Best friends Sophie and Tye are watching TV when a car crashes through the living room wall. The driver and passenger are twins, Harry and Gemma. Next door neighbour, eleven-year-old Issy, witnesses the accident. In the aftermath, Tye is thrown into a coma, Gemma's dark past begins to
haunt the present, and Sophie starts to fall for Harry - but how can she, when he was the driver who nearly killed her best friend? And Issy, meanwhile, hides a terrible secret ...
The Inspiration for The Crash
I was always told, start YA with a bang. And so far that’s exactly what I’ve done. There’s a shock childbirth in The Baby and then a shock crash through the living room wall in The Crash. I like this formula; I like thinking about the ripples of reaction which weave through the lives of those involved after the event.
And my inspiration for my five characters? I work and live with young people, so I’m used to the vast array of delights and frustrations that teenage life presents. I’ve watched my kids’ friends; I’ve listened to my students; and I’ve remembered my own teenage years, and somehow, there are five hazy characters who form out of all of this, and then, once I put finger to keyboard, they start to take on a life of their own. I can honestly say that none of my characters are based on any one real life person, however I can also honestly say that they’re an amalgamation of a lot.
Most importantly though, I wanted, in this book, to write about characters who aren’t always perfect and who have their flaws, just like – let’s admit – the vast majority of us. In the book The Red House by Mark Haddon there’s a character who I particularly enjoyed reading about. She’s spiky and sometimes unpleasant and the more I read about her, the more I wanted to know about her. Life’s full of spiky, slightly unpleasant people with varying reasons of their own. I wanted The Crash to represent this. Even if we aren’t spiky and unpleasant, I’m sure we have our moments. And I hope that Gemma, one of the lead characters in The Crash, represents this side of us all.
Lisa Drakeford is the acclaimed author of The Baby, which was shortlisted for the 2014 Times/Chicken House Children’s Fiction Competition. Her new novel, The Crash, is out now priced £7.99.
Can love blossom in the countryside?
Artist Holly Hunter is turning her life upside-down! She’s leaving the bright lights of London (and a cheating husband) behind her and hoping for a fresh start as she escapes to the peaceful Cotswolds countryside.
Men are off the cards for Holly. Instead, she’s focusing on her little gallery and adopting an adorable Border Collie puppy named Tubs. Or so she thought…
Because no matter how hard she tries to resist him, local vet Adam Whitney is utterly gorgeous. And in a village as small as this one, Holly can only avoid Adam for so long!
Thank you for hosting me today, Beth.
Tell me about your book.
Holly’s story takes place for the most part in a beautiful and to me much loved area of the country. Unable any longer to deny even to herself her husband’s numerous affairs, she leaves London to stay with her childhood friend in order to give herself breathing space to sort out her life. It doesn’t take her long to realise that the village of Cuffingham in Escape to the Cotswolds is where she wants to settle down.
An outstanding art student, Holly is able to buy a property with the legacy left by her parents and open her own small gallery at the end of the high street. She is discovered by an American connoisseur who whisks her off to Philadelphia but her heart is in Cuffingham. Back in England, Holly, gets a puppy in whom she invests her emotions, convincing herself that she is happy enough without a man in her life. But local vet Adam is in the background and while she values his friendship she is unable to see that, bubbling beneath the surface, her feelings for this man are taking a quite different turn.
Catastrophe strikes in the form of summer floods and she and the rest of the inhabitants struggle to fight back from the disaster. Holly learns just how strong the community is of which she has become a part.
What do you love about writing?
Oh that’s an easy one. Before embarking on my first novel I wrote short stories for women’s magazines. To be able to encapsulate a complete episode in one to two thousand words was a huge thrill but then I found I wanted more. I wanted to tell my heroine’s whole story, not just one aspect of it. I become completely immersed in a world of my own creation and my characters become as real to me as any flesh and blood people I know. And like many of the people I know they talk to me, argue with me, have their own sometimes very strong opinions. When a book is finished I do not leave them behind. They are as much a part of me as anyone else who has touched my life.
