2019, Author Love, Author Q&A, Blogtober, Uncategorized

Q&A with Daisy Tate…

So I promised there would be two posts to honour yesterday’s Twitter poll. www.Twitter.com/HayleyTOfficial

I’m delighted to welcome Daisy Tate to Hayley Reviews today. I loved and truly adored part one of the Happy Glampers and once I’ve organised my reading and my new working patterns I will be getting stuck into part two.

You can read my thoughts on the Happy Glampers Here

1.I read the Happy Glampers not knowing it was only part one and I loved it. Where did you get the inspiration for it?

The idea to write about Glampers was my editor’s idea. She wanted a four part series to release first online (available now) and then as an entire book (available in Spring 2020). I wrote a few synopses exploring different groups of friends/families who were either glamping or running a glamping business. Together we wove what is hopefully a magic mix of friends who glamp together (and stay together, obvs!).

2. As I say I didn’t realise it was only part one? What can we expect from the four friends, I cannot wait to read the rest.

I’m so happy you enjoyed it. The rest of the book takes quite a wild ride. The entire book takes place over the course of a year. Without giving too much away, each of the characters will take quite a wild ride that will make them take a hard look at their lives but with lots of laughs (and cake!) along the way. There will be camping in Wales, a trip to Scotland and possibly a trip down memory lane in Bristol!

3. This is your debut right? What else can we expect from you?

This is my debut. I was offered a two book contract so you’ll definitely see those and, fingers crossed, if you all enjoy the books, there will be more. One of my MANY fantasies is to write a book that becomes a film and/or a television series I started out wanting to be an actor and never lost the passion for TV and film. I then went on to become a news cameraman before I met my fella and we moved to the farm, so fingers crossed, I’ll get something up on the silver screen one day!

4. What’s your daily writing day like?

I get up pretty early. After a dog walk (if I haven’t convinced The Hubby to do it) and making a rather strong mug of coffee (about the size of my head), I head to the keyboard. Some days it’s a struggle ignore all of that exciting social media action out there, so it’s definitely an exercise in control. I tend to write until about midday when farm duties take over and from there on out it’s cows, chickens, bees and, of course, dog walks.

5. What are you reading at the moment?

I’m reading THREE books at the moment (for some reason, I can never do just one!). I’m reading Everything I Know About Love by the soul baring Dolly Alderton, The Break by the fabulous Marian Keyes and My Not So Fabulous Life by the wonderful Sophie Kinsella.

6. What are you working on at the moment?

I am working on a book called A Bicycle Built for Sue – I’m in the throes of writing my second book called A Bicycle Built for Sue which is a standalone novel (no need to wait for all of the parts this time!). I’ve just returned from riding my bicycle on the coast to coast Hadrian’s Wall ride as research…so that’s your teaser.

7. What’s your earliest memory of books?

Ohhhh….I would say going to the library. My sister, brother and I read like hungry wolves attack, umm….a bucket of KFC. We would bring ‘the box’ and were allowed six books and half an hour to choose whatever we wanted. My mum also used to read the Little House on the Prarie series to us again and again and again and I LOVED it every single time.

8. How do you create your characters??

I tend to need an image of them to really nail who they are. When I am writing them I really like being inside their emotional centre, so if I have a picture of who I’m writing in my head (or, in this case, I pinned them up on the corkboard opposite my desk), it really helps.

9. When did you realise you wanted to become a writer?

I was a bit slow off the mark on this one! Everyone seemed to know but me. I was obsessed with becoming an actor and then when it came time to hit the real world, it turned out I hated auditioning. Ooops. Then, when I worked in news, I wrote every day. I also wrote little plays we took up to Edinburgh and I loved writing comedy sketches and comedy news pieces. It wasn’t until a friend dared me to try and write a Mills & Boon that I finally sat down and wrote an entire book. And after that? Well…here we are!

10. What is your ultimate goal?

I’d love to write a book that scoops up the reader’s heart, takes it on a tumultuous journey of laughter, emotional peaks and troughs and then at the last breath-taing minute, brings you back to earth with a nice cosy landing. And, of course, have it made into a major motion picture starring, say, Emma Stone and…oh…fill in whoever floats your boat! (This week I’m all about Tom Hardy because he loves dogs as much as I do.) I would also like to have about a hundred Bernese Mountain Dogs. And more cows. And make honeycomb crunch that isn’t chewy to squish into homemade chocolate ice cream sandwiches.

