Blog Tour, Cover Reveal

The Haunting Of Alice May by Tony Lee Moral

Thank you Tony for the opportunity to showcase your book on my blog today. I know you shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover but it’s intriguing:

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Synopsis:

Alice Parker moves with her Dad and younger sister to the sleepy town of Pacific Grove, to a start a new life after her Mom dies. Little does Alice know the strange and terrifying events to come. When she falls into the bay during a kayaking trip, she is rescued from downing by the mysterious Henry Raphael. Handsome, old fashioned and cordial, he is unlike any other guy she has known before. Intelligent and romantic, he sees straight into her soul. Soon Alice and Henry are swept up in a passionate and decidedly unorthodox romance until she finds out that Henry drowned in the bay 100 years ago. . .

Interview With The Author Tony Lee Moral

Is there anything you can share about The Haunting Of Alice May that’s not in the blurb of the book?

Yes, it’s a story that is incredibly personal to me. I moved to Monterey, California for work shortly after my father died. Re-reading the book I realise that I am very much like Alice the central character, though I have never seen a ghost. But the emotions which Alice goes through are very much like my own – wondering about the afterlife, one’s place in the world, coping with love and loss, while navigating new relationships and a yearning for the past. I think it’s a central human condition to think about the meaning of life and what your individual beliefs are and what happens to us after we die.

-What do you hope readers will take away from this book?

The book is about what it means to be alive and the challenges that comes with young adulthood and trying to understand how one fits into the larger workings of the universe. It’s a meditation on love, loss, growing up and also being alone, which I hope I have written in a suspenseful and entertaining way.

-It says on your website that you’ve also made films. Did a love of film precede the love of writing? How did you discover that you wanted to be a writer? Or have you always wanted to do both. 

I’ve always wanted to do both, so writing and film making for me go hand in hand. To be a great screenwriter, you need an understanding of the visual medium and how you can tell a story through images rather than just relying on talking pictures or dialogue.

-So you’ve written some non-fiction books about Hitchcock’s film. How much was this book inspired by Hitchcock’s films? 

The Haunting of Alice Maywas greatly inspired by Hitchcock’s films, as many of the chapters are written like scenes in films. I was also influenced by a story that Hitchcock always wanted to make but never did called ‘Mary Rose’ about a young woman who disappears on a Scottish island, and appears many years later as a ghost. This is the equivalent of the Henry character in my novel, who seems unchanged while all around him grow old.

-What else inspires your writing?

People and travel. Writers are natural psychologists, so I’ve drawn much inspiration from the people I meet and the places I’ve visited. I’ve been very fortunately to travel around the world in my job as a documentary film maker, so I find people and situations fascinating.

-What are your favourite books? 

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald for its elegant prose; Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez for its unrequited love and yearning, and The Woodlanders by Thomas Hardy for the symbiosis between the characters and nature.

-A lot of writers admit to having the dreaded writers’ block, but do you think it’s a real thing and how do you manage to recover from it?

I think writing is all about rewriting, so if you do have writers block, try and move onto another scene or chapter. The most challenging aspect is to write length which you will spend many hours afterwards rewriting.

-Are you a planner or a pantser? 

I’m a planner but a little spontaneity is definitely good for the soul and keeps life interesting.

-Is there any advice you wish you’d had early on in your writing career? 

Build your author’s platform and cultivate your readership and followers. In today’s social media age, your readers are everything. Nurture them and you will see the fruits of your labour.

Something that maybe you know now but didn’t then?

Stop worrying about tomorrow, but concentrate on the present and the rest will follow. Live life for the moment, which is easier said than done.

