Interview By Lou with Puppily Ever After author – Tani Hanes @TaniHanes @CherryPublishi2 #Interview #QA #ReadingCommunity #WritingCommunity #Blogger

Interview by Louise with Tani Hanes
about Puppily Ever After.

Puppily Ever After, which I reviewed and awarded it with 4 stars, is a coming of age story, set around a pet shop, with romance and strong values within the themes. At the end of the interview, there is a link to my full review.

Thank you very much Tani for the opportunity to interview you about Puppily Ever After. Thanks also to Cherry Publishing for setting up the interview.

I have 5 questions in total, covering the book, being an author and drawing a little about Tani’s teaching career.

Puppily Ever After

  1. Puppily Ever After is a coming of age story, what inspired you to write within that age group, what are the positives and the challenges you encountered?

I wanted to write about a woman who didn’t end up subjugating herself to a man, even if he was a good man. So many coming of age stories these days are about young women who find true love by compromising on something in themselves and believing they’re happy to do so. I’m not saying they’re not, but I wanted to write a story where she comes out the other side whole, even without the possibility of being with a man.

  1. Puppily Ever After is essentially set in a pet shop. Do you have any pets? If so, can you tell us a bit about them, if not would you like any?

I’ve always had pets, and adopting animals is very important to me; it’s something I put in nearly everything I write. I’m horrified by the lives some of these innocent creatures lead, and always want to do by part to help out. I currently have two cats, both feral rescues (one of them was actually born in my backyard!) [I can provide photos if you want]

  1. There are strong themes that weave through the book, such as staying true to yourself, your values and dreams. How important do you think these values are for people in the real world, do you stand by them yourself, if so, can you give some examples how you do that?

I think these values are crucial to today’s youth, especially to today’s young women. Too many subjugate themselves to men, believing that’s what they’re supposed to do. I don’t know that I necessarily have taken my own advice, but I always knew I wanted to be a parent and a writer, and I never let anything deter me from those things.

  1. What drew you to writing romance as opposed to any other genre?

I’m a girl lol, even if I am a middle-aged woman. I love romance, I love HEAs, and I love exploring the themes in the dynamics between people who are falling in love, because of certain things or in spite of them.

  1. You were a substitute teacher for 15 years, do you still teach and has your experiences working in education inspired any parts in particular in your books?

Unfortunately, I no longer teach, and I really miss it. The first series I ever wrote was based on a certain boy band going on hiatus and my students really flipping their s*** about it. They wanted me to write a wish fulfilment story about a girl and a boyband and have the love story, at least at first, be perfect. And the main thing they wanted was that the band would never, ever, go on hiatus lol. So that’s what I wrote.

Here is the link to the full review: Puppily Ever After

Interview/Q&A with Bobby Twidale – Author of Deja Vu By Lou #BobbyTwidale @CherryPublishi2 #RomanticFiction #Fiction #BookReview #Interview #Education #ContemporaryFiction #DejaVu #ReadingCommunity #BookTwitter

Interview with Bobby Twidale – Author of Deja Vu.

Deja Vu pic

Today I welcome Bobby Twidale onto my blog with an interview I conducted in-line with her book – De-Ja Vu, which I reviewed in 2021. This review, inwhich I rated the book the full 5 stars for how it handled its themes and the drive of the story, can also be found at the end of the Q&A.

De-Ja Vu is published with Cherry Publishing and is a romance, with some serious and dark undercurrents in its topical themes. Firstly, thanks to Cherry Publishing and Bobby Twidale for this opportunity for myself and on-behalf of all my readers of my blog.

Now, onto the interview, which has insightful and very interesting and full answers to all 8 questions, covering her book’s themes, her inspiration and an insight into her career in education and more…

Deja Vu pic

  1. The title Déjà Vu is an intriguing one, what was the inspiration for this?

I used to be a French teacher – the inspiration for a lot of what appears in this story. I wanted something that sounded catchy and hinted at the French theme whilst also giving a glimpse into one of the main themes of the narrative – History repeating itself. Past relationships influence current ones, you feel the effect of decisions long after they are made, bad leopards don’t change their spots. We’ve all asked ourselves the question: “Why does this always happen to me?” Maybe we need to look for the common denominator and change ourselves – that is what Connie and Matt have to do to move forward and leave the past behind.

  1. Perhaps you would like to tell readers a bit about your book and your inspiration for your characters to be school teachers?

Writers are often advised to write about what they know. I was a teacher for almost 30 years. When you’ve spent that long in schools, you come across personality traits that stay in your mind. Whilst none of my characters are based on real people, they are certainly a melting pot of the thousands of individuals I encountered in those years. I did have to be super careful in my choice of names though – I didn’t want anyone to think I was describing them!

  1. Déjà Vu deals with the darker side of people’s personalities in such a relevant way to now, when this is in the spotlight, was the timing deliberate and did you have to do any research?

I wrote Déjà Vu around 10 years ago so I guess I was ahead of an unhappy curve in that one. Or maybe these behaviours have always been around, but we are just more empowered to talk about them honestly now.

