Blog Tour

#BookReview & #BlogTour
The Watcher by Monika Jephcott Thomas
@Authoright

Synopsis:

It’s 1949 when Netta’s father Max is released from a Siberian POW camp and returns to his home in occupied Germany. But he is not the man the little girl is expecting – the brave, handsome doctor her mother Erika told her stories of. Erika too struggles to reconcile this withdrawn, volatile figure with the husband she knew and loved before, and, as she strives to break through the wall Max has built around himself, Netta is both frightened and jealous of this interloper in the previously cosy household she shared with her mother and doting grandparents. Now, if family life isn’t tough enough, it is about to get even tougher, when a murder sparks a police investigation, which begins to unearth dark secrets they all hoped had been forgotten.


Book Rating: 8/10

Tragic, mysterious, and heartbreaking!

The Watcher is a moving tale that picks up where “Fifteen Words” left off, taking us back into the Portner household where the physical and psychological horrors of war still resonate, and the process of survival and healing remains a daily struggle.

The prose is somber and descriptive. The characters are wounded, secretive, and raw. And the plot is a poignant ride about life, loss, family dynamics, PTSD, suspicion, desperation, deception, jealousy, grief, and murder.

Overall, The Watcher is a well-written followup for Jephcott Thomas that does an exceptional job of highlighting the importance of trust, honesty, support, and intimacy in moving forward and rebuilding what’s been lost.

About the Author

monkika-jephcott-thomas

Monika Jephcott Thomas grew up in Dortmund Mengede, north-west Germany. She moved to the UK in 1966, enjoying a thirty year career in education before retraining as a therapist. Along with her partner Jeff she established the Academy of Play & Child Psychotherapy in order to support the twenty per cent of children who have emotional, behavioural, social and mental health problems by using play and the creative Arts. A founder member of Play Therapy UK, Jephcott Thomas was elected President of Play Therapy International in 2002. In 2016 her first book Fifteen Words was published. For more information on Jephcott Thomas visit her website at: monika-jephcott-thomas.com

 Thank you to Authoright for providing me with a copy in an exchange for an honest review.

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

            

 

 

#BlogTour & #BookReview
The Divine Heart by Danielle R. Mani
@DanielleRMani @YABoundToursPR

Synopsis:

Seventeen-year-old Elle Collins has spent most her life waiting for someone else to die…

When a heart donor is found, Elle awakes from surgery gifted with more than just a new heart. Clairaudient messages and spiritual apparitions haunt her until she is convinced that she must be insane. Either that, or her donor is sending a message.

Desperate for answers the medical community can’t provide, Elle’s divination leads her to the family of her donor, a young girl named Cas. With the help of her best friend, Rob, the guy who’s proof that her new heart is capable of love, Elle must make sense of the clues Cas is sending. As pieces of Cas’s life and death emerge, Elle will discover that she and Cas share more than just a heart.


Book Rating: 8/10

Mystical, heartwarming, and deliciously suspenseful!

The Divine Heart is a compelling, coming-of-age mystery about friendship, family, transplants, mental illness, first loves, and teen drama all interwoven with a thread of the paranormal.

The characters are young, strong, and adventurous. The prose is clear, crisp and precise. And the plot has just the right amount of tension, angst, danger, emotion, and excitement to keep you intrigued right until the very end.

Overall, I think The Divine Heart will really appeal to teens and young adults, and even though I think I’m a little older than the target demographic, I found it unique, heartfelt, and completely satisfying.

About the Author:

Danielle R. Mani is a fan of the paranormal in both print and film. In her first book, The Divine One, Ms. Mani combines supernatural fiction with the everyday dramas of young adulthood. Her newest YA paranormal novel, The Divine Heart, is scheduled to be released later this year. Ms. Mani holds a Bachelor of Arts in education and a Master of Science in communications. She is currently a doctoral student studying parapsychology. She resides in Westchester, New York, with her husband, four children, two dogs, and two rescue cats.

Giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you to Danielle R. Mani and YA Bound Book Tours for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                        

For more information on Danielle R. Mani, visit her website at: daniellermani.com

or follow her on Twitter at: @DanielleRMani

#BlogTour & #BookReview
One Day in December by Shari Low
@sharilow @Aria_Fiction

Synopsis:

By the stroke of midnight, a heart would be broken, a cruel truth revealed, a devastating secret shared, and a love betrayed. Four lives would be changed forever, One Day in December.

One morning in December…

Caro set off on a quest to find out if her relationship with her father had been based on a lifetime of lies.

Lila decided today would be the day that she told her lover’s wife of their secret affair.

Cammy was on the way to pick up the ring for the surprise proposal to the woman he loved.

And Bernadette vowed that this was the day she would walk away from her controlling husband of 30 years and never look back.

One day, four lives on a collision course with destiny…


Book Rating: 10/10

Positively addictive, delightfully mesmerizing, and absolutely brilliant!

This novel takes us on a moving journey into the lives of four strangers for one day and introduces us to their thoughts, feelings, motivations, fears, and dreams and highlights just how small the world truly is and how quickly strangers can become friends and friends can become strangers.

The writing is expressive, amusing, and effortless. The characterization is spot on with a whole slew of characters that are genuine, multi-layered, intriguing and unique. And the plot is a series of compelling subplots that are skillfully unravelled and intertwined to create an unforgettable, heartfelt, humorous story about life, love, loss, family, adultery, deception, lies, friendship, romance, and happiness.

I have to admit that Shari Low has the amazing ability to sweep me away to a place I don’t want to leave and immerses me into the lives of characters I can’t get enough of and this novel is no exception and Shari Low one day is definitely not enough. I can’t tell you how excited and honoured I was to be asked to read, review, and kick off this blog tour, and as most of you may already know there are a few authors I love, Karen Swan, Lucinda Riley and Shari Low you’re one of them.

If you haven’t already had a chance to read my review for some of Shari Low’s other novels be sure to check them out here:

About the Author:

 

Shari lives in Glasgow and writes a weekly opinion column and Book Club page for a well-known newspaper. She is married to a very laid-back guy and has two athletic teenage sons, who think she’s fairly embarrassing, except when they need a lift.

 

Thank you to Aria for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                            

For more information on Shari Low, visit her website at: sharilow.com 

or follow her on Twitter at@sharilow

For more information on Aria Fiction, visit their website at: ariafiction.com 

or follow them on Twitter at: @Aria_Fiction

#BlogTour & #BookReview
The Wright Mistake by K.A. Linde
@AuthorKALinde @InkSlingerPR

 

A new stand alone enemies-to-lovers romance by USA Today bestselling author K.A. Linde…

I spent six weeks screwing Austin Wright’s brains out and all I got was this broken heart.

He can’t be trusted. Not with my body or my heart. Yet, two years have passed and I still crave him like an addict needing a fix.

The last time we tried this, it nearly ruined me. I know I should run and never look back. But his dark haunted eyes and razor blade smile speak to my soul. His touch sets my body on fire. And we all know what happens when you light gasoline. Someone is bound to get burned.

A second chance might destroy us both.

Because everyone knows two wrongs don’t make a Wright.

Amazon USAmazon UKiBooksB&NKoboGoogle Play

 

 

Rating: 8/10

Passionate, angsty, and emotive!

The Wright Mistake is a heartwarming tale about the quirky, fun-loving Julia who has a weakness for bad boys and a past riddled with heartbreak, and Austin the sexy, charismatic playboy who masks his deep-rooted sadness and prefers the numbness and oblivion he finds in a bottle.

The writing is fluid and sultry. The characters are amusing, supportive, and entertaining. And the plot takes us on a whirlwind through the highs and lows of alcohol addiction and the explosive and spicy chemistry of falling in love.

Once again, Linde has proven that when it comes to writing contemporary romance stories that are emotionally compelling, bursting with sexual tension, and full of characters we can’t help but root for, she’s certainly one of the best.

