#TuesdayBookBlog ‘The Hating Game’ by Sally Thorne #Romance #BookReview @Audible

I read a lot of psychological thrillers, historical and literary fiction, and personal growth books, so I alternate with light and/or steamy romance, although romantic comedies are my favourite type of escapist fiction. I love stepping into a fairytale world where happy ever afters are guaranteed, after a tiny bit of angst and a few misunderstandings or some suspense…

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It’s all Cary Grant’s fault, he taught me to love romantic comedies, Audrey Hepburn is also guilty, as Charade (1963) is my favourite and if you haven’t seen it you’re in luck, because you can still watch this timeless, suspenseful, romantic comedy, which is also a thriller, set in Paris (where else?), for the first time!

But, back to today’s featured novel. I’ve recently discovered Australian author, Sally Thorne, who has written two bestselling novels so far, The Hating Game (2016) and 99% Mine (2019). I enjoyed them both. Today I’m reviewing her first novel, The Hating Game. Amazon.com link below.

The Hating Game: A Novel by [Sally Thorne]

From the Blurb

Lucy Hutton and Joshua Templeman work together and they hate each other. They have no problem displaying their feelings through a series of ritualistic passive aggressive maneuvers as they sit across from each other, executive assistants to co-CEOs of a publishing company. Lucy can’t understand Joshua’s joyless, uptight, meticulous approach to his job. Joshua is clearly baffled by Lucy’s overly bright clothes, quirkiness, and Pollyanna attitude. The tension grows when they both apply for the same promotion.

My Review

The Hating Game is a fun office romance, in which two colleagues who hate each other intensely, mainly due to their opposing personalities and life experiences, find themselves competing for the same promotion. They both desperately want the job for personal and professional reasons. As a result, the tension between Lucy and Joshua reaches its boiling point, and that’s when they discover that they don’t hate each other after all, but can they trust each other?

The premise doesn’t sound new or riveting, but I assure you it is a highly entertaining read. Their daily banter is entertaining, and the way their relationship gradually develops from enemies to lovers, as well as the expected resolution of the problem and happy ever after, is as believable as it is adorable.

I admit I was in the mood for a light, fun, romance and that was exactly what I got! The Hating Game is well written with engaging characters, for me that means I just kept turning the pages and hardly noticed a few hours had passed. In fact, I read it twice, once on my kindle and once on audible.

I must tell you that I thoroughly enjoyed the audiobook version. Did I tell you I love listening to audiobooks while I’m cooking, cleaning, working out or doing my laundry? It makes chores such fun!  

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By the way, Lucy Hale and Robbie Amell are going to star in the film based on novel. More information about the movie here-

So, if you’re in the mood for a romantic comedy, you’ll love The Hating Game! Amazon UK link below.

Colouring by my granddaughter, Elsa.

 

#TuesdayBookBlog ‘The Apartment’ by K L Slater #PsychologicalThriller #Audible

Today I’m reviewing one of my favourite genres and authors, a creepy psychological thriller set in the heart of London by K. L. Slater, The Apartment. 

The Apartment by [K. L. Slater]

From the Blurb

Freya Miller needs a miracle. In the fallout of her husband’s betrayal, she’s about to lose her family home, and with it the security she craves for her five-year-old daughter, Skye.

Adrift and alone, she’s on the verge of despair until a chance meeting with the charismatic Dr Marsden changes everything. He’s seeking a new tenant for a surprisingly affordable flat in a fashionable area of London.

Adder House sounds too good to be true, but Freya really can’t afford to decline the opportunity and she will soon discover that Adder House has dark secrets…

Kensington Palace Image from Pixabay

My Review

The Apartment is difficult to pin down to one genre. It has mainly thriller, suspense and psychological aspects as well as gothic, ghostly and historical touches, and a hint of romance. It’s a creepy and ultimately unsettling novel which picks up speed quickly merging into a fast paced thriller.

K. L. Slater creates an atmospheric tale with engaging and unique characters, set in Kensington with its busy commercial streets, spectacular museums, famous parks, palace and secluded, affluent condominiums. I’m familiar with this well-known area of London, so it was easy and exciting to imagine Ader House and the surrounding area.

I listened to The Apartment on Audible and a huge plus to the audiobook version was listening to the author and narrator discussing the novel.

Well done! A fabulous read for readers who enjoy spine-chilling, psychological thrillers!

K. L. Slater’s latest novels, Little Whispers is on my kindle, waiting to be read (such a long list, but I’ll get there, eventually!)

Drawing by my granddaughter, Elsa, 6 years old.

 

 

 

Why Writers should read ‘The Evening and the Morning’ by Ken Follett #BookReview #TuesdayBookBlog

Ken Follett has just released his latest novel, ‘The Evening and the Morning’, which is already in bestseller lists all over the world.

The Evening and the Morning is an epic journey which ends some time before The Pillars of the Earth begins. It is set in 997 CE, the end of the Dark Ages. England is experiencing politically turbulent times without a clear rule of law, chaos reigns. The lives of three characters; Edgar, a young boatbuilder, Ragna a Norman noblewoman and Aldred, an English monk become entwined in a fascinating tale of love and passion, as well as cruelty and ambition.

My Review

Ken Follett is one of my favourite living authors, so I downloaded his book on my kindle and my as an audio book on Audible on the 15th September, the very day it was released.

I read and listened alternately, and I can say it is as brilliantly written and carefully plotted as his previous novels in the Knightsbridge series. It also includes the compelling characters and fabulous stories which his delighted readers enjoy so much.

