My April Wrap-Up Post

 

 

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This has been a great month on my blog. As some of you will have already noticed, I gave my blog a big makeover at the weekend. My lovely husband, who is a great photographer, took some fab photos of my books for me to use on my blog – his photo is now my blog header and I’m over the moon with it. You can read my post about my blog makeover here.

I also decided to register my blog’s domain so I now own rathertoofondofbooks.com and am really happy about that. It just cements that I’ve been blogging long enough now to know that it’s something I want to keep doing in the long term.

I started using dictation software in April and this has made a massive difference to me, it means I can write blog posts even when I’m unable to type. I also learnt how to schedule my blog posts, and found some software that allows me to schedule unpublished blog posts links on social media in advance. All of this combined has made blogging so much easier for me and means I can achieve more in my day.

My TBR is even more out of control than it was last month due to April bringing lots more new books my way. I’m in the middle of sorting out my enormous TBR into recent purchases/review books and then a separate TBR for books that I’ve been keeping for the right time (see my post on this here). I’m still trying to come up with a way to challenge myself to read these books because if I could stop myself waiting for the right time and just read them it would really help me clear my TBR! If anyone has any ideas for this please share in the comments below. I’m planning on making a TBR jar once I’ve finished my lists but I want a challenge to go with that.

Otherwise life is same old same old really. I’m still struggling to get my pain levels under control but I do finally have an appointment to see a specialist this month so I’m really hoping that something can be done to help me. If I can get my pain better controlled and I can find a medication that doesn’t make my head feel like it’s stuffed full of cotton wool then I’ll be able to get back to reading at my normal speed and will finally be able to start making headway with my TBR.


I managed to read fifteen books this month (three were short stories and two were novellas, and ten were full-length novels):

(Click the orange links to read my reviews; the titles in turquoise are books I’ve read but not yet reviewed)

The Swimming Pool by Louise Candlish

The Summer I Met You by Victoria Walters

Dear Dad by Giselle Green

The Boy with the Boxes by Katey Lovell

The Boy on the Bus by Katey Lovell

Peter and Alice by John Logan

In Too Deep by Samantha Hayes

The Second Love of My Life by Victoria Walters

Kindred Spirits by Rainbow Rowell

Shame by Jasvinder Sanghera

Twisted River by Siobhan MacDonald

 Wonder Cruise by Ursula Bloom

The Real Book Thief by Ingrid Black

Shtum by Jem Lester

The Ice Twins by S. K. Tremayne


I also reviewed six books that I finished before April

Out of the Darkness by Katy Hogan (re-blog)

The One-in-a-Million Boy by Monica Wood

Between You and Me by Lisa Hall

The Good Mother by A. L. Bird

Firsts by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn

When She Was Bad by Tammy Cohen


 

I was very lucky this month that I got to interview six authors:

Jannie Lund, author of Vintage Dreams

Sherry Mayes, author of Stop the World

Katye Nunn, author of Rose’s Vintage

Mike Russell, author of Nothing is Strange

Siobhan MacDonald, author of Twisted River

Greg Cope White, author of The Pink Marine

 

I also was delighted to have three authors write a guest post for my blog:

Rosy Stewart, author of Hope: Stories from a Women’s Refuge Rosy Stewart are a husband and wife writing team. They wrote a great post for my blog all about how it is to write as a duo.

Heidi Perks, author of Beneath the Surface Heidi Perks wrote a brilliant guest post for me in April all about marketing a book on a limited budget. It’s a really interesting post and I recommend reading it.

Sandra Nikolai, author of Fatal Whispers Sandra Nikolai wrote a great guest post for my blog all about how murder mystery writers keep one step ahead of readers. If you’re a fan of thrillers than I’m sure you will love reading this post.


 Also in April, I was very honoured when I was asked to guest post on Laura at 125 Pages blog as part of her first blogiverary celebrations. Laura asked me to write about how the way I approach blogging and how I’ve built my blog up. You can read the post here


 

So, that was my month! How was your April? Has it been a book-filled month for you? Please feel free to share in the comments below, or to leave a link to your own April Wrap-Up post.

