Monday, 26 January 2015

On Writing A Series… With Karen Saunders (Suzy P Blog Tour)

I love Suzy P so was super excited to host a stop on the Suzy P Blog tour! If you haven't read this series by Karen Saunders yet I recommend you get reading soon - they are ace!

I'll hand you over to Karen, who has stopped by to talk about writing a series...

Photo Credit: Neil Griffithsweb
On Writing A Series… With Karen Saunders

Hiya, I’m Karen Saunders, the author of the Suzy P series. Thanks for having me here today!

Suzy P, Forever Me is the third book in the Suzy series, following on from Me, Suzy P and Suzy P and the Trouble With Three. They all feature fourteen-year-old Suzy Puttock, a girl with an embarrassing name, embarrassing family, and altogether embarrassing life. Poor Suzy’s always landing herself in scrapes and saying things she shouldn’t – this time around she’s promised her entire school she can get super-famous band The Drifting to play at their fundraiser, and she’s having to help Mum plan Dad’s surprise birthday party. To make things even worse, both events are happening on the same day… how’s Suzy going to sort out the mess she’s made this time?!

I sat down to write the third Suzy P at the end of 2013. I’m not going to lie, my deadline was pretty tight and I was feeling apprehensive about whether or not I was going to get the book written in time.

I also knew this was likely to be the last Suzy book, so I wanted to make it really good, and finish the series on a high. One of the hardest things was figuring out what the ‘theme’ of the book was going to be, the first one focuses on relationships, the second on friendships, and the third was eventually decided to be about growing up and finding yourself.

The plot took a bit of thrashing out between myself and my editor, but eventually we’d got the outline of how we wanted the story to be. It’s changed since then, although not drastically, this quite often happens when I start to write and realise that things I’ve included in the synopsis aren’t going to work in the book itself. For example, in the original synopsis, Suzy and her best friends all fell out towards the end of the story, but as I got towards writing this part I realised I didn’t want this to happen. I wanted all the friends to be pulling together and working as best they could to sort out the mess they’ve found themselves in.

It was also a bit tricky thinking of new and funny situations for Suzy to find herself in – luckily for me, not all my friends have cottoned on to the fact that if they tell me embarrassing stuff about themselves they may well find I’ve borrowed snippets of their life to put into the books! I was wondering about how to start the book when I had a conversation with a friend about something mortifying that had happened to her, and I adapted it so it could happen to Suzy – which became the basis for what happens in chapter one.

The nicest thing about writing a third book in a series like this is that all the characters feel like mates. It’s like having a catch up with old friends – you know exactly how they talk, their likes/dislikes, what they eat, wear, etc. So you can get straight on with the writing. I also really enjoy the process of deciding where to take their lives and thinking about what might have happened to them since the last book, it’s a lot of fun. This character arc has been particularly obvious with Amber, Suzy’s older sister – in the first book she was getting married, in the second she was pregnant, and in the third she’s trying to figure out how to juggle life with newborn twins.

Although the books are chronological, they can all be read as standalones too. I hope if you read one, you’ll like it enough to go and hunt out the other two! I’ve had such fun creating Suzy, her friendships and her life, I hope you enjoy reading the books as much as I’ve enjoyed writing them.

Thanks so much for having me on your blog!

--- Thanks Karen!

You can read my review for the first book, Me, Suzy P here. You can also read Suzy P's advice on Minimising Cringe aka How not to embarrass yourself ... which she kindly wrote after laughing for about an hour... here.

Suzy P, Forever Me; Suzy P and the Trouble With Three and Me, Suzy P by Karen Saunders are available to buy online and from all good bookshops. If you’d like to find out more about the books or the author, do visit Karen online at, ‘like’ her on Facebook at or follow Karen on Twitter @writingkaren. Suzy tweets too, @suzyputtock, so don’t forget to follow her, too!

Next stop on the tour is tomorrow over on  Nayu's Reading Corner 

Friday, 7 November 2014

Hard Time by Cara Mckenna (Blog Tour)

Source: For review from publisher

From Goodreads: In this all-new novel from the author of Unbound, a woman with a rocky past finds romance in the last place she’d ever expect...

Annie Goodhouse doesn’t need to be warned about bad boys; good sense and an abusive ex have given her plenty of reasons to play it safe. But when she steps into her new role as outreach librarian for Cousins Correctional Facility, no amount of good sense can keep her mind—or eyes—off inmate Eric Collier.

Eric doesn’t claim to be innocent of the crime that landed him in prison. In fact, he’d do it again if that’s what it took to keep his family safe. Loyalty and force are what he knows. But meeting Annie makes him want to know more.

When Eric begins courting Annie through letters, they embark on a reckless, secret romance—a forbidden fantasy that neither imagines could ever be real…until early parole for Eric changes everything, and forces them both to face a past they can’t forget, and a desire they can’t deny.

I really enjoyed Hard Time!  I was in the mood for an adult romance (with some sexy times!) so this proved perfect.

I really liked the characters and how they met - it was something a bit different for me.  Annie is really sweet and I found her very easy to relate to - I liked that she is a librarian!  And Eric is awesome.  Yes their relationship is a bit insta-love - in a roll my eyes but secretly love it kind of way- so that's not a bad thing.  And really liked those letters!  I REALLY liked those letters! Usually I find there a thin line between a book being a great romance with some of those sexy times I was talking about or simple erotic fiction and I found Cara Mckenna did a great job of balancing it all - giving me just the right amount of each.

