Saturday, 17 December 2016

Christmas Reads #2 - The Christmas Curse by Erika Marks

The Christmas Curse
By Erika Marks
Publication Date: 1st November 2015
Publisher: Tule Publishing 
Pages: 109
Genre: Romance, Contemporary 
Format: eBook
Source: Netgalley 

Amazon UK / Amazon US

After three holiday heartbreaks in a row, caterer Emily Landon is determined to break her Christmas Curse--and what better way than to spend Christmas at the remote inn, Angel's Landing, where her recently cold-footed boyfriend can't reach her to break things off. 
For small-town veterinarian Griffin Boone, the holidays always find him falling in love with the wrong woman--but this year he has a fail-proof plan to keep his heart safe: One last house call to Angel's Landing's aging Golden Retriever and he's heading to a cabin in the woods to hide out until the New Year. 

But when an ice storm strands Griffin at the inn with Emily, everyone's careful holiday plans are tossed like last year's tree. 

Will unexpected attraction confirm Griffin and Emily's worst fears--or could this year's Christmas Curse be a blessing in disguise?

Emily Landon has had some of the worst luck when it comes to men and Christmas. Every Christmas for the last several years has ended with Emily brokenhearted and feeling like a curse has been placed upon her. So this Christmas Emily has decided to take matters into her own hands and escape her life and take herself away from the problem, hoping that if she spends Christmas in an remote inn that she can make sure her relationship with her boyfriend survives this festive holiday. 
Griffin Boone has seen his fair share of hurt and loss in his life, these events were one of the main reasons why he decided to go from a doctor to a vet. So when Griffin stops by to visit a golden retriever who hasn't been well lately, he is unprepared for the events that will transpire and throw his solo Christmas plans out of the window. 
Stuck together in a small cabin Emily and Griffin are not happy, with the situation or each other. Although they soon realise that they are more alike than they first thought and maybe this Christmas would be the Christmas that changes their minds and hearts about their relationships and desires. 
I loved how The Christmas Curse covered a lot of topics, one of them a sensitive topic which draws on the mental health side of someone from Griffin's past and how things are never what they seem. Emily's character is one that showed the desire to find and keep love as that is all she wants in life. Griffin's character is one who has experienced something that would effect someone very deeply yet he has used that experience and helped others, pushing them to follow their dreams and not to follow others happiness just their own. 
The Christmas Curse is a truly, magical Christmas read that makes you realise that Christmas is a lot more than just presents and decorations. It is about love, family, hope and above all finding your true destiny and not anyone else's. 

Hopeful, Love and Moving. 

Another day, another book, 

Christmas Reads #1 - Pastels & Jingle Bells #1 by Christine S. Feldman

Pastels & Jingle Bells #1
By Christine S. Feldman
Publication Date: 31st October 2013
Publisher: Kindle
Pages: 60
Genre: Romance, Contemporary, Chick-Lit
Format: eBook
Source: Bought

Amazon UK / Amazon US

Trish Ackerly never expected to cross paths with Ian Rafferty again, but when she spots the former bully of her childhood years through her bakery window, she thinks she may just have been given the best Christmas gift ever: the opportunity to finally give Ian the comeuppance he deserves.
But clearly she does not have a knack for this whole revenge thing, because before she can make good on her plans, Trish gets inadvertently drawn into Ian’s life in an unexpected way that lets her see just how different the man is from the boy he used to be. In fact, much to her astonishment, she actually starts to like the guy. A lot.