Weekly Wrap-Up (1 May)

 

 

 

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I’m linking this post up to Kimba’s Caffeinated Book Reviewer’s Sunday Blog Share.  


My husband had a week holiday from work this week so it’s been lovely having him home with me. We didn’t plan on doing much as it’s impossible to know how I’m going to be from one day to the next at the moment but it was nice just to have time together.

My pain levels are still up and down but I finally have an appointment to see a pain specialist this month. I’m hoping that he can help me.


My husband has been helping me re-design my blog this week – he’s taken some gorgeous photos of my books for me to use in my posts so I can’t wait to have a chance to use those. I’ve also registered RatherTooFondofBooks as my domain so my blog is now rathertoofondofbooks.com, which looks great and makes me smile to see it. I changed my blog to the new look last night and I’m very happy with it. It was a lot more work than I was expecting for various reasons but worth it.


This week I’ve managed to read three books:

The Real Book Thief by Ingrid Black

Shtum by Jem Lester

The Ice Twins by S. K. Tremayne


 I’ve blogged twelve times this week:

(Click the links if you’d like to read any of these posts)

Sunday:

Blog tour Q&A with Siobhan Macdonald (author of Twisted River)

Weekly Wrap-Up Post

Monday:

Review of Between You and Me by Lisa Hall

Tuesday: 

Review of The Second Love of My Life by Victoria Walters

Winner of my Rose’s Vintage ebook giveaway announcement post

Wednesday:

Guest Post by Sandra Nikolai (author of Fatal Whispers) about keeping one step ahead of readers when you’re a murder mystery writer

WWW Wednesday Post

Thursday:

Review of Twisted River by Siobhan MacDonald

Friday: 

Q&A with Greg Cope White (author of The Pink Marine)

Re-blog of my review of Out of the Darkness by Katy Hogan

Saturday:

Stacking the Shelves Post

New Look for my Blog!


Coming up on my blog this week:

My monthly wrap-up post will be up either later today or tomorrow morning. I’ll also be joining in with WWW Wednesday, Stacking the Shelves on Saturday, and my Weekly Wrap-up on Sunday.

 


This is what I’m currently reading:

The Wacky Man by Lyn G. Ferrell

The Midnight Watch by David Dyer

The Children Act by Ian McEwan

Everyone Brave is Forgiven by Chris Cleave

This Secret We’re Keeping by Rebecca Done

Wink Poppy Midnight by April Genevieve Tucholke


 

 

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What have you been reading this week? Please feel free to link to your weekly wrap-up post, or if you don’t have a blog please share in the comments below! I love to hear what you’re all reading. :)

Q&A with Greg Cope White (author of The Pink Marine)

 


Today I’m delighted to welcome screenwriter and author Greg Cope White to my blog. I’m sharing an interview I recently did with him about his memoir The Pink Marine and his career as a TV sitcom writer.
Please tell my readers a little bit about yourself.

I’m an old writer with a new book. 

What is The Pink Marine about?

It’s my memoir about the summer I spent in United States Marine Corps boot camp with my best friend, when we were teenagers. I had no idea what the military was like – I just thought we were going to summer camp.  

I see from your bio that you normally write TV sitcoms – what made you decide to branch out and write your book The Pink Marine?

The stories of teenagers being bullied. Some of the tortured chose to end their lives and I want to tell others that it does get better – that we have to stand up and resist mean people. Often peacefully and quietly; but everyone has the right to a happy life. I learned to go get mine. If the military was the place I went to find my definition of masculinity in a world I didn’t feel I fit in, then good on them for providing that. If I can become a US Marine, anyone can do anything.  

As far as sitcoms go, and this is a hard shift here – the book is funny. Look at my photo and imagine me a Marine. I was a fish out of water. No matter what the storytelling format, I want my voice to come through. All the sitcom experience helps me trust that my sense of humor will balance the pathos on paper.   

