Thursday, August 21, 2014

Lindsey Paley and The Wish List Addiction

Today I'm excited to have Lindsey Paley talking about her latest novel, The Wish List Addiction

1. Where did the idea come from for The Wish List Addiction?

Lots of us make lists - some of us, like Rebecca, draw up lots of different lists. They are a safety net for our overloaded memories. In 'The Wish List Addiction' I wanted to explore what would happen if those lists were taken away and Rebecca was forced to live life 'as it comes'. 

When we meet Rebecca, it's when her life is at an all time low. Everything has gone wrong and she is clutching the edge of sanity by her fingernails. Her obsession with list-making has not led to a happier life at all, in fact they were a catalyst for most of her difficulties. So, at the beginning of the story, her friends challenge her to 'ditch the lists' and instead pursue her life in a more random, 'dip in/dip out' choice of activities, without the safety net of her lists. 

So, no lists - the story is about how those golden coins of happiness can be found in the randomness of life, away from the rigid, tightly controlled organisation of her former existence. 


2. It's interesting how we let list making take over our lives. Are you a list maker?

I've always been an avid list maker - I suppose it stems from a desire to be organised and to free up room in my crammed brain. I have all three lists that Rebecca has in the book - a daily 'To Do' list, a mid-term, creatively drawn 'Wish List' and an exhaustively researched 'Bucket List'. I have been fortunate enough to cross off three items from my 'Bucket List' over the last year. In May, I was rendered speechless with awe as I stood in front of the Niagara Falls and I was also an 'extra' in a TV series written by a local crime author - Ann Cleeves. The third was a much dreamed of visit to Versailles in Paris.


3. I was very excited to find out the "The Little Green Book of Wishes" actually does exist. I've just downloaded it and it is full of fabulous ideas. Which came first The Wish List Addiction or The Little Green Book?

Thanks, Vicki, I hope you enjoy reading 'The Little Green Book of Wishes'. 

'The Wish List Addiction' came first although to ensure accuracy the books were written in tandem. I wanted Rebecca and her friends to be able to select from a book full of inspiration - ideas that would not cost too much and that she could share with her son, Max. 

We are consistently advised that happiness lies not in the amassing of monetary gain but in the connections we make and sustain with others. 'The Little Green Book' does not advocate that you draw up a finite list of things to do before you reach a certain age or event and then you can die happy in the knowledge that your dreams have been achieved. far from it - it's too stressful by half The risk is that in the strenuous pursuit of one goal and the satisfaction of striking it from your list to move headlong on to the next, the Wish List Addict becomes oblivious to the fact that real life rushes by alongside - exactly what happened to Rebecca. 

4. When did you first realize you were a writer?

I have been scribbling stories since school, but I wrote my first full length novel twenty years ago. I wrote it in long-hand and It's still in a shoe box on top of my wardrobe. I don't think it will ever see the light of day!

5. I've read some of your other books and you seem to have a keen eye for fashion and design. Do you have an interest in that area?

I love fashion and design. One of my lifelong creative pursuits is dress design and sewing. I once slaved over sewing a full length, off-the-shoulder, black velvet dress with taffeta ruffle and bow at the back (it was in the eighties) only to turn up at the Ball to find another girl in the exact same dress! After the initial shock, we laughed, linked arms and had a fabulous evening!

6. How much time each day to you spend writing or planning out your novels.

I am a planner. I need a 'skeleton' story upon which to drape the creative fabric. I try to write during school hours so I do about six or seven hours.    

7. Since your work spans more than one genre, what's on the horizon for you? Is there anything in the works?


At the insistence of my son, I have written a MG/YA novel - 'Star Jumpers: The Lion Roars' which is Book One in a series. It is the story of a quest which takes place in a world of magic and adventure with dragons and other magical creatures. I have just finished Book Two - 'Star Jumpers: Vengeful Earth' but my next novel will be a contemporary romance which I am currently in the process of researching.

My Review:  Ah… the list maker lives in all of us, shopping lists, Christmas lists, goal lists, and the infamous bucket list and poor Rebecca Matthews has succumbed to it.
            Unfortunately her lists don’t work. Her marriage has caved in along with the roof on the cottage she purchased to mend her relationship with her ex and nonexistent father of her son. Her career has followed the same path due to the bankruptcy she’s endured borrowing money to buy her dream home and keep her father in a nursing facility.
Rebecca feels she has failed in so many ways but what hurts her most is what it is doing to her son, Max. Then something magically happens all brought about by The Little Green Book of Wishes (check it out – it does exist!).
Lindsey Paley is an excellent author who draws the reader into the charms and characteristic warmth of the English country side. Her descriptive words infused this booklover’s mind with vivid details. The heart warming story with a brilliant ending to all of Rebecca’s problems is a recommended read. From checking out Ms Paley’s Facebook posts she’s rather handy in the kitchen and the cottage has an apple orchard and of course an apple pie – which you can almost taste. 

