Exclusive Author Guest Post – Mary Castillo

Today I’m excited to share an exclusive guest post written by author Mary Castillo. Thank you to CLP Tours for letting me participate in the blog tour celebrating Mary’s new novel Lost in the Light!

How to Listen to an Audiobook by Mary Castillo

I thought audiobooks were for people who wanted something to keep from getting bored on long road trips.

But then Audible began a TV campaign of commercials featuring a woman ironing while listening to a romance, or a guy vacuuming to a Raymond Chandler-esque noir mystery.

When I signed up for the free trial, I was fully converted. I filled up my Wish List like I didn’t have books to write, a child to raise and a husband to kiss at night. I looked forward to traffic jams so I could get more listening time with my favorite meditation guru, davidji. While my boys battled the Imperial troops in Star Wars Battlefront, I dropped into Deanna Raybourn’s Veronica Speedwell Mystery series. Heck, I even kept up with the laundry so I could follow alongside Eve and Roarke in J.D. Robb’s In Death series!

While I love having a closet full of folded towels, here are other fun ways I recommend enjoying audiobooks:

Coloring – I haven’t tried this myself, but I’ve heard other audiophiles rave about the meditative quality of adult coloring books.

Long walks: I recommend paved, well-lit streets especially if the book is good! Also, look both ways if you must cross the street. On second thought, maybe a tread mill is the safest option.

Knitting or crochet: My favorite activity is to work on simple, repetitive patterns like blankets or simple scarves. Lace work and short rows can get tricky and if you get engrossed in the story, you’ll have some TINK-ing to do. (Knitting spelled backwards means having to undo your work to fix mistakes!)

What do you like to do while listening to your favorite audiobooks?

Here are some other titles I recently enjoyed:

Once Upon a Grind: The Coffeehouse Mysteries, Book 14 by Cleo Coyle

Making Life Easy: A Simple Guide to a Divinely Inspired Life by Dr. Christiane Northrup

A Madness So Discreet by Mindy McGinnis

Named of the Dragon by Susanna Kearsley

Favorite audiobook activities collage from above from top left clockwise: Back Bay Newport Beach trail, my latest knitting project, recent road trip to Carmel where Girl in the Mist (next audiobook title) is set and of course, the beach!

About the Author – Mary Castillo

Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Goodreads | Amazon Author

Author Bio:

Mary Castillo is an Amazon bestselling author and audiobook narrator. She writes chilling paranormal mysteries and sexy, heartwarming romantic comedies, all with compelling characters that keep you turning the pages long past your bedtime! Her debut, Hot Tamara was selected by Cosmopolitan magazine as a Red Hot Read and Latina magazine called Mary “an author to look out for” and selected In Between Men and Names I Call My Sister for the Top 10 Summers Reads in July 2009. Lost in the Light was a finalist in the Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Paranormal Mystery.

Mary grew up in a haunted house in National City, CA. She cries every time she sees the movies, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir and Casablanca, and may have developed a mild addiction to listening to audiobooks while she knits.

Lost in the Light by Mary Castillo

 

Book Blurb: One October morning in 1932, Vicente Sorolla entered the white house on the hill and was never seen again.

Now, Detective Dori Orihuela witnesses his brutal murder in her nightmares.

Drawn to this tough but tender woman, Vicente materializes out of the butler’s pantry and asks her to find his lost love, Anna. Dori wonders if she’s not only about to lose her badge, but also her sanity.

Dori has always been drawn to the mysterious Queen Anne Edwardian house in her hometown. But after a devastating injury that puts her career on the line, Dori isn’t sure if she made the right decision purchasing this rundown old mansion.

Her wisecracking Grammy Cena has waited too long for her independent granddaughter to return home. She hires a a kooky psychic to banish the ghost and a handsome contractor with whom Dori has an unhappy past.

With a promise to Vicente, Dori may solve a forgotten Prohibition era murder. Or she may exhume secrets someone died to protect.

