An Extract from The Love Detective by Angela Dyson

The Love Detective

My enormous thanks to Helen Lewis for inviting me to be part of the launch celebrations for The Love Detective by Angela Dyson. I’m thrilled to be able to share an extract with you today.

Published by Troubador today 27th September 2018, The Love Detective is available for purchase here.

The Love Detective

The Love Detective

The first in a hilarious new series featuring a regular girl set down a path strewn with misadventures and murder to her destiny as `The Love Detective’.

Clarry is 26, attractive, funny – and on the road to nowhere. Living a makeshift existence as a waitress, she knows life should be led with some sort of plan, but unfortunately planning is something she needs to get around to.

Enter her best friend Laura with a seemingly simple request: check out Simon, estate agent and new boyfriend, to make sure he really is interested in Laura and not the solicitor help she can provide. Clarry is no detective, unless you count tracking down where her next tip is coming from. Still, what harm could a little amateur sleuthing do?

With the aid of Flan, a glamorous septuagenarian, Flan’s lover, and a cast of colourful characters from the restaurant she works at, Clarry plunges into the investigation with a few pitfalls, pratfalls and a dodgy moment where she’s mistaken as a pole dancer (and not in a good way). It isn’t until 1) she discovers that Simon’s a two-timing creep, and 2) in a sinister turn, she uncovers an evil criminal enterprise, that she realises amateur sleuthing is not for the faint of heart!

Cynical and yet romantic, Clarry is an unlikely heroine that readers will both identify and fall in love with. Her misadventures and comical outlook mesh brilliantly with a thrilling story that will appeal to readers of romance, crime and chick lit. Set to be the first in an entertaining new series, you don’t need to follow the clues to know The Love Detective is one book you don’t want to miss out on!

An Extract from the Love Detective

And then, without indicating, the van suddenly swung a left disappearing around a corner. In pursuit, I picked up speed and swerved after it, only to find that it had come to a halt right on the bend. Urgently, I pressed down hard on the brake pedal but it was too late, I was going to ram straight into it. Forcing myself back into my seat as if somehow, magically, the movement of my body could prevent collision with the rear of the other vehicle, I ground my foot down again and pulled desperately at the handbrake. The wheels spun for what seemed a very long minute but in reality could only have been a few seconds. My old Renault rocked violently on its axis but I had missed hitting the van, and with only inches to spare.

I took a long, ragged breath. Nausea threatened and briefly I closed my eyes trying to force it down. Instantly, I opened them again at the sound of the van door being opened. The driver was getting out. I could see now that his bomber jacket was of shiny leather and that he was in his thirties with black receding hair, I registered, in my rear-view mirror, something small and white that floated out and down from the van’s nearside window, to land amongst the scrubby grass that lined the edge of the kerb. Somebody in that van had thrown out a piece of paper.

(And now I need to know what happens next!)

About Angela Dyson

Angela Dyson

Angela Dyson ditched her London life and downsized her home to move to the sticks in Surrey, to follow her dream to become a professional author. She loves to write but to pay the bills (Angela soon discovered that utility companies, bank managers and landlords aren’t known for their generosity and understanding natures,) she had to squeeze the writing in with working for a living. Some of the jobs to which she only gave half her attention have included working for a recording studio and a record label, running a building maintenance company where pretty much the only upside was getting to boss a lot of men about all day, doing a bit of plus size modelling (strictly clothes on) and, for one memorable summer, making a living reading palms on a Greek Island.

You can follow Angela on Twitter @AngelaDysonAuth, visit her website and find her on Facebook.

love detective banner

The Christmas Sisters by Sarah Morgan

The Christmas Sisters

My enormous thanks to Sarah Calder at Harper Collins for a surprise copy of The Christmas Sisters by Sarah Morgan in return for an honest review.

The Christmas Sisters will be published by HQ, an imprint of Harper Collins, on 1st November 2018 and is available for preorder here.

The Christmas Sisters

The Christmas Sisters

It’s not what’s under the Christmas tree, but who’s around it that matters most.

