Noteworthy Book Releases

It’s Monday (June 17, 2019)!
What Are You Reading! #IMWAYR
#Books #Reading #TBRList

 

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? hosted by Kathryn at Bookdate is a weekly post to share what you’ve recently finished reading, what you’re currently reading, and what you plan on reading this upcoming week.

 

So here is what I just read, am reading, and what I plan to read next:

 

What I Read Last Week:

 

Title: Dear Wife

Authors: Kimberly Belle

Immediate Thoughts: Well crafted, menacing, and delightfully creepy!

Rating: 9/10

Publication Date: June 25, 2019

 

 

Title: Professor with Benefits (Beta Brothers #3)

Authors: Hazel Kelly

Immediate Thoughts: Sultry, Steamy, and titillating!

Rating: 7.5/10

Publication Date: May 30, 2019

 

 

Title: The Doll’s House (Helen Grace #3)

Author: M.J. Arlidge

Immediate Thoughts: Suspenseful, twisty, and unnerving!

Rating: 9/10

Publication Date: February 12, 2015

 

 

Title: The Word is Murder (Hawthorne #1)

Author: Anthony Horowitz

Immediate Thoughts: Unique, creative, and masterfully crafted!

Rating: 10/10

Publication Date: June 5, 2018

 

 

Title: This is Kind of an Epic Love Story

Author: Kheryn Callender

Immediate Thoughts: Humorous, tender, and romantic!

Rating: 6.5/10

Publication Date: October 30, 2018

 

 

What I’m Currently Reading:

 

Oceans and decades apart, two women are inextricably bound by the secrets between them.

Japan, 1957. Seventeen-year-old Naoko Nakamura’s prearranged marriage to the son of her father’s business associate would secure her family’s status in their traditional Japanese community, but Naoko has fallen for another man—an American sailor, a gaijin—and to marry him would bring great shame upon her entire family. When it’s learned Naoko carries the sailor’s child, she’s cast out in disgrace and forced to make unimaginable choices with consequences that will ripple across generations.

America, present day. Tori Kovac, caring for her dying father, finds a letter containing a shocking revelation—one that calls into question everything she understood about him, her family and herself. Setting out to learn the truth behind the letter, Tori’s journey leads her halfway around the world to a remote seaside village in Japan, where she must confront the demons of the past to pave a way for redemption.

In breathtaking prose and inspired by true stories from a devastating and little-known era in Japanese and American history, The Woman in the White Kimono illuminates a searing portrait of one woman torn between her culture and her heart, and another woman on a journey to discover the true meaning of home.

 

What I’m Reading Next:

 

In this high concept psychological suspense novel from the USA Today bestselling author of Somebody’s Daughter, a chance meeting with a woman in an airport sends a man on a
pulse-pounding quest for the truth…

Joshua Fields takes the same flights every week for work. His life is a series of departures and arrivals, hotels and airports. During yet another layover, Joshua meets Morgan, a beautiful stranger with whom he feels an immediate connection. When it’s time for their flights, Morgan gets up to leave, leans over and passionately kisses Joshua, lamenting that they’ll never see each other again.

As Morgan slips away, Joshua is left feeling confused by what just happened between them. That’s when he looks up and is shocked to see Morgan’s face flashing on a nearby TV screen. He’s even more shocked when he learns the reason why–Morgan is a missing person.

What follows is a whirlwind, fast-paced journey filled with lies, deceit, and secrets to discover the truth about why Morgan is on the run. But when he finally thinks every mystery is solved, another rears its head, and Joshua’s worst enemy may be his own assumptions about those around him…

 

Current Stats:

 

# of Books Still on my Goodreads TBR List: 437 (😊)

 

 

# of Books Read in the #20BooksofSummer Challenge: 3/20

😬 (17 More to Go!) 😬

 

 

 

Have you read any of my upcoming reads? What do you have coming up?

#BookReview
Fatal Inheritance by Rachel Rhys
@MsTamarCohen @SimonSchusterCA

#BookReview Fatal Inheritance by Rachel Rhys @MsTamarCohen @SimonSchusterCATitle: Fatal Inheritance

Author: Rachel Rhys

Published by: Simon & Schuster Canada on June 11, 2019

Genres: Historical Fiction, Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 400

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 10/10

 

 

Synopsis:

She didn’t have an enemy in the world…until she inherited a fortune.

London 1948: Eve Forrester is stuck in a loveless marriage, isolated in her gray and gloomy house when out of the blue, she receives a letter. A wealthy stranger has left her a mysterious inheritance but in order to find out more, she must travel to the glittering French Riviera.