Book Links: Goodreads | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Now Available in Audio (How appropriate, given the theme of Mary’s guest post!)

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Don’t forget to check out the other stops on the blog tour!

March 13 – Rebekah Martin Writes –  Excerpt

March 13 – A Southern Girls Bookshelf – Excerpt

March 14 – A Novel Thought With Jess – Guest Post & Excerpt

March 14 – T’s Stuff – Review & Excerpt
March 14 – Rebekah Martin Writes – Q&A

March 15 – Living Life With Joy – Guest Post

March 15 – Books, Dreams, Life – Excerpt
March 15 – Rebekah Martin Writes – Guest post

March 16 – Leigh Anderson Romance – Guest Post
March 16 – Rebekah Martin Writes – Review

March 17 – Authors and Readers Book Corner – Excerpt

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Exclusive Author Guest Post & Giveaway by Clare Chase

Today I’m excited to participate in a blog tour for author Clare Chase in celebration of her novel A Stranger’s House being published in paperback last week. In keeping with the fact that tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, the author has graciously written a Valentine’s Day themed guest post exclusively for my readers!! Scroll on to learn about her novel and read Clare’s fabulous post.

A Stranger’s House by Clare Chase

a-strangers-house-clare-chasePublished: Hardcover – February 2016, Paperback – February 2017

Publisher: Choc Lit

Book Blurb:

What if you were powerless to protect the person you cared about most?

When Ruby finds out that her partner has done the unforgivable, she has no option but to move out of their home. With nowhere else to go, a job house-sitting in Cambridge seems like the perfect solution.

But it’s soon clear the absent owner hurts everyone he gets close to, and Ruby’s faced with the fallout. As violent repercussions unfold, her instinct is to investigate: it’s a matter of self-preservation. And besides, she’s curious…

But Ruby’s new boss, Nate Bastable, has his eye on her and seems determined to put a stop to her sleuthing. Is he simply worried for the welfare of a member of staff, or is there something altogether more complicated – and potentially dangerous – at play?

Book Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Goodreads

Guest Post written by Clare Chase

Valentine’s Day in Cambridge, UK

Thanks so much for having me on your blog today, Arielle. It’s great to be here.

Although my books all have a romantic thread running through them, they’re mystery fiction and so I often blog about the crime element. Given that, it makes a lovely change to be asked to write a post about Valentine’s Day!

I should say that I’m at the stage where I know who my valentine’s cards and presents come from – despite the fact that my husband and I still sign our messages with a question mark for tradition’s sake. Apparently this habit of sending cards anonymously took off when the price of postage went down with the introduction of the stamp in 1840. Not having to hand deliver cards made it easier for shy, would-be lovers who wanted to hide their identity.

Although there’s certainly something fun about sending and receiving anonymous cards (and I’m not going to turn my nose up at champagne and chocolates either!), I sometimes feel it’s the more unplanned and less deliberately romantic situations that make for the most memorable occasions – especially in a relationship that’s just starting out. In my book A Stranger’s House, a lot of the sexual tension develops over cooking: two people who don’t know each other well, collaborating on making a sumptuous meal, accidentally brushing against each other and catching each other’s eyes. The wine flows freely, and my lead characters start to find out more about each other.  The spark’s there, and it builds.

A Stranger’s House is set in the UK, in the ancient university city of Cambridge and, on Valentine’s Day, there are certain treats you can enjoy that are specific to this location. The river Cam, that flows through the city is scenic, weaving its way between college buildings that date back hundreds of years. Hiring a punt is the accepted way of making the journey. For anyone who hasn’t come across this weird method of transport before, a punt is a long, flat boat that’s square at both ends, and the punter stands on a board at the back, ready to propel the craft with a long pole. What could be more romantic? You can take a bottle of wine and a picnic, if it’s warm enough, or a hip flask of brandy if not!

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But there are a few things to be wary of. The poles are either aluminium or the more traditional (and heavy) wood. If you get a wooden pole, making your way along the river and back again by shoving it against the river bed is quite hard work! What’s more, the base of the river is pretty muddy in places. It’s not uncommon to shove your pole down and find you can’t drag it up again. Meanwhile the board I mentioned that the punter stands on is outside the body of the boat, and it’s slippery if wet! And guess what? Each time you drag your pole out of the river, the board gets covered in water. (Or at least, it does when I do it. I’ve always been hopeless at punting.) If your pole does get stuck, the all-important thing is to let go. It’s hard to look like a romantic idol if your punt moves out from under you and you’re stuck clinging to your pole, sliding inexorably down towards the river! Thankfully, the punt hire people provide you with a (rather weedy) paddle, so if needs be you can eventually rescue your pole. More often than not, some kind person who’s still fully in control of their craft will nip over and get it for you. Other people seem to make the whole process look effortless…

clare chase guest post photo 2

The punt companies know all about the pitfalls, and that’s why – for a hundred pounds or so – you can book a Valentine’s punt tour instead. With these you get to sit back and relax whilst a chauffeur takes strain – at the same time as giving you a running commentary about the colleges you pass on your journey. There are also blankets, hot water bottles and a red rose for your guest. And if you go after dark you even get Chinese lanterns. I can sort of see the appeal. It’s less private, but when it comes down to it, it’s hard to have a cuddle when one of you is in charge of an unwieldy river craft and the other’s clenching their teeth and wondering how hard it would be to swim in their clothes. That said, when I went punting with my husband (then fiancé) on an unseasonably warm February 14th, he did the punting, and I seem to remember it was a solidly good experience.

Whatever you do to celebrate your Valentine’s Day, I do hope you have a wonderful time!

Enter to Win!

Enter for the chance to win an eBook or paperback copy of A Stranger’s House by Clare Chase. To enter simply email info@choc-lit.com with your details and the subject heading Living Life with Joy competition. Good luck!

About the Author – Clare Chase

Links: Website | Twitter | Goodreads

clare-wartnaby-1Author Bio:

Clare Chase writes women sleuth mysteries set in London and Cambridge. She fell in love with the capital as a student, living in the rather cushy surroundings of Hampstead in what was then a campus college of London University.

After graduating in English Literature, she moved to Cambridge and has lived there ever since. She’s fascinated by the city’s contrasts and contradictions, which feed into her writing. She’s worked in diverse settings – from the 800-year-old University to one of the local prisons – and lived everywhere from the house of a Lord to a slug-infested flat. The terrace she now occupies presents a good happy medium.

As well as writing, Clare loves family time, art and architecture, cooking, and of course, reading other people’s books.

She lives with her husband and teenage children, and currently works at the Royal Society of Chemistry.

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Arielle Joy

 

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Thank you to Choc Lit for including me in the blog tour fun!

Guest Post by Julie Archer – The Importance of the Writer’s Retreat

Today I’m excited to tell you about a new novel called Cocktails, Rock Tales & Betrayal by Julie Archer and share a fabulous  exclusive guest post by the author herself! Thank you to Hello Chick-Lit for letting me be part of the book tour fun!

The Importance of the Writer’s Retreat

Guest post written

By author Julie Archer

If you are lucky enough to get the opportunity to go on a writer’s retreat, I have three words for you: JUST DO IT!

I was fortunate enough to stumble across Urban Writers’ Residential Retreats in Devon (prior to moving there – that didn’t influence my decision though!) a couple of years ago. I’ve now been five times (only a few more visits and I will then have stayed in all the rooms in the house!). The house itself is country-style and relaxed, homely and cosy. There are also farm animals and bunnies for company! Plus plenty of lovely views and rolling hills for inspiration.

It’s a beautifully unstructured retreat where you join in as much or as little as you want to. When I researched retreats, I read horror stories about timetabled writing workshops and, even worse, sitting down each evening to read out loud to the group what you have been working on. Those things don’t work for me. This retreat is not about learning how to write, but gives you the opportunity to settle down and focus for an extended length of time. You can escape from your normal day to day routine where you have to put the washing on or sort out the cat’s litter tray.

