The Half-Life of Hannah by Nick Alexander

Published by Black & White Publishing in May 2014

“When thirty-eight year old Hannah convinces her husband Cliff to rent a villa in the south of France, she’s expecting nothing more than a pleasant few weeks in the sun with her beloved eleven year old son Luke, her sister Jill and their gay friend Tristan.

Despite a few wobbles along the way, Hannah has always thought that her marriage to Cliff is reassuringly stable. But when a ghost from the past makes an appearance at the villa, she is forced to question everything she’s ever believed about her life. As the tension simmers and tempers flare, Hannah is torn – she has been living a lie, but is she brave enough to make a life-changing decision and allow herself a happily ever after?”


Firstly I’d like to thank ED Public Relations for sending me this book to read and share my honest opinion. I must admit that, while I thought it sounded like a good read, I wasn’t prepared for just how much I would enjoy it!

I felt as though I knew Hannah and her family pretty much after the first couple of pages, the writing style made me feel involved and also made each character and scene easy to visualise.

Hannah’s life was predictable and normal I guess, I could tell that part of her wanted to break free but I could also tell that she was too scared to follow her heart. Her unhappiness was palpable and I desperately hoped she would make the decision that I wanted her to make.

Being set in the south of France gave the storyline a fresh, summery feeling. Even when shocking secrets were being revealed, it still managed to hang on to that lovely holiday mood.

I seriously struggled to put this book down and, for the first time in ages, I stayed up until after midnight reading. I can’t wait to get stuck into the sequel Other Halves.

This was an honest, real and drama-filled read that captivated me right up to the very last word!


Website | Twitter | Facebook


Author Interview With Mark Daydy

Today I’m delighted to welcome Mark Daydy to Me, My Books and I.

Mark Daydy - writer pic

I was born in London, England and have a great passion for the incredible history of my home city. Earlier this year I was lucky enough to get the job of writing the audio commentary for a major London tourist bus operator’s network, which tells visitors stories about the Tower of London, Buckingham Palace and 300 other points of interest.

But back to my main job! Over the past 20 years, I’ve written extensively for radio and television (for both children and adults). This year, my sitcom series The Best Laid Plans ran on BBC Radio Four in the UK. I’m now developing a TV sitcom which has been optioned by NBC-Universal.

While I have an agent for my media work, I’m just getting started as an author. I have around six books planned and have enjoyed getting the process up and running with The Girl Who Lived By The River. To me, it feels like a great time to be an indie author and I’ve enjoyed the past week setting up my first website and Facebook author page. I’ve also joined Twitter, which I guess brings me up to date (unless the world has moved on again).

To find out more:

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Page break

Hi Mark,

Where did the idea for The Girl Who Lived By The River come from?

A few years ago, my work took me to Canary Wharf in London. It’s an amazing place, like a smaller-scale Manhattan, but I knew the area before the office blocks went up. Looking out over the water, I had this really powerful urge to tell how a previous generation lived, loved and laughed despite the dying days of the old docks. I just knew there was a feel-good story with lots of humour and a few tears as well waiting to be told. I think it’s the great challenge for a comedy writer like myself – to move beyond the confines of sitcom and embrace the emotional depth that novel-writing offers.

Why did you start writing?

When I was twelve, our English teacher made us write a novella. Like most of the class, I thought it would be a chore, but much to my surprise I loved the whole process. I won 2nd prize with Trapped On Mars, but much more importantly, I was bitten by the bug.

Who was your favourite character to write and why?

Tom, the main character. His search for certainty in his life could have carried a dozen stories. Having him fall in love, make embarrassing mistakes and struggle with the business of growing up was a joy to write.

Why did you decide to break the story up into four parts?

Each part takes place in a different year, so there’s a slight change in tone as Tom grapples with growing up. It could also be my TV and radio background as these would be the natural breaks in a four-part comedy-drama.

Is any part of The Girl Who Lived By The River based on your own personal experiences?

Only the embarrassing parts. No, I’m kidding. I think it was more about the possibilities offered by the character, time and place, rather than specific things I did at Tom’s age. That said, like Tom, I did play guitar quite badly.

What makes your novel stand out from the crowd?