Thank you!  🙂

Social Media

Facebook: tonyleemoralfans

Instagram: tonyleemoral

Twitter: tonyleemoral

You can find out more here:

GoodReads

www.ghostmaven.com

www.tonyleemoralbooks.com

The Haunting of Alice May ebook is on offer over the Easter Weekend:

Amazon US

Amazon UK

(Please note that these are not affiliated links)

 

 

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Book Blitz

The Boy Who Steals Houses by C.G. Drews

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I’ve joined up to do this book blitz to tell you all about this intriguing book The Boy Who Steals Houses by C.G. Drews. You might know that C.G. Drews blogs at Paperfury.com that’s where I heard about her first book A Thousand Perfect Notes which I reviewed here in Febuary.
I immediately pre-ordered this new book which is out now. I haven’t read it yet but as soon as I do I’ll review it on here.
They’ve also given me access to a competition to win a signed and annotated copy of The Boy Who Steals Houses by C. G. Drews and an official art print.

The Boy Who Steals Houses Synopsis

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Can two broken boys find their perfect home? 
 
Sam is only fifteen but he and his autistic older brother, Avery, have been abandoned by every relative he’s ever known. Now Sam’s trying to build a new life for them. He survives by breaking into empty houses when their owners are away, until one day he’s caught out when a family returns home. To his amazement this large, chaotic family takes him under their wing – each teenager assuming Sam is a friend of another sibling. Sam finds himself inextricably caught up in their life, and falling for the beautiful Moxie. 
 
But Sam has a secret, and his past is about to catch up with him.

My Thoughts

Both the blurb on the back on the book and the synopsis above have grabbed my attention. A girl “whose laugh is a burst of stardust” how amazing does that sound? I want to get to know this girl and the brothers Sam and Avery.

I like reading books about people trying to defy the odds and improve their lot in life. I want to find out about them and what will happen. I know from reading A Thousand Perfect Notes it will be a gorgeously written book and that it will be a riveting, enjoyable read.

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Intrigued?

Check out the current reviews on Goodreads: The Boy Who Steals Houses

And here’s the links to buy a copy (these links are no affliated links):

Australia and New Zealand: Angus and RobinsonBooktopiaAmazon AustraliaFishpond.

About The Author

C.G. Drews lives in Australia with her dog, a piano, and the goal of reading every book in existence. Consequently, her brain has overflowed with words and she spends her days writing novel after novel. She blogs at Paper Fury, never sleeps and believes in cake for breakfast.

Links

 
Twitter: Paper Fury
Instagram: Paper Fury
Publisher: Orchard Books

The competition

I can’t get the rafflecopter to work on here but click on this link to enter, Good Luck 🙂

 

 

Books

Charity Book Fair Haul

I was so excited to go to the Lions Club Charity Book Fair in Bridgend this morning. I didn’t go last year I had no room and was planning on moving house. I got a bigger house now and I’ve given up banning myself from buying books. A good morning, I just spent two hours going around and around, spotting books the second time that I didn’t see the first.

My mother was looking for Outlander books but we didn’t see any and I was hoping for  Neil Gaiman books.

Last time I went I bought nine so I only bought one more this time.

These are my impulse buys

I’ve keep hearing a lot about Six Of Crows, I picked it up and put it down so many times, if I don’t read it or don’t like it then I’ll donate it back. The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas why not, the first page gripped me too. A Monster Calls, I recently watched the film.

Classics I had to buy

I love my classics, there wasn’t many this year. I’ve read these (I think I’ve read all Sherlock I forget) but don’t have a copy of The Hobbit and my Sherlock paperbacks are terrible. Going to look for the companion book illustrated  short stories.

I’ve read ‘Northern Lights’ before I had a copy hated it and gave it away. Then lent a copy, liked it, (sometimes you have to be in the right mood) and never get around to reading the rest of the series. I didn’t have to buy these but it might encourage me to finish the series now. I loved The Golden Compass film.

Books I’ve been meaning to read

I hoped to find The Night Circus there, I’ve been meaning to read it for ages so glad I got it now. And The Cuckoo’s Calling, I liked the tv series so I’ve been wanting to read these also.

I have had other books recently, I signed up ages ago to be a ‘book fairy’ on readitswapit book forum and this quarter I had more Hardy books and a copy of The Girl On The Train, another book I’ve been meaning to read.

