Guest Post by Gabrielle Mullarkey | A Tale of Two Sisters

I’m delighted to welcome Gabrielle Mullarkey to Me, My Books and I today with a fab guest post.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Gabrielle MullarkeyGabrielle Mullarkey is a freelance journalist and author. She has written over 1,000 short stories for women’s magazines, ranging from Woman’s Own to that’s life! (Australia and UK), alongside writing opinion pieces for magazines. Since gaining her MSc in creative writing for therapeutic purposes in 2014, she works with writing groups for mental health charity Mind, and writes with and for patients at local hospices. For more on Gabrielle, visit www.gabriellemullarkey.co.uk

Praise for Gabrielle Mullarkey:

“Readers love Gabrielle’s fiction for its range – whether atmospheric mood pieces or contemporary slices of life, all revolve around imaginatively twisty plots packed with sassy dialogue, characters you feel you know and ‘I didn’t see that coming!’ moments.” best

GUEST POST

FORGET THE GRAPEVINE, I HEARD IT ON THE 453

Recently, someone asked me along to a pre-lunch writing workshop and launched into elaborate details about where I could park at the venue.

‘That’s OK,’ I said, ‘I’ll take the bus.’

I could tell by their surprise that they didn’t think this was very ‘writerly,’ prompting me to launch into a long, elaborate explanation about how I don’t have access to the car during the day, and so and so forth…

Which got me thinking about the writer in transit.

A big part of me thinks it would be quite ‘writerly’ to zip about in a natty runaround while composing sonnets at traffic lights.

But then, where would I jot down my inspired musings?

A bus or train trip isn’t about woolgathering for me. It’s about what Sigmund Freud called ‘paying attention to absentmindedness’. One minute you’re staring into space while someone else is responsible for watching the lights change, and the next minute, that space contains tiny tadpoles of ideas.

There’s something very restful about letting your mind and gaze wander, filing away images without even realising it – a person on a park bench, a woman pushing a bike uphill, a man crossing the road carrying a tuba…

There are pitfalls, of course. A friend of mine left a notebook of irreplaceable jottings on his local bus. And I can’t see Salman Rushdie or Barbara Taylor Bradford taking the 453 to Deptford bridge and reaching their destination with a fellow passenger’s drool festooning their shoulder.

But where else but public transport would you overhear so many gems? When I heard one woman tell another in scandalised tones, ‘but it’s always shepherd’s pie on a Tuesday!’, my brain duly filed away the remark, and a few months later, I sold a story to a magazine called Shepherd’s Pie Tuesday.

Now that is a very rich dividend indeed.

I doubt I’d be able to woolgather so richly while doing a fair impression of Chevy Chase trying to negotiate a roundabout in National Lampoon’s European Vacation. I’m what you’d call a nervous driver. Last time I reversed our modestly proportioned saloon car out of the driveway, I lost a wing mirror and gained a postman’s bicycle wheel, which didn’t do a whole lot for my nerves (or the postman’s).

That said, a friend did make an interesting point to me the other day – that they couldn’t imagine anything scarier than the blank screen or page waiting for the writer’s opening words.

‘Me too,’ I admitted.

‘So why put yourself through it?’ probed the friend.

I don’t have an answer to that, beyond reckoning that you might as well ask the same of actors who suffer stage fright before every performance, but feel compelled to follow their calling anyway.

Writing is a white-knuckle ride all the way to your destination, but you feel exhilarated when you arrive in one piece.

So for now, I’ll continue to eavesdrop on the 453 or shoehorned onto a Tube train in the rush hour – squashed toes and drool on shoulder being small prices to pay.

So be careful out there – somewhere nearby, a writer is listening!

Thank you for sharing Gabrielle, I love the idea of inspiring a writer without even knowing it!

Now check out Gabrielle’s latest book:

A TALE OF TWO SISTERS

A Tale of Two Sisters by Gabrielle Mullarkey cover

Bottom line – you don’t steal your sister’s boyfriend

Katie’s sister Flick is a mean girl. Whatever Katie has, Flick wants for herself. And she’ll take it just to prove she can. That’s why she stole Katie’s boyfriend, Steve, then dumped him two weeks later.

