I devoured this short story, so skilfully written by an author who I have the utmost respect for. She doesn’t write for the masses, she doesn’t stray into writing what is popular or in fashion. Rose English writes from the heart about things that capture her vivid imagination and she weaves a story so beautiful that it feels as though she has placed her hands around your heart and is squeezing gently.
Seal Mother is a tragic tale of love, betrayal, loss and heart-breaking decisions.
It’s a children book, but don’t let that stop you from reading it as an adult. Let Rose’s poetical verse sweep you into a maelstrom of emotions as you forget your existence for a while and ride the waves with Seal Mother and her emotional journey.
I read this book a while ago now, but am behind on leaving my reviews. This author has the talent of drawing you in from the start and keeping you hooked throughout. Lucy is a mess after breaking up with her husband, she doesn’t want to get out of bed never mind move on with her life but with the encouragement of her best friend and the call for help from her Dad she gets up and goes to look after him whilst he’s convalescing.
Lucy certainly didn’t plan on liking dishy doctor Ed, or his ever so cute son – that was the last thing she wanted. The physical attraction is there from the start but can she resist him?
Nikki Ashton writes likeable, relatable characters and whips up a whole lot of humour which leaves you weak with laughter.
I won’t hesitate to pick up more books by this author in the future.
Lacey is a single mum who makes a success of her life running a small bakery business and is the hub of the small town she lives in. She has a teenage daughter, Candy, and the mother/daughter bond is strong. She has a busy and fulfilling life but there’s something missing, or that is until Trent comes into her life. This is a lovely story with great characterisation. The author guides you through the book making you want to turn the next page. It has the feel-good factor which warms the heart and curls the toes.
This isn’t the first book I’ve read by R E Hargrave and it won’t be the last.
1. Do you write as a full-time author or do you have to squeeze it in around a full-time job or looking after the children? If you don’t write as your main job what are your aims for your writing?
I somehow squeeze my writing in around my full-time job working for the Library Service in Herefordshire. I’m sometimes not sure where I find the extra time but I can be found writing on the bus on my way to work or during my lunchtime. My aims for my writing are to continue working on my current 3 WIP novels. Hoping to get them all out at some point in 2018.
2. What inspires you to write?
I tend to write everyday type of characters who are either experiencing love for the first or second time around. Or equally about them battling their demons, such as abuse or depression – powerful; topics. On a lighter note, I also love motor racing so one of my recent novels and one of my WIP novels is based around the world of fast cars!
3. Tell me about your writing process, when and how? Are you a plotter or a pantser?
I used to use an ipad but have recently switched to a Surface Pro which is both a tablet and laptop when the keyboard is attached. This means that I can carry it around with me and write whenever I find I have 20 minutes to spare. It also means I can write on my lap in the evening in front of the fire. I try and do a little bit each day but longer periods of writing take place at the weekend when I’m not at work! I’m afraid I’m mostly a pantser and just let my character guide me but I generally start out with a basic storyline in my head.
4. How much of your life experience goes into your books if at all?
With my first novel ‘Where did your Heart go?’ the storyline is based on my first love affair, with a few embellishments. But the first kiss for my main characters Stephanie and James was my actual first kiss. I did contact my first boyfriend and asked him if he was happy with the book content and he was kind enough to write the first review I had for the book on Amazon! I do try to draw from life experience because I think it gives the characters more depth and the storyline more meaning.
5. Describe your ideal writing location if money were no issue.
My ideal writing location would be outside my private home on my own island off the coast of New Zealand. I’d be on a lounger next to my swimming pool.
6. What is the hardest part of the writing process for you?
With my current final book in the Bloodstained Heart Trilogy its making sure that I stick to the storyline and conversations in the Heart Trilogy series (it’s a series about one of the characters in my original series) so I need to make sure the timeline stays the same but I bring a different slant to the same scenes. This makes it harder than just writing straight from your head. Also editing!!
7. What one thing would you fix about the whole world to make it a better place?
Religion, I believe what I believe but don’t push it on anyone and truly think that most of the world’s wars and conflicts are because people have different beliefs and think that theirs is better than the others. That’s about as political as I get in that if we got rid of religion maybe we’d all live more peacefully – although probably not!! There would always be something I guess!
8. What is your favourite review from any of your books?
This one for Bloodstained Heart. Part 1 – Passion. Because I knew I’d captured the essence of Felicity and equally made the reader feel sorry for her when everyone of my readers who urged me to write this story told me that they didn’t want to like this woman!!
Oooh. You made me feel sorry for Felicity and I soooo didn’t want to. After reading the Heart Trilogy it was great to see what made Felicity the cold and driven woman she became. At the same time I felt so sad for her. Audrina has written this in such a masterful way that you can’t pinpoint the exact moment when the sweet and innocent girl turns into a ruthless murderess. It reads well as a stand alone but if, like me, you have read the original trilogy first then the added dimensions of how the stories link together makes this an ingenious and very satisfying read. Consider this my first nag to you Audrina Lane to get the second part finished asap. I know I’m not the only one waiting with baited breath. Thank you for a great book.
9. When you’re not writing, working, looking after the kids what else do you enjoy doing?
I love music and dancing, so you’ll either find me at a concert or out with my OH who plays guitar in a local band. I also attend a monthly barefoot dance session which is 2 hours of an eclectic mix of music where everyone who attends just dances however they like. A sort of disco but without the alcohol or the blokes trying to chat you up! Its pure bliss and I wish it was more often than just monthly. Also I have 3 black Labradors so I enjoy taking them out for walks. I find most of my poem ideas come from this pursuit.
