Category: Interview

Blog Tour: Josie James and the Teardrops of Summer

Today I am part of the blog tour for Josie James and the Teardrops of Summer by Lily Mae Walters. I interviewed her today. There is also a giveaway going on if you live in the UK!

Book Description:

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.

Buy Josie James and the Teardrops of Summer here!

JRR (Jessica’s Reading Room): Tell us a little about yourself.

I’m married with 2 teenage children. I was born in Coventry on April Fools Day. I have an older brother and trained as an accountant.

JRR: An April Fools Day baby!  What inspires you to write?

Everything inspires me, from a song, something I see or overhear and even once an advert I saw on the TV.

JRR:  You never know what may cause that inspiration!  What does your writing process consist of? Do you research or ‘go with the flow’, do you handwriting or type, do you listen to music or have silence?

Most of my writing is go with the flow. I usually think about my next chapter whilst walking my dogs or as I’m drifting off to sleep. I always use my laptop now and tend to have silence or sometimes a movie I have seen over and over again that I don’t need to concentrate on.

JRR:  I always think of things (not writing, but things I need to do) while in the shower. It just hits me!  What kind of advice can you give to aspiring authors? I know the journey to become published and can be long and hard.

The best advice is to keep going. Keep writing, keep editing and keep querying.

JRR:  Don’t ever give up!  Who is your favorite author as an adult?

My favourite author is Philippa Gregory.

JRR:  Who was the most influential author you read when you were growing up? Did his/her writings influence you to want to become an author?

The Worst Witch book by Jill Murphy has always stuck in my head and I dreamed of going to Cackles. I suppose in a way it was wanting to go to this imaginary place that made me want to make up my own imaginary worlds.

JRR: If you could have dinner with three people (living or dead) who would they be and why?

I would love to have dinner with the Queen, not a state formal occasion but something small where you could see what she was really like. My late grandparents, I always spent Christmas Day and Boxing Day with them and would love to have just one more meal with them. But most of all I would like to have dinner with my dad before his dementia set in so I could tell him I loved him just one more time and he would know I was his daughter again.

JRR:  Which book have you always meant to get around to reading, but still not read?

Too many to list.

JRR: Too many books and never enough time!  What’s the best advice you have ever received?

You can’t change the past. Why waste time worrying about something you can do nothing about? Instead focus on the future and what you can do to make it better for you and others.

JRR: For someone who has not read anything written by you, what do you recommend for a start?

As I only have one book out in each genre I can only recommend Josie James for children or people who enjoy a fantasy series. As an adult my time slip romance, Reflected Destinies is a must.

JRR:  Where did you get the idea for the Josie James series? Is Josie based off anyone you know?

Josie came to me a few years ago. She just started to develop in my mind over a few weeks and months. She is very loosely based on myself and my friends as teenagers.

JRR:  Josie James will be a series of five novels, do you already know how it will ultimately end? And what can you tell us about the husky Asher? How quickly do you think the complete series will be released?

I know how each book will vaguely pan out and how ultimately it will end. Asher is based on my own husky Aisha. She is absolutely loopy and many of the things that Murphy and Asher do in the books are things that Aisha and her brother Max have done. We are hoping to release a book every 9 months.

JRR: Is there anything else you would like to share?

Thank you for taking the time to interview me and share on your blog.

JRR: Thank you for your time with this interview!

About the Author:

Lily Mae Walters chose her pen name in honour of her beloved grandparents who also star 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.

Contact Lily Mae:
Twitter @LilyMaeWalters1

 **UK Giveaway**

Win a signed copy of Josie James and the Teardrops of Summer

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box above.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

Blog Tour: Signs in the Rearview Mirror

You know I am all about stopping domestic violence and support Jennifer Gilmour who lives in the UK.  Today I am introducing you to and interviewing Kelly Smith on the blog tour for Signs in the Rearview Mirror. She lives here in the US in Texas!! This is a book I plan on reading asap!

Book Description:
Signs in the Rearview Mirror: Leaving A Toxic Relationship Behind

What kind of person ends up in a toxic relationship? And why does she stay? This searingly honest novel answers both those questions head-on. Coming out of a failing marriage, Kelly turns to Gabe out of fear of being alone. Her gradual slide into danger is at once terrifying and inevitable, and the steps she takes to get out of it will both inspire and offer hope.

Buy Signs in the Rearview Mirror now!
Amazon US
Amazon UK

JRR (Jessica’s Reading Room): Tell us a little about yourself.

I am a mom to three almost grown boys!! Before I worked as a full time writer I as an oral surgery tech. From time to time I really miss my job. I grew up in Boston and now live in Austin, TX. I write for my weekly blog and I am in the middle of revamping my podcast Let’s Get Wicked Deep. You can follow my blog or my podcast on my website.

 JRR: You sound like a busy lady! 

Signs in the Rearview Mirror is your story; what made you decide to share it? So many people are affected by this situation and we may never know who they are.  What would you say to those who are in an abusive situation but feel they cannot get out?

