My Publication Day – Amanda Reynolds.

Today, I would like to welcome you to my blog to read about Amanda Reynold’s publication day and what it means to her. Her book Close To Me will be published in paperback on the 27th July.

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How will you spend the day?

On publication day, I will be busy getting ready for an event that evening at my local Waterstones, in Cheltenham. I’m quite nervous about it, as it’s also a reading and book signing. Everyone has told me to relax and enjoy it, and I’m sure I will.

Will you be following reviews from early readers or do prefer not to know?

Fortunately, as Close To Me has been out as an eBook for three months prior to paperback publication, it already has lots of reviews and they have been overwhelmingly positive. I do check my reviews every now and then, although less frequently now as I’m settling in to the whole idea of being published.

Is it emotional, getting the novel you have worked on for months into the public eye?
It is emotional sharing my novel, particularly as it’s my debut, but it’s also such a privilege to be published that I’m determined to enjoy every bit of it as much as I
possibly can.

I often wonder and imagine that when your novel is published and you have been working on at least one novel since, is the book that is published less important? And is it a distraction, welcome or otherwise having to focus on what is for you old material?

That is one of the big differences when you’re working with a publisher, always having your head in more than book, but I like that diversity. It’s also great to get out and meet people and talk to other writers and readers. Close To Me will always be special to me, so I don’t mind at all going back to Jo and Rob’s world, although I do sometimes need to refresh my memory as I become so involved in my new characters whilst I’m writing.

Do blog tours make you more nervous or do you see them as beneficial?

There was a wonderful Blog Tour for the eBook publication of Close To Me, which was entirely beneficial as each day there was a new post: an extract, review, or Q&A. I missed it when the tour finished. The blogging community have been wonderfully supportive to me and Close To Me. I wrote about it on my author site as I’m constantly in awe of all the hard work that goes into book blogging. http://amandareynoldsauthor.com/blog.html

What is your publication day treat?

My publication day treat is to get my nails done. I go to a fantastic salon where I live in Cheltenham and they give you a glass of fizz whilst they pamper you.

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An Act of Silence by Collette McBeth – Review.

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About the Book

These are the facts I collect.
My son Gabriel met a woman called Mariela in a bar. She went home with him. They next morning she was found in an allotment.
Mariela is dead.
Gabriel has been asked to report to Camden Police station in six hours for questioning
Linda Moscow loves her son; it’s her biological instinct to keep him safe. But if she’s not sure of his innocence, how can she stand by him? Should she go against everything she believes in to protect him?
She’s done it before, and the guilt nearly killed her.

My Review

I didn’t really know what to expect when starting this book but I certainly didn’t expect it to be as fast paced as it was.
We have a disgraced politician, and her son who is a successful comedian. From the beginning, you are aware that their relationship is fractured. With the narrative switching between them, the reasons become clear. I found it quite difficult to like and understand either of them, its only much further into the novel that you become aware of everything has happened since Gabriel was a child.
Whilst I didn’t warm to either of these two immediately, there were three characters I liked instantly. These were Charlie, whose story was heartbreaking, Emily Lune and her husband Tom. Emily and Tom only appear towards the end but they were a welcome addition to a novel that contains some loathsome characters. The characters who appeared in the novel were fictionalized, but far too often you see the real version on our news.
As I said at the start of my review, the novel is fast paced. The narrative switches between most of the characters over many years. Some of the narration seems to be repeated but is from a different point of view. Especially when it involved Linda and Gabriel so the reader can see how their relationship suffered.
A great book, especially for a holiday. Just a little exhausting.
With thanks to the publisher for the copy received.

Close to Me by Amanda Reynolds – Review.

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About the Book

When Jo Harding falls down the stairs at home, she wakes up in hospital with partial amnesia – she’s lost a whole year of memories.
A lot can happen in a year. Was Jo having an affair? Lying to her family? Starting a new life?
She can’t remember what she did – or what happened the night she fell.
But she’s beginning to realise she might not be as good a wife and mother as she thought.

My Review

Close to Me is a new novel that follows the fairly common theme of having an unreliable narrator. But this book is slightly different with the narrator not being in her twenties. Here, Jo is in her mid-fifties, and struggling with having nothing to focus on now that her two adult children have left home. Neither of them have lived up to the high expectations that their parents had of them and their disappointment is evident. Rob, her husband is quite critical especially when Jo decides to help out a walk in centre where they help people to find work and with other issues they may have.
After her accident, she has no memory of the previous year, either within her family or the work she does at the centre. The book goes back and forth between the year leading up to the accident and a daily diary of Jo’s attempt to try and remember.
At first I struggled to warm to any of them. But as I read more I had more empathy for Jo and the difficult relationship with both of her children. I felt her frustration at not being able to remember the people she had known quite well before the accident. And not knowing what happened to damage the family she thought was close knit. I would have liked to get to know more about Fin, he was probably the character I liked most.
Its strange reading a novel where the reader knows what happened in the previous year but the character doesn’t and I liked it very much when everything was revealed and how exactly she had been deceived.
Well written and easy to read. I will read more by this author in the future.

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received