Tuesday, 25 June 2019

Book of the Week - A Walk in Wildflower Park by Bella Osborne

Book of the Week is back, and this week I'm really excited to have the wonderful Bella Osborne here on my blog to celebrate the release of A Walk in Wildflower Park. Want to know a little bit more about the book? Check out the blurb below...

Life's not always a walk in the park...

When Anna is dumped by her fiancé, she moves in to her own place on the edge of the gorgeous Wildflower Park and pledges to stay off men and focus on her career, but a handsome new colleague seems to thwart her attempts at every turn. And when she receives an accidental text from a mystery man, could it be the new start she needs? Or someone she really shouldn't be falling for?

Anna's neighbour Sophie is a stressed-out mum-of-two with a third on the way. Her husband is a constant frustration, and their children are a regular source of newly-invented swear words and unidentifiable sticky surfaces.

Luckily, Anna and Sophie have each other - and Wildflower Park proves to be a sanctuary as they map out a path to find the happiness they both deserve...

Fantastically funny, this irresistibly heart-warming novel will charm fans of Milly Johnson and Jill Mansell.

A Walk in Wildflower Park will be released on June 27th, but you can pre-order your copy right now!

Amazon - mybook.to/WildflowerPark

KoBo - https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/a-walk-in-wildflower-park-wildflower-park-series

And now it's time to find out a little bit more about Bella herself....

Author Bio

Bella's stories are about friendship, love and coping with what life throws at you. She likes to find the humour in the darker moments of life and weaves these into her stories. Bella is a bestselling author and has been shortlisted twice for the RNA Contemporary Romance Novel of the Year Award. She lives in The Midlands, UK with her lovely husband and wonderful daughter, who thankfully, both accept her as she is (with mad morning hair and a penchant for skipping).

Meet The Author Interview

What made you want to write romance?

Like so much in my life it wasn’t a conscious decision, it’s just how my stories came out. I’ve been writing since primary school but it was years before I thought about doing something with them and then only because I was bullied into it by a life coach from my day job (she called it coaching, by the way, not bullying). Romance is one of the threads in all my stories but their main focus is about how my heroine copes with what life throws at her and there’s always an undertone of something slightly dangerous - so not your standard romance.

What was the inspiration for your current book?

I wanted to write an office based romantic comedy because I’ve worked in offices for the best part of thirty years so I had amassed quite a bit of material. I heard about a private park near Birmingham and my author antenna started twitching so I went to do some research and thinly disguised it as a family day out. I was blown away by Moseley Park - it is a haven of tranquility, a stones throw from Birmingham city centre and I knew a park just like it had to be in my story. A Walk in Wildflower Park tells the story of Anna and Sophie. When Anna is dumped by her fiancé, she moves in to her own place on the edge of the gorgeous Wildflower Park and pledges to stay off men and focus on her career, but a handsome new colleague seems to thwart her attempts at every turn. And when she receives an accidental text from a mystery man, could it be the new start she needs? Or someone she really shouldn't be falling for? Sophie is a stressed-out mum-of-two with a third on the way. Her husband is a constant frustration, and their children are a regular source of newly-invented swear words and unidentifiable sticky surfaces. Luckily, Anna and Sophie have each other – and Wildflower Park proves to be a sanctuary as they map out a path to find the happiness they both deserve…

Do you have a designated "work space", and if so, can you describe it?

I’m lucky enough to have commandeered our spare bedroom as my writing space and now it resembles a post-it note graveyard. You will find them here in every colour, shape and size and in varying degrees of curliness but they will all contain a few words that at the time I deemed absolutely vital and possibly genius although on second read they invariably get scrunched up and the cat files them under the sofa.

Do you get nervous reading reviews of your books?

Always! I don’t think this ever goes away. You pour so much of your heart and soul into your characters and story and spend countless hours honing it to the best it can be so of course you want readers to love it as much as you do. Reviews are vital to authors so I’m thankful for every one even if they can be scary. I’m hugely grateful to the blogging community who do such a fabulous job and are so supportive to authors.

Do you plan your stories before you start writing them, or do you just "wing it"?

I’m a hardcore planner. Just reading the words ‘wing it’ gives me palpitations! I’m a project manager by profession and planning comes naturally to me so it makes sense to plan my novels. I do bio pages for all my characters, including the animals, and I organise my plot with post-it notes. Post-it notes are one of my favourite things - if the writing doesn’t work out I could definitely work in their PR department or test biscuits I have a lot of experience in this field too.

Can you tell us anything about any future projects you're working on?

