#HarryPotter20: One of the greatest friends I’ll ever have.

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In 2000, sitting on the carpet as an innocent and naive year 3, (approximately aged 8 for those international folk), our substitute teacher decided that for the last ten minutes of class she would read us a few chapters from a book she was reading. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by JK Rowling. She got out her copy, which was the adult edition, with a black and white steam train on the front, and began to read. Safe to say, I was hooked and pleaded with Mum to get it from the library, along with Chamber of Secrets and the Prisoner of Azkaban, both which had been released.

Every night, Mum would sit by my bedside and we would read about the adventures of Harry, Ron, and Hermione and what they got up to at Hogwarts. By the time that Goblet of Fire was released that summer, just before I was due to turn 9, I wanted to start reading them independently, as a few chapters a night wasn’t doing it for me anymore. I HAD to know what happened next.

I had all four books in my collection, but as the three years without a new Harry Potter book passed, I had a lot going on in my home life that caused me to miss the release of Order of the Phoenix. My father was getting ill, we had to move from our lovely patchwork home that I’d grown up in, to a bungalow which was so unlike my previous home, and I’d started High School. It was an eventful year, and before I knew it, I’d been at High School for two years and Half Blood Prince was being released.

My brother, sister in law, and nephew were going on holiday to Spain to see my niece, and taking with her a copy of Half Blood Prince for her to read whilst she was traveling, and she wanted the UK edition to match the rest of her collection. I decided I would buy a copy too and read it on the plane over, but first I had to read the Order of the Phoenix and find out exactly what had happened where I left Harry, Ron, and Hermione nearly five years ago! Cue my first ever binge read!

So I was all caught up and ready for the final book in the series to be released! The Deathly Hallows! I had to wait two more years before I could get my hands on it but boy was I ready. At midnight, I went to Tesco with my niece and got in line with everyone else from my small town. We purchased Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and went home to read it immediately. Three days it took me because I paced myself and because I didn’t want it to end. My boyfriend at the time managed to read it in 8 hours whilst he recovered from tonsilitis. And suddenly, as the epilogue finished, the series was over, and the hole in my heart that I already had from losing my father grew bigger and bigger. Yes, I still had the films to watch, which was exciting of course, but it wasn’t the same.

Harry, Ron, and Hermione had been escapism for me, to help me through a time in my life that was truly terrible. How would I be able to cope without knowing another book was coming? Perhaps I needed to confront the hole in my heart instead of trying to fill it? And that’s what I did.

Long story short, twenty years on, I’ve come back to the series which I loved so much and read it again, eighteen years on from that day when I first heard those opening chapters. I loved it then and I love it still, and opening those books will always feel like a respite from the world. But now I don’t read them to fill the hole in my heart, I read them to remember what it feels like to love and have lost, and most importantly be human. Harry’s pain and grief validated my own, and having that transcend above all else means more to me than I could ever fathom.

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Top 5 Books Next on My TBR

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This year, I’ve been doing pretty well as far as reading goes, but I still like to round-up a collection of books I want to get to in the next few months. So here are the top five books on my TBR pile.

These books are in no particular order.

1.

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas

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Feyre’s survival rests upon her ability to hunt and kill – the forest where she lives is a cold, bleak place in the long winter months. So when she spots a deer in the forest being pursued by a wolf, she cannot resist fighting it for the flesh. But to do so, she must kill the predator and killing something so precious comes at a price – from Goodreads.com

I got on okay with Sarah J Maas’s Throne of Glass series, so I’m looking forward to seeing how A Court of Thorns and Roses fairs in my estimations. Ever since the first Throne of Glass book was released 2012, Maas’s books have been incredibly hyped upon their release and the A Court of… books have been the same!

2.

