Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Amanda Egan launches new Christmas novella - Cinderella's Buttons!

Today sees the launch of the brilliant Amanda Egan's latest book - Cinderella's Buttons. It's a Christmas-themed novella - as you can tell from that fabulous cover - and I really can't wait to read this one! Come and find out a little bit more about it...



‘The Tideswell Players’ are all set for their debut amateur dramatics production and it’s going to wake up their sleepy little village.
 

Will Gemma realise that not all men are pigs?
 

Can Fliss put her heart on defrost?
 

When will Cheryl learn to be less of a Wannabe?
 

Who will love Ramsey, the only gay in the village?
 

What does it all hold for Martin?
 

And will Theo stop being ‘too nice’?
 

Join them as they discover that the scene may be set and the script written, but anything can happen when the magic of the theatre casts its spell.


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You can get your copy of Cinderella's Buttons HERE on Amazon.

And it's also available in paperback HERE at Lulu.com.


Wishing you loads of luck with the release of this book, Amanda. I've just bought my copy, and I really can't wait to read it! 

 

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Growing attached to make-believe characters - this happened to you?

Are you one of those people who becomes quite attached to characters in books or TV shows? Are you left with an almost empty feeling once that last page has been turned or that show you've spent years of your life following ends? I am, and I'll quite happily admit that. 


Can't even begin to tell you how much I'm missing this show...

Those of you who know me well know I am currently going through a period of such "loss" following the end of Breaking Bad. And it's a strange feeling, because, it's also a feeling that doesn't happen all that often, believe it or not. It's quite rare for me to feel that strongly about a TV show. But, for the past fortnight, I have felt such a weird emptiness after watching the Breaking Bad finale that it's shocked even me. I don't know whether it's because we binge-watched the entire five seasons in just a matter of weeks, meaning I grew very attached very quickly, which, in turn, meant that those characters I'd fallen in love with were also snatched away from me just as quickly. All I know is I still can't really accept that that show is over, and, a t-shirt, keyring, and one Breaking Bad 2014 calender later and I'm still not really dealing with it. It's going to take time...

I swear, if this actually existed I'd be joining it...
Am I the only one who feels that way? No. I'm not, I'm sure I'm not. I mean, such has been the depth of feeling over the "demise" of the fictional Walter White in Breaking Bad, that a fake funeral and memorial service was actually held for the character in Albuquerque, where the show was filmed and set, last Saturday. The proceeds of that event are going to a very worthy Albuquerque-based charity, I hasten to add, but it just goes to show that some characters become such a huge part of peoples' lives that when they're no longer there, it becomes a case of finding our own personal way of coping with that "loss". And those ways aren't, quite obviously, always conventional. 

Personally, I've been going along a much more tried and tested route of just trying to find something new to watch to fill that void, which hasn't been easy, but I think I've managed it with a show called Justified. All four seasons have actually been shown on British TV, so God knows how I managed to miss them, but we're catching up with them all now, in preparation for the fifth season starting next year, and I'm liking it. A lot. Just like Breaking Bad, it's managed to grab me from the very start, and the fact it has the rather gorgeous Timothy Olyphant in the lead role of Raylan Givens (even the name gives me goose bumps) means that beating the post-Breaking Bad blues has just become that little bit easier. I'm a sucker for a hot guy in cowboy boots and a stetson... But am I going to miss Raylan when he's gone half as much as I'm missing Walter White and Jesse Pinkman? Who knows. Justified is still current, and I'm only four episodes into the first season, so I don't know how much I'm going to like this show, or how I'm going to feel about Raylan Givens in a few weeks time. We'll see. But, right now, I still don't think it's possible to miss a show as much as I'm missing Breaking Bad.

