Bad Blood Blog Tour: Guest Post from Julie Shaw

Tuesday, 19 July 2016 0 comments
Today I am very excited to be sharing a guest post from Julie Shaw as part of her first ever blog tour for her latest book, Bad Blood! I loved reading the post as I found it very interesting and so hopefully you will too! I can confirm that Bad Blood is an excellent read and my review for it will be following very soon. Until then, please enjoy the post and check out the book if you haven't already.

I often get asked if I base my characters on real people I know and usually, the answer is yes, they are almost always based on someone I know or knew or have heard about. In my latest book Bad Blood however I did not personally know Lizzie, Christine and Nicky; it is their complex relationship which compelled me to write about them.

Lizzie is a complicated character. As a struggling single mother of two children, her life was all about finding a man to make her life easier. Never a father figure for her children – that didn’t occur to her, but more someone who would make her life look ‘normal’ in other people’s eyes. In her mind, if she had a man, any man, she would be seen as respectable. She comes off as gullible, as the man she has set her sights on is a drug dealer and a womaniser, but this suits Lizzie down to the ground. As long as he has money to give her now and again, and comes round now and again, that’s fine by her, and she chooses to ignore any of the downsides of their relationship.

Christine and Nicky have suffered all of their lives due to their mother’s choices and have always had to take a back seat. Unlike other mums that they knew, who were concerned about making packed lunches for school and ensuring they had clean uniforms, their mother was more bothered about how she looked herself. They learned at an early age to accept things as they were and became accustomed to watching Lizzie buy all the best make up and the latest fashion for herself, so she looked young for whatever boyfriend was on the scene.

Nicky left the home as soon as he was able, but he and Christine had a bond that was born of watching out for each other from being very young. This bond is what would eventually be Nicky’s undoing and present Christine with an opportunity to change her life. It also gave Christine the tools to be able to love her own baby, Joey, like she did. The love was always there, despite the ability to properly parent being lacking. She didn’t have a role model to show her how to be a mum – only a brother to make her understand the strength of blood ties.

Growing up on some poverty stricken estates in Bradford, I saw relationships like this all around me. I and my siblings even experienced something similar in that our parents both had to work and as they ran pubs and clubs it meant we were left to our own devices a lot. We learned very quickly that we had to organise ourselves into some kind of pecking order, and take on certain roles depending on our age and skills. I was the oldest, so my jobs were looking out for the younger ones – which often involved fighting on the streets to stick up for them, washing and ironing our clothes, and I could cook a family meal by the time I was ten years old. My little sister had to learn how to keep the house clean and make up beds, and my brother had to see to our dogs and garden.

Our friends envied us. We were the kids who could stay out to play later than anyone else, and were allowed into town on the bus by ourselves to buy meat and vegetables from the market. They had no clue that we envied them. Especially when we heard their dads shouting them in on school nights for supper and to be put to bed. I would often sit with my brother and sister and sing them a song before sleep, just so they felt a bit more like their friends must feel.

We loved our mum and dad and still do, and we know they worked to provide for us, and the pub life was the only life they knew, and actually it gave us skills and a resilience that has stayed with us for life and has been reflected in the way we have brought our own children up. To be tough, tolerant and to be there to help anyone less fortunate.

You’ll see all of these values in any of my books. My characters have all had it tough in one way or another, but they also have that extra something. That ability to accept their past and learn from it. Some of them carry it with them, just as in real life, while others turn their back on it and change things.

Review: Tastes Like Fear by Sarah Hilary

Friday, 1 July 2016 1 comments
Title: Tastes Like Fear
Author: Sarah Hilary
Publisher: Headline
Publication Date: 7th April 2016
Pages: 416
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 4.5/5
Purchase: Amazon
You'll never be out of Harm's way

The young girl who causes the fatal car crash disappears from the scene.

A runaway who doesn't want to be found, she only wants to go home.

To the one man who understands her.

Gives her shelter.

Just as he gives shelter to the other lost girls who live in his house.

He's the head of her new family.

He's Harm.