  1. Relationships are complex and they certainly are in the story you tell, what do you think the fascination is in readers getting to know the twists and turns within them is?

People are complex and life is complex, but we aren’t alone. When relationships get complicated, it can feel like you’re the only one to have experienced what you’re going through. Reading about others’ journeys (real or fictional) and their ultimate survival – I do like a happy ending – can be affirming and reassuring.

  1. There is part about a teacher trying to improve standards and getting the boys engaged in their education, what made you interested in this aspect of the education system?

This is what drove me as an education professional. You can’t avoid noticing the inequalities of opportunity when you work in a school – financial, attitudinal, geographical, cultural, health or ability-based. But almost every teacher will tell you of their experience with a class they mistakenly believed to be of much higher academic ability, a group they taught as a bunch of highflyers that produced amazing exam results they would normally never have expected to achieve. I often felt like the young people I taught lived up (or down) to the expectations I had of them.

  1. What or who inspired you to write and what made you want to write contemporary romance?

From a very young age, I was inspired to read books by my parents. We lived in the middle of a field and I’m very old, so the internet was still a glint in the eye of Tim Berners-Lee. There wasn’t much to do other than play in the fields, woodland and brooks of my parents’ farm and read. I wrote my first ‘book’ aged around 8 years old – sent it off to a publisher and everything. It wasn’t published, obviously, but I got a very nice letter encouraging me to keep writing. I write contemporary romance because it’s fun and a lovely dose of escapism. Let’s be honest, there’s a lot we’d all like to escape at the moment!

  1. What are you reading just now?

I wish I had time to read!

  1. Do you have another book you are writing, if so, can you give any details to whet people’s appetite?

I’ve just completed a master’s in journalism so I’m currently focussing on non-fiction writing, but you can find my other book, Going Off Piste, on Wattpad.

Deja Vu pic

 Review Link: Deja Vu Review

#BookReview by Lou of Deja Vu by Bobby Twidale #BobbyTwidale @CherryPublishi2 #RomanticFiction #Fiction

Deja Vu
By Bobby Twidale

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Deja Vu, even though set in and around the school, is firmly in the adult fiction genre, with its big themes that twist this way and that and have so much unexpected depth and shines a light into some current situations. All combined, with great plotting, this all makes it rather more compelling than expected.
Thanks to Cherry Publishing for inviting me and gifting me the book to review. You can find the blurb and review below.

Deja Vu pic

 

Blurb

Connie Bentley is not your average Newly Qualified Teacher. Moving back to live with her parents while working at St George’s Independent Day School for boys is not how she imagined her life would be at thirty-two.


Art teacher Matt Turner is not average in any way. A relationship with a colleague eight years ago didn’t lead to the happy outcome he’d expected — he’s now older, wiser, and warier.

When Connie and Matt meet, the spark of attraction is immediate and mutual. Although neither is going to admit to that because the more they learn about each other, the more they’re both getting an uncomfortable feeling of déjà vu.

Will past hurt, raw wounds, and unexpected twists stand between them, or will they both get a second chance at love?

Review

Connie Bentley has a tough start at her new school, where she is a newly qualified teacher, appointed to teach French,, even from the minute she sits down in the staff room, due to that age old problem of poor communication, so she didn’t get certain messages, but the staff seem nice enough, when she starts to meet them.

The fact it is about a romance between teachers appealed to me, since, when I was school age, lots of years ago, an English teacher had an affair with an Art teacher. It did work out for them, with its own life twists and turns, I learned later.

Deja vu has humour in and around the staffroom, all those things you may or may not see if you’re a pupil. It is also about moving onwards in life and shows that teachers are only human too. Connie had a relationship,  before her new job and is now at this boy’s school for a new start. What a new start she gets when her birthday comes around with an absolute eye-popping present that many people could only dream of.

The book does in fact concentrate on that whole school vibe from a way that is most definitely adult romantic fiction with the themes it presents. It’s entertaining reading the banter, but there’s also some sorrow in there too as it takes a well-observed look at their lives outwith the classroom too. You get a good feel for the atmosphere around the staff and it is pretty lovely, it makes it feel like a school anyone would want to work in or be associated with, by the way they treat their new team member.

Matt is an interesting character as he pretty much keeps himself to himself and builds metaphorical barriers around him when it comes to women, especially on social occasions. It creates an air of mystery and intrigue to know what happened to him. This brings a whole different slant on things as often, if there’s going to be a character, such as Matt, it is the female, so it turns certain subjects on its head, adding to the intrigue.

There’s tension built up between 2 members of staff. It’s a subject that is current, real and very serious. It is one that brings such a twist and such powerful themes to the whole romance genre.

