The Second Cup by Sarah Marie Graye @SarahMarieGraye @rararesources #QandA #Giveaway (Open Int)

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I am delighted to be sharing a Question and Answer today with the author of The Second Cup Sarah Marie Graye. I read this book as part of the blog tour by Rachel At Rachel’s Random Resources, so when the chance to pose a few questions to the author came up I was definitely interested.

First Anniversary Blog Blitz: The Second Cup by Sarah Marie Graye

The Second Cup was originally published on 19 July 2017. The extended edition (includes character interviews) was published on 12 February 2018.

Amazon links

Amazon book page: https://getbook.at/SecondCup

Amazon author page: https://author.to/SarahMarieGraye

Lets see what the book is about first:

Would your life unravel if someone you knew committed suicide? Theirs did.

Faye knows her heart still belongs to her first love, Jack. She also knows he might have moved on, but when she decides to track him down, nothing prepares her for the news that he’s taken his own life.

Faye is left wondering how to move forward – and whether or not Jack’s best friend Ethan will let her down again. And the news of Jack’s death ripples through the lives of her friends too.

Abbie finds herself questioning her marriage, and wondering if she was right to leave her first love behind. Poor Olivia is juggling her job and her boyfriend and trying to deal with a death of her own. And Jack’s death has hit Beth the hardest, even though she never knew him.

Is Beth about to take her own life too?

Question and Answer:

As I mentioned earlier I had the chance to read The Second Cup (my review here) so when the chance came to pose a few questions to Sarah I definitely wanted to know more. I have experienced depression from the stress of work, and life, I was lucky to see a Doctor who was able to see and help me. My issues were diagnosed and dealt with over a period of time, but the experience has made me aware of how quickly things can spiral into a down. It has left me with a sense of being more aware of how important your own mental health is and how you need to look after that and not just your physical health.

Q:  You’re open about suffering from mental health issues. How can authors help readers understand such issues?

A: If you write a character in the first person that has mental health issues, you are effectively allowing the reader to step inside their head and experience it for themselves.

If your reader is capable of empathy (and I like to believe that most people are) then they are able to put themselves in the position of that character and gain an understanding of what it must feel like for your own brain to be your enemy.

Q: How do you think society views suicide?

A: I think society is getting better at accepting suicide, especially when there are high profile cases, such as the deaths of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain. If those who supposedly “want for nothing” can choose to end their lives, then it suggests that suicide is driven by something else.

For me, the biggest problem is that suicide is still viewed as being “selfish”. Many of those who take their own lives put their affairs in order first and take great pains to write a note explaining how this is nobody else’s fault – that nobody is to blame. These actions aren’t the actions of someone being selfish.

Q: What is the most important aspect of the story that you are trying to convey to the reader?

A: That picking up the pieces can be difficult, but it’s always worth it. Life can be really tough and bad things do happen to good people. Sometimes it’s difficult to see the way forward and to keep ourselves going. Each of my characters goes through their own issues but manages to come out the other side – more than a little battered and bruised, yes, but they still make it.

Q: What significance does the new cover of The Second Cup hold?

A: The original cover was chosen by my hybrid publisher. I was really unhappy with it because I felt it suggested a ghost story! When we parted ways, it was the perfect opportunity for me to pick something that I felt worked for the story.

At the heart of the story is the butterfly effect: the idea that you can be affected by something that happens to someone else – and in this case the suicide of someone you either didn’t know or haven’t seen for years.

A butterfly in a jar doesn’t stop being beautiful just because they’re trapped. Many of us are trapped or limited by our circumstances, but it’s still up to us how much we live, how much we spread our wings, within these limitations.

Q: What is next step on your literary journey?

I’m currently working on my second novel, The Victoria Lie, which will be out soon – it’s currently with my editor!

The Victoria Lie is the second book “The Butterfly Effect” series. Both Beth and Faye from The Second Cup feature in the book, but the main story focuses on a different group of friends. This time it’s the actions of one of these friends that are the catalyst, rather than the focus coming from outside the group.

During the writing process for book two, I’ve realised I have another story to tell about two of the friends, which I’m now planning as book three. The plan is still very fluid at the moment, but I’m hopeful that the initial idea is strong enough to work!


Thank you so much for your answers Sarah. I think society definitely has taken baby steps towards being more understanding. It helps that people are more open with their own experiences and are willing to talk about them, in doing this it breaks down the stigma that is attached. I also love this new cover, it says so much more than the previous one. I can’t wait to read The Victoria Lie and I wish you all the very best with that and also future writing xx

About the Author:

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Sarah Marie Graye was born in Manchester in 1975, to English Catholic parents. To the outside world Sarah Marie’s childhood followed a relatively typical Manchester upbringing, until aged nine, when she was diagnosed with depression.

It’s a diagnosis that has stayed with Sarah Marie over three decades, and something she believes has coloured every life decision, including the one to write a novel.

Sarah Marie wrote The Second Cup as part of an MA Creative Writing practice as research degree at London South Bank University – where she was the vice-chancellor’s scholarship holder.