Trouble is, Ian doesn’t know who she really is, and explaining it to him is going to be a little difficult now—which is bad news, because Trish is starting to realize that all she really wants for Christmas this year… is Ian. 
Trish Ackerly is a very creative woman who owns a bakery with her best friend, Nadia and likes to draw and create beautiful pictures yet she is still missing one thing in her life...a man. When Trish notices Ian Rafferty standing outside her bakery, she is shaken by the past as she remembers the hell and hurt that Ian put her through when they were in grade school. 
Ian Rafferty is a stressed dad to an amazing little girl, he wants to make her smile since her mother has re-married and is more focused on her new family and not her daughter. Ian asks Trish to paint his windows to brighten up his house and his daughter's mood. Trish is all for saying no and confronting him on the person he use to be years ago and the hell that he put her through but seeing his daughter makes her change her mind. 
This short yet sweet novel, covers a lot of topics from bullying to raising a daughter without anyone help, completely out of your element. My favourite characters would have to be Trish and Kelsey who is Ian's daughter. I loved Trish as she was a strong character who had experienced a hard childhood yet has gone on to make something of herself in spite of that which made you proud of her. I also loved Kelsey, she was the type of character that if she was sad, you were sad, if she was happy then you were happy as well. She had been through a lot of change with her parents but with Trish's help on creating something magical you could see her come out of herself more, which was such an amazing thing to read about. 
Pastels & Jingle Bells is a sweet, romantic christmas story about second chances and facing the past when you least expect it. With the christmas magic, joy and cheer, this christmas story is one that will put a smile on your face and get you in the festive mood!
     Magical, Hopeful and Outstanding. 
Another day, another book, 
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Sunday, 11 December 2016

Newsletter #2

Hi Everyone, I would first like to thank you for your support, likes, retweets, comments and shares for my first newsletter which I did in June. I am always shocked and so happy when people read my reviews and posts, it makes my day and having so much great feedback on my first newsletter was the same. So before I pass you over to the lovely and talented guest author who was kind enough to do a Q&A for my second newsletter, I would like to say a big thank you to my amazing sister Becca Jayne from Pretty Little Memoirs for her support, Blake from Head of Zeus who helped arrange for Diney Costeloe to be on my first ever newsletter and Diney herself, I loved writing the questions and I was so excited to have an amazing author on my first newsletter as well as my second. I hope you all enjoy this newsletter as much as the first, so I will now pass you over to the lovely SHANE MORGAN!!

Hi Shane, thank you so much for joining me for my second newsletter, I am so excited to ask you questions about your books and reading in general as well. Your newest book, ‘Good Company’ has not long be released. How did you come up with the storyline?
Ans: Good Company is an interracial romance novel that I’ve been working on since last year, but actually feels like forever lol. It’s about two people working in the architecture industry with a shared love for design and the desire to find happiness. I get ideas randomly when it comes to my stories. Sometimes it’s while watching TV, doing the dishes, cooking, listening to music, in the middle of a conversation, and so on. I love writing young adult fiction, but I’ve wanted to write adult contemporary for a while now and the reason why I never released Good Company in July is because I want to give my readers a story that they can enjoy and one that is not rushed. 

You write both New Adult and Young Adult novels, is there one you prefer better than the other and if so why?
Ans: That’s tough! I love the Young Adult genre because I get to experience so many things that I never got to do in my teens, except for shoot fire from my body like Natasha and company in the Unresisting trilogy lol. But the same can be said for New Adult. I spent a lot of time being too serious and worrying about disappointing my family instead of just living life to the fullest. So I guess not really, I don’t prefer one over the other. I just explore different things in each.  

You have several more books coming out between this year and next year. Would you be able to tell us a bit about them?
Ans: I can only talk about Good Company as of now. For the other books that I’m working on, those are under wraps until I’m near finished or know for sure where I’m going with the stories and can tell people about them.

When reading do you go for books like you write or something completely different?
Ans: I often look for something different, but I don’t mind reading books similar to mine. Reading helps to open the mind and inspire me to write more and write better, and I just love to read in general and don’t want to limit myself to one genre. 

What would your favourite book be and why?
Ans: That’s hard! I have so many favorites. But if I have to pick a few, I’d say Pride & Prejudice, the Pretty in Black series, Nevermore trilogy, and Something Strange & Deadly trilogy. The only light one in this list is P&P because come on, it’s Jane Austen, and she was an incredible writer who delivered stories that to this day remain classics. I absolutely love the other three because they’re darker and have a gothic vibe, and I enjoy eerie books that allure me and pull me into the setting and the plot. If you haven’t read these books, I highly recommend doing so. 

Who is your favourite authors?
Ans: Kelly Creagh, Rae Hachton , Susan Dennard, Renee Carlino, and of course, Jane Austen.

What is your writing day like?
Ans: I rarely write in the day, mostly edit. I find that I write better late at night, sometimes into the wee hours until sunrise. 

