Book Review: TIN MAN | Sarah Winman

15:45 Daniel Riding 0 Comments

I literally finished this book an hour ago, and here I am compelled to tell everyone about it and tell everyone to read it now in the same breath. Even halfway through this book, I was telling friends and my fellow booksellers in Waterstones that they HAVE to read this beautiful book.

It has to be one of the most beautiful books I have read in a long time, and it reminded me in many ways of ‘What Belongs to You’ by Garth Greenwell. It had that same lyrical and emotive prose that broke my heart a number of times, in the best way possible that only a book like this can.

It’s about love and friendship, and denial of one’s true self while your true identity is screaming to be released. It’s about life and loss, death and living and human nature and sexuality.

As a Gay Man myself there were many aspects of this book that resonated with me, such as misplaced and lost familial relationships and the constant need to be loved and sometimes simple just to be ‘seen’. I feel that this is a very powerful book and deserves recognition for its obvious literary merit.

I have never read anything by Sarah before and her skills as a writer are wonderful. The way she crafts her sentences and fills them with emotion and the simplicity of everyday observation is simply wonderful. That has to be the one word that sums up this book, wonderful. Just wonderful.

This book made me feel so many things, and at the end of it, I just feel grateful to have been able to read something like this. Trust me, I could go on for pages and pages about just how fantastic this book is, but all I will say is this – This book is equal parts endearing and heartbreaking, a true tale of love, friendship and identity. This has to be one of my top books of 2017 for sure.

The unforgettable and achingly tender new novel from Sarah Winman, author of the international bestseller WHEN GOD WAS A RABBIT and the Sunday Times Top Ten bestseller A YEAR OF MARVELLOUS WAYS.
'An exquisitely crafted tale of love and loss' Guardian
The unforgettable new novel from Sarah Winman, author of the international bestseller WHEN GOD WAS A RABBIT.
'Her best novel to date' Observer
'A marvel' Sunday Express
'Astoundingly beautiful' Matt Haig
It begins with a painting won in a raffle: fifteen sunflowers, hung on the wall by a woman who believes that men and boys are capable of beautiful things.
And then there are two boys, Ellis and Michael,
who are inseparable.
And the boys become men,
and then Annie walks into their lives,
and it changes nothing and everything.
Tin Man sees Sarah Winman follow the acclaimed success of When God Was A Rabbit and A Year Of Marvellous Ways with a love letter to human kindness and friendship, loss and living.

Biographical Notes 
Sarah Winman grew up in Essex and now lives in London. She attended the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art and went on to act in theatre, film and television. She has written three novels, WHEN GOD WAS A RABBIT, A YEAR OF MARVELLOUS WAYS and TIN MAN.
Buy Links:


Author Interview: Sean Fay Wolfe | The Elementia Chronicles

12:39 Daniel Riding 0 Comments

Today folks, I am super excited to welcome the author of 'The Elementia Chronicles' (an unofficial Minecraft Fan adventure, here to answer a few questions. Sean Fay Wolfe is the author and he is one of the main inspirations for me writing my own Minecraft series. You can find book one here on Amazon US & Amazon UK.

But enough about that, let's get on with the interview, I have been excited about this one for a while so I hope you enjoy it.

Hi Sean, thank you so much for agreeing to an interview. I am super excited to have you here and pick your brains. I understand you’ve been very busy right now, what have you been up to?

I'm doing well, thanks for asking. I'm in a bit of a transitional period now that the Elementia Chronicles trilogy has concluded. Many fans have asked me for more Elementia books, and so I've started a new series that takes place in Elementia... sort of an Elementia Chronicles sequel series. I also have several other non-Elementia related writing projects that I'm working on, one of which my agent is currently pitching to publishers. Beyond writing, I'm entering my third year of college, and I'll be changing majors to focus on film. 

So I would love to hear about your journey to publication, how did you go about getting traditionally published with Harper Collins?

