Today I am the stop on the blog tour for The Stories She Tells by LK Chapman! Today I am going to be having a conversation and learning some about her!
When Michael decides to track down ex-girlfriend Rae who disappeared ten years ago while pregnant with his baby, he knows it could change his life forever. His search for her takes unexpected turns as he unearths multiple changes of identity and a childhood she tried to pretend never happened, but nothing could prepare him for what awaits when he finally finds her.
Appearing to be happily married with a brand-new baby daughter, Rae is cagey about what happened to Michael’s child and starts to say alarming things- that her husband is trying to force her to give up her new baby for adoption, that he’s attempting to undermine the bond between her and her child, and deliberately making her doubt her own sanity.
As Michael is drawn in deeper to her disturbing claims he begins to doubt the truth of what she is saying. But is she really making it all up, or is there a shocking and heartbreaking secret at the root of the stories she tells?
JRR (Jessica’s Reading Room): How important are the names in your book? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning? Do you have any name choosing resources you can recommend?
Sometimes as soon as I think of a character their name just arrives with them and fits them well, without me really knowing where it came from, other times it takes a bit longer. A name will usually pop into my head sooner or later, but if I get really stuck I use either a baby names book or website, or I look at historical baby names data if I need a name that sounds typical of a certain decade. You can download a spreadsheet of top 100 boys and girls names in England and Wales between 1904-1994 from the Office for National Statistics.
JRR: Are you a ‘plotter‘ or ‘pantser’?
I don’t really plan my books out at all, I let them evolve. Unfortunately, this means I end up pretty much rewriting the book a few times before I get the story how I want it which feels really labour intensive! I’m thinking I might try to plan out my next novel, but I have a feeling I’ll end up straying from the plan almost straight away that I start writing!
JRR: If I wrote books, I would most likely be a planner. But sometimes the story can take a life of its own and deviate from the plan! So as a writer you might have to adapt…. Do you prefer writing characters that are similar or very different to yourself?
I probably find it most fun to write a character that is different to me, because it gives me a sort of risk-free opportunity to be somebody else and do and say things I wouldn’t normally dare to! I have to be able to relate to or at least understand a character on some level though, otherwise I wouldn’t know where to start writing them!
JRR: Kind of like with actors and playing the villain- the villain is always more fun than the hero to play! lol Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them if they are particularly good or bad? How do you deal with the bad?
I do read my reviews and I really appreciate them, though I wouldn’t usually respond to them. I used to get very upset by bad reviews but now I’ve got better at brushing them off and not taking them to heart. When I read reviews, I look out for if there are any patterns of what people particularly do or don’t like and take this forward into writing my next book – I do see my books as a product and I always seek to improve what I’m offering to readers in terms of how a story is told. Sometimes reviews completely contradict each other though and something one person likes another hates, so I don’t think you can ever please everybody!
JRR: You can’t as everyone has different life experiences which affects how someone feels about a book. Myself, I love to see others opinions of books, especially when they are different from my thoughts! Now, what is your least favorite part of the writing/publishing process?
I don’t like the way that it takes me so long to get my story to where I want it to be and that I have to do so much re-writing. I think I end up writing a book almost three times over before I even get to editing it, and it can start to feel a bit gruelling and demoralising. It’s a great feeling though when I finally get something down that I can say, “Yes, this is actually what I wanted to write!”
JRR: Then it becomes your ‘book baby’ and something to be very proud about! What are your favorite and least favorite types of scenes to write?
That’s difficult to answer! I get absorbed in writing all different types of scenes, but I often feel great trepidation when I’m about to write a big emotional, powerful scene where there is a lot that needs to be said and done. Once I get started I’m usually OK and get into it quite quickly but it can feel very daunting.
JRR: What extreme sport would you love to do if you weren’t too scared?
I always think caving sounds really exciting and interesting – I enjoy visiting caves because it’s such an unusual, mysterious environment. Although there seems something romantic about going off and exploring cave systems I’m sure in reality I wouldn’t like it at all, I’d probably just get scared, cold, and grumpy!
JRR: I did some caving when I was a teenager in girl scouts! It was nothing too dangerous or that took a great deal of effort to do. One time my troop spent the night in a cave called The Lost Sea in Tennessee. It was a great experience and I’d love to do it again sometime.
Thank you for your time with this interview LK!