I know that you wrote a number of your books in a month, how hard is it to do and what would you say is the best and worst thing about it?
Ans: Actually, the only time I finish a book in one month is when I’m doing nanowrimo lol. It’s definitely hard because you have to fight to turn off that inner critic and the urge to go back and re-write constantly. The best thing about it is that you keep challenging yourself as a writer and tune in deeper into your creative side. The worst thing about it, the book may still feel like a draft so you can’t just have it edited and release it after finishing at the end of the month. 
Truth be told, I rather spend three months, sometimes years, writing a book. I think the Unresisting trilogy is the longest time that I’ve taken. I completed the first one in a year and a half, the second came out three years later, and I’m slowly working on the third. The thing about taking your time, it’s best to not rush to release something that’s not ready, and your efforts will shine through on every page because you took the time to write the best story you can.

Thank you so much for answering my questions and being in my newsletter. I can’t wait to read what you write next!
Thank YOU for considering me! Great interview. I hope you’ll enjoy my next release.
Shane Morgan is a bestselling author of Young Adult and New Adult fiction. She enjoys contemporary, fantasy, romance, and horror. Shane currently lives in Rhode Island with her husband, where she spends her days blogging, writing and listening music.
Upcoming Reviews On 23 Review Street!!
  • Wicked Pleasures: Part 1 by Lora Leigh
  • Wicked Pleasures: Part 2 by Lora Leigh
  • Wicked Pleasures: Part 3 by Lora Leigh
  • Under The Hood Boxed Set by Sally Clements
  • Body Contact by Cathryn Fox
  • Dominating Red by Kristin Miller
  • Married By Contract by Noelle Adams 
  • Make Me Forget #1 by Beth Kery
As you can see above I have different type of book week on my blog, I haven't decided on a date as of yet but it will be in the next few months. The reason why I have decided to do this week is mainly as I have a lot of respect from all emergency service (I will be doing other book weeks dedicated to these services as well). Firefighters risk their lives every day to save and help people all over the world and this week is my way of showing how much I respect and value the hard work that they do. 
Now, I have an exclusive peak of the banner for you linked to my Christmas Reads event that I will be doing this year from now until 31st of January! So *drum-roll* 
Recommended Read 
I have been reading more and more crime/thriller books lately, so when I got approved for The Darkest Goodbye on Netgalley I couldn't wait to get stuck in! The book revolves around the lives of several different people and their lives, their is a ex-offender turned care home nurse, a new police detective and many more. Each are very different from each other but as the story progresses you can see their lives all connecting due to a chain of events that could the start of something much bigger than any of them every thought. 

As it is coming up to Christmas, I have decided to do a few giveaways over the next couple of months. There are two prizes to be won!
The first prize is a book and bookmark.
The second prize is a writing set.

(Pictures of the prizes will be on Twitter and Facebook)

1) Must follow @23reviewstreet on Twitter.
2) Must like 23 Review Street Facebook page -
3) Must sign up for my newsletter -
4) Last but not least to ENTER just hit the TWEET button:

Good Luck!!!!

*Giveaway open until the 31st January 2017
Copyright © *2016* *23 Review Street* All rights reserved.
Thank you so much for reading this newsletter, don't forget to check back for the next one or you can sign up to get it delivered to your email on my blog. 

Another day, another book, 
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Thursday, 1 December 2016

Blog Tour - The Children Of Lovely Lane by Nadine Dorries plus Extract!

The Children Of Lovely Lane
By Nadine Dorries
Publication Date: 1st December 2016
Publisher: Head Of Zeus
Pages: 489
Genre: Historical, Drama
Format: Hardback 
Source: Publisher

Amazon UK / Amazon US

The nurses of Lovely Lane – Dana, Victoria, Pammy and Beth – are now in their second year and are about to face some truly harrowing and difficult times on the wards.
St Angelus needs a new assistant matron, but the members of the Liverpool District Hospital Board have overruled Emily Haycock and Dr Gaskell in their choice. Enter the mysterious Miss Van Gilder from somewhere down south.
The life of St Angelus is soon disrupted as her proposals turn the running of the hospital upside down and threaten the jobs of the domestics and porters. But Miss Van Gilder harbours a dark and dishonest secret, and the staff – who are used to looking after their own – set out to uncover it.
Will they do so in time, before her meddling begins to affect the morale of the nurses and put the lives of their patients in danger? For one very sick little boy, especially, it will be touch and go.