All Suzanne McBride wants for Christmas is her three daughters happy and at home. But when sisters Posy, Hannah and Beth return to their family home in the Scottish Highlands, old tensions and buried secrets start bubbling to the surface.

Suzanne is determined to create the perfect family Christmas, but the McBrides must all face the past and address some home truths before they can celebrate together . . .

My Review of The Christmas Sisters

The McBride sisters spend most of their time avoiding one another, but Christmas this year might be different.

Why on earth haven’t I read Sarah Morgan’s books before? I may have been on holiday in scorching temperatures when I immersed myself in this book but The Christmas Sisters proves that smashing, feel-good fiction can be read and thoroughly enjoyed at any time of the year.

Although all the women in the story are well rounded and realistic characters, it was Posy whom I enjoyed reading about the most. I loved the fact that she was feisty, independent and yet still bound by family ties so that I identified with her completely. The men in the story, Luke, Jason, Adam and Stewart, play a slightly reduced role but form a perfect backdrop for Suzanne, Hannah, Beth and Posy making the narrative beautifully well balanced and immensely satisfying. The blending of the American and Scottish elements also adds to the huge enjoyment gained in reading The Christmas Sisters.

The plot is lovely. Readers might expect a happy ever after ending from this kind of women’s fiction, but the journey to the denouement is humorous, well constructed and romantic. I thought the italicised asides lent just the right level of extra detail so that I felt included in the story; especially when some of the characters didn’t have the information or detail I had. As well as levity, however, there are some weighty themes to explore too so that The Christmas Sisters prompts the reader to ponder family and relationships, trust and guilt and, most importantly, to consider what, or rather who, really is important in life.

I’m probably going to sound sexist here but I swear there isn’t a woman alive who has prepared for a family Christmas would wouldn’t find echoes of themselves and their loved ones in The Christmas Sisters. It is an absolute joy to me that Sarah Morgan gives her readers the permission to step back and not strive for unrealistic perfection whilst simultaneously entertaining them royally. This book is joyful, touching and a jolly good read!

About Sarah Morgan

Sarah Morgan

Sarah Morgan is a USA Today bestselling author of romance and women’s fiction. She has sold over 16 million copies of her books and is a 3-time winner of the prestigious RITA® Award from the Romance Writers of America.

Sarah lives near London with her family and when she isn’t writing or sprawled on the sofa reading, she likes to spend time outdoors walking or riding her mountain bike. She still can’t believe she is lucky enough to be paid for doing a job where she makes things up.

You can find out more by joining Sarah’s mailing list by visiting her website. You can follow her on Facebook Twitter @SarahMorgan_ and on Instagram.

Staying in with Nancy Boyarsky

Liar Liar

It’s always so good to meet new to me authors and today I’m delighted to welcome writer Nancy Boyarsky to Linda’s Book Bag to tell me all about one of her books.

Staying in with Nancy Boyarsky

Welcome to Linda’s Book Bag, Nancy. Thank you for agreeing to stay in with me. Tell me, which of your books have you brought to tell me about this evening and why have you brought it?

Liar Liar

I brought my new book, Liar Liar, with me because was published yesterday, and I’m very excited about it.

(I bet! And a Happy Publication Day for yesterday Nancy!)

It was challenging and, in the end, a lot of fun to write because my fearless sleuth, Nicole, shows a new aspect of herself, one she doesn’t like. She becomes an accomplished liar, although not to the extent of the other main players in the book. She struggles with the guilt she feels lying to her fiancé about her continuing involvement in a murder case. Josh, she now realizes, is overly protective in a way that stifles her instinct for righting a terrible injustice. He doesn’t want her anywhere near the murder trial, especially since it’s a high profile story that attracts huge attention from the media and paparazzi.

bequest

In my previous mystery, The Bequest, Nicole herself was the target of the tabloids to such an extent that she had to hide out to escape them (as well as a murder threat).

(This sounds incredibly exciting.)