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

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Eleanor is the new girl in town, and with her chaotic family life, her mismatched clothes and unruly red hair, she couldn’t stick out more if she tried. Park is the boy at the back of the bus. Black T-shirts, headphones, head in a book – he thinks he’s made himself invisible. But not to Eleanor… never to Eleanor. – from Goodreads.com

The first Rainbow Rowell book I ever read was Fangirl that was released in 2013, and I somehow missed the release of Eleanor and Park which was also released in the same year. Never the less, I absolutely love Rainbow Rowell’s writing, considering I’m not much of a contemporary fan! So I can’t wait to get my teeth into the YA beauty.

3.

Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

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Her throne awaits . . . if she can live long enough to take it. It was on her nineteenth birthday that the soldiers came for Kelsea Glynn. They’d come to escort her back to the place of her birth – and to ensure she survives long enough to be able to take possession of what is rightfully hers. – from Goodreads.com

I first heard of this book when Sasha Alsberg and Ben Alderson spoke about it in their Scotland Vlogs. It sounded like a really cool story, so I’ve picked up a copy to satisfy my fantasy craving!

4.

The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson

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This is a thrilling ghost-hunting teen mystery as modern-day London is plagued by a sudden outbreak of brutal murders that mimic the horrific crimes of Jack the Ripper. – from Goodreads.com

I heard about Maureen Johnson through her affiliation with the Green brothers, and I actually met Maureen at The Fault in Our Stars Tour. As you know, I love retellings and I love crime thrillers, so this combination is perfect for me, and I can’t wait to read it!

5.

Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

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Every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born: three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomachache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions. – from Goodreads.com

This book has been on my radar for a while now, and with the sequel coming out in September, I need to hop to it and read the first one so I can get on with the series. If you know me, you know I love fantasy, and also magic, so I’m guessing this book is going to be getting a good review from me!

So this concludes my top five books that are at the top of my TBR. Have you read any of these? Would you recommend them to me? Or are these books at the top of your TBR too? Let me know in the comments!

Series I Won’t Finish

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As Frank Zappa once said: so many books, so little time, and unfortunately due to real life getting in the way I’ve had to cull a few books from my illustrious TBR shelf, and cut a few series along the way too. So I’ve put together the top five series that I regrettably won’t be finishing (anytime soon).

These books are in no particular order.

The Uglies Series by Scott Westerfeld

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Tally is about to turn sixteen, and she can’t wait. In just a few weeks she’ll have the operation that will turn her from a repellent ugly into a stunning pretty. And as a pretty, she’ll be catapulted into a high-tech paradise where her only job is to have fun. But Tally’s new friend Shay isn’t sure she wants to become a pretty. When Shay runs away, Tally learns about a whole new side of the pretty world– and it isn’t very pretty. The authorities offer Tally a choice: find her friend and turn her in, or never turn pretty at all. Tally’s choice will change her world forever. – from Goodreads.com

I read the first book in the Uglies series for one of my classes at university and quite enjoyed it. So then I decided to read Pretties, which was book two, but enjoyed it significantly less. I don’t think I’ll be embarking on the third book, Specials, any time soon.

The Pretty Little Liars Series by Sara Shepard

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Three years ago, Alison disappeared after a slumber party, not to be seen since. Her friends at the elite Pennsylvania school mourned her, but they also breathed secret sighs of relief. Each of them guarded a secret that only Alison had known. Now they have other dirty little secrets, secrets that could sink them in their gossip-hungry world. When each of them begins receiving anonymous emails and text messages, panic sets in. Are they being betrayed by some one in their circle? Worse yet: Is Alison back? – from Goodreads.com

I have never heard of a series having so many books attached to it. The Pretty Little Liars series has sixteen books in total which must be a world record. I have read eleven of them in total but felt that after that amount, the books were a bit same-y.

The Jennifer Jones Series by Anne Cassidy

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Three children walked away from the cottages on the edge of town toward Berwick Waters. Later that day, only two of them came back. Alice Tully knows exactly what happened that spring day six years ago, though it’s still hard for her to believe it. She’ll never be able to forget, even though she’s trying to lead a normal life-she has a job, friends, and a boyfriend whom she adores. But Alice’s past is dangerous, and violent, and sad, and it’s about to rip her new life apart. – from Goodreads.com

I really enjoyed the first book in Anne Cassidy’s duology, but the second book Finding Jennifer Jones didn’t live up to the level of the first, and around a quarter of the way through I decided to put it down and preserve my love for the first book instead.