Ever since I read The Angels Of Lovely Lane, I couldn't wait to see what happened next. For me that one and this book stuck in my mind, I am not sure if it is the characters, the storyline or the author's words but it has really touched my heart. 
After reading the first couple of chapters, I was so pleased to see the familiar characters and places. The nurses of St Angelus are thriving in their careers and everyone is routing for them to do well. (I know I was!) I loved Sister Therese, she is such a unique character. While she is representing God and his views, she is also trying to help those's in need as well. She even has a few tricks up her sleeve to do so. (You will see what I mean when you read it!) 
There are quite a few changes happening at St Angelus, not all of them are good. Especially when a new assistant matron is hired and she is about to make all of the staff's lives harder than they need to be. The St Angelus girls (Dana, Victoria, Pammy and Beth) are just the way I remember them from the first book. All different, all have their own hardships and stories that lead them to St Angelus but it is those reasons that make them such likeable and passionate characters to read about. 
This book is no different in that sense, although along with their stories is a couple of others now as well. Each heartbreaking and tragic yet it is the people who help them when they need it most, they are the ones who show them what real decent human beings are like. 
I have already said how much I loved Sister Therese but I loved all the main character. Each one is unique in their own way and to me, I could imagine and picture them as real life people and not just characters in a book. 
The Children Of Lovely Lane is simply amazing. I really don't think any words I use will do the book justice. Although I will say you have to read it, it will warm your warm and make you see the real angels in the world. 
Captivating, Phenomenal and Touching. 

Chapter three 

If there was one thing Lily Lancashire hated more than anything else in the whole world, it was the sound of children playing.
 Home for Lily was Clare Cottages, situated on the bank of the River Mersey on the Old Dock Road. She thought that the person who had named the ugly, four-storey, soot-blackened redbrick tenement buildings had either been drunk or cruel, giving the cottages such a pretty name. ‘We only agreed to move here because it sounded so nice,’ she often heard the neighbours say. ‘What a joke. Someone in the corpy was ’avin’ a right laugh there.’
 ‘The corpy’ was the Liverpool Corporation, the landlord of Clare Cottages. It was the corpy that had decided to move the bombed-out residents of Scotland Road, where there had been up to four large families to every house, to the already overcrowded Clare Cottages. 
Those who complained about the condition of Clare Cottages were the ones who took pride in their homes, who washed their net curtains and scrubbed the step, who borrowed dolly blue for their laundry from each other when they’d run out. Lily’s mother, much to Lily’s shame, was not one of those women. Her mother never jumped out of bed on a bright and breezy day, eager to get the nets on the line, never helped other women on the same landing to bounce a pram full of wet washing down the steps to the courtyard, was never one to pop in and out of their neighbours’ homes. 
 Lily wished her mam could be more like Mrs McGuffy, who installed herself in the courtyard as self-appointed guardian of the washing lines. 
‘I’ll watch the nets don’t blow off,’ Mrs McGuffy would shout when the weather was fine. ‘You just send our Billy down with the chair and me fags. Me bleedin’ leg ulcers will only let me do those stairs once a day.’ And there she would sit, all day long, surrounded by a plume of blue smoke, her face turned to the sun, the hot metal of her curlers burning into her scalp, the black tar on the top of the bin sheds melting. 
As soon as the nets were dry, she’d round up the cottage kids and instruct them to return the curtains, sun-bleached and folded, to whichever home they’d been sent from, and to bring out the next batch for the lines and a fresh cuppa for herself. There was always a chipped and brown-stained cup on top of the metal bin beside her and when she finished the tea, she used the dregs to extinguish the last of her cigarette. Mrs McGuffy was a demon for cleanliness and objected to anyone throwing a ciggie butt on to the concrete floor of the washing yard, even if it was in the middle of the worst housing in Liverpool. ‘Chuck that stub down the sink, would you, love, before you fill the cup up,’ she would say to whichever kid she sent for a refill. The kids didn’t always remember, but it didn’t matter, the tea was so strong and sweet, she drank it anyway. 
There were two distinct types of families in Clare Cottages. There were those with mothers like Mrs McGuffy, who scrubbed children and steps with equal vigour and regularity. They cleaned windows, baked biscuits, visited the wash house on the same day every week and took their children to the public bath house on Saturday nights, ready for church on Sunday. Such families were free from lice and scurvy. Their children did not stagger around on rail-thin legs or rub at weeping eyes. Their hair was not lank through lack of food and their skin was not permanently darkened as a result of ingrained dirt. They were rarely cold. 
 Families such as Lily’s, on the other hand, had parents who shunned Mass at St Chad’s, preferring to worship at the bar in the Red Admiral public house. They lived in homes where there was no routine of orderliness or cleanliness. Where a trip to the public bath house came rarely, usually when a visit from the welfare inspector loomed or the lice had become too numerous to bear; homes where food came, not always, but usually once a day. No one asked these mothers for a loan of the dolly blue. The nets and bedding in these homes were the colour of a miserable winter sky. 