Delving into this story bought up some interesting questions: Do we ever really know the whole truth? Do we each have our version of past events? I enjoyed writing about the push-pull between the truth and lies and how difficult it is for other people to figure out what really happened.

(Oh yes! I’m always fascinated about the way we can construct our own truths. I think I’d really enjoy this series and Liar Liar in particular Nancy.)

What can we expect from an evening in with Liar Liar?

If you love mysteries, you’ll find yourself caught up in a fast-moving, character-driven story that tunes in on today’s headline stories. It begins with a rape accusation that escalates and turns deadly. The plot unfolds with a number of twists and surprises. Basically this is a who-done-it. female-sleuth story; we know fairly early on who didn’t do it. As the plot progresses, it’s clear that many involved are not telling the truth. Even Nicole, finds herself lying when her fiancé objects to her looking into the murder that he feels could put her in danger. I put in several court-room scenes, but kept them short and to the point. You can expect the action to keep going all the way to the end.

(It sounds great.)

What else have you brought along and why? 

brownies

Because mysteries are addictive, I’ve brought along a big plate of amazing brownies baked by my friend Charlotte, along with munchies, including roasted mixed nuts, guacamole and chips.

(Now, if you’re going to bring along those kind of snacks, you can come again Nancy!)

I’ve also brought my technical advisors, Cathy Watkins, a P.I. and my brother-in-law Jeff, a criminal defense attorney, because they’re fun to talk to.

(We’d better give them a chance to join in then!)

wine

And finally, I’ve brought a couple of bottles of Pino Grigio, so everyone can relax and have a good time.

It’s been so interesting finding out about Liar Liar, Nancy. Thank you for staying in with me. I’ve really enjoyed our evening. Now, let’s pour Cathy and Jeff a drink…

Liar Liar

Liar Liar

Nicole Graves finds herself in the crosshairs when she reluctantly agrees to babysit a witness in a high-profile rape trial. Mary Ellen Barnes is suing her university’s star quarterback for rape when the authorities won’t act. In the court of public opinion, Mary Ellen appears to be the quintessential, pious, good girl. But her lies and mysterious comings and goings lead Nicole to suspect that she’s not what she seems.

It isn’t just Mary Ellen who’s acting suspiciously. No one wants to own up to the truth in Liar Liar, not even Nicole, whose fiance; begs her not to look into the case. But when the witness goes missing during the trial, Nicole is caught up in a tangle of lies that turns deadly. After the investigator assigned to the case fails to do his job, Nicole is determined to find the killer on her own, no matter the risks.

Published by Light Messages Publishing, Liar Liar is available for purchase through the links here.

About Nancy Boyasky

Nancy

Before turning to mysteries, Nancy coauthored Backroom Politics, a New York Times notable book, with her husband, Bill Boyarsky. She has written several textbooks on the justice system as well as articles for publications including the Los Angeles Times, Forbes, and McCall’s. She also contributed to political anthologies, including In the Running, about women’s political campaigns. In addition to her writing career, she was communications director for political affairs for ARCO.

Liar Liar: A Nicole Graves Mystery is Nancy Boyarsky’s third novel. The Swap, her first in the series, received the Eric Hoffer Award for Literary Excellence. The Bequest, the second Nicole mystery  received five stars from Kirkus Reviews.

You can find out more about Nancy by visiting her website, or finding her on Facebook.

The Girl In His Eyes by Jennie Ensor

The Girl in His Eyes

Although I’ve always heard wonderful things about Jennie Ensor’s writing and her first novel Blind Side, I’ve never actually read her before so I’m delighted to put that right today and share my review of The  Girl in His Eyes. My grateful thanks to Jennie for sending me an early copy in return for an honest review. As I was unable to take part in the launch blog tour because I was (due to be) away I’ve been desperate to share my review for weeks.

Published by Bloodhound on 18th September 2018 The Girl in His Eyes is available for purchase here.