Now Katie is with Jack, and Flick is with Dan, so there’s no need for more sibling rivalry … but love and life between sisters is never that simple. If Katie and Dan hadn’t drunk too much that night, and if Flick didn’t make Katie so mad, maybe it would never have happened … if only Katie could remember exactly what had happened…”

A Tale of Two Sisters is a witty, heartwarming tale of romance, jealousy, the family we love, and the family we love to hate.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Tale-Two-Sisters-sisters-boyfriend-ebook/dp/B01CBUPHR2/

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Blog Tour Review And Giveaway | A Faerie Wedding by Stephanie Keyes

I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for A Faerie Wedding by Stephanie Keyes. You can find my reviews of previous books in The Star Child series here.

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Thank you to Jenny from Neverland Blog Tours for sending me the eBook to read and share my thoughts.

ABOUT THE BOOK

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A Faerie Wedding (The Star Child #4.5)

by Stephanie Keyes

Release Date: February 12, 2015 | Publisher: Inkspell Publishing

Genre: New Adult | Designer: Naj Qamber

“Gabe Stewart has everything he ever wanted. Mortal Earth is safe. He’s a super-hero Protector whose best friend is within telepathic shouting distance. And then there’s his soul-mate, Singer. He knew right away she was the one he’d been waiting for.

But Gabe’s world shatters when Singer professes she doesn’t love him. On top of that, his mother admits she’s been messing with his memory making him doubt everything he’s ever known. And just when it seems things can’t get any worse, his best friend in the whole freaking world, Kellen St. James, wants Gabe to stop being his Protector. Being a Protector is who Gabe is. What will happen if he’s not standing between the prince and danger?

When the man who’s sacrificed his freedom is faced with life alone, which path will he choose? Will he remain the last Protector? Or will he finally get the happy ending he deserves?”

*A Faerie Wedding is a companion novella–intended to be read after the other books in the series. It is a New Adult novella and features adult language and situations.

MY REVIEW

It had been a while since I had visited this magical world so I was little concerned that I’d struggle to fall into the storyline. I needn’t have worried because in no time at all I was wrapped up in what was going on in front of me.

Something that has always stuck in my mind about this series is how likeable the characters were and this book was no different. I wanted the best for all of them so when an unexpected twist came along I felt confused but intrigued to find out where it would lead.

For me, this wasn’t just a story about a wedding (as I had first thought it would be after reading the title) but also about self-discovery and finding your place in the world.

The author has a magical style of writing that makes the impossible seem possible and brings all sorts of weird and wonderful creatures to life!

This was a quick and enjoyable read. A fabulous addition to The Star Child series.

KEEP THE MAGICK GOING! 

Love The Star Child series, but want to hold a book in your hand? Want them all in one e-book? Pick up your copy of Into Faerie: The Star Child Novellas today!

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Amazon | Kobo | iTunes

CONNECT WITH THE AUTHOR

stephStephanie Keyes is the author of the YA Fantasy series, The Star Child, which includes The Star Child, After Faerie, The Fallen Stars, The Star Catcher, and The Last Protector. The Boy In The Trees, part of the Blood In The Shadows anthology, released in November 2015.

The Star Catcher won first place in the 2014 Dante Rossetti Young Adult Novel Awards—Mythological Category. The Star Child was a finalist in the 2015 BTS Magazine Reader’s Choice Awards. Keyes was also selected as a 2015 Rutgers University One-On-One Plus Conference mentee. She’s an active member of SCBWI.

Steph lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with Mr. Keyes, her boys, Hip-Hop and Bam-Bam, and dogs Duncan MacLeod and Princess Riley. Steph is a hopeless romantic and Whovian who’s shamelessly addicted to Nutella and spontaneous singing.

*Author photos courtesy of Kristina Serafini Photo

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Tumblr | Instagram

GIVEAWAYS

For your chance to win some fantastic prizes, click on the following links:

Giveaway 1: Just One More chapter necklace.

Just One More Chapter (1)

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/bf63305750/?

Giveaway 2: Woodland Earrings

Woodland Earrings (1)

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/bf63305751/?

(Please note, Me, My Books and I will not be responsible for sending the prizes to the winners)

BUY THE BOOK

Amazon | Kobo | iTunes

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These Days of Ours by Juliet Ashton

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Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Publication Date: eBook – 1 March 2016 | paperback – 7 April 2016

“Kate and Becca are cousins and best friends. They have grown up together and shared all the most important milestones in their lives: childhood birthday parties, eighteenth birthdays, and now a wedding day as they each marry their childhood sweethearts, Charlie and Julian.
 
