Jenny Downham’s Top 5 Facts About Furious Thing 



1) Furious Thing took three years to write. This is very slow! It took that long because I don’t plan – I get bored if I do. I use free-writing techniques instead. This is where you write continuously for a set period without worrying about the rules. So, I might open a book and put my finger on a word and write for twenty minutes. Then I might look out the window and write for another twenty minutes about the first thing I see. Do enough free writing in enough locations over enough weeks and months and a story begins to emerge. It’s a great way of writing with real energy and gathering lots of material. Themes, characters, location, all begin to clarify. With Furious Thing a golden family came first, then a 15-year-old girl who was ‘different’ from this family. She says, ‘I’m an ogre compared to the rest of them.’ Then came the notion of scapegoating – where one person is blamed for the things that go wrong. The drawback of freewriting is that you throw a lot of material away. It’s slow. And it requires a certain amount of faith. But the benefits outweigh the negatives in my opinion. I’m never bored. I’m often surprised by where characters take me. And the writing that doesn’t appear in the book is great at rooting motivation and giving the characters a strong past.


2) I had more fun writing Lexi (the 15-year-old narrator) than any other character I’ve written. She’s not academic or popular. She’s wildly rude, badly behaved and always in trouble. Writing from the point of view of someone who doesn’t consider outcomes before they act is enormously freeing. If I ever got stuck in the story, I’d just turn to Lexi and ask, ‘So, what happens next?’ She’d always have something up her sleeve. Her actions speak for her. She might not be as academic as her siblings, but she’s emotionally eloquent. She was constantly getting into trouble for creating chaos and I had to get her out of it. I loved that about her. 

3) Furious Thing explores controlling and coercive behaviour – a range of abusive acts that attack the personality rather than the body. It’s a pattern and happens repeatedly over time – one partner is controlling and there's an ongoing sense of fear. It’s a hard area to police because it happens slowly, subtly and covers a range of possible behaviours. It’s also deeply personal because the perpetrator has intimate knowledge of the victim, so the patterns of abuse and control are specifically tailored. It’s illegal in the UK and has been since December 2015. 

4) I hope the book encourages more girls to find their voices. Studies have shown that being angry makes women feel powerless. We feel it will damage relationships and get us nowhere. Women and girls finding allies and feeling they have a right to share their stories is hugely important. Campaigns such as Everyday Sexism and #YesAllWomen and #MeToo allow us to know we’re not alone. 

5) My debut novel, ‘Before I Die’ was at the centre of the Daily Mail’s ‘Sick Lit’ outrage - should we be allowing our young people to read books about grim subjects? Surely, writing about the death of a young person is unnecessary? Isn’t there enough tragedy in the world already? My answer was (and still is) that the LIVES of young people are full of tough things. It’s illusory to think we can keep them safe by only allowing them access to certain books. We need to find the joy among the difficult stuff, rather than ignoring the difficult stuff. Lexi goes through a lot in Furious Thing. But the book contains love, many moments of joy and ends with a great sense of hope. 

Furious Thing by Jenny Downham is out now from David Fickling Books. 
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Extract from The Grateful Boys by Francoise DeMaurier