Sarah Marie was diagnosed with ADHD in November 2017 and published an extended edition of The Second Cup in February 2018 that included character interviews so she could diagnose one of her characters with the same condition.

Follow Sarah on – Facebook – Twitter – Instagram – Goodreads

Win 3 x Signed copies of The Second Cup by Sarah Marie Graye  (Open Internationally)  ∗∗∗ENTER HERE∗∗∗

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

See what others on the tour think

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Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx

 

The Letter – Kitty’s Story by Eliza J. Scott @ElizaJScott1 @rararesources #GuestPost #Giveaway (open Int)

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Today I am delighted to sharing a guest post for the author of The Letter – Kitty’s Story by Eliza J. Scott as part of the blog tour by Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources. This book is available to buy HERE. Not only do I have a fabulous Guest Post from Eliza but also there is a chance to win a beautiful box of goodies and a signed paperback copy of her book xx

Synopsis:

Thirty-four-year-old Kitty Bennett is trapped in a loveless marriage to criminal barrister, Dan, who’s gradually isolated her from her family and friends. Until the day she (literally) bumps into her first love, the handsome and easy-going Ollie Cartwright – someone she’s done her best to avoid for as long as she can remember. Looking into Ollie’s eyes awakens feelings for him she thought she’d buried deep years ago, and he clearly feels the spark, too. As she walks away, Kitty can’t help but wonder what might have been…
Dan senses that his marriage is on shaky ground and knows he needs to win his wife round. He turns on the charm, skilfully using their two children, Lucas and Lily, as bargaining tools. But Kitty’s older brother, Jimby, and her childhood best-friends, Molly and Violet, have decided enough is enough. For years they’ve had to watch from afar as Kitty’s been browbeaten into an unrecognisable version of herself. They vow to make her see Dan for what he really is, but their attempts are no match for his finely-honed courtroom skills and, against her better judgement, Kitty agrees to give her husband one last chance. But, all-too-soon, a series of heart-breaking events and a shocking secret throw her life into turmoil…
Will she stand by Dan, or will Kitty be brave enough to take the leap and follow her heart to Ollie?

Life is anything but peaceful in the chocolate-box pretty village of Lytell Stangdale, where life unravels, and hearts are broken. Full of heart-warming moments, this book with have you crying tears of joy, laughter and sadness.

Guest Post:

Hello Eliza, Welcome to Me and My Books. I am curious to know what skills or experiences you have used in The Letter – Kitty’s Story. Also what new things have you learnt along the way ?

Hi Yvonne,

First of all, thank you for taking part in the blog tour of The Letter – Kitty’s Story. I’m really excited to be on your blog.

I think the first ‘skill’ – if you can call it that! – that has helped me write this book is that I can touch type really quickly, which means my fingers can keep up with the thoughts as they spill out of my head. My writing is also incredibly messy, and I struggle to read it back sometimes, so typing my manuscript is definitely the better option for me. Having said that, I still have loads of scraps of paper and notebooks dotted about with various handwritten ideas and reminders scribbled randomly across them.

(I am a pen and paper person myself as my touch typing is  not very good, it is something I am working on.)

Experiences? Well, being the owner of two adorable black Labradors definitely helped when I was writing about Humphrey and Ethel (Kitty’s dogs). Some of Humph’s characteristics are based on those of one of my boys – particularly the greed part!

(I also have two dogs, and I agree that dogs have brilliant characters.)

My husband always makes a joke out of everything and has a mischievous sense of humour. He also has moments of clumsiness, which he’d be the first to admit. I had all of these attributes in mind when I wrote Jimby’s character. And, thanks to Mr S, I had a whole load of past experiences to draw on for inspiration!

On a more serious note, as Lily is in the story, my youngest daughter was bullied quite badly at school. It was a horrible time for her, and it was heart-breaking to see her so upset. I can still remember feeling a sickening cocktail of emotions and the struggle I had to control them. That experience, from a mum’s perspective, meant that I was able to put myself in Kitty’s shoes and feel her helplessness, anger and frustration while her young daughter, Lily, was having a tough time at the hands of Evie McEllison.

(Bullying is such a nasty thing and happens far too much)

As far as new things I’ve learnt along the way, well, where do I start? The learning curve I’ve experienced has been the mother of all learning curves, and I’ve absolutely loved it!

I think one of the first things I learnt was just how friendly and supportive the book community is. When I first booked a cover reveal and then publication day blog tour with Rachel from Rachel’s Random Resources, I was overwhelmed by the generosity of the book community, offering to host a spot on their blog for my book and its cover.  It’s been so refreshing to experience this, and I’m so happy and honoured to be a part of it.

(Absolutely agree, Rachel is a brilliant and I love being part of the book blogging community)

As far as the actual writing process is concerned, this is huge! I’ve learnt how to structure a book, how to format one and how to publish one through Amazon KDP and CreateSpace. I’ve also learnt heaps from my fab editor, Alison Williams, on what is relevant in a story and I’ve developed a greater understanding of ‘showing, not telling – paying for a professional editor is definitely money well spent. Actually, when I sit down and think about it, the list of what I’ve learnt is endless!

