2018, Blog Tour, Blogtober, extract, Guest Post

Blog Tour: The Water and the Wine inspiration By Tamar Hodes

Blogtober hasn’t been too bad for me so far.

I’m pretty chuffed with my efforts with a mixture of reviews, blog tours and a few personal entries which I’m still so bowled over by. I must admit I can’t take all the credit I would like to thank Kelly @ Love Books Groups for the reminder.

Today I am pleased to share with you a gorgeous guest post…

Blurb: It is the 1960s and a group of young writers and artists gather on the Greek island of Hydra. Leonard Cohen is at the start of his career and in love with Marianne, who is also muse to her ex-husband, Axel. Australian authors George Johnston and Charmian Clift write, drink and fight. It is a hedonistic time of love, sex and new ideas. As the island hums with excitement, Jack and Frieda Silver join the community, hoping to mend their broken marriage. However, Greece is overtaken by a military junta and the artistic idyll is threatened.

Buy linkhttps://amzn.to/2OtOgUw

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About the Author

Growing up, Tamar Hodes’ neighbours were Leonard Cohen, his girlfriend Marianne, and other writers and artists on the Greek island of Hydra. Her parents took her to the island to pursue their own art and writing. However, the bohemian nature of Hydra destroyed their marriage. The Water and the Wine is a fictional account of those days.; Tamar Hodes’ first novel Raffy’s Shapes was published in 2006. She has had stories on Radio 4 and others in anthologies including Salt’s The Best British Short Stories 2015, The Pigeonhole, Your One Phone Call, the Ofi Press, MIR online and Fictive Dream. Tamar was born in Israel and lived in Greece and South Africa before settling in the UK. She read English and Education at Homerton College, Cambridge. For the past thirty-three years she has taught English in schools, universities and prisons.

Without further ado I give you Tamar who is sharing with me her inspiration for the novel The Water and the Wine.

The Water and the Wine is a novel which I wanted to write for many years. I lived on the Greek island of Hydra when I was three (I had my fourth birthday there) as my parents were part of the creative community and, later on, they often talked about that time. It sounded fascinating to me, the way the artists and writers met in the taverna in the evenings and discussed their work and ideas and supported each other. I also knew that some of them were volatile and hot-tempered. I was interested in their attitude towards parenting, gender roles, the way they balanced work and leisure, what the locals thought of them. Also, there was the added interest of Leonard Cohen who was part of that community and just about to become famous. I was interested in the religious aspect, too: Cohen and my parents were Jewish; many of the artists were interested in Zen and Eastern traditions, and the locals were Greek Orthodox. Amazingly, they were very tolerant of each other as they were of a gay couple living and loving openly there.

Over the years, I did a lot of reading and research about that time and I came across a comment that Leonard Cohen had made, saying that it would take a novel to understand his and Marianne’s relationship. That felt like a challenge to me! There are many factual books about that period, and biographies of Leonard Cohen, George Johnston and Charmian Clift, but fiction can slip under the characters’ skin.

Sadly, my father passed away in 2013, my mother in 2014, and Leonard and Marianne four months apart in 2016. My father left me his journal about Hydra, my mother left me her first edition of Flowers for Hitler signed by Cohen and all these events made me feel that now was the time to write this novel. I felt that there was a groundswell lifting me there and so I wrote it.

Thank you Kelly for including me in this beautiful blog tour. Be sure to check out the other entries.

2018, Blog Tour, Book Snippet, extract

Blog Tour: Josie James and the Teardrops Of Summer By Lily Mae Walters

So you don’t hear from me for what a week, and then I come at you with two posts in a day. That’s just how I role sometimes.

So without further ado….

Blurb: Josie James is an ordinary 13 year old until something extraordinary happens during her summer holidays.

Whist staying at her Great Grandmother’s cottage in the country she finds herself swept into the cursed world of Suncroft where it is perpetual winter.

Her new friends believe she could be the Chosen One who it is foretold will lift the curse, but there are more pressing matters.

The Teardrops of Summer – magical crystals that render the owner immortal – have been stolen.  Along with her telepathic husky-dog Protector Asher and her new friends, Josie must race to find the
Teardrops and prevent catastrophe for their world.


Now I have an extract to share:

The village of Suncroft is where Josie finds herself in the first book.  It is a small village, cursed to live forever on a winter’s night.  Here Josie discovers the village and some of its people.

Josie could not believe her eyes. It was like looking at a Christmas card scene. Everything was covered in crisp white snow; while tall black gas lamps flickered and spat. Haphazard buildings stood in a square creating a courtyard with what looked to be a small park in the middle. But what surprised Josie the most was the people. Everywhere there were people. She hadn’t really thought about who might actually live in Suncroft, that it was actually a real village with real living people, but here was the proof right in front of her. All around her, people were going about their daily lives all wrapped up against the cold in long coats and boots. There was no denim, no trainers, no Nike or Adidas, no designer clothes, and no bright colours. Everyone wore brown, black or grey in varying shades of bleakness.

