Saturday, 12 April 2014

The In-Between by Barbara Stewart

Ellie Moss is moving away from her ex-best friend, away from Jackson High School and away from The Worst Year of Her Life. It will be a New Beginning, so she can become New Ellie – the Ellie who is pretty, smart and popular. 
But then, a terrible car accident changes her life forever. Reeling from the shock of losing one of her parents, Ellie starts her new high school and meets a new friend. 
Madeline is everything that Ellie wants to be: beautiful, bold and brave. But as Madeline’s influence over Ellie grows, and her life begins to spiral out of control, Ellie starts to question if she can trust her – and, more to the point, can Ellie even trust herself? 
Because Ellie knows what happens when your best friend becomes your worst enemy. But what happens when your worst enemy is yourself?

The In-Between is Barbara Stewart's debut novel, aimed at a Young Adult market and was published in the UK in paperback by Pan Macmillan on 27 March 2014.

Sometimes I'm really envious of young people today, they have such a wide range of fiction to choose from, far more than was available when I was in my teens. I seemed to make the transition from children's books to adult fiction in one huge leap. One day I was reading The Famous Five and Nancy Drew and then all of a sudden my bookshelves were filled with Judith Krantz and Shirley Conran. Thinking back, that is quite a leap!

Barbara Stewart's debut novel The In-Between is not the easiest story to read. With dark and difficult themes, it is a story that will made the reader question the lead character Ellie thoughout.

Ellie and her family are moving away. They are going to make a new start and Ellie has promised to become New Ellie.  Old Ellie was overweight, she was drab and she tried to take her own life. New Ellie will lose weight, be bright and funny. She will wear colourful clothes and she will do well at school.

Whilst on this journey to the New Beginning, the new, brighter future is snatched away in moments. A car accident leaves Ellie with just one parent - they are certainly going to start anew, but not as planned.

When Ellie meets Madeline, she can't quite believe that such a pretty and clever girl could want to be friends with her. It's at this point that the reader begins to wonder just what is happening. It's clear that Madeline is not just the girl next door - is this all some sort of supernatural episode, or is Ellie suffering from some sort of psychosis?

There is a sense of disorder about The In-Between, but this just emphasises Ellie's state of mind, and for me, the questioning and the uncertainty were what made the story all the more enjoyable. I'm sure though that many readers will hate this, and I'm positive that this novel is going to be a 'love it' or 'hate it' type of book.

The beauty of this novel is that it will be a very different story for each reader, depending on what the reader chooses to believe. I'm not a huge fan of paranormal fiction, and I want to believe that Ellie was suffering episodes of psychosis brought on by a mental illness. There are certain descriptions that ring so true for me, having worked with young adults with mental illness I recognise many of the things that Ellie claims, and some of her behaviours. Other readers will disagree, and see ghosts and spirits.  And that's fine, and that's what is so clever about The In-Between.

Dark, uncomfortable yet oddly compelling at the same time. The In-Between is very well written, absorbing story that will certainly create a lot of debate.

My thanks to Emma from Pan Macmillan who sent my copy for review.

Barbara Stewart earned an M.F.A in creative writing from Wichita State University.
The In-Between is her first novel.
She lives with her husband in the Catskill Mountains of New York

For more information visit her website
Check out her Facebook page     Follow her on Twitter @BarbStewartYA Follow on Bloglovin

Friday, 11 April 2014

The Man Who Couldn't Stop by David Adam

Have you ever had a strange urge to jump from a tall building, or steer your car into oncoming traffic? 
You are not alone. In this captivating fusion of science, history and personal memoir, writer David Adam explores the weird thoughts that exist within every mind, and how they drive millions of us towards obsessions and compulsions. 
David has suffered from OCD for twenty years, and The Man Who Couldn’t Stop is his unflinchingly honest attempt to understand the condition and his experiences. 
What might lead an Ethiopian schoolgirl to eat a wall of her house, piece by piece; or a pair of brothers to die beneath an avalanche of household junk that they had compulsively hoarded? 
At what point does a harmless idea, a snowflake in a clear summer sky, become a blinding blizzard of unwanted thoughts? 
Drawing on the latest research on the brain, as well as historical accounts of patients and their treatments, this is a book that will challenge the way you think about what is normal, and what is mental illness. 
Told with fierce clarity, humour and urgent lyricism, this extraordinary book is both the haunting story of a personal nightmare, and a fascinating doorway into the darkest corners of our minds.

