Guest author: N. A. Granger ~ Torrent…a #writephoto story and news of The Last Pilgrim

A great story from Noelle for #write photo and news of her new book.

Read at source

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – New Book on the Shelves – #Magic Mr. Sagittarius by M. J. Mallon

Head on over to Sally Cronin’s place to see what she has to say about Mr Sagittarius from Marjorie Mallon.

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Life With a Small Dog, Doggerel

Pop over to Lauren Katy Miller’s Blog to read about Sue Vincent and Ani’s book.

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Marriage Unarranged by Ritu Bhatal @RituBhathal #BookReview #DebutNovel — ✮ Zooloo’s Book Diary ✮ #BlogTour Day 3

Read at source :Source: Marriage Unarranged by Ritu Bhatal @RituBhathal #BookReview #DebutNovel — ✮ Zooloo’s Book Diary ✮

Day two of Ritu’s Marriage Unarranged, Blog Tour. Day Two.

Today my lovely and talented Sister Ritu Bhathal is here on the second stop of her blog tour and I am so excited.



Sis we are here to find out about your fabulous book that I have had the privilege to read.

Ritu Bhathal

The schedule so you know where to find her.

Monday3rdFebSuehttps://scvincent.com/
Tuesday4th FebWillowhttps://willowdot21.wordpress.com/
Wednesday5th FebZoehttp://zooloosbookdiary.co.uk/
Thursday6th FebGeoffhttps://geofflepard.com/
Friday7th FebEloisehttps://eloisedesousa.wordpress.com/
Saturday8th FebLinda Hillhttps://lindasbookbag.com/
Sunday9th FebLucy – Launchhttps://blondewritemore.com/
Monday10th FebMarjehttps://mjmallon.com/
Tuesday11th FebCarolhttps://carolcassara.com/
Wednesday12th FebColleenhttps://colleenchesebro.com/

How to Describe Marriage Unarranged?

Genre:  Chickpea Curry Lit – Chick Lit with an Indian Twist!

The Blurb…

It all started ended with that box…

Aashi’s life was all set.

Or so she thought.

Like in the Bollywood films, Ravi would woo her, charm her family and they’d get married and live happily ever after.

But then Aashi found the empty condom box…

Putting her ex-fiancé and her innocence behind her, Aashi embarks upon an enlightening journey, to another country, where vibrant memories are created, and unforgettable friendships forged.

Old images erased, new beginnings to explore.

And how can she forget the handsome stranger she meets? A stranger who’s hiding something…

That’s the blurb sorted, now let’s have a


a cuppa and a chat.

Hi Willow! Thank you so much for hosting Day 2 of the blog tour for my debut novel, Marriage Unarranged.

Let’s get comfortable and answer a few questions!

Where did the original idea come from?

I was at home, one day, during the build-up to my own wedding, and it occurred to me that sometimes, marriage isn’t that straightforward. What would happen if, in the midst of all plans, something was to happen to totally send the marriage train off track?

Did you base it on anyone you know or was it all off the top of your head? 

The story, as it has been written is not based on anyone, or any situation I have experienced. Sure, there are a few characters who may have taken on traits of people I know. Aashi’s father, Mohinder, for example, is drawn hugely from my own Pops, but for the most part, it is fictional. Of course, I always find life to be the biggest inspiration, so there are reactions, and memories used to create as life-like an experience as possible.

Why did it take you 20 years to write this story?

Ha! Yes, that looooong time frame! Well, no one ever said writing a book was going to be easy or straightforward. If you read my blog, you will know that the life of Ritu is pretty full on, and it has been like that for most of my life. When I started writing, as I mentioned earlier, I was in the midst of my own wedding preparations, so snatched moments meant I was able to write a few thousand words of the beginning of the book. I’m more of a pantser, than a planner, so I really didn’t know where this story was going to go, but the seed had been planted. 

Fast forward a few years after marriage, and I found the floppy disc this story had been languishing on. I reread it and thought ‘Yes, I want to write more,’ and Hubby Dearest bought me my first ever laptop to help me fulfil my dream. A few more thousand words appeared, then kids happened.

