Good Deeds Week 8th – 14th December

This is a diary of my year long challenge to complete at least one good deed a day for a year. I started back in the middle of April when I began reading “A Year of Doing Good” by Judith O’Reilly. Her book inspired my own challenge. If you are looking for a Christmas gift for someone who sets themselves up with New Year’s resolutions then this may be ideal. Find a copy here on Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Good deedsDecember 8th – This is my 34th week of my challenge. Sent out a reminder about my December competition to win a e-copy of “Family Ties” by E.L. Lindley. Went to visit my parents and tweak a couple of e-mail issues for them. Wrote a book review for Goodreads and Amazon.

December 9th – “It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas…..” Started my morning at school receiving a gift and huge thanks from the class I help with on Mondays. Then settled down to give my time to the children. Next week they will be doing a dress rehearsal for their Christmas play, so I said I’d pop in and help them all get dressed up ready, as a local newspaper photographer has been invited along.

December 10th – It’s READ TUESDAY today an event organised by Chris McMullen to promote books which are discounted for the day, a bit like a Black Friday deal. So I’ve been tweeting and sharing the event, plus I’ve downloaded some books which I’ll read and review to share some more with you all. My Christmas themed book tour is going well and people are also enjoying my daily Good Deed Suggestions for this season of Goodwill.

December 11th – Have been working with Rinelle Grey a fellow author from Australia who I met over the internet, she has a new book out Thursday 12th called “Twin Curse”, it is a fantasy romance which I have thoroughly enjoyed reading. This evening has been full of Good Deeds given and received, I went out with a couple of friends, they organised it and picked me up, we went to dinner in a local pub and had a lovely meal. One friend needed our support with some very stressful issues that she is dealing with at the moment and we provided the much needed help only close friends can give.

December 12th – Rinelle’s book is out check out “Twin Curse” here on Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com for a great e-copy download. Am going to look up some articles and books for my friend who needs our love and support at this time.

December 13th – Whilst Checking out the super new build to local garden centre Redfields, donated some money to Fleet Lions who raise money all over town and put on special events. Dived into the supermarket do get all the shopping I missed off my list the last time I went and bumped into a friend whom I haven’t seen for ages. Had a quick chat and caught up on news.

December 14th – A home day today, I’ve managed to clear up lots of leaves from my neighbours tree and cleared our shared pathway. Then there is my Rosie’s Good read collection that I’ve posted today, check out the Travel books I’ve recommended. http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-37k Also I’ve Tweeted about some great posts that fellow writers have posted today.

My Good deed for readers to take part in during this season of Goodwill, Today, sort out some books to recycle either to give to friends to read or to take to the charity shop.

Good Deeds Week December 1st – 7th

I now head into towards my 8th month of my year long challenge to complete at least one good deed a day for a year. I started back in the middle of April when I began reading “A Year of Doing Good” by Judith O’Reilly. Her book inspired my own challenge. If you are looking for a Christmas gift for someone who sets themselves up with New Year’s resolutions then this may be ideal. Find a copy here on Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Good deedsDecember 1st – It’s been a busy blogging morning. My weekly Good Deeds update, plus the launch of a new competition to win an e-copy of “Family Ties” by E. L Lindley. http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-30T and the launch of my “Rosie’s Good Read Collections” http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-37B where I am sharing my joy of books with you the reader.

December 2nd – Easy Good Deed today ticked off, my morning of helping in school. Spent an enjoyable afternoon entering book giveaway competitions, signing up to authors facebook and twitter pages. I’m always ready to receive more books! My 24 Sleeps ‘Till Xmas tour is underway with a Christmas book theme.

December 3rd – I’ve done a spot more Christmas shopping today and this year I’ve gone in a different direction for one of my gifts. I’ve bought books from the charity shop at bargain prices so I can afford to give more than 1 book and the charity benefits as well. I know the books will get passed around other grateful readers after Christmas and will come full circle back to the charity shops for them to sell once more. I’ve thanked the “voice of doubt” in my head for its concern at giving a gift that isn’t brand new, and I’ve let go of any guilt associated with it. I know more people will benefit from the gift of multiple books than just one brand new one.

