Beach Read Blog Tour 2015 Day 9 #Beachbooks @jontybabe @BrookCottageBks

Welcome to day 9 of the beach reads blog tour, everyone should be feeling lovely and relaxed now on our virtual holiday.

Beach Read Postcard

My guest today is Debbie Johnston from Brook Cottage Books

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Thank you to Rosie for inviting me to be a part of her Beach Reads feature. When it comes to thinking about my perfect holiday destination I am going to be greedy and list two! The first one would obviously be lying on a hammock between two palm trees on a desert island somewhere with cocktails close to hand. The sound of the sea would eventually soothe me to sleep! The second destination is a cabin or cottage beside a lake with a mountain back drop! Perfect! To date, my most perfect holiday destination has been Malta. Beautiful scenery and equally beautiful people!


My 5 holiday reads would be:

A Self Help / Inspirational book (which would get your mojo back for when you return home) 


On Writing by Stephen King. This book is an amazing insight into the great man himself, with stories about his childhood and his early writing career. The book offers really sound advice for those venturing into the world of writing. The format would have to be audiobook as its read by Stephen King himself and I guarantee you will instantly fall in love with his voice and the way he reads!




A book that interests you although it’s from a genre you’ve never read.


Biocentrism by Lanza and Berman. This is from the Science / cosmology /physics / non-fiction genre. Definitely something I would never usually read! However the subject matter interests me greatly and I have actually bought this book already! The premise of the book is basically that consciousness is the key to reality. The universe exist through our minds! Talk about get your geek on!




A book from your favourite genre 


One of my favourite genres is the horror genre. I have chosen Misery by Stephen King as it was the first Stephen King book I ever read and from then on in I was totally hooked on the man! It’s so well written and super creepy. In the words of Annie Wilkes, the scary woman in the book, I am his ‘number one fan!’




A book you’ve been meaning to read for ages 


I have been meaning to read Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger after really enjoying her book The Time Traveller’s Wife. I have the book on my bookshelf staring at me and it really needs to go to the top of my TBR list! It sounds like quite a spooky read with a bit of a mystery behind it too. Just the sort of thing I love!




A Fun Read 


For fun overload I always recommend books by Carol E Wyer. Carol has such an hilarious way of looking at the world and her books always produce a bit of a giggle, especially her ‘grumpy’ series of books. Her latest book Grumpies On Board is on my TBR list at the moment and I am really looking forward to getting stuck in! It’s a light hearted look at the latest adventures for those of a certain age! Carol definitely believes in getting older rather disgracefully and with a bang!




Thank you Rosie for letting me take part in this feature. It was great fun! Not sure if you need all this but here it is anyway.



In the bookish world I am known by the name JB Johnston and this is the name I sometimes write under. I also work under the name Debbie Johnston!  I would love to be a writer but in the meantime, and until I actually get an ounce of talent, I review and promote books for various sites, publishers and individual authors.
I was an intern with Safkhet Publishing where I was a Marketing Assistant and Editorial Assistant and was the editor for Little White Lies and Butterflies by Suzie Tullett. I am also a book tour co-ordinator and organise and run virtual book tours for authors. If you have a book to promote then I can help you do that. I organise and co-ordinate online promotion parties for authors and publishers. All you have to do is sit back and enjoy! I am a beta reader for some authors which I really enjoy.

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I review books from my own personal bookshelf also and support a variety of Indie authors. I am a monthly contributor on Siren FM radio for the show ‘Books Rock’ which is hosted by author Nicky Wells. I’m a Lifestyle reviewer for the award winning Loveahappyending Lifestyle magazine, which won the 2013 Romance Industry “Innovation in Romantic Fiction” award. I was shortlisted for Romance Blogger of the Year 2013 in the Romance Industry Awards.  I am involved with the Plum Tree  Books Group and regularly read and review books for  where I am on the review panel.


Brook Cottage Books






Beach Reads Drift Wood

Beach Reads Blog Tour 2015 Day 3 #BeachBooks @Alison_Williams #wwwblogs


Whoa! It’s Day 3 of our Holiday! With amazing book suggestions for your own vacation.

Beach Read Postcard

Today my guest is Alison Williams

Alison Williams

I’m very lucky in that my ideal holiday destination is actually where I’m going this year (and where I went last year) – a beautiful restored farmhouse in a secluded valley in the Lot-et-Garonne area of Aquitane in France. I love France – the food, the weather, the people, the attitude to life, and our holidays there are always wonderful. Lot-et-Garonne isn’t as well known or as touristy as some other regions in France and yet it is beautiful. I have an incredibly busy life and here I can truly relax, unwind and breathe. And read, of course.

I like to take a mixture of genres and a mixture of formats – some on Kindle because I can read seven or eight books a week when I’m on holiday and there just isn’t room for them all, and some paperbacks, because I appreciate it when other holidaymakers leave books for future guests, and I like to do the same.

A book about the place I’m going to.