#Bookreview by Lou of Thick and Thin by Upasa Borah @CherryPublishi2 #UpasaBorah #YoungAdult #YA

Thick and Thin
By Upasa Borah

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Older young adults/teens and 20 somethings will discover characters in Raumah who have issues to overcome and there is also some lust and a lot of fists flying and other elements of action with family ties, romance and discovery. Find out more in the blurb and review.
Thanks to Cherry Publishing for gifting me the book to review

Thick and Thin

Blurb

In Raumah, a city where wealth and familial ties rule all, the four Kings of Raumah walk a path seemingly paved in gold.
Duante, the protector. Strong, amiable and desperate to keep his loved ones out of harm’s way.
Drayden, the golden boy. Smart and resourceful, heir to the country’s largest and most influential business empire.
Shohei, the celebrity. Delicate but determined, this fabulous fashion icon is the darling of Raumah.
Aqil, the prodigy. Truly gifted and academically dominant, but is it earned or is it his family ties that are the key to his successes?

Everything on the surface seems picture perfect, but dark secrets lie hidden behind the
frame. When Duante’s past comes calling, the Kings’ world is thrown into chaos.
Faced with the ghosts of his bloody past, Duante’s hard-earned freedom is put in jeopardy, just as Shohei’s love is put to the test. Drayden’s ruthless determination is usually his strength, but this time, will it blind him to what’s right? Can Aqil, the trailblazing son of the Faiz family, face his fears, before the fire burns him alive?
Facing their fears is no easy task, will they bow under the pressure or come out stronger than ever?

Themes: Family Ties, Friendship, Love, Lust, Identity, Self Discovery, Self Acceptance
Genre: Action – Romance, Queer Young Adult Fiction

 

Review

Thick and ThinThick and Thin gets off to a strong start. There’s Duante, the protector, Drayden, the golden boy and heir to the country’s largest and most influential business empire and Shohei, the celebrity who is a fashion icon. It’s identifiable to Young Adults. Loki also pops up.

The chapters present themselves as Acts, which adds some intrigue as does the four kings and the characters surrounding them. That makes it sound almost fantastical, but really there are  just some average lives too, with pop culture and bookish references, such as Justin Timberlake and Harry Potter. It also has powerful messages about bullies and handling them.

The book is about identity and trying to accept who you are and makes me hopeful that people will become happy in their own skin. There’s also friendships embraced and characters like Aquil who just want to be included in plans. This is so relatable for the Young Adult audience with its powerful themes.
It also delves into darker sides of society, such as gun culture. I think there is a lot that young adults will find thought-provoking and some they may debate.
There is also part where Aquil has got powerful family ties who are influential, for readers to see if Aquil is working on own steam or if the family has a hand in things, such as a scholarship reward.

There is the occassional bit of humour of the teenage/young adult life. There is also a lot of that teenage angst, as well as a film of sadness going across it.

There is teenage lust amongst a couple of the characters, who pine after each other at certain points and some elements of self-discovery and mostly it is done well. 

As much as it isn’t quite the page-turner, it is something that young adults can get their teeth into and to see who comes out of it all well. This would be good for older teens and 20 somethings.

About the Author

Upasa Borah (also known by her pen name glassEyed) is a 21 year old dreamer from a land of rivers and hills, called Assam, in India. Aside from writing stories, she dabbles in poetry and performance art. She is a spoken word poet who has been active in the slam poetry circuit in Delhi, as well as in her hometown, as a
featured performer, organiser and judge. A believer of magic and collector of stories, she loves
meeting new people and finding inspiration and muses in the mundane.

 

Puppily Ever After by Tani Hanes @TaniHanes @CherryPublishi2 #NewAdult #RomanticFiction

Puppily Ever After
By Tani Hanes

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Puppily Ever After is categorised as New Adult and set in a pet shop, there is lots of fluffy cuteness and a blossoming romance. Thanks to Cherry Publishing for contacting me to request a review through my Contact Me form and for gifting me the book. Find out more about Puppily Love in the blurb and the rest of my thoughts in the review.

 

Puppily Ever After

Blurb

This was supposed to be Robin’s summer of fun before heading off to pursue her lifelong ambition of becoming a veterinarian at the prestigious Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. Instead, she finds herself nursing a broken heart after her boyfriend of three years ends their relationship. As if things couldn’t get any worse, he’s now dating a cute summer hire at PetWorld, where they all work, and she has to watch them make googly eyes at each other every day.

She doesn’t want to go to work, she doesn’t want to go to vet school, she doesn’t even want to get out of bed. She just wants everything to be the way it was before. A handsome, if annoying, new arrival named Remington Picasso may be just what she needs to get out of her funk.

Will Robin be able to enjoy her last summer in her hometown? And more importantly, will she manage to overcome her heartache to follow her dreams?

Review

Set in Pet World, there is nothing more adorable that little critters and nothing quite so original for a setting. This book has humour from the start, involving a human and a hamster in Pet World, where Robin, the main character, works to gain experience to study Vetinary Medicine at the prestigious Cornell University.

It’s a coming-of-age story with intrigue, especially when it comes to men (especially Remi), keeping social interactions online in private settings. It makes it easy to become quite curious to find out more…

There’s also slight tension and a bit of jealousy at play as more is known about the characters connections to each other. The tensions and the burgeoning romance that grows and becomes more intense, on the cute backdrop of the petshop creates a good atmosphere throughout the book.

The book also explores strong themes of moving onwards and staying true to yourself, your values and dreams.