“Welcome to Corpus. A Quaint Town with Country Charm. Speed Limit 45.” A man and his wife had just driven seven hours from Orange, Virginia. They made their way through the Carolinas, North and South, and finally hit their destination state, the professed buckle of the Bible Belt— the great Peach State of Georgia. It would take another ninety minutes before they finally crossed that “Welcome to Corpus” sign. “Never heard of a Corpus, Georgia,” the wife said. “Nor have I,” her husband responded through yawns, his hands on the wheel. “How much longer until we reach Savannah?” “Bout thirty-forty miles, I reckon. The drive through this tiny little dump shouldn’t take long.” “I swear I don’t recall seeing it on the GPS,” his wife said spuriously. “Nor have I,” he repeated. It was dark out now. Very dark. After five minutes riding through Corpus, Georgia, the paved road itself seemed to have vanished in favor of a dirt stretch. But it wasn’t the dirt road that bothered them, it was the blanket of fog that covered everything around them. Their sights were limited only to the view allowed by the headlights. “Dammit, I can’t see a thing. Never been in a town so foggy,” the man said as he clutched the steering wheel and leaned in. “Nor have I,” his wife shot back ironically. Another wheel clutching mile or so went by until the husband told his wife to turn the damned GPS back on. “Are you lost?” she asked as she turned her phone on. “Just wonna confirm we’re going in the right direction. To hell with these detours.” There it was, the luck of the draw. The moment her GPS turned on, the engine of their beat-up old Volvo sputtered to a climatic end. “Oh, not now. What did you do!?” she asked. “Me? It was your idea to make the drive when we could have flown,” he mumbled. “Don’t you roll your eyes at me. Get out and do something!” The wife quickly snapped her head to side. She went wide-eyed upon hearing a loud horrific screech from outside their vehicle. Her husband could see her trembling. “It’s nothing,” he said as he opened his driver door, slammed it shut, and lumbered toward the front of the car. Up went the hood and down went his head. “So what is it?” the wife signed as she rolled down her passenger window. “Might not be the engine. Might be the carburetor,” he said as he closed the hood after a quick inspection. “Either way, call Triple A. I don’t wonna be out here all ni–” Before he could finish his sentence, a dark winged figure swooped upon him. His wife screamed as the black shadowy demonic figure slammed him onto the hood of the car. The wife’s deafening screams matched the screech of the demon as it pulled her now bloodied husband into the dark of night. His screaming stopped as he faded out of sight and into the fog. Panicked. Sweating. Fearful. The wife rolled her up window at once, fumbled for her phone, dropped it under her feet, and fumbled for it again. With a panic attack on the rise, she dialed three numbers on her phone. “911, what is your emergency?” “SOMETHING JUST GOT MY HUSBAND! SOMETHING IN THE FOG! WHERE’S HE AT? WHERE’S HE AT?” she screamed. “Ma’am, calm down. Tell us your location and we’ll have assistance respond to your emergency as soon as possible.” “Corpus, Georgia. Our car stopped. Something got him! Oh God! Something got him!” she screamed through tears. Nerves frayed. She couldn’t quite understand what else the operator was asking her. A giant thud was accompanied by an immediately dent made upon the roof of her car. “It’s back!” she screamed into the phone. “Don’t end the call, ma’am. Help is on the way,” the operator responded. But there would be no help for the couple that drove seven hours from Orange, Virginia and intended to make a pilgrimage to Savannah, Georgia. The unintended stop they made in the tiny town of Corpus would be their last. The operator asked the wife if she was still on the line. Before she could answer, her window was shattered into a million pieces. A hooked arm as black as the night itself, that could only be described as belonging to no human on earth, swooped into the car and impaled the wife. And everything went black.  

5 Brave Protagonists By Erin Stewart 


I love reading protagonists (particularly girls) who fight back against villains, but maybe not in the action-packed, swashbuckling kind of way we usually think of bravery. I have a special spot for young adult characters who are waging war against more internal or social enemies. Give me a YA hero who takes on the world by standing up for her convictions, by speaking up when it would be so much easier to be silent, and by being true to who she is no matter what the world tells her she should be.

That’s brave in my book. And that quieter, internal strength is what keeps me turning pages and endears me to the characters. Here are five brave protagonists who captured my heart from the first page:

 • Melinda Sordino, SPEAK, by Laurie Halse Anderson. While Melinda spends a good chunk of the book hiding what’s happened to her, her bravest moments come when she finally tells what happened. This is not small feat. In a world where people often don’t believe victims and girls are shamed for the actions of others, speaking up is perhaps one of the greatest acts of bravery. This book also embodies bravery to me because Laurie Halse Anderson wrote a book at a time when readers didn’t necessarily want to hear about “such things” and were uncomfortable by seeing something so shocking on the pages. But just like Melinda, Anderson knew that speaking up is usually the only way to fight back. 

 • Katniss Everdeen, THE HUNGER GAMES, by Suzanne Collins. Arrow-wielding Katniss is brave and tough on The Hunger Games battlefield, but that’s not why she makes my list. Katniss is brave because in chapter 1, she puts herself in danger to save someone she loves. She doesn’t even think about it. She does steps forward, raises her hand and takes her sister’s place in a battle that will most likely end in her death. Because of that one moment right at the beginning of the book, I am in Katniss’ corner until the very last page. And as Katniss fights for her life, she uses her smarts, her strength, and most of all, her humanity to survive. 

 • Jo March, LITTLE WOMEN, by Louisa May Alcott. No list of brave girls would be complete for me without Jo March in Little Women. Growing up, this was my favorite book (and really, let’s be honest, still is). Jo embodied everything I wanted to be: smart, funny, rebellious and creative. In an era of embroidery and early marriage, Jo bravely did her own thing. She wrote books in a world of male writers who told her she’d never make it. She tromped through woods when other girls were in the kitchen. Most of all, she was 100 percent Jo, no matter what anyone said. She knew a simple truth that all brave girls know: her strength and her power was in her differences.