The Man Who Couldn't Stop : OCD, and the True Story of a Life Lost in Thought by David Adam was published by Picador (Pan Macmillan) on 10 April 2014.

How many times have you said 'Oh, I'm a little bit OCD about that'?  Maybe, like me, you like to hang out the washing using certain coloured pegs for certain garments, or maybe you have to have all your Coca Cola cans facing the same way in the fridge (just like David Beckham). Most of us have a few little rituals that we carry out, but most of us don't let the thoughts about our rituals, or what would happen if we didn't do them, take over our lives. Most of us don't have OCD, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, we just have a couple of little quirks.

David Adam is a science journalist, he has suffered from OCD for twenty years.  He is tortured by his thoughts, he is convinced that he will catch AIDS.  He is also a very intelligent man who realises that his thoughts and actions are intrusive and are affecting his daily life far too much.

The Man Who Couldn't Stop is a mix of personal story from David Adam, the results of research from all over the world, and stories of actual patients and how they have reacted to treatment.  The author perfectly blends the scientific, the medical and the real life cases together to produce an easy to read, informative, at times sad, and often humorous  look at this peculiar illness that affects so many people.

Cases of OCD have been reported for centuries, some were dismissed, some were treated - often with surgical interventions which are recounted here in much detail, and will shock. Like all mental illnesses, debates and discussions will rage for many years to come. It is interesting to read the evidence for the scientific causes, the medical causes and the possible genetic causes of this illness, which, putting aside the quirky and the funny, really can be life-changing and so debilitating for sufferers.

Accessible, well-written and fascinating, The Man Who Couldn't Stop is an honest account of living with OCD combined with research and historical fact.

My thanks to Camilla from Pan Macmillan who sent my copy for review.

Dr David Adam is a writer and editor at Nature, the world’s top scientific journal. Before that he was a specialist correspondent on the Guardian for seven years, writing on science, medicine and the environment. During this time he was named feature writer of the year by the Association of British Science Writers, and reported from Antarctica, the Arctic, China and the depths of the Amazon jungle.

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Thursday, 10 April 2014

Precious Thing by Colette McBeth

Remember the person you sat next to on your first day at school? 
Still your best friend? 
Or disappeared from your life for good? 
Some friendships fizzle out. 
Rachel and Clara promised theirs would last for ever. 
They met when Rachel was the new girl in class and Clara was the friend everyone wanted. Now in their late twenties Rachel has everything while Clara's life is spiralling further out of control. Then Clara vanishes. 
Imagine discovering something about your oldest friend that forces you to question everything you've shared together. 
The truth is always there. But only if you choose to see it.

Precious Thing by Colette McBeth is published in paperback today April 10 2014 by Headline Review.

It's really difficult to talk about the plot of Precious Thing without giving anything away, and to give away some of the most important parts of the story would be to spoil it completely for other readers - I can't do that, so I won't.

Lets say this is a story about two women; Clara and Rachel met at school and their friendship continued through the years. Clara has disappeared, and Rachel is worried.  Her worry changes over the course of the story, as she begins to learn more and more things about her friend. Things that surprise her, that shock her, that disappoint her - things that will change her life.

Other the years, Clara and Rachel have changed. At school, Clara was the girl that everyone wanted to be friends with, Rachel was the new girl - overweight with ginger hair and usually shunned by most people. As adults their roles are reversed. Rachel is a sucessful TV news presenter whilst Clara's life spiralled out of control some years ago.

Precious Thing is written in the form of a letter from Rachel to Clara, and it is clear that Rachel is speaking after the events, this is not a running commentary relayed as things happen. I must admit that at times I found Rachel's 'voice' quite difficult, and the style can be a little confusing at times. However, this does not detract from the fact that Precious Thing is a chilling read and despite my initial struggle with the writing style, I was soon drawn into what becomes a tense and intriguing story.

Most women will have suffered at some time at the hands of their friends, most women will have made their friends suffer - it seems to be what women do. We make friends, we share our innermost thoughts and our dreams with a person, we become close, and then sometimes that closeness becomes a weapon. Precious Thing is a portrayal of a friendship that was based upon jealousy. The author expertly dissects the personalities of Rachel and Clara, but despite this, the reader still questions the reliability of Rachel as the narrator.

Precious Thing is a clever story, and although there were times when I wanted to move Rachel along, away from her almost melodramatic thoughts, the sense of danger and  possible manipulation of the reader outweighs those feelings.