December 4th – Spotted a lady just about to drive off from the next petrol pump with her petrol flap open. Stopped her and closed it for her so she could drive off safely. Good Deeds received: My lovely postman delivered a signed copy of “It’s NOT a Holiday” by Andy Robinson and Kirsty McGregor as thanks for all my help and support promoting their book, thanks guys, had a teary moment there! If you’ve missed any of my posts about them click over here. http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-2RV Also had some amazing feedback from my 24 Sleeps ‘Til Xmas guest Nicky Wells, here’s a link to her post. http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-2Pt

December 5th – I spread the word about a free kindle download today “Driving Me to You” by Julie Farrell. A really windy day today and I rescued my neighbour’s wheelie bin which was blowing down the road.

December 6th – Dropped some money into the Diabetes collection bucket at Tesco where workers were cycling the equivalent miles to Lapland to raise money for the charity. Signed up to post a cover reveal and to do a book review and interview for Author Cherie Reich’s new book “Reborn”  next year.

December 7th – Had friends over for supper this evening, which was lovely. Good Deeds received: They were extremely grateful as they had had a very busy day and having someone else cook them a meal at the end of it made all the difference.

December Competition – Win an e-copy of “Family Ties” by E.L. Lindley

This month you have the chance to win an e-copy of “Family Ties” by E.L. Lindley.

Family Ties 290712

Beth Spencer’s world is torn apart when her mother dies, leaving her with no idea of who her family really is. Going through her mother’s possessions Beth finds a trail that leads her from her comfortable life, as a successful artist in Edinburgh; to a father she has never met in LA. As her father’s family welcome her into their life, Beth’s world is complicated even further by her feelings for her father’s stepson. Cal Anderson offers Beth the chance of a new life but can she find the courage to let go of her old one? Family Ties is a novel about finding the courage to live the life that you’ve always hoped for.

Find out more about this author by catching up with an author interview from our Romancing September Tour http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-2rJ

E. L. Lindley Author

Just send your details on the contact form below and tell us why you’d like to win a copy of this book.

The winner will be chosen for providing the most original, relevant and entertaining entry and will be decided by an independent Judge. Entrants should have an e-reader or an app suited to read e-books. The Judge’s decision is final and cannot be disputed.

There is one prize of one e-copy of “Family Ties” by E. L. Lindley. (A Mobi file) The competition runs from 1-31st December 2013 inclusive.

The winner will be announced here on the blog and will be notified by e-mail. In the event of an unclaimed prize there will be a  re-draw for the prize after 2 weeks of the closing date.

Good Deeds Week 29th September – 5th October

This is all about my journey to achieve one Good Deed a day for a year. I was inspired to set myself this challenge when I began reading “A Year of Doing Good” by Judith O’Reilly. Judith undertook some amazing deeds in her year, my own challenge has opened my eyes to opportunities which would previously have passed me by, where I can make a difference to the world, not matter how small.Good deedsSeptember 29th – A lovely autumn day and I spent the afternoon helping my Mum pick pears from her trees.

September 30th – In a bid to support a fellow local author whose just lost a lot of her work when computers were stolen, I agreed to read and review her book.

October 1st – The October edition of Fleet Life is out with my page of book reviews, this month the following authors were included; Sean Flynn with his book “Beer Goggles”, Pearl S Buck’s classic book “The Good Earth”, “Family Ties” by E.L. Lindley, “A Punctual Paymaster” by Dan Groat, and Julie McDowall with her book “Casting the Net”

October 2nd – Sadly we had to attend a funeral today. We joined others to celebrate the 92 years on this earth of a dear friend, and we made suitable donations to a Hampshire and Isle of Wight Charity and the local church.

October 3rd – Have just picked up someone else’s litter that was blowing around the court in which we live. Dropped off a Thank you note for a gift from a friend.

October 4th – 2 Books finished today for reviews in various places, I’m also working on guest author interviews for the entertainment of you, the readers.