A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snickett

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Dear Reader, I’m sorry to say that the book you are holding in you hands is extremely unpleasant.It tells an unhappy tale about three very unlucky children.Even though they are charming and clever,the Baudelaire siblings lead lives filled with misery and woe. – from Goodreads.com

Unfortunately I completely missed the boat with this one, having read it only last year at the tender age of 24 when I should have read it ten years earlier! I love the movie and am really looking forward to the upcoming Netflix series, but I won’t be continuing with the books as I feel I’m a little bit too old now.

The Fallen Series by Lauren Kate

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Seventeen-Year-Old Luce is a new student at Sword & Cross, an unwelcoming boarding/reform school in Savannah, Georgia. Luce’s boyfriend died under suspicious circumstances, and now she carries the guilt over his death with her as she navigates the unfriendly halls at Sword & Cross, where every student seems to have an unpleasant—even evil—history. It’s only when she sees Daniel that her life looks a little better. But Daniel has a secret which will put their lives in danger… – from Goodreads.com

I enjoyed reading Fallen, especially in the setting at Sword and Cross. So when I found out that the next book in the series, Torment, moves away from the school and focuses on (in my opinion) the weakest element of the series (the romance), I decided not to continue with the series.

So that concludes the series that I won’t be finishing. Are there any on this list you think I should rethink? Or do you agree with my choices? Let me know in the comments!

Recap: The End of #PLL As We Know It

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Please be aware that there are spoilers for Pretty Little Liars in the post ahead.

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Ever since my last Pretty Little Liars post I have been constantly theorising, ready for the end of the show, which was confirmed to finish after its seventh season. From the first episode, titled Tick Tock Bitches, the PLL train steamed ahead with ten episodes before breaking after the mid-season finale, leaving a string of shocking cliffhangers in its wake.

The beginning of season seven begins with Uber A on the hunt for Charlotte’s murderer, despite Hanna having confessed to killing her and having been kidnapped as a result. Not only are the Liars trying to #SaveHanna, but they’re also trying to figure out who is behind the Uber A game. There has been so much confusion surrounding whom identifies as whom, as Uber A has since been disclosing their texts as AD. There had also been much talk of an Avenger, but this only seems to complicate the matters more. Ever since the Uber A story line was introduced in the second half of season six, everyone has become a suspect, but at the beginning of seasons seven, Alison DiLaurentis was looking particularly shady. Is Ali texting the Liars to avenge her sister’s murder, and believing her friends had something to do with it? Meanwhile everyone in Rosewood is pointing fingers and suspecting Alison as the killer instead. Or is it someone else entirely? Someone completely outside of the Liars’ circle.

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But it’s not too far into the episode that things start getting a little bit strange. Inside the shed, where Hanna had been kidnapped and locked up by Uber A, she is visited in her dream by Spencer who sings her to sleep with the same lullaby that pops up throughout the series Hush Little Baby. Of course, this began to raise suspicions as dream-Spencer was seen without her usual fringe, and that specific lullaby had been previously linked to Mona and Mary Drake, Alison’s aunt and Jessica’s twin sister, leading us to believe that perhaps one of them was posing as Spencer with the help of the masks that have been ever so popular this season.

Mary Drake has been another interesting character that has been introduced this season, but the trouble is, we can’t seem to figure out which side she’s on, and neither can she. First she tortures her niece Alison to insanity, then decides that Elliot Rollins, her co-conspirator and Ali’s husband, has gone too far and withdraws from the revenge plot. Then, after Elliot apparently screws her out of the Carissimi Inheritance that was promised to her, we can’t decide whether or not she’s telling the truth. It seems she’s around to help the Liars, but doesn’t let on how much she knows or what else she’s up to, except that she has recently bought the Lost Woods Resort, which has always been a place of much speculation since the beginning of season one.

As the episodes progress, and the Liars decide to rescue Alison from the clutches of her husband, but the plan to break Alison out of Welby goes dangerously awry. Elliot kidnaps his wife from the institute and drives her into the woods before her friends can get to her. Luckily, their car is followed by the Liars who are able to keep tabs on their whereabouts. When Ali makes a run for it, trying to escape her cruel husband, Hanna runs Elliot over and kills him, and rather than explain the rabbit hole of confusion and lies, the girls decide it’s best to cover up the murder and dig a grave for him in the woods.

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The girls are quite obviously falling back into old habits, and that’s not the only element that has resurfaced. Cue Mona, Queen of all things crazy and dangerous, come to save the day and help the Liars cover up their mistakes. Mona stops the Liars from getting themselves into trouble and helps them stage a narrative that shows Elliot had skipped town, once the news of his shady behaviour comes to light. Mona, time and again, has proved herself useful with her high intelligence and skills she used as the Original A, making sure the Liars stay out of trouble.

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She also found an unlikely accomplice in Caleb, who also has gone to great lengths to keep the girls safe, so when Caleb disappears and days later a sighting of “Elliot Rollins” has been reported, it’s hard not to conclude that he’s masquerading as the sketchy doctor to help fuel the girls’ cover up. There was even a scene that showed Caleb and Mona’s synchonicity, leading fans to wonder whether the two have been going undercover together longer than we thought.

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But it’s not only Mona who has come back from episodes past. One of the fans most loved characters, Jenna, arrives back in Rosewood with Noel Kahn in tow, and their arrival unearths more information about Elliot Rollins, who appears to have stolen the identity to protect who he really is – Archer Dunhill, his initials conveniently being AD, which is the latest pseudonym that Uber A has chosen. The Liars think they have it all figured out, as Jenna is still harbouring some venomous feelings towards the girls, until Jenna and Noel start making friends with the Liars’ long time fr-enemy Sara Harvey, and begin acting even more shady than usual. But when Sara Harvey turns up dead in that bathtub, and who had once been the girls number one suspect, it seems that everyone is running out of ideas as to who could be behind A Mask.

In the sixth episode, the ante was officially upped as the Liars uncovered the bombshell that Mary Drake had a second child whilst she was in Radley, which sent the PLL Army into free fall. To clarify, Mary Drake gave birth to Charles, who was adopted by Jessica and Kenneth DiLaurentis and transitioned when she was sixteen years old. Then Mary had a second child, also with an unknown father, and their identity was paramount to the Uber A story line. I had my own theories as to who the second child could be, and top of my list was always Spencer Hastings, who had a lot of similarities to Mary, and the fact that the DiLaurentis’ and the Hastings’ families had always been so entwined.

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Another character near the top of my list was Lucas Gottesman, who had been playing an important, and yet unseen role in the beginning part of the series. We never really knew too much about Lucas’s family, and he could have been a biological Drake, avenging the death of his birth sister Charlotte, which would give him motive to go after the Liars if he thought they were involved in her murder. Emily and Hanna were staying in Lucas’s apartment, which could easily have been bugged, as like Mona, Lucas managed to use his high intelligence to make millions of dollars. Hanna had even been driving Lucas’s car when she hit Elliot/Archer, and Lucas had also convinced her to go into business with him. Lucas has always been a passionate, if not, intense character with his ties to the A Team from way back in season one and two, and Marlene did confirm that the second half of season seven would come full circle.

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Hanna has also had a difficult season, and raised suspicions when theories of the second child started circulating. Could Hanna have been the second child? Maybe. Her likeness to Alison was very strong, coupled with the fact that Ali told Hanna the story about the evil twin, and her mother Ashley was then visited by the same little girl ghost on Halloween. Hanna’s father Tom had never been that interested in Hanna, and this season Hanna was even kidnapped by AD, so things were beginning to make sense – but it was all one big red herring to throw us off the trail.