Timothy Olyphant as US Marshal Raylan Givens in 'Justified'.
Anyway, just what is it that makes us fall for certain characters harder than others? Why do some leave us cold whilst others make us totally crazy for them? Well, if we're talking about book characters here, then it has to be all about the writing, doesn't it? If an author can make a character so believable; if they can make them almost come to life on the pages of that book, to the point where a reader really begins to feel attached to them, then they've done a great job. And I guess the same has to be said about TV characters, too. Sorry to bang on about Breaking Bad again, but it was the writing in that show that made it what it was, along with some incredible acting. And it was exactly the opposite, in my opinion, that meant I really couldn't take to Dexter. We have to be able to care about the characters, be that loving them or hating them. Because any feeling is better than just being left with a bit of a "meh" attitude towards them. Which is how I felt about the characters in Dexter. But with Breaking Bad, despite the fact some pretty nasty and downright illegal things were going on with quite a few of the characters in that show, it was difficult to hate them. They took you on a roller coaster ride of emotions, and I think that is so important, in books as well as on TV shows. You have to be able to care about the characters.

And moving onto the subject of characters in books, I heard someone yesterday describe the new Helen Fielding 'Bridget Jones' book as "boring". She said the character of Bridget just simply wasn't likeable anymore. So, has Ms. Fielding failed to bring Bridget back to her former glory? Have both she and her publisher just assumed that this third book would be popular without even trying? I don't know, personally, because I haven't read it yet. I loved the previous two 'Bridget' books, though, so I'll be utterly disappointed if this one really doesn't live up to the hype. Because Bridget Jones is one of my favourite book characters. Along with the character of Lucky Santangelo, created by the fabulous Jackie Collins.

So, as an author, do I myself miss my own characters once I've finished writing a particular book? Hell, yes! When I finished No Matter What I could have sat in a corner and cried because I'd just spent months writing about characters that had been in my head for almost 20 years! And I missed them more than I could begin to imagine, which was why going back to revisit them all in Illusions of Love a few months later was such a labour of love. And I'm feeling the same way about the characters in the Striker Trilogy. At first, when I was writing Striker, Book #1 in the series, it was only ever intended as a stand-alone book. But as the story progressed, and the characters grew, I knew I couldn't let them go. Not yet. There was so much more to give from all of them. Which is the reason why it turned into a trilogy. And, as I write the final installment of that trilogy, it's suddenly beginning to hit home that this is the last few months I'll get to spend with these guys, and that's hard. When you spend so much time with those characters living inside your head; when you live their lives for them every single day they become a huge part of you, so saying goodbye is never easy. But then, on the positive side, it just means I get the chance to create a new set of characters I can grow attached to. Every cloud and all that...

So, for me, it isn't just about those characters I read in a book or watch on my TV screen - it's also about the characters I create in my own books. Every single one of them has a place in my heart, and every single one of them has been hard to say goodbye to. But nothing has been as hard as saying goodbye to Walter White and Jesse Pinkman... that's proving to be something that's going to take time, but, there's a hot guy in cowboy boots and a stetson that just might make that job a little bit easier over the coming weeks...


Are there any characters - from books or TV - that you're still missing now? And what made them so hard to say goodbye to? I'd love to know, so, please share!



Monday, 21 October 2013

The Paradise, Emun Elliot, and a bit of Dexter - helping me beat the Breaking Bad Blues?

So, it's been just over a week since I watched the finale of Breaking Bad, and it's still not getting any easier. I mean, we've started to watch Dexter now, and even though it's slowly (emphasis on the world slowly, there) starting to grow on me, it's just not in the same league as Breaking Bad

Helping to beat the Breaking Bad Blues? Not really, no...
The acting's nowhere near as good, the storylines are a little too predictable, and Dexter's sister is so far past annoying it's not even funny! But, we're sticking with it. It might get better. And in the meantime I have every intention of watching Breaking Bad from the very beginning all over again in a massive few days of binge-watching some time over Christmas. I was very tempted to start again yesterday, after declaring it a rare "lazy day", but instead I opted for a day of MasterChef Australia. You ever watched MasterChef Australia? It's much better than our UK effort. Much better! You actually care about the contestants on the Australian version, which isn't something I've ever been compelled to do with our MasterChef. 

Anyway, I haven't gone completely cold turkey on anything Breaking Bad related - I'm a regular visitor to YouTube, and I swear, no word of a lie, just getting a couple of minutes of a BB hit by watching a clip from the show or one of the many fan tributes out there, it's like getting a dose of a drug you can't live without. It's ridiculous! I tell you, if you haven't seen Breaking Bad yet, don't! No, seriously, don't. It'll ruin you. TV will never be the same again, believe me. Everything else just seems rubbish after that. 