It wasn’t until I started blogging that the flame to finish was really ignited. Of course, time, I had very little of, so snatched moments were all I had to write, until 2017, where I pegged August as #RiNoWriMo – Ritu’s Novel Writing Month, and I wrote over 50,000 words! It wasn’t finished yet, but so close. The last couple of years have been dedicated to finishing it, and getting feedback, advice from beta readers and my editor, to finally reaching this stage, of publication!

Where do you do most of your writing?


It really depends on the time of the day. If it is early morning, and I have energy to write, it would be at the dining room table, or on the sofa, but more often than not, my desk is my lap on my bed, during the evening hours, once the children are fed, watered and settled. 

How do you fit writing a best seller into your super busy life?


With great difficulty! (And, best seller – well, I hope so! From your mouth to the buyers and readers ears, sis!). It’s all about planning, at the end of the day. I have a busy life, as a wife, mother and teacher, and my day job takes most of my energy, and my children zap the rest of my patience. But writing, for me has been a form of relaxation, so I will often find time in the evenings to write. Recently, health meant that I didn’t write as much towards the end of last year, but I am hoping that 2020 brings better health and more energy, so I can concentrate on book two!

How much influence does your family have on your writing?


As I mentioned before, I always find that life is a huge inspiration and influence on my creativity. I write best about things I know of and have experienced.

My family, and their encouragement, have helped me to reach this stage in my writing career. The children have heard a lot of my work, and, despite being younger than my intended readers, they have always given me lots of ‘advice’. Hubby Dearest is neither a reader nor writer (unless you count keeping up with the news!) but he is my silent support.

I think I will always be mindful of what I write, knowing that my family will want to read it, both young and old. In fact, Pops, my dad, has already told me that despite not reading books, he wants to read mine!

ANOTHER


Sis?

Now Aashi would like to introduce you to her fiancé, Ravi, to us.

“Hiya! It’s me again, Aashi. 

So, you know I’m getting married, and I know you’re angling for an invitation, but how about I tell you a little bit about Ravi.

Ravi is, as you know, the man I am going to marry. He’s twenty-seven, good looking, and he works in marketing, doing something, though I don’t know the ins and outs. I know it’s important though. He’s often out with clients and going on work trips. But he always calls me, tells me he misses me. 

He’s got lots of friends, and they go out a lot, boys’ nights, that sort of thing. At least he doesn’t mind when I want to spend time with Kiran, my best friend, because he understands. We like to watch films, Bollywood ones, and he’s not that keen, and he likes to go clubbing, but that’s not really my scene. 

Which is funny, because we met at one of my friend’s birthday parties. I didn’t want to go, but Kiran twisted my arm, she didn’t want to go on her own. We got there and Ravi was there with some of his mates. He was stood at the bar with them and kept on staring at me, then came over and asked me if I wanted a drink. I went red (well, that’s what Kiran says I did) and couldn’t answer. I mean, he’s just so handsome, I didn’t know what to say to him! But then again, I’ve not really talked to many guys who aren’t family. I’ve not really had many friends who are male.

Anyway, he ended up asking me out on a date, and I said yes. Even though I’d never been on a date before. My parents would kill me! But I couldn’t help it. I’d fallen head over heels for this guy who I’d only just met. We went for coffee one day, then it was dinner the next, and slowly, we fell into a relationship. 

I’m lucky. He’s Sikh, and everything about his family and background matches with our family, so it was easy to broach the subject of marriage with my parents. My mummy-ji would have liked it to be an arranged marriage, but when she found out about his family, she was more than happy. 

He was a bit nervous about getting married, but I think I managed to convince him, after all we are perfect together. And, you know, we really like each other, so the next step is getting married, isn’t it?”

getbook.at/MarriageUnarranged



Now I can tell you that I have read this fabulous book by Ritu and I absolutely loved it. As soon as I started reading it I could clearly see all the characters come to life before my eyes. Not only is this a great story it has the potential to have many sequels. I tell you all I love it .