The Wright Mistake is the third novel in the Wright series. If you haven’t had a chance to read my reviews for the first two books in the series The Wright Brother and The Wright Boss be sure to check them out here:

 

Thank you to InkSlingerPR and K.A. Linde for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

About the Author:

KylaK.A. Linde is the USA Today bestselling author of more than fifteen novels including the Avoiding series and the Record series. She has a Masters degree in political science from the University of Georgia, was the head campaign worker for the 2012 presidential campaign at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and served as the head coach of the Duke University dance team. She loves reading fantasy novels, geeking out over Star Wars, binge-watching Supernatural, and dancing in her spare time.

She currently lives in Lubbock, Texas, with her husband and two super adorable puppies.

WEBSITE / FACEBOOK / TWITTER / INSTAGRAM

#BlogTour & #GuestPost
Rock Hard by Jozie Di Maria
@JoZieRockFit @Authoright

Synopsis:

If there’s one woman who rocks harder than anyone it’s JoZie Di Maria. Gorgeous, outrageously fit and heavily tattooed, Di Maria has worked as a dancer with — and a trainer for — some of the biggest names in rock music. Having toured with legendary bands like Mötley Crüe, Papa Roach and Jane’s Addiction, she has lived a life that most people could only dream of. 

But Di Maria soon found that staying in top shape on the road was tough; performing long shows at packed stadiums late into the night, combined with endless hotel stays, poor nutrition and constant partying was gruelling. So Di Maria decided to take control and develop her own fierce fitness routine so that she could rock hard and train hard at the same time. 

Rock Hard: A Backstage Pass to Staying Fit on the Road the Rockstar Way is both an outstanding fitness guide and a nostalgic behind the scenes account of JoZie Di Maria’s incredible life on the road, training rockstars from Tommy Lee (Mötley Crüe) to Billy Morrison (Billy Idol) and Josh Todd (Buckcherry). Her easy to follow routines prove that you can work out anytime, any place — airports, offices, hotels, no excuses! — building a strong and healthy physique, inside and out, while developing a positive approach to body image. Beautiful paintings of her rockstar gym buddies accompany hand-drawn illustrations of work out moves, making it easy and lots of fun to train along with her, Di Maria’s Rock Hard is a fitness book worthy of any rock God.

And Now JoZie Di Maria on Mötley Crüe:

 

TOMMY LEE

MÖTLEY CRÜE – DRUMMER/DJ

WORKOUT: DRUMMING, DANCING, SEX

Tommy Lee is a man of many talents though known best as the drummer for Mötley Crüe. I’ve been blessed with the fortune to have been part of the Mötley Crüe legacy, as well as experiencing this super-hyper man’s energy and light. In an almost child-like way, Tommy finds excitement in just about everything. Everyday is truly a new day for him. His tall, fit frame is no doubt stamped Body by rock’n’roll, is covered in tattoos and piercings, and kept lean from intense drumming. I was always awe-struck when I’d watch him sweat buckets during shows. Tommy always plays his drums shirtless, driving the girls to want him and the guys to be like him. He is the epitome of cool.

Not one to work out at a gym, Tommy Lee is clearly keeping fit in a non-conventional fashion. Along with his drumming, he DJs around the world. Dancing and moving the entire set while he spins (which lasts anywhere from 90 minutes to three hours), he burns hundreds of calories without even trying. I would have to say, Tommy Lee has the “non-workout” workout. Would you believe he would most likely top a professional football player in fitness and condition? Well, believe it.

Research conducted in Britain by Chichester University used Blondie drummer Clem Burke to prove such a point. Clem, along with other drummers, were connected to equipment measuring their heart rates, oxygen up-take, and the levels of lactic acid in their blood as they played. The stress caused to their bodies while drumming was then compared to football players. Drummers’ heart rates were raised up to 190 beats per minute and burning anywhere from 400 to 600 calories in a 90-minute performance. Drummers need to have high stamina in order to play shows. The average working drummer plays a 90-minute set, five days a week for up to three months during an average touring schedule. The breaks in between legs of a tour range from two weeks to a month. That’s a whole lot of increased heart rates and calorie burning going on! The rock star lifestyle seems so unhealthy, but drummers counteract a lot of the toxicity without realizing it since they’re perpetually sweating toxins out. Tommy loves to beat on those skins unapologetically and is keeping fit at the same time.