The Girl In His Eyes

The Girl in His Eyes

Her father abused her when she was a child. For years she was too afraid to speak out. But now she suspects he’s found another victim…

Laura, a young woman struggling to deal with what her father did to her a decade ago, is horrified to realise that the girl he takes swimming might be his next victim. Emma is twelve – the age Laura was when her father took away her innocence.

Intimidated by her father’s rages, Laura has never told anyone the truth about her childhood. Now she must decide whether she has the courage to expose him and face the consequences.

Can Laura overcome her fear and save Emma before the worst happens?

My Review of The Girl In His Eyes

Laura hides a secret about her father Paul that could just affect others too.

When I first saw the subject matter of The Girl In His Eyes I wasn’t sure if this book would be for me, but Jennie Elsor writes so effectively that I found myself drawn into the book immediately and I found it hard to tear myself away. What she does so well is to present difficult concepts with searing clarity so that the reader is compelled to read on and find out what happens.

The plot is fast paced and exciting, weaving in and out of the three perspectives of Laura, Paul and Suzanne, but this isn’t the most gripping aspect of The Girl In His Eyes. Rather, it is Jennie Ensor’s creation of character and examination of human psychology that so ensnares the reader. Whilst I frequently wanted to scream at Laura and Suzanne for their responses to Paul at times, I understood exactly why they behaved the way they did so that it made me question much about what happens in cases like the storyline in real life and to doubt my own very firmly held beliefs about how I might behave in similar circumstances.

Paul is a magnificent creation. He’s vile and depraved but simultaneously ordinary and charming so that it is easy to see how men like him survive in life and convince themselves and others that their lives are acceptable. I thought the way Jennie Ensor explored how the consequences of background and childhood so influence us as adults was brilliantly handled. It is no wonder to me that Laura takes on the job she does for example.

The themes in The Girl In His Eyes are uncomfortable and unsettling. Some of the writing is quite explicit, but never gratuitously so. I think some readers may find these elements hard to deal with if their experiences have been similar, because the quality of the writing is so good, but I also think The Girl In His Eyes is a book all should read. It’s riveting reading, albeit uncomfortable at times, but it tackles the subject of abuse so brilliantly because it shows the ease with which a man can justify his actions and how those closest to him can accept them too. The concept of deception at all levels underpins this book and fascinates the reader.

The Girl In His Eyes disturbs, shocks and disconcerts. It is also convincing, captivating and all too credible. It’s a book I won’t forget in a hurry.

About Jennie Ensor

Jennie Ensor

A Londoner with Irish heritage, Jennie Ensor began her writing career as a journalist, obtaining a Masters in Journalism (winning two awards) and covering topics from forced marriages to accidents in the mining industry. She is keenly interested in social issues, which often creep into her novels, stories and poems.

Jennie Ensor’s debut novel Blind Side was published by Unbound Digital in 2016; a second novel The Girl In His Eyes, a psychological thriller with echoes of Nabokov’s Lolita, will be published by Bloodhound Books in September 2018.

Her poetry has appeared in many literary publications, most recently Ink Sweat and Tears. In January 2018 her short story The Gift was placed in the Top 40 of the Words and Women UK national prose competition. In her spare time, she sings in a chamber choir and dreams of becoming a hermit or perhaps kayaking an impossibly long river.

You can find out more by following Jennie on Twitter @Jennie_Ensor, finding her on Facebook and visiting her website.

Staying in with Sherry Ellis

cover

One of the ways I got in to blogging was by reading and reviewing middle grade books for one of the big publishing houses with a view to see whether they might be good as classroom readers, so when a new middle grade book comes along I’m always interested, especially if it takes me off on some travels too. Today I’m delighted to be featuring an author of middle grade books, Sherry Ellis, as she stays in with me to chat about one of her books.

Staying in with Sherry Ellis

Welcome to Linda’s Book Bag, Sherry. Thank you for agreeing to stay in with me.

Thanks for having me as a guest. I’m so excited to be here!

Tell me, which of your books have you brought along to share this evening and why have you chosen it?

cover

I brought Bubba and Squirt’s Big Dig to China because I’m in the mood for an exotic ghost story.