About the Author:
Louise Katherine Chapman was born in Somerset, UK, in 1986. She studied psychology at the University of Southampton and has worked as a psychologist creating personality questionnaires for a consultancy company. She has also spent some time volunteering for mental health charity Mind.
Chapman loves to write because she loves learning about people and she loves stories. A major turning point in her life was the day she realised that no matter how strange, cruel or unfathomable the actions of other people can sometimes be, there is always a reason for it, some sequence of events to be unravelled. Since then she is always asking “why” and “what if” and she is fascinated by real life stories capturing the strength, peculiarities or extremes of human nature.
LK Chapman’s first novel, Networked, was a sci-fi thriller but now she’s turned her attention to writing psychological suspense. She lives in Hampshire with her husband and young family, and enjoys walks in the woods, video games, and spending time with family and friends.
Today I am one of three stops on the blog tour for Oh! What a Pavlova by Isabella May! Today we will get to know Isabella a little as she shares some of her favorite things with us.
Kate Clothier is leading a double life: a successful jet-setting businesswoman to the outside world, but behind closed doors, life with Daniel and his volcanic temper is anything but rosy.
Some days – heck, make that EVERY day – cake is her only salvation.
Slowly but surely, the cities she visits – and the men she meets – help her to realise there IS a better future.
And the ley lines of Glastonbury are certainly doing their best to impart their mystical wisdom…
But will she escape before it’s too late?
Buy Oh! What a Pavlova Now!
My favourite animal is a meerkat! From a comedic point of view, they are just so awesome to study. However, one of my friends worked with them (a statement which makes me laugh out loud and imagine them all sitting at an office desk donning specs and typing), and she can confirm that yes, they may look cute, but boy do they smell!
I also love cats, dogs, rabbits, pandas and dolphins (occasionally, if I’m lucky, I will spot one of the latter jumping out of the waves as we live right on the beach – always a magical moment.).
As for TV… unfortunately – or perhaps fortunately – we don’t get many channels in English here in Spain – which kind of makes me realise how many hours I did lose sitting in front of the box in the UK, out of habit! But I do like to catch The Great British Bake Off when I can, and I love any programmes about travel. I’ll tell you what I really miss though: Wish You Were Here with Judith Chalmers. That’s when the travel bug started. They really need to bring Judith… or somebody equally good at showing us the world, back to our screens.
Oh, and I never (and I mean EVER) watch the news. I will walk out of a room if the news is doing its thing, no matter whose house I am in!
I don’t really have a favourite film. I’m a bit fickle like that. If I have seen something once, I will rarely watch it again. I’m the same with my books and my holidays, always on to the next thing. There’s too much to experience and only so many hours in the day.
And as for asking me to choose my top dessert… well, where do I start? I love so many puddings and sweet things. I really do. I think we have given sugar such a bad press and nothing good can ever come from deprivation or orthorexic eating habits, so I wholeheartedly embrace pudding eating far and wide! What I love most in the year that is 2017 though is the sheer variety we have available to us. But getting me to choose a favourite is like asking me to choose my favourite child: impossible. What I will say is, at the moment, my local handmade Italian ice cream parlour does get through an inordinate amount of Goats Cheese and Banana gelato!
I don’t have a favourite holiday destination because I love to travel and so many places tick the favourite box. I’m one of those people who, never goes back to the same place on holiday. It would honestly panic me if I did… I’d be thinking of all the other amazing sights I could be seeing instead! However, having young children does tame the itchy feet a little (out of practicality more than anything else), and for the last two years when we’ve ‘vaycayed’ down the road in Tavira, Portugal, and then Conil de la Frontera on the Costa de la Luz – we live in Andalucia – I have momentarily understood just how people can do this. Having that kind of scenery, atmosphere, culture, food and drink (without the barrage of the ‘Great British Bucket and Spade Brigade’) just a couple of hours away by car, is hard to resist.
About the author:
Isabella May lives in (mostly) sunny Andalucia, Spain with her husband, daughter and son, creatively inspired by the sea and the mountains. When she isn’t having her cake and eating it, sampling a new cocktail on the beach, or ferrying her children to and from after school activities, she can usually be found writing.
As a Co-founder and a former contributing writer for the popular online women’s magazine, The Glass House Girls – she has also been lucky enough to subject the digital world to her other favourite pastimes, travel, the Law of Attraction, and Prince (The Purple One).