 

VINCE NEIL

MÖTLEY CRÜE – LEAD VOCALS

LEATHER PANTS WORKOUT: ADJUSTABLE DUMBBELLS, ON-STAGE ACTIVITY

The first moment I met Vince back in 1998, we literally giggled and hugged as if two old friends were reuniting. He had the most infectious laugh that kept me giggling and we instantly hit it off. When we began touring together, we’d often go to hotel gyms by day or hang at a Hooter’s, then hit the local strip club at night. We were having fun! But those little hotel gyms were definitely NOT where Vince was burning calories.

SHOWTIME!

During an average Mötley Crüe show, Vince stays extremely active, running from one side of the stage to the other, using his upper body to swing his arm up and punch, psyching up the crowd for the majority of the 90-minute show. Mix that with adrenaline and it’s a perfect cocktail for calorie burning. The average concert stage is approximately 60’ in length. Between songs when Vince has a quick break, he runs into his private tent and pumps up with portable resistance bands before he runs back to continue rocking out! Amazing! It’s an impressive two-hour workout burning an estimated 1,100-1,500 calories per show! Multiply that by five shows a week and it comes to 5,500-7,500 calories burned every week on tour. At the end of each show, Vince’s stage clothes would be completely drenched in sweat as if dowsed with a bucket of water. Peeling off the sweat-soaked, heavy leather pants is a bit of workout in itself, probably adding extra muscle-toning resistance to his already active stage routine. Wet leather is no joke.

THE KISS

I was so often asked about my nightly kisses with Vince on stage. They were so passionate that many thought we were an item. Vince is an amazing kisser. He is a non-smoker with soft, supple lips and knows exactly how to use them. Often times I found myself flushed and a bit heated by a really good kiss. With blood rushing to certain areas and my heart pounding, I wondered about kissing and calorie burning. Apparently, you do burn calories during kissing. When I say kiss, I mean a deep-throat, make-out session. Unfortunately, mine and Vince’s make-out sessions did not last long enough to make any real dent, but we can add an extra 3-5 calories burned on Vince’s part and maybe two for me.

Remember being in high school and having the long, drawn out, sweaty, dry-humping make-out sessions that seemed to last hours? Too lazy to workout? Rediscover that delicious way to burn some bulge.

About the Author:

Originally from Roselle, New Jersey, JoZie “LoveStar” Di Maria is a certified personal trainer who has travelled the world as a make-up artist, stylist and back-up dancer to some of the biggest bands in rock. Just fifteen years after she first went to her first ever concert – Mötley Crüe at Madison Square Garden – she was invited by the band to perform with them on tour. She has worked as a make-up artist for MTV, VH1, TLC and Discovery.

Thank you JoZie Di Maria. It was an honour to have you guest post on my blog today!

Pick up a copy of this novel from your favourite retailer or from the following link!

For more information on JoZie Di Maria visit her website at: rockhard.fit

or follow her on Twitter at@JoZieRockFit or Facebook at: JoZieRockFit

#BlogTour & #BookReview
To Provence, with Love by T. A. Williams
@TAWilliamsBooks @HQDigitalUK

Synopsis:

Escape to the south of France with this perfect feel-good summer romance!

Anything is possible…

Struggling writer Faye Carter just can’t believe her luck. She’s off to Provence to write the autobiography of a famous film star and she’ll be staying in the stunning chateau!

So when she meets charming (and completely gorgeous) lavender farmer, Gavin, she knows that she’s made the right choice – even if glamourous, elderly Anabelle seems to be hiding something…

But when the sun is shining, the food is delicious and the air smells of honey, anything seems possible. Will the magic of Provence help Faye finally find a happy-ever-after of her own?


Book Rating: 9/10

Uplifting, captivating and delightfully romantic!

To Provence, with Love is a beautiful story that reminds us that life if for living, and ultimately the best journeys are the ones that lead us home.

The prose is fresh and vivid. The characters are compassionate, supportive, and thoroughly endearing. And the plot sweeps you away into a captivating and magical tale full of life, loss, love, friendship, family, sweet surprises and tender moments.