There, Eve discovers she has been bequeathed an enchanting villa overlooking the Mediterranean Sea and suddenly, life could not be more glamorous. But while she rubs shoulders with the rich and famous, challengers to her unexplained fortune begin to emerge—challengers who would love to see Eve gone forever.

Alone in paradise, Eve must unlock the story behind her surprise bequest—before her unexpected twist of fate turns deadly…

Fatal Inheritance is an intoxicating story of dysfunctional families and long-hidden secrets, set against the decadence of the Côte d’Azur.


Review:

Picturesque, mysterious, and incredibly captivating!

Fatal Inheritance is an alluring, compelling tale predominantly set in the idyllic French Riviera during 1948 that takes you into the lives of the rich and glamourous Lesters. They are affluent. They are privileged. And like most families with money and power everything is not always as it seems and behind all the fame and fortune hides an abundance of lies, secrets, temptation, scandals, secrets, heartbreak and tragedy.

The prose is polished and lush. The characters are multi-layered, alluring, and materialistic. And the plot is a well-paced, sweeping saga filled with familial drama, love, loss, mystique, heartbreak, romance, rivalry, greed, red herrings and jealousy.

Overall, Fatal Inheritance is a beautifully crafted, exceptionally absorbing novel that transports you to another time and place and immerses you so thoroughly in the decadence, lifestyle, luxuries, and scandalous behaviour of the characters you never want to put it down. It is a true guilty pleasure and undoubtedly one of my favourite novels of the year.

 

This novel is available now.

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

                                            

 

 

Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Rachel Rhys

Rachel Rhys is the pen-name of a successful psychological suspense author. A Dangerous Crossing is her debut novel under this name. The story is inspired by a real diary which the author discovered by accident while helping her mother move house. It was written with care and attention by a servant girl who travelled from England to Australia on a cruise liner in the late 1930s.

Rachel Rhys lives in North London with her family, including a much-loved dog.

#CoverReveal
Seven Nights of Sin (Penthouse Affair #2)
by Kendall Ryan @KendallRyan1

 

 

Today I am thrilled to bring you the Cover for the latest novel

 from New York Times bestselling author Kendall Ryan.

 

Seven Nights of Sin

Releasing on June 25th!

 

 

He’s the powerful CEO. I’m the know-it-all intern.

Things went further than they should have, but I don’t have any regrets. Well, maybe just one . . .

I went and did the one thing he told me not to–fall in love with him.

Now I have seven days to prove my trust and devotion. Turns out money is a powerful drug, but love is even more addictive.

Seven Nights of Sin is the stunningly sexy and heart-tugging conclusion to The Two Week Arrangement.

 

 

PRE-ORDER NOW

AMAZON | APPLE | B&N | KOBO | GOOGLE PLAY

 

 

About the Author:

A New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author of more than two dozen titles, Kendall Ryan has sold over 1.5 million books and her books have been translated into several languages in countries around the world. She’s a traditionally published author with Simon & Schuster and Harper Collins UK, as well as an independently published author. Since she first began self-publishing in 2012, she’s appeared at #1 on Barnes & Noble and iBooks charts around the world. Her books have also appeared on the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists more than three dozen times. Ryan has been featured in such publications as USA Today, Newsweek, and InTouch Magazine.

Visit her at http://www.kendallryanbooks.com for the latest book news, and fun extras.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon Author Page

 

It’s Monday (May 27, 2019)!
What Are You Reading! #IMWAYR
#Books #Reading #TBRList

 

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? hosted by Kathryn at Bookdate is a weekly post to share what you’ve recently finished reading, what you’re currently reading, and what you plan on reading this upcoming week.

 

So here is what I just read, am reading, and what I plan to read next:

 

What I Read Last Week:

 

Title: The Favorite Daughter

Authors: Patti Callahan Henry

Immediate Thoughts: Heartfelt, tender, and absorbing!

Rating: 8.5/10

Publication Date: June 4, 2019

 

 

Title: Fatal Inheritance

Authors: Rachel Rhys

Immediate Thoughts: Picturesque, mysterious, and incredibly captivating!

Rating: 9/10

Publication Date: June 11, 2019

 

 

Title: The the Stars and Back

Author: Camilla Isley

Immediate Thoughts: Cute, sweet, and fun!

Rating: 7.5/10

Publication Date: April 25, 2019

 

 

Title: Slow Dancing at Sunrise

Author: Jo McNally

Immediate Thoughts: Light, winsome, and engaging!

