Guest Author Paula Martin

Today our guest is Paula Martin author of yesterday’s book Irish Inheritance, here is a link to the book if you missed the post. http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-591

Paula Martin

Let’s find out more about Paula.

1) Where is your home town?

I’m originally from a town called Preston, in Lancashire in North West England, but at eighteen I moved about 35 miles away to study at Manchester University, and I’ve lived in the Manchester area ever since.

 

2) How long have you been writing?

Since I was about eight or nine. I was a voracious reader as a child, and made up stories about the children in my favourite books. That led on to writing about my own characters, and later, when I was in me teens, to very cheesy romances! My first novel was published when I was in my twenties, followed by three more. Then, with a young family to bring up and my career as a teacher, I had a break from writing novels, although I still wrote short stories and articles. I came back to romance novels a few years after I had taken early retirement from teaching, and have had six books published since 2011.

 

3) What genres do you like writing most?

Contemporary romance is my ‘natural’ genre, and I haven’t yet stepped out of my comfort zone. As I used to be a history teacher, people sometimes ask me why I don’t write historical novels, but maybe it’s because I know how much research would be involved to make sure I didn’t get something wrong!

 

4) Is this your first book set in Ireland?

Yes, although it’s about eight years since I first visited the west coast of Ireland, and fell in love with the beautiful Connemara area of County Galway. I’ve been back to Ireland ten times since then and visited other parts of the island.

 

5) What is it that makes Ireland a romantic setting for many books?

Its scenery, its history, and its people. I love the mountain areas I’ve visited, like the Wicklow Mountains and Connemara, which have a wild beauty, and the west coast of Ireland is stunning with its cliffs and rocky shores, and some lovely bays. Wherever you go in Ireland, you’re surrounded by history, ranging from prehistoric tombs to medieval monasteries and castles, and then to the more recent history of the Irish potato famine, and the struggle for independence. Last, but not least, I love the friendliness of the Irish people, who greet you with a cheerful, ‘How are ye?’ everywhere you go.

 

6) Can you give the readers a hint about some of the family research that Jenna and Guy must undertake?

I’ve done a lot of my own family history research, so I knew their initial research would be from census records, and birth, marriage, and death lists. Many of these can now be found online so it’s much easier to find out your family history than it used to be. I did discover, however, that the 19th century Irish census records had been destroyed, so Jenna and Guy only had access to the 1901 and 1911 censuses. These records only contain basic information, and the next step is to buy copies of birth, marriage, and death certificates which can provide more detail. Older people’s memories are also invaluable, as Guy and Jenna discovered when they met people who remembered the family they were researching.

 

7) Tell us a little about the house in the book called Mist Na Mara.

I know exactly where I wanted Mist Na Mara to be situated, with a view of the bay on one side and the Connemara mountains on the other. There’s actually a ruined castle near where I imagine the house, but I wanted it to be Victorian. So the house is partly a figment of my imagination, and partly an amalgam of various old houses I’ve either visited or seen in photos, movies, or TV dramas. I wish it was real!

 

8) Tell us a little about some of your other books

‘His Leading Lady’ is set in London’s theatre world when Jess agrees to impersonate her twin sister and take the lead in a new musical show in the West End. She falls for the show’s director, Kyle Drummond, but discovers he had been dating her sister, and starts to wonder if he is using her as a substitute in real life as well as in the show.

‘Fragrance of Violets’, set in England’s beautiful Lake District, is a story of forgiveness between Abbey and Jack who fell out as teenagers but meet again ten years later. However, Jack is hiding a secret that threatens to destroy the fragile resumption of their relationship.

‘Changing the Future’, again set in the North West of England, is another ‘reunion’ story. Lisa meets Paul again after their acrimonious breakup six years earlier. Resentment still lingers on both sides, but so does their mutual attraction. They can’t change the past, but a life-threatening volcanic eruption may help them to change the future.

‘Dream of Paris’ tells the story of school teacher Anna who has a dream of going to live and study in Paris, until Matt Carlton comes into her life. When Anna discovers the reason for Matt’s strangely inconsistent behaviour, she is sure there is no future for them, but maybe Paris can still work its magic for them both.

‘Her Only Option’ was inspired by my visit to Egypt several years ago. Neve, a tour guide on a Nile cruise ship, meets archaeologist Ross McAllister. As a result, she breaks up with her Egyptian boyfriend, but when Ross’s work in the famous Valley of the Kings seems to be under threat, she has to make a heart-breaking decision.

 

9) Are you working on a new book at the moment?

My current ‘work in progress’ is a spin-off story about Charley, who was Jenna’s best friend in ‘Irish Inheritance’. It takes place about three years later, when Charley, after a personal tragedy, unwillingly returns to Ireland. She meets Luke Sullivan, an Irish veterinary surgeon, and is drawn into a web of intrigue linked to Luke’s ex-wife.

