Sunday, 13 July 2014

Sunday Wrap Up: Week ending July 13, 2014

***Please see below for a book giveaway!***

Louise E. Rule Interviews David Procter for The Review's Author Interview

Welcome to The Review's Author Interview, David, thank you for taking the time to chat with me today.

It is a pleasure.

You say in your biography, quoted above, that a customer's words had given you the incentive to write. Had you felt, like so many people do, that you had a book in you waiting to be written?

Oh yes definitely. Mine had been forming for more years than I care to remember. I jotted down scenarios and characters' names, plot lines and twists, until almost the entire book was simply waiting to be written.

It is always interesting to know what an author's inspiration is when it comes to the subject of a book. Could you tell the readers what your inspiration was for writing Dead Men Lie?

Family history, pure and simple. What you have to realise is that until I began my research I knew nothing of the family beyond my parents' generation. So what I uncovered, the people, their stories, opened up this untapped source of inspiration.

Could you tell us about your character, Abigail Wood, please? For example, what are her weaknesses and her strengths?

Dearest Abigail, she has become more like a sister to me rather than simply a character. Her strengths are pugnaciousness, a determination to be heard, the realisation that she has been wronged and the ability to see both good and bad in each of her new friends. She is fallible, perhaps a little naïve, certainly a woman of her time. Yet she is not one to be treated as a skivvy. She has intelligence, the ability to speak with both men and women from all social levels. She is inherently kind and considerate, has the ability to forgive almost anything except what others do to her family. Above all she is no one's fool.

Characterisation is key to a story. Could you tell our readers how you go about building your characters' personalities?

To be honest, I cannot have a character until I have their name. it perhaps seems strange, but I can stare at a page for hours simply deliberating about the title of the story. Until I have that my mind cannot begin to work. Even if that name changes, I have to have something that relates to what I desire to write, the same with the characters. I knew I needed a particularly nasty man, I could see him in my mind, but the name alluded me until Tom Gasson was born; it was as if once the name fell into place he came to life. I could see him, hear him, smell and touch him. I saw the way he walked and the way he twitched, like the rats he caught twitched. When he spoke it was as if we were in conversation, in my head we argued, I heard every word he uttered, his tone, the way his breath hissed through his teeth. I did the same with every character. Each one is the embodiment of how I saw them as they lived their lives in Stormouth.

To check out the rest of Louise's interview with David Procter, click here


Book review: The Light Never Lies by Francis Guenette
Review by Anna Belfrage

Please see below for giveaway details!

In this the second of the Crater Lake series, Ms. Guenette returns to the small community that hugs the shore of Crater Lake. Approximately nine months have passed since the events described in the first book, Disappearing in Plain Sight, and it has not been easy for several of the characters.
Ms. Guenette presents us with a varied cast. First and foremost, there is Lisa-Marie, not yet seventeen and an explosive combination of attitude and vulnerability. Pretty, intelligent and wise beyond her years, Lisa Marie returns to Crater Lake for the summer, causing a major shock when she appears heavily pregnant.
Lisa-Marie’s aunt, Bethany, is an ethereal, waiflike woman who has for years surrendered her independence for protection, allowing her partner Beulah to make all relevant decisions. But when Bethany develops a sudden and desperate need for a child, when Bethany’s neediness drives Beulah to adultery, their previously so-stable relationship starts to crumble at the edges. Having Lisa-Marie show up big-bellied doesn’t exactly make things easier.

When Bethany and Beulah can offer little or no support, Lisa-Marie is fobbed off onto Izzy, her aunt’s closest neighbour, and Liam, Izzy’s partner. Lisa-Marie and Izzy have an edgy relationship. Izzy is too beautiful, too perfect, too likeable, not to grate on Lisa Marie’s nerves, and besides, there’s the infected matter of Justin, the young man Lisa-Marie is in love with, but who spent all of last summer adoring Izzy. Will things have changed, Lisa-Marie wonders, hating that she is bloated and ugly like a beached whale when Justin is all golden hair, golden skin and soft smiles.
Izzy is a caring adult who somehow rises to the challenge of welcoming Lisa-Marie to her home.  Liam is not quite as thrilled: the pregnant teenager is volatile and difficult, and the entire situation is made even more complicated by the identity of the child’s father – it’s like lobbing a stick of dynamite into a fish-pool and watching the consequences come floating up to the surface.

Lisa- Marie – and the baby’s paternity – are not Izzy’s only concerns. Her father, Edward, has come home to die, some of her patients at the youth camp at which she counsels are having some very serious problems,  and as icing on the cake Liam’s long-lost father shows up, bringing Liam’s unknown half-brother, little Robbie, in his wake.

The author has generously offered a free copy of The Light Never Lies to gift one lucky winner: in the US hardcopy, e-book for all other locations. To enter your name in the draw, simply comment at the review or at this review's associated Facebook thread


Book Review: Gimme Shelter by Louis Spirito
Review by Emma Powell

Note: 10% of book proceeds go to animal charities.

‘It’s The Sopranos meets Marley & Me when a volatile, chronically ticked-off writer struggles to help an abused, timid, big-hearted shelter dog'.

That blurb alone grabbed me immediately. A lover of dogs, films and anything thriller related can only be a winner as far as I’m concerned. And I was not disappointed.

This book is, in the author’s own words, a book born ‘ ... Out of a very unstructured, rambling diary’  and took the best part of two years to write. The quality of this input is apparent in the way the author opens each paragraph with a short snapshot of his tough upbringing during the 1950s and 60s. The reader travels through the author’s rather lively, raucous and high-octane lifestyle and you are more than aware you are reading someone’s journal, a very private journey that goes some way to explaining the anger issues that the author has learned to deal with on his journey with his rescued dog. And that is what this book is really about.

Tanner is the rescued pitbull dog that this whole personal journey centres around. The reader is introduced to the author’s early lifestyle that starts with Rebel, an Irish Setter dog that obviously meant the world to him and ends with Tanner. When one thinks of an Irish Setter one doesn’t conjure images of snarling, aggressive dog attacks. But I defy anyone to deny this is what enters their heads, even if only for a second, when the word ‘pitbull’ is mentioned. No dog is born aggressive and no dog is 100% domesticated but the journey in between is up to us. And Tanner shows in this book how pitbulls are malinged, much to media hype, and how dogs can truly help us, teach us in our lives. Tanner is actually a nervous wreck, terrified of anything out of the ordinary and hides a lot!

You don’t have to be a dog lover to appreciate this book. I was happy to review it as I have always had German Shepherds, my latest one a rescue with problems, so can empathise with judgemental attitudes that surround certain breeds. But this book is so much more than dogs; it’s a person’s story of how he developed coping mechanisms, life-changing attitudes and how hard it is to work at changing lifestyles.  By having to work with a dog that had issues, such as fearing everything, surrounded by people with preconceived ideas of the dog, the author cleverly shows how this path forced him to take his own issues to hand. The author is very honest and open that he has anger management problems stemming from childhood and through his 20s and I think this is a very difficult and brave thing to do.

Click here to see the rest of this fab review and the link for updates on Tanner!

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