Thursday, 20 September 2018

Q&A with Julie Gardner

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1.    Did you always dream of being a writer? 

When I was ten years old I wrote in my diary that I wanted to be a teacher and an author like Judy Blume, so I guess you could say I’ve dreamed of being a writer for most of my life.

2.    How did your writing career develop? 

I tried writing a novel when my kids were babies, but I was also teaching and trying to be a good wife and mother. Something had to give. So I waited a few years, then took a leave of absence from the classroom so I could focus on writing and family. 

3.    Your newest novel is calledForgetting Ophelia,what is it about? 

In Forgetting Opheia, Lia Townsend believes her future with the man of her dreams is planned out and perfect—until Jake Townsend leaves her on their 5thanniversary. Blindsided and adrift, Lia must face the consequences of Jake’s secrets and find a new direction for her life—with or without Jake.

4.    What was your inspiration for the book? 

Since I took a pivot in my own life—leaving a safe teaching career for an uncertain future as a writer— I wanted to explore those feelings in a character. I absolutely fell in love with Lia Townsend along the way, and want her to be as happy as I am.

5.    Can you tell us more about the main character(s)? 

Lia and Jake (plus their best friends and their families) are well-intentioned but also flawed, as most people are. As much as they do care about each other, they may not better off together. I love complexities in relationships, not simple answers in a Happily Ever After. 

6.    Where and when do you write your stories? 

I write at home, typically in the mornings on my laptop. I start at my desk, then move to a counter downstairs, even outside on a beautiful day. 

7.    What do you do and enjoy when you’re not writing? 

I love to spend time with my family and dogs, read, go for walks, and binge-watch Netflix. (Shhh!) I also have a part-time job at a library which I adore. I work there four afternoon/evenings a week. 

8.    If you could switch places with a character from a book, who would it be and why? 

Ooh. Good question. Maybe Maren Hollister, Lia’s best friend. She’s a happily-married wife and mother, and a real kick to be around. Although her life has some bumps and twists, it’s a lot less complicated than Lia’s. 

9.    What books have influenced your life most? 

Hmm. I would have to say Stephen King’s books, because I was obsessed with his fiction as a teenager, and as an adult writer I revisit his memoir On Writingevery year or so. As a study of the craft of writing, it’s brilliant. Having said that, my books (and life) are NOTHING like his – ha! 

10.   What are you working on at the moment? 

I’m working on the follow-up to Forgetting Opheliacalled The Opposite of Addie. It’s Jake’s story…

11.     What do you enjoy most about writing? 

I love starting with a seed of a storyline then letting the characters take me where they want to go. I end up with plot threads I never imagined and surprise even myself. 

12.     Pick three authors you want to have dinner with and tell us why. 

I’ve already mentioned Judy Blume and Stephen King, so I’ll pick three new ones: I think dinner with Jo Jo Moyes, Jennifer Weiner, and Kristin Hannah would be full of laughter and insight. I’d love to ask each one of them how they create such endearing, real characters I root for immediately. 

13.   Imagine Forgetting Ophelia would be turned into a movie, who would you cast for the main characters? 

Maybe Blake Lively as Lia, Ian Somerhalder as Jake, Chris Pine as Declan McKinley, Emilia Clark as Maren Hollister, Susan Sarandon as Regina Lark. (This is fun! I hope it happens!) 

14.   You have written other books as well, can you tell us more about them? 

Yes! Forgetting Opheliais the third book in my Friendship & Secrets Series. Guest List(a prequel novella) and Letters for Scarletcome first; and like Ophelia, they explore the impact of love and loss, secrets and betrayal, complicated friendships and family drama. I’ve also written a Young Adult novel called Lily by Any Other Namethat takes on the same conflicts and love triangles, except with younger characters still in high school. 

15.    How do your own experiences influence your writing? 

I grew up in the suburbs of Los Angeles which is where my stories are set, and my characters either work in schools or attend school, so my experiences as a teacher are key. My next book will probably be set in a library, because that’s where I’m working now. 

16.    Coffee or tea? 

Definitely coffee. Three cups every morning. 

17.   Paperback or e-reader? 

Paperback. I adore the feel (and smell) of a new book!

18.    Mountains or the sea? 

I love the beach, so sea. 

19.    Summer or winter? 

Summer. (See above!) 

20.    Sweet or salty? 

Can I say both? Salted Caramel is my favourite flavour combination. 


 Ever-hopeful Lia thinks she’ll be with handsome, brooding Jake forever. Until one day he completely blindsides her and makes her question everything she knows…

Lia Townsend is expecting a ring and a trip to Hawaii for her fifth wedding anniversary. Instead, her husband, Jake, walks out on her. Out of the blue. Devastated, Lia vows to win back Jake and the perfect life they shared.
Because it was perfect, wasn’t it?
But as Lia searches for the truth behind Jake’s departure, cracks in the shiny varnish begin to show. And once she uncovers his secret, all that she once knew and believed in crumbles.
Lia’s eccentric mother, her best friend, and two vastly different men each pull her in new directions, and Lia attempts to push past the pain and start anew.
But Jake isn’t gone for good. When an accident rocks the lives of their best friends, Lia and Jake are thrown together. Will Lia choose to salvage her old life with the man who broke her heart – or was everything they shared an illusion? 

Forgetting Ophelia is set for release on October 8th by Velvet Morning Press. 