Kate has always loved Charlie – they were meant to be. Then she discovers that life never turns out quite how you expect it to. And love doesn’t always follow the journey it should.
 
But best friends are forever, and true love will find a way, won’t it…?”

MY REVIEW

Firstly I’d like to thank the publisher for sending me this fabulous signed proof. There was a real buzz surrounding this book and I couldn’t wait to delve beneath the beautiful cover to find out more.

Getting to know Kate and Becca was lots of fun, they were great characters who kept me on my toes throughout – I should have known that when it came to a wedding, things wouldn’t be as they first appeared! This was a fab twist that really got me thinking.

The storyline took me through some major life events with a series of invitations (a brilliant touch) and inevitably some of those events were desperately sad and left me in tears.

As I was reading, I couldn’t shake the feeling that something wasn’t quite right and when it became apparent why I felt like that I was keen to find out where it would lead.

A very natural writing style meant I flew through the pages. The author had a wonderful way of delivering the unexpected and keeping me guessing.

This was a lovely read filled with characters who were easy to care for.

CONNECT WITH THE AUTHOR

Website | BlogTwitter

BUY THE BOOK

Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.com

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Behind Closed Doors by B.A Paris

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Publisher: Mira

Publication Date: 25 February 2016

“Everyone knows a couple like Jack and Grace. He has looks and wealth, she has charm and elegance. You might not want to like them, but you do.

You’d like to get to know Grace better. But it’s difficult, because you realise Jack and Grace are never apart.

Some might call this true love. Others might ask why Grace never answers the phone. Or how she can never meet for coffee, even though she doesn’t work. How she can cook such elaborate meals but remain so slim.

And why there are bars on one of the bedroom windows.”

MY REVIEW

Firstly I’d like to thank Midas PR for sending me this book to read and share my thoughts. I don’t often read thrillers, so when I do they really have to pique my interest. Behind Closed Doors certainly did that, I was coming up with scenarios in my mind before I had even opened the book!

Almost immediately I was struck by the dark undertone, I couldn’t quite put my finger on what was going on but I definitely had an uneasy feeling.

Jack and Grace’s relationship was difficult for me to fathom until the sickening truth was revealed, then my heart broke for a sweet character who deserved so much better.

I loved the way the author kept the suspense going throughout, even when I knew what was happening between the couple, there were still more discoveries to be made.

There were some truly sinister moments that made my heart beat faster and I must admit I found some scenes difficult to read. The whole concept of the storyline was just so believable in a horribly unbelievable way (if that makes any sense at all).

This was a chilling yet fascinating read, a brilliant debut!

CONNECT WITH THE AUTHOR

B.A Paris is from a Franco/Irish background. She was brought up in England and worked in London for three years before moving to Paris, where she spent some years working in corporate banking and as a trader in an international bank. After the birth of her first daughter, she became a stay-at-home mum and went on to have another three daughters. She spent four years in the Netherlands, where her fifth daughter was born. She returned to France in 2000 and in 2003, decided to re-train as an English teacher.

She worked for some years in an international school and then at the Université de Marne la Vallée, teaching English to Architecture students. In 2009 she set up a language school with her husband and now teaches Business English in Paris. Her inspiration for Behind Closed Doors came when she suspected that someone she knew wasn’t allowed to do as she wished, that there was an element of control involved. From there, B.A came up with Grace’s story.

Twitter (@BAParisAuthor)

BUY THE BOOK

Amazon.co.ukBook Depository

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Book Spotlight | Thirst: Blood of my Blood by R P Channing

Today I’m back with another fab book in the spotlight:

Book Title - Thirst Blood of my Blood

by R P Channing.

THE BOOK

Thirst by R P Channing Cover

~ Kira Sutherland ~

After a near fatal accident (and getting cheated on by her ‘boyfriend’), and beating up the lead cheerleader (with whom the boyfriend cheated…), and being labeled as having ‘issues’ in her school because she, uhm, sees ghosts, Kira is left with two choices:

  1. Continue her ‘therapy’ (where she’s told the ghost is a hallucination and also gets her legs ogled too often…)

Or

  1. Go to Starkfield Academy, a boarding school for “Crazies and Convicts” (as the social media sites call them.)

She chooses the latter…

~ Cory Rand ~

Cory Rand has not had an easy life. His mother died in a car accident when he was twelve, and so did his mother’s best friend…sort of. You see, Janice made a promise to take care of Cory just before she died, and so she lingers. Undead. A ghost that watches out for him.

