Blog Tour: An Interview with Joan Ellis, Author of I Am Ella, Buy Me

Welcome to my stop on the Joan Ellis ‘I Am Ella, Buy Me’ blog tour! I have a wonderful interview for you with this fantastic author and I am extremely excited to share it with you.

 

i am ella buy meTitle: I Am Ella, Buy Me
Author: Joan Ellis
Publish/Release Date: 2oth July 2014
Genre: Fiction – Humour
Purchase Links: Amazon UK / Amazon US

 

About the book:

Based on Joan’s own experiences in top London advertising agencies, this funny, fast-paced tale is set against a backdrop of Thatcher’s Britain where money trumped morals and lust was a must. ‘I am a ginger tom. I am a boy racer. I am a housewife. I am a pain in the arse.’ Working in Soho’s mad, bad Adland in the sexist 80s, Ella David is a rare beast – a woman in a man’s world. When her lothario boss, Peter Richards, bored with his ball-clicker, demands something or someone new to play with, Ella finds herself battling more than just fat thighs. Faced with losing her job or sleeping with him, Ella turns to her friend, Adam Hart the one constant bright spot in her life. Can love help her go from a girl in the firing line to a woman calling the shots?

 

An interview with author Joan Ellis:

Hi Joan welcome to the blog – thank you so much for taking the time to answer a few questions for me! Just to warn you though, this is my first author interview so please be kind!

Hello, no worries, it’s my first time too! I’ve had a sneaky peak at your questions – they’re great!

 

Let’s start off on the right foot. Thanks to Ella and Adam, reading your book made me think constantly of cake… What’ll you be having? And can I offer a cup of tea, coffee or other to go with it?

Home-made chocolate cake, New York cheesecake, Christmas cake, coffee and walnut, lemon drizzle, raspberry Pavlova, Yule log, almond croissant. The richer the better. And a cup of black Earl Grey, please. On second thoughts, better make that a pot. Thanks!

 

Now we’re comfortable, could you please introduce yourself a little – any likes, dislikes and hobbies you can tell us about?

Can’t get enough of:

Love and laughter with family and friends.

London (especially my beloved Crouch End), the Isle of Wight for taking me to its heart and Capri for the best gelato in the world.

The sea – the one place where I don’t have a care in the world. I saw a sea-horse once. Not going to lie – I thought it would be the size of, well, a horse.

My thatched cottage – like living in a tea-room but with less people and more cakes.

My cat, Baby Ragger – born to be cute. Cheers me up when I’m down.

Could certainly live without:

Injustice

Illness

Dishonesty

Tofu

 

One guide to writing says “Write what you know” – is this what you have done in ‘I Am Ella, Buy Me’?

Yes, up to a point. Like Ella, I was a woman in a man’s world, an award-winning copywriter in top London advertising agencies with a penchant for bad boys and big hair. Well, it was the 80s.

Some sleaze did actually say to me: ‘I’ve never had you, have I?’  Wrong on so many levels but the perfect quote for Peter!

Obviously, ‘I am Ella. Buy me’ is a novel; what happens never happened in real life but it’s fun to think some of it might have. I’m just relieved Peter isn’t out there somewhere, stalking the corridors of power, causing havoc!

 

‘I Am Ella, Buy Me’ has some fantastic characters (Wally and Adam) and some not so good ones. I am of course talking about the sleaze-ball (Peter) and villainous weasel (Tom) – are any of these based on people you have come across before?

Wally is based on my darling Dad, the funniest man I ever met. Adam is a great friend of mine who has seen me through the best and worst of times. Kind, witty and most importantly, knows there’s nothing a slab of cake can’t solve.

Tom and Peter are pure fiction, each created using a mishmash of unsavoury characteristics. I love a good villain. Every book needs at least one to add colour to the black and white pages.

 

Do you have any plans in the pipeline for a next book?

I have just launched my first psychological thriller, The Killing of Mummy’s Boy. People ask why I didn’t move when I found myself sitting next to a murderer on a train. In the hour I was trapped with him, I was terrified, horrified and sickened but never bored. What better start to a novel?

My third book Guilt is out soon. Seven-year-old Susan is alone with her younger brother when he dies of an overdose. The guilt informs the rest of her life. When it threatens to destroy not only her but also her family, she must revisit her past to discover the truth.

If you want to give someone a fright this Christmas, these are the gifts that keeps on giving!

 

For fun, if you were stuck on a desert island and you could take only 3 items with you, what would they be and why?

Something to write on – I could invent a host of characters to keep me company. One might even be smart enough to help me escape!

A massive photo album going back years – I’d relive all the happy times spent with my daughter, my husband and the rest of my family and friends.

Red lipstick – no-one would see me wearing it but it would make me feel more glam.