Thank you once again Daisy and I cannot wait to finish the Glampers series. I am definitely a fan.

If you’re an author or blogger and would love to take part in one of my Q&A’s do get in touch…

2018, audible, Blogtober, event, Uncategorized

A Spark Of Light – Jodi Picoult event

On 27th June 2018 I didn’t hesitate I booked a ticket to a live podcast with Jodi Picoult in conversation with Emma Gannon. I hadn’t worried too much about whether I would get the day off work but thankfully I did. I haven’t heard of Jodi being in the UK since I had become a fan so I really didn’t want to miss this opportunity and thankfully I didn’t.

In discovering Jodi I have been blown away with Small Great Things and The Storyteller. Most people have watched My Sisters Keeper – which so I was told is totally different to the book and not really one of Jodi’s favourites. It’s one I’ve been meaning to read but cancer related stories are always a proper hard one for me to actually stomach. As I’ve seen the sadness first hand in my own experiences and in my work capacity.

Saturday 27th October I was lucky enough to be in the presence of Jodi. Listening to her speak was so inspiring- I didn’t ask a question but listening to the other participants was awe inspiring especially when Small Great Things was mentioned a lot. This is still one of my favourite and most thought provoking books I have ever read. I listened to that on many walks to and from work and I really did miss this tale. Jodi writes controversial stories so well, in listening to her speak she really does go all out to get each and every side of the story. I loved the question someone asked about how Jodi manages to make you feel empathy even with the bad guys and I totally also felt that with Turk.

A Spark Of Light – in hearing how much Jodi went through in regards to research and that her usually three paged outline was actually forty eight pages long just shows how in depth she went. This novel has been written and it will be read also in reverse I’ve read a little and I’m looking to get to it after finishing this post.

I may have to read this book part physical book and part audible as it’s a gorgeous hardback that I’m not going to want to carry around this could be a first for me.

I told Jodi that listening to her is inspiring although I did get a little tongue tied. I’m so grateful to have attended the event it was everything I could have wanted and more.

They say don’t meet your favourites I totally disagree. Thank you for your time Jodi I look forward to devouring more of your books and hope to chat to you again someday. A Spark Of Light is out now and I know it’s going to be a ground breaking book.

2018, Blogtober, personal, Uncategorized

Life is a Rollercoaster

It isn’t the first and won’t be the last time I name check my favourites classic song for a personal blog entry.

Today is another day where my Blogtober ideas change and change again.

I’m sorry for the late entry on a day where it should have happened hours ago. I’ve had the weekend off which is another novelty and after personal post won on my poll I’ve been toying with what to say and I must admit this wasn’t my original thought.

On Monday I did something to my back at work, and I can’t even pinpoint when or what actually caused it. I’ve been extremely frustrated since then. In joining Slimming World back in April I’ve learnt so much about myself and my habits and routines have changed so much for the better.

In attending a boxfit class my enthusiasm changed dramatically and then I attended a Fight Klub class and that was me well and truly hooked. There is something truly awe inspiring in the feelings that Fight Klub brought out of me. So much so I will be doing an Exercise to Music course in November – I honestly cannot wait. I’m so rating to go which is why this week has well and truly KO’d me. I could never have imagined I’d be going back to college but I do feel like I’ve come full circle in some respects as at school I studied GCSE PE and had thought I would have done more with it.

I haven’t attended any classes and I’m extremely frustrated not only for my fitness but for my piece of mind. Exercise is good for the soul and nourishing for the mind. I’ve missed them so much and today I feel like I hit breaking point – I haven’t done too much as wanted to rest and bam the pain seemed to change. I can’t even comprehend another week without my classes – they’re a part of me and I feel so much happier and full of life when I’m putting my body through its paces.

Life sure is a rollercoaster, do what you love and love what you do for as long as you can.

2018, A thought? A question, Blogtober, Uncategorized

What do you class as Self Care?

These posts of mine seem to be getting later and later, would you believe I usually start drafting them between 6.30 and 7.30am whilst on my walk into work listening to Magic or an audiobook.

Seeing as I’m feeling a bit sorry for myself at the moment I thought I would channel that into something productive.

What do you class as self care?

So without any definitions I would say self care is taking care of yourself. That’s a pretty broad statement I know. It’s also taking steps to make your life and well being better.