However, one programme that seems to have bucked that trend for me, and one I was really hoping would do that, is The Paradise, which started its second series last night on BBC One. I absolutely adored the first series, despite not being a fan of costume dramas. Okay, I'll admit, the only reason I gave it a go in the first place was because I had a teeny-tiny crush on Emun Elliot who plays John Moray in the show, but once I started watching it, I just fell in love with the world it had created. 

The gorgeous Emun Elliot as John Moray in The Paradise
The beautiful sets, the soft lighting, the costumes... and it was all filmed literally just around the corner from where I live! It's been one of the few programmes I've watched that can manage to make me switch off completely from the usual million and one things that go round in my head on a daily basis. And, now that they've put it on on a Sunday evening rather than a Tuesday, it makes a wonderful antidote to the hour's worth of ranting I do during the X Factor results show... Oh yes, don't even get me started on that one...


Emun Elliot... yeah, he'll do...
And those of you who know me well will also know that the gorgeous Emun Elliot is my "muse", so to speak, for the character of Ryan Fisher - my hot, sexy footballer in the Striker novels. I first spotted him in Comedy Central's hilarious homegrown comedy Threesome, and as soon as I saw him I just knew that that was how I imagined Ryan Fisher to look. So, as I embark on the final installment of the Striker Trilogy, it's good to have Emun back on my TV as a weekly dose of much-needed inspiration. 


My Breaking Bad boys... I miss you so much...
I'm not saying it's completely taking my mind off those meth-cooking men I grew so attached to in Breaking Bad - it'll take something very special to stop me from missing Walt and Jesse. But The Paradise has the ability to at least clear my mind for an hour every Sunday night, make me forget the farce that is the X Factor (why am I still putting myself through that? Again???) and just relax. So I'm glad it's back, for a lot of reasons.

So, whether I like it or not, I've had to emerge from my Breaking Bad bubble, at least until I start watching reruns, because I've got another novel to write. The third and final installment of the sexy Striker Trilogy is underway, and I'm about to spend the next few months in the company of hot footballers and sexy sports reporters. Not a bad way to spend my time, I have to admit... And, once that book is written, I'm going back to a book I started a few weeks ago. A book featuring a bad boy the like of which I've certainly never written about before - a story of running away, of escape; of love and betrayal, and secrets and lies so explosive... I can't begin to tell you how excited I am to get back to that book. I've already written about a quarter of it (I'm getting quite good at multi-tasking now), and the story is mapped out from beginning to end so, it's just a matter of writing it down, really. 

All is good in my writing world at the minute. There are exciting times ahead, and, well, just watch this space is all I'm going to say for now. But things are happening...

Okay. I've rambled on enough for a Monday morning I think. Time to grab another lemon and ginger tea (I've suddenly become addicted to the stuff), and get myself sorted for another week at the desk. After a quick visit to YouTube though... It's all part of the therapy... ;) 


If you're a fan of Breaking Bad you might want to check out my fun blog dedicated to the show HERE, but beware - it's full of SPOILERS, so, if you haven't seen the show yet, be warned...


Monday, 14 October 2013

Breaking Bad, you broke me good... and I'll miss you, so much...

*This post contains MAJOR spoilers regarding Breaking Bad, so, if you haven't yet watched it, and you want to, probably best not to read this...* 

Walter White, in the place he used to call home...

I don't even know where to begin writing this. I mean, I've watched some pretty decent TV shows in my time, but never one that has left me so emotionally drained as Breaking Bad. I actually watched the final few episodes last Friday, hoping that the weekend would give me some time to get over it all - well, that was never gonna work, really, was it? And this morning I sat and binge-watched the final few episodes all over again until I was nothing more than a gibbering wreck in the corner, still unable to accept that Walter and Jesse are gone. For the past five weeks I have spent every single night (bar two, that's all - just two) watching this outstanding piece of television, and now that it isn't there anymore, it's like I've got this huge, empty hole inside of me that just can't be filled. Not yet, it's just too soon, so even though my hubby decided we should start on Dexter last night, well, I'm trying, okay? But nothing can make me shake those post-Breaking Bad blues just yet. I need a bit more time.