My journey through publication was unorthodox. I didn't write Quest for Justice with the intent of publishing it; I only self-published it after my younger brother reacted very positively to it. I had no idea what I was doing at first, and my family and I sort of figured it out as we went along. We mainly focused on social media promotion at first, and then after receiving a letter from a local student I started giving presentations about the writing process to schools, which further broadened my reach. On top of this, I joined the Association of Rhode Island Authors, and through connections made in that group I landed an interview with Publisher's Weekly. This article was what changed everything; I was approached by several agents and publishers immediately after my story was published. My series had several qualities which were very attractive to publishers... it was a series by a young author, about a popular video game, and already had a following with a sequel about to be published. I signed a contract with HarperCollins in March of 2015. Quest for Justice was published in July of 2015, The New Order in October of 2015 followed by Herobrine's Message in January 2016. I was self-published for a little over a year before  being picked up by HarperCollins, and in less than a year after that, all three books were published... that's an insanely fast turnaround in the publishing world.

So how long did it take you to write each book? They’re quite big books as well, was it easy to do or did you struggle every now and then?

It took me about two years to write Book 1, one year to write Book 2, and eight months to write Book 3. Although it did get easier as I got more experienced, I did experience frequent stretches of writer’s block, which still happens to me today. I'm the type of author who writes in explosive bursts, where sometimes I'll be blocked for weeks and other times I'll write a hundred pages in 24 hours. So all in all, I'd say that while there was some frustration with the writer’s block, it was mostly enjoyable.

What can you tell me about your writing process? Are you a planner and plotter or do you just sit down at your computer and go for it?

I'm definitely a planner when it comes to writing. I had all 91 chapters of the Elementia Chronicles series planned out before I finished writing Book 1. I like to know where the story is going so that I can add in points of continuity for observant readers to pick up on. That being said, I don't treat the plans like the word of God or anything... if I feel like something needs to change mid-story, I'll adapt the story around the changes.

Obviously, your books are inspired by Minecraft and the gaming world, where id the actual idea for the ‘Elementia Chronicles’ come from?

The idea for the Elementia Chronicles came from my own experiences playing Minecraft online. I would often see new players being picked on by the older players, and I thought that the story of a war between the old and new players would be an interesting concept for a story.

The final book in the ‘Elementia Chronicles’ came out January of 2016. Do you have any more plans to write and release more books? If so can you tell us what you are working on right now?

I already mentioned some of the new projects that I've been working on, but I'd like to reiterate how thrilled I am to be working on new projects. I loved writing the Elementia Chronicles, but I'm ready to bring some new stories to life in the world of Elementia, and I'm particularly excited to be working on my new series.

I would love to hear more about your gaming company, how did that come about and what are your plans for the future?

I originally created Diamond Axe Studios as a platform to host some online games I made. However, now I am using it as a production house for all of my future endeavors. While I haven't done a ton with the company yet, I have some big plans, including a YouTube network and several other ideas.

Thank you so much, Sean, for taking the time to answer my questions. It has been wonderful having you on my website.

Thanks for choosing to interview me. If you have any more questions, don't hesitate to ask.

For more information about Sean and his book check out the links below:

(all links will open in a new window)

Amazon US
Amazon UK


Blog Tour: Death Plays a Part | Vivian Conroy

05:00 Daniel Riding 0 Comments

I don’t really read crime as a rule only because it doesn’t really do it for me. Also if it happens to be a bit gory and a bit bloody then I avoid because I am a big wimp.

But this mystery from Vivian Conroy is an enjoyable and exciting romp through the investigation of who actually killed the most hated man in the village. With a brilliant cast of characters including the wonderful Dolly the Dachshund, who is very sweet and I wish she was real. And that she was mine.

The world building and the setting was well done, and it really gave me many wonderful mental visuals of the fictional Cornisea and many people who lived there and featured in the story. I adore villages and towns that have this very rural kind of setting and this is what Cornisea was for me.

Guinevere is a fabulous character and a wonderful protagonist, and she has a wonderful name as well. She is feisty and determined and makes it her priority to get the bottom of the crime. She works well with Oliver and this pairing is great and adds so much to the story.

I must say that I hate to be wrong, but this book made sure I was wrong at every turn and that is a good thing. I had a bit of a tough time trying to figure things out, as well as trying to figure out the clues and I was thrown off the scent a million times and found myself getting frustrated with my ineptitude as a detective. I am not a detective and never will be, but this book had me guessing and getting very invested in the story which is a credit to the skills of Vivian as the author.