Another day, another book, 
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Monday, 28 November 2016

Review of The Darkest Goodbye by Alex Gray

The Darkest Goodbye
By Alex Gray
Publication Date: 3rd March 2016
Publisher: Sphere
Pages: 400
Genre: Crime, Thriller, Mystery
Format: eBook
Source: Netgalley 

Amazon UK / Amazon US

When an elderly woman is found dead at her home, newly fledged DC Kirsty Wilson is called to the scene. It appears that the woman had a mysterious visitor in the early hours of that morning - someone dressed as a carer, but with much darker intentions. It soon becomes obvious that this was not death by natural causes, in fact, it was murder. 
Before she can catch her breath, DC Wilson is thrown in at the deep end as another body turns up - this time it's a gruesome crime scene, the victim a well-known drug dealer from Glasgow's mean streets, and there's no question that this was a brutal execution. The two cases appear to have nothing in common, but when a second vulnerable person is murdered in their sleep, the police realise that it's only a matter of time before the next victim emerges and Detective Superintendent William Lorimer is called in to help DC Wilson investigate. 
This case is big and it's about to get more personal than either of them could have imagined...

Before, I write my review I have a confession to make... I haven't read any of the other books in the series. Although to be fair, I didn't realise till half way though that it was part of a bigger series. Anyway, I will definitely read the previous ones as if The Darkest Goodbye is anything to go on then they will be absolutely brilliant as well.  
DC Kirsty Wilson is fresh of the streets and has landed herself a new job as a DC, something she has wanted to be for years. She followed in her father's footstep and now that he is retiring she wants to make him as proud as he made her. Her first case is a robbery of a jewellery store, something that has been happening a lot around the city but it is her next case that is the one that she is unprepared for. Someone who is killing people unnoticed until now. All of the people have had illnesses that have impacted on their quality of life, it looks innocent enough until they find a high dose of a drug in on victim's blood. 
So when a drug dealer is killed in Glasgow, nobody expects these two cases to be linked together until they realise that they are and that someone somewhere is pulling the strings to a much bigger plan and they need to find out who before it is too late and someone else dies unnecessary. 
DS William Lorimer is the main character of the book, he works along side DC Wilson as they gather evidence to find out the real person behind the weird things happening. Although things take a strange turn when someone in his family becomes a victim to the mass murderer, he realises that this person will stop at nothing to get what they want. 
Along side this story, there is another story about a nurse who works in the nursing home where a number of people had died due to the mass murderer. She has secrets of her own, ones that put her in prison years ago, only to be released recently. Her life has changed a lot, so when her past comes back to find her, she is unprepared for the events that will link her to the mass murderer. 
I loved this book, it was fast paced and over before I knew it. I couldn't believe how fast I read it and now I have to wait ages for the next in the series. If you haven't read a book by Alex Gray before then you definitely should, she is an amazing writer who really digs deep into her work to give you the best story. I will definitely be read the next one, that is after I read this one again!

Dark, Unexpected and Thrilling. 

Another day, another book, 
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Saturday, 26 November 2016

Review of Wrong Number by Carys Jones

Wrong Number
By Carys Jones
Publication Date: 1st January 2017
Publisher: Aria 
Pages: 330
Genre: Psychological Thriller, Thriller 
Format: eBook
Source: Netgalley 

Amazon UK / Amazon US

A missing husband. Mysterious calls. And the biggest lie of them all. 