The Girl Who Lived By The River is a story with a big heart, lots of humour and an authentic setting. I think, sometimes, comedy writers under-develop the emotional side of a story and don’t always offer a setting that goes beyond the one-dimensional. My story takes place around the time London’s docks were closing – a great collision of past, present and hopes for the future. What better place to set a heartfelt comedy about friends, family and first love?

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

You mean there are other things I could do? But seriously – I do love to read, listen to music, walk, relax with family, occasionally see friends or do a spot of gardening.

Who is the most interesting person you’ve ever met?

I’m always meeting interesting people and everyone has a story to tell. I don’t think anyone can be interesting 24/7 though and I know a few well-known actors who love to switch off and become uninteresting so that they can do ordinary things for a while. Before I started to earn a living as a professional writer, I worked as a cab driver. I once picked up Benny Hill and enjoyed the most interesting half-hour of stories about his younger days in the army, driving his inconsiderate commanding officer around and so on. At the time I met him, a year before his death, Benny was known all around the world, and yet he was happy to share stories with me that hardly anyone knew. Oh, and we had to stop so he could buy some milk.

Paperback or eBook?

I’ve always had hundreds of books in the house. However, about a year ago I got a Kindle. I already have over fifty e-books on it, which suggests there might be a revolution in progress.

Dogs or cats?

Impossible to choose. I’ve had both as pets (at the same time, too) and there are infinite plusses on both sides. If anyone has small children, I’d recommend a couple of guinea pigs as pets. They are fab.

Any last words for your readers?

Why not take the journey with me. Parts 2, 3 and 4 will be available very soon and I’ll be publishing more books in the near future. I’ve just launched my own website and if you sign up for the newsletter (your email address only), you’ll get news of my books, my thoughts on writing, and behind-the-scenes news from my adventures in TV and radio. Currently, I have a sitcom that has been optioned by NBC-Universal, so why not join me to see how that plays out?

Thank you so much for answering my questions Mark, it was a pleasure to have you on my blog. I particularly enjoyed reading about your cab journey with Benny Hill!

Page break

Now check out the book:


“A hilarious, heart-warming tale of first love

If you’ve ever experienced the joys and agonies of growing up (well, who hasn’t!) – then travel back to 1975 and meet Tom Alder whose life would be just perfect if only he had a girlfriend, some guitar skills and a family without quite so many skeletons in the closet.

The Girl Who Lived By The River is a laugh-out-loud tale of life, love and growing up told in four parts, from 1975 to 1978. This is Part One: 1975.” |

Author Interview With Robert Eggleton

Today I’m delighted to welcome Robert Eggleton to Me, My Books and I.


Robert Eggleton has served as a children’s advocate for over forty years. He is best known for his investigative reports about children’s programs, most of which were published by the West Virginia Supreme Court where he worked from 1982 through 1997. Today, he is a recently retired psychotherapist from the mental health center in Charleston, West Virginia. Rarity from the Hollow is his debut novel and its release followed publication of three short Lacy Dawn Adventures in magazines: Wingspan Quarterly, Beyond Centauri, and Atomjack Science Fiction. Author proceeds have been donated to a child abuse prevention program operated by Children’s Home Society of West Virginia.

To find out more:

Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter

Page break

Hi Robert. Thank you for agreeing to this interview.

You’re welcome, Kate. Thanks for the opportunity to tell your readers about myself and my debut novel, Rarity from the Hollow.

Where did the idea for Rarity from the Hollow come from?

Rarity from the Hollow is A Children’s Story for Adults – a social science fiction novel that crosses genres and not intended for the prudish or fainthearted. In a nutshell, during a sometimes tragic but mostly comical story, a traumatized little girl learns to be the Savior of the Universe by first addressing the mental health treatment needs of her family and friends. Author proceeds have been donated to a child abuse prevention program in my home state.

The idea for Rarity from the Hollow can be attributed to my work as an advocate of children’s rights for the last forty years. In 1977, I earned a Master’s degree in Social Work from West Virginia University. In 2002, I began working as a children’s psychotherapist in an intensive day program at our local mental health center.

One day at work in 2006, during a group therapy session, I met a skinny little girl who had been severely abused by a very mean daddy. She sat a few seats away from me around a table used for written therapeutic exercises. Rather than focusing on her victimization, she spoke of dreams for the future – a loving family which would respect her, a permanent home, and feeling safe. She was inspiring. I was moved.