How did writing your book differ from writing for TV? Was it an easy transition?

To get my point across in a script, I have to paint a clear picture in a few lines. On my blog, or in my books, if I want to describe the subtle blues of the sky at different times of the day – I can fill pages on only that subject. There is so much more time in a book. TV is choppy.  

Blogging helped me make the transition from writing scripts to writing the book. I wrote short stories, some related to the book, and both found my narrative voice and fell in love with the luxury of more words. That also helped me build a marketing platform. 

Are you still working as a TV writer or do you hope to be a full time author?

I do both, as well as write my two blogs (EatGregEat and GoGregGo) and contribute to Huffington Post and Good Men Project Magazine. And I’m always looking for more outlets on which to publish. I also cook and host a show on Food Network’s Cooking Channel (and write that material). TV is seasonal and sporadic. I think of TV as disposable journalism, so I love the permanence of long-form storytelling that writing books offers.

Where do you get your inspiration from for TV writing and for your books?  

Everything really happens. If I pause during a crazy moment, or right after, and commit to memory my emotions that the event caused — the smell, the colors, the way my heart raced when you tossed your hair and made that bird fly away – I’ll pull from that bank later. Add the dialogue of everything I wished I’d said in that moment and… scene. 

I live in gratitude with open eyes. The Marine Corps (and probably my grandmother) gave me boundless energy. I do everything I can, travel as much as possible – and spend time with my friends. If you tell me a story, it may end up in a book. I need material. I believe a colorful life leads to a flavorful plate. 

What is your writing routine like?

I’m writing by 6am. I have a book, three or four stories, couple of scripts and blog posts going all the time. Whichever one glows brightest at me pre-dawn gets my attention. I write till 3PM, take a break and cook, then resume writing at 8PM. Now if I stuck to that schedule 100%, I’d have thirty books written…. 

What has your journey to publication been like?

It was a dark and stormy night. A publisher bought the book last year, but within two months I knew he was the wrong one to bring it to market. I hated his style, his taste, and he wasn’t savvy. My agent and I tried to cancel the contract back in December but it wasn’t until I had a heart attack this January that I successfully canceled it. Done in one email. 

And then the sun rose on a new day. I’m a US Marine – so I stayed on brand and handled the situation. While I recuperated, I formed my own press (AboutFace Books), contracted with Ingram to distribute, and organized the first leg of a book tour. I auditioned for Audible to record the audio book – and got the part playing…. me. I had a blast in the studio, performing the other Marines voices too. That format dropped April 5th, so now The Pink Marine is available in e-book, paperback, hardcover and audio. I’d bake it into a pie and come feed it to each reader if I could. 

Lesson learned: authors have direct access to exciting platforms. (My health has recovered very well, I’m happy to report.) I’m speaking about my book and writing memoir on a panel at the YA festival YALLWEST end of April. 

I have a website with tour info, past links and videos. I live in Los Angeles, so when I run into a celebrity, I ask them to make a supportive video. People are running away from me at parties now. Visit the site and find easy-to-see links to your favorite online retailers to buy the book: www.thepinkmarine.com

Is there a question that you wish an interviewer would ask that you’ve never been asked? What’s your answer to that question?

Is any subject in your life that’s off limits in a story? Yes, since I write in memoir, I’d never expose someone’s secret or kill off the love interest and/or hero. 

How can people connect with you on social media?

I’m @EatGregEat on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat, Twitter and whatever platform gets invented next. 


 

About the Author:

greg cope white (the pink marine)

 

Author of The Pink Marine, blogger, television writer, world traveler, and inveterate bon vivant, Greg Cope White is a former sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps. He is a bi-coastal, polo-playing, sixth-generation Texan with a voracious appetite for life. See him on this season’s Cooking Channel show, Unique Sweets.