 • Auggie, WONDER, by R.J. Palacio. Auggie is brave every single day in very small ways. He treats others with kindness when it would be so much easier to be mean. He goes to school (without his helmet!) when he’d rather stay safely at home. Auggie is actually one of the inspirations for my own book because his story made me think about how a girl and a teenager would react in a similar situation. 

 • Which brings me to my final brave protagonist—my own! Ava is the main character in SCARS LIKE WINGS, my recent debut young adult novel about a burn survivor who is heading back to school a year after a fire left her with severe scars. Ava fears no one will ever see her as more than the Burned Girl, but as she makes friends and lets people into her life again, she realizes she has a choice: stay isolated and angry, or let the people by her side help her fly. A lot of people in her life could look at Ava and think she’s brave because she survived the fire. She endured horrible surgeries and pain. But I think what makes Ava the bravest is her choice to let people back into her life and into her heart. She chooses to not let her scars define her, and instead defines her life by the amount of love she lets in and gives out. To me, that’s the ultimate bravery—choosing to be vulnerable, choosing to love, and choosing to live.  



Everyone has scars. Some are just easier to see ... 

 16-year-old Ava Gardener is heading back to school one year after a house fire left her severely disfigured. She’s used to the names, the stares, the discomfort, but there’s one name she hates most of all: Survivor. What do you call someone who didn’t mean to survive? Who sometimes wishes she hadn’t? 

 When she meets a fellow survivor named Piper at therapy, Ava begins to feel like she’s not facing the nightmare alone. Piper helps Ava reclaim the pieces of Ava Before the Fire, a normal girl who kissed boys and sang on stage. But Piper is fighting her own battle for survival, and when Ava almost loses her best friend, she must decide if the new normal she’s chasing has more to do with the girl in the glass—or the people by her side. 

 The beautiful, life-affirming debut from Erin Stewart that's being called the YA answer to Wonder. Perfect for fans of Jandy Nelson, Nicola Yoon and John Green.  

About the author 

Erin Stewart is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern and a BYU undergraduate who works as a freelance writer and editor, as well as a weekly columnist in Salt Lake City. Scars Like Wings is her debut novel and is already set to publish in 14 languages. 



Blog Tour: Luck of the Devil (Forge Trilogy #2) by Meghan March #REVIEW & #Giveaway


I am really excited to be on the tour for Luck of the Devil book two in the Forge Trilogy by Meghan March. I really enjoyed the first book Deal With The Devil (you can check out my review here ) and was really looking forward to the second book and it didn't disappoint.



 Synopsis

New York Times bestselling author Meghan March continues the story of ruthless, calculating billionaire Jericho Forge in Luck of the Devil. 

My poker face has always been one of my greatest assets, along with my grit and determination. I was beholden to no one. Asked permission for nothing.

Then Jericho Forge took my life by storm.
I traded my freedom for something infinitely more precious, but I didn’t realize he was holding an unbeatable hand.
Now, all I have to do is survive the high-stakes game that is my life—with my heart intact.

But not falling in love with Forge? That will take the luck of the devil. 

Luck of the Devil is the second book of the Forge Trilogy, and should be read following Deal with the Devil. The Forge Trilogy concludes in Heart of the Devil.



Review

I really enjoyed Luck of the Devil. We really see Jerchio and India's relationship grow. It doesn't come without its obstacles but I just love these two together.  Jerchio Forge is definitely one of my favourite Meghan March men.

As always the story was fast paced and addictive as all Meghan's book are. You get both India and Jerchio's POV and I love seeing how their both feeling  about their relationship and All the happenings in the book. The ending! Why with the cliffhanger! Meghan March books always end in cliffhangers and  I am dying for the next book. I can guarantee you the next book is going to be even more action packed and will continue to take me on a whirlwind and leave me breathless like Luck of the Devil did. 4 Stars! 

* I received an e arc for an honest review*


All about Meghan March

Making the jump from corporate lawyer to romance author was a leap of faith that New York Times, #1 Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author Meghan March will never regret. With over thirty titles published, she has sold millions of books in nearly a dozen languages to fellow romance-lovers around the world. A nomad at heart, she can currently be found in the woods of the Pacific Northwest, living her happily ever after with her real-life alpha hero.