The idea for the Lacy Dawn Adventures project ripened that day – an empowered female protagonist from an impoverished family beating the evil forces that victimize and exploit others to get anything and everything that it wants. Rarity from the Hollow is the first full-length adventure in a prospective series preceded by three short adventures published by magazines.

How do you decide on names for your characters?

The protagonist of all Lacy Dawn Adventures, obviously, is named Lacy Dawn. She was named by my wife, Rita. After coming home from work that day in 2006, the day that I’ve already told you about when the project was conceived, my wife and I discussed names for the protagonist. Rita had read my fiction for years and was very supportive.

The next day we both went to work as usual but with an assignment in the back of our minds – to name the protagonist. Rita June is now a retired Chemist. Maybe she had more down-time at work that day than me because by the time we both got home from work, Lacy Dawn had been born. Rita explained that since the protagonist’s mother didn’t have much money to buy pretty things for her daughter that she would at least give her a very pretty name at birth.

Lacy Dawn’s best friend in Rarity from the Hollow was named to incorporate a metaphor – Faith is not dead. Faith was killed early in the story, murdered by her own father during a rage, but returns as a ghost to play a valuable role in saving the universe. Brownie, the family mutt, was named to incorporate a pun that I’m not going to spoil for readers. Similarly, DotCom, the android, was named for a satirical and comical metaphor about Capitalism that I also don’t want to spoil, although some prospective readers may already know because it was disclosed in an excerpt release and mentioned in a book review.

The rest of the characters in Rarity from the Hollow, main and supporting, were named for real-life people. To ensure proper character development, I would use role models and then accentuate or minimize their attributes in the fiction. I have been a professional social worker for over forty years. This work has involved interacting with a lot of “characters” – “street” people, homeless folks, those who had mental illnesses or addictions, as well as, corporate leaders, business owners, supportive and abusive family members, governmental authorities, legislators, rich benefactors and food stamp recipients of all ages, races, genders…. If Sears still produced a catalogue, it would run out of pages before I could blurb about all of the characters inside my head.        

What do you hope readers will learn from Rarity from the Hollow?

My hope is that readers of Rarity from the Hollow will learn to take a few moments to listen to their own hearts and minds, and to act accordingly. I don’t write or want to read anything that is “preachy.” Heck, I don’t even think that religious literature, like the pamphlets that one finds on the floors of public toilet stalls, should be so preachy. I wouldn’t want to touch such content, even if it would have been delivered under more sanitary conditions. I want to write about important issues that one person may think support a particular position but the next reader finds the opposite. I don’t have the answers to the most important questions and challenges that humans face.

Your question reminds me of a line from Rarity from the Hollow that a reviewer had pulled out and posted on a blog because she thought that it was significant for some reason:

A person can know everything, but still not have a true answer to an actual question.

The narrative of Rarity from the Hollow addressed social issues: poverty, domestic violence, child maltreatment, local and intergalactic economics, mental health concerns – including PTSD experienced by Veterans and the medicinal use of marijuana for treatment of Bipolar Disorder, Capitalism, and touched on the role of Jesus: “Jesus is everybody’s friend, not just humans.” These messages do not advocate for anything specific. They are not actually learning content, except by exposure of the reader to the issues. In my opinion, it is critical that such messages be in every piece of literature, even comics and erotica, but each of us have to find truths within our own hearts and minds.

One of my personal truths is that enough is not being done to prevent child abuse / exploitation in the world. Author proceeds from the Lacy Dawn Adventures project have been donated to Children’s Home Society of West Virginia:

Is any part of Rarity from the Hollow based on your own personal experiences?

Yes, a great deal of Rarity from the Hollow was based on my own personal experiences, including my heart-felt experiences as a children’s advocate for more than four decades. To fully answer your question would produce an autobiography that none of your readers would likely read. So, instead, I’ll exemplify how my personal experiences tied into the story.

I was born into an impoverished family in West Virginia in 1951. My alcoholic and occasionally abusive father suffered from PTSD. He had been captured by the Nazis during WWII and had night terrors. Lacy Dawn’s father, Dwayne, was a Gulf War Vet who experienced night terrors, and was as abusive when intoxicated. Both fathers were so disabled that they couldn’t hold down jobs, also incorporated into Rarity from the Hollow.