She has recently become a Book Fairy, and is having lots of fun with her imaginative ‘drops’![Top]
Today I am one of the two stops on the blog tour for The Lost Causes written by Jessica Etting & Alyssa Schwartz. This is a Rockstar Book Tours. Today I will be sharing my review. At the end of this post, you can enter to win one of three copies of The Lost Causes (Us and Canada only).
They’re the kids that no one knows — or no one wants to know. The rich depressive, the OCD chick, the hypochondriac, the drug abuser, the athlete with anger management issues. All chosen for intensive group therapy because they’re out of other options. They’re lost causes, the therapist tells them. She promises this support group will help them heal.
There’s only one problem. She’s not a therapist. And that water she offers? It contains a dangerous serum that gives each of the kids a psychic power.
Suddenly, they can think clearly, speak to ghosts, see the past, even move objects with their mind. Their earlier problems have vanished, but their new freedom comes with a price.
Sabrina, Gabby, Z, Justin and Andrew are to help the FBI solve the grisly murder that has rocked their small town. Their new powers will help them uncover clues and follow leads that have eluded the authorities. Their outsider status gives them the perfect cover.
But the same traits that make them top investigators also make them vulnerable. As they close in on the murderer, they expose a much larger conspiracy that puts them directly in harm’s way and makes them wonder who — if anyone — they can trust.
About The Book:
Title: THE LOST CAUSES
Author: Jessica Etting & Alyssa Schwartz
Pub. Date: September 5, 2017
Publisher: Kids Can Press
Formats: Hardcover, eBook
Find it: Amazon, B&N, TBD, Goodreads
Dates Read: August 19 -27, 2017
Jessica’s Rating: 5 Stars
The Lost Causes is not one I would have picked up myself and I was glad I was sent an arc copy! This is the book any teenager (and even those older) will love. I wish I had been able to read this when I was a teenager.
The Lost Causes is about a group of misfit teens (similar to The Breakfast Club). They are teenagers who are considered ‘lost causes’ that no one seems to care about and they all have their own issues. They are then given special abilities and the FBI pulls them into a murder case to help solve. Here is where you need to totally suspend your belief in reality. There is no chance this could actually happen. Every bit of the novel is outlandish and unbelievable, but it is in a great way! I did not want to put it down at all and you go on a roller coaster where one thing happens then something else happens. I didn’t know who was going to end up being the killer and then we have that ending! I really hope this is to become a series as I became attached to all of our ‘Lost Causes’. I need more stories with this group of teenagers!
This is a book I would definitely recommend for teenagers. Every teen feels like they don’t belong anywhere at some point in their life and this book covers those feelings and giving our ‘lost causes’ these abilities makes them important and special which all teens have that need. Yes, there is some teen drama and a totally inappropriate relationship, but it’s a book about teenagers so you are going to get that.
The Lost Causes is a young adult thriller with paranormal twists. It’s different from what I usually read, but I really enjoyed it. It is 100% recommended.
Thank you to KCP Loft for sending me a print arc and NetGalley for my e-arc copies.
About the Authors:
Hi, we’re Jessica & Alyssa!
We’re best pal writing partners who have been obsessed with reading since we each used to hoard The Babysitters Club books in our bedrooms across the country from one another in Los Angeles (Jess) and Virginia (Lyss).
We finally met on the first day of college at USC, long enough ago that Rocket Dog platform flip-flops were fully acceptable night-out shoes and our biggest life decision was whether to watch Dawson’s Creek or Beverly Hills, 90210 on Wednesday nights (90210, obviously).
We started writing together right after college when we took the “write what you know” adage to heart and wrote a TV pilot that sold to Fox about how life sucks when you’re 22, broke and a freshman in life. We spent the next many, many years writing for TV and film before we jumped into the book world, a major lifelong dream of ours.
The number one question everyone always asks us is how we write as a team so here’s the rundown…After being best friends and writing together for so long, our brains now officially occupy a shared space. Ninety percent of the time, we know what the other person is going to say before she even opens her mouth. Our husbands think it’s creepy, but we think it’s awesome. After this many years, we’ve honed it to a pretty efficient process….except for when we digress on Facetime to catch each other up on the few hours we weren’t in contact with each other (which takes especially long if we’ve both finished the same book and need to discuss, if one of us needs justification for an argument we picked with our husband or if we’ve discovered a new hair product, self-tanner or blog).
Here is the schedule for the rest of this week. You can find the full schedule on Rockstar Book Tours site here.
3 winners will receive a finished copy of The Lost Causes (US & Canada).This giveaway ends on September 19th at Midnight EST!
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