Welcome Guest Anne Allen Talking About Her New Novel The Betrayal.

The Betrayal by Anne Allen

Thanks, Katie, for inviting me onto your lovely blog to talk about my latest book, ‘The Betrayal’. This is the 6th in my series, The Guernsey Novels, and like the 5th, ‘Echoes of Time’, is dual-time, with chapters set during WWII and the present day. The events I describe during the Occupation are based on fact, but the characters are fictional.

Leo Bichard is a prominent businessman whose French grandmother was a Jew, although both his parents were Christians. His family have never mentioned their ancestry but, unfortunately for Leo, someone tells the Germans, and he is deported with other Jews to concentration camps and does not return. This actually happened to the few Jews in Guernsey and is considered a shameful blot on the island’s history. The local government was unable to resist the demands of the German invaders in this instance, and my story was inspired by this event. Oh, and another inspiration was Renoir. He spent the summer of 1883 in Guernsey painting numerous versions of a particular bay, Muelin Huet, amongst others. At least one of these paintings is in a museum.

Leo sends his beloved wife and child to England a matter of days before the Germans arrive and he stays to defend his property and stand alongside his fellow islanders. However, the Germans soon impose severe restrictions on the population and Leo is forced to close his business and months later his house is taken over by soldiers and he is forced to live in his housekeeper’s small cottage.

When Teresa, his wife, returns after the war, she finds her home wrecked and the family’s valuables, including an extensive art collection, missing. One of those was a treasured family painting by Renoir. Learning she is a widow, she returns heartbroken to live with her family in England.

In 2010 Nigel and his twin Fiona, locals who have lived in London since university, return to Guernsey and buy a long-established antiques shop. A year later, during a refit, they find a hidden stash of paintings, including what appears to be a Renoir. Days later, Fiona finds Nigel dead, an apparent suicide. Refusing to accept the verdict, a distraught Fiona employs a detective to help her discover the truth.

Searching for the true owner of the painting brings Fiona close to someone who helps to heal her broken heart. But there are important questions to answer before she can lay her brother’s ghost to rest —

Who betrayed Leo? Who knew about the stolen Renoir? And are they prepared to kill – again?

The kindle book is open for pre-order NOW and is published on Friday 20th October. The launch price is £1.99 and will increase to £2.99 from 22nd October. All the previous titles are on a promotion at 99p from 18th -22nd October. Bargains! The paperback will be out at the end of October.

The Betrayal – http://myBook.to/TheBetrayal

Website: http://www.anneallen.co.uk

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AnneAllen21

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Anne-Allen-Author-176883759173475/

Bio:

Anne Allen lives in Devon, by her beloved sea. She has three children and her daughter and two grandchildren live nearby.  Her restless spirit has meant a number of moves which included Spain for a couple of years. The longest stay was in Guernsey for nearly fourteen years after falling in love with the island and the people. She contrived to leave one son behind to ensure a valid reason for frequent returns.

By profession, Anne was a psychotherapist but long had the itch to write. Now a full-time writer, she has written The Guernsey Novels, five having been published and the sixth, The Betrayal, is due out 20th October 2017.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Today I’m Incredibly Excited to be Interviewing Elizabeth Jane Corbett Author of The Tides Between.

Welcome Elizabeth Jane please tell us a little about yourself and your book.

 Thanks heaps for the welcome. What can I say? I am a wife, a mother, a grandmother, a librarian, a Welsh speaker, a dog owner and a commuter cyclist who loves reading quirky character driven novels set once-upon-a-time in lands far away. My debut novel, The Tides Between, is an historical coming-of-age novel about fairy-tales and facing the truth. Set in the steerage compartment of a nineteenth century emigrant vessel, it involves elements of magic and storytelling.

What inspired you to create The Tides Between?

 It started with a mid-life crisis. On reaching a significant mile-stone (let’s not be specific), I realised I’d always wanted to write a novel. Close on the heels of this realisation came a sense that I’d better make a start before it was too late. The reason I’d never started was partly due to the above-mentioned roles, but also because I didn’t think I had any ideas. But I’d always been interested in the historical character of Caroline Chisholm – the emigrant’s friend. I started by with a biography of her life then broadened my research to include nineteenth century immigration in general. By which stage, to my immense surprise, I had characters forming in my head.