The last person to have been accused of being AD and Mary’s second child was Noel Kahn, who had been shady from the moment we met him. Noel’s farther oversaw the adoption of the second child, leading the Liars to believe that it was the Kahn family who adopted the baby. Noel was even involved in the Dollhouse with Charlotte/Cece, after Emily and Spencer found a thumb drive with CCTV footage of the Dollhouse on it. Having said this, even after seven seasons, it’s still unknown as to what Noel Kahn’s role in the PLL End Game is, or what secrets Ali had on him, but at last in the tenth episode titled The DArkest Night, the second child was finally revealed.

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Spencer was confirmed to be Mary’s second child, and Charlotte/Cece’s sibling, seconds after Spencer was shot by Uber A/AD and Mary sung the Hush Little Baby lullaby to her, the same one that was sung to Hanna when she had been kidnapped. In my opinion, it was a little bit obvious that Spencer was Mary’s child, but that might only be because I spent A LOT of time theorising. As I said at the beginning of this post, the mid-season finale dropped a whole load of reveals including the fact that Alison was pregnant and Noel Kahn was killed… decapitated in fact…

So with what we know now, let’s look to the finale ten episodes of season seven, and examine how this crazy story could be tied up. I’m confident that the last ten episodes are going to begin with guns (literally) blazing.

One of my favourite theories so far, the calls back to the original That Night of season one, is that Alison was pregnant when she decided to fake her death and leave Rosewood, and that Beach Hottie was the father. I believe that Beach Hottie was Darren Wilden, which was why he was so interested and invested in her whereabouts, and makes sense why Cece then killed Wilden to stop him going after Alison. With the presence of Eliza, the little Amish girl, I think it should be considered that Eliza is Alison’s daughter, especially so because in the book series of Pretty Little Liars, Wilden’s character is Amish. This plot may have transferred over from the original source material, with Alison seeking shelter with Wilden’s estranged family to take care of the child. This would also tie in nicely as to why Alison was so fearful of seeing the Wilden mask when Elliot and Mary were driving her to insanity.

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I still truly believe that Melissa killed Charlotte for telling Wren about Bethany, but as to who could be Avenging Charlotte, at this point, is something I’m wondering about a lot. I think she also killed Sara Harvey, who was originalling trying to avenge Charlotte’s death. I believe Sara was close to revealing the murderer to the Liars, believing Spencer was in danger as she wasn’t Melissa’s biological sister. Obviously being family is a really strong motive, especially those trying to avenge Charlotte, hence why Mary and the second child (now Spencer) were really high up on the list. Another motive would be Charlotte’s love interest, hence why Elliot Rollins was a suspect, but now that he’s dead, someone else could be taking that role, but who? Wren? Charlotte and Wren have obviously been in contact for far longer than their recent phonecall, revealing Bethany’s killer. And why would Charlotte bother to tell on Melissa to Wren? Was it because she was jealous?

Another favourite theory of mine is that Alison DiLaurentis has been behind the A Game the whole time. From the moment she planned to leave Rosewood up until now, Ali might have been pulling the strings, maybe with Charlotte or not, but I think that would be pretty cool if Freeform can pull it off. Regardless, this coming April all of our questions will be answered and, hopefully, we will finally know everything! Do you have any theories that you’d like to share? Let me know in the comments!

Author Interview: A Solitary Romance by Violet Sparks

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Are you looking for the perfect summer contemporary? Something to read on holiday, on a sun lounger, cocktail in hand? Look no further.

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Violet Sparks has released her debut romance novel, A Solitary Romance, and the first book in the Only Love series, which follows Katrina Crimshaw and her double life. An auditor by day and jewelry blogger at night, she meets the man of her dreams and her life becomes even more complicated. Juggling success under a pen name with her day job and continued encounters with Robert, a man from her past that she adored from afar, proves complicated for the shy bean counter. When an attractive museum director enters her life, all bets are off as the day dreaming Katrina tries to make sense of her predicament.
When passion flares in this second chance romance, will she let love slip through her fingers again?

I was lucky enough to be able to interview Violet on the ins and outs of being an author.

