Saturday, 30 August 2014

Review x 10: Because You Like 'Em

I enjoy doing the Conversations over Milk & Cookies segment so much that  I forget this blog is primarily a review blog (the name says so!).

Here are some of my reviews for August. Click on the thumbnails to read the reviews.

You can read my other reviews here.

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Episode 24 Conversations over Milk & Cookies - Effrosyni Moschoudi

Welcome to Episode 24 of Conversations over Milk & Cookies hosted by Kindle Ninja.

Hi, Kindle Ninja here, you know, the ninja who occasionally stalks indie authors and invites them to conversations over Milk & Cookies. 

What is this madness, you ask? It's my way of supporting indie authors. We interact with them everyday, directly through tweets, or indirectly through re-tweets, but we don't really know much about them. Their personalities really don't shine through in 140 characters. 

Of course, that changed considerably when the Milk & Cookies segment was born. Since its inception, we've seen the funny side, silly side, dark side, and all other sides that these wonderful authors don't let show. 

Today, I'm having a conversation with author Effrosyni Moschoudi.

I've been stalking following Fros for some time now and I enjoy hanging out at her wonderful blog without her knowing (what? that's stalking?). I come for the posts, but I stay for the food & travel photos. Let's get to know Fros in more than 140 characters, shall we?

KINDLE NINJA:  Welcome to Conversations over Milk and Cookies. How do you like your cookies? Chewy? Crunchy? Crumbly? Something else?

Crunchy of course! Have you ever tried to dunk a crumbly or a chewy cookie in hot tea? Disaster, my friend! I have a favorite cookie too. It’s Miranda by Papadopoulou (a very old Greek brand). In the winter, I often kiss my waistline goodbye by dunking in my tea up to a dozen of those babies before you can even say ‘Gosh, I see you’re going for the beached whale look next summer!’ Even the image on the side of my mug is not without meaning (snorts).

Miranda. Impossible to have just one. 12 is the minimum.

You know what, I'm going to stock up on those cookies for you and my Greek 'Dad' Nick. So you'd rather have tea than milk...

Yes, I love tea and preferably Earl Gray.

Who’s the person you’d want to have tea with?  
If I were to choose a famous person, I’d pick someone really posh. Dame Maggie Smith—Dowager Countess of Grantham from Downton Abbey—would be lovely. Although I fear she might tell me off for being a pleb. I take it with milk instead of lemon you see (giggles).

Tell me, has your naughty cat Felix ever eaten your manuscript?

I’m sure he would if I let him indoors but I have a thing about cat hair. When I had a dog it used to live in the house but I refuse to let the cat in as he jumps on table tops and furniture and I can’t handle that. Still, Felix manages to be naughty 24/7 living on my front porch. When I’m in the kitchen, he insists on sitting on the window sill clawing at the netting or rubbing himself against it, just to watch me recoil at the site of his hair flying into the air. I used to have eight miniature pot plants on the window sill. He’s destroyed them all, but one at a time, just to prolong my frustration. As for my pot plants on the porch. I’ll just say he seems to believe they are beds, recliners and chairs!

The real Felix the Naughty Cat

If your novel “The Lady of the Pier” would be made into a movie, who do you want to play the main character/s?

As I’m very passionate about movies, when I write I tend to shape the characters in my head with the appearance and mannerisms of my favorite actors and actresses. This means I’ve already casted my main characters. I’m a huge fan of Twilight and Robert Pattinson so he’d play the double role of Christian and Danny. With his gorgeous smile, he’d be ideal for these flirty and cheeky characters. 

