Welcome to my blog.

Welcome to my blog.

Hello everyone, I’m Laura and this is my very first blog, eek!

I should probably tell you a little about myself. Where to begin…… I’m a wife of a grumpy husband and a mother of a beautiful little girl and the owner of an amazing Border Collie. I love all things Disney and Harry Potter. My favourite Disney movie is Beauty and the Beast and my favourite Harry Potter character is Dobby!

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I love all animals however I have an irrational fear of spiders (I blame the spider who tried to make my ear it’s home), favourite animal is a Monkey.

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I enjoy reading, I’ll read pretty much anything. I spend a lot of time reading books to my daughter too, Julia Donaldson books are our favourite.

I have recently started reviewing books and conducting the occasional author interview.  I thought I should have somewhere to publish all of them in one place. So, here it is…..

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Thanks for taking the time to read my blog, I hope you find my reviews and interviews useful.

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They Said I Was Misguided by Evan Bloom.

They Said I Was Misguided by Evan Bloom.

I was kindly sent this book by the author, Evan Bloom, in exchange for an honest review.

I really enjoyed reading this book. Evan has been extremely honest about parts of his life that most people would be too afraid to admit!  This book is extremely thought provoking and I honestly think anyone who can’t accept or understand LGBT, should buy a copy and be enlightened.

Parts of this book really made me feel for Evan. I couldn’t begin to imagine how I would cope if I was faced with a similar situation as he experienced!

This book takes you on a journey following Evans life. I really connected with the “characters”. It’s written in a way that makes you feel like you were there experiencing life along side him and his family and friends.

It’s such a shame that Evan ultimately had to choose between his family/religion and his sexuality. However, after reading Evans book, you soon realise that it takes a lot to
dampen his spirits.

This book has the potential to help so many people who are either struggling to cope with telling their friends/family that they’re gay or for the families and friends of someone who is gay.

I would wholeheartedly recommend everyone reads this book. I honestly don’t think I would have been able to be as strong as Evan!  Reading this book made me appreciate the struggle some gay people still go through in this day and age.

I look forward to reading future books from Evan Bloom.

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My Brother’s Best Friends by, Kerry Carter.

My Brother’s Best Friends by, Kerry Carter.

I bought this novella after seeing all of the hype on social media about how good it is.

It’s an erotic short story about a girl falling in love with her brothers best friend!

I wasn’t disappointed by the story as such,  but, more with the choice of language used. In my opinion, I found it to be a little basic and quite stereotypical of erotica.  However, this does not make it a poor story. I still really enjoyed it and Im very interested to know if there will be another one to follow!

The story itself is very believable, and, I’m sure a lot of readers will have experienced a similar situation, with their older siblings’ friends.  The style of writing holds your attention from start to finish and, makes you need to turn the pages to see what will happen next.

I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in reading erotica or, anyone who is interested in starting to read erotica.

 

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Pants, by W.R.J Hyslop.

Pants, by W.R.J Hyslop.

I was kindly sent this book by the author, W.R.J Hyslop in exchange for an honest review.

I found this book to be extremely funny, I think in part, because of the choice of character names! It’s written like a true pantomime, it could be enjoyed by all of the family as a lot of the ‘adult’ humour would be missed by younger readers!

This book is cleverly written and is an easy read, which I feel, has been inspired by Disney. As a huge Disney fan, I was not disappointed with the twist he put on the much loved story of, Snow White and the Seven Dwarves!

W.R.J Hyslop, has created a book full of believable characters (Pants is the exception, obviously) which, every reader could relate to at least one of them, or would know someone who they remind them of. This writing style helps draw you into the story and hold your attention from start to finish, thus making the book extremely difficult to put down.

As you’re reading it you’re wondering what will happen next to the lovable characters and also the not-so-lovable ones! I also found myself feeling sorry for the two sidekicks of the villain, which is another sign of how well this book is written.

I would recommend this book to anyone who likes to read humorous books about pantomime horses!

Inside sources have told me that there will be a second book, which will be called Pants- the second coming! I for one can’t wait to see what W.R.J Hyslop has in-store next for Pants.

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Sarah’s Shadow by, Nick Jones.

Sarah’s Shadow by, Nick Jones.

I was kindly sent this book in exchange for an honest review.

This book is beautifully written and illustrated. It has a very important message for children of all ages. It will show children that you should always be yourself and that you shouldn’t have to change who you are for anyone!

This story will teach children about shadows and encourage them to try and make shadow puppets. It could also help children who are afraid of the dark, learn that with a little imagination, shadows can be fun and there’s nothing to be afraid of.

My daughter did enjoy listening to this story  but I found some of the language used a little mature for her (she’s almost 3). Therefore, I would recommend this book to children aged 6+.

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Go To Sleep by, Marion Adams.

Go To Sleep by, Marion Adams.

I was kindly sent this book in exchange for an honest review.

My daughter and I absolutely adore this book, it’s beautifully illustrated and it’s a lovely little story about a sheep that has forgotten how to fall asleep.

This book could be used as a tool to encourage children to count to 20 or to help children go to sleep.

My daughter found it very funny listening to all of the different scenarios as to why there was a missing sheep. At the end of the book she even says ‘Silly Tansy’!