Thank you so much for your great questions – they really made me think – and thank you for having me on your blog.

Eliza x

You are very welcome Eliza, it was a pleasure. Have a fabulous blog tour Yvonne xx

About the Author:

I live in a village in the North Yorkshire Moors with my husband, two daughters and two black Labradors. When I’m not writing, I can usually be found with my nose in a book/glued to my Kindle, or in my garden. I also enjoy bracing walks in the countryside, rounded off with a visit to a teashop where I can indulge in another two of my favourite things: tea and cake.

Social Media Links –  Twitter –  Instagram – @elizajscottauthor

Giveaway:

Giveaway – Win a PB copy of The Lettter – Kitty’s Story, Chocolate and Neom Hand Cream (Open Internationally)

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

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To be in with a chance to win this beautiful prize ENTER HERE Good luck xx

 

 

 

See what other readers think by following the tour

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Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx

#BlogTour : The Forever Night Stand by Bena Roberts @benaroberts : @rararesources : #Spotlight

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Today I am shining a spotlight on “The Forever Night Stand” by Bena Roberts for the Blog Tour organised by Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources. This is yet another book I would love to have the time in my schedule to read.

Synopsis:

A two hour romance which starts with drama and mayhem!

Sara has her back up against the wall. She is recovering from the side effects of chemotherapy and at her own “cancer free” party, she makes a decision that will change her life forever.

The adventure begins when she leaves her posh lifestyle in Scotland and moves in with her Bollywood loving parents, in West London. Her parents are tragically ashamed of Sara’s actions and her electronic monitor. She decides to make them happy again and considers re-marrying. 

Enter Raj, a possible hero who comes with the promise of a huge Indian wedding in Goa!

George, the childhood love of her life who seems to be hanging around every corner. Or should she just go back to her husband? Sara faces the biggest dilemma of her life, after making the colossal mistake of her life. What will she do and whom will she choose?

Purchase From –  Amazon –  Smashwords – Kobo – Nook

About the Author:

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Bena Roberts was a journalist and analyst. Now she prefers the title novelist and romance adventurist. She graduated in England 1994 and then with a Masters in 1997.

Born in 1973, Bena lived in West London until she was 24. Then she lived and worked in Budapest, Bruges, Prague, Amsterdam, Vienna, Hamburg and Munich. She currently resides in Germany, between Heidelberg and Frankfurt. Although she still refers to London as ‘home.’

Bena successfully created a technology blog which gained funding, had lunch with Steve Ballmer and was ‘top 50 most influential woman in mobile.’ Her blog also won several awards including Metro Best Blog.

Bena has two children, loves small dogs and always writes books with a cup of Earl Grey.

Bena’s favorite literary style is black humor, and she hopes to offer a unique voice in this area. Her books aim to confront the darkest of life experiences, with levity. Most of her writing is heavy hitting yet also entertaining.

Also –  Available My Cake! A short story

Pre-Order Tammy&Lisa – How far would you go to protect your teenage son ?

Follow Bena on –  Twitter –  Amazon Author Page – Goodreads Author Page

Follow the Blog Tour to see what other Book Bloggers think

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Many thanks for reading my post, a like or a share would be amazing 🙂 xx

2018 Annual Blogger Bash Awards : I have been nominated for “Best Overall Blogger” ! @Bloggerbash #Bloggerbash #BookBlogger

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Absolutely stunned and over the moon this morning.  Quite happily scrolling through Facebook and I noticed the voting was open for the Annual Blogger Bash Awards.  Scrolling through the nominations thinking these are great Bloggers, only to discover  “Me and My Books” nestled in amongst the entries for “Best Overall Blogger” category.

“Oh someone has the same blog name as me,  ” I thought to myself, “lets have a look at that Blogger’s page and see what they are like.”

Squeals a high pitched “Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god” and then a few choice un-lady like words, it’s only my blog that has been nominated!!! Then floods of tears, a few more choice words, then re checked the link, checked it again yep still my blog.

I never expected in a million years to see my name on this list.  There are so many amazing Book Bloggers who are so awesome, they do such a fantastic job and are my inspiration. A massive Congratulations to all the other nominees, but also to all the Bloggers Everywhere xxx

When I started putting “My Thoughts” about books out in the world last year I hovered around the fringes, not very confident, not wanting to mess up and in awe of the amazing posts I read and shared on a daily basis. Gradually plucking up the courage and feeling adventurous I decided to push myself a little bit further, trying to find my feet or as some refer to it, finding my voice. This nomination means the world to me and I can honestly say that to be nominated is one of the best moments in my Blogging life.

I want to say a huge “Thank You” for those that nominated me and to those who vote for me.  If you would like to vote for me, or any other Blogger here is the link  ANNUAL BLOGGER BASH AWARD VOTING

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A share or like would be amazing, a vote would be out of this world 🙂