Are you working on anything at the moment?
I’m a few chapters into a dual time line romance – present day and Tudor. Yes, the romance is always there. This time I have two heroines to become acquainted with. How lucky am I!
Who inspires you?
When I look around me at the dedication and application of other writers I am in awe of how much of themselves they give to invest in their dreams. Let’s face it, writing isn’t the easiest occupation and success can be elusive. I know a lot of writers. Every one of them gives wholeheartedly of themselves. It’s as if they don’t have a choice. They have to write. If that isn’t inspirational I don’t know what is.
Have you read anything lately that you've just loved?
I don’t tend to read beyond the first few pages if a book doesn’t grab me. Consequently everything I read tends to be loved. But I have two forms of escapism. I’m a sucker for Jack Reacher and recently finished Lee Childs’ The Affair. In complete contrast I will also immerse myself in romance set in Regency times. It’s no secret that I’m a fan of Georgette Heyer and that many of her books in my collection are in danger of falling apart through being read and reread.
I’ve really enjoyed your questions, Beth. Thank you.
Natalie, a born and bred Londoner, would love to live in the area she so enjoys writing about. While this isn’t practical at the moment she stills allows herself to dream of honey-coloured stone cottages, quaint villages and rippling brooks. Maybe one day.
A late-comer to writing, she has two published novels and many short stories to her name. She attributes her success to a determination to improving her craft, attending any and every writing event she can. All that and a weekly attendance at The Write Place Creative School in Dartford where cream cakes are frequently on the agenda.
Natalie lives with her husband, Louis, in Blackheath, south-east London - except when she’s tripping off to The Cotswolds in the name of research. Somebody has to do it!
A dazzling, high-octane read filled with death-defying acrobatics, circus crowds with an appetite for disaster, and two forbidden teenage lovers trying to escape the shackles of their very different lives. Set in a near-future England where the poorest people in the land must watch their children be taken by a travelling circus - to perform at the mercy of hungry lions, sabotaged high wires and a demonic ringmaster. The ruling class visit the circus as an escape from their structured, high-achieving lives - pure entertainment with a bloodthirsty edge. Ben, the teenage son of a draconian government minister, visits the circus for the first time and falls instantly in love with Hoshiko, a young performer. They come from harshly different worlds - but must join together to escape the circus and put an end to its brutal sport.
Hayley Barker has a BA (hons) degree from Birmingham University and has taught secondary school English for eighteen years. She is a huge YA fiction fan and says being published is the most exciting thing that has ever happened to her. Hayley was inspired to write Show Stopper by her fears about the growing wave of crime and animosity against minority groups in England. She lives in Essex with her husband and two young sons.
Follow Hayley on Twitter: @HayleyABarker
She can uncover the truth, if she defeats her demons Ex-neuroscientist Carina struggles with a drug problem, her conscience, and urges to kill. She satisfies her cravings in dreams, fuelled by the addictive drug 'Zeal'. Now she's heading for self-destruction - until she has a vision of a dead girl. Sudice Inc. damaged Carina when she worked on their sinister brain-mapping project, causing her violent compulsions. And this girl was a similar experiment. When Carina realizes the vision was planted by her old colleague Mark, desperate for help to expose the company, she knows he's probably dead. Her only hope is to unmask her nemesis - or she's next. To unlock the secrets Mark hid in her mind, she'll need a group of specialist hackers. Dax is one of them, a doctor who can help Carina fight her addictions. If she holds on to her humanity, they might even have a future together. But first she must destroy her adversary - before it changes us and our society, forever.
Check out my twitter to win a copy of this book!
Off-grid, San Francisco,
The man coughs, blood splattering into his hand. He doesn’t pause to wipe it away. His hands dance in midair, manipulating the code his ocular implants project into the room around him. The room is empty, the white walls stark. There are no windows. His body is exhausted, his lungs struggling to work. Medical advancement miracles can’t cure every disease, especially engineered ones.