What is your writing routine? are you a pantster or planner?

I started The Tides Between with absolutely no consideration of viewpoint, story structure, or character arcs. I simply gave myself permission to write. Once I had a dreadful first draft, I went back and learned what I was supposed to know before starting. This led to a great deal of re-writing. With my current work in progress, Stone Promises, I have a fair idea of these elements and I am writing towards my major plot turning points. In between, I am fumbling my way in the dark, a process I find both terrifying and exhilarating, depending on how the day is going. I start my writing day by journaling, long hand, in my pyjamas. That is how I set my goals for the day. I revert to this whenever I get stuck (the journaling, that is, not the pyjamas). It relieves the pressure and enables me to work out what I am trying to say.

Did you have a favourite place you like to write, while you were creating your novel?

I started writing in our bedroom at an old desk we’d picked up off the side of the road. We had four kids living at home at the time so space was at a premium. The kids have long since moved out and we have downsized. I now use the spare bedroom as my office. When writing, I sit, door closed, in silence. But I journal, read articles, plot and draw diagrams out at the dining table.

Describe what your Muse looks like to you in three words.

Coch calon, Cymraes – red, heart, Welshwoman.

I love the colour red, I write from the heart and my muse is rooted in my heritage.

What part of writing your novel did you most enjoy? E.g. First draft, research, editing…

I love that heady moment when your characters first start to speak. But I find it mighty scary sitting down to a blank page. Yet sometimes at the end of the day I feel a warm glow of satisfaction at what I have accomplished. This is often doused when I workshop the piece. But, once I sit with the feedback and see possibilities, I am generally excited to make improvements. So, it’s a roller coaster for me – both hard and exciting.

If you could be one of your characters, which one would you be and why?

None, I make them suffer too much. Bridie, my protagonist in The Tides Between is fifteen with so much to learn. I am glad I don’t have to go through that stage of life again. Rhys and Siȃn are Welsh. I’d certainly like their language fluency. But my novel is about facing the truth and Rhys’ arc involves elements of tragedy. Alf, Bridie’s stepfather, is solid and reliable. I admire people like that. But I am not one of them. One of the glories of mid-life is being happy in my own skin. So, I’ll leave my characters on the page, if that’s okay. Though, having said that, I’ll admit, I’ve learned many of their life lessons first-hand.

Which character did you like writing about the most? Why?

I found Bridie fun to write. She has a quirky turn of mind. She is also sad and angry and aching to work things out. I remember that feeling. I’ll admit, I fell a little in love with Rhys. He tells a number of Welsh fairy tales during the voyage and I enjoyed being in his storytelling voice. I took Welsh classes as part of my research, only ever intending to complete a term or two. But I fell in love with the language and kept going. I let that wide-eyed wonder infuse my characters. So, I think that is my answer has to be Rhys. Which in turn fuels Bride’s response.

What’s your favourite subject to write about? Why?

I am attracted to fairy-tales and like to explore the intersection of mythology and psychology. At this stage, I can’t imagine writing a non-historical novel, or one without a Welsh character. My newly re-discovered cultural heritage is so rich and deep. My muse has a wonderful canvas to work upon.

If you could describe your main character in three words what would they be? 

Fun, feisty and flawed.

What is the darkest thing any of your characters have ever done?

My characters’ darkest acts are those of ordinary life – fear, resentment, an unwillingness to listen, holding onto false beliefs. The novel begins with Bridie disobeying her mother and stepfather by smuggling a forbidden notebook onto their emigrant ship. At that point, Rhys’s secret fears are also threatening to overwhelm him. It sounds dark but I think the fairy tales enable me to explore that darkness in a way that is gentle and universal. But time will tell what the ‘real’ readers think.

What is your character favourite fairytale? Why that one? Does it help her in anyway?

Tamlane – the handsome youth captured by the Queen of Elfland and the brave maiden who rescued him. Rhys likes Llyn y Fan Fach, though I suspect he’s changed his mind by the end of the voyage.

Does any of your characters have any strong beliefs or fears if so what are they? 

