d never been until 2015 but now I intend to go every year if I possibly can. I am writing a comedy book based on Eurovision which I must finish at some point! I keep becoming distracted! 

10.   RuPaul’s Drag Race – OMG – this show is just TV gold! The most famous drag star on earth, RuPaul, puts other drag queens through their paces to become the next drag superstar. It’s incredible. I love the costumes, the bitchiness of it all and of course the language used – ‘glamazon’, ‘condragulations’, ‘can I get an amen’! Fabulous!

What would you do if you saw your husband killed right in front of you … identified his body … had him cremated … then six months later received a letter written by him two days ago? 

Amy Barrowman grew up on the wrong side of the tracks. So when she falls in love with millionaire Riley Hart and he asks her to marry him she can’t believe her luck. She has found true love and her happy ever after. 

Riley Hart is a Millionaire Man about Town. Men want to be him and women want to bed him. But to achieve Riley’s status, you have to tread on a lot of toes and make a lot of enemies. 

When Riley is gunned down at the nightclub they own, Amy is determined to avenge his death. She receives a mysterious letter detailing a list of suspects including Riley’s sworn enemy, actor Grant Wilson. But with an obsessive passion brewing between her and Grant and a dangerous assassin trailing her every move it would seem Amy has opened a deadly and tempting Pandora’s Box. In settling the score for her husband has Amy put herself into terrible danger?