Posted in books, Fiction

Book Spotlight for “The Other Wife” by Ruchira Khanna


The Other Wife: A Twisted Tale 
Ruchira Khanna


Dimple is at the peak of her career when a devastating event changes her whole life. Amidst legal battles, she finds love and takes a decision that will change her life yet again. But will that decision go well with her parents?

Will, there be a happily-ever-after for Dimple and her beau, or will she need to accept the other wife?
The Other Wife is a twisted tale sure to entertain as well as make you introspect.


“You don’t get it, Dimple. You’ve changed so much that I don’t even know you sometimes,” Rishi said in an agitated voice and turned his back to me.

My tears felt hot and prickly as they touched my cheeks. “Just breathe, Dimple. Just breathe!” I muttered to myself.

I continued contemplating the day’s events and realized that I found my husband and the circumstances were to blame, so I was baffled as to why he condemned me.

Then I tried to play the whole scenario with the old me he had fallen in love with, but I couldn’t find her within. I twisted and turned in the tiny space I had courtesy my better half, who had taken most of the bed.

No such luck!

The back-and-forth search made my tears stop, but the drama continued within. Even though my eyes were shut, my mind was in a turmoil. The scene looked like a Presidential debate where both the candidates—my mind and the circumstances—were speaking simultaneously, not giving my intellect any reason. Amidst the chaos, I didn’t realize when my mind hit the snooze button.



I turned around and, with a frown, greeted the girl back.

“Aren’t you, Dimple?” she said.

“Umm, yes, I am. How do you know me? Who are you?”

“I am Pearl,” she said with a broad smile that showed off her even teeth just like mine. Although hers sparkled like in a toothpaste advertisement.

“Okay, but who are you?” I asked, quite irritated at this rude interruption as if she had just pinched me hard.

“I am Rishi’s wife.” Her manner was cool, the way a cucumber mask gives coolness when peeled off the face.

“Rishi who?” I inquired with a frown, a little confused about where she was leading with this.

“Rishi Malhotra. Yes, you heard it right. I am your Rishi’s wife.”

About the Author

A Biochemist turned writer who gathers inspiration from the society where she writes about issues that stalk the mind of the man via tales of fiction. She projects the mental growth of her characters thus, making her readers tag her work as, “Books that make you ponder!”

She blogs at Abracabadra which has been featured as “Top Blog” for three years. Many of her write-ups have been published on LifeHack, HubPages to name a few.

She can be found at:

Book Link

Posted in books, Fiction

Book Spotlight for “The Path of the Stone” by Christine Duts


A Stone that knows good, and punishes evil

When Eva leaves a party with a stolen jacket, followed by her ex-boyfriend, Darryn, she has no idea what dangerous item is hidden in its pocket.

When her hand closes around it and its heat sears her skin, the ground splits open, whisking her and Darryn away into an underground time tunnel.

Darryn’s brother Daniel, who is the only witness to the strange event, retrieves the Stone, unwittingly unleashing its owner Aeron.

Aeron, a creature of darkness, weakened by the loss of the Stone, is set on killing Daniel and recovering his lost power, but Calliope, a wayward harpy, puts a stop to his plan, snatching Daniel out of his grasp.

While Eva and Darryn land in the year 1708, in a strange village that is run by Zora, an evil witch, Daniel and Calliope remain in the 21st Century, doing their utmost to outrun Aeron and his minions.

Eva and Darryn have no choice but to team up with Azure, queen of the Forest Harpies, and Captain Green who commands a pirate ship and is somehow allied with the harpies.

Azure finds Aeron’s loss of the Stone propitious and takes the opportunity to start a rebellion against him, to achieve the harpies’ freedom of his harsh rule.

Eva has no desire to be stuck in the 18th century with her ex-boyfriend who has betrayed her in the past, but events force them to stick together and she slowly begins to understand her own role in previous events that have kept her and Darryn apart.

When Zora forms a reluctant alliance with the harpies, pirates, and Eva and Darryn, no one knows who to trust anymore in their quest to find the Stone.