 

Finally for the most important question. In a cream tea, do you put the jam or cream on first?

Love it! Always the cream on first but I’m a Londoner, what do I know?

Thank you. It’s been fun and thought provoking.

 

And thank you Joan – you’ve given us some amazing answers!

 

A bit about the author:

joan ellis

 Joan Ellis

Advertising copywriter, comedy writer, performer, lecturer – Joan Ellis has been them all. With a full-time job in a top London advertising agency and a new baby, she did what any right-minded woman would’ve done and set up a comedy club. She even appeared on the same bill as Jo Brand. Once.

A career highlight was casting a black and white moggie as Humphrey Bogart for her award-winning cat food commercial. Other great performers who brought her words to life include Penelope Keith and Harry Enfield.

As a lecturer, Joan taught comedian Noel Fielding all he knows about advertising before encouraging him to showcase his creative talents on a wider stage.

Working for The Press Association, she tutored Wordsworth’s great-grandson in the art of copywriting: Buy a host of golden daffodils and get a blue one, free!

Suffering from swine flu and sweating like a pig, she moved from London to the Isle of Wight where she lives on cream teas with her beloved husband, daughter and two cats.

Twitter // Website

Want to check out previous and upcoming stops on the ‘I Am Ella, Buy Me’ Blog Tour? Take a look at the tour poster below!

buy-me-i-am-ella-blog-tour-poster-212x300

This blog was brought to you by JennyBee’s Book Blog in concert with Girls Love To Read Blog Tours

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Review: Finding Her Way Back by Heather Van Fleet & Giveaway Link

Welcome one and all to my stop on the Finding Her Way Back Blog Tour. Before we start with the review, do we all have refreshments to hand? Good!

Source: Author / YA Bound – Blog Tour CommanderFinding Her Way Back
Format: E-book – Read on Kindle
Publish date: 7th October 2014 by Swoon Romance
Price: N/A
Date Read: 6th October 2014
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance

Note: I received this review copy of Finding Her Way Back for free from the blog tour commander in return for an honest review. The opinions and thoughts I share in this review are my own.

Please be aware that this book contains language and situations that are adult in nature.

 

Finding Her Way Back (FHWB) is the first novel by Heather Van Fleet I have read but not the first which Heather has written. In the past she has written books for two other series; Perfect Timing (When It’s Least Expected & A Long Time Coming) and Predetermined (Resisting Fate & Seizing Fate). If FHWB is anything to go by, I have high hopes for the others.

Coming home from her first 9 months of college to help she-devil older sister Anna plan and prepare for her wedding, 19 year old Callie is unprepared to come into contact with her former-skater-boy and ex-best friend turned muscular sex-god Ky. The booty-licious chubby-sexy Callie though is constantly thrown into contact with Ky and a friendship once more develops. With so much history between the two though and family tragedy and secrets aplenty, can the two of them stick together and move their swiftly blooming relationship on or will Callie’s hesitance and fears pull them apart?

I guess like me you’ll have to read it to find out. It’ll be well worth your while.

In perfect honesty this review is terribly hard to write – I’m still (almost a week later) trying to recover from the book hangover it’s left me with. I blame you, Heather!

Basically this book is fantastic – it is hard to read and no doubt like me you will start shouting at the characters (I do apologise to anyone standing outside that open window who wondered what the heck was going on when I shouted out ‘Dammit Callie, not again!’ for the tenth time). This book made me laugh, it made me cry and practically everything in between. It isn’t a sunshine sparkles and rainbows book; it’s real life. It’s hard and grim at times but this book contains so much sweetness and friendship and love and a tonne of hilarious moments you end up giggling your way through the book – outright guffawing at times. Some lines are so sweet and amazing though, they stay with you.

Licking his lips, eyes glazing over completely, Ky leaned in so close that our noses were pressed flush now. “Because, Calla Lily Bennet, I. Am. Yours. I’ve been yours for years. And I won’t stop being yours. Ever.”

Ky, Finding Her Way Back by Heather Van Fleet

I completely love Heather’s way of writing and talking about her characters. You can see that this book is her baby and she is so in love with it and her characters. From the main characters of Callie with her attitude and Ky with his respect and love for Callie, right down to Brent, Tracey and everyone else, they are all so detailed. The writing draws you in and doesn’t let you go. The characters keep you there and their situations, attitudes and stories keep you. Oh and if you’re anything like me, the immature humour certainly helps.

I am completely in love with Callie and Ky. They are perfect for each other. Given that these two characters are meant to be in their late-teens / early-twenties I was amazed at the overall level-headedness of these two, Ky especially. Callie has been hurt by love in the past; both familial and in relationships. In the past she has pulled away from her former best-friend Ky and this has hurt them both. Ky – shmexy, wonderful man that he is, is more than ready to pick Callie up and show her what she has been missing and how much he loves her. I want that!! Unfortunately, Ky is well and truly taken by the wonderful author it seems… Maybe she will share?

Overall this is an utterly fantastic book which I am certain will divide the audience as all good books do. Some may love it, some may dislike it but honestly, it is what it is. It shows honestly that life isn’t easy. Finding a book which takes life and puts it in a way the audience can understand and relate to is pretty damn hard to find.

For this and everything else I love about this book:

Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ – Bl**dy brilliant

 

About the author: 

heather van fleet
Midwestern native Heather Van Fleet lives in a small town on the Iowa/Illinois border. She’s a wife to her hubby–and high school sweet heart–Chris, as well as a mom/mum to her three little girls, Kelsey, Emma and Bella. When she’s not obsessing over her fictional book characters, cooking dinner, or running around chasing her crazy kiddos, you can usually find her with her head stuck in her Kindle, sucking down White Chocolate Mochas like they’re water.

You can find Heather on her Website, on Twitter or on Facebook. Go add yourself as a fan too on her Goodreads page!

Giveaway:

Take me to the giveaway please!

The tour continues – click on the picture below for the tour schedule

Finding-Her-Way-Back-tour banner

 

This tour was scheduled by the wonderful…

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Review: First to Fall by Carys Jones

Source: Amazon UK / Jill Stratton
Format: Kindle Ebook
Publish date: 28th August 2014 by Carina UK
Price: £4.74
Date Read: 2nd September 2014

First to Fall Cover

Confused and wondering where my fabulous review is? You can find it on the book blog of the lovely Jill Stratton as part of the ‘First to Fall Blog Tour’. Just click the image above and it will take you right there!

First to Fall is the first book in Carys Jones’ new ‘Avalon’ series. It was previously published under the title ‘Not All Stars Sparkle’.

Carys-Jones-new

 

Edit: 05.10.14 – My Review

Aidan Connelly is a lawyer from Chicago who, in looking for a better and simpler life with his wife Isla and 2-year-old daughter Meegan, takes up the position of second man in a 2-man law office in the small sleepy town of Avalon. Aidan’s first case in the role is that of lawyer to beautiful 24 year old Brandy in prison awaiting trial for the cold-blooded murder of her husband, the golden boy of Avalon who all believe could do no harm. Given the case as a clear open-and-shut, Aidan takes a different view and suddenly the safe, sleepy town of Avalon doesn’t feel so welcoming. With the whole town up in arms with newly-arrived Aidan’s questioning of the case, can he find out the truth or will Brandy be sentenced to death for a crime Aidan doesn’t seem to believe she is fully guilty of.

This was my first legal thriller to read for a long time and surprisingly I really enjoyed it. I managed to read the entirety of the book in only a few hours which I certainly wasn’t expecting. Far from the romantic suspense I would normally head straight for, this legal thriller was a refreshing change of pace and genre.

I found the characters created by Carys to be well thought out and brought to life. The writing style was very easy to get on with; very open and really drew the reader in. The main character Aidan was a fantastic lead for the story. As a husband and father who wants more time with his family – a wife who never sees him and a daughter who is growing up without him – Aidan makes the hard decision to move across the country to a smaller, quieter town. To be perfectly honest, I ended up not liking the wife Isla, who spent most of the book acting like a spoilt brat of a toddler. I could understand that Isla felt a lot of fear; losing her husband to his work, of being alone in a new place away from everything and everyone she knows, spending all her time with only a toddler for company and also in possibly losing her husband to another woman. Despite all thing though – being perfectly honest – I think Isla did far more to drive Aidan away with her mood swings and pettiness. Aidan’s daughter Meegan on the other hand was a little cutie and I would have loved to see far more of her – hard in a legal thriller but fingers crossed for next time.

The townspeople of Avalon were, I think, very closed minded. By this I mean that they didn’t ask questions and tended to believe everything they were told. This allowed a mean husband and later a corrupt sheriff and a grieving father to turn an entire town against a young girl who had survived a terrible childhood and was, really, all alone in the world. For all of this, the girl grew into a wonderful, though damaged, woman. The pure hatred for this woman really came through and I just wanted to give her a massive hug and tell her everything was going to be all right.

This was a book my emotions really got involved in – something I don’t say too often. The last 20% especially had me on the edge of my seat and I couldn’t put the book down. There were times when I got a little frustrated with the pace of the book but overall I felt that it helped in the plot and included information from characters which added to the mystery and the unravelling which came later. Really, my only niggle with the book came via the minor typo’s and silly accidents which showed that the book needed a little more proof reading.

Overall, a great story and I look forward to reading more in this series.

Rating: ♥♥♥♥ – I loved it