I should probably start donating some books to this book fair, I have a stack of books I keep meaning to take to a charity shop. But some books you can’t part with, it’s books I know I won’t read again. I don’t really have room for these books on my shelf but oh, well.

I’m not banning myself from buying anymore, I’m hoping if I stop saying I can’t buy books maybe I won’t want to buy them so much HAHA maybe.

Have you read any of these?

Uncategorized

The One Where… I Talk About TV

When I hit a bit of a reading slump lately I started watching tv more. I have so many programmes that I want to watch. This would be a really long post if I talked about all the programmes I love and the ones I’m currently watching (just finished Santa Clarita Diet). 

I’m taking holidays owed from work this week and I’m taking a little bit of a break from writing blog posts, I’ve had them all scheduled, so I’m going to concentrate on my writing and reading and TV. So I thought why not write a holiday post all about tv?

(oh, I’m going to a book fare this week so…. I wonder how many books I’ll come back with 🙂 Future blog post) 

I’ve been rewatching Angel recently. I watched it when it was first broadcast and bought it on tape but didn’t think I’d seen them all. Turns out I have except maybe not in order. It was on C4 and in the days before Freeview my channel 4 was snowy (90s kids will remember the fuzzy channels before digital 😂) so I couldn’t watch it.

 

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Buffy was on at 6.45 Buffy was my addiction my favourite show ever. Honestly, it was my sister who introduced me to Buffy, I can still remember the conversation.

Buffy will always be the best for me, I grew up with this show. Every Thursday night at 6.45 I was glued to the television for my fix. I shed tears over this show. Angel was the ultimate broody vampire and their relationship is something I always want to see rekindled, even years later. I often rewatch Buffy. I had them on VHS now dvd. I have the  soundtracks too (anyone else listen to Once More With Feeling?)  It’s great that it’s still popular and you can get new merchandise too. I’ve still got most of my old merch (minus the novels :/ )

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Roswell was on BBC at 6 and I loved it. It was on before Buffy.  Max is an alien from another planet and he saves Liz when she’s shot at work. The last series the time slot changed and I missed it but family bought the dvd boxset for me. I’ve rewatched it a few times, it never gets old.

There’s not many shows I love enough to buy on dvd and rewatch over and over. I watched Farscape too

Image result for farscape but I did miss a lot and keep meaning to watch it from the beginning.

I did watch Friends too but when I was older, I was too into Buffy and all the weird stuff to get into Friends then. But I love it now, I haven’t watched it in a while. I used to watch it over and over but it’s always on tv so it became a bit much.

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This is one of my favourite scenes.

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The Gilmore Girls is my feel-good tv show. I have them all on dvd and they made A Year In A Life!! I’ve watched them so many times, I’m currently watching the last few series again right now. I remember first watching it years ago on Hallmark, but I didn’t have Sky tv in my room so there was just this one episode. Then later E4 started to show it and I realised I’d seen it before on Hallmark. Loved it ever since.

I could talk about Buffy and all my favourite programmes for days. These are my more recent favourites:

  • Poldark
  • Game Of Thrones (final series soon :0 )
  • Firefly (from Joss Whedon who created Buffy and Angel)

And that’s not mentioning all the other amazing programmes I’ve watched on Netflix and tv over the years. Did you ever see Ghost Whisperer? That was a great show but I didn’t like the last season. WHAT HAPPEND TO PROFESSOR PAYNE? 

So many great shows that have finished:

  • House
  • Bones (still haven’t watch all episodes)
  • The Vampire Diaries and The Originals (last series of both ruined, can’t watch anything by those people anymore)
  • Penny Deadful
  • How I met your mother (so good)
  • Downton Abbey
  • Desperate Housewives

I can’t mention all the shows here, my dvds are still boxed up so guaranteed I’ve missed something.

Shows I’m looking forward to watching:

  • Supernatural- it’s on Amazon Prime and I only ever watched a few episodes. I’m so behind.
  • Outlander- I watched it on More 4 and read the first book. It’s all on Prime (sensing a pattern here)
  • Good Omens: I’m reading the book, I must see the show.