(I’m a bit of a wimp when it comes to ghost stories Sherry, but I think I can manage a middle grade book!)

What can we expect from an evening in with Bubba and Squirt’s Big Dig to China

This is a book for young middle grade readers. It’s about two kids having the adventure of their lives: traveling through the Earth to China, encountering a ghost, and embarking on a treasure hunt.   And if that isn’t enough, they’re going to learn something about the language, history, and culture of China. Did I say, “learn?” Oh my!

(This sounds brilliant. I haven’t been to China on my travels yet so I could go vicariously with the children!)

What else have you brought along and why?

lanterns

I have a whole bag of goodies which will enhance the reading experience. We’ll need to string up these red Chinese lanterns and hang them around the room. Then we’ll dim the lights. Adding to the ambience will be this music of the mournful erhu. (You’ll find out what that is when you read the book.) Once the stage is set, it’s time to read.

dumplings

Afterward, we can have a snack of Jiaozi–Chinese dumplings. I brought all the ingredients. We can follow the recipe that’s in the book. Then we’ll wash it down with some yummy boba tea.

tea

(Oh, you’re definitely my kind of guest Sherry. Reading, food and tea. What could be better?)

Thanks so much for staying in with me to tell me all about Bubba and Squirt’s Big Dig to China. I’ve really enjoyed our evening.

Bubba and Squirt’s Big Dig to China

cover

You can’t dig a hole to China!

Squirt doesn’t believe Bubba can dig a hole to China. But when the hole swallows them, the kids find themselves in Xi’an, China, surrounded by Terracotta Warriors.

It gets worse when the ghost of the first emperor of China appears. He tells them they can’t go home until they find his missing pi. The kids don’t know where to begin until they meet a girl and her grandmother who promise to help find the pendant.

Soon they realize they are being followed. And they are no closer to finding the missing pi. Will Bubba and Squirt ever make it back home?

Published by Dancing Lemur Press on 4th September 2018 Bubba and Squirt’s Big Dig to China is available for purchase on ITunesAmazonB&N, Kobo, and BAM.

About Sherry Ellis

Sherry

Sherry Ellis is an award-winner author and professional musician who plays and teaches the violin, viola, and piano. When she is not writing or engaged in musical activities, she can be found doing household chores, hiking, or exploring the world. Ellis, her husband, and their two children live in Atlanta, Georgia.

You can find out more about Sherry on her blog and website, by following her on Twitter @513sherrye and by finding her on Facebook.

Beetlebrow The Thief by Ben Parker

beetlebrow

My enormous thanks to Ben Cameron at Cameron Publicity for sending me a copy of Beetlebrow The Thief by Ben Parker in return for an honest review which you can read below and for getting the two of us together for an evening in!

Staying in with Ben Parker

Welcome to Linda’s Book Bag Ben and thank you for staying in with me. Tell me, which of your books have you brought along to share this evening and why have you chosen it? 

beetlebrow

Well, I’ve only written the one, Beetlebrow the Thief, so hopefully it’s a good read for an evening in. Or a morning in, for that matter. Or an afternoon out.

(It is indeed! I know as I’ve read Beetlebrow the Thief.)

What can we expect from an evening in with Beetlebrow the Thief?

I’m really hoping to take readers away on an adventure, but at the same time I’m hoping the book does more than tell a story – the characters in Beetlebrow the Thief are people of colour, and some are in the LGBTQIA+ spectrum. At a time when we are seeing a resurgence in discrimination, I think it is important for fiction to reflect a diverse Britain.

(You manage that blend really well Ben. I found the emergent themes in Beetlebrow the Thief extremely interesting as you’ll see in my review below.)

What else have you brought along and why? 

banquet

There’s a scene about a third of the way into Beetlebrow the Thief, where Beetlebrow and Pook – the heroes of my novel – break into the royal palace of their city, and are confronted and brought to a luxurious room. Then, they are presented with a vast wealth of food – chicken, cake, pies… It’s all a ruse to make the two girls compliant enough to take on the dangerous mission, so I tried to capture what it would be like to be overwhelmed with food when you’ve grown up always hungry.