10. Can you tell me what you’re working on now?
I must be a sucker for punishment as I have 3 different novels in progress. The first is ‘Bloodstained Heart. Part 3 – Redemption’ which is the final story in this trilogy and the culmination of Felicity’s story. It’s a dark romance and she’s a rather evil, bitch of a character.
My second is another spin off from the third book in the Heart Trilogy series. I started a short story about two of the secondary characters in Closer to the Heart for an anthology. However the anthology never reached fruition so one of my readers who read the short story urged me to turn it into a full length novel. Its called ‘Bonfire Heart’ and is the story of Sebastian and Lena’s life – it may not be a very happy tale as it touches on Dementia and Depression, but is set in my favourite part of the world – New Zealand.
Finally the third WIP is with my co-author Rita Ames and we’re part way through the 2nd book in our ‘Need for Speed’ racing romance series. This one is called ‘24Hrs to Heartbreak’ and centres around Dre and Charlie who meet at the Indy 500 race.
A spectacular end to the trilogy
I wondered where the author could go with this third book but OMG the author blew me wide apart with this one. I didn’t see any of this happening and I don’t want to give anything away but this book is explosive, edge of your seat stuff. Tears of happiness and sad will flow if you have a soft side.
News from around the world
Something a bit lighter today.
North and South Korea joined together to compete under the same flag as the women’s ice hockey team competed against the Swedish team. The Swedish team beat them 3-1.
News from London
Serial sex attacker John Worboys is believed to have been moved back to HMP Wakefield in West Yorkshire prison having been moved from HMP Belmarsh in south-east London.
Worboys was jailed for a minimum term of eight years in 2009, convicted of 19 offences. Police believe that he may have committed over 100 rapes and sexual assaults. The parole board announced last month that Worboys would be released from prison. Sir Brian Leveson and Mr Justice Garnham will consider whether to allow the mayor of London and two of the victims’ to apply for a judicial review.
I’m a believer that when someone has served their sentence they should be allowed to re-enter society, however 9 years for 19 confirmed assaults, really? Crimes of this magnitude, on this scale, should not allow the perpetrator to see the light of day ever again. That equates to about half a year per victim – or at least all those he was convicted of. When the victims get to live with the effects of the abuse forever then so should the perpetrator.
It’s been another busy working week which has taken up most of my energy and concentration, so much so that I forgot to take my disk lock off my motorbike when I left work on Monday. Needless to say, I ended up lying on the floor in the carpark and my bike suffered a broken mirror. We were both ok though despite the “lovely” gentleman who pulled up in front of us, looked at me and then drove off without even ascertaining whether I was alright.
Managed to get a gym session in, need to step these sessions up though in order to start my training for the half marathon.
I have started redecorating my living room, this is going to be a slow process with so little available time, I’d forgotten how much I enjoyed doing this.
I’m currently reading, and enjoying, “Banker’s Town.” by Joel Hames.
This week hasn’t seen too much writing but I have added a little bit more to Illicit Love and I’m getting very excited about where it’s going. If you want to find out a bit more about this series.
A solid continuation of book one.
This is the second book in the series, I devoured this book. This book follows the relationship between Stephanie and James and Charlotte and Mitchell. But if you’re expecting happily ever after then you’ll be sadly mistaken, like any good book this author puts her characters through the ringer. Will it end well though? The characterisation in this book is so strong that they were as well known to me as my friends and the pacing was spot on. From here I dived straight into the last book in this series.
Builds beautifully to an un-put-down-able read.
When I started reading this book I found it slow going at first, enjoyable but slow going. I could easily put this book down but when I picked it up again it was like putting on a pair of slippers. The author allowed you to get to know the characters until they got under your skin and what happened to them actually mattered to you. This is a story of a love that spans generations, realistic friendships and a spiteful woman who will stop at nothing to get what she wants. I think I was about three-quarters of the way through this book when it became un-put-down-able and I devoured the rest of it and went straight into the second book in the series.
Now about the book: Charlotte is struggling with a teenage romance and in order to help her daughter, Stephanie allows her to read her our diary from when she was a teenager. This is a triple thread story, as we follow Charlotte and Stephanie in the present day and Stephanie’s past through her diary but it isn’t only Charlotte who is reading it, Stephanie can’t resist the urge to go back and take a peep herself. All the deep emotions come back to haunt her. Not sure I’d want my daughter (if I had one) to read through my diary but I thought it was a beautiful idea and slowly Charlotte manages to put the angst of her teenage romance behind her as she meets Mitchell. But this new love brings up unexpected complications.
I sometimes find it hard to read a series by the same author as it can feel samey, but once Audrina had me hooked I couldn’t not read the whole series. The only thing I would have liked is to have had the name of the character’s whose POV we were in. Even though the author did distinguish between them having their name at the beginning would have made it a bit easier for the reader.
Yesterday I asked the question on Twitter and Facebook what do people think are the key ingredients that make a good love story. The genre ‘love’ comes in many sub-categories now but the basic elements of a good love story should always be the same whether it be historical, contemporary, paranormal or any other in-between.
A couple of weeks ago I released a new novel, a love story which although set in the early noughties is still contemporary. The table below shows the results of the question I asked and as you can see Is This Love? has all the key ingredients that make a good love story. This story isn’t fluffy and light, the love isn’t all hearts and roses, in fact, it’s positively gritty as the characters are hewn from real life not carved from alabaster.
Check it out for yourself.
Read the first two chapter #free here: