Guest Post: Inspiration for Fame and Fortune in the Gorbals by @Donnekate @LoveBooksGroup

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Robert James Muldoon. That’s me. Sixteen years auld, four feet three wi bright red hair an legs like a chicken...’

It’s 1969 and Bobby, as he is usually known, has spent the last year dealing with one crisis after another. He’s a Gorbals’ boy though so with sheer determination and a witty sense of humour he’s moving on. Thanks to some carefully considered action plans and the support of Jeannie, the love of his life, Bobby has so far overcome every obstacle in his path. Now he and Jeannie have a plan to create a good life for themselves. Will Bobby finally become a confident, successful young man? Or will he go one step further and find...

Fame and Fortune in The Gorbals?
Buy the Book: UK/IE | US 

Guest Post by Kate Donne

Three years at The Royal Conservatoire, Glasgow was the most inspirational experience of my life. I spent many hours studying character building and script writing and without that training I know I could never have written a novel. The course also taught me to ‘widen my focus’ and I became more aware of the characters around me. I began to think in pictures! I have never been a ‘practical’ person. I’ve always had a vivid imagination and when I write I can ‘see’ the situations playing out before my eyes! I was taught the art of bringing colourful characters to life. That inspired me and it seems to make sense that in the future I will adapt my trilogy into a full, three-act stage play. That is a very exciting prospect. Later this month I will be launching the complete trilogy and we have a half hour dramatisation rehearsed and ready to entertain our guests!

About the Author

Kate Donne lives in Dollar, Clackmannanshire with her Welsh husband Steve, her dog Brodie, two tractors and eight chickens! Kate runs her own personal development company, and spends her spare time writing.
She graduated from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Glasgow with a BA Degree in Dramatic Studies and was awarded The Dorothy Innes Prize, The Arnold Fleming travelling scholarship and The Charles Brooke memorial prize. 
Kate has spent many years involved in the arts and has been a professional singer, a director of musical theatre and an actress in many plays and musicals. Her poetry has been published in various anthologies and she was shortlisted for The Tarbert Book Festival writing competition 2017 with her short story Frae a Haggis.

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Guest Post: The Inspiration for Spirits of the Dead by @StephenJWillis @LoveBooksGroup

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Throughout the series, Christopher and his friends must overcome various despicable foes as they battle with riddles, codes, creatures of the night, deathly spectres and secret orders, as they go in search of Christopher's missing brother and father.

Through the darkness of a starless night a tall shadowy figure rode silently along the long wet road. His black cloak flapped about him like the wings of a great vampire bat. Christopher Daring looked on from his bedroom window, both intrigue and suspicion forming the seed of a new adventure.

Once accompanied by his best friend Jason, they embark upon a ghostly trail into the unknown. They soon find themselves fighting for their lives as they become unexpectedly entwined with both the living and the dead.

Upon Jason becoming spiritually trapped and in danger of being lost to the clutches of death itself, Christopher takes up a quest to find a missing golden pocket watch, that should restore balance to the dark forces that surround them all. But, the twisted greed of the local ghostly priest and his demonic hound, Satan, have other ideas.


With an unusual mix of science, technology, cosmology, fantasy fiction and a dash of the spiritual self, the Christopher Daring Adventures is a thrilling ride into the impossible.

Guest Post by Stephen: Inspiration


My initial inspiration for this book came from a real ghostly building in my local town. 3am one foggy morning I was out walking the high street, trying to shift a rather nasty migraine. I remember stopping in my tracks as an unexpected pressure upon my chest caused me to take in a deep breath. I recall looking up at an old bicycle shop, where a big period bike sat gathering dust in the widow.

Everything about the shop display was grey and lost in the past. But the main pull was to the top second floor windows, where I felt the presence of someone looking down at me from behind the blackened windows. It was a very odd sensation. As I stared up I got the impression that the person was that of a young girl, that had been stuck up there for over a hundred years. I remember thinking how that poor girl had died up there so many moons ago. And questioned where on earth that feeling had come from. But being late, I pressed on with my walk, still determined to shift the migraine. 

The seed of a story idea, however, had been planted in my mind. But what really made it real for me was that over the next few weeks, I happen to walk past the same shop with two different friends. And on both occasions when I asked them what they thought of this practically invisible shop, they too raised a hand to their chest and mentioned that they suddenly felt an odd constriction there. They were both bowled over when I told them of my earlier experience, and agreed that the place gave off a dark sort of foreboding.