My thanks to Sam Eades at Headline who sent my copy for review through BookBridgr

Colette McBeth was a reporter for ten years working for One O'clock, Six O'clock and Ten O'clock news - covering cases such as the Suffolk Strangler and the murder of Billie-Jo Margaret Jenkins.  
Colette featured on the 2013 The Red List Hot 100, released by the The Red Pages - a list which sets out to predict up and coming names in the world of fashion, music, TV, film, politics, sport and society. She is also a graduate of the hitmaking Faber Academy. She studied the How To Write A Novel course under the tutorage of Richard Skinner.

Her new novel THE LIFE I LEFT BEHIND is published in hardback in August.

More information can be found at
On Facebook and Twitter @colettemcbeth

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Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Daughter of Catalonia by Jane MacKenzie

1935. Luis, a charismatic Spaniard, elopes with Elise and they move to a small village in Catalonia. 
But little do they know that war will soon rip them apart. 
Some twenty years later, stifled by her life in England, their daughter Madeleine sets off to learn the truth about her father's death in the French Resistance - returning to the village she once called home. 
Under the heat of the Catalan sun, she soon finds herself confronting her past, facing the shocking secrets of war, and opening her heart to her own love story.

Published by Allison & Busby on 17 April 2014, Daughter of Catalonia is Jane MacKenzie's debut novel.

Opening in November 1942 as Madeleine and her family make their way across the mountains, escaping from Nazi occupied France.  Madeleine, her brother Robert and their Mother Elise intend to return to Elise's English home whilst their father Luis will stay in Catalonia, fighting the cause for freedom.

The story moves forward twenty years.  Elise is dying, having never recovered from the death of her beloved Luis - the man she eloped with, the father of her children, the husband she never saw again after leaving him on that mountain pass in 1942.  After Elise's death, Madeleine is determined that she will escape from the stifling life she leads in her Grandparents house. Her aloof Grandmother and her cold Grandfather were bitterly disappointed by their daughter's choice of husband, and both Madeleine and Robert have suffered ever since.

Almost on a whim, Madeleine travels to France, to Catalonia, to the village of her early childhood. She is determined to find out more about her Father. How did he die? Why did her Mother never speak about him?

In France Madeleine discovers much more than she bargained for, uncovering secrets and lies that are both shocking and life-changing, but also discovering a love that could heal the pain that she inherited from her mother.

Daughter of Catalonia transports the reader to the small close-knit communities in the Catalan region of France, communities who are still scarred by the events of the War. Communities that hold their secrets close, but have long memories.

Jane MacKenzie is a skilled author who magically brings the region to life.  There are some novels that make the reader want to visit the setting immediately, and this one of them. The small towns and villages, the searing heat, the dusty shop fronts, the winding streets.  The village squares with their cafes and shops, populated by characters who are lifelike, colourful and so well created.   The author has captured the feeling of a small community devastated by the events of the war, split by the actions of some, and connected by the loyalty of others.

The plot moves quickly and Madeleine is an interesting and complex character. Sometimes childlike and innocent, but also world-weary and downtrodden, she is complemented by the cast of French characters, each of whom have a large voice and presence in the story.

The small French town setting and the wholesome and incredibly realistic characters that live there make this novel special.  The story is compelling and meticulously researched.  An evocative multi-layered story, I enjoyed it very much.

My thanks to Lesley from Allison & Busby who sent my copy for review.

Jane MacKenzie has lived and worked in many far flung corners of the world, including the Gambia and Switzerland. Having built her own business and enjoyed a spell working at CERN in Geneva, Jane realised her dream of writing. She splits her time between the Scottish Highlands and Roussillon in the South of France, the region which inspired Daughter of Catalonia.

For more information about the author visit her website
Find her on Facebook  and on Twitter @JaneFMackenzie

Sunday, 6 April 2014

The Accident by C L Taylor ~ Review, Author Q&A, Giveaway

Fast-paced and suspenseful The Accident is perfect for fans of Before I Go to Sleep, Gone Girl and Sophie Hannah. 
A gripping psychological thriller about the deadly secrets your children can keep … 
Sue Jackson has the perfect family but when her teenage daughter Charlotte deliberately steps in front of a bus and ends up in a coma she is forced to face a very dark reality. 
Retracing her daughter’s steps she finds a horrifying entry in Charlotte’s diary and is forced to head deep into Charlotte’s private world. In her hunt for evidence, Sue begins to mistrust everyone close to her daughter and she’s forced to look further, into the depths of her own past. 
Sue will do anything to protect her daughter. But what if she is the reason that Charlotte is in danger?

