Book Release

Author Spotlight: Interview with Denise Deegan, and Giveaway!

Through the Barricades Book CoverI recently took part in the blog tour for Through the Barricades by Denise Deegan, and I was pleasantly surprised by how much I LOVED it. I reached out to the author to ask if she would like to be interviewed on my blog, and she said yes!

Check out the GIVEAWAY for a chance to WIN a paperback copy of the book (open INT!). Enter HERE!

The Through the Barricades ebook is just 99p on Amazon! Or pick up the paperback on Wordery for £12 with FREE international shipping.

Now, on to the interview!

R: Hi Denise, introduce yourself to Book Geek readers, and tell us a little about you – what do you do when you aren’t writing?

D: Hello, Book Geek readers! I’m an Irish writer of adult and young adult fiction. When not writing, I like to dream, read, watch movies, walk in nature with my dog (Homer), chat with my family, and eat out as often as possible. I’m a big fan of weddings! We won’t talk about the time I spend on social media.

R: I think we all spend a silly amount of time on social media! Writing can be a very difficult profession, so what made you want to become a writer?

D: I was doing a literature review for a Masters in PR. A book didn’t exist that should have. So I wrote it. As soon as it was published, I was struck by an overwhelming, inexplicable urge to write fiction. Without an agent, publisher or even an idea for a book, I gave up my business to follow my dream.

R: Wow! That was such a risk, but I’m do glad you did! Through the Barricades tells the story of Maggie and Daniel’s relationship, set during the Easter Rising in Ireland in 1916. Where did the inspiration come from for this story, and what made you want to tell it?

D: I’m a bit of a rebel at heart. I am also very proud of my Irish heritage. The centenary of the 1916 Rising was approaching and I wanted to write a story of a girl rebel who was prepared to sacrifice everything for what she believed in. And I wanted her to fall in love with a pacifist!

R: This novel has romance and the compulsory (and fantastic) Irish sense of humour, but it also has more serious scenes, including chapters set during the First World War, as well as the Easter Rising. How much research did you have to do for this novel, and how historically accurate are the events you include?

D: I spent two years researching this book. There were three big areas to cover:

  1. The Lockout of 1913 (Dublin workers were locked out of their jobs when they dared to strike),
  2. A specific Irish regiment fighting in Gallipoli during WW1
  3. The Easter Rising of 1916 (a rebellion that changed Irish history).

The research was both challenging and fascinating. I discovered that historical reports are subject to interpretation. As such, they vary. The secret was to find as much information from primary sources, such as witness statements of people who were actually there. Events included in the book are as accurate as they could possibly be. I wanted readers to be able to rely on what they were reading.
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Author Spotlight: Interview with Stella Newman, and Giveaway!

seven-steps-to-happiness-book-coverI recently read and LOVED Seven Steps to Happiness by Stella Newman, so I’m delighted to interview her today on Confessions of a Book Geek, AND host a giveaway for FIVE copies of the book (UK only). I’m also offering one eBook copy for all of my INT readers!

Seven Steps to Happiness is currently available on Amazon for £3.99 for the eBook, and the paperback is just £6.15 on Wordery with FREE international shipping. Who can say no to that? 😉 

Click here to enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway!

R: Hi Stella, introduce yourself to Book Geek readers, and tell us a little about you – what do you do when you aren’t writing/blogging?

S: Hello fellow book lovers, and thank you, Rachel for having me. I’m Stella Newman, author of four novels including the best seller Pear-Shaped (woo hoo!) and two novellas.

I used to work in advertising, then at the BBC, then at The Observer newspaper; then I became a professional food taster and was paid to eat spaghetti (best job in the world, ever) and now I’m a full time novelist. When I’m not writing, I’m eating, reading or sleeping.

R: All my favourite things to do! So, what made you want to become a writer?

S: My grandma was a writer – not a famous one, but she instilled in me a deep love of books, as did my father. I grew up loving reading, writing and telling stories but never thought I could make a living as a writer, so instead pursued various alternative careers – some fun, some less so (looking after turkeys for a supermarket in the run up to Christmas being one of the latter.)

As I went through my thirties, I couldn’t shake the fear that if I never even tried to write a novel I’d regret it. So I tried, failed, tried again a little harder, and eventually signed my first book deal with Harper Collins.

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Book Release: A Boy Made of Blocks

A Boy Made of Blocks Book CoverA Boy Made of Blocks by Keith Stewart, published September 2016, by Little Brown Book Group.