After the fog of my toxic relationship cleared. After I woke up one day with him out of my life and me alone, I thought I was the only one who had gone through a relationship like this. Up until this point in my life I had no idea what a toxic relationship was. But I had lived my entire life in one in one form or another. I remember laying on my the floor of my bedroom closet. I was crying and I was screaming at no one in particular “Why. Why me. Why was I going through this”? It was in that moment that I knew I had to get the word out about this kind of relationship. I felt I was going to announce this to the world. I had no idea it was already an epidemic. When I realized that I was not the only one who had gone through this kind of relationship, I knew I had to write to let others know they are not alone. There is a life, a happy, healthy life after a toxic relationship.

To the ones who feel they are stuck in a relationship like this I say, be brave. Take the step that scares you the most. Put one foot in front of the other and move. Some are still in for financial reasons while others are still in because of fear of being alone. Whatever your reason to stay is, you have to try to love yourself enough to just get out. NEVER STAY FOR THE KIDS. LEAVE FOR THE KIDS.

JRR: No one is ever alone.  There are others that have gone through what you went through and can help.  Some things in life can be extremely difficult, but we can press on.

What are your passions?  Are there any organizations you work with that you would like to mention?

I hope to work with Break The Silence. They provide community resources and support services to victims, survivors, and families affected by domestic violence.

JRR: Who is your favorite author as an adult?

I love Jane Green. I have always felt like a fraud as a writer because I am not into Shakespeare and the like. I love fiction. I love the character building and wondering where the story is going to go. I hope to write a fiction book one day.

JRR: Don’t feel like a fraud: Everyone has different tastes and Shakespeare will not be for everyone! 

Who was the most influential author you read when you were growing up?

I loved and still very much love Dr. Seuss. You can read his books as a child and as an adult and learn something new. His work was a great escape for me. But my favorite book was Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. So much food!!!

JRR: If you could have dinner with three people(living or dead) who would they be and why?

  1. Former President Obama. I have always liked him not only as strong leader, but also as a man and a human. His sense of humor is awesome and the way he treats his wife is admirable. I strongly feel he is a great role model for his daughters and a lot of other young women.
  2. Lisa Vanderpump. OK so I know this may sound a bit odd, but I feel she is a great, strong, independent woman who holds a lot of class. She is married but has been able to find that balance between being in a relationship and still her own individual person. She has an amazing caring heart for those she loves and for those she helps. She is someone I strive to be like.
  3. Former President John Adams. I love American history. I think that may come from frowning up in New England, plus my dad also loved American history. I would like to meet President Adams because i have so many questions for him. I would like to know if today’s world is what he expected this country to look like through his visions as he was fighting for the freedom from the king.

JRR:  Great choices!  What’s the best advice you have ever received?

Recently I received the best advice from one of my very good friends. I am just getting back into dating and I have been so scared of getting hurt with someone else. While we were talking she told me: “If things do not feel right, you can walk away”.

I guess I was under the impression that if I committed to someone, it was going to be forever. But her saying that to me put me at ease. It was common sense advice, but as a person who suffers from PTSD, you don’t always think in a common sense way.

I found so much freedom in her telling me that.

JRR:  That is some good advice!  Is there anything else you would like to share?

I would like anyone who is in a toxic relationship, anyone who loves someone who is in a toxic relationship or anyone who loves an abuser to know there is a happy, healthy life after a relationship like this. If it’s with your mom, your friend, a co worker or even yourself, there is always help but you need to desire to heal first.

JRR: Thank you for your time with this interview Kelly!

Boston born and raised, Kelly now makes her home in Austin with her three sons and one amazing Giant Schnauzer Bullseye. Kelly has written for Huffington Post, blogs at Thoughts Becoming Words, and hosts a podcast, Lets Get Wicked Deep.

Contact Kelly:
Twitter @kellys_author



Blog Tour: Do No Harm by LV Hay

Today I am interviewing LV Hay on the blog tour for Do No Harm! The publisher is Orenda Books.

Book Description:

Till death do us part…

After leaving her marriage to jealous, possessive oncologist Maxwell, Lily and her six-year-old son have a second chance at happiness with headteacher Sebastian. Kind but vulnerable, Sebastian is the polar opposite of Maxwell, and the perfect match for Lily. After a whirlwind romance, they marry, and that’s when things start to go wrong…

Maxwell returns to the scene, determined to win back his family, and events soon spiral out of control. Lily and Sebastian find themselves not only fighting for their relationship, but also their lives…

Chilling, dark and terrifying, Do No Harm is a taut psychological thriller and a study of obsession, from one of the most exciting new voices in crime fiction.

Buy Do No Harm Now:
Amazon US

Amazon UK

JRR (Jessica’s Reading Room): Tell us a little about yourself.

Hi! I’m Lucy V Hay, also known as ‘LV Hay’ (a wily disguise, I’m sure you will agree). I’m a novelist, script editor and blogger who helps writers. I live in Devon, UK with my husband, three kids, five cats and a bunch of African Land Snails.