Everything moves along at a good pace and I must say I never found myself getting bored. It was a wonderfully cosy mystery, that I must say really lends itself to reading on a rainy evening with a massive mug of hot chocolate which is what I did.

A lovely and cosy mystery, I gave this book 4/5 Stars.

Buy it HERE

Vivian Conroy Amazon Page HERE


Blog Tour: Her Last Breath | Tracy Buchanan

05:00 Daniel Riding 0 Comments

Today folks I am super thrilled to be part of the official tour for 'Her Last Breath' by Tracy Buchanan, as part of the tour I am lucky enough to have an interview with the lady herself. Enjoy.

Hello Tracy, thank you so much for agreeing to an interview, I am pleased to welcome you to my website. How are you?

I’m very good, thanks! Though there is a black cloud hovering over my house right now so bracing myself for a torrential downpour!

So tell me a little bit about yourself, where are you from and what do you write?

I was born and bred in Milton Keynes and now live in a town nearby. I write what my publisher has labelled ‘beach noir’ novels, summer reads with a dark twist!

What can you tell me about your typical writing day and what your process is?

I was blessed enough to be able to leave work to write full-time last year. So in the mornings, I try to focus on admin and publicity: signing contracts, checking finances, replying to reader emails, and doing articles like this. Then the afternoons are focused on writing, writing, writing! Over lunch, I like to get some inspiration by watching an episode of a series I love and tend to break my day up by walking the puppy. I usually find I can thrash out plot issues during those walks.

Do you have a special writing space/room?

I have a dedicated writing study and I absolutely love it! One room is graced by a beautiful forest scene so it feels like I’m sitting in the middle of a forest. I have a desk and also a chaise longue… yes, an actual chaise longue! That’s where I spend most of my time, my puppy snuggled up next to me.

Any necessary supplies / coping strategies when you’re writing? Wine? Cake? Music?

Tea, lots of it! I also like to listen to music while writing. I create playlists on Spotify for each novel I’ve written, you can find the one for Her Last Breath at

Can you tell me about your journey to publication? How did that all happen?

It was a bit of a roller coaster but to sum up, I first dabbled with writing teen novels and got a publishing deal in Germany, randomly. But then I decided adult fiction was where my heart really lay. After lots of rejections, I finally got a fantastic agent and editor and the rest is history!

What do your family and loved ones think of your success?

They’re so proud and excited, my biggest cheerleaders for sure! When my first UK novel, The Atlas of Us, came out, they all took photos of them reading it and uploaded the photos to Facebook!

So what do you like to do when you’re not writing?

I have a four year old daughter so she keeps me mega busy! But in general, I love going for walks with my puppy and family, sitting in the garden and reading and travelling. I adore seeing my friends over dinner too for a natter and a drink or two!

So what’s next for Tracy Buchanan, what are you working on right now?

I’m working on a new novel for HarperCollins, due out next summer. I’m writing it in a complete frenzy! Am SO excited about it. Watch this space…

What other writers do you love or have influenced you in some way?

I really enjoy writers like Charity Norman and Lucy Clarke, novels in fascinating locations with some darkness lurking beneath. I’ve also always been a big fan of the US writer Anita Shreve. Not many people here in the UK know her too well, but she’s such a stunning writer and also a lovely person too. I met her at an event once and she was actually rather shy and sweet.

Any particular highlights in your writing career so far?

Definitely the day I walked away from my job to write full-time. As an author, you just want to write as much as you can. So to be able to do it full-time was the ultimate aim for me. I never dreamed it would happen as quickly as it did. But thanks to my wonderful agent, publisher and the foreign deals I’ve managed to secure, it turned into a reality. That feeling of freedom and excitement as I walked out of an office for the last time was out of this world.

Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions, Tracy.