Rating: 8/10

Publication Date: June 25, 2019

 

 

Title: The Baobab Beach Retreat

Author: Kate Frost

Immediate Thoughts: Atmospheric, tender, and hopeful!

Rating: 8.5/10

Publication Date: November 14, 2017

 

 

What I’m Currently Reading:

 

“The first time they met, Mags saved Ava’s life. The second time they met, Ava saved Mags’s.”
Ava Hart is the most reluctant cast member of a reality TV show based on her big city family’s (mostly staged) efforts to run a B&B in small-town Nova Scotia. Every family has its problems, but Ava has grown up seeing her family’s every up and down broadcast on national television, after the show becomes an unexpected success for reasons that will take a heavy toll on the Harts.
Mags Kovach is the charismatic lead singer of a struggling Halifax rock band hoping to be the Next Big Thing. For years she’s managed to contain her demons and navigate the uglier aspects of being a woman in the music world, but after a devastating loss, she turns her anger on the only person she can: herself.
As their private tragedies continue to set social media and tabloid headlines on fire, their every move subjected to an endless stream of public commentary, it will be their unexpected friendship that will save them. They will push back against the roles they’ve been forced to play, and take back control of something they thought they’d lost forever — the right to their own stories.

 

What I’m Reading Next:

 

Welcome to the most tumultuous summer of the twentieth century! It’s 1969, and for the Levin family, the times they are a-changing. Every year the children have looked forward to spending the summer at their grandmother’s historic home in downtown Nantucket: but this year Blair, the oldest sister, is marooned in Boston, pregnant with twins and unable to travel. Middle sister Kirby, a nursing student, is caught up in the thrilling vortex of civil rights protests, a passion which takes her to Martha’s Vineyard with her best friend, Mary Jo Kopechne. Only son Tiger is an infantry soldier, recently deployed to Vietnam. Thirteen-year-old Jessie suddenly feels like an only child, marooned in the house with her out-of-touch grandmother who is hiding some secrets of her own. As the summer heats up, Teddy Kennedy sinks a car in Chappaquiddick, a man flies to the moon, and Jessie experiences some sinking and flying herself, as she grows into her own body and mind.

In her first “historical novel,” rich with the details of an era that shaped both a country and an island thirty miles out to sea, Elin Hilderbrand once again proves her title as queen of the summer novel.

 

Have you read any of my upcoming reads? What do you have coming up?

#BlogTour #Excerpt
Spices and Seasons,
Simple Sustainable Indian Flavors
by Rinku Bhattacharya
@Wchestermasala @rararesources

#BlogTour #Excerpt Spices and Seasons, Simple Sustainable Indian Flavors by Rinku Bhattacharya @Wchestermasala @rararesources

#BlogTour #Excerpt Spices and Seasons, Simple Sustainable Indian Flavors by Rinku Bhattacharya @Wchestermasala @rararesourcesTitle: Spices and Seasons, Simple Sustainable Indian Flavors

Author: Rinku Bhattacharya

Published by: Hippocrene Books on May 1, 2014

Genres: Cookbook, Non Fiction

Pages: 373

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Rinku Bhattacharya combines her two great loves―Indian cooking and sustainable living―to give readers a simple, accessible way to cook seasonally, locally, and flavorfully. Inspired by the bounty of local produce, mostly from her own backyard, Rinku set out to create recipes for busy, time-strapped home cooks who want to blend Indian flavors into nutritious family meals. Arranged in chapters from appetizers through desserts, the cookbook includes everything from small bites, soups, seafood, meat and poultry, and vegetables, to condiments, breads, and sweets. You’ll find recipes for tempting fare like “Mango and Goat Cheese Mini Crisps,” “Roasted Red Pepper Chutney,” “Crisped Okra with Dry Spice Rub,” “Smoky Roasted Eggplant and Tomato Puree,” and “Red Harvest Masala Cornish Hens,” to name a few. As exotic and enticing as these recipes sound, the ingredients are easily found and the instructions are simple. Rinku encourages readers to explore the bounty of their local farms and markets, and embrace the rich flavors of India to cook food that is nutritious, healthy, seasonal and most importantly, delicious.

 

 

And now a delicious recipe from the book:

 

Pasta with Spice-Infused Ground Lamb and Green Peas (M&P)

I love the Italian classic Bolognese sauce, and I love the classic Indian dish called Keema Matar (ground lamb with green peas). This recipe offers a fusion take on both these dishes, making for an unusual and flavorful pasta dish. It is a wonderful and hearty meal for a winter evening. I like to make this using my stored summer tomatoes. If you wish you can use gluten-free pasta for this recipe.