On Monday at work I done something to my back. I’m not sure if I just over done it or whether I twisted it but since then I’ve been in a lot of pain. It’s also made me think what do I do for me??

Dictionary definitions of self care…

The practice of taking action to preserve or improve one’s own health.

‘autonomy in self-care and insulin administration’

1.1 The practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress. ‘expressing oneself is an essential form of self-care’ as modifier ‘self-care methods such as meditation’

I’ve had to change up my routine to include more me time – I am sad that I’ve missed my classes but I know it’s for my well being especially as I will be starting my Exercise to Music course next month and I want to be fully fit and raring to go for that.

I haven’t done too much this evening but it’s been chilled which is what you need sometimes.

My question for you. What’s your perfect evening?

Mine would be a comforting meal very much like what I had tonight jacket potatoes with baked beans and mushrooms a good bath with either Lush goodies or stress relief Radox – which was what I had tonight. A hot chocolate or an Irish coffee and a good book or some Netflix. I’m grateful to have another weekend off and I’m eager to take this time for me, I will be doing some of my course work and watching and reading a few things and I simply cannot wait.

I have a Christmas novella review for you tomorrow I just need to get it finished.

2018, Blogtober, Tag, Uncategorized

50 things that make me happy

I do love these tags and I’ve been meaning to post this for a while.

Thank you to the lovely Emma @ Sunshine and Rain for tagging me….

Yesterday I managed to somehow hurt my back at work so I’ve been feeling a bit sorry for myself so I thought today would be the best time to sit, think and write this post. In making myself think it came to me that sometimes we overlook the simplest of pleasures.

  1. My family
  2. My friends
  3. A good book
  4. Tea
  5. Coffee
  6. Fudge
  7. Cake
  8. Football
  9. Fight Klub
  10. Ireland
  11. Boybands
  12. Boyzone
  13. Ronan Keating
  14. Reading
  15. Theatre
  16. TV
  17. PJ days
  18. Writing
  19. Spending time with friends
  20. Spending time with family
  21. Fight Klub
  22. Zumba
  23. Hula hooping especially with Pippa she’s a pro thanks to her auntie.
  24. Being able to help those who mean a lot to me.
  25. Cinnamon
  26. Mars bars
  27. Baileys
  28. Tottenham Hotspur
  29. Listening to a good audiobook
  30. Lazy days
  31. Coffee chats with friends
  32. Blogging
  33. Tom Cruise
  34. Michael J Fox
  35. Caramel
  36. Sunshine
  37. Sun tan
  38. Dymchurch
  39. Salou
  40. Country music
  41. Mark Rylance
  42. Netflix
  43. Days off
  44. Pancakes esp with my bestie
  45. Irish coffee
  46. Baileys hot choc esp in the winter
  47. Chinese
  48. Films
  49. Cosy socks
  50. Disney – everything Disney the theme parks the films the lot.

I won’t be individually tagging anyone but this is open to anyone who wants time to sit, think and reflect.

I’m just out of a much needed bath and now I will sit with a cuppa and a book and possibly a treat. Have a good week all.

2018, A thought? A question, Blogtober, Uncategorized

Thoughtful Monday – hear me Roar!

Today I’m feeling thoughtful and there is a reason behind my madness. In being a bookworm I have acquired a number of go to favourites over the years – which seem to have expanded somewhat rapidly.

Cecelia Ahern is a personal favourite of mine ever since devouring the extremely moving PS I Love You. Although saying that of late there are shamefully a number of her books that I haven’t read yet. I know it’s awful. Considering I used to always be on tender-hooks for her one book a year. In gaining more book recommendations has meant some of my reading has slipped and as I’ve mentioned on more than one occasion I am in the process of changing this.

On Saturday I met friends in Walton on Thames where I spent the Waterstones gift card that I had acquired. In doing so I was given a freebie of a sampler of Roar by Cecelia. I’ve read two of the short stories so far and I must say it’s like nothing I have read of hers. In saying that it’s not bad it’s different – some of the stories are somewhat strange but they are interesting and I love the premise of the stories. Each story is a different type of woman and they challenge ideas and realities of everyday women.

I love that Cecelia has championed empowering women even if some of her following will be a little dubious of the stories the reasoning and message behind them is impressive and as hoped to be empowering. I will be purchasing the full collection when it is released 1st November and you can pre-order it Here so far I have read The woman who slowly disappeared and the woman who was kept on the shelf both stories were nothing like I imagined but the subliminal messages were enlightening.