Read with caution - you may never want to answer your phone again...
Will and Amanda Thorn are living the dream until, one day, their phone rings. Within 24 hours, Will is missing and Amanda’s world is shattered.
Who was on the phone?  Where has Will gone?
Amanda is determined to find her husband and is drawn into a world of drug dealers, criminal masterminds and broken promises.
As the truth becomes clearer, she has to face the terrible possibility that she may never have known her husband at all...

WOW!! If I could get away with writing that for my review I would but I can't but it really does sum up my whole take of Wrong Number. 
I was a bit afraid to read Wrong Number at first, mainly because the blurb and how they ring Amanda's house and I was worried it was going to be like a horror in the making but thankfully it wasn't too scary. (Mainly as I read it in the night as well.)
Amanda Thorn is your typical woman, she works from home, is married to a perfect man who walked into her life at the right moment and they have a wonderful marriage. That is until, one call changed everything Amanda had ever believed and known in less than 24 hours. 
 Will Thorn is a normal man, goes jogging every morning, drives to work and loves to spend his free time with his wife. Although, he isn't a normal man at all, he has secrets. Secrets that could destroy the life he has built for himself, secrets that only he knows and would be willing to die for. 
When Amanda gets a strange call from a man asking to speak to someone who didn't live there, Amanda didn't think anything of it. So when she says about it to Will later that night, she isn't expecting the chain-reaction of events that follow. Waking to find Will gone, Amanda is thrown into a world of uncertainty and not knowing what happened to him. 
Although, Will isn't who anyone though he would be and Amanda realises that her life with him has been a lie and that she is married to someone she doesn't really know at all. 
I couldn't believe the twists and turns that Wrong Number takes, it is thrilling and exciting all at the same time. I loved Amanda's character as similar to most female lead character's she is strong and determined but she is only heartbroken and doesn't know who to trust. This story made me have a range of different emotions, sadness for Amanda, unable to trust Will's character as you can't tell what is real and what isn't and loss not just for Amanda but for Will as well. I won't say what but if you read their story then you will see what I mean. 
Wrong Number is so much more than a psychological thriller, it is a story about trusting the people we know, thinking we know them when we don't and love them regardless of the lies that they tell us as they always sound so believable. I can't wait for the next part in this series. 

Unpredictable, Thrilling and Captivating. 

Another day, another book, 
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Monday, 14 November 2016

Blog Tour - The Affair by Amanda Brooke plus Q&A!

The Affair
By Amanda Brooke
Publication Date: 10th November 2016
Publisher: Harper Collins 
Pages: 448
Genre: Fiction, Drama
Format: eBook
Source: Netgalley

Amazon UK / Amazon US / Book Depository / Wordery 

A shocking story about a fifteen-year-old girl and the man who took advantage of her
“You might as well know from the start, I’m not going to tell on him and I don’t care how much trouble I get in. It’s not like it could get any worse than it already is.
I can’t. Don’t ask me why, I just can’t.”

When Nina finds out that her fifteen-year-old daughter, Scarlett, is pregnant, her world falls apart.

Because Scarlet won’t tell anyone who the father is. And Nina is scared that the answer will destroy everything.

As the suspects mount – from Scarlett’s teacher to Nina’s new husband of less than a year – Nina searches for the truth: no matter what the cost.

This is the first book of Amanda's that I read and what a book it is!? Nina has been a single mother for so long but lately that has changed, meeting a wonderful man and marrying him something she never thought she would ever be doing. For Nina everything seems perfect, that was until her fifteen year old daughter, Scarlett gets pregnant. Suddenly, the whole family's lives are thrown into turmoil and Nina doesn't know who to trust and can't believe how much her life changed in a split second. Vicki is married to Scarlett's teacher, she is having a hard time what with looking after her baby and her mother who isn't very well. I didn't feel as connected to Vicki as much as I did Nina, although I do feel for the events that happen throughout the book which flips her whole world upside down. 
The main part of the story is Scarlett's pregnancy and the affair that she has been having, you get hints about who it could be. Personally, I thought it was one person but once I got deeper into the book, I realised how wrong I was. It is shocking and unbelievable. The issue of Scarlett's pregnancy is one that is a very important subject, she is only fifteen years old. It tells of the issues surrounding teenage pregnancy really well, something that a lot of people will find interesting and important as it is happening more and more to young people. 
The Affair takes you on a ride that will make you question everything you read. With its twists and turns, it is unpredictable and brilliant in the way that the story is told. My favourite character would have to be Nina, I love how protective and strong she is as a woman and mother. She is also willing to do anything to get to the truth, no matter what. Her determination and strength is so important to her character. 
Unpredictable, Amazing and Unexpected. 