Brought up in an abusive home, Cory quickly falls into a life of disreputable behavior. After his third offense (which was prompted by a girl, as usual – he has a weakness) he’s left with two choices:

  1. Be tried as an adult and share a cell with a guy named Bubba (he thinks…)

Or

  1. Go to Starkfield Academy, which Cory is pretty sure is run by vampires. But, hey, at least he’ll get an education.

He chooses the latter…

It’s at Starkfield that Kira meets Cory Rand, a boy with an insatiable Rage who sees ghosts, too. As well as other things, other things from his past, things that confuse him, things like fire and witches and demons.

Things he’s always ignored.

Until now.”

EXCERPT

The Puppy Eyes

My life was perfect.

I had the perfect shoes and the perfect friends and I lived in the perfect house. My nails were perfect and my hair was perfect (except on Sundays, it was always windy on Sundays) and I had the perfect clothes. My lips were a perfect red and my hair perfectly straight. My eyeshadow was perfect, my hips were…okay, and my waist…well…also okay. Nothing was wrong in my life.

But then there was Jack.

Jack was a problem.

He needed to go. I mean, when you’re dead, you’re dead! I had told him this endlessly. Somehow, Jack didn’t get it. I mean, I felt sorry for the guy. Sure. Being stuck between this life and the next. But just because I found him, does that mean I needed to keep him?

I think not!

Sadly, when Jack got that look in his eyes, that weary, almost teary (if his tear-ducts worked) look, I melted. I just couldn’t send him away. Not even Jack knew where he would go after he died.

Would he, like, die? As in — dead, nada, kaput, finito, gone, no more? Bye bye, sayonara, ciao, hasta la vista baby and all that?

I couldn’t have that on my conscience. No way.

I lay on my bed, wondering what to do about him. “Jaaaaaaack,” I hollered.

“Jaaaaaaack!”

Still no answer.

“Jack!”

Jack…materialized.

His eyes rolled down to the ground. He was making those puppy eyes again. “Jack, I told you not to do that. I told you not to play on my sympathies.”

His puppy eyes became worse.

His skin was gray and, well, dead.

“Oh, brother,” I said. “I have to do something about you. If mom finds out I have another ‘imaginary friend’ — at my age — well, I’d die of embarrassment. But, like, really die. Not like you.” I wondered about this. Would I die? Was Jack a freak accident, or did all people live on like him? Think of the cemeteries…

The idea excited me somewhat.

“What would you have me do, Miss Kira?”

“Knock off the Miss Kira crap. I told you it’s just Kira.”

“Yes, Miss Kira.”

The dead. There’s just no reasoning.

“Fine, Miss Kira it is then.” Rover barked like a lunatic in the garden. No one else might be able to see Jack, but I was sure my dog could.

“I have to do something about this,” I mumbled.

CONNECT WITH THE AUTHOR

R P Channing started writing three years ago, but never published anything even after churning out over a million words of fiction. Thirst: Blood of my Blood is the first book he dared to publish. When asked why, he said, “Because it’s the first thing I wrote that my wife actually enjoyed reading.” When not hammering away (most literally) at his keyboard, he can be found buried in a book, reading anything from romance to horror to young adult to non-fiction to comedy.

Website | Twitter | Amazon

BUY THE BOOK

Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.com

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Time to Say Goodbye by S.D. Robertson #SayGoodbye

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Publisher: Harpercollins UK, Avon

Publication Date: 11 February 2016

“HOW DO YOU LEAVE THE PERSON YOU LOVE THE MOST?

Will Curtis’s six-year-old daughter, Ella, knows her father will never leave her. After all, he promised her so when her mother died. And he’s going to do everything he can to keep his word.

What Will doesn’t know is that the promise he made to his little girl might be harder to keep than he imagined. When he’s faced with an impossible decision, Will finds that the most obvious choice might not be the right one.

But the future is full of unexpected surprises. And father and daughter are about to embark on an unforgettable journey together . . .”

MY REVIEW

Firstly I’d like to thank the publisher for approving my NetGalley request for this eBook. I had already taken part in the cover reveal and couldn’t wait to find out more about the book everyone was talking about!