October 5th – Today I voted for a local food bank in the Lloyds Bank community Fund promotion. Voting closes early November and the winning 2 good cause get £3000 each and there are £300 for 2 runners up.

Rosie’s Good Reads October edition of Fleet Life

Once again it’s the start of the month and another edition of Fleet Life featuring my page of Rosie’s Good Reads. For the online version go to www.fleetlife.org.uk click on online directory and find me on page 42 this month.

October Fleet Life jpegThis month’s featured authors and books are;

Beer Goggles by Sean Flynn

The Good Earth by Pearl S Buck

Family Ties by E. L. Lindley

A Punctual Paymaster by Dan Groat

Casting the Net by Julie McDowall

Romancing September Author E.L Lindley (Day 2)

Welcome to our second day on Romancing September Across the World, today we meet E. L. Lindley and we talk about her book “Family Ties”. Zip over to Georgia USA in a few hours and meet E. L Lindley once more on Stephanie’s blog where they discuss writing romance in today’s society. We had a fantastic start to the tour yesterday, I hope you are all enjoying our guests.

E. L. Lindley Author

Let’s find out more about our author;

1) Where do you live?

I live in Sheffield, which is in South Yorkshire. It’s actually my home town but, after leaving for university in 1980, I didn’t live here again until about 9 years ago. I always came back regularly for visits though and lots of my friends live in this area so I’m really happy to be back.

2) You’ve written 7 books to date are they all romances?

I suppose they all fit under the umbrella of romance even though they are all very different. I think romantic fiction is in a really exciting transition phase at the moment, mushrooming into lots of different sub-genres. Two of my novels, Family Ties and Don’t Look Back are probably more straight romance whereas the others fall into the romantic thriller category. Four of my books are part of the Georgie Connelly series, which are light hearted crime capers, featuring Georgie and her love interest, James Finn. There are lots of other regular characters as well and they are great fun to write because Georgie gets into all sorts of scrapes. Dare To Lose is a more serious thriller but has lots of romance thrown into the mix as well. I created Nicola Mills, the lead character in Dare To Lose, as something of an homage to older women, after reading an article stating that readers liked their heroines to be no older than 34. Nicola is pushing 50 but I think she is a very likeable, engaging character.

3) “Family Ties” is mainly set in Los Angeles, but where did Beth live before that, what drew her to that place?

Beth grew up in London but went to university in Edinburgh, where she eventually lands a great job as artist in residence. All this is thrown into disarray, however, when her mum dies. Beth had a difficult relationship with her mother, who was a single parent and it’s only after she dies that Beth manages to find the identity of her birth father. He has a successful business based in Los Angeles and, once she makes contact with him, he invites her to stay with him and his family which has life changing consequences for her.

4) How does the title of the book help Beth to move on from the past?

Beth’s mother was a very dysfunctional person and she wasn’t always truthful in how she presented things to Beth. Beth has been emotionally damaged by her mother and it’s only after her mother’s death that she can begin to unravel the ties that bound her to what was basically an unhappy life. Finding her father and allowing herself to become part of his family is a second chance for Beth. The title is born out of the idea that sometimes the ties that bind us to the people we love are not healthy and family doesn’t have to be defined by blood. Beth is tied to her father and half-brother by blood but she is equally connected to her father’s wife, who welcomes her into the family wholeheartedly.

5) Cal is an ex-marine was this a deliberate career choice for a hero?

Creating a romantic hero is possibly one of the most fun parts of writing. I have to fall in love with my leading men or I know I’m not doing my job properly and so basically I create men I want to go out with. I do confess I have a soft spot for men in uniform but, more than this, casting Cal as an ex-marine ensured that he was always going to be tough, capable and dependable.

6) There are many different romance styles, how did you choose the level of intimacy in this book?

That’s a very topical question because the recent emergence of erotica as a sub-genre within romance has perhaps changed readers’ expectations where intimacy is concerned. With Family Ties, I attempted to maybe be more explicit than I am in any of my other novels but I think it’s still pretty tame. I have to admit that as a reader, I prefer it when the sex is less explicit and left more to the reader’s imagination, which is probably reflected in my own writing.