 

 


 

About the Book:

The Pink Marine by Greg Cope White

When Greg Cope White’s best friend tells him he is spending his summer in Marine Corps boot camp, all Greg hears is “summer” and “camp.”

 Despite dire warnings from his friend, Greg vows to join him in recruit training. He is eighteen, underweight, he’s never run a mile—and he is gay.

 It’s long before Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, the Supreme Court marriage equality ruling, and with no LGBT rights in place in most states, and the Marines having a very definite expulsion policy in place for gay people when it comes to military personnel, will Greg even survive? 

 The Pink Marine is the story—full of hilarity and heartbreak—of how a teenage boy who struggles with self-acceptance and his sexuality and doesn’t fit the traditional definition of manliness finds acceptance and self-worth in Marine Corps boot camp. 

 

Stacking the Shelves (2 April 2016)

stacking-the-shelves

(Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews, which is all about sharing the books that you’ve acquired in the past week – ebooks or physical books, and books you’ve bought or borrowed or received an ARC of.)

This week I’ve bought a few new books:

The Last Thing I Remember by Deborah Bee

I added this book to my wish list quite recently after reading Cleopatra Loves Books fab review of it; I knew it was a book I’d have to read as it sounded so good! Anyway, I happened to notice it was on offer for Kindle this week and so I treated myself, I hope to read it very soon!

Who Are You? by Megan Henley

I’m still reading quite a lot of non-fiction and so when I read a great review of this on Postcard Reviews, I bought it straight away. It sounds like a very interesting read. 

Follow Me Back by Nicci Cloke

This book popped up on my Amazon recommendations recently and so as it was on offer I decided to give it a go. It sounds like a really good read so hopefully I’ll enjoy it.

Last Kiss Goodnight by Teresa Driscoll

This is a book I’ve been looking forward to for a while but had forgotten I’d pre-ordered it so it was a nice surprise when it appeared on my Kindle this week.

Never Too Busy to Cure Clutter by Erin Rooney Doland

I can never resist a book about dealing with clutter! (There is possibly an irony here somewhere…)

The Unforgotten by Laura Powell

Another new book I treated myself to when I spotted it in a deal on Kindle this week.

In Too Deep by Bea Davenport

This book is free on Kindle Unlimited at the moment so I couldn’t resist downloading it, it sounds like a good read.


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I was thrilled to win a giveaway on Goodreads for a copy of The Perfect Girl by Gilly MacMillan. The email telling me I’d won a copy ended up in my spam folder so I had no idea I’d won this until the book arrived through my letterbox this week. I can’t wait to start reading this – I loved Gilly’s previous novel Burnt Paper Sky so have very high hopes for this!

 


 

I was also very lucky to receive some books to review:

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The Joyce Girl by Annabel Abbs

I was offered the chance to read and review this book for the publisher, Impress Books, a little while ago and I jumped at the chance! It was exciting to receive a beautiful proof copy of the book along with a really nice postcard and lovely note from the author, Annabel Abbs. I’m very much looking forward to reading this novel, I’m sure I’m going to love it. I recently took part in the cover reveal for The Joyce Girl and so you can read more about the book in this post if you’d like to.

In Too Deep by Samantha Hayes

In Too Deep by Samantha Hayes

I’ve loved the previous Samantha Hayes books that I’ve read so I was excited to receive a review copy of her new novel. It’s due to be released in May so I’ll definitely be reading and reviewing it before then.

Girls’ Weekend by Cara Sue Achterberg

The Pink Marine by Greg Cope White

Stop the World by Sherry Mayes

Nothing is Strange by Mike Russell

The above four books were all offered to me for review and I jumped at the chance as they all sound like really good reads. I was thrilled that all four authors also agreed to being interviewed by me for my blog so these interviews will be coming soon – please look out for them.


 

So, that’s all of my new books from the past week. Have you bought any new books recently? Tell me all in the comments below, or if you have a stacking the shelves post on your blog feel free to post the link below too. 🙂 

My weekly wrap up post will be on my blog tomorrow so please look out for that.