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Giveaway sponsored by Meghan March 




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Blog Tour: Shattered Vow by Kaylea Cross #REVIEW


Welcome to my stop on the Shattered Vows blog tour. Shattered Vows is an adult contemporary romance suspense that I enhkyed. Thanks to Ink Slinger PR for the e arc for an honest review!



Synopsis

She’s his best friend’s widow.  Molly Boyd’s entire world unraveled when tragedy turned the man she loved into her greatest threat. Her ex-husband’s death has left her pregnant and alone, struggling to put her shattered life back together—and her confusing feelings for his best friend aren’t helping matters. For years Jase has been a solid, steady source of comfort and friendship. Now she can’t stop seeing him as something more. And just as she’s wrestling with her shifting feelings, a new danger from her ex’s past threatens everything—including her and her unborn child’s lives.  But she’s always been the one.

  Jase Weaver is an expert at unrequited love. Years ago he stood by and watched his best friend marry the woman of his dreams, and he’s endured his suffering in silence ever since. But when Carter’s self-destructive tailspin threatened Molly, Jase stepped in to make her safe. And when Carter died, Jase stepped up to be her rock. Now he can’t stay silent any longer. He’s wanted Molly forever and it’s time she knows it. So when a new threat against her emerges, Jase will put his own life on the line to protect her, no matter the cost.



Shattered Vows by Kayla Cross is the third book in the Crimson Point series but can be read as a standalone. It's a romantic suspense that I enjoyed. 

We follow Jase who has always loved Molly but Molly was married to his best friend. When the two come together under tragedy and threat. They must decide to move forward together or apart.

The story had me hooked from page one, we start with a bang straight away. It slows in the middle but picks up for a fast paced ending. 

We are told the story from both Jase and Molly. I liked both voices but preferred Jases a little more. What I found was theres a lot of internal thoughts from both characters so we get an insight to how there feeling. I did struggle with so much internal thought to start with but when I got used to it I enjoyed it. 

Overall I enjoyed the characters and the storyline and am looking forward to reading more from Kaylea Cross.

3.9 Star's



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

NY Times and USA Today Bestselling author Kaylea Cross writes edge-of-your-seat military romantic suspense. Her work has won many awards, including the Daphne du Maurier Award of Excellence, and has been nominated multiple times for the National Readers’ Choice Awards. A Registered Massage Therapist by trade, Kaylea is also an avid gardener, artist, Civil War buff, Special Ops aficionado, belly dance enthusiast and former nationally-carded softball pitcher. She lives in Vancouver, BC with her husband and family. 



Blog Tour: Maybe Ever After by Cassie Graham #Excerpt & #Giveaway



Today I have an excerpt and giveaway for Maybe Ever After by Cassie Graham.


Title: Maybe Ever After 
Author: Cassie Graham
Released: January 18, 2019
Publisher: Self-published
Genres: Contemporary Romance


Synopsis

No one tells you what happens when you fall in love with your best friend. 


They don’t tell you it’s like waiting for the answer to a question no one can hear you ask. 


Meet Brynn Darling. Successful event coordinator. Celebrity friends. At the top of her game. But after many failed attempts at finding love, and a realization that her best friend is clueless, she’s ready to move on. 


Easton Cole has been in the friend zone since . . . well, forever. He fills the void with unimportant people and never gets attached. That is until Brynn begins seeing a guy who threatens everything he’s ever wanted. 


All bets are off.


Maybe it’ll never happen.

Maybe she’ll fall in love.
Maybe they’ll get their ever after . . . after all. 


Available on Amazon and FREE in Kindle Unlimited.   Amazon



Excerpt

Copyright © 2018 Cassie Graham

Real moments were scarce.

            Wait, let me rephrase. Important moments were scarce. You know the ones. The ones that defined your life and shaped you into who you were always meant to be. Or who you always wanted to be.

            That was the beauty of rarity. It forces you to look at your life from new angles – makes you appreciate the struggle you’ve endured before.


            As I caught my breath, the delicious heaviness of Easton on me, I knew I was having one of those rare moments that would forever influence my life.


            Easton pushed my hair back, his touch featherlight. I couldn’t understand how he could be so forceful – so strong – one minute, taking everything he could, and then so soft the next. Easton Cole was an enigma and I desperately wanted to know more.


“My sweet Brynn,” he whispered in my ear, again and it sent shivers through my body. I was his.When he looked at me like that . . . I couldn’t breathe. He settled between my legs and I hummed with contentment, happy to have him close, comfortable enough to never let him leave.