My own mother, and Lacy Dawn’s mother, Jenny, did the best they could, but each experienced low self esteem, in part, attributable to rotting out teeth due to lack of access to dental care. This personal experience was also incorporated into Rarity from the Hollow.

I believe that my answer supports the practice of consumers reading author interviews before buying a book. Some scenes just can’t be faked by substituting research or imagination for personal experience.   

I completely agree! Do you follow a plan when you are writing or do you let the story guide you?

Yes, I plan my stories. Rarity from the Hollow became the novel that exists today exactly as planned, in detail. However, in this day and age of fanfic and formula products, a little qualification of my answer would more fully answer your question. Fiction cannot always be measured when a reader has turned the last page of a novel. In my opinion, good fiction prompts a mental integration process whereby the story soaks in and subsequently affects the reader in immeasurable ways for many years, perhaps without that person’s awareness or attribution of source.   

As an author, I know where I want to go when writing. I detail steps toward what I want to achieve in each scene and build toward a preplanned plot. While I consider other factors, such as target audience, the one-book-after-another busy schedule of book reviewers who may not have enough time to invest in contemplating convolutions of a story, and a host of other factors, I do not write toward markets or book reviewers. Rarity from the Hollow was not intended to be a quick and easy read with a standard straight forward plot line, on purpose. I’ve written other stuff that was intended as such, on purpose.

I start a story with one very general outline consisting of three parts: beginning (bunch of blank space), middle (more blank space), and end. I scribble notes that I use for reference instead of for control of my writing. I have pens and notepads handy in every room of my house, and even take something to write with when I go out, such as to a restaurant. My scribbles fill in the blanks of the outline, and are always subject to modification. 

If you could travel anywhere in the world to do research for a book where would it be?

Since we’ve never been able to afford travel, I’d bet that I could come up with a great story wherever and anywhere that I would visit. If anybody would like to fund travel for such a research purpose, email me and we’ll work out a deal. How about Greece? Its economy is in big trouble, and I’m used to being broke – sounds like a great fit. I could write a novel called Rarity from Mount Olympus about an ancient god intervening before humans blow up the planet with high-tech religious warfare.

Are there any occupational hazards to being an author?

Since being an Author is not an actual occupation for most authors, a more common question might be whether being an author presents hazards to one’s occupation. I recently retired and being an author has presented a hazard to me – poverty. At this time, I’ve spent the last four months as a more than full-time author. I’m broke and will need to get at least a part-time job soon. Before that, I worked full-time while writing after work. There was minor hazard from going to work with inadequate sleep.  

Authors do face potentially serious psychological hazards in this highly competitive marketplace. It’s not an “occupation” for anybody who is easily worked up or high strung. Not everybody in cyberspace is nice, or supportive. Here’s an example:

Rarity from the Hollow got a one star review by a woman (gender assumed) on a site. The review was two sentences long. The woman posted that she didn’t like the novel because it was a “war story.” It was obvious that this person had not read Rarity from the Hollow because the only thing gunshot in the story was an imitation Barbie doll used as target practice by neighbor boys – a metaphor of the impact of poverty on the self-esteem of children. No sentient being in the story was intentionally killed, but a few cockroaches were accidentally stepped on in one scene. There was no war.

The review was up on the site for a couple of weeks, and then disappeared. However, this woman’s one star rating stands and still affects the overall rating that prospective readers see when they consider what to read. Deletion of the obviously fake review made the situation worse because there is now no basis for the low rating to compare to the five star reviews that have been posted on the site.

You asked about hazards to being an author. I just described the most critical – psychological distress. I could give you a few more examples of it based on my own experiences, but I could also give you examples of very kind and helpful strangers that I’ve met on this adventure so far – you are one, and thank you again for this interview.

Thank you so much Robert, it was a pleasure to have you on my blog. I particularly enjoyed reading about how you planned your novel.

