author interview

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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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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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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Last List Blog Hop: Interview with Bree Despain & Giveaway!

Last List Blog Hop BadgeCuddlebuggery have created a Last List Blog Hop to help authors who were previously signed with Egmont find new homes and promote their books. As soon as I spotted their post I signed up, hoping to help. I was paired with Bree Despain, author of The Dark Divine series and the Into The Dark series, and I got to ask her some questions –

1. What inspired you to become a writer?

I always enjoyed writing but my big “Ahah, I want to be a writer!” moment came when I was a junior in college. I was pre-law at the time, but I realized that I wasn’t very happy with this decision. I took a semester off from school to work for a summer program that served at-risk kids from Philadelphia and New York. There, I wrote and directed a series of plays based on fractured fairytales (like a Cinderella murder mystery). I had so much fun that by the end of the summer I had come to the realization that I wanted to be a writer, and I wanted to write fun things for kids and teens.

2. For those who aren’t familiar with your series, Into The Dark, explain it in one sentence.

Haden Lord, the disgraced prince of the underworld, must undertake a quest to our mortal world to convince a certain girl to return with him to the land of the dead–if he succeeds, he’ll have his honor restored, but if he fails, all hell will literally break loose on our world. (Heheh. I totally cheated with that em dash.)

3. What are some of your favourite books, or who are some of your favourite authors, and why?

I love Meg Cabot because her books were my first real introduction into modern YA writing. All American Girl and Pants on Fire are two of my all time favorites of hers. The Amelia Peabody series by Elizabeth Peters was probably the first series I ever became obsessed with. The Harry Potter series will always be my favorite series. One of my newer favorite authors is Rainbow Rowell.

4. Do you think any of your real life experiences have influenced your work, and how?

I think everything I write is influenced by my real life experiences. I believe it is a writer’s job to be a sponge. We soak up as much input from the world around us as possible, and then wring it through the filter of who we are as a person, and what comes out is our writing. That’s why no two writers could ever write the exact same story.

5. What’s next for you?

I’m working on proposals for a couple of new projects (one contemporary and one fantasy) while waiting to find out the future of Book 3 in the Into the Dark series. Book 3 was canceled when Egmont closed, but now that Lerner has picked up the rest of my books, I hope that there will be good news for Book 3 in the near future. Even if a publisher doesn’t pick it up, I promised my readers that I will make Book 3 available to them in some form. I love these characters too much to let their story go unfinished.

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway to win a signed copy of Shadow Prince! (INT).

Have you read any Bree Despain books? The Dark Divine is on my TBR and I’m really looking forward to reading it! 

Colleen Oakley Interview and Before I Go Giveaway!

Before I Go by Colleen Oakley

I buddy-read and joint-reviewed Before I Go by Colleen Oakley with Brandie from Brandie is a Book Junkie. We both thoroughly enjoyed this heart-breaking read – so much so that I felt compelled to Tweet the author to let her know I was in desperate need of tissues, and it was all her fault. Thankfully, she took it well, and even agreed to be interviewed, and was kind enough to offer a hardback of Before I Go for giveaway (US only, sorry peeps!).

Click here to enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway!

R: Introduce yourself and tell us a little about you, what do you do when you aren’t writing/blogging?

CO: I’m a 34-year-old mom, wife and sometimes triathlete. I have two beautiful kids and am currently pregnant with twins (due in March). I spend a lot of my time being in shock that I’m currently pregnant with twins.

R: I bet! Before I Go is your debut novel, what inspired you to become a writer?

CO: My background is in journalism – I was a magazine editor for the first half of my career (Women’s Health & Fitness and Marie Claire) and then went on to be a freelance writer for magazines and websites in 2007. I always wanted to write a novel, but I’m not sure that I believed that I really could for a long time. I – like most writers, I’m sure – have a stack of half-started, partly-finished manuscripts and story ideas. This one happened to work.

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Iris St Clair Interview and Special Giveaway!

Louder Than Words by Iris St Clair Book Cover

I read and reviewed Louder Than Words by Iris St. Clair back in September, and I really enjoyed this story – in fact it has stayed with me, as I often think of Ellen and Rex and wonder what they’re getting up to. This is definitely a book that deserves more recognition, you can check out my review for it here. Today, not only do I get to interview the author, but I also get to host a very special international giveaway – the winner not only gets an eBook of Louder Than Words, but also gets to name a character in the follow-up companion novel!

Click here to enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway!

R: Introduce yourself and tell Book Geek readers a little more about you.

ISC: Thank you for having me over today. Iris St. Clair is the pen name I use for Young Adult and New Adult works. I have also published under two other pen names (essays, romance and erotica) for adult readers. My YA debut novel, Louder Than Words, released September 16, 2014 from Swoon Romance, and is currently available exclusively from Amazon.

R: I’ve read Louder Than Words, and can definitely recommend it, though I’d love to read some of your adult fiction works too! What inspired you to become a writer?

ISC: Christmas card “brag rag” inserts, a fitness journal I kept online and an unhealthy obsession with a television show shared by an entire community of fan fiction writers. Say what? Let’s just say a few encouraging words from people telling me how much they laughed at, or enjoyed, what I wrote was all it took. Writers aren’t much different from actors and comedians – we’re all laughter and applause junkies to some degree.

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