Yeah. I needed a few of those during the finale, too...
Anyway, it is over, whether I like it or not, until I start watching it from the very beginning again, which I will do, because I'm a sad, obsessed super-fan so deal with it... sorry, where was I? Oh yeah. It's over. My Breaking Bad journey has come to an end, but, what did I really think about those final few episodes? Okay. Where do I start...? First of all, I have to mention the absolutely shattering Ozymandias - Hank's death, Walt's life finally crumbling down around him in the most shocking of ways... it was an absolutely exhausting, heartbreaking episode. And when poor Walt "Flynn" Jr. finally did find out the truth - it was draining! That poor, poor kid! He had it all dumped on him in a matter of minutes! I could have cried for him! But I hadn't started on the vodka at that point in our Breaking Bad finale evening so I was still relatively stable during this episode. 

Flynn finally learns the truth...
Not so much for the final two, though. Granite State saw Walt hiding out in a cabin in New Hampshire putting together his plan of action that would play out in Felina, and all I can say to Bryan Cranston is, what a man!! His portrayal of Walter White from mild-mannered chemistry teacher to ruthless drug kingpin with a scary-sized ego has been nothing short of incredible. For most of Breaking Bad I grew to love Walter; even when he was doing things I knew he really shouldn't be, I liked him. He was slowly turning into a bad guy, but you couldn't help feeling for him, because he was doing it all for the family, wasn't he? He had good motives at the heart of it all, and Cranston played Walter so well that you couldn't help but feel sympathy for him at times. Yes, there were also times when I felt a little uncomfortable with his actions, and when the manipulation of Jesse started to become more obvious I could start to feel my sympathy waning slightly. Then he shot Mike and I was kinda done with Walter. But during Granite State, when he was in that small and lonely cabin, hooked up to his chemotherapy, begging that "relocation" bloke to stay just another couple of hours, telling him he'd pay him an extra $10,000 if he'd do so... I actually felt my heart break for him. All that sympathy I'd once had for Walt came flooding back, I couldn't help it. But then I remembered the harsh and callous, downright nasty way he'd told Jesse how he'd stood and watched Jane die even though he could have saved her, and that sympathy subsided slightly. But, any actor who can make you feel sympathy for a character who has done the things Walter White has done, he needs to be congratulated for that. 

So, we knew his plan was to gun down Uncle Jack and the rest of his mad-eyed Nazi brigade, but not without saying a final goodbye to Skyler first, who I have truly grown to love throughout this show. Was never keen on her character to begin with, but the way in which Anna Gunn has portrayed her has been brilliant. Of course, it's during this final visit that Walter finally admits just why he really did everything he did - "I did it for me. I liked it. I was good at it. And, I was really... I was alive." Drew a bit of a gasp from me that did. But he was only confirming what most of us had probably suspected all along - his eventual selfishness. Because I'm still holding onto the hope that, in the beginning, he really had set out to do it all for his family. It was just that his ego got in the way.

Saying goodbye to Skyler.
Meanwhile, poor Jesse is being held captive by the mad-eyed mob, being forced to cook meth because Todd is nowt short of useless at it, and when he does manage to escape from the cage they've got him shackled in, they catch him and force him to watch the aforementioned Todd shoot Andrea in the back of the head! Could they possibly have put that poor guy through much more? By that point I was almost praying for this all to be over because I couldn't take much more of the emotional turmoil watching poor Jesse was putting me through. Aaron Paul has been a revelation to me during Breaking Bad. An outstanding actor in this role, he has played Jesse from the slightly annoying meth-head jerk to the tortured and battered soul that he became, and he's done it so well. So, so well. By the time we see him at the end of Felina he's practically unrecogniseable from the Jesse we met way back in Season 1. And it makes you realise just what a journey he and Walter have been through; what Walter White has put him through, what he's done to him. And it's sad and painful to watch, because their relationship had once been something quite special... or had it? Had Walter ever really cared about Jesse? Or was he always just someone for Walter to manipulate? I guess that will become a lot clearer during a second viewing.

