Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Review - Our Eyes Met Over Cantaloupe by Anee McAneny

A thoroughly enjoyable read from yet another author who is new to me. 

Journalist Millie Morris's Mom runs a very special cake shop - The Secret Lives of Cupcakes which one day gets a very special wedding order - Millie's ex boyfriend.  The rogue that one morning when cooking her eggs, announced that he was leaving her for someone else which came as a total surprise to her. 

When he comes around to her new home to talk to her about whether he's doing the right thing or not she tries to be nice, as that's her nature, even though she thinks she's really not the right person he should be discussing this with, her feelings for him are questioned.  When she finds herself covering an important court case, she discovers that the bride and the lady she was dumped for is the leading lawyer on this particular case, which puts her in a very bizarre position. 

Anne writes in a lovely way, her writing is extremely humerous and she has created the most delightful characters especially Millie, and her friend Pauline, that you 'get' right from the start.  Her style of writing is easy to read, and just generally enjoyable. 

Lots of laugh out loud moments from the moment you start reading along with a good storyline and the great characters hook you from the start of the book.  With twists and turns and hilarious events along the way to keep you interested, it certainly was a book that I'd recommend to others.  It was good fun, and really enjoyable.  I've read some great reviews from her other books too, details of which I've added below and I shall really look forward to looking them up and reading them soon. 

Anne McAneny, has also written two other books: CHUNNELING THROUGH FORTY (humor/chick-lit) and FORETELLER (fast-paced mystery thriller). She has written several screenplays which have been successful in contests and are now circulating through Hollywood in the hope of making it to the big screen. Anne lives in Virginia with her family, two ferrets and a cat whose name changes weekly. He currently answers to "Mythical Flarb" and "Food."

You can get more information about Anne and her books here

You can follow Anne on Twitter here. 

Monday, 17 October 2011

Interview With Jennifer Chase

Earlier this summer, I was lucky enough to review a fabulous book called Dead Game by Jennifer Chase.  It was a cracker of a thriller and I loved every minute of it.  Jennifer is an award winning author and criminologist and all round extremely interesting and very clever lady and I was lucky enough to poke my nose into her life when she agreed to answer some questions for my blog.   Thanks so much Jennifer, really looking forward to reading more of your work - you know I'm now a fan for life!

You have quite a CV Jennifer.  Can you tell us a little about you and your life?
Thank you for having me here today!
I’ve always loved to write whether it was scribbling out funny lines for my stuffed animals when I was a child or writing short mystery stories in high school.  I think I secretly wanted to be Nancy Drew! 
Things don’t always turn out the way you want – sometimes it just takes longer to get to where you want to go.  I ventured into the business and corporate world in the exciting occupation of accounting.  Yes, I know, I still get funny looks about transforming from accountant to thriller writer.  It’s a process!  I’ve written professionally in areas of copyrighting and articles in magazines and newspapers, but I still wanted to write a novel.  There’s that process thing again!       

As well as writing, you have lots of experience to offer people in many ways.  Can you tell us a little about what else you do?
Lately, I’ve been working on my latest novel project Dark Mind and keeping focused on the steadily approaching deadline before the holidays.  I offer assistance to other writers with blog articles, ghost writing, and research with crime scene and police procedures as well as publishing services.  In addition, I study crime trends and keep my skills and experience honed in criminal profiling as a consultant.  My plate is full, but I love every minute of it!       

What inspired you to create Emily Stone and how long was she a work in progress? 
Emily Stone was created out of a personal experience I had with a violent ex-neighbor who threatened my life for more than two years.  It was a hair-raising experience that seems more like a movie now looking back.  It was during that time that I became interested in forensics and criminal psychology before all of the CSI shows on television.  I was hooked and went back to school to earn a forensic bachelors degree and a masters in criminology.  I developed friendships with local law enforcement individuals.  But, writing kept surfacing in my mind.  My experience with the neighbor inspired Emily Stone who hunts down serial killers and pedophiles anonymously and then emails her findings to the local police.  I thought about this idea for about eight years before I wrote the first chapters of Compulsion.

I would love to see Dead Game as a film.  If you could cast a famous actress for the role of Emily Stone, and an actor as Rick, who would you cast and why?
I’ve thought about this because I love movies as well.  There are some wonderful actors out there.  I have to say I could see Angelina Jolie as Emily Stone because she’s proven that she can be tough as nails but feminine.  As for Rick Lopez, I could see Leonardo Dicaprio because he’s an amazing actor and I think he could bring this character to life.  Also, the serial killer Samuel in Dead Game, I could definitely see Christopher Walken playing the role.  What an incredible trio that would be!  