The Accident by C L Taylor is published on 10 April by Avon Books.

Before I even start to talk about the book, I have to tell you about the fabulously creative marketing by the team from LightBrigade PR.  It was just amazing, and I was incredibly spooked by it.  The lead character in the story receives various items in the post and this is what the marketing was all about. Of course, I had no idea what was going on!

On the first day, I received a plain black envelope that contained a page from a diary (April 10th - publication day), the words 'keeping this secret is killing me' was written on it.
On the next day, another black envelope arrived - all that was inside was a picture of a baby scan, with 'Life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth' Deuteronomy written on the back.

Now I was confused!  A baby?  Who do I know that is going to have a baby, and so soon? And what was with the life for a life stuff? This was just weird.

Day three arrived, and by this time even my husband was getting quite excited.  No black envelope ...... a black parcel instead, and inside that a black box tied with a ribbon, and inside that .... a proof copy of The Accident.

Amazing, and impressive ...... and certainly made me look forward to reading this one.   I finished it early yesterday, what did I think?
Here goes ....

Fifteen year old Charlotte is lying in a hospital bed in a coma. She stepped out in front of a bus. Her mother Sue is convinced that this was not an accident. She doesn't believe that Charlotte was distracted by her phone, or her iPod, or someone across the street. Sue thinks that Charlotte tried to take her own life. She has a reason to think that because she read her daughter's diary, she read the entry that says "keeping this secret is killing me".

Sue is determined to find out the truth, to find out what this secret is. She's suspicious of everyone - of her husband, of Charlotte's boyfriend, her best friend, her teachers, she knows that someone knows something but nobody is talking.

Sue is a troubled, nervous woman. Wife of a Member of Parliament, mother to the beautiful Charlotte, but she appears almost neurotic at times, she's paranoid and suspicious. Her husband and step-son obviously worry about her too, they lived through Sue's breakdown in the past. Are her suspicions real? Is Sue having another mental breakdown? Is she reliable? Can we trust her?

Alongside the main thread of the story, the author has included diary entries dating back twenty years. This is Sue's past story, written in her own words and tell the story of her relationship with James, her ex-boyfriend. It is these diary entries that explain to the reader just why Sue acts as she does today. Sue was broken by James, broken almost beyond repair, and although she has managed to make a new life, it's clear that inside her there are still some pieces that haven't yet healed.

The Accident is a tense, tightly plotted and incredibly compelling story. There were times during the story that I felt chilled by the menace, so much so that I actually had to put the book down for a while. The story builds, the pace quickens and the suspense is quite electrifying.

C L Taylor has dealt with some disturbing issues within The Accident. The story is steeped in secrets and lies and how these can impact on relationships with those closest to us.  Using stark language that doesn't hide anything, the reader is exposed to violence in the form of physical attacks, sexual assault and most chillingly; emotional abuse. Having once been in a relationship with a man who was extremely emotionally abusive, it was these passages that affected me the most - the authenticity of the writing, the exact mannerisms and words - this is extremely impressive writing.

Incredibly convincing, The Accident is a gripping read that will stay in my head for a long time.

My thanks to the team at LightBrigade PR and Avon Books who so cleverly sent out my proof copy.

I have two proof copies of The Accident to give away.  Entry is simple, just complete the Rafflecopter form at the end of this post.

I was delighted to meet Cally Taylor at the launch party for Rowan Coleman's The Memory Book, we were able to have a quick chat before I had to dash off.   I'm delighted to welcome her here today to Random Things, she's been lovely enough to answer a few questions for me - thanks Cally x

Do you read reviews of your novels? Do you take them seriously? 
Sometimes I wish I was the sort of author who doesn’t read their reviews and who keeps writing in a happy, secluded little bubble totally unaware of the impact her novels are having on the world at large – but I’m not.
I know I shouldn’t google for reviews of my books because, like most writers, I’ve got paper-thin skin, but I can’t help myself. I also stalk Amazon and Goodreads to see what readers are saying but I only tend to do it when a book is newly released to see what the reaction is like. Once a book is a couple of years old I stop paying attention – though a positive review will always make my heart leap! 