But, as the final few scenes played out, and Walter finally made it to the Nazi clubhouse (after poisoning the lovely Lydia with ricin-laced Stevia... ), throwing himself on Jesse to save him from the hail of bullets that saw off that thoroughly vile group of people, was he doing that because, somewhere deep down inside, he still cared for Jesse? I want to think that was the case, I really do. I want to think there was still a little part of Walter that wanted to see Jesse happy and, God knows, if ever I've wanted a TV character to be happy it's Jesse Pinkman. Oh, and I almost cheered when he finished off that child-murdering piece of filth Todd with the shackles they'd kept him imprisoned with. A perfect end for a man who deserved no less. 


But the moment I think a lot of us - especially those who, like me, have come to love Jesse Pinkman - had been waiting for was when Walt told Jesse to shoot him. Jesse asks him to tell him that that's what he wants; he needs to hear Walt say it's what he wants. And when he does, Jesse throws the gun down at Walt's feet and says "Do it yourself." And for the first time - probably the very first time - Jesse stands up to Walt. He tells him no. He disobeys him. He doesn't do what Walt wants him to do. But that final look between the two of them, before Jesse speeds off into the distance, delirious and almost hysterical with emotions we can't even possibly begin to understand; that final look between him and Walt, that broke my heart for reasons I can't begin to describe. Watching that look between the two of them, it was almost as if every episode flashed before my eyes, their entire journey happening in some kind of super-fast-forward replay from where they began, to where they ended up, both of them broken and battered. It was probably the saddest thing I've ever witnessed in a TV show. 
Jesse Pinkman you're STILL killing me...
But the tears didn't start to fall until those final few seconds, when Walt walks through the meth lab Todd and his uncle had set up, knowing he's been injured by one of his own bullets, knowing he hasn't got long left. And as Badfinger's 'Baby Blue' starts playing, probably the most apt song they could possibly have found for this finale, Walter's love for that world he created, it's obvious. And it also seems appropriate that he should die on the floor of a meth lab, but as that song played out, and we get that long, rotating shot from above of Walt lying dead, that's when every emotion this show has drawn out of me over the past few weeks, it all came to the surface. I'm even filling up writing this, and yes, I know it's ridiculous - it's a TV show, for Christ's sake! I get that, yes, but - Breaking Bad wasn't just any TV show. It grabbed you from the get go, it took hold of you before you had a chance to break free and it eventually became more addictive than the meth Walter White cooked up. It's a show that will stay with me not just for a long time, but forever. Because I doubt I'll ever watch anything like it again.
Walt says goodbye to the thing he loves most...
So, thank you Bryan Cranston, for giving us Walter White. For all his flaws - and he had many, many of them - he was a man I loved. And I still love him now. Thank you Aaron Paul, for giving us Jesse Pinkman. We laughed with you, we cried over you, we prayed for you. Thank you Saul Goodman, for bringing us the much-needed blasts of humour - "Don't drink and drive, but if you do - call me."

Thank you to everyone who played their characters so perfectly from Anna Gunn's slow-burning Skyler to Dean Norris' wonderful Hank Schrader. From the chillingly calm chicken-shop drug king Gustavo Fring to the fabulously deadpan Mike Ehrmantraut. But a special mention has to go to Jesse's co-horts Badger and Skinny Pete - that Star Trek script scene was a definite highlight in the Breaking Bad comedy moments. And it was so lovely to see those guys pop up in the finale.

To each and every one of you, thank you.

Oh, and, of course, thank you Vince Gilligan - you're a genius.For thinking of this in the first place, you're a genius! 

Breaking Bad was TV at its very best. Thought provoking, clever, unique drama that I doubt can ever be repeated. It was a show that didn't promise any kind of happy ending for anybody; a show that charted the downfall of not just one man's life, but the lives of all those around him, too. But that's what made it so good. That's what made it special.

Breaking Bad got to me good and proper; it took over my life for a very short period of time, but it will stay with me forever. 

It's over now, and those characters are gone. But they will never, ever be forgotten. Walter White, I miss you...


Gone, but never, ever forgotten...




This post has been duplicated over on my Breaking Bad blog, and over the next few weeks that's where I'll be talking about some of my favourite Breaking Bad highlights, sharing tributes to some of the incredible actors and the characters they portrayed, and generally just reliving some of the best moments from one of the greatest TV shows ever.


Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Suzy Turner releases Forever Fredless!



Today I am thrilled to be featuring the brand new release from author Suzy Turner, Forever Fredless
With this book, Suzy takes a departure from writing YA to venture into the world of chick lit. Want to find out more? Then read on... and check out that cover... isn't it fabulous?

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Forever Fredless by Suzy Turner

SYNOPSIS

Kate Robinson has spent the past two decades yearning to find her soul mate, the boy she found and then lost during a family holiday.

Shortly after her twenty-eighth birthday, however, she inherits a fortune from an old family friend and becomes something of an overnight celebrity. Can her new-found fame lead her to him after all this time?




EXCERPT


Thank God for anti-perspirant, I thought as I sat on the couch and waited for the countdown to begin. I clutched at my hands until they were white and looked across at the two people sitting opposite, both completely at ease in front of the cameras.

Five, four, three, two, one...

'Welcome back to this morning's edition of Good Morning GB,' announced Ireland Rothschild, the blonde-haired, blue eyed darling of morning TV.

'I'm here with Fergus O'Reilly and we've a special guest with us this morning. None other than Britain's love-struck multi-millionaire, Kate Robinson.

Welcome, Kate,' she said with a dazzling smile aimed more towards the camera than at me.

As my cheeks began to heat up, I was so grateful to the make-up artist, who had insisted on caking on the foundation before the show had started. In fact, I had so much make-up on that I was hoping once I'd removed it, nobody would recognise me when I headed to the airport in my now rather stupidly chosen car. I couldn't exactly blend in driving a pink Mini could I?

'Good morning,' I whispered shyly.

Fergus grinned back at me, tilting his head as if he was about to speak to a child. 'Now, tell us, Kate dear, how does it feel to never have to worry about money ever again?' he asked, his toothpaste advert  teeth twinkling beneath the heat of the studio lights.

'Erm, well, I guess it's... erm, kind of... erm,' I felt so bloody stupid. Great time for my brain to stop working. 'I - erm. Great,' I nodded. 'Great, really great.' Idiot.

Ireland glanced across at her grey-haired colleague and pouted before nodding. 'Tell us how you knew this man. This,' she glanced down at the iPad on her lap and continued, 'Samuel?'

I cleared my throat and lifted my head, feeling like my brain was back in action. 'He was a very good friend of the family, some years ago,' I answered.

'Just a friend? Why did he leave you all his money and his property?' asked Fergus.

'He didn't have any family and I guess you could say that my mother and I were the closest he ever had to a family.'

'Isn't that lovely?' pouted Ireland. 'You certainly are a lucky woman. But what about your mother? Didn't she receive any of his inheritance?'

'No,' I said before swallowing hard. 'My mother lives a rather... nomadic lifestyle, in Africa. She doesn't want any of it. All she asked of me was to donate a sum to charity which, of course, I have done.'

'She lives in Africa? A nomadic lifestyle? That sounds intriguing. Perhaps we should interview her one of these days,' laughed Ireland and Fergus together.

'Have you splashed out on anything since receiving your inheritance back in June?' they asked, leaning forward eagerly awaiting my answer.

'Yes I have actually. I bought a car and a new house.'

'Well good for you, Kate. But now, most of us are curious about this boy you lost. Tell us about him?'

Oh no. Why did I agree to this?

Taking a deep breath, I knew I had no choice. Several articles had been printed since the one in Liberty; everyone wanted to know more and nobody was going to leave me alone until I told them everything.

'He was just a boy who I had a connection with when I was much, much younger. It was at Skegness. At an afternoon disco for kids. I was dancing and I felt someone touch my back and when I turned around there he was.  The most beautiful boy I'd ever seen,' I said, stopping and smiling as I reminisced. ‘It was one of the happiest memories of my life.'

Sighing, I continued, 'We just looked at each other and it was like everything else just disappeared into the background. We stood staring, for what seemed like ages. I could barely move. And then, almost as soon as it had begun, my dad appeared and took me away. I couldn't do anything as we walked to the car. I looked around for the boy but he was gone. And then, just as we were driving away, I turned around in my seat and there he was. He had a daffodil in his hand. I always assumed he'd gone to pick it for me, but that's just a childish fantasy, I guess. The whole thing is probably nothing but a childish fantasy, really.'