Ken Follett makes his stories come to life in such a way that millions of readers all over the world are suddenly finding events set in the middle ages, in pre-Norman England and Normandy, fascinating.

It’s exciting, romantic, dramatic, tragic, hopeful, and ultimately a joy to read. So, if you read or listen to one book this autumn, make sure it’s The Evening and the Morning’.

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 Why Writers should read Ken Follett’s Novels  

It is a well known fact that anyone who wants to be a writer should read a lot, but it’s not enough to be a normal or passive reader. William Falukner summarised it in this quote:

“Read, read, read. Read everything—trash, classics, good and bad; see how they do it. When a carpenter learns his trade, he does so by observing. Read!”

Writers are a special type of reader. We dissect other writers’ work and in order to learn their craft. Every book I read is a Masterclass on writing. Many hours and months of hard work have gone into producing a novel, three years, in fact, if you’re Ken Follett, so it’s worth analysing their craft with a view to improving my own writing.

I strongly urge anyone who wants to write a good novel to read Ken Follett’s novels, all of them, if you haven’t started yet, his latest novel, The Evening and the Morning, is one of my favourites, so far.

I also suggest you watch or read his interviews and advice for writers to learn from one of the contemporary masters of literature. Here’s some advice based on his own writing process 

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Seven things I’ve learnt from reading about Ken Follett’s writing process.

  1. Write your outline: Plan, plot and research carefully before you start your first draft, including plot and character arcs.
  2. Style: Write clear, transparent prose.
  3. Push your characters: Continuously raise the stakes.
  4. Think about your readers, you’re writing for them. Make every scene as compelling as possible.
  5. Check pacing: Make sure there’s one turn or twist every 4-6 pages, but not more than one.  
  6. Write your first draft and get feedback from readers, such as friends, experts, an editor, agent, etc.
  7. Rewrite your novel, yes, the whole thing all over again! Incorporating any changes or suggestions you decide would improve your novel.

Seven things I’ve learnt from reading Ken Follett’s novels.

  1. Hook your readers with a jaw-dropping beginning.
  2. Set the pace, the setting, themes and introduce at least one of the main characters on page one.
  3. Write every chapter, page, paragraph, sentence and word, thinking of improving your readers’ enjoyment and understanding of the novel they’re reading.
  4. Keep the action coming. Add a twist or turn every few pages to keep readers invested in your story.
  5. Create engaging characters who are honest, passionate, and proactive.
  6. Make sure there are plenty of adversities and villains to make life hell for your main characters.
  7. Make sure your characters are resilient and resourceful enough to finally overcome all the adversities life throws at them.

Finally, here’s an extra one for encouragement, never give up, keep writing and improving your craft. Ken Follett wrote ten novels before his eleventh, The Eye of the Needle, became a bestseller.

Who is your favourite author and what has he/she taught you about writing?

#PhotoOfMyLife Day5 #Christmas Flower and Books #TuesdayBookBlog

This is a picture of a small table in my living room. We don’t often use it as a dinner table, because we have lunch in the kitchen, which is quite large.

Right now I have a Christmas flower, or poinsettia, in the centre of the table. In Spain, where I live, it’s traditional to have at least one of these beautiful plants at home during the Christmas season, because it is said to bring good luck, but you can’t buy it yourself, it must be a present. My son bought this for me yesterday.

In fact, all the objects on the table hold sentimental value. The little crochet table mats were made by my grandmother over sixty years ago! The glass animals perched on the mats were a present from my Spanish friend, Toñi.There’s a bowl of sand I gathered from my favourite beach and some sea shells I picked up with my grandchildren during the summer holidays. The pottery paper weights were made by Gertraud, a dear friend from Germany, and the pink sand in the glass candle holder was brought from Antigua, by Anna, another dear friend from England, whose sister lives on the island. I brought the table runner from my father’s home, after he passed away, eleven years ago.

The things I own are only as valuable as the sentimental value they have for me, which can be immediate, when they’re presents, or they can become meaningful over the years for other reasons.

There are three Christmas themed paperbacks on the table, I’d like to tell you about.

I haven’t yet read the top two, although I’m planning to do so this month. The first one is The Christmas Card by Dilly Court It’s described as The perfect heartwarming romance for Christmas, rich in historical detail.

The second book is Christmas at Claridges by Karen Swan which is described as a glamorous contemporary romance.

The third book is Twelfth Night at Eyre Hall, the second novel in the Eyre Hall Trilogy, which started with All Hallows at Eyre Hall which was recently completed with Midsummer at Eyre Hall.

Twelfth Night takes place during mostly in December and January 1866. One of the major plot points in the novel takes place during the festivities of 5th January, Twelfth Night.

Twelfth Night at Eyre Hall is my favourite novel in the trilogy, because I had such fun writing it!

It’s a historical romance including a murder mystery, a kidnapping, a visit to Victorian London, a long sea voyage to Jamaica with pirates included, passion, love, hate, betrayal and lots of dark family secrets, some of which are uncovered, while others are resolved in book three.

Are you reading any Christmas themed novels this year?

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The rules for this Twitter Challenge: no people, no explanations and challenge one new person every day. I was challenged by @GeorgiaRoseBook check out her blog.

Today I challenge @_ElizabethHein check out her book blog.

As I already told you, I’m terrible at following rules, so not only have I told you all about the picture, I’ve also recommended some books to check out!

Enjoy your Tuesday!

Are you reading any Christmas themed novels?