As we’re in Aquitane, and because I am fascinated by history and particularly by women in history, I shall be taking Alison Weir’s ‘Eleanor of Aquitaine: By the Wrath of God, Queen of England’. I love this area of France, and so I’d love to know more about its history. I’ve also read about Eleanor before – married to Louis VII and then England’s Henry II, her sons were Richard the Lionheart and King John. She had a huge influence on the politics of the time and lived to the ripe old age of eighty-two. A fascinating woman. Or find this book on

stephen king

A book that interests me

I’ll also be taking Stephen King’s ‘On Writing’. I read King’s novels voraciously as a teenager. I’ve heard excellent things about this book – part memoir, part writing master class – and can’t wait to read it. But realistically, a holiday is probably the only time I have when I’ll be able to read it thoroughly and properly. It’ll definitely have to be the paperback version – and it won’t be getting left behind. Or find this on


A book I’ve mean meaning to read for ages is Hilary Mantel’s ‘A Change of Climate’. Anyone who knows me at all knows I have a bit of an obsession with Hilary. She’s a marvellous writer and I love her novels. A holiday – where there are no pressures and no time constraints – is the ideal time to relax and give this book the attention it deserves. A family saga about ex-missionaries living in Norfolk, this is a book unlike the historical dramas that have made Mantel so popular, but a storyteller is a storyteller, and Mantel writes just as well about the modern day as she does about history. Or find it here on




For me a holiday is all about escaping the day-to-day and a book that I can really escape with is Emily Bronte’s ‘Wuthering Heights’. I have no idea now how many times I’ve read it – with the exception of Hilary Mantel, the Brontes are the only writers I can read again and again – but every time I read it I’m swept away to those wild moors and can truly lose myself. This has to be read in paperback format – I have about five rather raggedy, well-thumbed copies, including the one I filched from my son when he had to study it for his English ‘A’Level (he is somewhat less enamoured!) so will leave one behind. Or find it here on

The Black Hours by Alison Williams

The Black Hours by Alison Williams

And of course, I’ll be leaving a copy or two of my own novelThe Black Hours’ . A very dark historical drama, based on the life of the notorious Witchfinder Matthew Hopkins, ‘The Black Hours’ is probably best read in bright daylight (so you don’t get too scared) with a revitalising glass of wine or two at hand. Or find it here on

Now all I need is a guarantee of hot weather, a few bottles of the local red, and a pile of croissants and chocolate éclairs. Perfect.

Beach Reads Drift Wood

What book have you read multiple times? Features Praxis by Fay Weldon

More from the popular post “What book have you read multiple times?”

Author Tony Riches chose to tell us about “Praxis” by Fay Weldon.


Here are his thoughts.

I’ve read many books by Stephen King more than once – but the one I’ve chosen to recommend is Praxis By Fay Weldon. I enjoyed it on the first reading, then returned to it again when I was trying to understand how to write novels. Over the years I’ve discovered it is a book you can happily re-read, always noticing something new. Sometimes disturbing, even shocking, Praxis is also poignant and funny. Fay Weldon at her best. 

Find a copy here from or

Guest Interview with Julia Hughes

Today Julia Hughes is my guest. I plan to read and review Julia’s book here on the blog in the near future. I love the tip about pretending you are stuck to your seat with glue! Here are Julia’s replies;

1) Tell me your name
Julia Hughes – I write under my maiden name so I don’t embarrass the sons! 
2) Where do you live?
The last village in London – a fact that also annoys the sons – they’d much rather be living among the bright lights, but marching over the fields with my dogs is when I really have a chance to think, and see things as they might be – if only the story had panned out differently …
3)When did you start writing?
At a very early age. With another primary school friend I co-wrote a screen play for a television series – I remember it was about the French resistance. I cannot remember why we decided on that subject – but it became awfully complicated as it seemed the entire school wanted a part. 
4)What type of books do you like writing the most?
Without sounding flippant, if I don’t think my current WIP is my favourite book ever, I know I’m doing something wrong. I don’t write in any one genre, this is the beauty of being indie. “An Explosive Time”, the third in the Celtic Cousins’ Adventures was my attempt at writing a ‘thriller’ and that was a lot of fun, but I think most of the credit can go to Stephen Spencer who is a master at the craft of mystery/thrillers. 
5)Pass on 3 tips about writing or publishing.
1. Pretend there is glue on your chair, and if you can’t complete your word count for that day, write the equivalent word count in excuses. It’s surprising how quickly “Writer’s Block” skulks away and doesn’t trouble you again.  
2. Read the bestsellers in your genre – read as a reader, and then as a critic, and then break the story down – what works for you – what doesn’t – I’m not saying you should adopt another writer’s style, but you will become more knowledgeable about the nuts and bolts of story telling via the medium of print.  
3. Cherish your beta readers and critique partners. 
6)What was the last book that you read? How would you rate it?
Stephen King’s 11/22/63 – Excellent. I loved the way Mr King deals with the consequences of time travel, and meddling with pivotal moments in history. It’s fair to say I lapped it up. 
7)Now choose just one of your books and add a link to it.
“The Griffin Cryer” is my latest release, and is a YA fantasy suitable for everyone who’s ever dreamed of flying on the back of a griffin: One link serves all Amazon sites:
Monday catch my book review of “Tick Tock Run” by H Elliston and on Tuesday we are back with another guest author, Stephanie Hurt. Plus watch out for a new and exciting addition to the blog coming soon.