I’m pretty excited that I’ll have two books out in 2020. One in the summer which has the working title It Could Be You and focusses on what happens when practical jokes go too far and my first ever Christmas book, both of these have been a lot of fun to write.

Would you ever go on a reality TV show, and if so, which one?

I’d quite like to do I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here! because I love all animals, don’t have a problem with heights and I’m always up for a holiday! I would have an issue with the food rations though because, whilst I only eat when I’m hungry, I’m hungry most of the time.

Favourite sitcom, past or present.

Friends - I loved this when it aired and I still enjoy watching the repeats. I know quite a lot of the scripts now. If there’s ever a Friends round on Mastermind I’ll ace it!

If you'd like to find out more about Bella, visit her website https://www.bellaosborne.com/
Follow her on Twitter @osborne_bella
Find her on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/BellaOsborneAuthor/
or Instagram https://www.instagram.com/bellaosborneauthor/

It's been an absolute pleasure having Bella here on my blog this week, and don't forget, A Walk in Wildflower Park is released on June 27th, but is available for pre-order right now!

Thank you so much for stopping by, Bella! Wishing you so much success with A Walk in Wildflower Park! ❤️

Thursday, 6 June 2019

Music, DJs, and the biggest party in the world... The inspiration behind The Superstar DJ Series.

After eight long months, I've finally released a brand new book! But not just a book, it's really the launch of a whole new series of books. The Superstar DJ Series kicked off yesterday with the release of Book #1 - Before Today (find out more about that HERE) - and will continue in a couple of months time with the next book in the series Don't You Want Me.

The Superstar DJ Series is a series of stories all connected by certain characters, places, events, and although some of those characters, places, etc. will be mentioned in all of the books, they are all standalone stories and can most definitely be read separately!

So, how did this new series of mine come about? Well, that's a story in itself. And it all began last year when my husband noticed a link on his Facebook feed that one of his friends had posted. A link to a YouTube video of Cherry Moon playing a set at a festival. But this festival... it didn't look like any festival either me or my husband had ever seen, so we did a bit more research, checked out a few more YouTube videos, and then we came across this one...

Tomorrowland - We'd never even heard of it! This HUGELY popular EDM (electronic dance music) festival that's been held in the small Belgian town of Boom (and I LOVE that that's where this festival takes place!) since 2005; a festival that's been called the biggest party in the world, and we'd never heard of it! I'm ashamed to say that now, I really am, but it had completely passed us by, but just watching that Aftermovie... we wanted to go to this festival. We HAD to go, and, despite being in our (very) early 50s, that became our aim. To get tickets to Tomorrowland 2019, which we've managed to do, and we're going, and I'm ridiculously excited about that, I can't even tell you. Because those months since we discovered this festival, and I dipped back into the whole EDM scene that I'd kind of taken a step back from since the early noughties, well, they've been a revelation. The music - the DJs, the sets, the whole vibe the scene creates, it's something else. It's difficult to describe, but when I listen to that music now it just makes me smile. I've had a lot to deal with over the past few months, and this music has seriously got me through so much, because it allows you to lose yourself, for a little while. I don't know - like I said, it's difficult to describe, but it's the kind of music that's, for want of a better word, hopeful. It makes me happy, and most importantly, it's kicked off a whole new world of inspiration for me at a time when I thought my writing days were numbered. I'd lost faith in myself, in my ability to turn anything out that was even half-decent, it felt like it was difficult to be inspired by anything anymore. And then Tomorrowland happened, and that woke me up; gave me the push I needed to get back out there and start writing again. And so the Superstar DJ Series was born.

I owe a lot to that music. I'm a huge fan of house and trance, the likes of Yves V, Laidback Luke, Afrojack, Armin van Buuren and Andrew Rayel, to name but a few, they're favourites of mine, I just love their energy. And then we have people like Lost Frequencies who just have this incredible uniqueness about them, his set from Tomorrowland 2018 is one I watch again and again, and he's a must-see for me when we go to Belgium in July.

And it's actually his track - 'Before Today', which is played in that set - that inspired my book of the same name. The lyrics are everything Nina and Yves' story is about, they're just perfect. Beautiful. That song was the biggest inspiration for me writing that book, and it's music on the whole that is inspiring all the stories in the Superstar DJ Series. I've created a whole new fictional universe and I'm loving immersing myself in it every day as I write these books. And listen to that music.

But I alway knew I wanted to write at least story in the series that took place over the course of a single weekend, at a festival. Festivals are mentioned in the first two books, but only for a chapter or two. I wanted to write a story that focuses on a fictional festival for the duration of the story. And what better way to research that properly than actually going to a real-life festival? My trip to Tomorrowland, it won't just be an incredible (albeit exhausting!) adventure, it'll be the best kind of inspiration I could wish for.

The Mainstage at Tomorrowland 2018 - The Story of Planaxis
Image courtesy of @Tomorrowland

This is a festival where people from all over the world come together with one goal in mind - to listen to the music. To dance like they don't have a care in the world, because for those few days you don't. This is a festival where you leave real-life behind for a little while and live inside the Tomorrowland bubble; a chance to meet people you wouldn't normally meet in your everyday life. Different cultures. Different faiths. Different nationalities, all coming together in the name of music. I can't wait to experience that, and hopefully translate everything I experience into a beautiful story...

Besides, I think it's fate that I'm going to this year's festival in particular - its 15th anniversay year. I think I was meant to go, this year, because the theme for Tomorrowland 2019...?

Image courtsey of @Tomorrowland

The Book of Wisdom - The Return. For an author, there couldn't be a better theme! Yeah, I'm reading shed-loads into that!! 😄

Anyway, I hope that's gone some way to explaining just what inspired me to get back to writing; to start enjoying writing again. And what inspired me to begin this brand new series, and create this whole new world of characters and stories. Music. It's everything...

Before Today - Book #1 in the Superstar DJ Series - is out now and available to download HERE.
It's also available in paperback HERE.

Check out Chapter One, for FREE, right HERE.

And if you want to listen to the music that's inspiring these stories, the Superstar DJ Playlist is available HERE on Spotify!

And I'll be blogging LOADS more about my Tomorrowland journey in the coming weeks, both before and after the festival, so watch out for that. And look out for more news on Book #2 in the Superstar DJ Series. It's coming soon...

Have a great day!

Michelle x

Wednesday, 5 June 2019

⭐It's Publication Day for BEFORE TODAY!⭐

It's here! My first new release in over EIGHT MONTHS, and this one is a music-inspired romance that takes readers from the beaches, bars and clubs of Ibiza, to the dance festivals of Europe, and tells the story of what happens when freelance photographer Nina Freeman is sent to follow superstar DJ Yves Vandale around Europe during his comeback summer.

Check out the blurb below...

The last thing freelance photographer Nina expected to find herself doing was following a dance DJ around Europe. She was more used to photographing rock stars and models, in fact, that’s what she was supposed to be doing this summer – hitting some of the biggest music festivals and photographing some of the world’s hottest rock stars. Instead, she’s playing the good Samaritan. Doing a friend a favour. And now she’s about to spend the next couple of months around people she doesn’t know, music she doesn’t like, in a world she knows nothing about. But, in a way, she could do with the distraction. 

For too long Nina had been a magnet for the wrong kind of man. Men who’d made her cynical about love, ruined her belief in happy-ever-afters, so immersing herself in a whole new world, just for a little while – yeah, she was more than ready for that. More than ready to put her career first, and relationships on hold. What she wasn’t ready for was Yves Vandale…

Yves Vandale is about to make his comeback after two years away. A huge name on the electronic dance music scene, he’s all set to kick off his Ibiza residency in one of the island's top clubs, and get back to doing what he loves – playing some of the biggest dance music festivals in Europe. All he wants is to get back behind the decks, and leave his past – his reasons for taking that two year break – behind. He’s more than ready to get back out there. But what he isn’t ready for is Nina…

Both Yves and Nina think they’ve got their new futures planned. 
They haven’t.
They both think their lives are back on track.
They're both wrong.

All Nina was looking for was a new challenge.
All Yves needed was a new start.
Neither of them got what they wanted.
But you know what they say about best laid plans...

From the beaches, bars and clubs of Ibiza to the dance festivals of Europe, ‘Before Today’ is the first book in the Superstar DJ series. 

While various characters over the course of the series will appear in many of the books, all books in the series will be separate, standalone stories.

Before Today is available to download now from Amazon! Read for FREE with Kindle Unlimited!

And it's also available in paperback!

I just hope some of you enjoy reading Nina and Yves' story as much as I enjoyed writing it. 😊

And if you want to check out Chapter One of Before Today, for free, you can do so right HERE, and try before you buy! 

There's also a Pinterest Board dedicated to the Superstar DJ Series, and you can check that out HERE.

And if you want to listen to the music behind the stories, the Superstar DJ Playlist is available HERE on Spotify!

Book #2 in The Superstar DJ Series - Don't You Want Me - should be out late July/early August.