The Lady of the Pier
For the dramatic scenes, I’d count on his amazing, angry face. Makes my hair stand on end. If you’ve watched Bel Ami and a certain scene with him and Kristin Scott Thomas then you know what I’m talking about. As for the double role of Laura and Sofia, this would have to be Amanda Seyfried.  It would be like Mamma Mia all over again, as she’d be in beachwear once more, swimming in sparkling waters and diving off boats. It’s so easy to imagine. There’s so much innocence in her massive blue eyes plus she sings like an angel so she’d be just perfect. As for my baddie, Charles, this would have to be Jonathan Rhys Meyers. His icy cold stare is wicked. He makes my skin crawl as a baddie so he’d be perfect. 

Sorry this is long! I did warn you that I’m passionate about movies though. You could have stuck a doughnut in my mouth from that tray over there. That would have stopped me chattering so remember next time you ask me a movie question, will you?  

 Will you stop looking at those doughnuts. Those are Danica Cornell's!       
Celebrity / Author / Famous Person you’d take to another planet should Earth  become extinct.

Wouldn’t go anywhere without Andy, my British husband. If anything because he makes me laugh and I couldn’t function anywhere without him. But if we must take a celebrity along, that would have to be Tom Cruise. He’s been in so many Sci-Fi adventures, I’m sure he’d keep us safe (grins and puts up a finger). Does this count as a movie question? Oh, that’s nice, thanks! (shoves doughnut in mouth) Yummy. Thanks KN, you’re the best!

If you could travel back in time, where would you go and why? (and will you take Ninja with you?)

I’d go back to Corfu at the time when I was a teenager holidaying at my grandparents’ house just to have another moment with my late grandfather. I’d give him a big hug and ask him to tell me another of his many old stories. I have the best memories of my young life from these summers. As for you, my favorite Ninja, sure you could come with me. But only if you’d agree to wear colorful swimshorts and a bandanna. They were all the rage back in the 80s.

No Speedos! lol  So, how do you feel about doughnuts without holes?

Are you kidding? My favorites. The more of the yumminess the better.

What’s the book you wished you’d written?
Twilight of course. I’d be loaded with cash now, sunbathing on an exotic island and never having to work again. Seriously now, I’m very inspired by this success story. Over the course of a couple of years, Stephenie Meyer’s life changed dramatically. From a shy housewife (or ‘mousy Stephenie’ as she put it), she turned into a successful author and film producer. It all started from a dream she had one night and she could have easily kept it to herself or forgotten about it. But she believed. I think her story is a huge lesson on the power of faith and perseverance and it inspires me every day to keep believing in myself too.

What’s the book that positively shaped you?
For nearly 30 years, I’ve been reading a lot of books of esoteric philosophy and self-help that have shaped my character and my mindset but only one of them I’ve come to call ‘my bible’: it is “The Master Key System” by Charles F. Haanel, and in particular the comprehensive copy you can get nowadays that includes the famous extra chapters. It’s a legend of a book but certainly not an easy read. Still, it’s a treasure of knowledge and the best read I can think of for people pursuing happiness and prosperity. I’ve always had questions about the meaning of life, the nature of God and also about the workings of the human mind, especially the subconscious. I’d been reading avidly since adolescence to find answers on all these subjects. Haanel’s particular masterpiece landed in my hands just a few years ago and finally explained everything to me with perfect clarity. I now see the world, God and people with new eyes because of it.

What would you rather be doing now? (instead of answering these questions).  

I’d love to be on a beach in Corfu, preferably in Issos. I love its crystal waters and sand dunes. My annual escape to the island is coming up and I can’t wait. Okay, don’t look at me with those eyes… Tell you what, give me the doughnut  tray now and I’ll think about it. Maybe you can ride in the back seat, but only if you dress up as a tourist. We can’t have the holidaymakers screaming with panic at the site of your black attire and flying daggers!

I'm ready, Fros.

What do you do to decompress?
I like to have a stroll around the marina or the beach in my little seaside town. The sound of the water and the cry of seagulls help me to relax. If it’s cold outside, I just snuggle up on the sofa by the fireplace and stick a DVD in the machine.

What bizarre food have you eaten?
Several types of seafood that I either eat raw or cooked depending on the type. Although, being as health-conscious as I am, I see fast food or margarine as ‘bizarre food’ and never touch it. I mean just how plastic is this stuff?

If book reviewing-ninja were to raid your fridge, what would he find in there?
I don’t know about the fridge, but I know what you’d find in the freezer: my homemade icecream! My sister gave me this amazing recipe and it’s the easiest and yummiest ice cream ever. Hey, is it me or are your eyes twinkling behind the mask? No problem buddy, I got you covered! Here’s the recipe on my blog.   Make a bucket and you can thank Frostie later.

Frostie Ice Cream
What’s in your purse right now?  
Dude, seriously, give that back! Shoot, too late! (chews lower lip) Okay, so I have a confession to make. Remember when you popped out earlier to get more milk? Well, the tray of doughnuts sort of beckoned to me and well…

On a scale of 1 to 10, how excited are you about life right now?
Since I entered the indie world just under a year ago, my life has changed immensely. Although I’ve been unemployed since the breakout of the Greek crisis in 2010,  I now work at home 10-12 hours a day without pay, trying to shape my future as I want it to be. This is the first time in my life I have the chance to do that and I find it very empowering. I owe it greatly to my husband who doesn’t mind being the sole breadwinner while I give it my best. I can say with certainty that being an indie author makes my life pretty exciting. Plus, I’m going to Corfu soon and the anticipation always pumps up the blood in my veins. So I’d say 10 is a small number these days. Try 20 or more…

Nicholas Sparks or Dan Brown?
Dan Brown of course! The man’s a genius. Phew - I’m glad you didn’t ask me to choose between him and Stephen King! We’d be here so long you’d wind up serving dinner!

We can order pizza! (or Gyros?)

J.K. Rowling or Stephenie Meyer?
Although I’m not a fan of Harry Potter I admire J.K. Rowling greatly for her journey as a writer, and even more so because she had to face a lot of adversity. I expect it made her faith ironclad in the process. Another inspiring success story there, even more so than Stephenie’s. So, yes, Rowling on that score.

Thanks for your time. Hope you enjoyed the milk and cookies.
You bet I did, KN! And I’ll remain grateful, as long as you don’t remove from my purse what you found earlier (pleading look). Thank you for this amazing opportunity, my friend! 

Don't forget to follow Fros on Twitter.

Visit her website.

And most importantly, support her by purchasing, reading, and reviewing her books: Clicking on the books redirects to Amazon page.

The Lady of the Pier

The Necklace of Goddess Athena

Friday, 15 August 2014

Gritty, Contemporary & Hard-Hitting: Books by Author Kate Hanney

Gritty, Contemporary & Hard-Hitting Young Adult Fiction  
Books by Author Kate Hanney

Someone Different 
Hearts & Arrows


Amazon US
Amazon UK

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

All YA, All Brilliant

Check out some YA books written by Indie Authors. They're absolutely worth your time and money.



CURSE by Dale Furse


 UNTETHERED by Katie Hayoz


Episode 23 Conversations over Milk & Cookies - Stevie Turner

Welcome to Episode 23 of Conversations over Milk & Cookies hosted by Kindle Ninja.

What is this madness, you ask? It's my way of supporting indie authors (some of them are members of the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB).

We interact with them everyday, directly through tweets, or indirectly through re-tweets, but we don't really know much about them. Their personalities really don't shine through in 140 characters.

All the EPISODES of Conversations over Milk & Cookies can be found HERE.  Or you can just look to your right and you'll find the Quick Links.

In this episode, we feature STEVIE TURNER, author of 'The  Porn Detective', 'The Pilates Class', and 'A House of Windows' (among others).

Let's get to know Stevie in more than 140 characters, shall we?

** Green Tea and Lemon Cake were served in this episode because Stevie is allergic to milk and cookies.

KINDLE NINJA:  Welcome to Conversations over Milk and Cookies. Green Tea and Lemon Cake.  Do you agree that there’s a particular sadness in lemon cake?

There would only be sadness present if one could not obtain any.

Writers are very interesting (and sometimes quirky) people with strange rituals. What is your strange writing ritual?

Because I tend to sit and write for a long time, I always go for at least a half hour walk before I start.

What would you consider as your 15 mins of fame?

The time recently when A House Without Windows made it into the top 100 bestsellers in the Crime/Suspense/Kidnapping section.  I think its presence in said category might have even topped 15 minutes too.

How important is the choice of character names in your novel  (or any novel for that matter)

Quite important for me.  I like down-to-earth characters in real situations with unaffected names.  As soon as I see handles like Skylar or Tyriona it turns me off straight away!

 If your novel “The Porn Detective” would be made into a movie, who do you want to play the main character/s?

I think Kristin Scott Thomas would make an excellent Frances, and likewise Daniel Day-Lewis for Martin.  Rhona would need to be somebody quirky; Julie Walters would fit the bill there.

And who will direct the movie?

Roger Michell.

How do you feel about doughnuts without holes?

You’re asking somebody comfortable with eating mainly healthy food with the odd foray into lemon cake.  As far as I’m concerned, the best bit about a doughnut is its hole.

 What’s the book you wished you’d written?

The Go-Between by L.P Hartley. I wish I’d written ‘The past is a foreign country.  They do things differently there.’ 

What’s the book that positively shaped you?

I read through it again recently when I was writing A House Without Windows, and I incorporated it into the story.  It was Enid Blyton’s ‘Island of Adventure’. It started a love of reading when I was a young child that has fortunately never gone away.

Actor you’d take to the movies. What movie?

Robert Redford, my all-time favourite actor. I’d happily sit with him and watch his younger beautiful self in one of my favourite films ‘Out of Africa’.

 What would you rather be doing now? (instead of answering these questions).  

Writing my sixth novel. 

 What do you do to decompress?

Walk about in the countryside where I live.  I love to hear the birds singing and feel the sunshine on my face.

What bizarre food have you eaten?

I have various food allergies and am not particularly adventurous when it comes to trying new foods.  I once wound up my husband and sons and gave them a saucer of pumpkin seeds as a starter (I put them on porridge).  My sons gave them the evil eye and enquired as to what had to be done with them, and my husband wondered if I had recently purchased a parrot.

If we were to raid your fridge, what would we find in there?

Living lettuce, watercress, tomatoes, cucumber, soya milk, soya yoghurts, soya margarine (I’m allergic to dairy produce), turkey slices, ham, broccoli, carrots, pod peas, cabbage, fruit juices, low-sugar strawberry jam, low-fat mayonnaise and salad cream, new potatoes, jacket potatoes, and slices from a roast chicken I cooked yesterday.

 What’s in your purse right now?  

Many coins weighing it down, a couple of tenners, the prescription card for my new glasses, a supermarket receipt, an AA card in case my car breaks down, and a Hard Rock Café card that lets me go to the front of the queue.

 On a scale of 1 to 10, how excited are you about life right now?

When you get to my age (56) it’s more about being fulfilled and satisfied with your life, rather than excited.  Writing fulfils me, my marriage is stable, there’s a fourth grandchild coming soon, and I can still walk about without my knees giving way.

 Nicholas Sparks or Dan Brown?

Nicholas Sparks definitely.

J.K. Rowling or Stephenie Meyer?

Neither I’m afraid.  Only real life stories interest me.  

 Ninjas or Porn Detectives?

A Ninja has definitely got to be a better way of living than being a porn detective. In fact, even being a dead Ninja is better than being a porn detective!

Thanks, Stevie!

Stevie just published her latest novel, 'NO SEX PLEASE, I'M MENOPAUSAL'

You can follow her on Twitter: @StevieTurner6

Find her on Koobug.