Page break

Now check out the book:

rarity from the hollo

“Lacy Dawn is a true daughter of Appalachia, and then some. She lives in a hollow with her worn-out mom, her Iraq War disabled dad, and her mutt Brownie, a dog who’s very skilled at laying fiber optic cable. Lacy Dawn’s android boyfriend has come to the hollow with a mission. His equipment includes infomercial videos of Earth’s earliest proto-humans from millennia ago. He was sent by the Manager of the Mall on planet Shptiludrp (Shop ’till You Drop): he must recruit Lacy Dawn to save the Universe in exchange for the designation of Earth as a planet which is eligible for continued existence within a universal economic structure that exploits underdeveloped planets for their mineral content. Lacy Dawn’s magic enables her to save the universe, Earth, and, most importantly, her own family.” | | Dog Horn Publishing

Drive Me Crazy by Portia MacIntosh

        Published by Carina in June 2015.

It was supposed to be the trip of a lifetime…

In reality it was a business trip, prettied up as a romantic mini break, but the man behind the wheel was meant to be Candice Hart’s boss and (married but separated, I swear!) lover. Not Danny the new guy!

Not only is Candice faced with a new driver, but the office’s far too handsome hipster expects her to share the cramped space inside his “fully” restored VW Beetle, aka The Love Bug, and put up with his constant opinions about her life…

Before long she is tired of playing the ‘good girl’ and, with Danny’s help, is determined to finally show the world the real Candice Hart!”


First of all I’d like to thank the author for sending me this eBook to read and share my honest review. I’m quite a fan of Portia’s writing (you can read my previous reviews here) so I was looking forward to finding out what she had in store for me next!

The author’s familiar, fun writing style captured my attention quickly and really brought the characters to life. I immediately took a liking to Candice which made reading about her situation difficult for me. You know that feeling when it’s so obvious someone is making a mistake but you know they’ll never listen or make a change if you told them that fact – frustrating!

Danny was brilliant, I loved his carefree attitude and confident demeanour. I also loved the way he brought out a different side to Candice, it was clear he annoyed her but she definitely seemed more relaxed around him.

A big bump in the road (sorry, I couldn’t resist) changed things dramatically for Candice, the giant bubble she’d been living in had finally burst. It was a tough time for her but I was pleased it had happened – I admit to a ” yesssss” as the truth came out. I couldn’t wait for the work trip to get underway after this little blip, I had a feeling it was going to be quite a ride!

There were some really funny moments: permanent reminders of a drunken night out, drama at the roadside, a very awkward surprise homecoming, unplanned public nudity and pug smuggling to name just a few.

I think there’s an important lesson to be learnt from this book – never try to change yourself just to please someone else, if a person truly loves you it’ll be for you, not an unrealistically improved version of you.

This was a fun read with lots of laugh out loud moments, another hit from Portia MacIntosh!


Tumblr | Twitter | Facebook


Author Interview With Margaret K. Johnson

Today I’m delighted to welcome Margaret K. Johnson to Me, My Books and I.


I live in the beautiful city of Norwich in Norfolk, UK with my partner, our nine-year-old son and our super bouncy rescue dog, Billy. I started writing after leaving art college with the idea of funding my career as an artist, and was immediately hooked. These days writing is my major passion and my canvasses lie neglected in the studio, although I do still like to dabble in collage from time to time.  I’m a great believer in doing thorough research for my books, and have challenged myself to do such things as abseiling, a tree-top assault course and stand-up comedy in aid of authenticity.

Three of my original fiction readers for people learning to speak English have been finalists for Language Learner Literature Awards, and I’m currently waiting to find out if Kilimanjaro will be a winner! I find out in August, and I’m getting excited!

I have an MA in Creative Writing (Script Writing) from the University of East Anglia, and I’m also an experienced adult education tutor. I’ve recently launched WriteUP courses which are fiction writing courses combined with confidence-building activities to make you creatively confident. What with this and two novels – A Nightingale In Winter (Omnific Publishing) and Taming Tom Jones (Crooked Cat Publishing) coming out in the summer, life is very exciting for me at the moment!

To find out more:

Website/Blog | Facebook | Twitter

Page break

Hi Margaret,

Where did the idea for A Nightingale In Winter come from?

I came across a wonderful book by Lynn MacDonald called The Roses of No Man’s Land about volunteer nurses (VADs) in World War 1. It was filled with extracts from the diaries of VADs, doctors and also some journalists, and these extracts really brought the people in the book to life. They also made me want to find out more, and I went to the Imperial War Museum in London to read some of the actual diaries – this was so thrilling. Gradually the idea of a volunteer nurse who had run away to France to escape some trauma of her past began to grow in my mind, as did the idea of a journalist who was thoroughly disenchanted with the need to abide by the strict rules of censorship when reporting from the Front.