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Book Review: The Witch of Willow Hall by @HesterBFox

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The Witch of Willow Hall Book Review
Image from my Instagram

New Oldbury, 1821

In the wake of a scandal, the Montrose family and their three daughters—Catherine, Lydia, and Emeline—flee Boston for their new country home, Willow Hall.

The estate seems sleepy and idyllic. But a subtle menace creeps into the atmosphere, remnants of a dark history that call to Lydia, and to the youngest, Emeline.

All three daughters will be irrevocably changed by what follows, but none more than Lydia, who must draw on a power she never knew she possessed if she wants to protect those she loves. For Willow Hall’s secrets will rise, in the end…


Review:

I requested The Witch of Willow hall without knowing much about it. I went in blind and I can finally say...WOW.

What an incredible read. I devoured this book, mostly at night and I found it to be hauntingly addictive. 

Right from the start, the author sets up the mystery. Leaving you wondering why Lydia and her family were driven from their home in Boston. 

At their new home, we find Lydia struggling with powers and an ancestry that she doesn’t know how to process or handle. She wants to be normal, she wants to be beautiful like her two sisters- specifically Catherine- who seems to covet the attention of any man that visits the house.

The sense of foreboding comes from the characters, but also from the setting. I could feel the coldness from the walls of the old Willow mansion seeping through the pages. I could sense the eyes from the paintings as I turned the pages. Certain parts game me genuine chills as I read this at night in the dark.

Blog Tour: @RachelPudsey's Writing Journey #WatcheroftheNightSky @LoveBooksGroup

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BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR 

Fifteen-year-old Abigail Crumble was never much for talking about love and marriage and other such nonsense – no matter how often her boy obsessed best friend pestered her to do so. Or so she so adamantly proclaimed. 

Yet on the eve of her sixteenth birthday, Abigail makes the biggest, most contradictory mistake of her life. She wishes on the stars for love, or even the smallest amount of attention, without knowing the full impact of such a feat.

 Abigail soon finds her simple life in chaos as princes, men and mysterious creatures come to her door, each adamantly in love with her and refusing to leave her side.

Mixing fantasy, humour, and romance, The Watcher of the Night Sky begins the tale of one girl’s quest to rid herself of a curse that was definitely far more than she wished for.

Guest Post: Rachel Pudsey's Writing Journey


My earliest memory of writing is when I was in primary school, perhaps primary six or seven, and I wrote a “novel” titled something like Six Down and One to Go. At that time I was really into Goosebumps, so it’s not that surprising that my first attempt at writing would be inspired by that. As I moved into high school, my writing continued but became more focused on songs and scripts. I was really into pop at that time, groups like the Spice Girls, Take That, East 17, PJ and Duncan, Roxette, and All Saints were regulars on my CD player. My girlfriends and I spent our free time writing our own corny pop songs and pretending to be pop stars. Once I got into my later teens, I joined a theatre group, and my writing shifted to plays and musicals. I spent my free time in front of an old computer typing stories that were suspiciously akin to the plotlines of the 9 pm movies Channel 5 used to show. Stories of teenage gangs and action movies and kidnappings. Then at some point during high school, I was introduced to The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton. That book had a huge influence on my creativity. I was obsessed with that story and the fact the author was published at seventeen years old. Later, I took up the guitar and wrote songs with my university friend in the style of the Barenaked Ladies. Gosh, did we love that group! Our songs were ridiculous and comical, written usually during or after a drinking session. I think my story writing started to get a bit more structured and serious during university. I took a bus to school every day, and to pass the time I started writing a fantasy novel. I can pinpoint some of the inspiration for the story to a poster I had on my bedroom wall of a gnome chilling by a mushroom puffing on a pipe. I started to write this story about a prince that had come to earth from an alternate land because he had wanted to explore before becoming a ruler. He brought his controversial, human-obsessed magician friend along with him, and a gnome snuck through the hole too. The plot centred on the prince’s relationship with a worker from the hotel he stayed at. I must have written and rewritten and edited and re-edited that story for YEARS. Maybe about eight in total. I made maps, drew all the flags and colours, and wrote notes about all the kingdoms of the land. I continued writing that into my twenties, but eventually, my work and social life got in the way. Not wanting to settle into a lifestyle I wasn’t satisfied with, I decided to pack up and leave the town I lived in. I moved to my parents’ town to take on a job with minimum responsibility, allowing me to focus more on my story. I shared extracts with a co-worker, and she loved the tales of Magi the gnome. I had my first fan.
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