(I remember that scene very vividly Ben.)

So I’m bringing a large meal, with an ulterior motive… I think that sums up the book!

Anyone who brings food is always welcome here Ben. Thanks so much for staying in with me to tell me all about Beetlebrow the Thief. Whilst we tuck in to the meal you might like to read my review too!

Beetlebrow The Thief

beetlebrow

Two teenage girls, Beetlebrow and Pook, living in a desperate world, are trying to end the hunger aching in their streets.

But first they must find their way through sinister palaces, dank dungeons, and winding mazes of alleyways, encountering kings, prostitutes, scholars and cut-throats, and delving deep into the centuries-spanning cult of the Unfinished Painting of Essum…
‘Beetlebrow the Thief’ launches the epic adventure trilogy of their story.

Beetlebrow The Thief was published by Conrad Press on 13th August 2018 and is available for purchase here and in all good bookshops.

My Review of Beetlebrow The Thief

Living in a world of poverty drives Beetlebrow to desperate actions.

I have a small comment I wish to get out of the way in the interests of complete honesty before my review proper and that is that I would have liked fewer uses of the pronoun ‘she’ in the writing for my personal taste. That said, I understand entirely how Ben Parker’s unique writing style requires this approach. Beetlebrow The Thief is such a multi-layered and intelligently themed novel that places two females at its heart in a feminist and supportive manner that there needs to be a written style that will support and underpin the themes.

Beetlebrow The Thief may be a young adult book but it is hugely rewarding for an adult reader as the themes presented are so allegorical and equally applicable to history and modern societies alike. Females in Beetlebrow The Thief are frequently regarded as second class and abused verbally, sexually and physically by men. It is no surprise that Beetlebrow is rarely called by her real name as females are seen as second class citizens. Ben Parker is not overly explicit here, and he balances the brutality in the text with a glorious tenderness between Beetlbrow and Pook as they develop their own relationship so that he really makes the reader contemplate relationships and love.

I loved Ben Parker’s exploration of the corruption of power and the way in which two lowly females are able to succeed through their own wits (and frequently deviousness) in what is a male dominated society. So many aspects such as hunger and poverty made me reflect on what is happening in the world today.

Alongside a fast paced and exciting plot Ben Parker’s writing has enormous appeal to the senses. Particularly from Beetlebrow’s perspective, the descriptions are vivid and clear so that there is a cinematic feel at times. I thought this was a hugely successful element as all my senses were fully engaged by the writing.

But the success for me in Bettlebrow The Thief really comes through Beetlebrow herself. She is no idealised character, but is prepared to lie, cheat and use physical violence if required. And that is the crux. If required. Ben Parker throws an uncomfortable spotlight onto how and why those in desperate circumstances have to behave simply to survive. I found this very powerful and often quite disturbing. Beetlebrow is also capable of overwhelming love, sensuality and loyalty so that she is a completely wonderful human creation.

Beetlebrow The Thief is an intriguing read. It can be enjoyed simply as an exciting fantasy adventure, but I think that would be doing it a disservice. Beetlebrow The Thief is a complex, multifaceted and thought provoking book too.

About Ben Parker

ben parker

Ben Parker was born in Ealing, London in 1983. He has a BA and MA in English from Southampton University. He now lives in Whitstable. His interests include jazz, cooking, reading and silent film. His main inspirations for writing are Patrick White, Mikhail Bulgakov, James Joyce, Hilary Mantel and Alan Moore.

To find out more, follow Ben on Twitter @bjcparker or find him on Facebook.

Staying in with Barbara Stark-Nemon

HARDCider

Having just returned home from a trip to Bali, Indonesia and what should have been Hong Kong but typhoon Mangkuk stopped that bit of the holiday, what could be better than to head off again, albeit vicariously, and travel to Michigan as I stay in with Barbara Stark-Nemon today?

Staying in with Barbara Stark-Nemon

Welcome to Linda’s Book Bag, Barbara. Thank you for agreeing to stay in with me this evening. Which of your books have you brought along?