Being nosey, where do you find your most inspiring place to write?
Inspiration can strike me at any time especially when I’m out walking with my dogs on the beach or in a large park.  Nature and solitude seem to strike an inspirational chord with me and my mind freely contemplates all sorts of ideas.  However, I find that I do my best writing when I’m in my home office.  I feel comfortable, relaxed, and everything is right where I need it. 
As you know, I'm a huge James Patterson fan and Dead Game reminded me very much of his style of writing.  What types of book do you like to read and who are your favourite authors?
First, wow, thank you for that wonderful compliment.  I love Patterson novels too.  I think his earlier novels have influenced me with the short, quick chapters that keep you reading.  I love to read suspense thrillers as you can imagine and there are many, many authors out there I love to read.  I’m finding new independent authors everyday!  I enjoy reading Dean Koontz, Stephen King, Jeffrey Deaver, Tess Gerritsen, David Baldacci, Lee Child, Vince Flynn, and oh my, I could on and on.  I do try and read other genres such as science fiction and horror.   

What role does social media now play in the promotion of a book for an author?  How do you relate to the whole social media revolution?
Social media has made so many opportunities possible for authors, whether they are independent or mainstream.  It’s amazing.  However, there are so many opportunities and ways to promote your books that it can be overwhelming.  How do you choose?  What really works for your specific genre?  There are not enough hours in the day to do everything.  I’m the type of person that asks a lot of questions.  I’ve spoken to other authors, promotional specialists, and publishing companies to try to gain some insight.   

I’ve approached social media with the basics, such as Twitter, Facebook, and blogs with people who love to read and write crime fiction.  I’ve found great connections, increased book sales, and found real friends, which are priceless to me.  Also, I have an active blog that I write about 2-3 articles weekly.  I try to keep things simple and not jump into the newest social media craze until I see what it has to offer and the time it takes. 

What's next for you, are you writing more and if so, can you tell us a little more?
I’m just completing my third Emily Stone novel Dark Mind, which will be available in time for the holidays.  Emily’s next adventure takes her to the island of Kauai hunting a child abductor, but she runs into the island’s first serial killer.  It’s her toughest investigation yet because of the difficult island climate, unprepared police department, and uncooperative local community.  I’ve created this thriller to have several suspects to keep readers guessing too! 


You can read my review of Dead Game here.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Review - The Secrets Between Us by Louise Douglas

WOW! This book had me completely mesmerised and once again not getting much housework done on a Saturday afternoon! This third novel from Louise Douglas was quite simply amazing!

Sarah, has just left her husband, finding out that he was having an affair with her best friend following the traumatic experience of having a stillborn baby.   To temporarily escape the hurt and devastation that has rocked her life, she takes a holiday with her sister and husband, and meets handsome Alex, father of 6 year old Jamie who has recently found out that his wife and Jamie's Mom Genevieve has left them.  Alex and Sarah have a brief encounter one afternoon, and when Alex offers her the job of housekeeper and looking after Jamie while he works, out in the countryside far away from Manchester where she lives, she jumps at the chance, much to the disappointment of her family who think that she's avoiding her issues.  Sarah sees this as a way of getting away from the people who have hurt her, and not having constant reminders of her terribly sad ordeal.   What Alex hadn't told her was that his wife was a well known and well loved local celebrity and the villagers and her family who were all upset by her disappearance, think that there is a strong possibility that she has been murdered.   Even more so, now that he has moved in what they think is his mistress, he is under suspicion and she does not get a warm welcome. 

Sarah feels that Alex is holding such a lot back from her, and as she starts to clean the house and get it back to being a lovely home for them, she comes across many discoveries that have even her doubting the integrity of this man who she is becoming growingly involved with.  She also feels a deep and eerie presence of Genevieve in the house, seeing and feeling things that don't feel right. Does she continue to defend Alex, or are the discoveries she keeps coming across just confirmation of what he has done?

What a cracking read this was!  It was full of drama, suspense and many breath-holding moments.  It was exhilarating and exciting.  The descriptions of the locations were so well written that you felt that you were there, and were able to touch, smell and feel the places in the book.  The mystery behind the story as it unfolded was incredible, with so many twists and turns along the way.  The characters were fabulous, they developed well and were easy to relate to.  The book was dark and it was deep and it was SO enjoyable and un-put-downable!  I am definitely a massive Louise Douglas fan and can't wait to read her other books. 

Louise was born in Sheffield but has lived in North Somerset for the past 20 years. She has three beautiful sons, and lives with her partner, who works in construction.  She has earned her living through writing for years, firstly as a journalist and, more recently, copywriting for a variety of clients, but had always dreamt of becoming a published author.  In 2006, when she decided that her sons didn't need constant attention any more, she decided to bite the bullet and took various courses in fiction-writing and began to write The Love of my Life which was published by Pan Macmillan in January 2009 which was long-listed for the Romantic Novel of the Year Award and the Waverton Good Read award.  Her second novel Missing You won the People’s Choice Award in the 2010 Romantic Novelists’ Association Pure Passion Award. 

Louise still has her day job, which she thoroughly enjoys, and she has continued to save her fiction-writing for the evenings when the words seem to come more easily.  When she's not writing, she enjoys reading, drawing, evening classes, drinking wine, cooking, listening to music and especially walking.  You can read about her at her website and you can also follow her on twitter.

You can purchase The Secrets Between Us here via Amazon.