Tuesday, 20 June 2017

BLOG TOUR ~ Always In My Heart by Pam Weaver


Hi Everyone,

Today is my stop on the Blog Tour for Always In My Heart by Pam Weaver where I welcome Pam to my blog with an extract from her latest novel. I was thrilled to be asked by Bethan James from ED Public Relations to take part along with some other fab book bloggers. You can find out who else is taking part in this fabulous Blog Tour at the end of the extract so without further ado, here it is:


Florrie asks Mrs Andrews for help 

But Florrie didn’t know where to start. This was alien to her. She’d never asked for help before, not even when her husband left. She glanced up at Mrs Andrews’s kindly face, remembering the past and all that had happened. Back then, Mrs Andrews had said if ever she needed help, she was to go to her at once. Florrie had dismissed the offer with a wave of her hand, but here she was. And desperate too. She’d never wanted to bother the woman again, but what could she do? 

Married to a doctor, Mrs Andrews, played an active part in the community. She was a member of the Towns’ Women’s Guild and several other organizations as well. Sitting on the edge of her seat, she gave Florrie her full attention. 

It took every ounce of courage she had, but finally Florrie explained everything. She had been hasty. She’d said no to evacuation and now it looked as if she might be too ill to care for her children. The WI lady had said that if she refused to let her put Shirley and Tom on her list, their places would be given to other children. What was even worse, she’d become irritated by the woman’s insistence and she’d been rude. In fact, she’d used a swear word, and for that she was truly sorry, but instead of looking shocked or telling her off, Mrs Andrews threw her head back and laughed. ‘You swore at her? Oh dear, poor Cynthia, but don’t worry, I suspect she’ll dine out on that tale for several weeks.’
Florrie’s eyes filled with tears when she talked about Tom. She didn’t say it, but in her heart she’d always felt that the way Tom was had been her punishment for giving away the baby. How would she have coped without Mrs Andrews back then? When she’d told her about the pregnancy, Mrs Andrews hadn’t taken the moral high ground as so many others had done. She’d offered to arrange everything. Right now, the ache in Florrie’s chest wasn’t just from the cough, it was the ache of loss. The loss of that pretty little girl she’d last seen when she was only a week old. She swallowed hard. Now she was making a fool of herself. She was losing control. The words just gushed from her mouth like a waterfall. She was saying far too much.

Mrs Andrews left her own chair and came to sit on the sofa next to Florrie. Taking her hands in hers, she said, ‘There’s no shame in asking for help, my dear. I shall be pleased to do what I can.’
Florrie looked up at her. ‘Do you ever hear anything about—’

‘You know better than to ask me that,’ said Mrs Andrews firmly. ‘Best to leave the past where it is. Right now, we have to concentrate on you. I’m sorry to hear about your ill health, but let’s hope you’ll soon be on the mend.’

They smiled at each other even though they both knew the words were hollow and that Florrie’s recovery, if there was to be one, would take an awfully long time. 
‘Now,’ said Mrs Andrews, giving Florrie’s hands a final squeeze, ‘here’s what we’ll do.’


Always in My Heart by Pam Weaver is out now from Pan Macmillan (£6.99 paperback) 

Always in My Heart

Sunday, 18 June 2017

BLOG TOUR ~ Trust Me by Angela Clarke Q&A


Hi Everyone,

Today is my stop on the Blog Tour for Trust Me by Angela Clarke where I welcome Angela to my blog where she has kindly taken part in a Q&A session with me. I was thrilled to be asked by Sabah Khan from Avon Books to take part along with some other fab book bloggers. You can find out who else is taking part in this fabulous Blog Tour at the end of the guest post so without further ado, here is the Q&A:


  • What inspired you to write your first book?
My first book was a memoir, so I guess I inspired me. Ha! Just kidding. I’ve always loved telling stories and entertaining people, and when I started regaling friends with tales of the fashion industry, which I worked in then, they seemed to like it. A friend of a friend was the Femail editor of the Mail Online and she asked to meet me. She loved the stories too, and I started writing the anonymous Confessions of a Fashionista column for them. But the fun tongue-in-cheek tales of fashion industry madness only showed one side of the picture, and so I started to write the memoir of the same name: Confessions of a Fashionista, to show a more rounded view of the industry.


After that I set out to write a novel about the internet, and how many people forget there’s a real person on the end of their interactions online. But lots of characters died, so it became a crime thriller set on Twitter. Follow Me was born, which ended up being the first in the Social Media Murders, and the rest, as they say, is history.


  • What books have most influenced your life?

That’s such a hard question! So many. Too many to count. I’ve always been a keen reader and currently get through between two and three books a week. Books have offered me escape, education, joy, sadness, love, laughter and so much more. They shape me every day, in a myriad of little ways that are impossible to measure. I wouldn’t be me without books and reading.


  • What were the challenges (research, literary, psychological, and logistical) in bringing it to life?

Trust Me is the third in the Social Media Murder Series, and though I know the characters and the world well, I wanted to make sure the action didn’t feel formulaic. It’s important to me to believe that each project I work on can be better than the last. I pushed myself in terms of character development and narrative style, and the final book has a number of different points of view throughout. I really hope my readers like it. At the time of writing this, not many people have read it, but those who have loved it. So fingers crossed that’s a good sign!

Oh, and another challenge was finding a plumber to help me with some specific research. But I can’t tell you what because it’ll be a spoiler!


  • What was the hardest part of writing your book?

There is a rape storyline at the centre of Trust Me, inspired by a real-life case where a young woman’s sexual assault was live streamed over the social media app Periscope. It was an extremely upsetting subject matter to write about, and I wanted to do the female character involved justice. I didn’t want the rape to be a mere plot point. I didn’t want to make it titillating. I’ve tried to convey the situation respectfully, without showing too much on the page. Sexual assault is a horrible brutal reality that too many endure, and the weight of responsibility when writing about it is great. My books often explore the point misogyny intersects with technology and the online world, and though they are first a foremost entertainment, I hope they are also awareness raising. If just one person thinks differently about rape culture, or their own actions (from an online joke, upwards). I would take it as a win. Recently I attended a book club in HMP Thameside, a male category B prison. The inmates had read Follow Me and Watch Me, and I was struck by how much they took Freddie to heart. Some spoke of not really thinking about things from a female perspective before they’d read Watch Me, and it was one of the proudest moments of my career. Plus they liked my jokes.


  • Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

I really enjoyed Ali Land’s Good Me Bad Me, it was a fantastic exploration of character, and so tense! I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next.