Who designed the cover and why did you go for that particular design?

The cover was designed by my publisher, Omnific Publishing, but they negotiated with me. It was very different to the cover I expected the book to have, I must admit, but I love it! The song of a nightingale of the title plays an important part in the growing relationship between my hero, Dirk and my heroine, Eleanor, as do the misty, mysterious woods. It’s almost as if the battle smoke has drifted in, but there’s hope in the glowing light.

Who was your favourite character to write and why?

I loved writing them all, but I did particularly enjoy writing the character of the soldier and artist Leo Cartwright, because he was so ruthless and evil! There are reasons why he’s turned out this way though, and my challenge was to make the reader empathise with these, even if they couldn’t approve of some of the things he did.

What makes A Nightingale In Winter stand out from the crowd?

A Nightingale in Winter is about personal struggles and a need to face up to difficult truths at a time when the world has gone crazy. In a way, the war is an opportunity – especially for Eleanor, my volunteer nurse – to fulfil a potential that would never, otherwise have seen the light of day. The fact that she also has to decide whether she can find the courage to accept love and also to deal with the ruthless Leo deepen her challenges.

Why did you choose to write in your particular genre?

I normally write contemporary women’s fiction, but I’ve always been drawn to the First World War because it is so very moving. When I discovered The Roses of No Man’s Land, I was drawn in even more. Interestingly, A Nightingale in Winter shares the same theme as one of my contemporary novels, The Goddess Workshop – You can’t move forward in life of really fulfil your potential until you have dealt with the issues of your past.

Do you follow a plan when you are writing or do you let the words guide you?

I have to know my characters, the beginning, the ending and a few touch stones along the way. Then, when I’ve written about 20,000 words, I normally brainstorm scenes onto post-it notes and arrange them so that I have a plan for the rest of the book. At this stage too, I think of a sentence to describe the theme – as above. I find this really helps me, as I can hang everything to it.

Do you have any amusing writing stories to share with us?

Not really amusing, just a bit incredible really, and I hope inspiring. I lost confidence with A Nightingale in Winter after I’d finished it and put it up in the attic for sixteen years! It was only the 100th anniversary of the First World War starting that prompted me to get it down again. When I read through it again after all that time, I could see exactly how I needed to change it to make it work, and I was also really encouraged because I liked so much of it a lot. So it just goes to show, it’s never too late – although I don’t recommend waiting for sixteen years to write your second draft!

What are your favourite and least favourite parts of promoting your book?

I hate all the “buy my book” tweets on Twitter, and don’t want to do those at all. I do need to do some publicity for my books on there though, so it’s a question of getting the balance right.

Where is your favourite place to be when you’re writing?

I seem to have developed the habit of doing the majority of my writing in my notebook early in the morning sitting up in bed with a giant cup of coffee. I do have an office though, and if I’m not teaching my creative writing courses, I type up the morning’s work after I get back from the school run and continue with it on my computer.

If you could travel anywhere in the world to do research for a book where would it be?

Australia and New Zealand or anywhere with a rain forest.


Paperback or eBook?

I read both, but paperbacks are better in the bath.

Tea or coffee?

Coffee every time.

Telephone or face to face?

Face-to-face – I like to look people in the eye!

Pen or pencil?

Pen, especially one that flows well. A lovely, brand-new black gel pen. Yum!

Vanilla or chocolate

Definitely chocolate!

Any last words for your readers?

I have another – very different – novel coming out in the Autumn (Taming Tom Jones with Crooked Cat Publishing). A Nightingale in Winter and Taming Tom Jones are both romances, but they’re very different books, and perhaps they represent different parts of me. They must do, I suppose, since I wrote them both! I’d be interested to know what your readers think about writers who write in different genres – whether it annoys or confuses them, or if they’re fine with it.

Thank you so much for being here today Margaret, it was a pleasure to have you on my blog. I particularly enjoyed reading about how A Nightingale in Winter had a long wait before being looked at again!