Sweat trickles down his temples as he works. His hands shake, and he can’t afford to make a mistake. There’s only one person he can trust. Or at least, trust her to want to take Sudice down as much as he does.
There. His hands fall to his sides. The code floats around him, beautiful and perfect, like a nebula of the universe made of letters, numbers and symbols. Now all he has to do is find her. Minimizing the code, he opens the government map he cracked into earlier, typing in the numbers of her new VeriChip.
There she is. Right in Los Angeles, as he suspected. And she’s plugged in.
‘Finally, fate gives me a break,’ he mutters, beginning to prep the transfer when he hears the door open.
‘Fuck.’ His pulse spikes. He has seconds, if that. He locks onto the signal in LA. ‘Please, please let this work.’ He can’t stop a sob. ‘Don’t let this be for nothing.’
The footsteps come closer. The information streams into her brain. As soon as it finishes, he manages to still his shaking hands enough to obscure the breadcrumbs of the trail. He can only hope it’s enough. He turns to face his killer.
Someone shoots the lock and kicks the door open. The woman steps in and shakes her head at him. ‘I’m disappointed in you, Mark.’
‘I’m more disappointed in you, you fucking psychopath.’ He’s still shaking, but he hasn’t pissed himself. Maybe he’ll die with a modicum of dignity.
She tuts. ‘Language, Dr Teague. And I’ve never been officially diagnosed.’ She flashes him a mirthless smile before hefting the gun. ‘Now, what have you done here?’
He says nothing. She moves forward, and with a wave of her hands latches onto his ocular implants. As she rifles through his recent history, he stifles a satisfied smirk when she can’t find where he’s sent it.
‘You’ve made a mistake.’ She points the gun at him.
‘I’ve never been more certain of anything in my life. I only wish I could be around to see you and Sudice fall.’ He’s proud that, in the end, he stood up to them, at least put a wrench in their plans after all they’ve done.
No company is entirely invincible. Sudice has been trying for decades, buying politicians and using its deep entanglement in every aspect of Pacifica’s economy and government to strangle its competition. Mark knows there’s always a crack, a flaw that can be used to bring the whole thing down. He’s found the fissure, but he’s not strong enough to give it enough pressure to break.
‘Any regrets?’ the woman asks with a sardonic tilt of her head. ‘Any last-minute confessions before you meet your maker, if you believe in that sort of thing?’
Mark regrets ever working for Sudice. Greed was why he started, and he opened his eyes to the truth far too late. ‘I only had a few weeks left anyway, with whatever you gave me.’
He shrugs. ‘At least I might have done some good in the end. So no regrets.’
She pulls the trigger. Mark falls. He stares at nothing, the dark bullet hole on his forehead like a third eye. Roz steps over him and takes up his code, transferring it from his dying implants into her own. Face impassive, she begins her search.
Laura Lam was raised near San Francisco, California, by two former Haight-Ashbury hippies. Both of them encouraged her to finger-paint to her heart's desire, colour outside the lines, and consider the library a second home. This led to an overabundance of daydreams. She relocated to Scotland to be with her husband, whom she met on the internet when he insulted her taste in books. She almost blocked him but is glad she didn't. At times she misses the sunshine.
Today I am super excited to be sharing a post about some of my favourite disney villains and why they are amazing.
The wonderful Andrew at PewterWolf organised this blog tour so, a big thank you to him for asking me and here is a list of everyone else taking part.
For my post I am going to talk about my top 3 favourite Disney Villains. We all love the princesses but in the end, the Disney Villains will always hold a special place in my heart.
Friday 9th June
Tales of Yesterday
Saturday 10th June
Elizabeth and Katherine Corr
The Page is Printed
Sunday 11th June
Love Mikayla Eve
Beth at ReaderCorner
Monday 12th June
Luna's Little Library