Bridie and Rhys both have difficult truths to face. However, to in order to do so, they have to let go of false beliefs. I won’t elaborate on the details as it will spoil the build of the story. Suffice to say, both will be forced to a resolution by the end of the voyage.

Who are your favourite Authors?

Sharon K Penman, Edith Pargetter/Ellis Peters, Dorothy Dunnett, Kate Forsyth, Kate Morton, Emma Donoghue, L.M Montgomery, C.S. Lewis, Dorothy Sayers, Diana Gabaldon. I also loved Richard Llywellyn’s, How Green was my Valley, and Margaret Mitchell’s, Gone with the Wind.

What was the best advice you’ve ever had while writing your novels?

Alison Goodman, my first manuscript assessor, said: take your time, learn your craft. Euan Mitchell’s logical approach to story structure set me on the right path. My friend Leisl Leighton said: don’t wait until you have a contract, start building your social media presence now. Veronica, a visual artist friend, has been a great mentor. She reminded me to focus on the work, not the outcome. Carole Lovekin reinforced this, by telling me: the writing is the cake. Being published is merely the icing.

What projects are you working on next?

I lived in Wales for some months during 2015/16. While there, I noticed a number of memorials to Owain Glyn Dŵr. Glyn Dŵr rose in rebellion against the English crown in 1400 and was, consequently, the last native Welshman to hold the title Prince of Wales. At some point, I realised he’d had a wife. Though to my knowledge there are no stones erected in her memory. Mared, her name was (Margaret). She ended up in the Tower of London. I thought: what would it have been like to be that woman? The idea for a novel was born. I have done the preliminary research and started drafting. My working title is, Stone Promises.

Do you have any advice for fellow writers who maybe undertaking creating their first novel at this very moment?

Write despite the fear, learn as much as you can, look for feedback, and take it on board. Try above all, to enjoy the journey. It is the creation that matters, not the outcome. As far as I can tell, no one finds the process easy. Sometimes, success is simply a matter of staying the course.

Any final words you would like to add?

Thanks so much for this opportunity. Drop in at elizabethjanecorbett.com.au and say hello. I’d love to hear what you think of the novel.

Thank you Elizabeth Jane Corbett for taking time to do this blog interview, it has been a real pleasure to hear about your novel, I wish you well with your novel and all other writing projects you may undertake in the future.

Book Links

This link will produce a POD book in all territories:

 http://odysseybooks.com.au/titles/9781925652222/

Social media Links 

Website: http://elizabethjanecorbett.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/elizabethjanecorbett

Twitter: https://twitter.com/lizziejane

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/12478403-elizabeth-corbett

                     https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35853467-the-tides-between

Audrina Lane reads one of the chapters:“Lady of the Night” from my novel Finding Destiny in her lovely voice.

Audrina Lane reads one of the chapters:“Lady of the Night” from my novel Finding Destiny in her lovely voice.

Happy weekend all! I hope you’re all well and enjoying October-the falling leafs and the early nights to cuddle up with a good book and go off to magical lands. I like this time of year as it has always helped me write and read more.

Well, very recently I attended a writers and readers Facebook party, where I had the pleasure of listening to the lovely author, Audrina Lane, read a chapter of her book Where Did your Heart go? It sounded like an amazing book that I’m now reading and enjoying very much. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Where-your-heart-Heart-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B00E0KDRQU/ref=sr_1_1?s=kids&ie=UTF8&qid=1508000690&sr=8-1&keywords=Where+Did+your+Heart+go%3F+

While there Audrina offered to read for other authors on her YouTube channel.

I sent her Chapter 21 of my novel Finding Destiny called Lady of the Night. Below is the link of Audrina reading from Finding Destiny. Why not check it out along with her other wonderful videos of story reading. While you’re there do check out Audrina’s novel: Where Did Your Heart Go?

Chapter 21 called Lady of the Night. from my novel Finding Destiny.

Have a wonderful week.

 

 

My Review of The Treasure of Isian Author Serena Clarke

My Review of

The Treasure of Isian Author Serena Clarke

I loved reading The Treasure of Isian because the book has a magical feel with sea-witches, ogres, dragons and many more mystical creatures that Elani and prince Garin come across on their treasure hunt.  I also loved the devotion Elani shows to Garin and how their partnership changes over the course of their journey.

