Posted in Notes

I’m coming for you Edinburgh

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You may have seen slightly excited posts about the Edinburgh Author Event this past week…scrap that, this past month. And TODAY is THE DAY that I land in the Land of the Scots. I’m probably already there, basking in the culture *COUGH*THEHOTGUYS*COUGH* while waiting to check in my hotel with Emma Hart.

Don’t worry, I’ll raid her box of goodies for you all for a giveaway when I come back.

Anyway, there won’t really be any posts because I was too excited and lazy to schedule anything last night…BUT, and here is a massive BUT. You WILL want to be around tomorrow because its the last day of the Abbi Glines cover reveal tour and I will be REVEALING the NEW UK COVER of MISBEHAVING. It’s beautiful so look out for it 😉

But I will update you all through FB/Twitter on how Edinburgh is, how my hunt for my husband is getting on and how amazing the authors/bloggers/readers/parties are.

Don’t be too jealous now 😉 Until next week.

xx

Posted in Notes

I CANNOT CONTROL MYSELF

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I LOVE Ewan ❤

 

Edinburgh is tomorrow guys. TOMORROW!!

I’ll be leaving Cardiff airport at 9am (leaving mine at 6am *groan*) and landing in Edinburgh at half 10am. 3 and a half days in the Land of the Hot guys in Kilts. YES PLEASE. I am besotted with Scottish accents (my BFF is Scottish) so I am *hoping* to just fall into the arms of a hot guy…or accidentally on purpose trip into his arms….we’ll see which one happens on the nights out. OR i can play helpless tourist….

I’ll then be meeting two ladies at the airport, who will be arriving the same time as me so we are going to go for coffee while we wait for our roomies – mine is the fabulous Emma Hart. So yes, I will grab everything she has in her suitcase just for you!

There is so much to pack into this trip and I REALLY want to find all the street names to the On Dublin Street series. Pretty sure the taxi man will have a field day with the amount he’s gonna get off me. Lets hope there are tram stops close to each sign. Time to do my research.

It will be awesome to meet everyone I have been talking to in the Facebook group too. As I am technically going alone to the signing as Emma is signing as an author, I have met some girls who are going alone too, so it will be lovely to have some people to talk and walk around with.

I’m pretty sure I’m going to fall in love with everything Edinburgh. Fingers crossed, I have been wanting to visit this city forever.

Posted in Guest Reviews

GUEST POST by Emma Louise

Hello to all of Zoe’s readers, I’m sure there are a lot of you. Zoe has kindly asked me to be a guest blogger for today, so I’m here to thrill you with a little bit of information about myself and my own blog before allowing you to read one of my short stories.

My name is Emma and I have two writing degrees under my belt. I’ve been studying at Edge Hill University for the past four years. The first three where spent doing a Bachelor Honours Degree – Creative Writing and Film Studies. I then stayed on to do a Masters Degree in Creative Writing. I’ve absolutely loved my time at Edge Hill, and it’s really sad that it’s now coming to an end.

I’m a romance writer. I enjoy writing about situations that would happen to a lot of people. I’m currently working on my manuscript that will be handed in for my final Masters piece later this year and then I hope that I can one day have it published for the world to see. I already have an idea for the sequel… Eager much? I love writing and reading about relationships. They happen all over the world. They can be formed and broken within a second and it’s refreshing to think of all the different situations that relationships can be placed in.

If anyone is interested in my own blog, please do look at it: www.emmaiswriting.wordpress.com and if you like, you can also follow me on Twitter: EmmaIsWriting

For now, please enjoy my short story…

 Courage

Two months ago, he cheated on me. Five weeks later, I walked away from him and what was left of our relationship. I know you probably think that I’m crazy for not leaving him sooner, but I need you to understand something. It wasn’t easy. Leaving someone who you have loved for four and half years is never going to be easy.

When he told me what he did, I didn’t cry. I just felt numb. His words found it impossible to sink in. A couple of days later, I wrote a list containing reasons why I should no longer be with him. It started off as half a page long, but gradually, it grew as I continued to remain as his girlfriend. The list is currently five pages long…

46. He cheated on you

47. He hasn’t apologised for cheating

48. He dripped ice cream in your new car

49. He never said “I love you”

50. He cheated on you

The list still helps me to deal with what happened. Sometimes I repeat what I’ve already scribbled down to make an imprint of the hurtful reality in my mind. I don’t want to go into details. But as you can imagine, it took the cheating rat a lot of courage to tell me what he did. Let me tell you something, he may look just as good as James Bond in a tux, he may be a good chef, he may be wealthy (no thanks to his father!) and splash out on luxurious holidays for us, but none of that matters. Money can’t fix problems. Once a cheat, always a cheat.

I bet you’re dying to hear about the slapper who he had a one night stand with? Alright then. She’s a slapper, a home wrecker and an idiotic fool. Did I forget to mention that she’s married? I’m not one to gossip or bitch about other women, that’s not who I am. When I was in my teenage years, my mum taught me that bad mouthing other women wasn’t good for the soul and that if I spoke one bad word, karma would soon be up in my face. But this woman, whoever she is, has the right to be slagged off. What she did was wrong. Not only did she hurt me, but she also hurt her husband. That’s even if he knows, poor man.

I know that wasn’t really bad mouthing her but to be quite honest, I’d rather not waste my breath on the low life bitch who ruined my relationship with the one man I’ve ever truly loved. She’s not the person who betrayed me. She’s just the woman who was chosen for a quickie. I really do hope her husband finds out about what she did and that he divorces her ‘it meant nothing!’ sorry ass and takes every single penny away from her. She deserves to be thrown in a gutter and left for the tramps. Slut.

If you’re wondering why I stayed with him, the answer is simple: I wanted us to work. Yes, I know that I should have left the moment he told me he had cheated, but despite everything he did, I still found myself being madly in love with him. Yes, there are some days where I’d love to go running back into his arms, act like all has been forgiven and carry on like normal. But then, there are those days when I want to knock on the front door of his house and smack him in the face with a frying pan. Problem is, I wouldn’t know what to do with a dinted frying pan.

The man I loved cheated on me. Those worthless few moments with a stranger ruined our relationship. Here I am, three weeks later, gluing my life back together.

This is my story.

A week after the news of the cheating scandal broke, he told me to pack a bag for a weekend trip away. He gave me two clues – bring clothes that I’m comfortable wearing in all day and that I won’t need my passport.

“Can you not just tell me where we’re going?” I asked. This had been the second time I’d questioned him. But to my dismay, he still refused to give me an answer.

“Just, trust me on this one. Okay?” We were sat in the living room. He was slouched in his leather arm chair, eating a packet of prawn cocktail crisps whilst watching a documentary on the television. I, on the other hand, was sat up right. I’d been on edge for the past week since he told me of his filthy, disgusting affair.

“Really? You want me, your faithful girlfriend of four and a half years, to trust you, the man who just had a one night stand with some random slapper?” I wasn’t trying to start an argument. He shouldn’t have used the word ‘trust.’

He sat up; his hand was still inside the crisp packet. His blue eyes looked directly at me. He was trying to win me over with his devilishly handsome good looks.

“Babe, I know what I did was wrong, and I don’t blame you for being angry at me. But I’m just trying to fix this mess.”

I began to shake my head. He reached for another crisp out of the packet and shoved it in his mouth like he’d never eaten before. I didn’t respond. A little voice in my head told me to tell him that this was his mess and that he should fix it. But I knew he wouldn’t. So I took the easy option and found myself walking up the stairs, ready to pack for the weekend.

Early the next morning, we were sat in the waiting room of the train station, waiting for the train to take us to god knows where. Out of the kindness of his cold, selfish heart, he had gone to the trouble of picking up my favourite sweets, my favourite soft drink and bought the sequel to the latest book that I had almost finished.

He had booked the tickets online and collected them from a middle aged woman who worked behind the counter. She was chubby, happy looking, with a smile plastered on her face. I couldn’t tell if she was laughing in response to something he had said or she was just being polite. I couldn’t see his face so I moved over to the vacant seat next to me and leaned over to the right as I rested my arm on the cold metal handle. My view became better. raised my eyebrows as she titled her head back and laughed. As she brought her head back to the normal position. Her eyes locked with mine. She was probably clueless that the attractive man stood in front of her had a girlfriend of four and a half years. Dumb bitch.

“I want us to try and enjoy the trip. Okay?” After he had collected the tickets, he took the seat next to me. The woman behind the counter kept herself busy on the computer beside her, trying to avoid eye contact with either of us. “Let’s just forget about that silly little thing that happened and move forward.” He placed his hand on top of mine. He turned his head to the left, and began to admire a bunch of girls who, I’d say, were in their late teens.

I began to mutter under my breath, not wanting to cause a scene in public.

“How do you expect me to forget that you cheated when you’ve just been flirting with the ticket woman and now you’re checking out girls who are younger than you?” I pulled my hand out from underneath his in disgust. “You disgust me.” I turned my head to the right, not wanting to see him drooling over foolish girls.

“Did you say something?” He asked. I looked back at him as he rose from his seat. Had he really not heard me or was he just ignoring what I had said? I didn’t have time to repeat myself. “Come on. We’ll go sit outside and wait for the train there.” He took his bag and my suitcase out of the waiting room and into the warm August air.

As the train pulled up at our destination, I began to recognise the surroundings. We were in Edinburgh, the city where we randomly met. I looked to my left to see his face. He was smiling. Not a fake smile, you know the smile when you can tell someone is happy. He didn’t have the right to be happy, not after what he had done.

The sky was dark. Rain clouds had grouped together, storming up a wild water shower on the people down below. The station was being remodelled, yet it was still open to the public. Train stations just can’t shut down. People have places to go, places where they may meet someone, to change their lives.

“Are you excited?” He nudged my arm as I continued to stare out of the window. The passengers around us began to stand up out of their seats. Some were stood on their tip toes in order to reach for their belongings in the compartment above. We remained seated.

“Edinburgh is a beautiful city,” I was determined not to answer his question as I continued to stare out of the window at the station.

“I thought that we deserved a break away from home, and maybe the city where we met could help us figure out the next step.” The tone in his voice sounded hopeful. I wasn’t sure what would happen between us. I was still in two minds. The worse thing about it all was that he hadn’t apologised. He never apologised. Not for anything. Heartless fool.

The aisle way on the train began to clear. He stood up and reached for my suitcase above. As he placed the suitcase down, in which I had packed extra clothes just in case I decided to make a run for it.

A scarlet red haired middle aged woman brushed past him. She was old enough to be his mother but that didn’t stop her from giving him a good look up and down. I glared at her. My nostrils flared. Everything about her was fake. Her jeans were low cut. Her top showed off her obvious fake breasts. Her fake eyelashes were bigger than her eyes; her lips looked like they had been coated in lipstick for most of her life and her face was a different colour to the rest of her body. Mutton dressed as lamb.

To my shock, he didn’t look at her. He moved a little bit forward and then once she had walked past, he stepped backwards, to retrieve his bag. Perhaps he really did want to change our relationship, but not looking at one other woman wouldn’t make me forgive him. The problem was still there, in his pants.

I saw him step off the train and look behind for me. I was still sat in my seat. He looked at the window and gestured his hand to me that I ought to get a move on. I didn’t want to move. I wanted the train doors to slam shut and take me somewhere, anywhere. But they didn’t, so I forced myself to depart from the train.

It was mildly bitter outside. Weather I did not expect for the middle of August. The train station was busy. People were coming in and out of the historical city. As much as I wanted our relationship to work, I was tired. Tired of being the one who always said sorry, the one who always broke the awkward silences after an argument. I was tired of being tired.

As we walked towards the exit of the train station, the familiarity of the city was breath taking. It was the city where I had met the man who I thought I would spend the rest of my life with, have children with and eventually, grow old with. It was also the first city I had travelled and explored by myself. I was twenty at the time. Single, and ready to find myself. I found myself after a couple of days, along with a new boyfriend.

“So what do you want to do? Get settled in the hotel and then get our bearings?” He asked as we made our way up the slope and out of Waverly station. The city was just how I remember it, a little different though. Princess Street was still home to all the high street shops, the castle was still the perfect spot to see the sights for miles on a clear day and the bagpipes were ringing in everyone’s ears. The only difference was the road. Well, there wasn’t a road. It was an empty space in the ground, surrounded by miniature hills of rubble and gravel, with builders pondering over what their next move should be.

Tourists began to stop and stare, just like I had done.  He had carried on walking, oblivious as to where I was. I continued to stare at the empty road. The builders had started to dig, the noise and vibration carried under my feet. He continued to dig. Deeper and deeper. He wouldn’t be able to fix the mess. He hit something. A ‘cling’ noise sprang in my ears. He’d hit a pipe. He turned the mini digger off but remained in his seat. He waited for the pipe to burst. He hadn’t hit it hard enough. The pipe was calm. The water remained inside of its home, not wanting to disturb normality. The builder switched the digger on and continued on with the work. He hadn’t aggravated the pipe enough.

“What are you doing?” He had approached my side. I thought he would have continued to walk, leaving me to fend for myself in the city. But no, he came back for me. I didn’t want him to come back to me. My suitcase was wedged between us. The tourists left and carried on with their day, full of sightseeing. I watched them leave. I wished I could join them. Pretend like I was a care free person. But I wasn’t. A dark cloud was over my head.

“Do you love me?” I asked him. He had never said it. Not once. Hard to believe, isn’t it? I looked at him. He looked to his left and then looked up at the murky grey sky.

“Course I do.” If there was one thing I knew, I knew that he was a bad liar. “Can we go to the hotel?” He starred into my eyes. I nodded before I grabbed hold of my suitcase handle. It was mine. I needed it.

I looked behind me. A fresh bunch of passengers had just arrived off another train and were making their way towards us. He began to make his way in the same direction, to the top of Princess Street. I knew that he had booked us in at a Travel Lodge. He hadn’t wanted to spend that much money. It wasn’t his money. It was his fathers. Little rich boy was still living off daddy. He didn’t know that I knew. He didn’t know that his own mother had told me to leave. I told her what he did. How he cheated on me with that filthy slut of a girl. His own mother had my back. That said it all.

He was a fair distance away from me now, but I could still see him. He walked with confidence, too much if you ask me. I took a deep breath and turned around. I began to walk towards the train station. I didn’t look back. I was going home. Not his home, mine. I wanted to be free. For so long, my mind had been a mess. Not knowing what I wanted. But now I knew. Freedom is what I had searched for. Not a perfect boyfriend. Not a perfect relationship. His lie was the straw that finally broke the camel’s back.

Here I am, three weeks later, finding myself after being lost. I can’t seem to pull myself together. You want to know the worst thing of it all? He hasn’t called my phone. He hasn’t come to my flat. He hasn’t pack up my belongings and send them over with a messenger. But you know what? I knew he wouldn’t. He’s probably too busy rolling in his dad’s money.

I’m not going to lie to you, it is hard. Walking away from someone you’ve loved and cared for is one of the worst experiences. Every now and then, I catch a whiff of his after shave on my clothes. My heart plummets to the bottom of my stomach, aching to be held by him again. But then, I remember what he did and even though I miss him deeply, I could never put myself in that position again. Especially not with him.

Soon enough, you stop thinking about them. You stop wondering whether they’re going to call, whether they’ve moved on or whether they still talk about you to mutual friends. It’s about time to start thinking of what’s best for yourself. After all, why should we waste our time with someone when they wouldn’t give us the time of day?

Posted in Author Interviews, Samantha Young

The Book Lovers presents…Samantha Young.

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So I got an email about a week ago from the lovely Katie Sheldrake at Penguin UK inviting me to ask Samantha Young some questions. Seeing as I love Samantha and her books and because I have never interviewed an author yet, and to be invited to interview one, well I jumped at the chance.

I’ m not going to take credit for all the questions, my friend and fellow author Karli Perrin chipped in with some questions of her own, so in the run-up to the release of Down London Road, here are the Q&A’s with the lovely Samantha Young.

Look out for my review of Down London Road coming tomorrow on my blog too!

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Questions for Samantha Young

1. I know you probably get asked this question a lot, but what made you start writing? Did you always want to be a writer?

When I was little I read the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and it sparked my imagination so much. From then on I always had a pen and paper in hand, whether I was writing worlds or drawing them.

2. You write both Young Adult and Adult/Contemporary Romance, which do you prefer?

I love writing young adult because I get to create these young heroines that teens can relate to and throughout the book or series I develop them into young woman who readers hopefully can look up to and admire. Writing adult fiction is wonderful too because there are less limitations, and with contemporary romance it really is all about characterisation which is my favourite part of writing. Hmm… I don’t think I can choose a genre. I love both!

3. How do you come up with the plot of your books? Do the storylines just come to you?

My inspiration is usually sparked from something—whether real events, a setting, or even song lyrics. Once I get that first little ember of an idea I sit down with pen and paper in hand, music on in the background, and the plot for a new book usually builds quite quickly from there.

4. How do you pick the names of your characters? And do you spend time thinking of the ‘right’ names for your characters?

I do spend time thinking about the right names for my characters. Their name has to fit their personality and often, not always, have some kind of significance, whether major or minor. Sometimes I scroll through baby name websites to help me out, but most of the time the name comes to me quite organically as I write character profiles.

5. Do the names come to you before or after you plot out the storylines? And what about the names of the novels? I know they are the streets in which the characters live on, but what made you pick those streets?

The names come to me after I work out character histories and plot. Usually. The titles for this series are street names because it’s the place setting that has an important role in the turning point in the main character’s lives. A series also needs continuity in the titles so the street names are all Edinburgh street names of cities or countries in other parts of the world.

6. With On Dublin Street and Down London Road, did you have a process of how you wrote them? For example, did you start at chapter 1 and work through or did you write random scenes then bring them all together?

I wish I could write out of chronology but I need to write from beginning to end. Piecing scenes in here and there like a puzzle would probably confuse me. I need to let the development of the characters and the plot unfold naturally in order to catch any mistakes or tweak scenes that aren’t working toward the overall development.

7. As someone who cannot pick a favourite character, from both the guys and girls, can you? Who is your favourite guy and girl? And who was your favourite character to write about?

I don’t know if I can pick a favourite guy and girl because as couples I love both their dynamics, but I think Jo was definitely my favourite character to write. She was the most challenging heroine I’ve ever written and by the end of the story I absolutely adored her. I think she’s an incredibly relatable and likeable heroine.

8. Out of the three books – On Dublin Street, Until Fountain Bridge and Down London Road, what were your favourite scenes to write from all of them?

On Dublin Street – my favourite scene to write was a scene at the end when Joss and Braden are clearing up their misunderstandings. After having gone through so much it was such a passionate and heartfelt encounter. I loved writing it. For Until Fountain Bridge I loved the scene when Ellie’s going on her first date and Adam and Braden are overbearing but really funny. And for Down London Road my favourite scene to write was the “kitchen spider” scene. It’s a pivotal moment between Cam and Jo and I loved building their chemistry to sizzling.

9. When I read On Dublin street, I was impartial to Johanna, but when I read Down London Road I became to admire her strength and determination. What made you write a book about Johanna? I know many fans were hoping for a sequel for Joss and Braden.

I love that readers wanted more from Joss and Braden but a sequel from them would have been about throwing angst and drama at them for the sake of plot and I try to make my novels more natural than that. The important element of their story had been told and I really felt I needed to move onto someone else’s story. However, that didn’t mean I wouldn’t keep Joss and Braden around so readers could still catch up with them. Choosing Johanna seemed like the natural next step. When she was introduced in On Dublin Street readers were introduced to her in a way that most people in her life are — completely misunderstanding her. This is partly Jo’s fault of course, but that made her interesting. I loved the idea of taking a character that appeared to be one thing on the outside but was in fact so much more on the inside. The challenge was getting who she really is across to the reader and I hope I definitely did that.

10. Have you thought about who you would like to play each character if your books were made into movies?

I have thought about most of the characters. For Joss – Jennifer Lawrence. For Braden – Chris Hemsworth. For Ellie – Rosamund Pike. For Jo – Alexis Knapp. For Cam- Jamie Dornan. I’m still stuck on Adam. I like James McAvoy for Adam but many of my readers prefer Henry Cavill.

11. Are the streets in your book close together? This is for *street stalkers* such as myself who is planning a trip to Scotland to visit these streets.

The title streets Dublin Street and London Road are about a ten minute walk from one another. However, London Road is a very long road and Johanna lives at the lower end so it’s probably a twenty minute walk.

12. And lastly, is there a deep, dark secret that you would like to share with the rest of us 😉

I may be working on a new project…

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So there you have it! Many thanks to Samantha Young for answering my questions and I hope you all love Down London Road as much as I did. And hands up who is excited for this new project *Hands up*..Hmm  i wonder what it is?!

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4167378Author Bio

Samantha Young is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author from Stirlingshire, Scotland. She’s been nominated for the Goodreads Choice Award for Best Author and Best Romance for her international bestseller ON DUBLIN STREET.

For more info on Samantha’s adult fiction visit http://www.ondublinstreet.com
For info on her young adult fiction visit www.samanthayoungbooks.com