 

Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cook Time: 40 minutes | Serves: 4 to 6

 

Ingredients

For the keema masala sauce

¼ cup oil (preferably olive oil)

1 large white onion (preferably Spanish or sweet vidalia), chopped

1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 (1½-inch) cinnamon stick

2 or 3 green cardamom pods, bruised

3 cloves

¾ pound ground lamb

1 teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon salt

4 medium tomatoes (about ¾ pound), cut into a dice

1 teaspoon red cayenne pepper powder

¾ cup frozen peas

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

1 tablespoon chopped cilantro

For the pasta

2 cups any pasta of your choice

Salt

1 tablespoon olive oil

 

Preparation

  1. Heat the oil in a pan until medium hot, about 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the white onion, ginger, and garlic. Add the cinnamon stick, cardamom pods, and cloves and mix well.
  2. Add the ground lamb and mix well. Stir in the turmeric and salt and mix well. Cook the lamb for 6 to 7 minutes until it begins to release its juices and starts turning light brown.
  3. Add the tomatoes and cayenne pepper powder and continue cooking the mixture for another 10 minutes, until the tomatoes turn nice and saucy.
  4. Add the peas and stir well. Add ½ cup of water and simmer for 20 minutes.
  5. While the sauce is cooking, mix a large pot of water with the salt and olive oil and bring to a boil. Add the pasta and cook for the amount of time indicated on the box. Drain.
  6. Mix the pasta with the sauce and serve immediately.

 

 

This cookbook is available now.

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

 

 

 

About Rinku Bhattacharya

Rinku Bhattacharya (spicechronicles.com) was born in India, and now lives in a house with a vibrant backyard in Hudson Valley, New York with her husband, an avid gardener, and their two children. Rinku’s simple, sustainable approach to Indian cooking is showcased on her blog, Spice Chronicles, and in her Journal News column “Spices and Seasons.”

Rinku has been teaching recreational cooking classes for the past nine years, and works extensively with local area farmer’s markets on seasonal demonstrations and discussions. Rinku is also the author of The Bengali Five Spice Chronicles (Hippocrene Books, 2012), winner of the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards 2013 for Best Indian Cuisine. She writes for the Poughkeepsie Journal, the Journal News, and several online sites, and is a frequent guest on CT Style TV.

 

I Can’t Wait For . . . #CWW #WOW
(Can’t-Wait/Waiting on Wednesday)
Fatal Inheritance by Rachel Rhys
@MsTamarCohen @SimonSchusterCA

 

Can’t-Wait Wednesday hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings is a weekly
post to spotlight books we’re excited about that we have yet to read.

 

This week the book I’m waiting on is …

 

 

Get swept away to the enchanting South of France with this suspenseful historical novel, where perilous secrets lurk under the glitz and glam of seaside wealth.

She didn’t have an enemy in the world…until she inherited a fortune.

London 1948: Eve Forrester is stuck in a loveless marriage, isolated in her gray and gloomy house when out of the blue, she receives a letter. A wealthy stranger has left her a mysterious inheritance but in order to find out more, she must travel to the glittering French Riviera.

There, Eve discovers she has been bequeathed an enchanting villa overlooking the Mediterranean Sea and suddenly, life could not be more glamorous. But while she rubs shoulders with the rich and famous, challengers to her unexplained fortune begin to emerge—challengers who would love to see Eve gone forever.

Alone in paradise, Eve must unlock the story behind her surprise bequest—before her unexpected twist of fate turns deadly…

Fatal Inheritance is an intoxicating story of dysfunctional families and long-hidden secrets, set against the decadence of the Côte d’Azur.

 

What do you think? It sounds so good, doesn’t it! 

 

Have you had a chance to read Fatal Inheritance or any other books by Rachel Rhys?

 

Will it be added to your TBR shelf?

 

#CoverReveal
Singles, Set and Match by Elaine Spires
@ElaineSWriter @rararesources

 

Today I am thrilled to bring you the cover for:

 

Singles, Set and Match

 

 

Synopsis:

The fifth and final book in the Singles’ Series takes us to the Mediterranean island of Ibiza then back to the Caribbean island of Antigua, where it all began. 