2018, Blogtober, Review, TV, Uncategorized

Butterfly

I had a few ideas for today’s post and as the day wore on they seemed to change in my head. After a fabulous Saturday with friends and books I had a chilled Sunday, sorting a few things on the to do list and a good ole roast dinner with a few thoughts for the week ahead.

Then I remembered that the latest drama starring Anna Friel would air this evening.

My sister set it to record but I was able to make time to watch it and I knew that it would be a while before we could watch together.

Butterfly is the tale of an eleven year-old boy called Max who feels like he’s in the wrong body. He longs to be a girl. I haven’t any children but I do have a nephew and nieces.

I can’t imagine being in that situation and not only as the adult I can’t imagine how it feels to feel like you don’t belong in your body.Tonight’s episode was the first in three parts and wow it sure was full on from the off. Anna Friel is a wonderful actress who has been involved in many controversial storylines over the years. Emmett Scanlan is also a fantastic actor and I love seeing actors of his calibre in different things. Butterfly is so hard hitting and I feel his role of Stephen has been cast so well from the off.

The acting from each and every actor in this first episode has been on point and I really liked the fact they have focused on the whole family and how it not only effects the individual. An hour passed so quickly and there sure was enough action to have you on the edge of your seat.

I’m a little sad that I have to wait a week to see what’s next in Max’s story.

I love that ITV have taken on an issue like this, I truly believe that stigma lies in lack of information and facts. I cannot wait to see the next episode.

2018, Blog Tour, Blogtober, Uncategorized

Blog Tour: Chasing Monsters By Paul Harrison

Today I am pleased to share not one but two blog tours but me being the super organised blogger I am hadn’t realised and had been blissfully ignorant on a fabulously book filled day out so without further ado.

I give you post number one….Chasing Monsters.Blurb: The first thrilling book in the Will Scott series.

In a sleepy northern seaside resort, The Eastborough Police Force is shocked into action when a heavily mutilated body is found in a quiet suburb. Murder rarely happens in these parts. Within a short space of time, the body count begins to rise rapidly, as a serial killer runs amok.

DI Will Scott is tasked with finding the murderer. In so doing he treads paths he never expected to traverse and uncovers a web of deceit where no one can be trusted.

The killer relentlessly continues to strike terror across the community, but without warning, the killing ground changes. Where will the killer strike next …?

Buy Link

https://amzn.to/2NTiNOw

Twitter Handles

@PHarrisonauthor 

@UrbaneBooks

#LoveBooksGroup

I am here to share a snippet of the book….

Mel had taken the kids out shopping to allow Will to catch up on some hard-earned sleep and said she would bring something home for dinner. Will loved the way that, having been in the job herself, she understood the demands of the work. He had barely dropped off to sleep when his mobile rang. He reached out and answered it.

‘Hello, this is DI Scott.’ It was Steve Fletcher. ‘Sir, sorry to bother you, I think you’d better call Detective Superintendent Kilpatrick straight away, he’s asking to speak with you directly. Sounds extremely urgent.’

‘Did he say anything else?’

‘No sir, just that you were to call immediately, he sounded as though he was in a good mood if that means anything? He’s on pager 314.’

Will made the call knowing that the DS would be questioning him about all aspects of the case and reminding him that the first 48 hours are the most important in any investigation.

‘Sir, It’s me, Will Scott.’

‘I gather you’ve got your hands full at the moment with this murder. Are you getting all the support you need from the Divisional Superintendent?’

‘Yes, sir, he’s fine. It’s the Chief Inspector whose acting like a spanner, he’s already tried to pull rank about resource issues and uniform overtime budgets. He doesn’t seem to understand the practicalities of policing, he’s a number cruncher.’

‘Well, that’s easily sorted. With immediate effect, I’m temporarily promoting you to Detective Chief Inspector, that’s backdated pay and pension from yesterday when you took control of this case. I will circulate a memo to all senior officers and staff right away. I’ve spoken with the Chief and he agrees. This is your case Will, I’m off on holiday for three weeks from tomorrow, so the decisions are all yours. Don’t let the bureaucrats grind you down Detective Chief Inspector Scott. Understand?’