How long does it take to write a novel?    
It really depends on whether I’ve planned the novel beforehand or whether I’ve ‘pantsed’ it (made it up as I go along). I wrote ‘The Accident’ when I was on maternity leave with my son and, because his naps were only 45 minutes long, I had to tightly plot the novel beforehand so I could start writing the second he fell asleep. As a result the novel didn’t need much of a rewrite and I completed it in about nine months.
The novel I’m working on now has taken longer – over a year and counting. I wrote the first draft as part of Sally Quilford’s ‘write 100,000 words in 100 days’ challenge from January until April last year. I only had the vaguest idea of the plot when I started and I made it up as I went along. I then had to stop working on it for several months so I could do the UK and US edits, copyedits and proofs for ‘The Accident’ and only started rewriting in January of this year. I didn’t realise what the book was really about until I’d finished the first draft so I’m having to do a fairly extensive rewrite and it’s taking time. The next novel I write I’m going to plot within an inch of its life before I start writing. I’ve learnt my lesson – I’m not a panser!

Do you have any writing rituals?   
I have to make sure I’ve got a drink and some chewing gum before I start writing and I can’t write if my feet are cold so I always make sure I’ve got my thick skiing socks to hand in case I need them (I hated skiing but the socks are great!).

What was your favourite childhood book?
‘The Magic Faraway Tree’ by Enid Blyton. I know Enid Blyton has a lot of detractors these days but I adored that book. I loved the characters and couldn’t wait to find out which wonderful or terrifying land they’d discover at the top of the tree next. That book fired my imagination and made me want to be a writer too.

Name one book that made you laugh?
I’m currently reading Rowan Coleman’sTheMemory Book’ which is about a woman with early onset Alzheimer’s. You wouldn’t think a book like that could make you laugh but Claire, the main character, is so wonderfully warm and witty. When I read the line 'I bet it's better being demented on BUPA. Like NHS dementia, but with nicer food and Sky TV' I laughed out loud.

Name one book that made you cry?
A Monster Calls’ by Patrick Ness. It’s a book for children about a boy whose mum is dying from cancer and it’s so beautifully, tenderly written. It could have been terribly mawkish and sentimental but, instead, it was raw and honest and I cried buckets when it ended.

Which fictional character would you like to meet?
My first thought, when I read this question was ‘I bet everyone says Mr Darcy’. My second thought was ‘I’d like to meet Hannibal Lector actually’. Is that weird? I’d be utterly terrified of course and he’d have to remain safely behind bars but I did a lot of research into sociopaths before I started writing ‘The Accident and he’s such a fascinating character and a quintessential sociopath.

Which book would you give to your best friend as a present?
I’ve been recommending Julie Cohen’s DearThing to everyone I meet. It was my favourite book of last year and I think the paperback version is going to be a meteoric success when it comes out in May. It’s about a woman who offers to be a surrogate for her best male friend and Julie deals with the subject with a tender, delicate touch whilst infusing the story with humour, tension and warmth. I can’t recommend it enough.

Are you inspired by any particular author or book?
I love Roald Dahl and hold him completely responsible for my love of a dark tale. I still remember reading his entire ‘Tales of the Unexpected’ back list as a teenager and being fascinated, horrified and compelled all at the same time. He’s the master of suspense in my eyes.

What is your guilty pleasure read?   
I used to read trashy magazines on the train to work but I gave them up this year because a) most of the celebrity ‘news’ is made up b) it’s the same old thing week after week and c) I could use that time to read a novel instead.

Who are your favourite authors?
 Margaret Atwood, George Orwell, Aldous Huxley, Alex Marwood, Iain Banks, Raymond Carver, Maggie O’Farrell, Lisa Jewell.  

What book have you re-read?
After You’d Gone’ by Maggie O’Farrell. I won’t say too much about it so that I don’t give away any spoilers but I felt like I’d been punched in the emotional guts when I finished that book. I was mentally reeling for days. I read it several times after that initial read and have been planning to re-read it again soon. I haven’t read it since I became an author and I’m curious to see how she achieved the effect she did.

What book have you given up on?