D.I. Marnie Rome has faced many dangerous criminals but she has never come up against a man like Harm. She thinks that she knows families, their secrets and their fault lines. But as she begins investigating the girl's disappearance nothing can prepare her for what she's about to face.

Because when Harm's family is threatened, everything tastes like fear...

Review: The One We Fell in Love With by Paige Toon

Tuesday, 28 June 2016 0 comments
Title: The One We Fell in Love With
Author: Paige Toon
Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK
Publication Date: 19th May 2016
Pages: 416
Source: Purchased
Rating: 5/5
Purchase: Amazon
Phoebe is caught between a rock and a hard place. Settle down and get married, or return to the French Alps to pursue her passion?

Eliza is in love with someone who is no longer hers. In fact, he probably never was… And her dream of becoming a successful musician seems to be vanishing before her eyes.

Rose is out of a job and out of a boyfriend. To make matters worse, she’s been forced to move back in with her mother…

But these very different girls have one thing in common. Angus. The one they fell in love with…

Hall of Fame Review: Then She Was Gone by Luca Veste

Monday, 27 June 2016 0 comments
Title: Then She Was Gone
Author: Luca Veste
Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK
Publication Date: 28th July 2016
Pages: 448
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 5/5
Purchase: Amazon
Tim Johnson took his baby daughter out for a walk and she never made it home. Johnson claims he was assaulted and the girl was snatched. The police see a different crime, with Johnson their only suspect.

A year later, Sam Bryne is on course to be elected as one of the youngest MPs in Westminster. He's tipped for the very top ... until he vanishes.

Detectives Murphy and Rossi are tasked with discovering what has happened to the popular politician - and in doing so, they unearth a trail that stretches into the past, and crimes that someone is hell-bent on avenging.

Guest Post: Last Kiss Blog Tour - Laurelin Paige on her Writing Process

Sunday, 26 June 2016 0 comments
Today I am part of the blog tour for Laurelin Paige's Last Kiss where Laurelin tells us about her writing and plotting process for this series. Make sure to check the poster at the end and follow along with the other stops on the tour.


Emily Wayborn has made a decision.

She might not fully trust handsome and deadly Reeve Sallis, but he is the one person that gives her what she needs. With Reeve she can finally be herself. Submitting to him is the only thing keeping her grounded as the rest of her life falls apart. But the hotelier is a master at keeping secrets and as she continues her quest for answers someone is making sure she doesn t find them.

Time is running out and she is questioning everything she thought she knew about friendship and love. She must now make an impossible choice that will determine if she will survive with her heart...or her life."

Guest Post: Writing Commandments I Live By by Gayle Curtis

Friday, 24 June 2016 0 comments
Cecelia and Sebastian have a connection like no other - more than just brother and sister, they'll go to any lengths to protect each other. Growing up in a bleak old farmhouse, their mother gone and their father violent and abusive, the twins have only each other to keep them alive.

But when the secrets of their mother's disappearance start to emerge, and truth and lies are thrown into question, events take a terrifying turn . . .

As Cecelia tries to break away from the ties that bind her to her brother, Sebastian is determined that the twins should be together - whatever the costs.

Review: Billy and Me by Giovanna Fletcher

Wednesday, 22 June 2016 1 comments
Title: Billy and Me
Author: Giovanna Fletcher
Publisher: Penguin
Publication Date: 23rd May 2013
Pages: 416
ISBN: 9781405909952
Source: Purchased
Rating: 4.5/5
Purchase: Amazon
Sophie May has a secret.

One that she's successfully kept for years. It's meant that she's had to give up her dreams of going to university and travelling the world to stay in her little village, living with her mum and working in the local teashop.

But then she meets the gorgeous Billy - an actor with ambitions to make it to the top. And when they fall in love, Sophie is whisked away from the comfort of her life into Billy's glamorous - but ruthless - world.

Their relationship throws Sophie right into the spotlight after years of shying away from attention. Can she handle the constant scrutiny that comes with being with Billy? And most of all, is she ready for her secret heartbreak to be discovered and shared with the nation?

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