New Series Alert: Behind The Book – Meet The Author.


I love to read (as you can probably tell by the number of reviews I post) but quite often when a book is finished I am left with questions – not about plot or character development, necessarily, more about the author and their path to print.

Sometimes I itch to send them a tweet or an email but, for some reason, they feel a bit unreachable – probably because they have done the thing I aspire to and not only written but published a book. It’s like on publication day they are transported to a hall of fame where they stand on a pedestal with a plaque stating “author” underneath. While you are invited to admire them from a distance, a strict no touching rule is in force. Not that I want to touch the authors, just to be clear, but I would really like to talk to them.

After I started posting reviews at the beginning of last year I found myself chatting with some of the writers and I discovered they are actually quite open to communicating with readers, maybe even enjoy it, in some cases. I tentatively asked a couple whether they would be willing to let me pick their brains about the writing process and post about it here. I’m delighted to say the responses have been positive. See, they are just like us, after all.

So amid posts about my parenting fails, photography, my rubbish attempts at crafting (and cooking, for that matter), book reviews and general nonsense, I’m going to occasionally feature Behind The Book interviews.

I already have a couple of lovely people lined up but I thought I’d throw open the floor and see if anyone else is willing to share their story.

If you are a published author (any genre and self-published more than welcome) I’d love to interview you about your journey into print (or ebook). I will email you 10 tailored questions and will require the answers along with a photo of you and an image of your book cover. In return you will have my heartfelt thanks and I will, of course, provide a link to your work and your social media details (I promise there is no touching involved).

If you’re a reader/writer with a burning question about publishing a book please let me know and I’ll add it in when the time is right. When I use your question I’ll link to your blog or Twitter etc.

Fancy joining in? Please drop me an email at tara@taragreaves.com.

Book Review: Then. Now. Always.

thennowalwaysI couldn’t wait to get my hands on Isabelle Broom’s latest book but, at the same time, I was nervous.

It wasn’t that I didn’t think Then. Now. Always. would be good, I knew it would be, but I loved her last book so, SO much and I knew it would obviously be different.

Thankfully it’s a good different. A brilliant different, even. With just enough of the things I loved about A Year And A Day – things that now seem to be inherent to the way she writes – repeated that my nerves soon settled and enjoyment took over.

Here’s the blurb:

I hope you’re ready for an adventure. Twenty-eight year old Hannah certainly is.

She and her colleagues are in Spain for a month to film a documentary, and it’s a dream come true. Not least because Hannah will get to spend long summer days with Theo, her boss (and crush).

If only Tom (Hannah’s best friend and cameramen) and Claudette (the presenter) would stop getting in the way… Then things become even more complicated when Nancy, Hannah’s half-sister arrives. What is she doing here? For once in her life, can’t Hannah just have one perfect summer, free of any drama?

Reading one of Isabelle’s books is like opening the door to some new friends. Her characters are so well developed that they seem like real people rather than ones she has conjured from her imagination. She seems to understand the complexities of human emotion and be able to transfer that so eloquently to the page.

One of the things I really enjoyed about her last book was the way the setting, the historic and beautiful city of Prague, almost became another character. This time, Isabelle gives the same treatment to the mountain village of Mojacar, in southern Spain, making it come to life so that I immediately wanted to book a holiday there and maybe get a tattoo too (read the book and you’ll see why).

There is a happy ending but it’s not the perfect, all ends neatly tied one you so often find – and it’s all the better for it.

 Format: Kindle.

 Price: £4.99.

 My rating: Five stars.

Thank you to Penguin (via NetGalley) for the ARC in return for an honest review.

Book Review: Stuck With You.

stuckWhile the idea of being trapped in a lift fills me with terror (hello, claustrophobia), in her new book Carla Burgess has some how managed to make it seem a little less frightening – possibly even ever so slightly appealing.

Stuck With You sees Elena come face to face with her unrequited teenage love, Daniel, for the first time in years, in just this situation.

After getting over the initial shock and embarrassment, they spend the time waiting to be rescued getting reacquainted – and it’s clear she still has feelings for him (and it’s not all one sided).

Carla has hit the nostalgia jackpot with this book, which had me laughing out loud – and slightly cringing – at times because it sailed so close to some of my own experiences of unrequited young lust.

It is oh-so-romantic in places and makes me believe in second chances and true love.

Here’s the blurb:

One lift. Two strangers. Anything could happen!

Elena thought that today would be just like any other day…until the supermarket lift jams and she realises she’s stuck.

And not just stuck in the lift. Stuck with her childhood crush, Daniel Moore, who unfortunately seems to be just as gorgeous as she remembered…

While I might not have saved any chewed pen lids or written poetry about my teenage crush (I did walk by his house several (million) times), I totally remember moping about just the way she describes because he failed to acknowledge my existence.

When you read a story like this, it’s hard not to think ‘what if?’ and that made me smile long after the book was finished.

I so wanted it to work out for Elena and Daniel even though, like Elena’s best friend Rachel, I did wonder whether he was too good to be true.

I think this one is even better than Carla’s first book, Marry Me Tomorrow, which I also loved (and I was delighted to see Sam and Emily make a brief appearance in her second novel).

Carla has such a warm, easy to read style that I didn’t really want this book to end while at the same time I was desperate to know if it all worked out.

On those occasions when I can’t avoid a lift, I’m going to think about this story and hope it takes my mind off things.

Format: Kindle.

Price: £1.99.

My rating: Five stars.

My thanks to HQ Digital for the ARC in return for my honest opinion.