About Ritu

Ritu

Ritu Bhathal was born in Birmingham in the mid-1970s to migrant parents, hailing from Kenya but with Indian origin. This colourful background has been a constant source of inspiration to her.
From childhood, she always enjoyed reading. This love of books is credited to her mother. The joy of reading spurred her on to become creative in her writing, from fiction to poetry. Winning little writing competitions at school and locally encouraged her to continue writing.
As a wife, mother, daughter, sister, and teacher, she has drawn on inspiration from many avenues to create the poems that she writes.
A qualified teacher, having studied at Kingston University, she now deals with classes of children as a sideline to her writing!
Ritu also writes a blog, http://www.butismileanyway.com, a mixture of life and creativity, thoughts and opinions, which was awarded first place in the Best Overall Blog category at the 2017 Annual Bloggers Bash Awards, and Best Book Blog in 2019.
Ritu is happily married and living in Kent, with her Hubby Dearest, and two children, not forgetting the fur baby Sonu Singh.

Books:  Marriage UnarrangedPoetic RITUals

Ritu’s Personal Links

Has Ritu written any other books

Poetic Rituals

Buy Poetic Rituals here

So now it time to say


To my best Sis Ritu it’s been

The end of a year the beginning of a new Decade

Happy New Year.

Well my previous post was a tad sombre wasn’t it. I feel I should spread some warmth and light? What do you think?

This year, that is on its way out started off quietly enough. In February came the snow.

© willowdot21 2019

Ruby loved the snow , then it was gone.

© willowdot21 2019

April we saw our beautiful grand Grandchildren they are always a joy. We have seen them more this year and it’s been fun .

© willowdot21 2019

Also in April I was off to The Silent Eye, Gilgamesh weekend in Derbyshire where I met old friends and new. I also learned a lot about Gilgamesh and myself.

© willowdot21 2019
© willowdot21 2019
Lord of the deep

Here is one of my posts from that weekend.

May was a glorious month, mother in law was 99yrs old, hubby had a birthday the day after her but he is not as ancient! We had a trip to the Gower Peninsula and took Ruby with us. We have not been to Wales for years but instantly fell in love with the beauty, history and feel of the place💜

© willowdot21 2019
© willowdot21 2019
© willowdot21 2019

June arrived and I was so excited because The Blogger’s Bash arrived. I travelled up to London by train and this year there were no hitches and I met up with four fellow bloggers as arranged and we all sauntered along to the venue. A great day was had by all.

© willowdot21 2019
© willowdot21 2019

Here is my post of the day.

June was very busy because a few days after the Bash we had friends join us from Canada. We had a fun but extremely busy week.💜

© willowdot21 2019

July was not a good month I got sepsis from a tiny scratch and ended up in hospital and nearly loosing my finger. You can read about it here and here.

See how small the scratch is , it was yellow by then
© willowdot21 2019
poison spreading.
© willowdot21 2019

August was more fun as I got better we met friends for lunch and went out with our youngest son and our eldest grandchild to see a Dinosaur show in London. A great day out.

© willowdot21 2019

September we had friends from Colorado and Portsmouth visit us and stay that was great fun too.

© willowdot21 2019
Spot the Hobbit.

Then finally it was time for our Canadian adventure, we toured from Calgary to Vancouver on the Rocky Mountaineer experience and via Helicopter rides and fabulous scenic attractions, then we had three days in Vancouver, after which we hired a car and drove to Whistler for three days. Then back to Vancouver and home. It was a holiday of a lifetime. I met dragons

© willowdot21 2019
Dragon
© willowdot21 2019
© willowdot21

Then Autumn arrived and I love Autumn time for Halloween and golden and red countryside. More visits from the grandchildren.

© willowdot21 2019

Then I won a competition run by Suzi Tench. Read here

© willowdot21 2019

Then it was the run up to Christmas, pressies, food and decorations.

And now it New Years Eve, the Eve of a new decade. I did all this and more and I tried to blog daily, sometimes I failed some times I won.

I wish you all and all your loved ones a very Happy and Healthy New Year and a brilliant decade.

I look forward to seeing you all in 2020. Thank you so much for all your support 💜💜💜

Of Blurbs, And Other Things

Lookie, lookie Ritu has a publishing date and we can all pre oder !