23 Review Street
Q&A with Amanda Brooke

Hi Amanda, thank you so much for being on 23 Review Street today, I am so excited to ask you questions about your book and writing. Your new book ‘The Affair’ is an amazing read, I loved reading it. How did you come up with the plot?
Thank you so much for having me on your blog. The quick answer to your question is that I have no idea how I came up with the plot! Unlike some of my books where I can remember exactly where I was when I had that first flash of inspiration, The Affair was one of those stories that was an amalgamation of different ideas. To some degree, I drew upon the fears I’d harboured when my daughter was a teenager, but the plot itself evolved slowly over time. My initial synopsis bears no relation to the book I ended up with, and I’d originally focused on a character who didn’t even make it into the final story; a young teacher who walks out on her class and her career.  I’m reluctant to say anymore because I think I would be giving too much away.

‘The Affair’ has a lot of different characters, do you have a favourite one to write about?
That is such a difficult question, it would be like choosing a favourite child. In The Affair, I write mostly from the perspective of Nina, who is Scarlett’s mum and Vikki who is the wife of Scarlett’s teacher, and I enjoyed writing both of their stories. I loved the ‘then and now,’ aspect of the novel where I could contrast their understanding of what was going on at the time, with what they were able to see with hindsight. I would also add that I really enjoyed writing in Scarlett’s voice. She’s the only character I write in the first person so she becomes more of a narrator who lets the reader in on some, if not all, of her secrets.

The story draws on some serious issues that happen in real life not just fiction that makes it all the more significant and interesting. Who do you think will find ‘The Affair’ the most relatable?
I’m hoping the book will appeal to a wide audience. Although the main focus of the story is the inappropriate relationship between an older man and an underage girl, I explore lots of other relationships too; husbands and wives, mothers and daughters, friendships. For me personally, I related most to Nina because of her relationship with Scarlett. My daughter is twenty one now and I’m so proud of the young woman she has become, but I worried all my way through her teenage years. I suppose I feel guilty putting Nina through one of those ‘worst nightmare,’ scenarios, and I’ll confess, I was crying buckets when I wrote her final scenes with Scarlett.

Who are your favourite authors/books to read?
If you browse my bookshelves, you’d be forgiven for thinking you were looking at a collection from a wide variety of readers. I love so many different genres but one of the first authors I fell in love with was Jane Austen… quickly followed by JRR Tolkien. Also included in my favourites list would be Dean Koontz, Terry Pratchett, Cecelia Ahern, Diane Chamberlain and Marian Keyes. I could go on…

Do you have any plans for future books at the moment?
I’m in the fortunate position of having amazing support from my publisher, HarperCollins who have tasked me with writing two books a year for the next few years.  That’s a pretty challenging schedule so I always have at least one work in progress, although right now I’m juggling two books. The Truth is due out in the summer next year and is about a woman with a secret that she has buried so well that even she can’t admit to herself what really happened. The Obsession will follow in 2018 and tackles the issue of stalking.

If you had to sum up your writing style in three words, what would they be?
Heartfelt, intense, uplifting.

Thank you so much for answering my questions and being on my blog. I can’t wait to read what you write next!

Thank you for some very interesting questions!

Amanda Brooke
I live in Liverpool with my daughter Jessica and writing was most definitely a late discovery.  I didn’t really begin to explore creative writing until I was almost 40, at which point my young son Nathan was fighting for his life.  Poetry and keeping a journal helped me through those difficult times and the darker times to come when he died in 2006.  He was three years old.
I continued to write and in 2010 I was fortunate enough to find an agent.  Luigi Bonomi has a fantastic reputation which is truly deserved and with his help we transformed my first manuscript.  Shortly afterwards in 2011 I was offered a book deal with HarperCollins.

My first novel Yesterday’s Sun was published in January 2012 and I was absolutely thrilled when it was selected for the Richard and Judy Spring Book Club List.
Another day, another book, 
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