Today I am part of the blog tour for The Stepsister by Jenny O’Brien: I interviewed her! There is also an INTERNATIONAL giveaway going on. Be sure to check that out!
When a stranger leaves step-sisters, Victoria and Ness, a half-share in a house in Holland, they think it must be a mistake.
But there’s no mistake when Ness goes missing.
Desperate for the truth, Victoria heads to Holland to find out what happened to her. Has she, as her texts show, embarked on a whirlwind romance? Has someone abducted her or even worse?
But there’s someone watching, and that person wants her dead.
Can Victoria find out the truth before it’s too late?
JRR (Jessica’s Reading Room): Tell us a little about yourself.
There’s not a lot to say. I come from Dublin, but my parents moved to Wales when I was in my teens. I currently live on Guernsey where I’m married with three teens and two cats. My day job is nursing.
JRR: Did you always want to become an author?
I’d always liked the idea of writing but, until I came up with the character Dai Monday, the MC in my first book, I thought it was just a pipe dream.
JRR: What inspires you to write?
I seem to have an abundance of ideas floating round my head and a need to find out what’s going to happen to my characters. I know the start, middle and end but not the finer plot points.
JRR: What does your writing process consist of? Do you research, do you handwrite or type, do you listen to music or prefer silence?
Like most authors who don’t write full-time my writing is squeezed in around the rest of my life. I write both in long hand and type. I think it’s important to try and produce something that’s as factual as possible even if it is fiction. I’m forever checking things like train timetables and travel distances, in addition to calling on the kindness of strangers for the answers to my random questions. I don’t listen to music. I don’t need silence and can often be found in a café, notebook to hand. But I never listen to music when I’m working. And even when I’m not working I’m a Radio 4 fan.
JRR: What kind of advice can you give to aspiring authors?
That a love of books and reading is the precursor to becoming a writer. Read as much as possible, both within and outside the genre you want to write in.
JRR: Who was your favorite author as a child and did his/her writings influence you to want to become an author?
I loved Enid Blyton but, at that age I had no thoughts of writing as being something I’d be able to do.
JRR: Who is your favorite author as an adult?
There are so many, I read romances and crime/thrillers and it depends on what mood I’m in as to which writer I reach for and, yes, I do re-read my favourite books. For Romances I love Betty Neels, Sarah Morgan, Sue Moorcroft, Jane Linfoot and Eloisa James. For crime/thrillers I love Valerie Keogh, Clare Chase, Martina Cole and Steig Larsson.
JRR: If you could have dinner with three people (living or dead) who would they be and why?
I enjoy talking about books, so it would have to be three writers:
Agatha Christie, Daphne du Maurier and Elizabeth Goudge.
As they all lived during the last century it’s likely they’d have at least known of each other’s work if not actually met. We’d meet on the south coast somewhere, there’d be fish and lots of nice wine followed by rich coffee and perhaps a smidgeon of cake. We’d talk late into the night…
JRR: Which book have you always meant to get around to reading, but still not read?
Anna Karenina. It’s considered to be one of the greatest works of fiction – I’m working up to it.
JRR: Thank you for your time with this interview Jenny!
About the Author:
Jenny O’Brien was born in Ireland and, after a brief sojourn in Wales, now resides in Guernsey.
She’s an avid reader and book reviewer for NetGalley in addition to being a RoNA judge.
She writes for both children and adults with a new book coming out every six months or so. She’s also an avid collector of cats, broken laptops, dust and happy endings – two of which you’ll always find in her books.
In her spare time she can be found frowning at her wonky cakes and even wonkier breads. You’ll be pleased to note she won’t be entering Bake-Off.
1st Prize: Win an e copy of The Stepsister and crystal, tulip slider necklace ,
2 x 2nd Prize – an e-copy of The Stepsister
a Rafflecopter giveaway
*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide 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.
Today I am part of the blog tour for the children’s book Do Bugs Wear Shoes? by Addie Broussard and Anthony Puttee. This one just came out October 16th. I share my review today!
A colorful, fun-filled book packed with answers to all your silliest bug questions!
Learn what happens when a bug goes to space, to school, and to the gym. Find out if bugs have feelings like people do.
Discover robot bugs, dancing bugs, bugs that poop and so much more!
Filled with illustrations, photographs and interactive videos, Do Bugs Wear Shoes will have kids laughing and learning as they discover awe-inspiring facts about the insect world. This beautifully designed book is organized into colorful two-page spreads that each focus on a different question, making it easy and fun to read for children and big kids alike.
BOOK EXTRAS include videos and printable worksheets for extended learning. Great for educators and at-home learning.
PLUS, vote on the world’s most beautiful bug!
**Recommended for ages 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and up.
Don’t miss out on the chance to bug out!
Authors: Addie Broussard and Anthony Puttee
Published: October 16, 2018
Reviewed by: Jessica
Date Read: October 27, 2018
Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars
This is a fun colorful children’s book about bugs that answers the questions kids may have. It is aimed for ages six and up. If you have a child in your life who is ‘all about bugs’, then this is the book for them! There are a lot of facts that kids and adults will learn while reading this fun book, including the true definition of a bug and differences between arachnids and insects.
There is a mix of drawings and real photographs throughout. The reading experience is enhanced as there are videos that can be watched via a website. There are also a couple of pages that offer more resources to learn more.
This is a book I would have enjoyed as a child. If you have a possible future entomologist in your life, buy them this book: They will love it and will want to learn more!
About the Authors:
Two Umbrellas is an educational publishing company that fuses education and storytelling. We offer books and activities to help parents and educators empower tomorrow’s leaders.