The story itself follows Prince Garin and his servant Elani as they go into an enchanting forest in the search of treasure. However, on their journey, they encounter mystical creatures, some helpful and others murderous. Soon Garin is captured and Elani is alone. Will Elani be able to save her prince, Garin? Will she discover that treasure is not always created the same? Will either of them get to see their kingdom again? Read this book to find out.

I really liked Elani’s character: she stays true to her heart and is loyal to those she cares for. But at the same time, her life doesn’t feel complete to her and she struggles to truly know where she belongs.  I also loved the sea-witch; she seemed like a dark but playful creature. She reminded me of a siren who has the power to have even the strongest of man drown just with one look.

I thought the author did an amazing job at bringing Elani and Prince Garin’s journey alive with her beautiful descriptions and the many enchanting creatures they meet along the way. I also liked how she showed the many creatures in different levels of kindness, ranging from we will help you to we are not forgiving so we will fight you.

This fantasy-fairytale is an enchanting quick read and if you like movies like Stardust then you’ll love this book.

I can’t wait to read the other two in the series.

I would recommend this book to those who are fans of fairytale and epic-fantasy stories. So if you like magical creature and characters you can pack your stuff and be on a journey you’d not want to end. Give this book a read.

Link 

https://www.amazon.com/Treasure-Isian-Serena-Clarke-ebook/dp/B009CKFNYM/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

 

 

 

 

My Review of Seduced by Mind Tricks author Anna Shenton

My Review of

Seduced by Mind Tricks author Anna Shenton

I really enjoyed this book. Lizzie and Rueben are both fascinating characters. I thought the author did a great job at creating tension between these two characters as Rueben tries to convince Lizzie to join his business. I also think this story keeps you guessing about Rueben’s intention towards Lizzie.

The story itself follows Lizzie as she boards a ship to London to find her brother. However, while on board she comes across a hot but arrogant man who is well travelled and not used to the word no. However, a turn of fate lands Lizzie in the company of Rueben for much longer than she’d like. Will Rueben turns out to be a creepy travel companion? Or is there more to him than his need for Lizzie in his life? Read this book to find out.

I found Rueben a bit of a love-hate hottie, who would likely rub a woman up the wrong way. But he also has a kind heart and is a bit of a romantic. I loved Lizzie’s character; she is strong-minded and wants to stand on her own feet.

I also thought the storyline was gripping and a bit steamy in places, perfect for a winter’s night in bed with a hot chocolate and the lights down. The climax was unexpected but a perfect way to end such a great read…

If you like character-driven stories, with a plot that is gripping, steamy and full of surprises then, you’d not mind curling up with Seduced by Mind Tricks by Anna Shenton, this winter.

Link:

 https://www.amazon.co.uk/Seduced-Mind-Tricks-anna-shenton/dp/1517636345/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1507322082&sr=8-1-fkmr0&keywords=Seduced+by+Mind+Tricks+author+Anna+Shenton

 

 

 

 

 

 

Feature Enchanting other worlds: Welcome Voinks To My Blog To Tell Us about Her Book World.

Feature Enchanting other worlds.

Home is where the Cyber heart is by Voinks

Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy my life and have nearly everything I could desire, but it does get lonely sometimes. Despite being part of the world wide web, cyberspace can still be claustrophobic.

Pray allow me to introduce myself and explain.

My name is Andrew Joseph Lee Trevena-Fairfax. I was born in 1898 and physically died in 1933 when I was 35, and have existed here ever since. Before his death, my father was one of the pioneers of what are now known as computers. His initial findings and research were developed with the need for instant communication in the build up to the second world war. I spent my childhood learning from him, and acquired a thirst for experimenting with this new technology. Perchance it was the nature of my death which caused my body to end up locked inside a metal processor, rather than in the sweet earth which was the lot of my fellow man.

Perhaps I should have said spirit, rather than body, but I am not some ethereal ghost. When I look down at myself I see a man in all his glory. It’s as if I was suspended in time; I don’t need to eat or bathe, and I have remained the same age as when I died.