After making a hard decision two years earlier Eve Mitchell has moved on with the hand that life has dealt her and she finds herself on the White Island working a tennis holiday. While it isn’t a job she would have chosen, in her typical pragmatic way Eve gets on with it, working hard to ensure that her diverse group of singles, with their hopes, expectations character flaws and baggage, have the best time possible.  And as she binds together tennis sessions, social gatherings, meals and trips Eve hears some tragic personal news that brings her to another crossroads in her life.  Will she and the love of her life Melv finally make a life together and live happily ever after?

 

Preorder Now! Available July 1 2019!

 

 

 

About the Author:

Elaine Spires is a novelist, playwright, screenwriter and actress. Extensive travelling and a background in education and tourism perfected Elaine’s keen eye for the quirky characteristics of people, captivating the humorous observations she now affectionately shares with the readers of her novels. Elaine has written two books of short stories, two novellas and seven novels, four of which form the Singles Series – Singles’ Holiday, Singles and Spice, Single All The Way and Singles At Sea.  Her latest book, Singles, Set and Match is the fifth and final book in the series. Her play Stanley Grimshaw Has Left The Building is being staged at the Bridewell Theatre, London in May 2019. Her short film Only the Lonely, co-written with Veronique Christie and featuring Anna Calder Marshall is currently being in shown in film festivals worldwide and she is currently working on a full length feature film script. Only the Lonely won the Groucho Club Short Film Festival 2019! Elaine recently returned to UK after living in Antigua W.I. She lives in East London.

It’s Monday (May 20, 2019)!
What Are You Reading! #IMWAYR
#Books #Reading #TBRList

 

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? hosted by Kathryn at Bookdate is a weekly post to share what you’ve recently finished reading, what you’re currently reading, and what you plan on reading this upcoming week.

 

So here is what I just read, am reading, and what I plan to read next:

 

What I Read Last Week:

 

Title: Edie Browne’s Cottage by the Sea

Authors: Jane Linfoot

Immediate Thoughts: Sweet, cosy, and delightfully romantic!

Rating: 9/10

Publication Date: May 24, 2019

 

 

Title: Concerto

Authors: Hannah Fielding

Immediate Thoughts: Passionate, mysterious, and descriptive!

Rating: 7.5/10

Publication Date: June 6, 2019

 

 

Title: The Two-Week Arrangement (Penthouse Affair #1)

Author: Kendall Ryan

Immediate Thoughts: Sultry, seductive, and sweet!

Rating: 9/10

Publication Date: June 4, 2019

 

 

Title: We Can See You

Author: Simon Kernick

Immediate Thoughts: Menacing, twisty, and intricate!

Rating: 8.5/10

Publication Date: May 30, 2019

 

 

What I’m Currently Reading:

 

“The first time they met, Mags saved Ava’s life. The second time they met, Ava saved Mags’s.”
Ava Hart is the most reluctant cast member of a reality TV show based on her big city family’s (mostly staged) efforts to run a B&B in small-town Nova Scotia. Every family has its problems, but Ava has grown up seeing her family’s every up and down broadcast on national television, after the show becomes an unexpected success for reasons that will take a heavy toll on the Harts.
Mags Kovach is the charismatic lead singer of a struggling Halifax rock band hoping to be the Next Big Thing. For years she’s managed to contain her demons and navigate the uglier aspects of being a woman in the music world, but after a devastating loss, she turns her anger on the only person she can: herself.
As their private tragedies continue to set social media and tabloid headlines on fire, their every move subjected to an endless stream of public commentary, it will be their unexpected friendship that will save them. They will push back against the roles they’ve been forced to play, and take back control of something they thought they’d lost forever — the right to their own stories.

 

What I’m Reading Next:

 

Ten years ago, Lena Donohue experienced a wedding-day betrayal so painful that she fled the small town of Watersend, South Carolina, and reinvented herself in New York City. Though now a freelance travel writer, the one place she rarely goes is home–until she learns of her dad’s failing health.

Returning to Watersend means seeing the sister she has avoided for a decade and the brother who runs the family’s Irish pub and has borne the burden of his sisters’ rift. While Alzheimer’s slowly steals their father’s memories, the siblings rush to preserve his life in stories and in photographs. As his secret past brings Lena’s own childhood into focus, it sends her on a journey to discover the true meaning of home.

 

Have you read any of my upcoming reads? What do you have coming up?

I Can’t Wait For . . .
(Can’t-Wait/Waiting on Wednesday)
Crushed by Kate Hamer @kate_hamer
@FaberBooks @PGCBooks #CWW #WOW

 

Can’t-Wait Wednesday hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings is a weekly
post to spotlight books we’re excited about that we have yet to read.