Have I missed anything here old or new? Tell me your favourites, maybe I’ve seen them. 

review

The Ice House by Tim Clare

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Release Date: 2nd May 2019

Ok, so I got this ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. I listen to Tim Clare’s writing podcast when I get chance and follow him on Twitter. I heard about The Ice House on there.

I wish I’d read The Honours first as this book follows on from that.

But: I’ve just preordered a copy of The Ice House from Mr B’s Emporium (with the promise of a signed edition) and The Honours 🙂

So what’s is about:

Synopsis from GoodReads:

“WAR DOESN’T END. IT SLEEPS.

Delphine Venner is old, but she remembers everything.

She remembers what it is to be a child of war, she remembers fighting for her life and what the terrifying creatures from another world took from her all those years ago. She remembers the gateway, and those she lost.

And in that other world, beast-filled and brutal, someone waits for her. Hagar, a centuries-old assassin, daily paying a terrible price for her unending youth, is planning one final death: that of her master, the Grand-Duc. A death that will cost her everything. A death that requires Delphine.

Voyaging into this violence and chaos, Delphine must remember who she really is and be ready to fight, before war reawakens. But in the battle to destroy an ageless evil, will both worlds be saved – or will every mortal creature lose everything?”

My Thoughts

Wow. After finishing this book I thought how am I going to review this! How can I explain how much I enjoyed this action packed riveting novel?

There are two veiewpoints: Hagar and Delphine. Hagar is an assassin but she’s also connected to this politician, she feels his pain, it’s complicated. (Read the book) She is trying to sever her connection with him and we learn why and how she intends to do it. Delphine just wants to find her family but to do that she has to work with these people.

I couldn’t really decide if Hagar was a good person or a bad person, I didn’t know if I was meant to be on her side or not.

I loved the fantasy world of this book. So imaginative. There’s so much going on in this book: intrigue, tension, mystery, violence, weird fantasy creatures. It’s never boring.

Umm.. it can be a little gory too. Do you ever get the urge to look away from a tv show/movie when it’s gory? Like a hospital scene or a really disgusting murder scene? You want to look away but you keep watching to see what happens? Well I never thought I’d have it with a book and I read horrors (real life gore is worse for me or this scene!) The scene was of a horse being butchered, it’s a very well written scene, not overly gory. Perfect, really. Um.. as much as it can be perfect..  it’s very disconcerting. 

I love Tim Clare’s writing style: when he describes a scenes it’s like he’s painting a picture with his words and you can see every detail. It makes the fantasy world come alive in your mind, enriches it and captures your imagination. I really wish they’d publish an illustrated edition of this book because it would be amazing. Please? 

I loved everything about this book, the characters, story, world, style. Looking forward to the next one….

But before that I am going to read The Honours and then reread this book. It’s so good.

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If you want to know more about this book you can visit Tim Clare’s website, here where you’ll also find info about his brilliant writing podcast and weekly writing exercises. You can also find him on twitter

Tim Clare is an indie author, I bought his books from Mr B’s which is an independent bookshop in Bath. He’s hoping to sell 1500 copies of The Ice House so he can make the bestseller lists. I don’t think people believe he can, but it would be wonderful if an independent author made the bestseller list. He gives so much to the writing community it would be great if he got something back.

 

Month In Review

Books I read in March

I still seem to be reading more books than I get around to reviewing. I want to catch up this week and write some posts for next week, so I can take a complete break next week and focus on my writing and just have a break.

Blogging is fun and so is reviewing but it’s mentally tiring trying to blog and write and review. And I’ve started exercising again. I want to read for fun sometimes and not let it become a chore so I think taking breaks from writing blog posts now and again will be very helpful. More on this soon.

Books I started in Feb but finished in March

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I really enjoyed this book, the review was my last post.

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There was so much going on in this book. I haven’t got around to reviewing it yet.