This book is ideal for non-readers as the illustrations will hold their attention and it would also be good for young readers, as the language used is simple and engaging.

I would recommend this book to anyone with young children, especially if they love animals.

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Author interview with, Richard Abbott-Brailey

Author interview with, Richard Abbott-Brailey

Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing   Richard Abbott-Brailey, author of Azarias Tor: The History Maker.

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Hi Richard, thank you for agreeing to this interview.

Tell us a little about yourself and your background?

Born in London, raised in Watford, made in Northumberland, where I qualified as a teacher of English in secondary education.

So, what have you written?

Azarias Tor: The History Maker is my first published novel. During the final decade of the last century I enjoyed some minor success writing for television, radio, and the stage. In am currently writing the second book of the planned Azarias Tor trilogy.

Where can we buy or see them?

Azarias Tor: The History Maker (978-1-78693-363-8) http://www.austinmacauley.com/book/azarias-tor-history-maker is available online from Amazon and direct from the publisher (Austin Macauley), and can also be purchased in bookshops. Available in paperback and for Kindle.

Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?

Azarias Tor is a seemingly ordinary man, with an unusual name, in his early 40s, but with a troubled past, who learns that he has the ability to travel through time and space. The key question, then, is if you could travel back in time what would you – no, what wouldn’t you do to protect those loved ones who had died before their time? That is the dilemma facing Azarias Tor, but there are rules. Rules? Rules are made for breaking!

What are you working on at the minute and what’s it about?

I am currently writing the sequel, Azarias Tor: The Day Before Yesterday.

What genre are your books and what draws you to this genre?

At present my focus is on science fiction, though future plans, beyond Azarias Tor, will involve a shift in genre. My interest in science fiction and time travel, in particular, stems from H.G. Wells as a child, and watching Dr. Who on television.

When did you decide to become a writer?

I have wanted to be a writer since the age of 10 years old but ‘life’ got in the way, and support and encouragement only came from an English teacher at school. Over the years I have started a number of projects, which never came to fruition, other than minor flirtation with writing for television, radio, and theatre. Azarias Tor is my first novel. Now I tell people I am an author and a teacher, in that order.

Do you write full-time or part-time?

I am currently writing full time and continuing to promote the first book.

Where do your ideas come from and how much research do you do?

My ideas come from an overactive imagination, and dreams. There is an immense amount of research involved, to the extent of checking the weather in a particular location, at a given time, on a certain day; and then there is the future to consider! Some of the predictions are rather disturbing.

What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?

The hardest thing about writing Azarias Tor: The History Maker was making time. I was teaching full time and that involved preparing lessons and schemes of work, and marking homework and coursework outside of school hours. Much of the writing happened at weekends, and during holidays, whereas I now have the luxury of devoting my time to writing, and continuing to promote the first book.

What book/s are you reading at present?

I am currently not reading, while I am writing, though recently read ‘Love In, Air In, by D.M. Williams and ‘Believe Me!’ by Martin R. Jackson. Next on my list to read is ‘Turn A Blind Eye’ by Neil A. White.

How do you market your books?

I market myself as much as I promote my work, using social media, old-fashioned letter writing, face-to-face contact, and through free author events at libraries, community centres, colleges, and other institutions. Plans are being developed for me to run a one night a week creative writing course, over a period of six weeks in a community centre in Northumberland, during the summer; free of charge.

Do you have any advice for other authors on how to market their books?

With regards to marketing the best advice I can offer is be prepared to do much of it yourself, build an author platform on social media long before the launch of the book, and invest in a good PR company; Highlights Public Relations, of Newcastle, in my case.

How successful has your quest for reviews been so far?

I have received somewhere in the region of 30 reviews, spread across a range of media, though I am more interested in quality rather than quantity. I am pleased with response to Azarias Tor. The reviews, averaging 4.5 stars, suggest that I am doing the ‘write’ thing.

What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews?

To be frank I believe that all reviews are good reviews. If I had received an average of 2.5 stars, and harsh criticism, readers and reviewers might be doing me a favour by informing me that I have made the wrong career move; that I need to hone the craft of writing, in the very least.

Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included?

I am also currently involved with a book to movie project, and I will reveal more about that in the next month or so.
Thank you for your time.

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Thank you very much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to take part in this interview.

The Weekend Spa Break by Anne John-Ligali.

The Weekend Spa Break by Anne John-Ligali.

I was kindly sent this book by Rachel’s Random Resourses in exchange for an honest review.

This is a lovely story about online friendships between authors, bloggers and cover designers!

The Weekend spa Break is such a feel good romcom style book, it made me laugh, in part, because I also chat online to a lot of authors and often wonder what would happen if we ever met in ‘real life’.

It’s an easy read that will hold your attention. It’s cleverly written and even includes the odd #hashtag!

The book has a shocking twist which carries a strong message that you should be careful what you post online as you never know who’s watching!

This book follows on from the authors first book titled ‘The Big Event’. Although it can be read as a stand alone book, I feel it would be enjoyed a little better if you read book 1 first! The 3rd book in the series is due to be released this autumn (2018).

I would recommend this book to anyone who has ever had a ‘virtual’ friendship!

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