Read at source

Geoff Le Pard is visiting my Blog.

Today it is

To welcome author extraordinare Geoff Le Pard. I am really excited to have Geoff here on my blog so we can discuss book two in the life of Harry Spittle.

We first met Harry in Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle.

Now Geoff I have read and loved this book but why don’t you give everyone the blurb.

It’s summer 1976 and hotter than Hades. Harry Spittle, nineteen, is home from university, aiming to earn some money to go on holiday and maybe get laid. He expects he will be bored rigid, but the appearance of an old family friend, Charlie Jepson, his psychopathic son, Claude, and predatory wife Monica changes that. As his parents’ marriage implodes, Harry’s problems mount; before he knows it he’s in debt up to his ears and dealing in drugs. Things go from bad to worse when he is stabbed. He needs money fast, but now his job is at risk, his sister is in trouble and he has discovered a family secret that could destroy all he holds dear. Will Harry have to join forces with the local criminal mastermind to survive the summer and save his family? Can he regain some credibility and self-respect? Most importantly will he finally get laid?

Dead Flies will be free from 30th October 2019 to 3rd November 2019

Pre order here

For our American friends here

You know Geoff I really enjoyed that book, it had me laughing out loud one minute and wandering just how anyone was going to survive , the next.

Now tell us Geoff what is the blurb on this second book

When Harry Spittle, nearly qualified as a solicitor, is approached to write a Will for old acquaintance Sven Andersen, he is somewhat surprised but rather pleased. That pleasure sours after he finds that the Will Sven actually signs is very different to the one he has drawn up, with Harry as the executor. Disappointment turns to horror when he discovers that Sven has been winding up his late father’s criminal empire and a number of not very nice people are interested in the Will’s contents.

If he is to remain in one piece, able to continue his career in the law and save his on-off relationship with his girlfriend Penny, who is unfortunately under suspicion of murder, he needs to find out what’s happened to the money and distribute it according to Sven’s wishes. The trouble is Sven has not only hidden the assets but also the identities of those who benefit. Harry will have to solve a fiendish puzzle Sven has left behind with the help of his sister Dina before his world comes crashing down. With so many people depending on him, Harry knows it’s time for him to grow up – it’s just that he really, really doesn’t want to.

Set in 1981 to the backdrop of punk, Thatcherite politics and an upcoming Royal wedding, this is a book for those who like their nostalgia served with a side of humour and a dash of optimism all wrapped up in a compelling mystery.

pre order here.

For our American friends here.

Right now we have wetted everyone’s appitetite for these first two books can I offer you some coffee and a

Okay Question Time.

1 Tell us Geoff what gave you the idea for the two books so far.

The first book Dead Flies had its genesis on a writing course where I needed to provide some 10,000 words for the start of a book. I decided I wanted to write a comic story and took as my inspiration my first summer holiday home from university. It was 1976 and I’d had a year at Bristol studying law. But actually I’d had a bloody good time. My formative years had been spent in a New Forest cottage in the middle of nowhere. When we moved there in 1969 it seemed quite idyllic. By the time I discovered girls and hormones it was bloody intolerable. My parents were lovely, kind and absurd but my lack of transport was a major inhibition to a happy life. So living in a vibrant city, albeit a terminally wet one was a joy. Image coming home for three and a half months ‘holiday’. Broke, trapped and undersexed… I still shudder. I found a job in a local hotel and… boy, was that like entering a parallel universe? And that was it. I had the setting – the New Forest. The year – 1976. And a hapless broke undersexed student desperate to spend time away from a stifling home life.

For book two I took my hero – Harry Spittle – and moved him forward like me. In 1981 I had finished my degree and was living in a flat in London just about to qualify as a solicitor. Once again I was broke, and working in a surreal hierarchical structure of the law firm in the West End of London. I had the year and the setting and the employment situation. All I needed was to take forward the characters and mess with their lives. Such fun!

