Category: blogtour

Blog Tour Interview: I Hold Your Heart by Karen Gregory

Posted July 17, 2019 by chooseyabooks in blogtour / 0 Comments

Author: Karen Gregory

Today I’m part of the I Hold Your Heart blog tour and have an interview with the author, Karen Gregory. Thank you to Faye for inviting me onto the tour and organising everything, Bloomsbury for providing me with a free eARC of I Hold Your Heart and of course Karen for her time answering my questions.  I’m hoping to have a review up shortly of I Hold Your Heart which is a compelling and thought provoking look at toxic relationships and gas lighting.

Summary:

‘You make me feel like there’s something good in the world I can hold on to,’ Aaron says. He kisses me again, draws me so close it’s almost hard to breathe. ‘I love you, Gem. And I promise I’ll hold your heart forever.’

When Gemma meets Aaron, she feels truly seen for the first time. Their love story is the intense kind. The written-in-the-stars, excluding-all-others kind. The kind you write songs about.

But little by little their relationship takes over Gemma’s life. What happens when being seen becomes being watched, and care becomes control?

Told in both Gemma’s and Aaron’s words, this is a raw, moving exploration of gaslighting in teenage relationships that skewers our ideas of what love looks like.

And now, onwards with the interview!

1. One of the things I found most compelling about I Hold Your Heart was how it really looked at toxic masculinity and negative relationships- particular the effects of psychological and mental abuse.  How did you go about writing such difficult topics in I Hold Your Heart?

I did a lot of research into emotional abuse and gaslighting, looking at a range of sources online and speaking to people who have gone through some of these issues. I also read some books, and found one by Lundy Bancroft called ‘Why does he do that’ particularly helpful for thinking about the mindset of someone like Aaron. It can obviously be quite upsetting delving into some of these topics, so I am lucky to have a good support network around me. 

 

3. What is your typical writing routine?

I’m not sure I have a typical writing day. I tend to fit it in when I can, depending on whether the children are at school or on  holiday and what working hours I’m doing in my day job (which is part time so that definitely helps!) I do seem to write in quite large bursts and then spend the rest of the time thinking about my story and characters and jotting notes for scenes down if I don’t have clear writing time. That way, if I do find a spare hour I know what I’m doing and can get into things quite quickly. Each book is a little different though, and editing is different to drafting. It’s always really helpful to have a decent stretch of a few hours, especially during structural edits, so I do tend to become a bit of a hermit when I’m on deadline!

 

4. What is the one piece of advice, encouragement or guidance you would wish to give to your teenage self or teenage readers today?

Hold on, because it will get better.

 Hold on, because it will get better.

5. The title hinges on a misunderstood quote from a a poem ; what inspired this particular mishearing 

One of the things Aaron does is pretends he likes things he doesn’t, and so it seemed natural he would misquote things from time to time. I go back and forth about why he does it: on the surface it’s just another element of his manipulation, but I actually think he has no idea who he is, and lacks basic self-awareness. In terms of the poem itself, in the very early stages of planning the book I was looking for love poems and read ‘i carry your heart with me’ by e.e. cummings and straight away the misquote came into my head. I knew it would be perfect for the story and for the title of the book.

6. Following on from the above and a slightly lighter question; what is your favourite misheard quote, e.g lyric, poem, etc

Ah, I have a silly story about this from recently! When I was a young teenager, I loved Madonna’s Immaculate Collection. My original copy is long gone, but I found a CD of it in a charity shop recently for 30p. I was so excited to put it on and discovered I still knew nearly all the words … except when I was younger I thought the line in La Isla Bonita was ‘Your Spanish loverboy’! It is, of course, ‘lullaby’ but I can’t get the misheard version out of my head now!

7. Is there a YA book that inspired you as a teenager to write or that you feel is a particular favourite YA book?

There was very little UKYA around when I was a teenager in the 1990s, so most of what I read was things like Judy Blume and Christopher Pike. ‘Tiger Eyes’ and ‘Forever’ by Judy Blume have definitely stayed with me. Also, a book called ‘Children of the Dust’ by Louise Lawrence, which is set after a nuclear war and was completely terrifying.

Thank you Karen again for answering my questions. Don’t forget to check out the other posts for the blog tour. I Hold Your Heart is out now.

Blog Tour Review: Theatrical by Maggie Harcourt

Blog Tour Review: Theatrical by Maggie Harcourt

Review: Today I’m pleased to be reviewing Theatrical by Maggie Harcourt as part of its blog tour. I really enjoyed Harcourt’s Unconventional last year and I think her books keep getting better. Theatrical tells the story of Hope, her mum was an opera singer and Hope grew up around the theatre. She doesn’t want to be on the stage herself, she wants to be the person running everything backstage. Hope gains an internship at a local theatre hosting a prestigious new play with celebrity Tommy Knight in the lead role. I loved this book; I’d been in a bit of a reading rut but this book was just what I needed in order to bring myself back. It was sweet and really pulled me in which hadn’t happened for a while. Hope was a character I was rooting for the […]

Posted July 12, 2018 by chooseyabooks in blogtour, reviews / 0 Comments
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Blog Tour: Delete by Kim Curran

Blog Tour: Delete by Kim Curran

Today I am delighted to share with you a guest post from the lovely Kim Curran for the Delete blog tour. Thanks to Faye for organising the tour and Kim for the great post!  About Delete: The country is at war. Beset by enemies within and without. And all because of the decisions changed by one boy, Scott Tyler. In this ravaged alternative reality, Scott hardly recognises himself. He’s a war hero, a leader of a unit of Shifters and maybe the only one who can prevent the country’s frail defences from crumbling. But all Scott wants to do is find a way back to the world he knew, without losing the girl he loves. With every Shift he makes, Scott edges closer towards oblivion. With no one to trust – not even himself – how much is he willing […]

Posted April 1, 2015 by chooseyabooks in blogtour / 0 Comments
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Blog Tour: Review – Code Red Lipstick by Sarah Sky

Blog Tour: Review – Code Red Lipstick by Sarah Sky

Note: This review is part of the blog tour for Jessica Cole: Fashion Assassin. It was meant to go live yesterday (Saturday) but due to unforeseen circumstances I was unable to post this until today. Review: I heard a lot about the Model Spy series through twitter and the UKYA community so when Faye (A Daydreamer’s Thoughts) asked me if I’d like to review the first book for Sarah Sky’s upcoming blog tour I leapt at the chance. I really enjoyed Code Red Lipstick and read it at just the right time, when I needed something fun and funny to read. While the concept isn’t entirely new, Jessica’s realistic and relatable voice carried this book really well and Sky raised several themes and ideas that made it stand out in the crowd, plus the gadgets and Bond-like feel worked well. The balance between modelling […]

Posted February 15, 2015 by chooseyabooks in blogtour, reviews / 1 Comment
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Blog Tour: 3 Days To Go Until The Maze Runner [Review and Signed Book Giveaway]

Blog Tour: 3 Days To Go Until The Maze Runner [Review and Signed Book Giveaway]

Today I am posting as part of the blog tour for the run-up to The Maze Runner’s movie release in 3 days (10th October 2014). I’m really excited for the Maze Runner movie as the lead actor, Dylan O’Brien, plays one of my favourite characters on Teen Wolf. I have a review of the book and a giveaway for a copy of edition of the Maze Runner signed by the author James Dashner. Title: The Maze Runner Author: James Dashner Publisher: Chicken House Books Publication Date: August 4th 2011. Series/Standalone: 1st in a series. Format: Paperback Source: Publicist/Publisher Also by this author: The Scorch Trials, The Death Cure, The Kill Order, Eye of Minds. Goodreads Description: When the doors of the lift crank open, the only thing Thomas remembers is his first name. But he’s not alone. He’s surrounded by boys who welcome him […]

Posted October 7, 2014 by chooseyabooks in blogtour / 9 Comments
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Blog Tour: Glaze by Kim Curran