As I said,  I really liked Eric and I enjoyed having his story unfold - the way you know he did something that he was in prison for - that he admits he deserved to go to prison for - but the reason behind it?  Kind of made me like him even more...  Plus him and Annie have seriously good chemistry!

I can't wait to read more of Mckenna's books - I've already bought myself a copy of Unbound!

Make sure you check out the rest of the blog tour - information is below:-)

Monday, 29 September 2014

Black Ice by Becca Fitzpatrick

Source: For review

From Goodreads: Sometimes danger is hard to see... until it’s too late.

Britt Pfeiffer has trained to backpack the Teton Range, but she isn't prepared when her ex-boyfriend, who still haunts her every thought, wants to join her. Before Britt can explore her feelings for Calvin, an unexpected blizzard forces her to seek shelter in a remote cabin, accepting the hospitality of its two very handsome occupants—but these men are fugitives, and they take her hostage.

In exchange for her life, Britt agrees to guide the men off the mountain. As they set off, Britt knows she must stay alive long enough for Calvin to find her. The task is made even more complicated when Britt finds chilling evidence of a series of murders that have taken place there... and in uncovering this, she may become the killer’s next target.

But nothing is as it seems in the mountains, and everyone is keeping secrets, including Mason, one of her kidnappers. His kindness is confusing Britt. Is he an enemy? Or an ally?

BLACK ICE is New York Times bestselling author Becca Fitzpatrick’s riveting romantic thriller set against the treacherous backdrop of the mountains of Wyoming. Falling in love should never be this dangerous…

I really enjoyed this one.  I read it in one sitting and couldn't wait to find out what happens.

Having recently read Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas I've come to the realisation that I don't have to like the main characters to enjoy the story.  Which is a good thing as I started Black Ice pretty much hating all the characters!  Britt was just a tad too spoiled and entitled, her best friend Korbie was seriously annoying and I disliked Calvin from the get-go.  However, I did like Mason the first time we met him (his introduction made me laugh!  I was so sure Britt was going to get caught out) and Britt completely grew on me as the story progressed.  I love stories that have a personal journey for the main character and I really enjoyed reading about how she was so reliant on everyone else and suddenly she'd in a situation where she not only has to fend for herself but actually save herself.

I really like Becca Fitzpatrick's writing style - just like her Hush Hush series it kept me completely gripped.  I did find some aspects of the story a bit predictable - or at least I thought I did but then I doubted myself quite a few times - but I loved how it all unfolds.  Did some of Britt's decisions annoy me?  Hell yes!  But that was part of what kept me entertained.

I also like how this one ended.  I don't want to say too much but I did really like it.  I'm looking forward to reading whatever Becca FItzpatrick writes next.

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Black Ice Book Trailer

Here is the trailer for Becca Fitzpatrick's thrilling new novel, Black Ice, out on 7th October

Looks good right? I really enjoyed Black Ice and my review will be up towards the end of the month. In the meantime you can check out the brilliant new Black Ice microsite at

Monday, 30 June 2014

Guest Post: The Most Important Qualities in a BFF (Since You've Been Gone Blog Tour)

I'm really excited to launch the blog tour for Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson.  I love her books so am so pleased to have her stop by today to talk about friendship and what it means to her...
In my new book, Since You’ve Been Gone, there is a big focus on friendship. Friendship is hugely important to me, and I’m lucky to be friends with some of the most awesome, funny and kind people in the known universe. In thinking about what friendship means to me, and why friendship is important, I thought I would make a list of the most important qualities in a BFF (to possess yourself AND to find in others!)

1. Sense of humour
This is HUGE for me. I think my BFF is hysterically funny, and even if she doesn’t think the same about me, she laughs at my jokes, which is very kind. But we can always make each other laugh, and we get a kick out of the same shows and movies. I think this is CRUCIAL in a friendship. You don’t want to always be explaining to someone why something is funny.

2. Snack compatibility
Again, VERY important for me. My BFF is a vegetarian, so we get a lot of veggie food, but she also doesn’t care if I scarf down a burger in front of her. And we like the same movie snacks, which is crucial. We also know each other’s snack preferences, and so she knows what to bring me (and what I need to bring her) if we’re taking a trip together. The one thing she likes that I can’t get on board with is black licorice (EW) but I figure that nobody’s perfect.

3. Kindness
This is such a simple thing, but it seems to be missing from so many friendships, especially those horrible toxic drama-filled ones. It doesn’t have to be that way! You need a BFF who is going to be rooting for you, who’s on your team, who’s happy when good things happen to you and wants to celebrate with dance parties or ice cream or both.

4. Hangout time
This also seems simple, but it’s really a huge bonus if you and your BFF like to do the same stuff. My best friend and I spent more time than I can calculate wandering around New York City, getting Starbucks, and ducking into stores. Sometimes we wouldn’t even try anything on, and sometimes we spent money we REALLY didn’t have. But the actual shopping didn’t matter – it was just a way to keep talking, to keep the endless conversation going. We could have done any number of things. But liking to do the same stuff just makes hanging out for hours (crucial in any BFF-ship) so much simpler.

5. Nothing is too trivial
One of the best things about having a BFF is being able to call someone up because you’re just having too many feelings about the episode of TV you’re watching. Or because your haircut turned out horribly. Or just because you read a tabloid story about Jennifer Lawrence and are concerned. I think one of the best things about BFF-dom is having them there for the big, important stuff, but also the little trivial stuff.

Thanks Morgan. I concur with all of these!

Since You've Been Gone is published 3 July.

Make sure you check out the rest of the tour - details are below:


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