JRR: Nice to meet you LV!  (Yes, the name is a brilliant disguise! 😉 ) Did you always want to become an author?

Yes! I absolutely did. My mum had a big bookcase on the landing in the house where I grew up. I had to go past it every time I went to the loo. I saw everyone’s names on the spines and thought it must be the COOLEST thing to have your name on the book. I still do! Sometimes I look at my bookcase and see my name there and I still can’t believe it.

JRR: And look at you now: You have written several books!  I’m sure your younger self would be so excited at what you have accomplished!  

Who was the most influential author you read when you were growing up? Did his/her writings influence you to want to become an author?

I was a big Enid Blyton fan growing up. She was massively prolific, but I feel fairly safe saying I read all of her books, even the obscure ones like The Six Bad Boys. Though I didn’t know why at the time, having studied the craft since, I understand now what I loved about her books: 1) her tight and polished plotting. The set ups and pay offs are seamless and 2) her larger-than-life characters. Mallory Towers was my favourite series of hers and even though I read the books twenty five years ago, I still remember them all: our heroine, Darrell; Sally, Darrell’s level-headed best friend; Felicity, Darrell’s younger sister; Gwendoline, the form’s spoilt martyr; Alicia, who is sharp tongued, competitive and intelligent (and my fave!); Mary-Lou, small and timid, but very kind-hearted; Irene, scatter-brained music and maths genius; Belinda, scatter-brained artistic genius; Jean, shrewd and straightforward, and Wilhelmina (Bill), completely horse-mad. It was so great to read such an eclectic mix of female characters!

JRR: Who is your favorite author as an adult? Who inspires you?

Oh goodness, I couldn’t decide on just ONE! I love domestic noir, so authors like Paula Daly, Sharon Bolton, Belinda Bauer and Gillian Flynn are way up there for me. I also enjoy the work of horror masters like Stephen King, Clive Barker and Joe Hill. I also really enjoy literary fiction, so have been loving the work of Celeste Ng, Matt Bondurant and Kit De Waal lately. Really, I love a good story, well told and am up for finding it.

JRR: There are too many authors to choose from!  What inspires you to write?

I don’t know if I am inspired to write so much as COMPELLED. I have actually tried giving up writing many times, only to find myself creating stories whilst washing up or cleaning the loo. I just can’t help myself!!!

JRR: It’s beause that is what you are MEANT to do!  It’s your calling!  Now, what does your writing process consist of?

I try not to write, because I am a writer and therefore it’s more difficult for me than most people! No seriously, I always believe one’s best writing is done by thinking. This means I like to research – A LOT! If I am not researching, I like to go for long walks and make notes on my phone as I go; I will listen to music at the same time. I live in Devon, UK so there are plenty of beautiful places to do this. Trees help me write. Thanks trees!

JRR:  What made you choose to write suspense/thrillers? What is your favorite book and/or movie of this genre?

I actually write in lots of different genres/styles, but I chose suspense thrillers because it’s ultimately what I love to read. I read more mysteries – especially those set in or around the home – than any other kind of book. Like many writers, it was Gone Girl that prompted me to try my hand in this genre. I love Gillian Flynn’s writing and the renewed interest in the domestic setting made me think about what I could bring to the storyworld through my love of diverse characters and social media … So I came up with my debut, The Other Twin!

JRR: Where did the idea for Do No Harm come from?

Like Lily, I was a single mother ‘back in the day’ and I had many friends who were single mums, too. Finding the ‘right’ new partner when there is a child in the house is no mean feat. Add an ex-partner into the mix who does not want to let go makes it EVEN more difficult! I have experience with this, as do some of my friends and let’s just say that most of what happens stem from REAL events, stitched together!

JRR: Did you base any character off anyone you know? Or maybe because of the type of novel it is this is an answer better left unanswered…

Haha yes, no thank you! 😉

JRR: If you could have dinner with three people (living or dead) who would they be and why?

Ooooh goodness, again – so hard to choose. I think Maya Angelou, because she was a great inspiration to me when I was a teenage mother. I think I would also like Clive Barker at this dinner party, because his writing really kept me going as a teen and of course Prince, who is an utter genius and whose music I listen to every single day.

JRR:  Good choices!  Which book have you always meant to get around to reading, but still not read?

Secret History by Donna Tart. Everyone seems to have read it except me! Ooops …

JRR: I havent, so you aren’t the only one to not read it yet! 😉 What’s the best advice you have ever received?

‘Ignore all advice … except for the good stuff. You’ll know it when you hear it.’ I wish I could remember who said this to me, or where I read it, but it’s GOLD!

JRR: Thank you so much for your time with this interview!

About the Author:

Lucy V. Hay is a novelist, script editor and blogger who helps writers via her Bang2write consultancy. Do No Harm is out now and her crime debut for Orenda Books The Other Twin, has been featured in The Sun and Sunday Express Newspapers, plus Heatworld and Closer Magazine. Check out all her books, here.

Here is the entire blog tour: