Sunday, 3 June 2018

All The Little Children by Jo Furniss #BlogTour @Jo_Furniss #MyLifeInBooks #RandomThingsTours #AllTheLittleChildren

When a family camping trip takes a dark turn, how far will one mother go to keep her family safe?
Struggling with working-mother guilt, Marlene Greene hopes a camping trip in the forest will provide quality time with her three young children—until they see fires in the distance, columns of smoke distorting the sweeping view. Overnight, all communication with the outside world is lost.
Knowing something terrible has happened, Marlene suspects that the isolation of the remote campsite is all that’s protecting her family. But the arrival of a lost boy reveals they are not alone in the woods, and as the unfolding disaster ravages the land, more youngsters seek refuge under her wing. The lives of her own children aren’t the only ones at stake.
When their sanctuary is threatened, Marlene faces the mother of all dilemmas: Should she save her own kids or try to save them all?

All The Little Children by Jo Furniss is published by Lake Union Publishing. As part of the Blog Tour, I'm delighted to welcome the author here to Random Things today. She's talking about the books that are special to her in My Life In Books.

My Life in Books - Jo Furniss

As an only child, books played a vital role in my upbringing. Not only were fictional friends good company, but they also taught me social skills that might otherwise have come from siblings; conflict, jealousy, forgiveness: intriguing glimpses inside another person’s head.

Not surprisingly, many of my special books are from childhood.

Mrs Frisby and the Rats of Nimh – Robert C. O’Brien   I credit this book with turning me into a life-long veggie. Mrs Frisby is one of the finest mothers in literature – a tiger mum in the body of a mouse – and she’s not unlike the main character of my novel, ALL THE LITTLE CHILDREN, in that she’s prepared to do whatever it takes to survive. Meanwhile, the rats of Nimh are an oppressed minority who simply want freedom. Feminism, tolerance, animal rights: it’s all wrapped up in a race for survival.

The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame    I love books that work on many levels, so Ratty and Mole’s anthropomorphised journey around the class structure of Edwardian England makes this as much fun to read as an adult as it was as a kid. But it is their deep connection to the land that sings to me. When I came to write my novel set in rural England, so many lines floated up from my subconscious that I even included some in the book.

Winnie the Pooh – A A Milne   I still think it’s funny how bears like honey, and sometimes I hum a little hum. These tales were a security blanket to me and I read them repeatedly, never seeming to tire of the simple but profound tales. I’m not surprised that modern philosophers share my passion for Pooh.

The Clan of the Cave Bear – Jean M. Auel    The Earth’s Children series sold 45m copies! It’s a phenomenon. I’m itching for my daughter to be old enough to read it and marvel. It’s got everything – romance, adventure, a family saga, cultural in/tolerance, stone age survival skills, a pet lion, a surprising amount of sex (no TV in the Ice Age, I suppose)… and a ton of research: my goodness, I learnt so much from these books. Read the series and you’re practically a trained archaeologist.

Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte    Is this novel on every female writer’s list? It should be because it’s fierce. Fierce at a time when women were supposed to be placid. Bonnets off to fierceness.

The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood     I could list a bunch of her novels, but this is the mamma of them all. I discovered Atwood at university alongside other feminists writing with intoxicating freedom in genres such as speculative, fantasy or sci-fi: Marge Piercy, Angela Carter, Joanna Russ. It marked the opening of my consciousness, and ever since I’ve embraced literary dystopias that offer space for women to tear down the walls.

The Singapore Grip – JG Farrell    I spent seven years living in Singapore and my next novel – THE TRAILING SPOUSE – is set there. The wartime history of the Fall of Singapore is extraordinary and Farrell captures it perfectly in his quintessential portrayal of the end of empire.

The Heart of the Matter – Graham Greene   Rain hammering on a corrugated iron roof. A moral crisis that leads a good man on a path to ruin. Years after reading Graham Greene’s masterpiece, set in Sierra Leone, I went to live in West Africa and found the landscape of his novel coming to life - it really does rain that hard.

The Time Machine – H G Wells   Another favourite dystopia, in which Wells sends his traveller into a future of brutally segregated people. A committed socialist, Wells’ thought experiment pushed class division to the extreme – or maybe what he thought was extreme, prior to the holocaust or apartheid. The light pace of the novel belies the heavyweight ideas to come.

Tales from the Forest – Sarah Maitland    While writing ALL THE LITTLE CHILDREN, I wanted to immerse myself in the sights, sounds and lore of the English forest – but, unfortunately, I didn’t live there! This book proved to be a gem. Maitland entwines the sensory details of personal woodland walks with reflections on fairy tales and folklore. When I felt far from my roots, this book took me home.

Jo Furniss - June 2018 

After spending a decade as a broadcast journalist for the BBC, Jo Furniss gave up the glamour of night shifts to become a freelance writer and serial expatriate. Originally from the UK, she lived in Switzerland and Cameroon, and currently resides with her family in Singapore.

As a journalist, Jo has worked for numerous online outlets and magazines, including Monocle, The Economist, Business Traveller, Expat Living (Singapore) and Swiss News. Jo has also edited books for a Nobel Laureate and the Palace of the Sultan of Brunei. She has a Distinction in MA Professional Writing from Falmouth University. In 2015 she founded—an online literary magazine for writers in Singapore.

All the Little Children is Jo’s debut novel and she is working on a second domestic thriller to be released in 2018.

Connect with her via Facebook
(/JoFurnissAuthor) and Twitter (@Jo_Furniss) or through her website:

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