Although time in the outside world moved on, it was a century after my birth that the development of the world wide web gave me access to all available knowledge.  I have plenty of time to study and am able to keep up to date with the constant changes. As technology developed I began to contact people through e-mails, and social media, even using technology to see and hear them in real time.

It was a far cry from my living days when I had to maintain politeness whilst a plethora of pushy mothers introduced me to their boring and dim-witted daughters. With my distinguished family, wealth, and dare I say it, personal good looks, I was a prime target for those desperately trying to make a good match for their off-spring. Nowadays, it’s far easier to block or unfriend than it ever was to escape the clutches of those harridans of my youth.

I still have the excitement of discovering someone new, but now I have the opportunity of learning all about them from the various databases before committing myself. Perhaps I have an unfair advantage over the ladies I select as correspondents. I can learn much of their demeanour from the pictures they post, their comments on world affairs, and even their list of friends. A reversal from when I was dragged off to yet another ‘coming out’ of the latest deb to be made available on the marriage market.

Please forgive my outspokenness; at heart I am a decent person. Since I have been confined to what I have begun to think of as my prison, the lack of actual physical contact has made me forget my manners.  Oh, how I long to feel the sweet rain falling on my face, the wind blowing through my hair, and yes, I admit it, the soft touch of feminine lips on mine.

I dream of making this a reality, but supposing I managed to transport back into the real world. Would I be able to cope with such a different way of life? Would I be accepted, or find myself even lonelier than I am in this incarceration?

I have begun correspondence with a lady who I have grown to admire. Soon I will have the opportunity to test my theories, and attempt an escape from the cyber world that binds me. If my plans succeed I will visit the real world again, in person. Will I have the courage?

Spirit of Technology 
 Links

www.amazon.co.uk/Spirit-Technology-Val-Portelli-ebook/dp/B0711K2LKG  

 www.amazon.co.uk/Spirit-Technology-Val-Portelli/dp/1521262101   

www.amazon.com/Spirit-Technology-Val-Portelli-ebook/dp/B0711K2LKG

My Review of Leaving Birds by Virginia King.

My Review

of

Leaving Birds by Virginia King.

I really enjoyed reading the collection of folklore tales in Leaving Birds. I really loved the story Peig’s Place because it was spooky but emotional and some of the scenes with Peig in them were well described. Overall, all of the stories were interesting and gripping to read.

The book itself contained three stories called The Woman with Hair of Gold, Peig’s Place, Polly’s Folly and an article called Serendipity Rules.

The Woman with Hair of Gold

This story is about Gilder, a mysterious woman with long golden hair that men admire. But one night one of her admirers comes to her home to ask for her hand in marriage. However, upon her refusal and the gift she bestowed on him he storms out of her home. Will he be back to try his luck again? Or seek revenge because she turned him away? Read this book to find out.

This is a dark but interesting short story and in some way reminded me of how a dark modern day Rapunzels could have been told. Gilder is a very interesting character with enchanting hair. She’s easy to imagine while reading this story. I think if you like dark modern fairytales retold you would very much enjoy this story.

Peig’s Place

Faith and Minnie were going on holiday together, take a break from work. However, Faith ends up holidaying alone in an old house. She’s given a key that doesn’t work and told Peig might visit. However, while in the house she starts to hear things. Is this a supernatural energy? Or just a trick of her mind? Read this story to find out.

I loved the author’s use of description and emotion throughout this story, especially when it came to Peig. This was one of my favourites.

Polly Folly  

Polly Folly, is the song that tells a story about: What happened to Polly?  This is explained and is very interesting to read about. I had to look up the song after to hear it. It does give you shivers when you listen to it being sung.

I loved that Virginia explains after every story where her inspiration came from and how this linked to her other books. I could really see her passion for folklore shine through and how much work she does to research the topic, so her stories give readers a real sense of the subject.

If you like dark or retold fairytale or folklore from way back when then you will love this collection of dark tale.

Buy Link

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Leaving-Birds-Virginia-King-ebook/dp/B075LQKVPT/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1506229385&sr=8-2&keywords=leaving+birds