As they walked into the courtyard, Josie could see that the buildings were shops. They passed Rose’s Greengrocers with its green and white shade pulled out over the wooden shelves that stood neatly outside. Potatoes, onions, carrots, marrows, apples and pears were piled high inside the shelves.

“This is owned by Elder Rose and his family.” Filan waved to the two ladies who were behind the counter. “That’s Lorna and Gwen, who run it.”  

Josie was finally able to put faces to the voices she had heard from the secret garden that day. They were of a similar height, both with dark hair, although one wore it long and the other short.  

“Twins, you know.” Josie couldn’t see them clearly enough through the glass to know if they were identical but got the feeling that somehow they would be.

Next door was Tubbs’ Bakery; the aromas from the shop made Josie’s stomach growl. She could see bread of all shapes and sizes behind the counter, and in front were biscuits, buns and cakes. Filan stepped inside and came out seconds later with two gingerbread men. They had currants for eyes and buttons, not Smarties like Josie was used to at home. She thanked Filan then proceeded to bite its arms and legs off. She gave the head to Glider before polishing off the body.

“That’s a very barbaric way to eat a gingerbread man,” Filan said.  

Hattie’s Watchmakers and Jewellers was next, followed by Millie’s Book Shop and Kellie’s Tea Rooms. Outside Periwinkle’s Sweet Shop, Filan stopped to talk to three young boys who had been staring in the window, their faces and hands pressed up against the glass.

 Be sure to check out the rest of the tour…

And if you want to know more about the author…

Lily Mae Walters chose her pen name in honour of her beloved grandparents who also stare in the Josie James series.

She is married with two teenage children, and two huskies that are the inspiration behind Murphy and Asher in the books.

Lily Mae lives in Nuneaton, England and finds herself using local  places and even her old school in her stories.

Family and friends mean the world to Lily Mae and many will find themselves popping up throughout the series.

Lily Mae also writes for adults under the name of Florence Keeling.

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/josiejames100/

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/lilymaewalters/

Twitter- https://twitter.com/LilyMaeWalters1

2018, Blog Tour, Book Snippet, extract, Uncategorized

Blog Tour: Madam Love, Actually By Rich Amooi

So sorry for the lack of updates on Hayley Reviews it’s been quite a crazy week in terms of my life. Works been chaotic to say the least and I’m an auntie to two more beauties. That’s enough about me although there will be a post that may seem like moaning, rambling but I think that it’s now came to a time when I need to make some changes to my blog and my well-being.

Today on Hayley Reviews I’m pleased to share with you an extract from Madam Love Actually.

In this scene, the radio host is trying to talk Madam Love and Lance into getting together for a reading to find him his soulmate.

“Welcome back! I’m Elaine Stewart and we’ve been talking with bestselling author Lance Parker about his new book Your Soulmate Doesn’t Exist. We also have Madam Love on the line with us. She’s a fortune teller who specializes in finding her clients’ soulmates. Are you still with us, Madam Love?”

“I’m here,” Madam Love answered.

“Great. Before the break I was chatting with Lance about the possibility of visiting Madam Love for a consultation to find his soulmate. He doesn’t believe in them, but Madam Love is confident he does have one. They both said it was a bad idea. Funny, but our listeners disagree with both of you.” Elaine scrolled down the page on her computer monitor. “We have a poll on Facebook and Twitter asking if Lance should visit Madam Love. So far, ninety-nine percent of our listeners say yes!”

Lance let out a nervous chuckle. “Out of how many people? Three?”

“Over four thousand people have weighed in so far.” She kept her eyes on the monitor. “Hang on . . . it’s up over five thousand and climbing.”

What the hell?

Peter scribbled DO IT! on a piece of paper and handed it to Lance.

Lance pushed the paper aside and mouthed no to Peter.

“Madam Love, you mentioned there was a soulmate waiting for Lance at this moment,” Elaine said. “How sure are you?”

“I’m certain,” Madam Love answered, then laughed. “Hard to believe, right?”

“Not funny,” Lance grumbled.

“The truth hurts, darling,” Madam Love shot back.

Elaine was watching her monitor. “We now have over twelve thousand listeners who want Madam Love to give Lance a reading and find him his soulmate. That’s ninety-four percent of those polled.”

“Twelve thousand people?” Madam Love said.

“Yes,” Elaine answered. “Amazing, considering the poll hasn’t been up on Facebook and Twitter long. Wait, we’re up to almost fourteen thousand listeners in favor.”

“I’ll do it,” Madam Love blurted out. “I’ll take the challenge.”

Thank you once again Rachel for including me and to Rich Amooi for this fabulous extract. Be sure to check out the rest of the tour.