Page break

Now check out the book:

ANiW Final Cover

“It is 1916, and The Great War is raging throughout Europe. Eleanor Martin is traveling to France to serve as a volunteer nurse. She only wants to bury herself in her work on the Front and forget her traumatic past. But when her ship is torpedoed, Eleanor has to act quickly to save an American journalist’s life. As she cradles Dirk Loreson’s broken body in her arms, speaking to him to keep him conscious, the possibility of a whole different future begins to open up for her.

Leo Cartwright, an ambitious artist, is also en route to the Front. A ruthless man who will stop at nothing to find inspiration for his paintings, Leo’s path is destined to cross with Eleanor’s. As she comes under his spell, will she find the strength to resist his demands? Will she trust her growing love for Dirk?” |

Quintessentially Yours by Linn B Halton

Quintessentially Yours med

Published by Endeavour Press in August 2015.

“James Kingman’s world just got complicated. The love of his life, Katherine Dale, has just given birth to their first child. His troublesome business manager, Phillipa, is sexually harassing him at work. His boss proposes a partnership which would double his workload. With so much on his plate, how will James cope?

Plagued by the unexpected exhaustion of having a baby who suffers from colic, he tries his best to hold his family together. Despite growing up without a mother and a neglectful father, James is a natural-born father.

Katherine, however, is struggling. Dejected and rejected, Katherine battles with her hormones as her writing career begins to slip away from her. She not only doubts her capabilities as a writer but as a mother too. Katherine confides in James’ boss, the enigmatic and world-famous astrologer, Mark Ainsley-Thomas, and he puts her in touch with his agent. Things start to look up for the writer, as her latest work attracts attention from several publishers, but her trips to Mark’s hotel attract attention too…

Suspicion is aroused and photographs are snapped.

Is there any truth to last year’s rumours of an affair between the pair? If not, then why is Katherine visiting Mark in secret? Will James be able to resist the advances of his seductive colleague?

Will the tangled trio be able to avoid scandal in the stars?”


Firstly I’d like to thank the author for sending me this eBook to read and share my honest opinion. This is the sequel to Under The Stars (my review of which can be found here) but it can also be read as a standalone romcom.


Catching up with Katherine and James was like meeting up with old friends again after a long break, their lives had changed quite dramatically (as it always does when a baby comes along) and I was keen to see how they would cope with the changes. Their story was retold beautifully in the first few pages so I was easily able to slip back into their world.

Linn captured the mood of the first few months of parenthood perfectly. Those days of joy blended with utter exhaustion and confusion were described with such honesty, for me it really brought the characters emotions to life. Seeing as it hasn’t been long since I had our little one I found myself nodding along at some of the day-to-day struggles that Katherine was coping (or not coping) with. I really felt for her and could sense how overwhelmed she was, there were many times that I just wanted to reach into the book and give her a hug.

No.4 (the cat) was a favourite of mine from the first book so I was pleased to see him making his second appearance. He even managed to save the day on one occasion, what a hero!

There was a very interesting side to the storyline which involved book publishing, this was something I particularly enjoyed as, being a book blogger, I usually only see the finished (or nearly finished) product. I felt like I was being given a behind the scenes peek at everything that comes first.

As with other books from this author there were a couple of moments that gave me goosebumps, I love the way Linn manages to weave spiritual elements into her storylines.

This was a touching read, one that really struck a chord within me – a great sequel!


Website/Blog | Twitter | FacebookLoveahappyending Lifestyle emagazineLinn’s Books on Amazon


Author Interview With Joni Parker

Today I’m delighted to welcome Joni Parker to Me, My Books and I for the second time!


Although Joni currently lives in Texas, she was born in Chicago, lived in Japan, graduated high school in Phoenix, and got married in New Jersey. Not only was she married to a career Navy sailor, but she also completed 22 years of active duty service in the Navy. After her husband passed away, she returned to the work force until she discovered her love of writing. Her first series, “The Seaward Isle Saga” included 3 books, “The Black Elf of Seaward Isle,” “Tangled Omens,” and “Blood Mission,” as well as a short novella, “The Island Game: The Inside Story of Seaward Isle.” Her latest fantasy novel is called, “Spell Breaker: The Chronicles of Eledon Book One.”

To find out more:

Website/Blog | Facebook | Twitter

Page break

Welcome back Joni,

How did you come up with the title for Spell Breaker: The Chronicles of Eledon Book One?

