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 I also learnt how to schedule my blog posts, and found some software that allows me to schedule unpublished blog posts links on social media in advance.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.

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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


 

 

Weekly Wrap up SQUARE copyrighted

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. :)

The winners of my Rose’s Vintage giveaway are…

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Thank you to all of you who entered my giveaway for one of three e-copies of Rose’s Vintage by Kayte Nunn. I have just picked the three winner on Rafflecopter and the lucky winners are:

Karl Borowy

Rhonda Lomazow

Suzanne Smith

Thank you again to Black Inc Books for offering the prizes and congratulations to all three winners!

Weekly Wrap-Up (24 April)

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SundayBlogShare

I’m linking this post up to Kimberly at Caffeinated Book Reviewer’s Sunday Blog Share.  It’s a chance to share news~ A post to recap the past week on your blog and showcase books and things we have received. Share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead.

 


This week has been another up and down week for me. The beginning of the week was particularly difficult when my already severe pain levels increased further but thankfully they’ve settled a bit since. I’ve had a useful medical appointment this week that is hopefully going to finally lead on to me getting help with the pain. I’m also due to have another MRI scan tomorrow to check that there is nothing else going on in my spine that could be aggravating my pain.

I’m still only managing to concentrate for small periods of time so I’m not getting to read as much as I’d like. I’m grateful to be able to read even a little though and am hoping it will get easier in time. I did manage to finish some books this week that I’ve been reading for a few weeks so I was pleased about that.

It’s been a good week where my blog is concerned though. Thanks to my new scheduling pattern, I had enough posts set up ready to go so that my blog kept going as planned even when I wasn’t around much. It gives me real satisfaction to keep my blog running, even during the tough times so I was really glad that I’d worked out scheduling before this rough patch.


This week I’ve managed to finish reading five books (most of these books I’ve been reading for a few weeks and just finished this week):

Twisted River by Siobhan MacDonald

I really enjoyed reading this book, it was one of those reads that is really hard to put down once you’ve started reading it. It was different to anything else I’ve read recently and kept me guessing all the way through. I’m on the blog tour for this book today and so look out for my interview with Siobhan MacDonald.

Wonder Cruise by Ursula Bloom

Wonder Cruise is such a lovely novel, I found that I wanted to read it slowly to savour it and I really didn’t want it to end. I hope to get my review up this week. I’ll definitely be looking out for more of Ursula Bloom’s novels in the future.

The Second Love of My Life by Victoria Walters

This book is such a gorgeous read, I absolutely loved it! It had such depth to it and yet was never heavy-going. I hope to have my review of this up on my blog this week.

Kindred Spirits by Rainbow Rowell

This is a novella released for World Book Day and my first ever Rainbow Rowell book! I loved it, it’s such an adorable read! This is the only book I managed to read from start to finish in the course of this week.

Shame by Jasvinder Sanghera

This is a fascinating read about a young woman who runs away from her family to escape an arranged marriage, but that is only the beginning of what happened to Jasvinder. This is ultimately an inspiring read and I recommend it. I hope to have my review ready to post very soon.


 I’ve blogged twelve times this week (well, eleven times plus a re-blog of my guest post on another blog):

 

Sunday: Weekly Wrap-Up Post

Monday: Q&A with Kayte Nunn (author of Rose’s Vintage) plus giveaway of ebooks

Blog post: Addicted to Blogging (all about writing my first 200 posts!)

Tuesday: Review of In Too Deep by Samantha Hayes

Wednesday: WWW Wednesday Post

Review of The Boy with the Boxes (Meet Cute) by Katey Lovell

Thursday: Review of The Boy on the Bus (Meet Cute) by Katey Lovell

Q&A with Mike Russell (author of the short story collection, Nothing is Strange)

Friday: Guest post by Heidi Perks (author of Beneath the Surface) about marketing a book on a limited budget

Re-blog from Laura at 125Pages where I wrote a guest post for her about how I approach blogging.

Saturday: Stacking the Shelves Post


Coming up on my blog this week:

My usual WWW Wednesday Post, Stacking the Shelves Post and Weekly Wrap-Up Post. Plus more reviews and an author Q&A/guest post.


This is what I’m currently reading:

Shtum by Jem Lester

This book has got better as it’s gone along and I’m quite enjoying it now.

The Midnight Watch by David Dyer

It’s so frustrating that I can only read in short bursts at the moment because this is a book I would have devoured normally. It’s a brilliant novel though and I highly recommend it. When I’m not able to read I’m thinking about this book and wishing I could get back to it.

Everyone Brave is Forgiven by Chris Cleave

I’ve only managed to read the first few chapters of this due to my lack of concentration but I’ve loved what I’ve read and I’m so looking forward to reading more. They writing is so beautiful and every single page feels like a treat.


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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 Kayte Nunn, author of Rose’s Vintage plus book #giveaway!

 

Today I’m very happy to be able to share an interview that I recently did with Kayte Nunn, author of Rose’s Vintage. Today is publication day for Rose’s Vintage so I’d like to wish Kayte a very happy publication day and wish her lots of luck with the book! To celebrate publication day, Kayte’s publisher have very kindly offered three ebook copies of Rose’s Vintage for me to give away so please read to the end of this post and be sure to enter!

Please tell my readers a little bit about yourself.

I’m a forty-something Englishwoman who has lived in Australia for the past 20 years. I’m a wife, mother and writer, not necessarily in that order. Love to bake, hate to clean. 

How did you first come to be a writer?