 

10) Where can fans find out more about you and your work?

Irish Inheritance

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

My website is http://paulamartinromances.webs.com and my personal blog is http://paulamartinpotpourri.blogspot.com

You can also find all my books on my Amazon author page: http://amzn.to/1o9biew

 

 

Irish Inheritance by Paula Martin

Irish InheritanceIrish Inheritance by Paula Martin

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book begins with two people finding that they have been left a half share of a house in Ireland by Miss Helena Keating, a lady neither of them had ever heard of. Jenna Sutton is an aspiring English actress, while Guy Sinclair is an American artist.

The house is in Clifden, County Galway and known by it’s Irish name of “Mist Na Mara”. The two travel to Ireland to find out more about the house and find themselves on a mystery. Research through family trees reveal unexpected relatives and big decisions to be made about the future of the house.

The story takes the reader on a lovely trail around the Emerald Isle mixed with the people through history who brought Jenna and Guy to the romantic house of the cliff tops of the wild rugged coastline, and where ghosts can finally be laid to rest. The couple must work through their own needs for the future so that they can decide what to do with their inheritance.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

View all my reviews on Goodreads

Paula will be our guest author tomorrow on the blog, come back and find out more about her and her books.

A Change of Heart by Adrienne Vaughan

A Change of Heart (The Heartfelt Series, #2)A Change of Heart by Adrienne Vaughan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A Change of Heart is the second book in the Heartfelt series, I fell in love with the Island of Innishmahon and the colourful people who lived there in the first book “The Hollow Heart”. So I was delighted to find the second book took place on the island once more. Carrying straight on from where the first book ended the story heads right in with Ryan stepping off of the ferry with his young son.

On top of the vital repairs to the only bridge to the island, which was washed away in a storm, there are now plans to have a Life Boat station on the island too. Dermot Finnegan takes the role of Life Boat Captain as a disguise for some undercover police work which he has signed up for.

For a tiny island off of the Irish coast it certainly draws everyone’s attention. Superstar actress Angelique de Marcos arrives in a whirl of glamour to challenge Ryan for custody of their son. Erin Brennan is also returning to the island after a long period of absence and she too has her own secret agenda.

Throw in to the mix a Halloween Hooley, robbery, freedom fighters and some brand new relatives, it all has journalist Marianne Coltrane at breaking point, but letting the Emerald Isle work its magic, gives more than one person a second chance.

Romance, Ireland and great characters at their best, I can’t wait for the third book in the series.

Find a copy here on Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Catch up with Adrienne when she was a guest author on our blog last week, click here for the interview http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-5bG

View all my reviews on Goodreads.

I’m hoping to be able to offer this book and The Hollow Heart as part of my book review challenge FREE to any readers. See yesterday’s post and keep an eye out for updates.

Guest Author Adrienne Vaughan

Today our guest is Adrienne Vaughan author of yesterday’s book The Hollow Heart. Click here to read the review if you missed it. http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-5bA

AV-Author

Let’s find out more about Adrienne and her writing.