I give up on quite a lot of books these days because my attention span isn’t what it was and life is too short to finish a bad book. The last book I gave up on was a book club choice – The LastWerewolf by Glen Duncan. I just couldn’t get into it. Sorry Glen!

cltaylorauthorAbout the author (from   CL Taylor lives in Bristol with her partner and young son. Born in Worcester, she studied for a degree in Psychology at the University of Northumbria, Newcastle then moved to London to work in medical publishing. After two years she moved to Brighton where she worked as a graphic designer, web developer and instructional designer over the course of 13 years. She currently works as a Distance Learning Design and Development manager for a London university.
Cally started writing fiction in 2005 and her short stories have won several awards and been published by a variety of literary and women’s magazines. Her psychological thriller THE ACCIDENT will be published in the UK by Avon HarperCollins in April 2014 and by Sourcebooks in the US in June 2014 (with the title ‘Before I Wake’). She is currently working on her fourth novel, a psychological thriller about friendships, mind control and murder.
Find out more at    Twitter @callytaylor  and Facebook
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Saturday, 5 April 2014

Six Degrees of Separation ~ Meme

It is claimed that every person on this planet is linked to any other in six or fewer steps.

But what about books?

Can we link them together too?

In 1929, Hungarian writer and poet Frigyes Karinthy wrote a short story called 'Chains' in which he coined the phrase 'six degrees of separation'.
Authors Emma Chapman and Annabel Smith have launched a new meme, based on the idea in Karinthy's story.  

On the first Saturday of every month they will choose a book and then link it to five other books to form a chain.
They have invited their readers and other bloggers to join them by creating their own chain leading from the selected book.

The books can be linked in obvious ways - for example; books by the same authors, from the same era or genre, or books with similar themes or settings.  Or they can be linked in more personal or esoteric ways; books that were read on the same holiday, or given by a particular person, or that are a reminder of a particular time or event.

The great thing about the meme is that each participant can make their own rules and a book doesn't need to be connected to all the other books on the list, only to the ones next to them in the chain.

The book chosen for the first post of the meme is Hannah Kent's thrilling debut, Burial Rites, which has been shortlisted for the Stella Prize and longlisted for the Bailey's Prize.

My Six Degrees of Separation Book Chain

First up is Burial Rites by Hannah Kent, a historical novel set in Iceland.

I'm linking this to Frozen Out by Quentin Bates - a modern-day Icelandic police thriller.

Bates' lead character is  female detective Gunnhildur Gisladottir and she leads me to one of the most famous female sleuths in literary history; Agatha Christie's Miss Marple - solving yet another mystery in The Body In The Library.

In 1926, Agatha Christie disappeared for 10 days - she was eventually found in a hotel in Harrogate. I met author Jodi Picoult in Harrogate, her last novel was The Storyteller which features the story of a survivor of the Holocaust.

This leads me to The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne, a young adult novel that is set in Auschwitz concentration camp.   I will be handing out copies of this one on World Book Night which leads me to my final book; Toast by Nigel Slater - the book that I handed out during the first World Book Night a couple of years ago.

Thus we have moved six degrees of separation from Burial Rites to Toast.

This was fun!  Please check out the other bloggers who have contributed at Emma Chapman's blog page and to find out how to take part, and the rules, check out the relevant page 

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Thursday, 3 April 2014

BOOK BREAK - the new online book show series - Episode 3

Log on during your lunch hour for the third of ten monthly shows where author Alexandra Heminsley is joined by Clare Donoghue, Liz de Jager and Matt Cain who will be sharing their debut novel experiences.

Broadcast date: Friday 4th April
Broadcast time: 12:30pm 

In episode three of BOOK BREAK, anchored by author Alexandra Heminsley (Running Like a Girl), we are joined by three new debut talented authors…
Clare Donoghue, a former city lawyer whose debut novel Never Look Back is set in South London, will have Peter James fans gripped.
Banished, a debut YA novel, was written over a seven year period by Liz de Jager while she ran the popular book review website My Favourite Books.
And Matt Cain, former culture editor of Channel 4 News and currently a columnist for Attitude, draws on his experience and celebrity knowledge with his debut novel Shot Through the Heart, an LA based Hollywood romance.
This month we take a step inside Helen Rappaport’s ‘Writer’s Room’ to see what writing rituals she has and how she gets into the zone, and put our quickfire questions to author Jo Rees.
We’ll also hear from three aspiring authors in the first of our Life’s A Pitch segments – but who will our debut novelists pick as the best of the bunch?  If you think you’ve got a great idea for a book, send your 30 second pitch to for a chance to feature in a future show.
Follow #bookbreak on Twitter, subscribe to the Pan Macmillan YouTube channel or watch the broadcast right here at 12:30pm on Friday 4th April. 


Alexandra Heminsley is joined by Clare Donoghue, Liz de Jager and Matt Cain for Book Break which will be broadcast at on Friday 4thApril at 12:30pm
Aspiring authors are invited to send their 30 second pitches to


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