Will wasn’t sure what to say but needed some assurance that he would still be allowed to lead the CID team from the front. ‘I don’t want to be one of those desk-bound chief inspectors boss, pushing paper around all day with no real purpose. I’m at my best out on the ground working within the rank and file, catching crooks.’

‘Will, it’s a title only to give you additional authority, it isn’t substantive. I never have liked the rank of Chief Inspector, it’s neither something or nothing. A halfway house which sits uncomfortably on the police landscape. You make the role what you want it to be.’

Will thanked him for the opportunity. After the call ended, his mind went into overdrive, the temporary promotion was great but he still had a murder case to solve. He was certain that somewhere within Roberts’ background there was likely to be something that would help crack the case. The phone buzzed again, this time it was a voicemail message. ‘Sir, it’s Daisy Wright here, sorry to disturb you, but I can’t sleep. I’m heading back into the office now. If anything major comes up I’ll call you on your home number, if you need me to come and pick you up later today, let me know. Bye.’

‘Fuck it,’ Will exclaimed. Daisy wasn’t the only one who couldn’t sleep. He quickly showered and got dressed before making his way downstairs to the kitchen. Making himself an espresso, he felt restless yet excited. He needed a reassuring hug from Mel to help gets things into perspective: temporary promotion and Senior Investigating Officer in a murder case in less than 24 hours, it was too good to believe.

He was pacing, constantly clock watching. The minutes seemed to be dragging by. He recalled a time when a now retired DI had told him that every minute is valuable in a murder investigation, yet here he was, drinking coffee and doing nothing remotely useful to catch Allan Roberts’ killer. He had to go back into work.

He picked up the phone and called Mel. ‘Darling, it’s me, how are you?’

His wife was surprised by the call. ‘I’m fine, so are the kids, why are you up?’ The sound of his wife’s voice gave him a warm feeling inside.

‘I can’t sleep, there is so much going through my head, and … guess what? Detective Superintendent Kilpatrick just rang me, he’s given me temporary promotion to the rank of DCI, and I’m being paid at that rate.’

Mel was thrilled by the news and at the same time she was aware that her husband was pushing himself extremely hard, promotion and to be in charge of a murder investigation was huge kudos. She also knew that Will wouldn’t want to let anyone down and would push himself to the very limits. ‘Will, that’s fantastic news, but listen to me for just a moment. You need to rest, can you remember the man who once told me, I work to live, not live to work? That was you, don’t make yourself ill over this murder, please, promise me. You have a wife and two children who love you very much, you mean everything to us, remember that. I know what’s coming next, you are going back into work aren’t you? Well, listen to me for once, take it steady, don’t damage your health over some filthy dead paedo.’

Thanks once again to Kelly @lovebooksgroup for including me in another fab blog tour.

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

Twitter Handles & Hashtags

@HodesTamar 

@HooklineBooks 

#LoveBooksGroupTours

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, novella, Short Story

Blog Tour: Magic O’Clock By L.S.Fellows

Blurb: Magic O’Clock:

Archie Royle is a kind, funny, gentle man.

He’s also my dad. My storyteller. My hero.

Except he doesn’t remember my face any more.

His world, these days, doesn’t include me or his family.

Life may have changed for him, but he hasn’t given up on life.

Not at all.

It’s just different.

Dad still tells his stories, albeit for a new audience.

He makes people smile and chuckle. As he always did.

He’s a fighter, a survivor and maybe sometimes too clever for his own good! He’ll surprise you. I can assure you of that.

Welcome to Magic O’Clock, where time is irrelevant and hope is unlimited.

Magic O’Clock – buy link:

Amazon – (universal) http://getbook.at/MagicOClock

Other eretailers (Kobo, B&N, Apple) : https://www.books2read.com/MOC

Review: So I realise that these two novellas are linked and I managed to read them the wrong way round. Not that it mattered to the enjoyment of the stories and the underlying messages which are simply beautiful.

Dementia is a cruel disease that tears families apart. Don’t get me wrong for my family it was cancer but the saving grace for us was Nan always knew who we were right until the end. She did get confused from time to time.

Another sad reality to dementia is in some parts of their lives they have perfect clarity and know exactly where they are and what they’re saying and the next minute they don’t recognise their loved ones.

This is a beautiful and extremely sad tale of the reality of dementia and the day to day life of living in this reality with a loved one.

Thank you Rachel for these treats.