7) Beth has a lot of emotional issues to work through, where do you get your ideas from?

Beth does have a lot of emotional issues to work through but I think we probably all do. Beth’s situation is quite extreme but we all have insecurities and hang-ups that can prevent us from going after what we want in life. I spend a lot of time observing people and wondering what makes them tick and I’m a bit of a magpie with my friends’ lives. I steal all of their experiences and work them into my stories, hopefully embellished enough so that they don’t recognise themselves.

8) Would you ever try writing any other branch of romance such as paranormal romance, historical romance or thriller romance?

I really enjoy reading all kinds of romantic fiction but I think writers are probably just more naturally drawn to specific areas. For me, I tend to stick to thrillers and contemporary issue based romance. Before I even start to plan my stories, I spend a long time thinking about them and my mind seems to naturally head down the same route. I think historical romance is probably quite unique in that it would require a lot of research and I suspect historical writers have a passion for the era in which they set their stories.

9) If you were ever asked to write something steamy like erotica, would you be tempted to publish under a different name?

To be honest, Family Ties is probably as steamy as I’m likely to get. What I didn’t realise before I set about trying to describe the intimate scenes between Beth and Cal was how difficult it is. I think writing erotica is probably a whole skill set that I don’t have. I remember when I was part way through Family Ties, a friend and I went out for lunch and spent the whole time trying to think of euphemisms for having sex. I’m sure the other diners wondered what we were up to as we giggled uproariously like naughty school girls. I have a feeling that if I was to write an erotic novel it would probably turn out to be more squirm inducing than steamy.

10) Will your next book be a romance too?

I’m currently about halfway through a standalone romantic thriller. It’s about a woman called Maggie who is looking for her sister. She retraces her sister’s movements to Texas, where she went to meet a man with whom she’d been corresponding on the internet. Maggie is forced to hire a local private investigator to help with the search and he just happens to be the man of my dreams. Hopefully he’ll feature in lots of other readers’ dreams as well!

Family Ties 290712You can find “Family Ties” at Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Please join me in thanking E. L. for being our guest today and wishing her well with her new book. Don’t forget catch up with over at Stephanie’s blog next.

Guest Author E.L. Lindley

Please Welcome E. L. Lindley to the Guest Author spot.E. L. Lindley Author

I recently read my first book by this author, here is my book review;

Don’t Look Back by E.L. Lindley

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the first book that I have read by the author, a romance which also deals with adoption, broken marriages and teenagers. The book is set in Sheffield and Los Angeles, mixing up the cultures and different life styles of the characters. There is a lot of anger and strong emotions throughout the book for several of the characters and I particularly wanted to throttle Catherine at times. Catherine has a hard time dealing with many issues in her life and consequently hides from decision making or acts rashly then regrets it afterwards. I’m glad she saw sense in the very end.

See the book here on Amazon.co.uk and here on Amazon.com Don't Look Back

Now let’s find out more about our guest;

1) Where is your home town?

My home town is Sheffield in the UK, which is where Don’t Look Back is partly set. I left Sheffield to go to university in 1980 and didn’t move back until I was in my 40s. It’s a nice place to live because, although it’s the UKs fourth largest city, it doesn’t really have that big city feel. It’s been described as the UK’s largest village which I think sort of captures its essence perfectly.

2) This was the first book that I’d read of yours, how many other books have you written? Are they all romances?

I’ve written seven books in total and they all have an element of romance in them although they might not strictly be classed as romances. Apart from “Don’t Look Back”, I have written another romance called “Family Ties”, which is about a woman whose mother dies and her grief leads her to try and find her birth father whom she’s never met. I’ve written a thriller called “Dare To Lose” which is set in Brighton and is about an ordinary woman who finds herself making a stand against crime when one of her employees goes missing. It’s got a fair sprinkling of romance in it as well because she is thrown together with the missing girl’s father. I’ve also written a series of books called The Georgie Connelly Stories which are light hearted crime capers with lots of fun and romance. Georgie Connelly is a bit of a madcap heroine and she’s great fun to write.