Books I finished in March

Sapphire Smyth and The Shadow Fire by R.J. Furness

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A quick read and a good one, here’s the review

Pulse

I’ve finished this but have yet to review it.

Books I’m still reading

The Catcher In The Rye by JD Salinger

Little Creepers by Jessica Walsh (I should’ve finished this ages ago but I wanted to make it last)

From Story Idea To Reader by Rosemary Kind and Patsy Collins, reading the audiobook (free in exchange for a review) so it’s taken longer than normal. It’s a good book, info here, and I think I’ll have to buy a physical copy.

A writing book from Netgalley which I keep forgetting about.

Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Prachett, which has taken over my life.

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I did get into a bit of a reading slump. I read some good books but then I don’t know why I just lost interest.  I read a book for a blog tour in May and flew through it but afterwards I just couldn’t get into my other reads. I took a break and did what I needed to do which was read a fantasy book and not just any but Good Omens and I couldn’t stop reading it. It helped me to get out of the slump.

I have two modes in life: feeling motivated and energetic and trying to do it all. And then feeling so mentally tired that I can’t do anything. I need to find a balance because when I’m tired I don’t even have the energy to read. It’s just my overactive brain.

Anyway, thanks for stopping by let me know what books you’ve enjoyed lately and drop links to your Month In Review posts 🙂

 

review

Paint Me A Picture by Patsy Collins

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I’ve read a few short story collections by Patsy Collins that I enjoyed. At the end of one was an extract for this book which hooked my attention. I finally got around to reading it, I managed to get a copy from my local library. But you can buy it on Amazon in ebook or physical book format.

Synopsis from GoodReads

“Mavis Forthright carefully planned her jump from Portsmouth’s Round Tower. She’s existed for over five decades. Lived hardly at all. Will end her misery with a few second’s fall into the cold sea. Except she’s not quite ready to die. A half day’s delay to try a bacon sandwich from the cafe won’t matter. Mother’s no longer there to disapprove.

She delays another day to lend Janice a book. Then a week to use her new paints. A month. Until the end of term. Mavis makes new plans; to create paintings full of emotion, to live, perhaps even make friends.

As if to balance her survival a number of people connected to Mavis die. At first that doesn’t matter. They’re people she dislikes. Mavis continues painting, tending her garden, feeding the birds and keeping her home properly clean, without additional concern. Then people who’ve been kind to Mavis are killed or injured. That shouldn’t happen.

Why are people dying? Is it because of charming Norman who’s back from her past, or is that strange boy Jake her mistaken guardian angel? Perhaps Mavis herself is to blame. She must learn the truth, stop the deaths and protect those she’s learned to care about before she can enjoy the new life she’s making for herself”

My thoughts

When the story starts Mavis is contemplating ending her life, I felt sorry for her and was rivetted wondering what would happen to her. As the story progresses we learn more about her, about how she looked after her mother until her death and how her mother’s personality and the way she controlled Mavis shaped her as a person.

Even though at times I felt like shouting at Mavis for her thoughts about things- like the way her mind reacts to things her coworkers say-I can relate to how your mind may think people don’t like you and provide evidence when in hindsight you may be wrong. Mavis has gone through life with this negative view, this defensive view, and slowly things start to change after a stranger suggests she do a course.  Mavis starts to make little changes in her life, she finds opportunities and takes them. I hoped that Mavis would find her way out of her suicidal thoughts with so much left to do in life: friends to make and hobbies to learn and enjoy.

When odd accidents started to happen this added a whole new element to the story, I was already rivetted but this kept me thinking. It turned into a mystery as Mavis wondered if they were all linked and it was intriguing trying to figure out what was going on.

Mavis is an interesting character whose thoughts and feelings are plain to see, I loved reading about her beautiful garden and the way that the art is described pulls you right into the character’s world.

At times this is a sad book but you can learn a lot about life from Mavis’s story. I enjoyed this book and was sad to leave Mavis and her friends behind.

Paint Me A Picture is an absorbing book that you won’t want to put down and will leave you wanting to read more. I recommend it.