About Lindsey: Lindsey Paley is a Yorkshire girl who now lives in North East England with her husband and young son. When not writing in her peppermint and cream summerhouse (shed), she can be found either up to her elbows in flour baking cakes and biscuits or practicing her swing on the golf course. 

The Wish List Addiction is Lindsey’s third novel.

If you were inspired by Rebecca’s lists, Lindsey would love to hear what’s on your ‘Wish List’ or ‘Bucket List’. Please contact her on her Author Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/lindseypaleybooks



Thursday, August 14, 2014

Falling Like A Rock by Bonnie McCune

I'm pleased to welcome back Bonnie McCune and review her latest novel:  Falling Like a Rock

My Review:  Once again Bonnie McCune has written a witty novel full of the emotions and turmoil of life. She approaches sensitive human circumstances with care and assurance making the characters real and believable.

            Elaine Svoboda finds herself in Falling Rock, a small mountain community, without a job, recently dumped by her egotistical boyfriend, and fearing she’ll never measure up to her families’ expectations. One thing Elaine does have going for her, is her honesty.

            She digs into the community, secures a grant for a health program and wins the approval of Mayor Joe, the town hunk, who she has been at odds with since first introduced. But in an effort to meet his standards, she throws her honesty out the window and lies to him and their relationship crumbles.

            When a fast moving forest fire breaks out and they both pitch in to help, the danger makes them realize what they've come to mean to each other.

            The vivid descriptions of the Colorado high country and the heart pounding terror of the fast approaching fire makes this a highly recommended read.

What the Reviewers are saying: "This is an enjoyable story that takes the reader on a journey into the heart of personal struggles with doubt, self-esteem and body perception issues and the desire to please that can be at the root of sometimes misguided choices." Susan M. Baganz

"A fast-paced page turner, Falling Like a Rock draws the reader in from the first page." Patricia Pike

About Bonnie:  Bonnie McCune credits her tenacity for the successes in her life, and A Saint Comes Stumbling In is proof.  Since fifth grade, she has been determined to be a writer.  This is her first published novel, but her interest in writing led to her career in nonprofits doing public and community relations and marketing.  She’s worked for libraries, directed a small arts organization and managed Denver's beautification program. Simultaneously, she’s been a free lance writer with publications in local, regional, and specialty publications for news and features.  Her main interest now is fiction writing, and her pieces have won several awards.  Her civic involvement includes grass-roots organizations, political campaigns, writers' and arts' groups, and children's literacy. 

For years, she entered recipe contests and was a finalist once to the Pillsbury Cook Off.  A special love is live theater.  Had she been nine inches taller and thirty pounds lighter, she might have been an actress.  For reasons unknown (an unacknowledged optimism?), she believes that one person can make a difference in this world.  McCune lives in Denver, Colorado, where she’s been married to the same man forever, has two children and three grandchildren, and is working on a humorous novel about aging.

Read more about Bonnie at www.BonnieMcCune.com.  

Purchase Falling Like a Rock on Amazon.


Thursday, August 7, 2014

Sparks Fly by Daisy Jerico

     
My Review:  I had a smile on my lips the entire time I read this story. While the novella deals with a very serious subject, the tension between the two main characters and the subject of arson is handled so well that it doesn’t override the charming love story.
            When the story begins, Carlisle, who is an aspiring chef and planning on winning the next cooking contest to fund her cooking school expenses, starts the shed on fire with her pit barbeque. A couple of hunky firemen show up and Kelly, Carlisle’s best friend, is smitten. Carlisle would be, too, but she and Fire Chief Chet just don’t see eye to eye.

            With fires popping up all over town and Chet busy trying to find the culprit, he has little time for Carlisle who he thinks is ornery and annoying. But when he realizes the arsonist is not only after him but his friends and family and Carlisle is only trying to help, he does everything in his power to save her.

            The well rounded characters and wonderful ending make this a great summer read. 

What the reviewers are saying:  "Sometimes I want a good, short, read, and this one did the trick. I tried to guess all the way through who the arsonist might be.. I read a lot of suspense and usually have a suspect in mind. Not so with this book. The romance between Carlisle and Chet, as well as Mike and Kelly was wholesome and cute. I loved the sixty-something Violet and her boyfriend with the bat. You can't go wrong with this one." ~ Lewis

"Daisy Jerico's lovely touch of humour adds to an already intriguing romance featuring suspense, mystery and of course a couple of hot firemen. With Ms. Jerico's obvious love of food and cooking, I'll bet BBQs at her place are a treat, as long as she doesn't burn down her shed as Carlisle did. This is definitely a read in one sitting book as you won't be able to put it down until you finish." Sharon McGregor

More about Daisy:  Daisy Jerico lives in a small Wisconsin town with her three dogs and husband of 27 years. When not writing, Daisy teaches science to inquiring minds. Find her online at DaisyJerico.wordpress.com.

You may purchase Sparks Fly on Amazon