Ireland was very carefully dabbing at her eyes with a tissue, pretending to be moved, while Fergus smiled sadly.

'What a beautiful story, Kate. I don't believe for one second that this is a childish fantasy. It's romantic and beautiful,' Ireland said.

'Now, tell us, Kate. Why did you call him Fred?' asked Fergus.

Smiling, I explained about the Right Said Fred song, just as the music began in the background.

'What a wonderful tale. Thank you, Kate, for joining us today. It's been a pleasure having you with us to share your story,' said Fergus.

'Thank you,' I whispered before the camera moved back to Ireland as she straightened her skirt and looked alluring. 'Do you remember this moment in time?'

she asked. 'Are you the elusive Fred? We'd love to hear from you. You can contact us at...'

Before I could hear anything else, I was ushered off the couch and back behind the scenes where Jo stood, waiting patiently for me, with open arms.


*


PURCHASE LINKS


AMAZON:  http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00FKX5LBK


SMASHWORDS:  https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/363504
(more coming soon)


AUTHOR BIO


Suzy Turner has worked as a journalist, assistant editor, features editor and magazine editor. Early in 2010 however, she began writing full time and has since completed six books for young adults (the Raven Saga and The Morgan Sisters series) and one chick lit novel, Forever Fredless.

Although Suzy is a Yorkshire lass at heart, she left her home town of Rotherham, UK, to move to Portugal with her family when she was ten. The Algarve continues to be her home, where she lives with her childhood sweetheart and husband of 15 years, Michael, and their two neurotic dogs and a cat who thinks she's a princess.



For more details about Suzy and her books, visit:


Website: http://suzyturner.com

Chick Lit Blog: http://www.fictiondreams.com

YA Blog: http://suzyturner.blogspot.com

Facebook Page: http://facebook.com/suzyturnerbooks

Twitter: http://twitter.com/@suzy_turner

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/suzyturnerbooks


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Wishing you loads of success with Forever Fredless, Suzy! And I still think that cover is fabulous...


Sunday, 6 October 2013

It's that time of year again - X Factor's back...

Can't believe I decided to have a Breaking Bad-free night last night to watch X Factor! Why??? But I did, my fault, and I'm still fuming now at Louis Walsh's ridiculous decisions. Absolutely fuming! That final choice he made between Nicholas McDonald and Paul Akister was just beyond belief! Right there and then he proved, beyond any shadow of a doubt, that this is a show that doesn't actually care whether you've got a great voice or not, as long as you look the part. He sent home the only guy who made me sit up and take notice; the only guy who could actually SING! And he sent him home!!! I can't bear Louis Walsh anyway. He's pointless in my eyes. But now he's just gone even lower down in my estimations. Idiot! Paul's voice was incredible! Easily, by an absolute mile, the best voice in that category, but no, for his three boys Louis is quite obviously going down the "they can't really sing a bloody note between them but, hey, they look like pop stars!" route. Good one, Louis. Cheapen the whole show before it even gets going. 

As for Sharon Osbourne's choices for the live shows - I'm kind of okay with them, although I would have liked to have seen Joseph go through. They just seem terrified to put anyone with a vaguely "rocky" tone to their voices onto the live shows. Some of these guys really need to try The Voice... 

Oh, and one other thing - can we PLEASE stop using kids/family/breaking down in tears as some kind of emotional stunt? It's really beginning to bore me. It's so contrived, and really unnecessary, and for me it just has the opposite effect. At 17-years-old your life is NOT going to end if you get rejected on the X Factor, your family will NOT feel let down, and your singing career will NOT be over. You just might have to work a hell of a lot harder for it, that's all. Depends on how much you actually want it, really, doesn't it? Just saying...

Oh well. Tonight we get Gary Barlow's decisions on the Groups, and Nicole Scherzinger's decisions for the Girls' category. Am I on the edge of my seat in anticipation? Not really, no. I am, on the other hand, determined that tonight will NOT be a Breaking Bad-free night. Season 5 will continue on in our house this evening, no matter what...