Put simply, you get quiet time and space to write. Or read. Or take a bath. Or nap. Yes, the afternoon nap is a hugely underrated part of the whole experience. And no-one judges you if you wear pyjamas for the entire day.

And there’s food…oh, the food! Someone cooks you lunch and dinner. And cake. Every day. Which means you can just focus on the writing.

Then there are other writers. Everyone is at a slightly different stage of their writing journey. Some fully formed, fully published authors with deadlines. Several self-published authors with new ideas. Others who are working on non-fiction books. And those who just want to come and explore the creativity they think they have. Being around half a dozen other writers for several days means getting inspiration and support. If you’re having a bad time, you can talk it through. Or have word races to get the creative juices flowing. Or sit around the dinner table and discuss some of the most random topics (most totally unsuitable to put in a post like this!) to get your brain thinking about what you could write.

I’ve made some really good friends through the retreats. And you’ll often find yourself on the same retreat again, even without planning! If you’ve been once, you tend to find yourself boomeranging back again in a few months’ time. Particularly if you’ve got a deadline to meet or something specific you want to write.

While retreat-ing may not work for everyone, it certainly worked for me in getting Cocktails, Rock Tales & Betrayals into the outside world. I’m hoping it will have the same effect for Book 2!

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Cocktails, Rock Tales & Betrayals by author Julie Archer


Book Tour Dates: November 27th – December 6th, 2016

Published: September 29, 2016

cocktails-cover-3d-rgb-1Blurb:

A bar, a band and a Thorne between two roses…

Caro and Nate are perfect for each other. Trouble is, Nate is really Alik Thorne lead singer of the Next Big Thing in rock music and his girlfriend, Edie, isn’t really prepared to share him…

Caro Flynn leaves behind the sultry nights of Mallorca to open her own bar back home. Romance wasn’t high on her list of priorities, but a last minute fling makes her think again…

Edie Spencer-Newman always gets what she wants. But when she sets her sights on something a little too close to home, she’s about to stir up a whole heap of trouble…

When the consequences of a tragic accident cause relationships to crumble, will anyone find a happy ending?

Book Links: Amazon US | AmazonUK | Goodreads

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About the Author – Julie Archer

Author Links: Goodreads  |  Twitter  |  Facebook

julie-archer-author-photo Author Bio:

Julie Archer grew up in Hampshire and lived in Reading before moving to the beautiful riverside town of Dartmouth in Devon. She still feels like she’s on holiday.

Julie trained as a journalist, then went into teaching (kept meeting the sixth form students in the pub, awkward!). After that she ‘fell’ into recruitment, spending more years there than she cares to mention, where the most creative thing she did was to create a sexy top line for job adverts! Since moving to Devon, she set up her own business offering virtual administration and recruitment services, worked for an accommodation company and is currently moonlighting in the local bookshop…

Also, COYS, Cats, Metal. Underneath this preppy exterior beats the heart of a rock chick.

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Visit all the stops on the Tour:

November 27th

Blog on the Run – Promo Post
My Comfy Reading Corner – Book Review
He Said Books or Me – Author Guest Post

November 28th

Steamy Book Momma – Book Excerpt
Judging More Than Just The Cover – Author Q&A

November 29th

Rachel Brimble Romance – Author Q&A
Living Life With Joy – Author Guest Post

November 30th

Book Lover in Florida – Book Excerpt

December 1st

Chick Lit Central – Author Guest Post

December 2nd

Authors & Readers Book Corner – Book Excerpt

December 3rd

Hello…Chick Lit – Book Excerpt

December 4th

Novel Gossip – Book Promo/Excerpt

December 5th

Rae Reads – Book Excerpt

December 6th

Grass Monster – Amazon Book Review

Tour arranged by: HCL Author Services & Book Tours

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Arielle Joy