The very first line pulled me in and raised all sorts of questions which, thankfully, were answered as I continued to read.

In a strange way the storyline felt so far from reality but at the same time so so real. Not being around to help your children grow up – isn’t that every parents biggest fear? I know it’s mine.

There were some humorous moments which I hadn’t expected at all, nothing over the top, just little things like not saying the ‘G-word’ and trying to recreate a movie moment. I liked these because they lightened the mood a little.

I can’t write this review without mentioning the tears because there were plenty of them. It was impossible not to put myself in Will’s shoes and that meant I felt everything. Every frustration, every loss, every heartache – pretty much every emotion you can think of when you’ve lost the most precious people in your life. There were even tears of happiness during some of the most touching parts of the storyline!

This was a heartpoundingly beautiful read. It left me looking at life and death from a completely different perspective.

CONNECT WITH THE AUTHOR

Website | Twitter | Facebook

BUY THE BOOK

Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.com

kate1

Book Spotlight | Debt by Rachel Dunning

Today’s spotlight is a sneak peek at Rachel Dunning’s latest standalone novel, Debt which is due to be released on 30 March 2016.

THE BOOK

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The Debt Collector

I pay my debts, and I expect others to.

I was raised in the slums of London, I knew nothing of privilege. My father was murdered when I was seventeen. Morty figured my father’s passing meant I would automatically take on dad’s debts. I refused.

And I paid for that refusal.

So did my sister.

So now I fight. All I know how to do is fight. The best cash is in the states, so that’s where I am now. A big fish called Vito came along offering me a “favor” when I arrived.

Another debt.

I paid for that one too.

I knew Kyla Hensley would be trouble when I met her. But I wanted her. I could see through the falsehood of her wannabe-slutty clothes and her sexy legs. So I chased her.

Besides, trouble is my middle name.

Kyla Hensley

I was brought up in privilege, but I lacked everything else. My father is a business tycoon who buys and sells and doesn’t care who gets rolled over in the process.

I never knew my mother, and all I have of her is a photo with a note scrawled on the back in French saying “I’m sorry.” The only Female Figure I had growing up is my dad’s wife who is a bleach blond with seven boob jobs. We never bonded.

I drink. I party. I meet guys.

But I wasn’t always like that.

I’ve had a string of lovers in the last few years, the worst and most recent of which was Vince Somerset. My best friend Vera was dating a guy called Rory Cansoom who is the opposite of Vince in so many ways, and yet so the same.

She and I hit the road for the summer, getting away from the two college psychos and just trying to have some fun.

But there’s a funny thing about trouble, the more you run from it, the more it finds you.

Which is when I met the Debt Collector.

It was only supposed to be sex. He made that clear. I made that clear.

That’s all it was supposed to be.

I never expected to fall in love. I never expected to fall so deeply, madly, uncomfortably in love with a man who is wrong, so wrong for me.

And yet…so unbelievably right.”

Not intended for readers under the age of seventeen.

EXCERPT

~Kyla~

I push my head back against the wall, not sure what’s coming, but not fighting it either.

“Who are you?” he repeats.

“I…I don’t know what you mean.”

“I see you at a bar in Texas, then I look for you all over Nashville. And suddenly you’re at my side in a hospital, following me into this warehouse. Who are you?”

“I didn’t follow you into the warehouse. You needed to pick up your truck, and you were stumbling.”

“So?”

“So I wanted to make sure you were OK.”

“And?”

And I want you to take my clothes off and I want us to live happily ever after. “That’s it.”

Logan grins, a deadly look for him with his dimples. “Don’t do that,” I say.

“What?”

“Smile.”

“Why not?”

Because you’re beautiful. “Just don’t.”

CONNECT WITH THE AUTHOR

rachel-dunning-profile-pictureRachel Dunning hit the scene in August 2013 and is the author of the highly praised Naive Mistakes Series, Truthful Lies Trilogy, Johnny Series and the paranormal romance series, Mind Games.

A prolific writer, she sticks to stories where Alpha Males aren’t pricks and where women have guts.

She’s lived on two different continents, speaks three different languages, and met the love of her life on the internet. In other words, romance is in her blood.

Website/Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | Goodreads

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BUY THE BOOK

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon Canada | Amazon Australia | iTunes | Nook / B&N | Smashwords | Goodreads

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