HARDCider

Thank you for the invite, Linda, and I’ve brought my new novel, Hard Ciderwhich came out on September 18.  Here in Michigan, where I live, we are just rolling into apple harvest season— the days are noticeably shorter, the nights beginning to cool, so it seemed like a great time to bring you a book about a woman’s dream to create hard cider along the shores and dunes of Lake Michigan that she loves.

(It’s certainly heading toward autumn isn’t it? A slightly belated Happy Hard Cider Publication day Barbara.)

What can we expect from an evening in with Hard Cider?

Hard Ciders main character, Abbie Rose, has reckoned with infertility, a complicated family, a career, a long marriage, and now wants to pursue her cider-making dream.  The appearance of a young woman with a shocking secret threatens to derail Abbie’s plan, along with her sense of who her family really is.  Along the way of Abbie’s attempt to overcome a number of obstacles, the reader will learn much about growing cider apples and making the hard stuff!  I like to say this is a “what if” book— what if some of the circumstances that actually happened to me had turned out very differently..

(Sounds great Barbara! I think life is filled with ‘what if’ moments.)

I recently received this review of Hard Cider that spoke to me as much about this new genre I’ve written in, as it did about my book. (My previous novel, Even in Darkness is historical fiction) I loved this!

From Macsbooks…Women’s Contemporary Fiction is not a genre into which I often delve. The scenarios in the book either are so far from my wheelhouse that I cannot relate, or they mirror my own problems so closely that there is no escape or joy in the reading for me. However, because I absolutely adore hard cider, I had to give this book a try. What a wonderful surprise I had in store for me within the covers of this book! …… I was drawn into the story as I related more and more to Abbie and her life. I, too, began an “adventure” at mid-life, one that had no support from my immediate family. Watching as Abbie grew as a woman and as an entrepreneur helped me to see how I, too, could grow and change. It is, in essence, a “coming of age” story for women in the 21st century.

(This is such a lovely review. You must be so thrilled to receive it.)

Surprise at the unexpected but fulfilling way our lives turn out, despite hurdles, is an important theme in both my books.

(And an important theme in life I think!)

What else have you brought along and why?

cider jar

There’s a lot of research that went into writing Hard Cider.  Who knew that the bottles hard cider comes in are called ‘growlers’.  Here’s a photo of my local cidery’s growler.  I love the name of my favorite of their brews— Smackintosh!   I fell in love with hard cider many years ago when I lived and worked in England.

(Hmm – I notice the one you’ve brought is empty!)

Thank you so much for staying in with me to tell me all about Hard Cider Barbara. I think it sounds like such a lovely read and I wish you every success with it.

Hard Cider

HARDCider

Abbie Rose Stone’s acquired wisdom runs deep, and so do her scars. She has successfully navigated the shoals of a long marriage, infertility, challenging children, and a career.

Now it’s her turn to realize her dream: producing hard apple cider along the northern shores of Lake Michigan that she loves.

She manages to resist new versions of the old pull of family dynamics that threaten to derail her plan–but nothing can protect her from the shock a lovely young stranger delivers when she exposes a long-held secret.

In the wake of this revelation, Abbie must overcome circumstances that severely test her self-determination, her loyalties, and her understanding of what constitutes true family.

Published by She Writes Press on 18th September 2018, Hard Cider is available for purchase here.

About Barbara Stark-Nemon

Barbara Stark-Nemon, photo by Chris Loomis Photography

Barbara Stark-Nemon, author of the award-winning novel Even in Darkness lives, writes, cycles, swims, does fiber art, and gardens in Ann Arbor and Northport, Michigan. An undergraduate degree in English Literature and Art History and a Masters in Speech-language Pathology from the University of Michigan led to a teaching and clinical career working with deaf children. Barbara writes novels, short stories, and essays.

You can find out about Barbara by visiting her website and finding her on Facebook and Instagram. You can also follow Barbara on Twitter @bstarknemon.