For those of you who don’t know Williams wrote one of my favourite books last year, “What Happens at the Beach…”. And even though I enjoy everything he writes, To Provence, with Love with all its heart, emotion, fascinating storyline, majestic scenery, scrumptious food, and lovable characters, including those darling black labs, has definitely become one of my favourites and left me undeniably yearning for more.

If you haven’t already had a chance to read my reviews for some of Williams’ other books be sure to check them out here:

  • To Rome, with Love

About the Author:

I write under the androgynous name T A Williams because 65% of books are read by women. In my first book, “Dirty Minds” one of the (female) characters suggests the imbalance is due to the fact that men spend too much time getting drunk and watching football. I couldn’t possibly comment. Ask my wife…

I’ve written all sorts: thrillers, historical novels, short stories and now I’m enjoying myself hugely writing humour and romance. Romantic comedies are what we all need from time to time. Life isn’t always very fair. It isn’t always a lot of fun, but when it is, we need to embrace it. If my books can put a smile on your face and maybe give your heartstrings a tug, then I know I’ve done my job.

I‘ve lived all over Europe, but now I live in a little village in sleepy Devon, tucked away in south west England. I love the place. That’s why you’ll find leafy lanes and thatched cottages in most of my books. Oh, yes, and a black Labrador.

I’ve been writing since I was 14 and that is half a century ago. However, underneath this bald, wrinkly exterior, there beats the heart of a youngster. My wife is convinced I will never grow up. I hope she’s right.

Thank you to T. A. Williams and HQ Digital for providing me with a copy in an exchange for an honest review.

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                      

For more information on T. A. Williams, visit his website at: tawilliamsbooks.com

or follow him on Twitter at: @TAWilliamsBooks

#BlogTour & #BookReview
It Was Only Ever You by Kate Kerrigan
@katekerrigan @HoZ_Books

Synopsis:

Set in late 1950s Ireland and New York, the story of three women and the charismatic man with whom their lives are interwoven.

Set, like Maeve Binchy’s early bestsellers, in late 1950s Ireland and New York, this is the story of three women and the charismatic man with whom their lives are interwoven.

Patrick Murphy has charm to burn and a singing voice to die for. Many people will recognise his talent. Many women will love him. Rose, the sweetheart he leaves behind in Ireland, can never forget him and will move heaven and earth to find him again, long after he has married another woman. Ava, the heiress with no self-confidence except on the dance floor, falls under his spell. And tough Sheila Klein, orphaned by the Holocaust and hungry for success as a music manager, she will be ruthless in her determination to unlock his extraordinary star quality.

But in the end, Patrick Murphy’s heart belongs to only one of them. Which one will it be?


Book Rating: 8.5/10

Heartwarming, impassioned, and alluring!

This is a compelling story about first loves, friendship, community, goals, dreams, family and music that is set during the late 1950s when New York was a melting pot of immigrants and Manhattan was the hub of the American music industry.

There are four main memorable characters in this novel; Rose, a young Irish lass who leaves comfort and security behind in hopes of finding her first love; Ava, a woman with insecurities but a lot of heart; Sheila a Jewish orphan who has lots of spunk, tenacity and grit; and Danny, the dark-haired, blue-eyed small-town lad who turns all their heads with his angelic voice.

The writing is vivid and sincere. The supporting characters are multi-layered, unique, and true to character. And the plot is a wonderful mix of passion, drama, character development and emotion.

Overall this is an extremely engaging, memorable, enjoyable read that does a remarkable job of interweaving historical facts, fiction, and romance.

About the Author:

 

 

Kate Kerrigan lives in County Mayo, Eire, with her husband and children. Her novels include Recipes for a Perfect Marriage, shortlisted for the 2006 Romantic Novel of the Year Award and Ellis Island, which was a TV Book Club Summer Read.