Blog Tour: The Bed & Breakfast on the Beach | Kat French

05:00 Daniel Riding 0 Comments

Today folks, I am super excited to be part of the official blog tour for the new book by the super talented Kat French. I adore Kat, she is such a fab writer and I love her work, she also inspires me with her level of productivity. She is the writerly version of Wonder Woman. 
Hello Kat, thank you so much for agreeing to an interview, I am pleased to welcome you to my website. How are you?
Hi Daniel! I’m good thanks, excited about the release of The Bed & Breakfast on the Beach. It all gets a bit hectic around launch time - lots of blog posts to do, guest posts, social media, etc.  It’s a whirlwind for a while!
So tell me a little bit about yourself, where are you from and what do you write?
I’m from the Wes Mids. I’m a full time romance writer - I feel pretty lucky, it really is my dream job.
What can you tell me about your typical writing day and what your process is?
I try to be quite disciplined. I’m always busy, so I try to organise my work day as I would if I was working somewhere other than in my own house. I work around the kids school hours, and then again when they’re in bed. It’s a juggling act, to be honest, Daniel, sometimes there doesn’t seem enough hours in the day to get everything done - but sleep is for the weak, as they say! 
Do you have a special writing space/room?
Yes - our spare room is now my dedicated office. I love it! I live in a house full of boys, so it’s my haven with pretty wall paper and a comfy armchair.
Any necessary supplies / coping strategies when you’re writing? Wine? Cake? Music?
Music, definitely. I create Spotify playlists for all of my manuscripts and have them on as I work. Wine… god, yes! Only at night though when I’m working on the sofa, like right now!  Cake though - not yet.
Can you tell me about your journey to publication? How did that all happen?
I always wanted to write, and I was fortunate enough to place second in the Mills and Boon annual writing competition. It was a done deal from there on in, I’d got the bug! I worked with an editor there for a year, and although I didn’t end up working for them it was invaluable experience and gave me skills to build on. I went on to self-publish, and on the back of that I was offered a traditional contract.
What do your family and loved ones think of your success?
They’re really thrilled! My kids are super proud and like to take a book in for their teachers.
So what do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Does drinking gin count? I’m a mum of two young boys, so between them and working that’s my life pretty full up. Writing full time is so much more than just writing the books, especially as someone who self publishes as well as writing for publishers. The admin, marketing and PR is all pretty demanding - I genuinely never feel as if I have spare time. Reading is my indulgence when we go on holiday.
So what’s next for Kat French, what are you working on right now?
It’s all about The Bed and Breakfast on the Beach right now, but once that’s released and out there it’s onwards to writing my release for summer 2018. I can’t tell you more about that yet though!
What other writers do you love or have influenced you in some way?
I’m a huge Jilly Cooper and Marian Keyes fan, Catherine Alliott too. More recently I’ve been reading Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series and they are fabulous!
Any particular highlights in your writing career so far?
Every new book feels like a highlight to be honest, I feel really fortunate to do the job I do. But placing in that competition way back in 2009 was the thing that really kicked things off, and also my first contract with HarperCollins.
Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions Kat, you are a star.

 Buy The Book:

About Kat
Image Copyright:
She's a mum of two, wife of one, and a super talented and amazing full time romance writer. 
She writes under two names - Kitty French for erotic romance, and Kat French for romantic comedy.

Kat French is a romantic comedy writer from England, where she lives with her husband and two little boys.

Her first novel, Undertaking Love, is available now.
She also writes erotic romance under the pseudonym Kitty French. Knight & Play is available now, and the sequel, Knight & Stay is coming soon.



Why I chose to Self-Publish

12:40 Daniel Riding 0 Comments

It has been known for a while that I have always wanted to be traditionally published, or at least for me that was the way I believed it should go. I do at some point want to be traditionally published but I will get to that later in this blog post.

I have always wanted to write, and the love of the written word is something that I have never kept a secret. But sometimes I may have been to vocal about wanting to write and be publish, as what brought along with that was a lot of pressure to get things right. The pressure I’m speaking of came from no exterior source, the pressure I found upon myself was what I inflicted upon my own skills and ambitions.

So why did I choose to (seemingly) randomly self-publish a children’s book that I had never spoken about? Truth be told I have always spoken about everything I have been trying to write and I guess that puts more pressure on you to follow through. But for a while I have had lots of ideas for children’s books that have been burning away and I just decided to go with it. But I told no-one, simply because it was quite exciting to have this fun little secret project which was just mine. It was so freeing to not have the pressure of needing to publish and send it to an agent etc, it was my little writing project and I was doing it for the fun of it.