Do you have a specific writing style?

I generally write in the third person limited or omniscient style.  I have to say, I begin by the seat of my pants and allow my characters full reign.  About one-third to half-way through the book, I’ll sit down and outline the rest of the novel to keep things on track.  At this point, I’ve got a good idea where all the personalities will end up.

How did you come up with the title?

The main character, Katrina Crimshaw, is a jewelry aficionado.  She runs into a man from her past, someone she found incredibly attractive but was too shy to pursue.  I combined the idea of a solitaire ring, representing her love of jewels, with the loneliness that sometimes accompanies someone who is fearful or shy, and came up with A Solitary Romance.

What books have most influenced your life most?

The Bible has had the biggest impact on my life.  The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence, a Carmelite monk who lived in the 1600s, is an amazing book that I can read over and over.  Coming Out of the Ice by Victor Herman also affected me—it’s a wonderful tribute to the human spirit.  I can’t leave out the books by Dickens, Austen, and the Brontë sisters, which I read in my youth.  Their works definitely lent an idealism to my mindset (which does not seem to belong to this century!), and shaped my ideas of what romance and love should be. 

Do you have any advice for other writers?

My advice to other writers is to keep on writing!  Find a good editor you enjoy working with and don’t rush your writing process.  Read and write as much as possible and do not allow others to discourage you. 

What books/authors have influenced your writing?

I’ve always loved how Charles Dickens could weave a story together with unforgettable characters and intersecting plots.  I appreciate how he inserted humor in his books as well.  I admire the way William Faulkner packed a punch and how the Brontës created amazing atmospheres, including unexpected twists in their stories.  The contemporary author, Carlos Ruiz Zafon, is a master of characters, atmosphere, and storylines.   

What genre do you consider your book(s)?

A Solitary Romance is a sweet, or clean and wholesome, romance.  It is book one of the Only Love Series, which currently consists of three books.  I have also written mysteries under a pen name.

Do you ever experience writer’s block?

I haven’t yet had a serious writer’s block.  With every book, I do come to a place where I just have to grind out the story.  I don’t particularly enjoy this part of my writing process, but I’ve yet to escape this phase.  Luckily, it only lasts for a chapter or two, and then I’m over the hump.

Have you ever hated something you wrote?

I would not say that I’ve hated any of my work.  Anything can be polished, rewritten, examined with a fresh eye, or edited for improvement.  I do go through some fear each time I start a new book.  Will I be able to come up with anything funny?  Can I do the characters justice?  Will unnecessary details hinder the story?  In other words, how can I possibly pull this off?

What is your favorite theme/genre to write about?

I cannot pick a favorite a genre.  All of my books have at least a hint of romance, so maybe that’s my top choice.  The Only Love Series is straight-up romance, although the third book, A Calculated Romance, has a touch of suspense and mystery.  I like to incorporate a twist or even several unexpected events in my novels, so that’s a theme to look for.

Where did your love of writing come from?

I have always loved storytelling.  My mother used to catch me as a toddler making up stories for my own entertainment.  She fostered my love of writing by introducing me to classic literature in grade school, and I won writing awards as a teen.  Then, life and career got in the way.  I always hoped to return to writing, and the encouragement of a friend got the ball rolling for me. 

What was the hardest part of writing this book?

The hardest part of penning A Solitary Romance was just taking the plunge.  I experienced a personal loss around the time that the idea started to sprout.  I think this book provided a much needed distraction during those first, early stages of grief.  With its overall light tone, the writing allowed me a welcome reprieve from reality.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

A Solitary Romance is ever so slightly autobiographical.  I enjoyed reliving my early career days and the fun I had with one of my girl pals.  Also, because everything in the book felt familiar, it required little research.  I appreciated how my writing could flow without stopping to investigate other subjects.  Because I love the arts, I savored drawing on my experiences at a major auction house.  There’s a scene in the book where a character helps her friend squeeze into a gown in a dressing room by very creative means.  This actually happened, and my friend managed to fit me in that tight, red dress by the same method!  Just thinking about that little episode brings a smile to my face!