Still stuck in the 21st Century, Calliope takes it upon herself to protect Daniel, whom she considers a weak human, but in the short time they spend together a strong bond grows between them.

Two parallel stories, two different worlds, even two different centuries, both with a common purpose: find the Stone before Aeron does.

Well, as long as Zora doesn’t betray them.

Given Zora’s history with Aeron, how much can they truly trust her?

About the Author

Christine has been writing stories all her life, ever since she learned how to write at the age of six. She cannot imagine her life without writing. It is part of her, it is who she is. She will never stop writing.

She lives in the southern part of the Baja California peninsula in Mexico. It is a wonderful, inspiring place with incredible landscapes and breathtaking sunsets. When she is not writing books, she works on her websites, writes articles, takes care of her dogs and cats, looks after her plants and trees, and enjoys her land.

Christine is a world history teacher in junior high school. She loves teaching and she loves her students, but her goal is to live off her writing and finish building an animal shelter/sanctuary for rescued dogs, cats, and in the future, for other animals too.

Get your copy of The Path of the Stone here:

Posted in books, Fiction, Kindle

Spotlight on “A Moment in Time” by J. G. MacLeod


He’s an ex-con; she’s his teacher. Will their secret pasts destroy them, or be the key to their redemption?

Lily Macarthur teaches psychology at an adult ed. school by day, and runs from her past every chance she gets. When she attends course registration the last week of summer break, she never imagines she’ll meet a student with a past as mysterious as her own.

Chad Anderson is instantly attracted to Lily, but he’s been in prison for so long he knows better than to expect such an intelligent woman to fall for a guy like him. He takes a risk and signs up for her class, hoping to get to know her better, and to start over.

A chance encounter one fall night throws the unlikely pair together for survival, friendship, and perhaps something more. But forces beyond their control threaten to destroy more than just their reputations. In a world full of bystanders, will someone take a stand against evil?

Everything can change in A Moment in Time.

Based on a true beginning, this romantic-suspense novel contains a psychological twist that will leave you questioning everything. Recommended for 18+ for some steamy scenes and strong language.



I sit in the farthest parking space from the back entrance to the school, the driver’s door open, taking one last drag on my cigarette. I’m a closet smoker: amateurish, really. I try to convince myself that I use nicotine the way a diabetic uses insulin, but the necessity of my addiction is debatable. I actually rarely smoke at all, but today is the first day of registration for classes and my nerves are on edge. He’s come for me here before, and my hands shake as I drop the cigarette onto the ground and twist it into the pavement with the toe of my black heels. I sigh deeply and check my lipstick in the overhead mirror before grabbing my purse and slamming the door of my dilapidated Civic. I pause momentarily so I can scan the parking lot for signs of him. I never enter the school by the same entrance twice in a row. The safety specialist who worked with me after the last incident recommended I ask a friend to escort me inside but, on a day as busy as this one, I feel too guilty. I hurry towards the door located at the bottom of a sloping hill of crumbling asphalt and weeds. It’s cooler inside, but I can’t let my guard down; even the inside of my place of work isn’t safe.

              I hurry down the narrow hallway, deserted until school resumes in a week. At the end, I emerge at another hallway that continues to my left and right; instead, I take the staircase directly across from me. One flight of stairs and I turn to my left, my heels click-clacking along the linoleum tiles. The school was built in the 60s, but reverted to an adult-ed. centre in the late 80s. I’ve taught here for three years. I love teaching, but many days he made it almost impossible to concentrate, or feel the joy of my students’ successes. After four, unhappy years of marriage, I finally left him last year. I hadn’t been delusional enough to think that moving into a shitty rental a few blocks from work would deter his advances; if anything, he had become more persistent – more deliberate in his obsessions. At first, he was enraged at how I had left him: leaving work in the middle of my shift to race home, pack a bag of essentials, and get the hell out. That was when he filled my cell with hang ups and showed up at work while I helped new students register for their courses. One year ago to the day and he still hasn’t discovered where I’m living – that I know of. 

            As I approach the gym where registration takes place, my heart beats faster. It’s crowded at the end of the hallway where a long line of students snakes all the way down another staircase to the front doors. Registration begins at nine sharp and, when I step inside the gym, I see it’s already ten minutes to the hour on the clock above the reg. tables that flank the far wall. I glance at the row of students as I walk past, trying to discern his hostile hazel eyes in the crowd. No sign of him – yet. I paste a smile on my face. 

            “Hey,” I say to my colleagues as I reach the tables. 

Tiffany nods coolly at me and continues to shuffle the papers she’s organizing in front of her. Renee, on the other hand, almost tips her chair over in her excitement to see me. She wraps me in a warm hug and smiles. “So glad you could help, too!” she exclaims.

I laugh. “I need the money,” I tell her, “but it’s always an adventure, isn’t it?”

Always,” Renee replies with a chuckle, “should we take bets on who the strangest student will be this year?”

Our third colleague, Emerson, smiles across the tables at us. He’s a fifty-something department head who never seems to leave work. “As long as we don’t have anything as bad as last year, I’ll be a happy man,” he states. He looks meaningfully at me and I feel a lump form in my throat.

Renee breaks the tension by whispering, “maybe you’ll meet a doctor from Columbia who’ll pledge his undying love to you by the end of term.”

I swat her arm playfully and glance at the clock as we make our way around the tables to the empty seats at the end. “Unlikely,” I reply. Just two minutes until the principal will unleash the horde and we’ll become soldiers trying to defend our positions as if we’re at Juno. Sometimes, the new registers don’t understand the concept of personal space; instead of waiting their turn on the opposite side of the tables, they walk behind us to try to finish quicker. 

The minute hand hits twelve and the principal motions to the first ten students to enter the gym. Here we go…

Buy the book here:

Posted in books, writers

Spotlight for “Educating Thalia” by Cass Michaels & Gisela Grey


If anyone discovered her secret, sassy Puerto Rican grad student Thalia Bareo could kiss her scholarships, opportunities, and any future career hopes goodbye. She’d be forced back home, stuck working at her father’s auto shop… the very place she’s worked so hard to leave behind.

Thalia values her independence and has never needed a man to make her life complete. She’s on the fast track to becoming one of the top minds in her field, her passion for museum curation and her desire to travel the world the driving force behind all of her decision making. But fate throws a wrench in her plans when Thalia’s path crosses with two men who each stake a claim on her heart – two men who just happen to be professors at her university. Rivals at the posh New England school she attends, and neither having any idea they’ve taken an interest in the same plus-sized beauty, these men couldn’t be more different from one another. Yet both desire Thalia’s voluptuous body, as well as her intellectual mind, and offer her very different glimpses into futures she’s never considered. With each of them, she discovers a hidden side of herself and must make an impossible choice now that her eyes have been opened.

Is it just about the thrill of her ‘education’ or will this forbidden love change Thalia forever?

Author’s Note

This is a full-length novel with lots of steamy romance, a HFN (Happy For Now) with a plus-size heroine. There will be a sequel to this book, concluding the tale of Thalia and her men. This book is NOT a threesome romance, though it contains sexual content and language. This book includes discussions of fat-shaming the main character experienced in her life. In later chapters of the book, there is a description of a thwarted sexual attack on a female character. Out of concern for our readers, a detailed content warning can be found at on the book page for Educating Thalia.


Rob swallows, but he can barely keep it together.
“Why are you wearing this?” he barks, gesturing harshly towards her skimpy plaid skirt and the rest of her ball-busting outfit.
Thalia opens her eyes wide, long lashes fluttering.
“Um, why do I wear clothes? Would you rather I came to class naked?”
Despite his emotional state, he can’t help chuckle at that, and her answering grin is way too sexy.
“Naked is always better.” He leans forward, long fingers rubbing his jaw. “In fact, if I could have a say in things, I’d lock you up in a luxury suite and have you spend a whole day parading around in front of me in your birthday suit. Now that would be a sight to behold, don’t you think, darling?”
A flush creeps up her neck, and Thalia sucks in a breath.
Pleased that he’s slowly getting the upper hand again, Rob leans back in his chair and crosses his arms. He has ditched the jacket, wearing only a ratty grey V-neck T-shirt, and he sees her gaze admire the way it stretches across his biceps.
He hasn’t told her to sit down, and he isn’t planning to do so any time soon.
“You know what I mean,” he admonished. “Why the hell did you choose this outfit and let all those wankers ogle you? Didn’t I make myself clear that you’re mine?”
His voice drops into a lower register at the last word, practically growling ‘mine’ because she makes him feel so possessive.
He notices the effect those words have on her, but her defiant expression slips only momentarily. She steps closer and plants her hands on the desk, giving him a view of her cleavage that has him choke back a groan.
“I don’t belong to anyone, Rob. Not in that way.”

About the Authors

About Cass Michaels

A displaced Southern Belle growing up in the Midwest, Cass Michaels always was an avid reader. At a young age, she was caught more than once sneaking off with her mother’s steamy romance novels and gossip tabloids, quickly developing a taste for the rich and famous lifestyles. She was often heard to say after reading a story, “I could write that!”

So one day, she did.

Taking her love of Hollywood glamour and movie star gossip, she slowly built her way up as a popular blogger, sharing short stories and reaching over 18,000 readers under a nom de plume. Like the characters in her stories, she prefers to keep a low profile and wishes to maintain her secret identity.

With the strong support of a group of writers and readers Cass lovingly calls her ‘girls,’ she began writing her first novel, and has several works ready to complete.

Most days she can be found on her couch, her cat cuddled at her side, while she works on her signature theme – sassy, independent women looking for men who need rescuing. Her talent as a writer shines brightest when she takes an everyday situation and adds humor and sex appeal to something as simple as a haircut or baking brownies.

To find out more, check out the following links:

About Gisela Grey

Gisela Grey is a Woman of Color Author who has always believed that love comes in all shapes, colors, and sizes. She’s proud of the odd extra pound or two she carries because that means there’s more of her to love. And that is exactly what compelled her to write steamy contemporary and paranormal romance novels with women who are big and beautiful, like her – and, of course, her love for books with happy endings and sexy heroes who make life a little more exciting. When she’s not writing or plotting, Gisela is swooning over Loki, werewolves, and vampires. She loves chocolate, pizza, learning languages, and men who know how to treat women.

You can connect with Gisela through her website, Facebook or Twitter. If you want to win your way into her heart, remember to send her virtual chocolate. A picture of a handsome hunk won’t hurt either because she’s always on the lookout for inspiration and might just write him into her next novel.


Buy the book here:

Posted in books, writers, Writing

Book Spotlight for “The Worm and the Fledgling” by G. Lawrence


May 1529, London

Jane Seymour has risen to become a lady in waiting to Queen Katherine, wife of King Henry VIII, but Jane has joined the household of the true Queen at a time most dangerous, as the King seeks to end his marriage to Katherine, and take Anne Boleyn as his Queen.

Through years of struggle, Jane will watch as the England she knows, and the faith she honours are torn apart by the King’s wish to take a new wife, and to break from the power of Rome. Devoted to her beloved mistress, Queen Katherine, Jane makes an oath to do all she can, to save England and its King. Little does Jane Seymour know that one day she will be in a position to fulfil her vow, becoming part of one of the most notorious events of English history; the fall of Queen Anne Boleyn.

The Worm and The Fledgling is Book Two of The Phoenix Trilogy, Story of Jane Seymour, by G. Lawrence

About the Author

G. Lawrence is an independently published author and proud to be so. Living in a little cottage in Wales in the UK, the author loves where she lives as much as she loves to write.

The age of the Tudors has been an obsession for the author since childhood and many of the upcoming books will center on that time. The author has also penned the odd dystopian fiction or historical fiction from other time periods. All titles will be released on Amazon, for kindle and then hopefully for print later.

G. Lawrence studied Literature (with a capital L) at University and usually has twenty or more books in her current reads list. Reading and writing are about mood for the author and she hasn’t found a genre without something to enjoy so far.

Get your copy of the book here:

Posted in books, Fiction

Spotlight for “Shelly: A Promise is Forever” by Adite Banerjie

This short story by Adite Banerjie revolves around two brothers. When a reluctant Anand Khalap agrees to meet his estranged brother Raj, he has no idea that he will finally uncover the mystery of the death of his beloved Shelly. Will it bring them the closure they need?

Intense and emotional, it is a little dark, a little sinister. You can buy it from, AmazonIN, Amazon UK and Amazon Australia. Or read it free on Kindle Unlimited.

About Adite Banerjie

Adite Banerjie discovered the wonderful world of books at an early age which sparked her interest in writing. After a fulfilling and exciting career as a business journalist she turned her attention to fiction.

Three of her romance novels have been published by Harlequin/Harper Collins India. In 2018 she embarked on her indie journey as an author-publisher.

She also writes screenplays. 7 Lives, a short film she wrote on organ donation is currently streaming on Amazon Prime (US, UK). In 2017, one of her scripts made it to the semi-finals of the prestigious Academy Nicholl Fellowships.

To know more about Adite and her books, check out her website or visit her page on

Posted in books, Fiction, Kindle, Writing

Book Spotlight for “Dazzled by Mr Suave (Love @ Second Sight Book 4)” by Dee James


A Slow Burn, Political Romance

After a chance meeting at a wedding, Rahul Rai – the country’s darling and the hot, economic genius – is intrigued by the feisty and adorably awkward Zoya Deol. Zoya is light to his dark, a scintillating presence in his somber life; but she is too young and too pure for him! Burned once in love, will Rahul be able to open his heart again and give them a chance?

Zoya Deol is a modern day princess, loved by the people for her stunning looks and her quirky captions. A social media sensation, this celebrity vlogger didn’t see love coming in the form of the yummy-looking politician. When the uber-charming, experienced Rahul breaks several rules and her self control with his kisses, she knows there is no looking back. Will Zoya be able to fight the obstacles on her path to love?

Fourth in the Love @ Second Sight series, this is the last part. Each of the books in this series can also be read as a standalone book.

About the Author

Dee James writes sweet, dreamy, romantic stories. A software professional by day, she wears her secret romance cape after work hours. Dee loves to write about quirky, independent women and sinful-looking alpha men who find their own happily ever after. Her books feature a heavy dose of humor, drama, and love, of course! Apart from devouring all things romance, Dee loves to read, blog, sing, and cook. Besides insta-love, pink lipsticks, and kohls, the one thing that she can’t do without is coffee!

Get your copy here:

Posted in blog, books, writers, Writing

Meet the Author: Michelle Betham

I have Michelle Betham with me today. She is both traditionally and self-published and writes all kinds of romance. Here’s more about her.

Sue: So tell us how you became an author?

Michelle: I’ve been making up stories ever since I could pick up a pencil. I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t writing, or reading, and it was always my dream to become an author. I suppose you could say I just kept going, kept my dream alive, and kept writing, because I was determined to get there in the end.

Sue: You write romance with a ‘kick’. Tell us more about the kind of stories you write.

Michelle: I’ve written a lot of books – over thirty now – in a LOT of different (romance) genres. But when I say I write romance with a kick, it just means I like to write romance with a bit of an edge. In the past, I’ve written everything from a sweet Christmas love story to lighthearted comedy romances, but my favourite kind of romance is the darker kind, involving edgy, flawed, but ultimately strong characters who meet – and sometimes become involved in – quite dangerous situations. I love writing gritty MC (motorcycle club) romances, or super-hot rock star romances, I like to put my characters through a lot, no-one gets an easy ride in my books! But at the heart of everything I write there’s always a love story. My aim as an author is to take people to a different world, one they would never dream of living in in reality. I’m all about escapism, and maybe giving people something a little different to read.

Sue: Do you follow any writing rituals?

Michelle: No, I don’t. I’m very much one of those writers who thinks up a story and then just writes it. I don’t really plan anything, to be honest. I have a white board in the office, where I scribble down notes and brief plot outlines, and I also have a notebook on my desk that’s constantly open, ready for me to write down flashes of inspiration or plot changes that come to me when I least expect it, but apart from that I just write as I go. I always find things change as I progress through the story anyway, as characters develop and situations change. So, yeah, I don’t really have any rituals. Having said that, every book I write has its own special playlist, and that’s really important to me, because music is one of my biggest inspirations. I have to listen to music when I write, I can’t write in silence. So I suppose you could call that a ritual.

Sue: Why did you choose to be a hybrid author (both self published and trad published)?

Michelle: In the beginning, I just wanted to get my books out there, so that’s why I turned to self-publishing first. I just wanted to write, wanted to publish my books, and having a husband who is incredibly good at doing all the technical stuff involved in self-publishing meant I could do that quite easily. But there was always a part of me that still wanted to be published “traditionally”. Which happened, eventually, when I won a competition organised by Harper Collins back in November 2013 with my Christmas novella The First Christmas Without You. I’ve subsequently had six books published through One More Chapter, a division of Harper Collins, including a psychological thriller/romantic suspense – The Wife – under the pen name ML Roberts. But, in all honesty, I wasn’t entirely happy being a traditionally published author, for a number of reasons. A lot of writers think you can’t call yourself a series author unless you’ve had a book published that way, but I don’t agree with that. There are some incredible independent authors out there, and for me I’m so much happier as an indie author. When all is said and done, I write because I love it. I just want to tell stories, but I want to tell MY stories, and I like the freedom being an indie author gives you. It’s incredibly hard work, pays very little, and of course you have to be able to do all the technical stuff yourself, or have the means to pay someone to do it for you, but I wouldn’t go back to “trad” publishing now. Self-publishing is where I started, and it’s where I’m happiest. Being a “trad” published author isn’t the be all and end all, believe me. Take it from someone who’s been there, and done that.

Sue: Time for a quick fire round.

Your favourite fictional hero/heroine…

Michelle: Lucky Santangelo. I’m a HUGE Jackie Collins fan, and Lucky is one hell of a character! Strong, feisty, speaks her mind, I just love her!

Sue: Your favourite genre to read…

Michelle: Romance. But I do like a bit of horror now and again, especially James Herbert’s books.

Sue: Your current read…

Michelle: No Way Back by Kelly Florentia

Sue: Tea or coffee?

Michelle: Tea. Always tea!

Sue: E-book or paperback or audio book?

Michelle: As much as I’ve always loved paperbacks in the past, I mainly read e-books now. I’d be lost without my Kindle!

Sue: What do you do when you’re not writing?

Michelle: I read, a lot. I also like to cook, I’m a big music fan, and I love to sit down in front of Netflix or Amazon Prime and binge a decent box-set. It’s actually where I get a lot of my inspiration from.

Sue: What can your readers expect from you next?

Michelle: I’m working on a sequel to my latest release, Beautiful Dangerous, called Devil You Know, and it’ll be book #2 in the Cartel Queens Series. It’s a very dark, romantic suspense, following on from events in the first book, and it revolves around a female-led Mexican/American cartel and a motorcycle club, and it’ll be revisiting characters from book #1, and introducing a few new ones. It’s the kind of book I just adore writing, because I get to create some incredibly strong but exceptionally damaged characters – both male and female – and send them on a journey they’ll never forget.

Sue: Good luck and thank you for joining us!

Get your copy of Michelle’s latest book here:

Posted in Fiction, writers, Writing

Meet the Author: Audrey Davis

Hi everyone. I have Audrey Davis with me today. She writes romantic comedy with a dark edge, and she loves people and Edinburgh. Here’s my chat with her.

Sue: So how did you become an author?

Audrey: I trained as a journalist in Edinburgh many years ago, and worked primarily for provincial newspapers and a London-based video magazine. So, I’ve been writing all my adult life, but it wasn’t till 2016 that I dipped my toe into writing fiction. I signed up for a free online course, and from there the bare bones of my first romantic comedy novel took shape. I published A Clean Sweep in June 2017 with very little idea of what I was doing!

Sue: Tell us about your latest book and what inspired it.

Audrey: As a family, we moved to Switzerland in 2002. I didn’t find the transition easy and struggled with the language (French), driving on the ‘wrong’ side of the road, and many small cultural differences that made me either laugh or cry. My own experiences and observations formed the basis of Lost In Translation, which was published on January 11 2021 – TODAY! I hasten to add it is a work of fiction!

Sue: I understand that your books combine elements from various genre like humour, supernatural and so on. Tell us more about your writing style.

Audrey: My debut novel was firmly rooted in reality, but I quickly found that writing comedy suited me better than straightforward romance. My second — The Haunting of Hattie Hastings — took a very different direction and I still can’t pinpoint where the idea came from. I wrote the first chapter imagining a woman coming to terms with the unexpected loss of her husband, and her disbelief when he refuses to take death lying down. My third — A Wish For Jinnie — focuses on the unorthodox relationship between a young woman and a genie with a difference, which gave me free rein to run wild with wacky wishes and bizarre situations. My latest returns to everyday life (no ghosts or genies) but examines the impact of relocating to a foreign country and the main character’s struggles both with adapting to a new environment and dealing with doubts about her marriage.

Sue: Do you follow any writing rituals?

Audrey: None whatsoever. I write when inspiration strikes, and might churn out anything from a couple of hundred words to 1K+. I have no set schedule and would describe myself as hopeless at plotting (although I’m working on it). My favourite writing spot is at the kitchen table, chiefly because my office resembles an explosion in a stationery factory. Another job to add to my ever-growing ‘to do’ list is to create order out of chaos.

Sue: What do you do when you’re not writing?

Audrey: I used to read tons of books, but my reading mojo took a break during the ongoing pandemic. I’ve been unable to finish several books, not because they’re bad, I just find it hard to concentrate. I enjoy cooking (and eating), and Netflix provides a welcome distraction from the relentlessly depressing world news. I normally frequent the gym, albeit reluctantly at times, but that too is on hold during lockdown.

Sue: Time for a quick fire round.

Your current read…

Audrey: Did My Love Life Shrink in the Wash? by Kristen Bailey.

Sue: Your favourite fictional hero/heroine…

Audrey: A tough one, but I adored Bridget Jones for her mix of vulnerability and feistiness.

Sue: Your favourite movies…

Audrey: Ooh, The Shawshank Redemption, When Harry Met Sally and Train to Busan (a Korean zombie movie) spring to mind. You can’t say I don’t have diverse tastes!

Sue: Tea or coffee?

Audrey: Coffee all the way. Usually instant out of a jar, although I do have a nice Nespresso machine when I’m feeling posh.

Sue: eBook or audio book or paperback?

Audrey: Generally eBooks read on my iPad, although I still love a nice paperback and will often revisit old favourites.

Sue: What can your readers expect from you next?

Audrey: I was stunned but delighted when several people commented in reviews that they’d love to read a follow-up to A Wish For Jinnie. I’d always considered it a standalone book but — on reflection — I realised there was a lot of potential to explore some of the characters further and introduce new ones. I’m now working on a sequel with the intention of making it a romcom trilogy set in the fictional Scottish village of Cranley. Ideally I’d like to publish the next two this year but I’ll need to stop faffing around on social media to make that happen!

Sue: Good luck!

Get your copy of Audrey’s new release here:

Posted in books, Fiction, writers, Writing

Meet the Author: Judy Leigh

Happy New Year! I’m starting off 2021 with an interview with one of my favourite authors – Judy Leigh. Her books are fun and full of warmth, laughter and entertainment. Here’s more about her.

Sue: From teaching and writing plays to writing novels. How did that journey happen?

Judy: I taught acting and I always wrote for my students in a variety of genres – scripts, dialogues, songs, monologues, poems. I’d always wanted to be a writer. So, when my kids left home for University, it was my chance to jump. I enrolled in a masters in professional writing and that led me to start my first novel, A Grand Old Time. After that, the way forward was very clear.

Sue: Tell us about your latest book and what inspired it.

Judy: My latest novel, Heading over the Hill, is about Billy and Dawnie, a couple in their seventies who are looking for a new home, a new life for just the two of them. They are unconventional, Billy with his Harley Davidson and Dawnie with her wigs and wild fashions and, at first, it seems like they won’t fit in. The neighbours are an interesting bunch too, with their own issues to resolve, and the novel is about friendship, community and love. It was inspired by being in lockdown in two ways: family and friends and our community are so important, now more than ever, and we’ve been missing being with those closest to us; also, location and travel are important: I wanted to take the reader to visit beautiful places such as the seaside and the coast.

Sue: What are the challenges of writing older central characters? And what’s the best part about it?

Judy: I try very hard not to make older characters stereotypes: the wise old grandparent who gives advice and stays in the background, the wicked witch who delights in others’ troubles. I want to make my characters real people who have the potential to love, to change, to fulfil their heart’s desires and also they are warm, funny, comapssionate, and they reach out to others. They can be glamorous, roamntic, strong and they have a present and a future to live and to look forward to. I know so many inspirational older people who, at seventy and eighty, still dig allotments, plan long holidays, go jogging and take off on wild adventures. I think of what my own parents would love to have done.
The best part is when so many people message me and say how pleased they are that older people have been represented in a novel and how they have the chance to have fun. Some people have even been inspired to embark on new adventures of their own, which is realy exciting. I’m so happy that my books make people smile and that the characters are enjoyable: as one reader kindly put it, ‘they are like friends.’

Sue: Do you follow any writing rituals?

Judy: Yep. I go to the gym every morning then start to write at eleven o’clock. I work until around six o’clock. I can usually write around three thousand words in a day and I like to go back and edit what I’ve written as I go, so I have a sense of direction and continuity. I go for long walks in the woods and on the beach to think, to find ideas and solutions. I’m so incredibly lucky to live in a place where I can do that.

Sue: What do you do when you’re not writing?

Judy: I like to walk, to travel in my camper van, to be with friends and family. I like to travel to new places and explore new cultures and languages, and meet people. I enjoy live music and theatre (I’m so looking forward to a time when we can do that again.) I love a party! I adore my three cats, TC, Murphy and Colin: they are strong characters and they bring peace to the end of my busy day.

Sue: Time for a quick fire round.

Your current read…

Judy: I’m reading Love by Roddy Doyle. He’s an inspiration – his dialogue is brilliant.

Sue: Your favourite fictional hero/heroine…

Judy: Probably Cathy and Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights. I like the wild, moody, passionate characters. I also love Alex in Everything is Illuminated. He is so funny.

Sue: Your favourite movies…

Judy: Everything is Illuminated. In Bruges. Inglorious Bastards.The Birdcage. Jean de Florette. Stuart: a Life Backwards. Parasite. All Marx Brothers movies. There are so many more.

Sue: Tea or coffee?

Judy: Green tea every day. Coffee with Sunday breakfast.

Sue: Ebook or audio book or paperback?

Judy: All of them. Ebook for light fun novels that I can read anywhere. Paperback for books I want to hold and treasure. Audio for when I’m travelling – I ‘m always very thrilled when I hear a voice bring characters to life.

Sue: What can your readers expect from you next?

Judy: My next book, Chasing the Sun, is out in April. It’s about Molly who, on her 70th birthday, feels that she is treading water in her life and longs for change. When her sister’s marriage collapses, they both jet off to Spain for some fun. Molly is happy for a while but yearns for change again and rushes off to Mexico, searching for something she can’t identify that will bring her happiness. Written in lockdown, I wanted to take my readers on a journey that included romance and the opportunity to visit wonderful countries and culture, and to accompany a character who is spontaneous, funny and has the spirit of adventure. I have written another two already, one is a journey, a spontaneous holiday to Europe, the other is set in Scotland by Loch Ness.

Thanks for these wonderful questions. I thoroughly enjoyed answering them. Wishing you and all readers peace, happiness and health in the New Year.

Sue: Thank you for your time!

Get your copy of Judy’s latest book here