 

 

Thank you to Head of Zeus for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                            

For more information on Kate Kerrigan, visit her website at: http://katekerrigan.ie

or follow her on Twitter at: @katekerrigan

#BlogTour & #BookReview
Marked for Death by Matt Hilton
@MHiltonauthor @canelo_co

Synopsis:

Joe Hunter has been Marked for Death in his most explosive outing to date.

It should be a routine job. Joe Hunter and his associates are hired to provide security for an elite event in Miami. Wear a tux, stay professional, job done.

But things go wrong.

Hunter is drawn into what appears to be a domestic altercation. When he crosses the mysterious Mikhail however, he soon finds something altogether more sinister…

Before long this chance encounter has serious repercussions for Hunter and his friends. Good people are being killed. On the run, in the line of fire, the clock is ticking.

From the bars of Miami beach to car chases and super-yacht grenade battles, bestseller Matt Hilton dials up the intensity in this rip-roaring, set-piece filled thriller perfect for fans of Lee Child, David Baldacci and Stephen Leather.


Book Rating: 9/10

Suspenseful, gripping, and exceptionally fast-paced!

This is an adrenaline-pumping thrill ride that immerses you in the dark, gritty underworld of gun smuggling and sex trafficking and reminds us that evil often exists closer than you think.

The writing is well done and well paced. The characters are tenacious, tough, smart, dangerous and protective. And the plot is a riveting tale of murder, revenge, corruption, power, hatred, manipulation, abuse, survival and terror.

Overall, I have to say that Hilton has written another winner with this latest outing in the Joe Hunter series. It’s exciting, highly entertaining and bursting with so much tension, action and adventure that it’s impossible not to be completely captivated and enthralled from start to finish. 

 

About the Author:

Matt Hilton quit his career as a police officer to pursue his love of writing cinematic action thrillers. He is the author of the high-octane Joe Hunter thriller series. His first book, Dead Men’s Dust, was shortlisted for the International Thriller Writers’ Debut Book of 2009 Award, and was a Sunday Times bestseller, also being named as a ‘thriller of the year 2009’ by The Daily Telegraph.

 

Thank you to Matt Hilton and Canelo for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                

For more information on Matt Hilton, visit his website at: matthiltonbooks.com

or follow him on Twitter at: @MHiltonauthor

 

#BlogTour & #BookReview
The Rainbow Player by David Kerby-Kendall
@dkerbykendall @Authoright

Synopsis:

England footballer, Sammy Hatchington, has never considered sexuality before. As a teenager, Sammy broke the mould of his youthful peers with his desire to open the door to life’s endless possibilities. He escaped a deprived estate and, with the help of Old Thomas, his surrogate father, Davey, his soul-mate, and Gran, the connoisseur of footballer’s bottoms, launched himself on a path toward his personal and professional goals. Now, several years later, he must make a decision that could destroy everything he has fought for, and create a furious media frenzy………

David Kerby-Kendall’s joyous and witty novel challenges preconceptions about professional sportsmen and love, and is also a delightful and moving story of a young man’s journey to self-knowledge.


Book Rating: 8.5/10

Heartfelt, humourous, and incredibly moving!

This is an entertaining, captivating story that not only reminds us to live and love to the fullest, enjoying each high and learning from each low, but also highlights the unfortunate stigma and stereotypical mentality surrounding professional sports.

The characters are flawed, genuine, caring, and lovable. The writing is witty and direct. And the plot is a captivating tale about life, familial dynamics, coming-of-age, friendship, perseverance, support, and unconditional love that will not only make you laugh but also make you cry.

This truly is a well-written, thought-provoking novel by Kerby-Kendall with a nice amount of emotion, drama, humour, and character development. And even though this novel is certainly rooted in the LGBTQIA genre it’s so much more than that, at its core it’s a story about love, pure and simple, with no limits, no labels, and no regrets!

Author Spotlight:

I’m originally from Leicester, but I’ve had therapy and I’m now allowed out into polite society.

We don’t have culture in Leicester; we have Gary Lineker and Walkers crisps…..oh, and Richard III, though we did sort of borrow him from York.

Actually, that’s not fair. I love my home town. It’s wonderfully diverse, has two amazing universities and, for a short while, was the centre of the universe when our football team won the Premiership, at odds of 5000-1. There was more chance of the Pope having a Number 1 hit, apparently!