  The alarm on his phone began to ring and our reality smacked me in the face. “What happens next?” I asked in a small voice, feeling even smaller. I didn’t want to leave this room. I didn’t want to pop our bubble. I liked it.


Easton reached for his phone and silenced it. “We go home.”

I blinked, unable to say anything. He didn’t answer my question. Not really. His response was far too literal for my taste, but what was I to do?

So, instead, I kept quiet, watching the sun pour into our room, Easton’s skin turning a beautiful bronze color.

After a while, we broke apart, each of us getting dressed in silence. He stole sweet glances as I piled my hair onto my head and I snuck a few peaks as he brushed and styled his hair in front of the mirror.

Euphoric and sad, I teetered on the brink of begging him to stay here forever. I had no idea what kind of future we faced on the other side of the hotel door.But my mother’s words rang in my ears, reminding me to take it slow.


Live in the moment, darlin’ girl. Don’t forget to exist in the present while you’re waiting for the future.

Once our things were packed and ready to go, I took a moment to look around the room – our safe haven where so many truths were shared.

I’d forever remember this hotel and the way the room smelled. The way the sheets felt against my skin and the sounds Easton made in my ear as we made love. I'd remember all of it.

But what I’ll remember most is the way Easton looked at me and the way he made me feel without using any words at all.


About The Author


A Moscato aficionado, and chocolate mistress, Cassie Graham is a born and raised Arizona girl. Her sass knows no bounds and almost always has something kind to say, no matter the situation. She runs a platform of love and strives to bring those attributes out in every book she writes.   She started writing early in her high school career after an English teacher forced her to write in a journal. Four years and thirty-something notebooks full of words later, she found her passion. If Cassie isn't shoulder-deep in writing a version of a fairytale, you can find her front porch sitting with her husband and daughter, eating all the bread, gossiping with her best friends, visiting Disneyland, supporting strong women, listening to cheesy music and reading great books by amazing people. She loves binge-watching Supernatural, drooling over Dean, Sam and Cas, and going to conventions. She also enjoys spreading love any chance she can. So, if you run into her, give her a hug or a high-five. She guarantees they're magic.   Author of Unable to Resist, Anyone But Him, The Truth of a Liar, Enchanting Wilder, Surviving Wilder, Who Needs Air and The Girl Behind the Red Door. 


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Giveaway

Enter to win a $15 Amazon gift card plus five will win a Cassie Graham backlist eBook! Giveaway not sponsored by Reading Away The Days



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Sunday Post & Book Haul - One of my smallest but favourite hauls


The Sunday post which created by Caffeinated Book Reviewer this is a post where we recap on the going on's on the blog the week previous and the week coming up as well as the awesome books we have received, bought or been gifted for review!

*If your just here for the book haul, scroll down!!

Hi how has you week been? Mine has been great apart from I still can't get my sleep pattern back to normal since Christmas it's doing my head in. Hopefully this week is better. I read two books this week one being Shattered Vows by Kaylea Cross, which I will have a review up next week as part of a blog tour. Have a great week.

This week's posts:





Here are some of my Instagram photos from this past week. You can follow me on Instagram here




Linking up with Stacking The Shelves  a weekly meme where we share all the books we have added to our shelves whether it's physically or digitally. For more info check out the awesome host Tynga's Reviews

All Books linked to Goodreads.


Five Feet Apart by Rachael Lippincott (YA Contemporary Romance) - This is one of my most  anticipated books of the year. I brought a physical book which I rarely do but the physical copy is just so beautiful. I can't wait to read it and see the movie adaption later in the year.

Happy Messy Scary Love by Leah Konen ( YA Contemporary Romance) Received e arc from Amulet books & Netgalley. Releases 14th May 2019

*Gentleman Sinner by Jodi Ellen Malpas ( Adult Contemporary Romance) Received e arc from Orion books & Netgalley) Releases 5th February 2019- Jodi is one of my favourite authors and am so excited to have her latest book for  review

Slayer (Slayer #1) by Kiersten White ( YA urban fantasy) Received  e arc from Simon &  Schuster UK & Netgalley) Releases 21st February 2019 . This is already released in the US but release releases in the UK in February. 

River Wild by Samantha Towle ( Adult Contemporary Romance) This book released last week and I read it already on Kindle Unlimited. I really enjoyed it and will have a review up soon.

Let me know how your week was and any awesome books you got in the comments below.