Adult Fiction

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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Review: The Secret History

The Secret History by Donna Tartt, published July 1993 by Penguin Books.

The Secret HistoryRead: February 2016
Genre: Fiction/Mystery/Literary
Source: Purchased
#Pages: 629
Get It Now: Wordery

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Goodreads Synopsis: Truly deserving of the accolade Modern Classic, Donna Tartt’s cult bestseller The Secret History is a remarkable achievement – both compelling and elegant, dramatic and playful.

Under the influence of their charismatic classics professor, a group of clever, eccentric misfits at an elite New England college discover a way of thinking and living that is a world away from the humdrum existence of their contemporaries. But when they go beyond the boundaries of normal morality their lives are changed profoundly and for ever.

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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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Review: The Lemon Grove

the-lemon-grove-book-coverThe Lemon Grove by Helen Walsh, published June 2014 by Tinder Press.

Read: January 2017
Genre: Adult Fiction/Romance/Contemporary
Source: Purchased
#Pages: 288
Get It Now: Wordery

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Goodreads Synopsis: Each summer, Jenn and her husband Greg return to Deia, on Mallorca’s dramatic west coast. This year the arrival of Emma, Jenn’s stepdaughter, and her new boyfriend Nathan threatens to upset their equilibrium. Beautiful and reckless, Nathan stirs something unexpected in Jenn. As she is increasingly seduced by Nathan’s youth and the promise of passion, the line between desire and obsession begins to blur. What follows is a highly-charged liaison that puts lives and relationships in jeopardy. For Jenn, after this summer, nothing can ever be the same.

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Review: The Versions of Us

the-versions-of-us-book-coverThe Versions of Us by Laura Barnett, published June 2015 by Weidenfeld and Nicolson.

Read: October 2016
Genre: Adult Fiction/Romance/Contemporary
Source: Purchased
#Pages: 403
Get It Now: Wordery

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Goodreads Synopsis: What if you had said yes? Some moments can change your life for ever. Have you ever wondered, what if…?

A man is walking down a country lane. A woman, cycling towards him, swerves to avoid a dog. On that moment, their future hinges. There are three possible outcomes, three small decisions that could determine the rest of their life.

Eva and Jim are 19 and students at Cambridge when their paths first cross in 1958. And then there is David, Eva’s then-lover, an ambitious actor who loves Eva deeply. The Versions of Us follows the three different courses their lives could take following this first meeting. Lives filled with love, betrayal, ambition, but through it all is a deep connection that endures whatever fate might throw at them.

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Review: Seven Steps to Happiness

seven-steps-to-happiness-book-coverSeven Steps to Happiness by Stella Newman, published October 2016 by Headline Review.

Read: January 2017
Genre: Fiction/Contemporary
Source: Publisher
#Pages: 342
Get It Now: Wordery

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Goodreads Synopsis: Is there such a thing as a formula for happiness? If it’s Netflix + 2 for 1 Malbec + the perfect toasted-cheese sandwich, Lenny Dublonsky has it covered. Even if she works for a tech company where her colleagues ride scooters round the office, and is in a relationship with a man who doesn’t do relationships.

Lenny’s friend Juliet never planned to be pregnant and married at nineteen, but since then she has been the perfect wife with the perfect family. Until her husband Matt drops the ultimate bombshell… Lenny is determined to save the day. So when she’s asked to test an app that enhances happiness, she puts scepticism aside and persuades Juliet they should give it a go. Could it really be that happiness is only seven steps away?

A funny and moving novel of friendship, heartbreak, and the restorative power of melted cheese.

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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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Review: On The Other Side

On The Other Side Book CoverOn The Other Side by Carrie Hope Fletcher, published July 2016 by Little Brown and Company. 

Read: July 2016
Genre: Contemporary/Historical/Magical Realism/Romance
Source: Purchased
#Pages: 345
Get It Now: Wordery

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Goodreads Synopsis: Evie Snow is 82 when she quietly passes away in her sleep, surrounded by her children and grandchildren. It’s the way most people wish to leave the world but when Evie reaches the door of her own private heaven, she finds that she’s become her 27 year old self and the door won’t open.

Evie’s soul must be light enough to pass through so she needs to get rid of whatever is making her soul heavy. For Evie, this means unburdening herself of the three secrets that have weighed her down for over 50 years, so she must find a way to reveal them before it’s too late. As Evie begins the journey of a lifetime, she learns more about life and love than she ever thought possible, and somehow , some way, she may also find her way back to her long lost love…

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