Purchase Links:

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07C9RYRHY

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07C9RYRHY

Amazon CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B07C9RYRHY

Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B07C9RYRHY

Author Bio –

Rich Amooi is a former radio personality who now writes romantic comedies full-time. He is happily married to a kiss monster imported from Spain. They live in San Diego, California with their very hairy daughter, a mini goldendoodle puppy. Rich believes in public displays of affection, silliness, infinite possibilities, donuts, gratitude, laughter, and happily ever after.

Social Media Links –

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/author.richamooi

Twitter: https://twitter.com/richamooi

Cover Reveal, ebook, extract, Guest Post, Uncategorized

Kathryn Freeman has a double whammy today and her new EBook is featured here….

Today at Hayley Reviews I’m excited to say that it’s a double whammy for Kathryn Freeman. Too Damn Nice is available as an EBook and Before You is now a paperback. If that wasn’t enough excitement I now have a little exclusive here….

I don’t know about you but how gorgeous is this cover? If that doesn’t sway you here’s the blurb.

Do nice guys stand a chance? 

Lizzie Donavue went from being the sister of his best friend to the girl Nick Templeton most wants to kiss. On her birthday, he finally summons up the courage to make his move. But it looks like Nick’s missed his chance when he discovers that Lizzie has been offered a modelling contract, which will take her away to the glamorous fashion scenes of New York and Los Angeles.
 Nick is forced to watch from the sidelines as the gawky teenager he knew is transformed into Elizabeth Donavue: top model and ultimate English rose pin-up, forever caught in a whirlwind of celebrity parties with the next up-and-coming Hollywood bad boy by her side.

 But then Lizzie’s star-studded life comes crashing down around her, and a guy like Nick could be just what she needs. Will she take a chance on him? Or is he just too damn nice?

I also have a sneaky peak of Too Damn Nice here it goes…..

Clothes. She needed to find some clothes and get dressed. How many hours had she spent lying in bed, crying? She couldn’t waste any more time like that. She had to pull herself together. To be strong. Heck, two years ago her family had been all but wiped out on a single, tragic day. This wasn’t the worst thing that had ever happened to her. If she could cope with burying her parents, if she could cope with seeing her brother lying comatose in a nursing home week, after week, after week, she could cope with this.

With those thoughts in mind, she reached for the jeans she’d thrown carelessly over the extravagant cerise velvet chair. About to pull them on, her eyes settled on the crushed newspaper lying on the floor. The same one she’d read three days ago. With a wail of anguish she lunged for it, tearing it into shreds. Leaving the tattered remains on the floor she yanked on her jeans, pulled on the nearest jumper – a baby blue cashmere she’d spilt tea down the moment she’d opened the damn newspaper – and walked down the hall towards the kitchen.

‘Lizzie? Are you in there?’

She froze, the voice achingly familiar. Perhaps she was hallucinating. She hadn’t eaten for days. Her mind must be playing tricks on her.

‘Lizzie, it’s me. If you’re in there, open the damn door.’ There was a pause, and a further knock. ‘Please.’

In a daze, Lizzie walked slowly to the door. Nobody here called her Lizzie. She was Elizabeth Donavue. She hadn’t been Lizzie for years. In fact there was only one person who still called her by that name.

‘Nick, is that you?’ Her voice came out as a strangled whisper.

‘Thank God.’ She could hear the relief in Nick’s voice. ‘Come on, Lizzie. I’m the only one here. Open the blasted door.’

With trembling fingers, she fumbled with the locks. Three days ago she’d secured the door with every security device she had. Now it seemed to take an eternity to undo them all. She barely had time to register it really was Nick standing on her doorstep, before she was bundled into his arms and pushed back into her apartment. He kicked the door shut with his foot and then stood back to look at her.

‘What the hell is going on?’

She moved her mouth, but no words came. ‘I …’ Shaking from head to foot, she walked away from him. Oh God, she was going to cry. Again. It was all she seemed capable of. She’d only taken two steps when a strong arm reached for her waist and dragged her back, turning her round to face him before holding her firmly in his arms.

‘Shh, it’s okay. Everything is going to be okay. I’m here now.’ Gently he held her, smoothing his hand down her back, just as a parent would comfort a small child.

Lizzie was dimly aware of being lifted and carried to the sofa. Nick sat them both down, cradling her against him, murmuring words she couldn’t hear. Despite trying not to, she began to blubber like a baby, all over again. The more she clung to the familiar strength of him, the more she was helpless to do anything but let it all come out. In the end, that’s what she did, crying until the tears ran dry and her body stopped trembling.

‘I’ve made your shirt wet,’ she whispered, pulling away, totally embarrassed at her meltdown.

‘Excuse my language, but sod the bloody shirt.’ He narrowed his eyes and scrutinised her face. ‘Christ, you look terrible. What have they done to you?’

Want more Too Damn Nice as I know I want more. You can download it Here for a bargain price of 99p

If you are into your F1 then be sure to nab Before You which is now available in paperback Here

You can contact Kathryn here:

Website: http://kathrynfreeman.co.uk
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kathrynfreeman
Twitter: https://twitter.com/KathrynFreeman1