Blog Tour: Glaze by Kim Curran

Today I am sharing a guest post from the lovely Kim Curran as part of the blog tour for her recent release, Glaze. I’ve read Glaze and it’s great; smart, compelling and thought-provoking and I’ll be reviewing it shortly. Petri Quinn is counting down the days till she turns 16 and can get on GLAZE – the ultimate social network that is bringing the whole world together into one global family. But when a peaceful government protest turns into a full-blown riot with Petri shouldering the blame, she’s handed a ban. Her life is over before it’s even started. Desperate to be a part of the hooked-up society, Petri finds an underground hacker group and gets a black market chip fitted. But this chip has a problem: it has no filter and no off switch. Petri can see everything happening […]

Posted May 19, 2014 by chooseyabooks in blogtour / 1 Comment
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Countdown to June 5th: Interview with Helen Grant

Countdown to June 5th: Interview with Helen Grant

Firstly, sorry to Jim and Helen as this should have been up earlier today but due to technical issues on my part and work, I could only just put it up now. Jim, the lovely blogger at YAContemporary among other blogs and on twitter as YAyeahyeah has organised a fabulous blogging event CountdownYA to celebrate UKYA books published on June 5th this year. I was thrilled to invited to take part and am thrilled to introduce the brilliant Helen Grant, her novel  Demons of Ghent (Book 2 in Forbidden Spaces trilogy) will be out on June 5th. People are falling from the rooftops of Ghent. But did they throw themselves off – or did somebody push them? Veerle has seen enough death to last a lifetime.  But death isn’t finished with Veerle just yet.  When people start to die in her […]

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Blog Tour: Now You See Me by Emma Haughton

Blog Tour: Now You See Me by Emma Haughton

Today I am joined by the lovely Emma Haughton as part of the blog tour for her debut novel Now You See Me which is out tomorrow. Thank you Emma for answering my questions and Megan at Usborne for arranging the tour! Goodreads Description: Three years ago, thirteen-year-old Danny Geller vanished without trace.His family and friends are still hanging on to every last shred of hope. Not knowing if he’s alive or dead, their world is shrouded in shadows, secrets and suspicions.This is the story of what happens when hope comes back to haunt you. When your desperation is used against you. When you search for the truth – but are too scared to accept the reality staring you in the face…A mesmerizing psychological thriller with the most incredible twist you’ll read all year. 1. Now You See Me is your […]

Posted April 30, 2014 by chooseyabooks in blogtour / 2 Comments
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Blog Tour: Breaking Butterflies by M. Anjelais

Blog Tour: Breaking Butterflies by M. Anjelais

Today I am delighted to be taking part in the Breaking Butterflies blog tour where the lovely M. Anjelais has answered a few questions for me about her writing process, her journey to publication and the books that have inspired her. The closest he will ever come to happiness is when he’s hurting her. Will she let him? A beautiful and twisted story of first love and innocence lost–written when the author was just eighteen.  Sphinxie and Cadence. Promised to each other in childhood. Drawn together again as teens. Sphinxie is sweet, compassionate, and plain. Cadence is brilliant, charismatic. Damaged. And diseased. When they were kids, he scarred her with a knife. Now, as his illness progresses, he becomes increasingly demanding. She wants to be loyal–but fears for her life. Only the ultimate sacrifice will give this love an ending. […]

Posted April 10, 2014 by chooseyabooks in blogtour, yadebut / 0 Comments
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UKYA Blog Tour: Interview with Rachel Ward

UKYA Blog Tour: Interview with Rachel Ward

I’m really excited today to share an interview with Rachel Ward as part of the blog tour, Lucy at Queen of Contemporary and Project UKYA has organised this month for UKYA. I was supposed to have this post up yesterday but there was a technical issue that prevented me from this so please accept my sincere apologies for the delay. Numbers is a fascinating concept. What do you think you would do if you were in the same situation as Jem and could see people’s numbers? I’d like to say that I’d use it for some good purpose, but the reality is that I’d hide away in a cave, so I didn’t have to see people’s numbers. I think it’s much more of a curse than a blessing. Both the Numbers series and The Drowning have strands of serious issues, […]

Posted November 16, 2013 by chooseyabooks in blogtour / 2 Comments
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