1) Where is your home town?
I was born in Leicester in the East Midlands and brought up in Dublin, Ireland – so I’m very lucky, I have two home towns and still spend time in them both.
2) How long have you been writing?
 I was given a Petite Typewriter for Christmas when I was seven, it was turquoise, I loved it, and that was it, my fate was sealed! I wrote poems, short stories and features, cutting out pictures from magazines and making up my own little publications. I’ve never stopped, today I run a busy PR company; we publish lots of company newsletters and I’m proud to be the editor of the Romantic Novelists’ Association magazine, Romance Matters.
3) What one thing sparked the idea for this book?
The Hollow Heart started as a dream. Someone I knew met a famous movie star in a bar, they struck up a conversation and although coming from very different backgrounds, became firm friends. I then dreamt I met a movie star in a pub in Ireland – which can happen there quite easily – but he didn’t want to talk to me because I was in the media. I couldn’t shake it, the scenario kept coming back to me, so I did what I always do when that happens, I wrote it down.
4) The book has a terrible terrorist attack in it, can you tell the readers what the attack was about?
I abhor terrorism. Growing up in Ireland during the seventies, I was acutely aware of how lives can be torn apart by random acts of violence in the name of a ‘cause’. I visited New York after 9/11, we flew over the site of the atrocity, there are no words to describe how that felt. So I wanted a scene that put things into perspective for my heroine, for her to realise how fragile life is, and when she finds something worth living for, to hold on and fight for it. I also wanted to show Ryan, although a movie star, was far from shallow, and I needed them both to have gone through something major, so that when they do fall in love, they will move heaven and earth to be together – and they do!
5) Does the Island of Innishmahon exist in real life?
I’m told it does, lots of readers give me names of places they think the island is based on, some even send me pictures. But no, the island is a combination of many beautiful places I have visited in Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales. I do have a map of it though, I’ve drawn it and put the landmarks in, such as the pub and Marianne’s cottage, Weathervane, which is what the novel was originally called.
6) Will we be able to read more about the stolen babies story in the next book?
Oh, yes. I was in the throes of writing about that, when a report came on the news that a similar scam have been discovered in a Convent in Spain, where babies of single girls were being sold on for adoption. Since then many tales have emerged, but I’d made my story up, fact proving to be, as usual, stranger than fiction.
7) Does the second book in the series continue straight on or is there a jump in time like there is in some book series?
Straight on, it opens precisely where The Hollow Heart ends. My husband read the manuscript and when he finished it – apart from saying it should be a film – said: “That’s interesting, it ends at a beginning, you are writing a sequel aren’t you?” I wasn’t!
8) What do you think makes an Irish setting for a book appealing to readers like me?
I’m not sure. The UK and Ireland are similar yet very different, perhaps that’s the attraction, reading about a place that feels familiar and friendly, yet quite alien is intriguing in many ways. The shared language and history is another good foundation. I try hard to ensure my characters, wherever they are from, speak with an authentic voice, so I like to go back to Ireland to ‘get my ear in’ as they say and Ryan’s New York agent, Larry Leeson says elevator not lift, and trunk not boot – a childhood spent watching Kojak has not been wasted.
9) Do you have a favourite part of Ireland yourself?
I’ve too many to select just one, but a hunk of my heart is in the Wicklow mountains, wild and wonderful, it’s called The Garden of Ireland; with snow in the wintertime it could be Scandinavia, yet so close to the sea. A week in Wicklow is my idea of the best spa break in the world, everyone comes back looking amazing!
10) How many books will there be in the Heartfelt series?
I’m currently working on the final book in the series, (here’s an exclusive for you Rosie) called Secrets of the Heart, with more twists and turns for those colourful characters, and another love story or two – but to say anymore than that would be indiscreet!
I have the novel after this one roughly sketched, and much of that will be set in Ireland too, but different, equally lovable characters I hope.
Thank you Adrienne, readers can catch my review of the second book in the Heartfelt series next week.
The Hollow Heart (The Heartfelt Series, #1)

Find a copy here on Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

The Hollow Heart by Adrienne Vaughan

The Hollow Heart (The Heartfelt Series, #1)The Hollow Heart by Adrienne Vaughan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Hollow Heart is the first book in the Heartfelt series. It features reporter Marianne Coltrane and begins with her work at the Chesterford Chronicle where her latest scoop uncovers the illegal sale of babies from a refuge for single pregnant women. Once the story breaks Marianne finds herself being awarded Journalist of the Year for her stolen babies expose.

It’s at the awards she meets dependable George Brownlow MP. With a twist, destiny plunges Marianne through a series of cruel disasters and it’s not until she decides to take a break and escape to the Island of Innishmahon off of the Irish coast, that she begins to mend her emotional wounds. The people of the island are so welcoming; Padar and Oonagh Quinn who run the pub, Miss MacReady the postmistress and Father Gregory.

Marianne finds another person on the island is also there to find himself and escape from life. Ryan O’Gorman, TV star, once saved Marianne’s life, now he’s here saving more lives when a storm hits and families need rescuing. He doesn’t want to be remembered as a hero he wants to be a writer, but life in the fast lane pulls him away from the island and Marianne.

Stormy times lay ahead for more than one character, and I’m looking forward to reading the second book in the series to see how obstacles are overcome, relationships smoothed and families are re-united. I really enjoyed Marianne’s journey and easily fell in love with the people and the island of Innishmahon.

Find a copy here on Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

View all my reviews on Goodreads.

Adrienne will be our guest on the blog tomorrow, do come back and find out more about this author and her writing.

Letter Q on The A to Z April Challenge 2014

Today’s letter on the A to Z Challenge is Q. My book today is Quentins by Maeve Binchy. Genre – Contemporary Fiction

41950

Is it possible to tell the story of a generation and a city through the history of a restaurant? Ella Brady thinks so. She wants to film a documentary about Quentins that will capture the spirit of Dublin from the 1970s to the present day. And Quentins has a thousand stories to tell: tales of love, of betrayal, of revenge; of times when it looked ready for success and times when it seemed as if it must close in failure. But as Ella uncovers more of what has gone on at Quentins, she begins to wonder whether some secrets should be kept that way…

In Maeve Binchy’s magical QUENTINS you will meet new friends and old: the twins from SCARLET FEATHER, the Signora from EVENING CLASS, Ria from TARA ROAD – and a
host of fresh faces. There is Monica, the ever-cheerful Australian waitress, and Blouse Brennan, whose simplicity disguises a sharp mind and a heart of gold. Presiding over Quentins are Patrick and Brenda Brennan, who have made Quentins such a legend. But even they have a story and a sadness which is hidden from the public gaze.