And, of course, it holds the most amazing memories; of living with my Grandmother, who was my soul-mate, and encouraged me in the arts and, most importantly, as a ridiculously shy teenager, to go on stage. Well, mostly encouraged; she did tell me I had a singing voice like a cat being ironed, but we’ll gloss over that!

After leaving school I spent eleven years in banking. I left the TSB with the worst cash error record in Leicester, but as a successful chief clerk as, with the latter job, I only had to organise the branch and talk to customers, not add anything up. And so began a journey to London to study acting at the London Theatre School and immerse myself in café society and shouting at people who stand on the left side of escalators.

I remember once, in my second year at drama school, standing in Trafalgar Square at 3 am, waiting for a night bus, having drunk Lake Windermere in Merlot (this is actually part of the drama school syllabus), looking up at the beam of light trained on Nelson’s Column, thinking, ‘This is amazing; I’m an actor living in London; I’ve found freedom’. And it was true. The move and the change in career broadened my mind wider than I had ever thought possible. I know it’s a cliché, but I began to find a part of myself I never knew existed (or maybe was just too scared to admit to). It was liberating and exhilarating.

After graduating, there followed a few somewhat unmemorable acting jobs, including dropping my leading lady into the orchestra pit during a production of The Boyfriend in Rhyl (I don’t think the twenty-seven people in the audience were very impressed) and a few normal jobs in order to pay that annoying ‘rent’ thing. Two years in advertising (wearing pink braces and throwing a hissy fit if your double-shot gingerbread latte wasn’t quite hot enough), telemarketing, stage-door-keeping and being a butler at Phantom Of the Opera (pouring champagne down rich people’s sleeves).

Finally, I got lucky and had a run of eight consecutive plays, including three productions of Jack Shepherd’s Half Moon. I still had to pinch myself (not hard; I’m a wimp with pain) that someone of Jack’s standing would cast me in his play.

Then, having played rugby and tennis and kept reasonably fit at the gym all my life, my body decided to age 104 years in six months and I ended up having twenty-four operations in ten years. However, there is always a silver lining as this is when I started writing.

In 2007 I wrote a play called Save Your Kisses For Me which actually included The Brotherhood Of Man’s Eurovision-winning song (the first record I ever bought. I was young and had questionable musical taste…..as opposed to now when I’m older and have appalling musical taste). From it’s small-scale success I became the In-House writer for Heartbreak Productions and have been lucky enough to have adapted some marvellous novels for the stage, including three of David Walliam’s children’s books (Billionaire Boy is currently on a national tour). I’ve also had my own independent plays produced and will be returning to the acting profession later this year in my next play, 20:40, which concerns depression.

When I was adapting my first novel, I found myself in a Soho café on a break between rent-paying jobs. Normally I have great difficulty concentrating on anything if there’s extraneous background noise. However, on this occasion, I started writing and didn’t stop for four hours, by which time my mocha was congealed and I was half an hour late for pointing a spotlight at the stage of Phantom Of the Opera. From that day, I have done nearly all my writing in cafes. I love the energy and atmosphere; like-minded people writing plays, books, composing songs, creating new business ideas, forming new friendships. It seeps into your pores and wraps you in this all-encompassing creative blanket. I love the fact that café society has been going on for centuries. You can just SEE Picasso and Modigliani discussing surrealism and Gore Vidal and Jack Kerouac pushing the boundaries of acceptability in literature.

I write in longhand with a fountain pen. I know that sounds like I’m about to disappear up my own bottom but I genuinely can’t write with a biro, and get absolutely no inspiration from staring at a laptop screen. I re-read the last few pages to get myself back into the work again (this takes about ten minutes) and then I shift my mind a degree to the left of normality. If I’m writing dialogue, then I’ll read everything back in my head and act out each character. Being an actor, if it doesn’t sound natural, I will know straight away.

I love writing. No, ‘love’ doesn’t cover it; I adore writing.