 

This week the book I’m waiting on is …

 

 

Phoebe stands on Pultenay Bridge trying to cover her face with her hair so she won’t be recognized. Her tights are gashed from toe to thigh. She has lost a shoe. People keep looking.

Was it five, or ten minutes later she heard the commotion? Phoebe ran down the road until she saw. Mangled metal. Blood ran down the walls.

Phoebe believes this was of her making. She thought murder, and murder happened. She had told them her thoughts weren’t just thoughts and now she must live with the consequences. Phoebe won’t miss any more signs.

Who will be next to suffer? Phoebe directs her ire at her mother, scissors and knives all covertly pointing in her direction, but there are others to whom she is inexorably bound, her best friends Grace and Orla, and then there’s Mr Jonasson. Any of them might find themselves caught in the crossfire. For Phoebe is many things, but she is not in control.

 

What do you think? It sounds good, doesn’t it! 

 

Have you had a chance to read Crushed or any other books by Kate Hamer?

 

Will it be added to your TBR shelf?

 

#BlogTour #GuestPost
They Shoot Corpses, Don’t They?
by CS McLean @seasick_stu
@LoveBooksGroup #LoveBooksGroupTours

#BlogTour #GuestPost They Shoot Corpses, Don’t They? by CS McLean @seasick_stu @LoveBooksGroup #LoveBooksGroupToursTitle: They Shoot Corpses, Don't They?

Author: CS McLean

Published by: CS McLean on April 28, 2019

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 224

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

An original blend of hardboiled crime fiction and horror –  Zombie Noir.

Pat O’Hare is the only (living) private detective in Farrelton, a crime-ridden city still recovering from the ravages of an undead uprising.  Pat is hired to find the missing granddaughter of a rich industrialist.  But, what starts out as simple enough job turns into a fight for survival as he finds himself pulled into a deadly mystery where nobody can be trusted.  Helped only by a trigger happy ex-cop and a washed up boxer with a pathological fear of trees, Pat has to use every trick in the book just to stay alive.

Caught between corrupt police, gun-wielding hitmen and a ruthless crime lord, Pat soon learns that the zombies are not the most dangerous creatures in town.

 

This novel is available now.

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

 

 

And now CS McLean with:

 

TO RETREAT OR NOT TO RETREAT?

There are few things that split writers as widely as the subject of writing retreats.  For some – like Stephen King – they are to be avoided, partly because they give the impression that writing is something ‘special’ rather than an everyday activity.  For others, they are an ideal environment to boost your writing.

So, how did they become so controversial?  Well, I think it is a kind of self-fulfilling prophecy.  People that think retreats are a waste of time find them to be just that.  And those that expect them to be worthwhile get the most out of them.

I can only speak from my own experience. Having visited Moniack Mhor in the Highlands for a number of courses and retreats, I have always found them incredibly productive, and have always returned buzzing with energy for my next project.

One of the criticisms is that you focus all of your writing into a short period of time.  I’ve never found it to be that way.  I’ve always found that a writing retreat gives me an energy boost that lasts for a long time after I leave.  Also, in my day job I don’t know any writers.  If I tell someone I’m struggling with my main character’s story arc they look at me like my head just exploded.  So, to be surrounded by other writers who know what you are going through, it’s a treat, something that makes me feel like I’m actually a real human being instead of just some sad individual tapping at a keyboard while my cat looks on in judgement.

I do write most days.  I write wherever and whenever I can.  And I definitely don’t sit around waiting for the muse to come knocking. But, to have a period of a few days when you can focus your energy on your writing and nothing else, I can only say that it works for me.

Writing retreats are not for everyone.  But, if you are so inclined, I’ve found them to be a real source of inspiration.

 

About CS McLean

Stuart McLean (aka CS McLean) is a writer currently living in St Albans. He studied Chemistry at the University of Hertfordshire – although, this was back in the days when the Premiership was still called Division One and Hatfield was still a Polytechnic.

He was shortlisted for the first Margery Allingham short story competition, and was twice shortlisted for the Bloody Scotland short story competition.

Stuart was a finalist in the 2016 Bloody Scotland Pitch Perfect competition, in which he pitched his brand of zombie noir to a largely bewildered group of panellists. He was also chosen as one of the 2018 Bloody Scotland Crime in the Spotlight authors, a platform to highlight new and emerging crime writers.

When not writing, Stuart likes to play various musical instruments, all very badly; guitar, ukulele, trumpet and harmonica. But, not at the same time.

 

Thank you to CS McLean for being featured on my blog today!

 

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