Originally had always looked at what publishers wanted and tried to fit my writing style into something that they would want to publish. Which sounds pretty obvious to me now, but it is totally the wrong way to go.

However the choice to self-publish my book was one of allowing myself complete control over the project which in turn allowed me to have so much fun with it. The writing was so much fun, and it became addictive which is a wonderful feeling to have with any creative project. The ideas were flowing, and thus ‘Naughty Cat’ was born.
I was in control of everything, and it is such a liberating feeling when you have control issues like I do. I am also a very creative person who has experience with Photoshop so I do all my own covers (for now anyway). The whole process is almost like ‘playtime’ because I am having so much fun with it. But I do still have a serious side to my writing because I still want a career and to eventually make a living out of it.

Not only am I writing children’s books, I am also writing self-help books. I have been very honest with my issues with mental health over the years and now that I feel I am in a good enough place I want to use my experience to help others.

I do still want to write romance, paranormal romance and fantasy novels at some point but right now I am having so much fun doing the self-publishing thing. It takes the pressure off when I am the only one that I need to answer to.

I now have two books out, ‘The Secret Diary of a Naughty Cat’, which will be a nice long series of books. I also have my first self-help book ‘How to gain Confidence and Overcome Fear’ which came out a little over a week ago. I do have a long list of books that I am in the process of writing and planning so the self-publishing bug has well and truly bitten me.

I am still learning and that just makes the whole process that much more fun.

I want to be a hybrid author one day, someone who self publishes and is traditionally published as well. So this is a nice little start to what will hopefully be a lifetime career.

Anyway, thank you for reading my little blog post, I really need to feed myself and then get some more writing done.

Have a great week folks.




Blog Tour: The A to Z of Everything | Debbie Johnson

10:46 Daniel Riding 0 Comments

Hey folks, today I am super excited to be part of the blog tour for the wonderful new book by the super lovely Debbie Johnson. I am so lucky to have a very entertaining interview here with the ady herself. Make yourself a brew, get comfy and enjoy. 
Hello Debbie, thank you so much for agreeing to an interview, I am pleased to welcome you to my website. How are you?

Thanks for having me Daniel. Feeling slightly scared right now – there’s a huge water balloon fight gearing up in my garden!

So tell me a little bit about yourself, where are you from and what do you write?

I’m originally from the Midlands, but have lived in Liverpool for over 25 years – which is scary, as I don’t ever think I’m older than 19...mainly I write women’s fiction, but have also dabbled with fantasy and crime as well. I really enjoy reading all different kinds of books, which spilled over into my career as a writer. Ideally I’d probably have lived in a different era, where writers had 17 different pen-names and wrote everything from Westerns to romances! No matter what genre though, for me all books are about characters – no matter how good the plot is, if you don’t care about the characters, there’s no point.

What can you tell me about your typical writing day and what your process is?

I’m not very good at doing typical. I can get very easily distracted, to the point where I have started to see Netflix as a manifestation of pure evil. But what I try to do is work solidly between school runs. I have three kids; one is technically a grown-up, one is in high school, and one is in primary school, so it’s all pretty busy. I attempt to buckle down and write between about 9.30 and 2.30, when there is nobody around asking me where the remote controls are or asking me for money or fighting with each other. Sometimes that works, sometimes I just watch a lot of Grey’s Anatomy and then panic-write until 2am...

Do you have a special writing space/room?

Ha ha ha ha ha! You can take that as a no. The whole house is full of people and dogs. I’m lucky if I get a spot on the sofa.

Any necessary supplies / coping strategies when you’re writing? Wine? Cake? Music?

I will occasionally do a playlist that fits the book, but not always. In my fantasy novel, Dark Vision, the lead character was a pop writer and music was very relevant, mentioned a lot in the book, so I did it for that. But mainly I just need to stay focused, or before you know it, the whole day has got away from you. I always try and have a 20 minute break for lunch, where I watch some mindless TV and switch my brain off for a little rest. When you’re ‘in the zone’, it’s easy for your entire thought processes to be dominated by your characters and story, so you need to hit pause on the crazy every now and then!

Can you tell me about your journey to publication? How did that all happen?

Uggh...this is always a swine of a question to answer, as my ‘journey’ was as complicated as getting from Liverpool to Katmandu on public transport. I’ll try and make it shorter: when I was 40 I entered a writing contest and won it. I got an agent. I finished the book (Fear No Evil), and then had about six million rejections. Then I wrote a women’s fiction book (this would eventually become The Birthday That Changed Everything) and had even more rejections. I wrote a fantasy novel (Dark Vision), which actually got published. Hurrah. In the meantime I’d written some romantic comedies, which were then published by HarperImpulse at HarperCollins. A different imprint also published Fear No Evil. Harper Fiction then bought Birthday. So I went from being the Rejection Queen to having what felt like dozens of books out within a short space of since I started, I’ve now had 10 books published, as well as two ghost-written books for Abbey Clancy. Phew. I deserve a lie down!

What is it like to work with the folks over at Harper / Harper Collins?

Really great. My editor Charlotte is brilliant – a lovely person, fab to work with, wonderful to go the pub with! There’s a really nice community of authors there, and obviously it’s a huge company, which presents all kinds of opportunities. I also really value their flexible approach to me doing more books than a usual person does, and allowing me to focus on both paperback and e-book.

What do your family and loved ones think of your success?

Well, my kids are quite blasé about it now. It’s just what mum does. We were in the British Library in London recently and I was having kittens of joy because I saw The A-Z of Everything in the book shop, and they were, like ‘yeah, there a café? Can I get an ice cream?’ As a family, we’re very down to earth and sarcastic. Actually, anyone listening to us would think we hate each other – the banter levels are extreme. So I’d actually be shocked if any one of them ever seriously said they were proud of me etc – I’d probably call an ambulance in fact. But I know they are, and that’s what matters! They also know that when they’re especially amusing, they might get into my Magic Notebook – a little pad I use to record the acidic gems of abuse that get cast around in our house, that often end up in one of my books...that’s why I like writing teenaged characters so much. My whole life is an inspiration!

So what do you like to do when you’re not writing?

I’m so boring – I like reading! Or watching TV. Walking my dogs. Spending time with the kids. Going to quiz nights with my pals. I also spend a lot of time doing Fantasy Holiday Planning – this is where I go into great detail about some luxury holiday that I’ll never be able to afford, and almost feel like I’ve been there by the time I’m current favourites are Canada and the Galapagos Islands. In reality we’re more likely to be staying in the UK, as we live in a permanent state of I’m Skint.

So what’s next for Debbie Johnson, what are you working on right now?

Well, as you can tell, I’ve had a weirdly shaped career so far. I’ve done women’s fiction/romance types of books for a while, and then The A-Z of Everything, which isn’t a romance but is about deeply held forms of love and family life. Currently I’m working on the next installment of the Comfort Food Cafe series, which is about the way that our friends can become our family, along with some romance, some funnies, and some lovely cake. After that I have a new idea for a big, sweeping, full-on romance that will probably make people cry buckets...and there’s a new crime idea bubbling away in there as well. My brain is a busy place.

What other writers do you love or have influenced you in some way?

Loads! My all-time writing idol – in terms of who I wouldn’t mind following in the footsteps of – is probably Nora Roberts. I love her suspense books, her romance, her Eve Dallas mysteries as JD Robb. She makes writing seem effortless, and has also never been boxed into one genre – I love that about her. I read a lot of crime fiction, love a good dystopian young adult book, and devour fantasy and good-quality paranormal romance as well. So, I love John Connolly, James Lee Burke, Robert Crais, Mick Herron, David Eddings, Charlaine Harris, Darynda Jones, and so many more. I especially like certain ‘lady sleuth’ stories, from writers like Sara Paretsky and Sue Grafton.

Any particular highlights in your writing career so far?

In all honesty it’s all a bit of a rollercoaster. You have so many dreams and hopes for each book – sometimes they fall flat, sometimes they exceed your expectations. I’ve never had what you’d call a ‘typical’ career. Getting emails from readers or reading reviews where I’ve obviously touched their lives (this has happened a lot with The A-Z of Everything and also the Comfort Food Café books) is a huge, huge privilege. And of course winning awards is never shoddy!

Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions Debbie, as always you are a star.

Thanks for having me sweetie! See you soon.

Buy the book here:

About Debbie:

I was born and raised in a small city in the Midlands, where they produced excellent pies, pottery, and people with a perverse sense of humour.

After studying Modern History and Lager at Oxford, I moved to Liverpool, where I've  lived for most of my adult life. I worked for the local newspaper, the Liverpool Echo, for 13 years as a reporter, feature writer and columnist. 
I left the paper in 2005 to go freelance, and since then I've contributed to many newspapers, magazines and websites. I also produces hopefully interesting copy for a range of hopefully interesting clients. 
In 2010, I entered the Harry Bowling Prize for new writing, for the first chapter of a great idea I had for a book. Journalists are like that: we always have 'a great idea for a book', but get too easily distracted by bright shiny objects, trips to the pub, and repeats of Black Books on the telly to do anything about it.
Amazingly, I won the contest. I genuinely didn't expect to, and had practiced my 'gracious loser' face in advance. Slightly tiddly on pink champagne, in front of a room full of authors, agents and publishers, I stood on the stage and thanked Daniel Craig for just existing. I stand by that comment.
To cut a long story very short, I am now the published author of eight books - including the award-winning Pippa's Cornish Dream, romantic comedy best-sellers The Birthday That Changed Everything, Summer at the Comfort Food Cafe, Cold Feet at Christmas and Never Kiss a Man in a Christmas Jumper. You can find them all on Amazon/other online retailers/book stores should you feel so inclined!
In between writing, thinking about writing, and coming up with creative ways to avoid writing, I also enjoy spending time with my human and canine family. We're currently at three kids and two dogs, and hoping to stop there.


Blog Tour: Come Sundown | Nora Roberts

05:30 Daniel Riding 0 Comments

My Review:

This is the first book by Nora Roberts that I have read, and after hearing so much about her and her novels I was excited to try this one out. I must admit I was nervous as well at first because I don't do too well with crime elements in books but I was willing to give this one a go because of the cowboy/ranch/romantic element to it which is something I LOVE.

One thing I would like to point out first is that there are an awful lot of characters and names to keep track of. I don't know if this was because I have never read a Nora Roberts novel before and that is her usual style but I found myself getting confused sometimes. I found myself muddled up with who was talking to who sometimes, and it left my head in a bit of a tizz. Now I don't have problems following a wide range of characters and names, even strange names, I read fantasy for goodness sake, so I am well trained. But for some reason I just couldn't keep track some of the time. 

I found the romantic ranch side of things lovely, and i liked how the romance slowly built. but, the crime elements weren't for me which i had a feeling they wouldn't be. It took me longer to read this book than I thought I would because I kept on having to put it down and have a breather because the crime elements where a little too much for me. That is no fault to Nora Roberts and her skills as a writer, it's just me, and I can honestly say I am a bit of a wimp when it comes to such things.

Overall thought it was a good read, and it was clear to me why Nora is one of the best and why she is so admired by her many fans.

It was a skillfully written story, with plenty of story arcs to keep a reader gripped. If you like drama, romance and a thrilling crime arc then I highly recommend this book. But if you are a big wimp like me then you may want to stay clear.

A perfect book for those love a big thrill with their romance.

I gave this book. 7/10


Love. Lies. Murder. A lot can happen... COME SUNDOWN
Bodine Longbow loves to rise with the dawn. As the manager of her family's resort in Western Montana, there just aren't enough hours in the day - for life, for work, for loved ones. She certainly doesn't have time for love, not even in the gorgeous shape of her childhood crush Callen Skinner, all grown up and returned to the ranch. Then again, maybe Callen can change her mind, given time...
But when a young woman's body is discovered on resort land, everything changes. Callen falls under the suspicion of a deputy sheriff with a grudge. And for Bodine's family, the murder is a shocking reminder of an old loss. Twenty-five years ago, Bodine's Aunt Alice vanished, never to be heard of again. Could this new tragedy be connected to Alice's mysterious disappearance?
As events take a dramatic and deadly turn, Bodine and Callen must race to uncover the truth - before the sun sets on their future together.

About the Author:

Nora Roberts is the New York Times bestselling author of more than 190 novels and there are 300 million copies of her books in print. Under the pen name J. D. Robb, she is author of the New York Times bestselling futuristic suspense series, which features Lieutenant Eve Dallas and Roarke.


Blog Tour: Confetti at the Cornish Café | Phillipa Ashley

05:00 Daniel Riding 0 Comments

Today folks, is my turn on the official blog tour for 'Confetti at the Cornish Café' by Phillipa Ashley. I am lucky enough to give you an extract from this fabulous book so you can get a feel of just how wonderful it really is.


Good morning and …

I reach out my hand to turn off the radio alarm and I hit something else. Not the cold metal of the radio, but warm skin … hairy skin … and I know it’s not my dog, Mitch, because the skin next to me has smooth, firm muscle beneath it: human, not canine.

‘Are you awake, Demi?’

At the sound of his voice, I open my eyes and Cal’s face comes into focus in the dim light of this late February morning. Propped up on one elbow, he smiles down at me as I slowly surface from a deep sleep in our bed. Yes, our bed. Mine and Cal’s. It’s been over eight weeks since I moved into the main farmhouse with him but I still have to pinch myself when I think of all that’s happened since I arrived at Kilhallon Park last Easter.

Cal Penwith was – still is – my boss, but he’s also now, my … ‘boyfriend’? That makes him sound like we’re still at school and ‘partner’ sounds as if we’re sharing an office in an accountancy firm. ‘Lover’? Definitely, but also much more than that. I suppose we’re officially ‘a couple’. Christmas marked the turning point in our relationship and we not only share the same bed now but the same home and, perhaps, some of the same hopes and fears.

‘Were you dreaming?’ Cal asks, amusement glinting in his deep brown eyes. That look may seem charming and sexy but I know it hides a world of danger. You might as well bathe in the still waters of Kilhallon Cove on a summer’s day and think they could never rise up and batter you onto the rocks as believe that Cal Penwith isn’t trouble.

‘Um, I thought I was back in the cottage, and that the alarm had gone off.’

He smiles a mischievous smile. ‘Ah, but I’m your alarm now.’ He dances his fingers towards the top of the duvet. ‘And I’m a lot more fun to wake up with than Radio St Trenyan.’

I huff and hesitate before replying, to tease him, although he knows that I know that he’s totally right.

‘Mmm. Maybe. Just a little bit.’

‘More than a little bit, I hope.’ Cal peels back the duvet and plants a kiss on my shoulder. The warmth of his lips combats the instant chill of the air hitting my skin. The seventeenth-century farmhouse’s central heating hasn’t been upgraded for thirty years because Cal’s ploughed any spare cash into turning Kilhallon from a rusty old caravan site into a ‘boutique eco resort’. Our guests pad about barefoot on their underfloor heating while we grab another blanket, but that’s fine by me. The business comes first and I don’t mind, especially when I have Cal here by my side.

Buy it HERE

About the Author:

Phillipa Ashley is the author of the best-selling Cornish Cafe series. Before she became a full-time writer, she studied English at Oxford and worked as a copywriter and journalist. As Pippa Croft, Phillipa also writes as the Oxford Blue series which is published by Penguin Books.

She lives in a Staffordshire village with her husband and has a grown-up daughter. When she's not writing, she loves falling off surf boards and following Poldark around in a camper van.

Phillipa's debut novel, 'Decent Exposure' won the Romantic Novelists Association New Writers Award and was filmed as a US TV movie called '12 Men of Christmas' starring Kristin Chenoweth and Josh Hopkins. 

Summer at the Cornish Cafe is Book #1 in the gorgeous new Cornish Cafe series and is recommended for readers who loved Summer at Shell Cottage, The Cornish House, Tremarnock and Poldark. The feelgood sequel, Christmas at the Cornish Cafe was an Amazon Top 10 Bestseller and Kobo Number #1 bestseller.

The final novel in the series, Confetti at the Cornish Cafe is published in May 2017.

‘An utterly glorious, escapist read from one of the freshest voices to emerge in women’s fiction." Claudia Carroll.

“Warm and funny and feel-good. The best sort of holiday read.” Katie Fforde

"Filled with warm and likeable characters. Great fun!" Jill Mansell