Our founders, Anthony Puttee and Addie Broussard, love to travel. Anthony’s favorite trip was to Antarctica and he has included some of his personal photos in this book. Addie has traveled solo around the world. While in Portugal, she encountered a unique insect, which inspired a children’s book called The Beedog, which was published in 2018. The idea for Do Bugs Wear Shoes came from a playful team meeting on a rooftop in Mexico.[Top]
Today I am one of the stops on the blog tour for Love Punked by Nia Lucas. I will be sharing an extract from the novel.
When her life is irrevocably altered by a post-Rave tryst on her mother’s floral patio recliner, Erin Roberts’ long-standing relationship with Humiliation takes her down a path that’s not so much ‘less well trodden’, more ‘perilous descent down sheer cliffs’.
Armed with a fierce devotion to her best friend and the unrequited love for the boy she might have accidentally married at age seven, when Erin falls pregnant at sixteen, life veers off at a most unexpected tangent.
Her journey to adulthood is far from ordinary as Erin learns that protecting the hearts of those most precious to you isn’t balm enough when your Love Punked heart is as sore as your freshly tattooed arse.
Whilst raising football prodigies and trying not to get stuck in lifts with Social Work clients who hate her, Erin discovers that sometimes you have to circumnavigate the globe to find the very thing that was there all along.
“EARTH TO ROBERTS! Jesus woman, you gonna write on my bloody shirt or what?”, I am jolted out of my slightly nauseous daydreaming by Gio Romano, brandishing a marker pen and pointing at his graffiti-scrawled shirt.
Today is the last day before study leave starts and my peers have all lost the proverbial plot. Teacher’s cars have been egged and ketchup’d in the car-park, leading to two of my classmates being led away in handcuffs following their arrest for criminal damage after the ketchup stripped the paint off the cars. Well played lads.
There has been a water fight which saw an entire corridor of art-displays ruined and another five of my peers being frog-marched home under suspensions and the pièce de résistance was the arrival of the two ambulances which were required when another group decided to try stacking the picnic benches on the hockey field. They managed to make it to five benches high before the pile collapsed on them and the resultant crush injuries required paramedics.
The remainder of the Class of ‘96 are now sat under armed guard in our common room, Mr. Gibson threatening bloody deaths to anyone who so much as farts out of turn.
“You ‘kay Roberts? You look well peaky?”, Gio’s face is scrunched up in concern which surprises me.
As a rule, I avoid Gio Romano. After being at school together for our entire childhoods and adolescence, the coffin nail in our fractious association was that night at the Under 18’s Disco last year, when he and Daniel McNamara rode roughshod over my fragile teenage ego. He always makes a point of taking the piss or catcalling me on the bus, winking at me like he’s hilarious when I retaliate.
Gio, the grandson of Italian immigrants, has become a little bit of a heart-throb this year though. He’s by far the most physically matured lad in Year 11, he’s over six feet tall and whispers abound about an alleged six-pack. He’s also got the olive skin and dark curls that give him a bit of an edge on his more doughy, rural peers. To me, he will always be annoying Gio Romano who used to pick his bogies in Mass and whose willy I reluctantly observed in the home corner at playgroup when we were four. He’d cried when I’d dropped my own knickers and showed him my fairy. To be fair, I think he was expecting a woodland creature with wings. They were probably tears of disappointment.
He still considers Daniel McNamara to be his ‘best mate’ and on the school bus, my ears prick up when I hear him reading aloud Daniel’s letters to the lads. Daniel is loving life in New Zealand, a surfer apparently and in possession of a tanned, blonde girlfriend whose photo elicited whoops from the lads.
Today though, our interaction is a continuance of what I can only describe as a ‘thawing’ in our association. I think that Adam has said something to Gio, I’m actually certain that he has, because it’s often Adam AND Gio who wade in when the comments directed my way get too bawdy or the girls looks become too vicious.
Right now though, he’s not wrong. I do feel peaky. In fact, I feel proper poorly.
“Gio, I don’t feel very well”, as I stand to run to the nearby loo, I am astonished to see that the common room carpet has also decided to come for a little jog with me. In fact, it’s jogging very fast towards my face.
When I start to come round, my body is gently bouncing, as if I’m on a horse. I can’t open my eyes right now because they are too heavy and it’s too hard but I’m definitely riding something. I can feel something warm and firm against my cheek, strong supports against my back and under my knees and I can smell something nice, like herbs and lemons.
I think I’ve got on that bloody horse with Humiliation Palmer-Smart.
Then my horse speaks, “Don’t you chunder on me Roberts, we’re nearly at sick bay, don’t you bloody hurl on me now”, it turns out that when horses speak, they do it with Gio Romano’s voice.
I find the energy to prise open one eye and peer out like a tortoise.
“Gio?”, I think that Gio Romano is carrying me.
“Roberts, you wanna be grateful I caught you back there. Your face was headed right for that floor and honestly, you can’t afford to get any uglier”
I’ve thrown up all over him before I even realise what’s happened. To be fair, he doesn’t stop moving nor does he drop me but he’s not happy,
“FUCK’S SAKE ROBERTS!! That is pure rank”. I’m not listening though, the darkness has claimed me again.
About the Author:
I am a UK based author of Contemporary women’s fiction who is passionate about telling the stories of strong, sympathetic, entertaining and engaging female characters and the lives that they lead. My Welsh heritage and my life as a practising Social Worker with teenagers and their families heavily influences my work as does my love of all things 90’s and an adolescence spent immersed in clubbing culture.