Add to GoodreadsGoodreads Synopsis: Alex loves his family, and yet he struggles to connect with his eight-year-old autistic son, Sam. The strain has pushed his marriage to the breaking point. So Alex moves in with his merrily irresponsible best friend on the world’s most uncomfortable blow-up bed.

As Alex navigates single life, long-buried family secrets, and part-time fatherhood, his son begins playing Minecraft. Sam’s imagination blossoms and the game opens up a whole new world for father and son to share. Together, they discover that sometimes life must fall apart before you can build a better one.

Inspired by the author’s own relationship with his autistic son, A Boy Made of Blocks is a tear-jerking, funny, and, most, of all true-to-life novel about the power of difference and one very special little boy. Fans of About a Boy, Us and The Rosie Project will love this heart-warming, heart-breaking & wonderfully funny debut from an exceptionally talented new writer.

Life is built on the little things image

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Author Spotlight: Interview with Marina Fiorato & Giveaway!

The Double Life of Mistress Kit Kavanagh Book Cover

I recently read and reviewed The Double Life of Mistress Kit Kavanagh, and I LOVED it, giving it 5/5* (which everyone knows is a rating that I rarely give!). I contacted the author, Marina Fiorato, who kindly agreed to be interviewed, and her Publisher has also offered a copy of the book for me to give away (see below – open to UK & Ireland residents only)! 

The Double Life of Mistress Kit Kavanagh is currently on Amazon for £4.99 for the eBook, and the physical copy is on both Amazon and The Book Depository for £7.99. Get your hands on a copy now!

Enter GIVEAWAY to win a paperback of The Double Life of Mistress Kit Kavanagh!

R: Hi Marina, introduce yourself to Book Geek readers, and tell us a little about you – what do you do when you aren’t writing/blogging?

Marina Fiorato PhotoM: Hi! I’m Marina Fiorato, and I’m the author of 7 historical novels, mostly set in Renaissance Italy. When I’m not writing – and even when I am – I’m a mum of two so you’ll find me doing the school-run or cooking dinners in which I try to conceal the presence of vegetables.

R: What made you want to become a writer?

M: I wrote a lot at school – I even wrote my school’s Nativity play when I was ten years old and the school actually humored me and used my script! I wrote a kid’s novel about Vikings when I was fourteen, then at Uni I wrote another play, which went to the Edinburgh Fringe. That one wasn’t an unqualified success – once, I remember, there were more people in the cast than the audience! It was when I had my son that I really began thinking about writing seriously; I wanted to explore my heritage (my father was Venetian) a heritage that was now my child’s too. And that’s how I began what was to become The Glassblower of Murano, my first novel.

R: The Double Life of Mistress Kit Kavanagh is based on the true story of Mother Ross. How did you hear about Mother Ross, and what was it about her story that inspired you to tell it? 

M: I love watching history documentaries on iPlayer, and I think it was on one presented by Simon Scharma that I first heard about Kit. I then tracked down her biography, which was written by Daniel Defoe, and found it incredible reading. I felt like if she was a man we’d all be learning about her in school. Kit didn’t just dress as a man, but she fought as a soldier in four bitter and bloody campaigns. Even then, she didn’t just scrape by and keep her head down; she fought so well she was actually decorated by the Duke of Marlborough himself. Then when a desperate rape victim claimed Kit was the father of her child, Kit not only defended the woman’s honour, but she agreed to support the child financially. I wish every girl in every school knew about Kit.

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Author Spotlight: Interview with Victoria Walters!

The Second Love of My Life Book CoverI recently read and reviewed The Second Love of My Life, and reached out to its debut author, Victoria Walters, to see if she would like to be interviewed on my blog. The Second Love of My Life is currently on Amazon for £2.99 for the eBook, and the physical copy is on both Amazon and The Book Depository for just £3.85. So, what are you waiting for? Go grab a copy! 🙂

R: Hi Victoria, introduce yourself to Book Geek readers, and tell us a little about you – what do you do when you aren’t writing/blogging?

V: Hi everyone! My name is Victoria Walters and my debut novel The Second Love Of My Life was published in April this year. When I’m not writing, I work as a bookseller for Waterstones and always have my head stuck in a book!

R: I would love to work surrounded by books! So, what made you want to become a writer?

V: I have always written stories. Maybe because I’m an only child, I have always had an overactive imagination and was always a massive bookworm so I think it was inevitable that I’d end up writing one day really.