Really how lucky were you to have your settings so firmly fixed in your mind

2 How much were the stories based on personal experience.

Partly as I said above. None of the characters are exact copies of the people I remember though, in this latest book, it is true there were three partners in the firm I worked in – a white male senior partner who never seemed entirely with it; an amazing woman partner who juggled her family with being one of the best general practice lawyers I’ve known and a young man who was quickly promoted and growing into the role rather painfully. But there the accuracies of their characters leaves us for the fantasy of the author’s imagination.

3 How much was garnered from your years as a solicitor.

In a lot of ways the way things were done in the law (maybe still) goes unquestioned – rather like some of the nonsense we see in Parliament right now: it’s all custom and practice which no one wants to change. But step away and ask yourself if this is how you’d design it if starting again and, well, if you suggested men in wigs and tights hitting gavels you’d be certified to spend time in the dribble tank, spit spot! In one scene we see Harry having to appear before a Master in the High Courts of Justice. If the courts you see on TV are the epitome of English (and let’s not forget Welsh) justice then the Masters’ rooms are the splenetic dustbins of the court system. I accept you need somewhere to deal with the minutiae of the litigation process but why give so much power to disillusioned sociopaths? The Masters were the puffer fish of the judiciary, poisonous and one of the redundant parts of the evolution of the Common Law system, like the appendix and just as unpleasant if they ever burst. Harry is terrified of the treatment to be handed out to him; I was as well. It is no exaggeration that it was like one of those Japanese games shows we used to see in the 1980s. Designed for no purpose that to humiliate and to engender a sort of institutionalised schadenfreude in all parties. But for my experiences there, I might have become a litigator. Fortunately sense prevailed. It is nearly 40 years since I was last in front of a Master and I still break out with a sort of emotional psoriasis at the memory. Maybe they’re better now; they bloody well should be.

Maybe Geoff as Honore De Balzac says

“Laws are spider webs through which the big flies pass and the little ones get caught.”

4 So Geoff where do you do most your writing.

A mix. A fair bit on the kitchen table or on my memory desk – one I inherited from my dad on which he wrote his poetry. This is when I’m writing in the early morning and late evening (I tend to write into the wee hours). If I write during the day (the afternoon, like now as I write this) I’m in one of three cafes in the South London area where I live. Earbuds in, the world going on around me I can bash out many words, edit in detail or just pick up ideas. Oh and eat cake…

5. So to my final question Geoff are there anymore Harry Spittle books in the pipeline

Indeed there are. The next adventure for Harry, Penny and others is called Booms and Busts and is set in 1987. Harry has moved to a city of London firm and is up for a partnership (still following my career and life path). He lives in South London (as I did). He cycles to work. I think this will be the best book so far. It’s jam packed with madcap characters (Dina, his sister now works for MI5 for instance! And his mother is a successful operator in the hospitality sector.) We have the Thatcherite boom, the AIDs crisis, the crash and storms of October that year. Oh and is Natalie dying? That will be on the shelves early next year.

After that we move on to 1997, a book set in the period from March 16th when John Major prorogued Parliament for a general election (sound familiar?) up to the Blair victory that May (so much for proroguing being a short period, huh!). Harry is working in a smart new building in the City of London for a major law firm, he is now up for management, he’s married with a family, trying to get to grip with his mobile phone and desktop computer and the difficulties of being a grown up, something he never thought would happen to him. Provisionally called ‘Things Never Change’ I will write the first words of this one on 1st November as part of Nano. If all goes according to plan this one will be published in the second half of next year.

After that…. Well there’s the millennium, the crash of 2008 or maybe he should go and work for the Olympics, or just retire… we’ll see.

Plenty of scope there then Geoff.

Now it’s time to fill in your author info Geoff.
Geoff Le Pard started writing to entertain in 2006. He hasn’t left his keyboard since. When he’s not churning out novels he writes some maudlin self-indulgent poetry, short fiction and blogs at geofflepard.com. He walks the dog for mutual inspiration and most of his best ideas come out of these strolls. He also cooks with passion if not precision.