Find a copy here at Goodreads, Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Here are some links to randomly selected bloggers who are also taking part in the challenge, please find the time to visit them too.

http://www.yvonneventresca.com/blog.html

http://www.margokelly.blogspot.co.uk/

http://hammlington.wordpress.com/

During the challenge we are asking people to leave comments on blogs, any supportive comments are much appreciated thank you.

AtoZ Banner [2014]

Heart of the Sea by Nora Roberts

Heart of the Sea (Gallaghers of Ardmore / Irish Trilogy, #3)Heart of the Sea by Nora Roberts

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am a fan or Nora Roberts books, and tend to gobble them up when I get the chance. This was no different, the third in The Irish Trilogy series. I have not had the pleasure of reading the first two, this book can be read alone or as part of the series.

Trevor Magee is building a theatre at the back of the Gallagher pub in a tiny Irish Village. He’s come to find his roots and unknowingly the answers to his dreams. He finds he’s come to build more than a stone structure.

Darcy Gallagher runs the pub with her two brothers and its a place of Celtic traditions of music and hospitality. Darcy has expense and luxury on her wish list for life.

The area is steeped in Irish Legend and Trevor is told the tale of Lady Gwen and Prince Carrick’s tragic love. The place is full of Irish magic and I was drawn away from a cold wet January afternoon, to a place of lush greens, sea mists and enchantment. The pull of Ireland was strong because of the descriptions and details of the people and places.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

View all my reviews on Goodreads

“Q” of the Ato Z Challenge

My letter today for the challenge is “Q”. I can’t believe we’ve reached this far so quickly! Quest for the Oracle is part of the Chronicles of Myriad by James Nicholas Adams As part of the challenge we are asking all readers of the posts to leave a comment, thanks!

About Quest for the Oracle;
Eight years after watching his best friend Kristine disappear, Jason embarks on a journey to find her. While exploring the Keash caves he frequented as a child, he falls and hits his head, rendered unconscious. He awakens to find himself chained up in a cage on a world unlike anything he has ever known and only an arm’s length away from Kristine. The reunion is short lived as a sudden dragon attack on their captors causes them to once again become separated. Shortly after, he meets the Prophet Tanas who takes him to meet Jerech, an Elvish king and Jason’s birth father. Here, he learns Kristine is in the hands of a nameless tyrant and embarks on a quest to free her. Along the way he discovers there is far more to the reason he is here than he thought, and he has a destiny beyond anything he ever imagined.

Chronicles of Myriad: Quest for the Oracle

One reader’s thought on the book were;

A well written book, cannot believe it’s a first from this new author and am delighted to be the first to review it. It is an exciting, fast paced adventure book that I had difficulty putting down. A baby named Jason is left on a doorstep in Ireland, the disappearance of a young girl named Kristine in the dark Keash caves in Oregon, but soon you are in another dimension where Angels, Dragons, a Dark Lord, new creatures, the destruction of the city Sherauk, magic, wars and legends emerge. A great book, it embraces danger, determination, love and courage. A must read for fantasy adventure fans!

Here are today’s 5 random links to other AtoZ Challengers;

http://viewsofeye.wordpress.com/

http://erinshakespear.blogspot.co.uk/

http://tomwisk.wordpress.com/

http://magicianofoz.blogspot.co.uk/

http://ellenmgregg.com/

Tigor The Sheep

Local author Fiona Gunner has just published her first children’s book called Tigor the sheep. The story of a sheep who stops a group of thieves stealing turf and coal from a farm. The story is linked to her Irish roots and is available in Britain and Ireland. She hopes to write more books on the back of the success of her first.

Gangnam Style #2

I hear that “Gangnam Style” which I blogged about last week has now reached #2 in the iTunes download charts. Although being an “oldie” I can’t see the appeal of downloading just the tune as I thought it was all about the video?! I must be missing a trick there!

Finished reading Lunara by Wyatt Davenport, but I’m afraid it wasn’t a big hit with me. I’m a fan of Stargate, StarWars and StarTrek, so it had a lot to live up to. A lot of praise for the Author writing large battle scenes, they are much easier to watch on the screen than to imagine in your head. I got a bit lost with some of the characters too, but perhaps it was just me?

The next book that I’m on is totally different; Angels in my Hair by Lorna Byrne is a wonderful book about Angels from a gifted Irish lady. I always love the mysticism which comes from Ireland, it has very ancient roots. It’s a book I like to read tucked away on my own.

So when the house is busy I read other books when I can, I’ve just started; A Plague of Sinners by Paul Lawrence. Set in London 1665, murder and suspense during the Great Plague.

Have a great weekend

X

Rosie