The term ‘Spell Breaker’ came as I rewrote chapter one for the millionth time. It summarized what Alex had done and anticipated what she was going to do in the rest of the story. The Chronicles of Eledon is the name of the series. Eledon is the name of the world created for Elves by the Mentors after they left Earth. There are four books in this series, and I liked the term chronicle to account for each one.

Who designed the cover and why did you go for that particular design?

The cover was designed by my publisher, Teresa Kennedy and her husband, Andrew Earley. As a matter of fact, they’ve designed all of my covers so far. Teresa thought the cover should depict more action and gave me a choice of two. I chose this one because it caught my eye immediately. The color was bright and I thought if it caught my eye, it will catch others as well. They also designed the back cover for the print version and inserted a copy of a map Andrew did from a rough drawing I’d made. Originally, it was blue and green, but since the overall tone of the cover was yellow, he made it into a sepia tone which gave it an antique feel.

map parchment

How do you decide on names for your characters?

Most of the time, names pop in my head as I create a character. Unfortunately, I’ve had several names that were too close to other characters and had to change them. I’ve used baby name lists to help me or I think about the character’s personality or job to come up with a name. Thankfully, the computer lets me switch out names quickly.

Which characters would you like to meet in person and why?

I would love to meet Lord Odin, the leader of the Elves because he seems so wise and yet, he’s approachable. Also, I’d love to meet Olivia Richards, the journalist. She’s really down to earth and a dedicated journalist. It may sound strange that I don’t want to meet my main character Alex, but she’s my alter ego and we’ve already met.

If you had to write it all over again, would you change anything?

No, I worked hard on this story. Over a year ago, I thought it was ready, but another writer read the first two chapters and let me know that it wasn’t. I rewrote it multiple times since then and took classes on editing and writing to help me figure out what was wrong. I’m satisfied with it now.

What do you hope readers will learn from Spell Breaker: The Chronicles of Eledon Book One?

I hope readers will learn that life involves give and take. Alex’s grandmother expects her to be a lady of Eledon, but Alex wants nothing to do with it. Their unwillingness to compromise led to break in their relationship that they couldn’t overcome.

Can you give us any clues about what is going to happen in the next book?

Alex faces false accusations of being the Blue Witch and a spy for the rebels.

Do you think your writing style has changed since your first book?

My writing style has changed considerably from the first book. When I first started, my writing was in a rut, due to lack of use. I did very little creative writing in my adult years and never realized that all my sentences were structurally similar and my vocabulary limited. Now, I use more complex sentences and keep a Thesaurus beside me all the time. Overall, I feel like my writing is more fluid and interesting, but I’m still working on it.

Are there any occupational hazards to being an author?

There are several hazards, mostly related to sitting and staring at the computer screen for long periods of times. My hands get tired from typing, my eyes are strained, and my back hurts. I schedule routine times for exercise to counter it and get up from my computer at least once an hour.


Milk, white or dark chocolate?

Milk, not good for those of us lactose intolerant

Listener or talker?

Listener. Let others to the talking.

Laptop, desktop or tablet?

Desktop. I have two and a laptop. I’ve never used a tablet to write.

Early or late?

Early. With my military background, I’m always 15 minutes early.

Pen or pencil?

Pen. I don’t have to sharpen it.

Any last words for your readers?

I hope you enjoy Spell Breaker as much as I did writing it.

Thank you so much for returning to my blog Joni, it was a pleasure to interview you again. I particularly enjoyed reading about the cover and why you chose that design!

Page break Now check out the book:

Spell Breaker 1

After a thousand years, Lady Alexin (Alex) Dumwalt breaks the spell around Seaward Isle, a ring of storms so powerful no one could leave the island.  She joins the exodus of Elves, Dwarves, and mortals to Eledon, the World of the Elves on the other side of the entry point. 

But Alex faces a difficult decision.  Her Water Elf grandmother expects her to stay in Eledon, but Alex was born and raised as a mortal.  Her mixed blood, Elf and mortal, means that she must choose between staying in Eledon or following the other mortals who will soon leave for the mortal world through a special entry point created for them. 

What will she do?”

“Spell Breaker” is currently only available on Amazon. You can get it on Kindle Unlimited for 90 days as a promotion. |