Monday, 28 December 2015
Friday, 2 October 2015
Sunday, 20 September 2015
For fans of Jojo Moyes, David Nicholls and Sophie Kinsella, here is a Pride and Prejudice for the modern era.
Londoners Kim and Harry can't see eye to eye…until the life of the person they both love most hangs in the balance.
Kim has never grasped what her free-spirited big sister Eva sees in a stuck-up banker like Harry and has spent her childhood trying to keep him out, while Harry's favourite occupation is winding Kim up.
Both Harry and Kim are too trapped in their prejudices to care about what's really going on beneath the surface of each other's lives. They'll never understand each other—until the worst of all tragedy strikes.
Faced with the possibility of losing the person they both love most, long-buried secrets come to a head in ways that will change both Harry and Kim forever.
Marianne Kavanagh is a former deputy editor of Marie Claire and has contributed to a wide variety of newspapers, magazines, and websites, including the Telegraph, Daily Mail, Guardian, My Daily, Easy Living and Red. Her debut novel, For Once in My Life, was published in 2014. She lives in London.
Praise for For Once in My Life
'Kavanagh’s novel is superior chick lit: beautifully written, enlivened by witty and wise observation.' Age/Sydney Morning Herald
'[A] witty, summer-fresh debut.' Independent
'This book is fantastic. It’s hilarious, poignant and profound by turns; most of all, it’s unpretentious. Unlike so many novels it just wants to tell you a lovely story. It’s not about how clever the author is nor is it all style over substance. But precisely because of that it’s both clever and stylish anyway... Adorable.' Daily Mail
'The charming and summery first novel from columnist Marianne Kavanagh. This human story of love’s near-misses centres around Tess and George, whose eventual (inevitable) meeting is cleverly delineated to call sentimental notions of soul mates into question.' Vogue
‘Kavanagh gives the reader plenty of humour…Her descriptive prose is wonderful.’ BookMooch
I found this book a slow starter. It took me a number of chapters to 'get into' the book, however one I was a third into the book it suddenly captured my interest and I was hooked.
I found the characters believable and I was able to empathize with Kim from the start. Although the story-line was predictable, there were twists and turns littered throughout the book which kept me guessing to the end and made the story more enjoyable.
I like Kavanagh's writing style - the prose is littered with humorous moments which are often used to describe scenes within the story. They fit in well within the story and add dimension to the scenes.
I would recommend this book to anyone wanting a good, easy going read with great characters and a believable story-line.
Thank you to the publishers, Text Publishing and their marketing team for sending me the book to review.
Friday, 7 August 2015
Today I am pleased to welcome Sarah Hilary to my blog following the publiation of her second novel featuring DI Marnie Rome, her female lead detective character, No Other Darkness.
Hilary has worked as a bookseller, and with the Royal Navy. Her debut novel, SOMEONE ELSE'S SKIN, won the Theakstons Crime Novel of the Year 2015. It was the Observer's Book of the Month ("superbly disturbing”), a Richard & Judy Book Club bestseller and has been published worldwide. NO OTHER DARKNESS, the second in the series is out now. The Marnie Rome series is being developed for television.
I recently met Sarah Hilary at my local literary festival, Worcestershire LitFest and Fringe, where she took part in the Illustrious Crime Panel with fellow crime writers: Clare Mackintosh, Alex Marwood and Chair of the Panel, local girl, Cally Taylor, read my review here. While taking part in the panel, Sarah Hilary mentioned that has always found it difficult to write strong female characters but after the discovery of flash fiction she hit the mark with DI Marnie Rose, and so I asked Sarah how she created the men within Marnie's world.....
Writing the Men in Marnie Rome’s life
by Sarah Hilary
Patricia Highsmith was a great advocate for writing from the subconscious or unconscious mind. She took it to the extreme of being blind drunk or half-asleep before she sat down to write. Dreams, weirdness, monsters, fears—all the best stuff, Highsmith insisted, is lurking in our unconscious minds. This, I think is part of the reason why she wrote such convincing men. Because she was mainlining her id, keeping her ego in its place (and taking every chance she got to thumb her nose at the superego).
So it is with me when I’m writing Noah or Stephen or Welland. These characters — so removed from me and my reality — trip from my fingertips. Marnie comes more reluctantly, always guarding her secrets. But writing a nightclub scene with Noah and his boyfriend, Dan? Easiest thing in the world. Even nineteen-year-old Stephen Keele, his mouth lush with silence, comes more easily than Marnie.
So which of the men in Marnie’s life is the best fun to write? Here’s my top five.
Every story needs a resting place. Ed’s my version of the underground bunker with the tinned peaches from Cormac McCarthy’s The Road—but for that breathing space it would be impossible to continue. (Although readers of No Other Darkness will want to point out what I did with an underground bunker and peaches.)
Noah is a joy to write. He’s smart and sensitive and no matter what I chuck at him, he comes back for more, usually after some well-earned downtime with Dan.
Welland is Marnie’s boss, and father figure. Gruff as an old bear, I love the way he watches out for Marnie, knows her weak spots, keeps her on track.
Adam makes his debut in No Other Darkness, but he’s been in Marnie’s life since she was sixteen. He’s a snarky son of a bitch. I’m not sure Ed would approve of the unholy kick I get out of writing Adam.
If Ed is the steady place in Marnie’s turning world then Stephen is the opposite. He became her bogeyman when he was fourteen, and shows every sign of becoming more frightening as the series progresses. In No Other Darkness he hands Marnie a reason for what he did that messes with her head, hugely.
Whether or not it’s my unconscious that serves up the men in my books, I do love writing them. I hope readers love (or love to hate) them too.
Thank you to Sarah for visiting my blog today. I am currently reading No Other Darkness, and loving it and my review will follow soon. I am enjoying it so much and didn't want to miss anything by rushing to the end to publish my review with this blog post.
Saturday, 18 July 2015
My second visit to St Johns Library in this festival was for a very different event to my first, the illustrious crime panel, this time I was looking forward to being given an insight into the criminal underground where drugs are the main currency and people take unbelievable risks to traffic them into the country. The programme promised discussion to include criminal motivation, methods of intelligence gathering, cocaine production and smuggling and money laundering.
Cameron Addicott was an undercover officer in H.M Customs and the Serious Organised Crime Agency for nearly twenty years . He was a Criminal Investigator, Covert Surveillance Operative and Commander, an Informant Handler and an Undercover Officer. Since leaving this work he is now a director of a Security Services company and is writing another book.
I really enjoyed listening to Cameron talk, as did my husband. He told a number of stories about his working life and reminisced about life undercover before turning the conversation to the dramatisation of his first book ‘The Interceptor’ which is currently being shown on BBC1. It has been a fantastic series and I hope that it is optioned for a second series.
Thank you to the festival organisers for supplying me with two tickets in return for a review.