R: In The Second Love of My Life, many of the characters deal with loss and grief, what made you want to tackle these emotions, or was there a specific inspiration for your story? 

V: I lost my father when I was nine, so grief is a subject I’ve thought a lot about, and when my main character Rose came into my head, I knew instantly that she had lost someone close to her and was struggling to move on. I also had read a lot of stories where the love interest died at the end and I thought it would be interesting to mix it up and have him have met his demise at the start of the story instead.

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Author Guest Post and Giveaway – Using Mythology in Fiction

Today, I’d like to welcome author Coreena McBurnie to Confessions of a Book Geek! Coreena is offering an eBook of her new release, Prophecyin the giveaway at the end of this post! But for now, over to Coreena…

I’ve written several novels, but the first one that I thought was worth publishing is Prophecy, which is based on the ancient Greek myth of King Oedipus, the one who killed his father and married his mother then stuck brooches in his eyes when he found out what he had done. It’s been an interesting challenge, using an existing myth as the basis for my novel rather than solely using my own story.

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Push Me, Pull Me by Vanessa Garden – Excerpt, Interview & Giveaway!

push me pull me blitz bannerpush me pull mePush Me, Pull Me by Vanessa Garden.

Release Date: 25/08/15 by Limitless Publishing.

Goodreads Synopsis: Since Ruby Milton’s mother committed suicide, she’s forgotten what it’s like to be 17. Saddled with taking care of her toddler brother and alcoholic father, Ruby has no time for fun. She also can’t shake the growing resentment she feels for her mother’s decision, which left her unable to grieve without anger and regret.

Then she meets blue-eyed musician Byron Black, who challenges everything she believes. Byron refuses to let anyone control his life – or his death. When he left the city behind, he was in search of somewhere where nobody knew his secret. What he didn’t expect was to meet a beautiful redhead whose views conflict so completely with his own. But as their romance deepens, he begins to doubt his choices and decides to return to the city… for one last chance.

When Byron disappears, Ruby will stop at nothing to track him down. Upon finding Byron, Ruby discovers his devastating secret, and a battle of wills begins. Byron doesn’t want her to know this part of him. He has to deal with it by himself, even though the idea of losing her tears him apart. Will they be able to see each other through the darkness? Or should they save their hearts and just let go?

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Giveaway!

Click here for your chance to win a $15 Amazon Giftcard. (INT)

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Author Spotlight: Interview with Catherine Linka and Giveaway!

A Girl Called Fearless by Catherine Linka Book CoverOne of the first ARCs I received when I started blogging was A Girl Called Fearless by Catherine Linka. I really enjoyed the first novel, and was super excited for the sequel, A Girl Undone (you should definitely check out my review, I basically reviewed it with  the author!). I ended up corresponding with Catherine, and invited her to be interviewed on Confessions of a Book Geek. To celebrate the release of A Girl Undone, the first novel in eBook – A Girl Called Fearless – is currently on offer on Amazon US / UK.

Click here to enter to win an eBook of A Girl Called Fearless! 

R: Hi Catherine, introduce yourself to Book Geek readers, and tell us a little about you – what do you do when you aren’t writing/blogging?

C: Right now my life is dedicated to keeping our Labrador puppy, Carter from destroying the house, but when I’m not saving carpets and table legs, I love to travel. The places I love the most are Svalbard, Iceland and Antarctica. The landscapes are stark and dramatic, the light is constantly changing, and seeing killer whales and polar bears in the wild is amazing.

R: Sounds pretty magical! So, what made you want to become a writer?

C: I’m not sure I had a choice. For me, writing is like a compulsion, and if I don’t write, I’m miserable. Words and stories have been part of my life since I was little, and every job I’ve had was connected to some form of writing (publishing, advertising, book-selling).

A Girl Undone Book CoverR: A Girl Called Fearless and A Girl Undone are YA dystopian novels set in a patriarchal society, where did you get the inspiration for your story, and what were you hoping to explore?

C: I was a big fan of speculative fiction when I read a book that so stupidly portrayed how Americans would behave after a population catastrophe that I got really annoyed that the author had wasted such a good idea. So I started thinking about what would really happen if millions of adult women died suddenly in the US. There were two forces I imagined would wreck havoc in the country: politicians who would exploit men’s fears to capture political power, and American consumerism which would treat teenage girls as if they were the next luxury good.

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