3) What inspires you to write? Is it people you know? Situations you’ve been in or something else?

It’s definitely people who inspire me. I’m an avid people watcher and I’m always making up lives and stories for people. Sometimes I base my stories on people that I know or things that have happened to me but it’s usually exaggerated to such a degree that it becomes unrecognisable. At least I hope so – I’d hate to be sued for libel.

4) Do you carry out research into any of the situations that your characters go through?

I don’t do a lot of research because most of my stories are based around pretty universal issues such as love, grief, family etc which we all understand. For any factual information I tend to rely on good old Google.

5) In “Don’t Look Back” some of your characters visit a psychologist, was that hard to write or did you know how she would get the characters to open up to their deep issues?

Funnily enough, there’s a bit of a story here. I used the idea of a therapist in “Don’t Look back” as a plot device because I had to think of a way to try and break down Catherine and Bill’s barriers. However, it had quite an impact on my life as I became very interested in the idea of it. I have revisited the theme in the novel I am currently working on by making the main character, Maggie, a psychotherapist. I did quite a bit of research on it and ended up applying to study psychotherapy myself. I start my course in September so how’s that for life imitating art? (I’m very impressed! Good Luck with the course)

6) I particularly liked Catherine’s friend Jenny, she was always there for Catherine, yet she stepped in and contacted Bill behind Catherine’s back, was it for self preservation or friendship?

I think Jenny is probably the character most of us can relate to and the friend we would all like to have. She’s been with Catherine every step of the way and seen her make some disastrous choices. She knew that Catherine wasn’t happy and I think intervened out of love for her friend. We’ve all probably been in situations where we’ve agonised over whether we should interfere in our loved ones’ lives for the greater good. In real life, it’s often a disaster when we interfere but I think Jenny did the right thing. Having said that, she has her own family to think about so maybe part of her motivation for wanting to see Catherine and Bill sort out their problems was self preservation.

7) We never met Catherine’s father, was that deliberate? Or could Catherine have put one more ghost to bed if we had? 

I was very lucky in that I had settled childhood and a father who was dependable and supportive but I have friends who didn’t have father figures growing up and it’s had a huge impact on their lives. I’ve also worked with young people for a lot of years and seen situations where dads have gone off and had new families, leaving the old family behind. It’s almost like they want a fresh start and in order to do so have to somehow erase their old lives. The children left behind have so many unanswered questions and often end up feeling not good enough and adrift. I thought to have Catherine resolve her issues with her father would have been almost too neat and perfect. In real life, people more often than not, don’t get the answers they need or the sense of closure that Catherine might have had if her father had featured in the novel.

8) One reviewer suggested a sequel for us to see how the characters developed in their new life, have you considered writing that book?

I’d not considered writing a sequel until I read the review suggesting one. I didn’t want to make everything end perfectly because I didn’t think that would be in keeping with the characters. I suspect Catherine and Bill’s relationship is never going to be problem free but I sort of wanted readers to make their own minds up about what their future may be. Maybe I should just write the sequel though – who knows?

9) “Don’t look back”, is a popular title for a book, when I looked it up there were many other books with the same or similar title, how do you choose titles for your books?

In all honesty, I find thinking of titles harder than actually writing the books. I have no idea as I’m writing them what they will be called and tend to refer to them by the name of the lead character. So far a long time “Don’t Look Back” was simply called Catherine. Once they’re finished it’s never easy to come up with ideas and typically I try lots of titles out on friends. They hoot with laughter at my suggestions and the one that gets the least ridicule heaped on it is usually the one that sticks.

10) Are you writing anything at the moment for your fans?

I’m writing a novel about a woman whose sister goes missing. She’s a psychotherapist and she retraces her sister’s footsteps, so to speak, in the hope of finding her. It’s a thriller with lots of romance in there as well. My friend reads my novels as I write them, acting as my proof-reader, and she claims to have fallen in love with the leading man, who is a private investigator hired by Maggie to find her sister.

Brilliant! thank you so much for being my guest today, good luck with the new book, we look forward to reading it when it comes out.