Geoff Le Pard’s Amazon Author Page


My Father and Other Liars is a thriller set in the near future and takes its heroes, Maurice and Lori-Ann on a helter-skelter chase across continents.
Smashwords
Amazon.co.uk
Amazon.com


Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle is a coming of age story. Set in 1976 the hero Harry Spittle is home from university for the holidays. He has three goals: to keep away from his family, earn money and hopefully have sex. Inevitably his summer turns out to be very different to that anticipated.
Smashwords
Amazon.co.uk
Amazon.com

Life in a Grain of Sand is a 30 story anthology covering many genres: fantasy, romance, humour, thriller, espionage, conspiracy theories, MG and indeed something for everyone. All the stories were written during Nano 2015
Smashwords
Amazon.co.uk
Amazon.com


Salisbury Square is a dark thriller set in present day London where a homeless woman and a Polish man, escaping the police at home, form an unlikely alliance to save themselves.
This is available here
Smashwords
Amazon.co.uk
Amazon.com


Buster & Moo is about about two couples and the dog whose ownership passes from one to the other. When the couples meet, via the dog, the previously hidden cracks in their relationships surface and events begin to spiral out of control. If the relationships are to survive there is room for only one hero but who will that be?
Smashwords
Amazon.co.uk
Amazon.com


Life in a Flash is a set of super short fiction, flash and micro fiction that should keep you engaged and amused for ages
Amazon.co.uk
Amazon.com
Smashwords


Apprenticed To My Mother describes the period after my father died when I thought I was to play the role of dutiful son, while Mum wanted a new, improved version of her husband – a sort of Desmond 2.0. We both had a lot to learn in those five years, with a lot of laughs and a few tears as we went.
Amazon.co.uk
Amazon.com


Life in a Conversation is an anthology of short and super short fiction that explores connections through humour, speech and everything besides. If you enjoy the funny, the weird and the heart-rending then you’ll be sure to find something here.
Amazon.co.uk
Amazon.com


In this the second part of the Harry Spittle sagas, Harry in now working in London, as a nearly qualified solicitor when an old acquaintance, Sven Andersen asks him to make his Will. If that wasn’t surprising enough finding out that Sven had not only died but also left Harry to sort out the mess of Sven’s affairs (including unwidning the residue of Sven’s father’s criminal empire) are problems Harry could well do without. Set in 1981 amongst the tensions of Thatcherite politics, the peak of punk and an upcoming Royal Wedding the Last Will of Sven Andersen will intrigue and delight as well as make you wince and wonder.
Amazon.co.uk
Amazon.com

Another cup of tea Geoff, more cake? So all that is left for me to say is

I am so happy you visited today. Well everyone else what are you waiting for get ordering you will not be sorry.

The Bouverie Tap Folkestone: The perfect start and end to our holiday.

On this day last week we were enjoying our last day of peace in Brittany before the long drive home.

Now I am jumping the gun so rewind to the Friday before. We left home, with a full car, most of which belonged to Ruby our Labrador.

We drove down to Folkestone where we were staying the night at a B&B before catching the early Eurotunnel train! Never done that before, infact though we have been to France many times this was the first time with Ruby!

Well we had looked for a dog Friendly pub near were we were staying. We found one that met the criteria and had booked a table for that evening.

It was called the The Bouverie Tap. This was such a lucky find and in the same road as our B&B.

We arrived at this quirky restaurant bar to a very warm welcome. The upstairs is not large but has 5/6 tables of varying sizes and an L shaped bar.

They have a larger Restaurant downstairs but we stayed upstairs as dogs are not allowed down there.

We were given a table at the end of the bar but our Ruby being quite a large dog was really in the way. We asked if we could sit at a larger table in the window that was out of the way. They could not if been more helpful and so we had a relaxing time and Ruby was comfy.

The meals were fantastic, the hubby had steak and I had a burger both our meals were fantastic.

The atmosphere was very lively and friendly and we chatted to other customers and staff.

When we left we booked the table in the window for the following week when we would be returning.

Our second visit was just a good, the staff remembered us and had our table ready, we both had the steak and it was excellent.

This is a fantastic venue with specialist, Gins, Beers, Ciders and Wines. The food is faultless and the staff are friendly and happy to see you.

Whether you are local or traveling through this is the place to visit.

The Bouverie Tap Facebook

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