Now most of the operations have finished and, as well as retuning to acting, I’m returning to the gym and the tennis court (at least I have an excuse to lose now).

I’m very lucky; I get to do two things that I love; making up stories and pretending to be other people. Also, I get to pay the bulk of the rent by lighting Phantom Of the Opera, playing David Garrick in the tours of Theatre Royal, Drury Lane and also taking tours of the Royal Opera House.

There isn’t much time to relax, but that’s OK. When I do get time, I love sport, poetry, music (Meat Loaf to Mozart), meditating in Highgate Wood, keeping fit, reading, and spending time with friends, being ludicrously immature one moment and putting the world to rights, the next.

What I love most about my life is that it can’t be labelled. I hate labels; they constrict us and are an excuse for people to hate each other. Someone recently said to me, ‘How can you like sport AND poetry?’. I replied, ‘Who made up the rule that you can’t?’.

Thank you to David Kerby-Kendall, Whiteley Publishing, and Authoright for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following link.

                      

For more information on David Kerby-Kendall, visit his website at: davidkerbykendall.com

or follow him on Twitter at: @dkerbykendall

#BlogTour & #BookReview
Perfect Score by Susan Roebuck
@suemonte @fayerogersuk

Synopsis:

Feckless, exasperating Alex Finch is a rich, handsome and talented singer/songwriter who longs for two things: a career as a professional rock singer, and to have his love for Sam Barrowdale reciprocated. But drifter Sam’s two aims are simply to earn enough money to pay his sister’s medical bills and to hide from the world his reading/writing and speech disability. At this time the word “dyslexia” is generally unknown so to most people he’s just a “retard”. From the severe knocks life’s dealt him, Sam’s developed a tough outer coating and he has no time for a spoilt, selfish guitar player.

Despite his defects, Alex’s love for Sam never wavers and when Sam unexpectedly disappears, Alex begins a somewhat bungling quest to find him, only to discover that Sam has a fearful enemy: Alex’s powerful and influential yet sociopathic uncle.

As Alex spirals downwards towards alcoholism, many questions need answering. Just why did Alex’s evil uncle adopt him at age eleven yet deny him any affection? And what’s the mystery behind Alex’s father’s death?

Both seem to face unbeatable odds. Are they doomed to follow separate paths forever?


Book Rating: 7/10

Romantic, reflective and heartwarming!

In this novel by Roebuck, she transports us back to the 1960s to the rugged terrain of the dusty prairies where life is hard; blood, sweat, and tears are the norm; and small-minded mentality surrounding politics, economics, special needs, and sexuality is rampant.

The characters are troubled, unique, and endearing. And the plot, which is ultimately about life, loss, survival, family, morality and love has a lot of subplots and tackles a lot of issues, including industrial pollution, pharmaceutical negligence, homelessness, abuse and sexual orientation.

This is a very complex, intriguing story that definitely has a “Brokeback Mountain” feel with that deep, enduring, underlying bond and love between the two main characters. And even though Roebuck did an exceptional job of writing the narration and dialogue true to the characters natures and time period, at times I did feel it caused a little disruption in my connection to the story and the overall flow.

About the Author

My first love is, of course, my husband, my second writing, and my third painting. And now I have time to be able to indulge in all three.

My debut novel, “Perfect Score” was published by Awe-Struck Publishing on Sept 21, 2010 and the paperback was launched on May 11 2011. In May 2017 Mundania Press re-released the ebook.

Perfect Score was an EPIC (Electronic Publishing Industry Coalition) finalist in the 2012 EPIC e-Book Awards in the Mainstream Category.

“Perfect Score” is set in mid West USA in the 1960s and is a story about family relationships, corruption, growing up, integrity, responsibility, and being a man of worth in a society of the worthless.

“Hewhay Hall” is my second novel, published by Etopia Press on April 20, 2012. It has won the EPIC (Electronic Publishing Industry Coalition) 2013 e-Book Award in the Horror Category (an EPPIE)

Thank you to Susan Roebuck and Faye Rogers for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                      

For more information on Susan Roebuck, visit her website at: susanroebuck.com

or follow her on Twitter at: @suemonte

 

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