Without really realising it, I’ve written most of my life – my aunt recently told me that when I was quite little and she was visiting, I was writing short stories. I wrote terrible poetry and angst-ridden diaries when I was a teenager, and then did a degree in English and Publishing because I loved books and writing so much. I ended up working in magazines because I wanted to write features, and have done that for the past 15 or so years, as both a writer and editor. Despite a secret dream to be a novelist I never had the confidence in my ability to do so – I thought it was something other people did, not me.

But, about three years ago, a break between freelance projects and a case of the ‘now or nevers’ saw me knuckle down and try to write fiction. I started with a few short stories and sent them off to a couple of competitions and made the shortlists, and I found that I loved the way writing made me feel. 

What is your book about?

It’s the story of Rose, a young English chef, who takes a job as an au pair in an Australian wine region, also agreeing to spy on her boss for her brother. When she arrives there in the middle of winter, she finds that it’s far from the lush, romantic vineyard setting she’d imagined, her new boss is largely absent and leaves her to her own devices. All she wants to do is find out what she needs to for her brother and then get out of there and go somewhere warmer… of course, she doesn’t leave straight away…  

Where do you get your inspiration from? 

The inspiration for Rose’s Vintage came as I was sitting in a café in Bondi on a grey winter’s day. I began to imagine what it would be like to arrive in Australia and find that it was nothing like you’d imagined. Having worked as editor of Gourmet Traveller WINE magazine for quite a few years I had met so many wonderful winemakers, visited some beautiful wine regions and loved the close-knit communities that exist in there. It seemed obvious to set the book in a fictional wine region that reflected those qualities.

What is your writing routine?

I wish I had one! I’ve two terrifyingly sporty girls and so I spend a lot of time ferrying them around, lugging my laptop with me to sports practice, swim sessions… luckily after years in a busy magazine office, I can write no matter what the noise going on around me. On an ideal day, I drop them at school, go for a walk or a run, then sit down at home and write from about 10.30-3pm before shooting off to pick my youngest daughter up from school. Funnily enough, the hour between 2- and 3pm is my most productive!

What has your journey to publication been like?

It took me about a year to write Rose’s Vintage (I was also working as a freelance non-fiction writer and editor). When I finished, I began querying agents and publishers. Several asked for the complete mss. I got my fair share of rejections, but then my current agent rang me and asked for a month to read it exclusively. At the end of the month, she rang and we had a long chat about what needed to change, I took notes and then went away and spent a couple of months on revisions. I sent it back to her and she was happy with what I’d done and began sending it to publishers who she thought likely to be interested. Several replied saying it appealed to them but that it was too similar to other authors already in their stable. One publisher really liked it but asked for quite substantial revisions, which I did, but then Black Inc, which had also seen a copy of this revised mss. loved it and made an offer for it, and also for a second book with the same setting that I was by this time three-quarters of the way through.

What’s your favourite book that you’ve read this year?

Oh gosh, that’s hard – there are some terrific books out at the moment and I’ve been reading up a storm! Favel Parrett’s Past the Shallows is heart-breaking and beautifully lyrical; The Light Between Oceans by ML Steadman made me sob; Vanessa Diffenbaugh’s The Language of Flowers was especially memorable.

What are you reading at the moment?

The Observations by Jane Harris. It’s a historical novel set in 1863. I’m now working on a historical novel of my own, part of which is set in the 1880s, so I’m reading other books set at a similar time, both for research and enjoyment.

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

Do you like to read your own work once it’s in book form?

Absolutely not! When I received my author’s copies of Rose’s Vintage I opened one up and felt quite ill – it was all too real and there is so much of me on those pages that my little introverted soul was terrified!

If you were to be stranded on a desert island, which three things would you want to have with you and why?

A copy of Anne of Green Gables – my favourite book and still a comfort read.

A laptop that never ran out of charge so I could write.

Enough food – you can’t write on an empty stomach!

How can people connect with you on social media?

Twitter: @KayteNunn

Facebook: Kayte Nunn

Goodreads: Rose’s Vintage

Website: www.kaytenunn.com


About the Author:

Kayte portrait 1

Kayte Nunn is a freelance book, magazine and web editor and writer with more than 20 years’ publishing experience and is the former editor of Gourmet Traveller WINE magazine. She is also a mother to two girls and when not writing, reading or ferrying her daughters around she can be found in the kitchen, procrasti-baking.

Rose’s Vintage is her first novel.

 


 

About the book:

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British blow-in, Rose Bennett, is heartbroken, overweight, irritable and a long way from home. She isn’t sure what exactly she’s doing at Kalkari Wines in the Australian Shingle Valley – it’s the middle of winter and far from the lush, romantic vineyard setting she’d been expecting.

Her brother thinks she’s spying for him, her bad-tempered new boss thinks she’s the au pair and the nanny can’t wait for her to clean the place up.

Discovering pagan bonfire ceremonies, bizarre winemaking practices and a valley full of eccentric locals, Rose just wishes she’d ended up somewhere a bit warmer.

But as the weather improves, the valley reveals its beauty, and Rose starts to fall in love: with the valley, the wines, the two children she’s helping to look after, and one of the men there.

When her boss’s estranged wife returns and her brother descends, wanting answers, Rose is torn between staying put or cutting her losses.


 

Giveaway!

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Kayte Nunn’s publisher BlackIncBooks  has very kindly offered me three ebook copies of Rose’s Vintage to give away! So please click on the link below to be taken to the giveaway page for your chance to win one of the three copies:

Rose’s Vintage international giveaway!