About the author:

I’m a lapsed marathon runner and former high school English teacher who traded in my classroom for a writing nook. The author of Lily by Any Other NameLetters for Scarlet, and its prequel Guest List, I live in Southern California with my husband, two children, and three dogs. When I’m away from my computer, I can be found with a good book, a glass of wine, or a pair of running shoes. My best days feature all of the above.

To learn more, visit me at my website, or on Twitter, Facebookand Instagram.

Tuesday, 18 September 2018

I Will Survive - by Pippa James

Original Cover

The blurb: 

5am. It’s still dark outside. 
Hit snooze, hit snooze again. 
But it’s not the alarm, it’s the kids. The cat’s just been sick in the bunk beds. 
Now my little darlings are jumping in it. And I’m hiding in the bathroom. 
Welcome to the mad house… where each day is a rollercoaster of chaos, sticky hugs and exhaustion. 
Surely it’s about time I swapped wet wipes for some wild nights out with the girls?

My Opinion:

*Book provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review*

This story is all about mum life. It tells us the story about several mums, their children and their lives.

They pick up their children from school, deal with their husbands, work and just life. There was a lot going on in the story, with all the characters and happenings. Therefore, I had difficulties getting into the story and finding a relation to it. 

The book has some funny and entertaining scenes and cute moments, these kept me in the story. 

It’s a light-hearted and sweet read, perfect for a relaxing time on the sofa, with lots of LOL moments. 


Pippa James on Twitter: @PippaJamesbooks

Sunday, 16 September 2018

Fashion Corner - Jeans Skirt

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Still time for some summery outfits. Here this fab jeans skirt in different combinations. 

The skirt is from Zara. For the Bayern Munich game I combined it with a red shirt from Maje, my Contesa shoes, my Mr Boho sunglasses and a back bag from Coach. 

- Skirt: Zara
- Shirt: Maje (similar)
- Shoes: Contesa
- Sunglasses: MR BOHO
- Bag: Coach (similar)

Different shoes and different shirt. The shirt is from Next and the shoes are from Bagatt.

- Shirt: Next
- Shoes: Bagatt

Again different shoes (Emozioni), shirt (Guess) and my Coach backpack.

- Shoes: Emozioni
- Shirt: Guess
- Backpack: Coach (similar)

Tuesday, 11 September 2018

The Man Who Didn’t Call - by Rosie Walsh

Original Cover
My own copy

The blurb: 

Imagine you meet a man, spend six glorious days together, and fall in love. And it’s mutual: you’ve never been so certain of anything. 
So when he leaves for a long-booked holiday and promises to call from the airport, you have no cause to doubt him.
But he doesn’t call. 
Your friends tell you to forget him, but you know they're wrong: something must have happened; there must be a reason for his silence.
What do you do when you finally discover you're right? That there is a reason -- and that reason is the one thing you didn't share with each other?
The truth.

My Opinion:

Sarah and Eddie spend six wonderful days together and fall in love. They are made for each other, but then he goes and a holiday and basically disappears. He doesn’t call, doesn’t write, he is just gone. 

Of course the speculations start right here, I of course had my own theories. It adds a lot of mystery to the story. It’s full of surprises and has lots of twists and turns. 

The truth comes out eventually and we also learn a lot about Sarah’s past. 

I loved that the plot was very unpredictable. The secondary characters added a lot of charm and passion to the story. Both Sarah’s and Eddie’s play an important role in this book. 

The story covers so many topics: love, grief, mental health, family, forgiveness and life. Rosie Walsh captured all that beautifully in her writing. I felt like being there with the characters. 


Rosie Walsh on Twitter: @TheRosieWalsh

Sunday, 9 September 2018

Fashion Corner - Cactus Shirt

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The focus in today's Fashion Corner is this cute Cactus shirt. 

It's from Kate Spade. I bought it in Vegas at the Kate Spade outlet store. I love the glitter details on it and of course the pink, it also says "hug me", which I think is really cute. 
I just combined it with jeans shorts and sneakers.

- Shirt: Kate Spade
- Shorts: BDG
- Phone Case: Kate Spade

Saturday, 8 September 2018

CHANGE brings opportunity

Blogging has been a big part of my life for five years and it’s still really important to me. My 5th blogoversary was just a week ago and I didn’t celebrate it fort he first time. The past few years I published a big blog post, thanked everyone and also had some giveaways. This year, even though five is a great number, I didn’t feel the need to celebrate. The blogging community has changed a lot. I started as a book blogger and I still I am one, but things are not the same anymore. 

I still love reading and reviewing very much, there are so many great books out there and I’m grateful for all the copies I receive in exchange for an honest review. Author interviews are so much fun and helping to promote a book you adore is just fab! I also enjoy writing about traveling and my adventures. Lifestyle blogging covers so many topics, I can write about anything. I still have lots of ideas for blog posts, but I just don’t have enough time to write them. I want to take more time writing posts and properly going over them again, before hitting the publish button. For a while I had a fixed schedule and then I decided to publish two reviews and two travel/lifestyle posts a week. It just doesn’t work anymore. I’d rather focus on maybe one poste ach and not feel under pressure to write something. If I don’t have the time, that’s fine too. I will just publish a post, whenever it’s ready. 
Of course I will still do blog tours, but not as many. 

I want to really enjoy blogging and not feeling like I have to write a blog posts. It might be a little break at first, but there will be posts from time to time. I have lots of ideas and I’m excited to blog about them. I also see this change as a chance to get inspired again. There are also other things I like doing and to have a balance between all these things, that’s what I want.