Do you write every single day?

I find I produce my best work when I am writing every day.  I aim to write six days a week, although I’ve slipped off a little this summer since my children are out of school.

Which writers inspire you?

So many authors inspire me.  At the top of the list are Charles Dickens, William Faulkner, Jane Austen, the Brontës, Carlos Ruiz Zafon, and Irène Némirovsky for her spectacular, unfinished, Suite Française.  I went through a stage where I only read history or biographies, and I greatly admire the work of David McCullough.  His books read like novels and bring the people of the past alive.  I always appreciate any writer who can surprise me with a plot twist or unexpected outcome.

What are you working on at the minute?

I am beginning the research for a novel set in the medieval period.

What is your latest book about?

My latest book is third in the Only Love Series, A Calculated Romance.  This is the story of Katrina’s assistant, a young rock hound named Landi, and what happens when her path crosses with that of James Crimshaw.  James is featured in the first three books of the series.  He is Kate’s brother and a naval intelligence officer.  Both he and Landi have murky pasts and a strong attraction to each other.

A Solitary Romance is available to buy from Amazon

Find out more about Violet’s books at: https://violetsparksauthor.com

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Top 5 Shows to Watch on Netflix (UK)

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Despite the controversy of geo-pirate-gate, I’m going to be listening the top five TV shows on Netflix UK that I love watching. So regardless of where you live in the world, take note. Your next favourite show could be on this list.

These TV shows are in no particular order.

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Bates Motel

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Bates Motel is a contemporary prequel to the genre-defining film “Psycho,” and gives a portrayal of how Norman Bates’ psyche unravels through his teenage years. Fans discover the dark, twisted backstory of Norman Bates and how deeply intricate his relationship with his mother, Norma, truly is. – from IMDb

Bates Motel’s fourth season is currently airing in the US, and all three previous seasons are up on Netflix, so you can make sure you’re up to date for when the show is reported to finish at the end of it’s fifth series.

2

House of Anubis

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When one of their number disappears on the same day that an American girl joins their ranks, a group of English boarding school students embarks on solving a mystery. – from IMDb

Man, looking for an appropriate picture gave me all of the ~feels. I know this show is technically for kids, but so is Pokemon and we all watch that, right? A group of school kids board in a creepy old house with tonnes of Egyptian mythology and go on tonnes of adventures, whilst dealing with raging hormones? All three seasons of the show are on Netflix, and season two is by far the strongest.

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The Tudors

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A dramatic series about the reign and marriages of King Henry VIII. – from IMDb

For history fans, the most (in my opinion) scandalous time in British history is adapted to screen. All four seasons of the show are on Netflix and chronicle all six of Henry’s wives. Particular highlights are Henry’s marriages to Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard, as both of these ladies were beheaded for their treasonous behaviour against the king.

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Sherlock

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A modern update finds the famous sleuth and his doctor partner solving crime in 21st century London. – from IMDb

I absolutely adore this intervention on Conan Doyle’s classic story, and Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman are the perfect duo. Set in a modern day, England, Sherlock and John still go on adventures solving crimes. All three seasons are on Netflix, including the New Year special The Abominable Bride. Particularly great episodes are the pilot A Study in Pink and the Hound of the Baskervilles.

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Shadowhunters: The Mortal Instruments

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After her mother is kidnapped, Clary must venture into the dark world of demon hunting in order to find clues that can help her find her mother. – from IMDb

Despite the controversies when the pilot aired, Shadowhunters seems like great fun. Set in New York, this urban fantasy chronicles the underworld beneath the city, where Shadowhunters fight demons and protect the mortal world. Although I haven’t read the Mortal Instruments series, it’s definitely a book that sounds up my ally. Shadowhunters is contracted for thirteen episodes, and debuts weekly on Netflix.

Are any of these shows your favourite? Or is there a TV show you think I’ll love and have missed? Let me know down in the comments which TV shows are in your Top 5.