Blog Tour Guest Post: The Sinking Chef by Sylvia Ashby. @NeverlandBT @bysylvia_a

I am thrilled today to be on this blog tour with a fascinating guest post from Sylvia Ashby, author of The Sinking Chef. I also have a giveaway for an Amazon voucher and a copy of the eBook so look out for that when you’re reading the post.  

BLURB:   “Bridget Jones meets Burnt in this delightful comedy novel about a talented YouTuber and the guy who keeps trying to bring her down. Although part of a series this book is completely standalone, as are all other novels in the Pot Love Series.

In Belsize Park, London, Ashley works hard on her daily YouTube channel “The Sinking Chef”. It’s filmed right in her kitchen, so she doesn’t go out much.  James is a gruff British TV director, turned publisher, who Ashley had a crush on ages ago.  She has moved on but when he calls with an offer to take her out to lunch she doesn’t say no. It’s only lunch – what can go wrong?

The day Ashley meets James for lunch and he promises her a book deal, she makes the worse decision in her life – to hide the book deal from her boyfriend, Giacomo. As things progress Ashley’s secrets mount up and other things in her life unravel. Is there a connection? And how is she going to get out of this without losing Giacomo and the life she loves?

Set in the heart of fast-paced London, The Sinking Chef is a charming story of love, recipes, secrets, and the determination to do thinks right by those you love most in your life.”
AMAZON LINKS

The book is exclusive for Amazon & in Kindle Unlimited

US:  https://www.amazon.com/Sinking-Chef-Pot-Love-Book-ebook/dp/B06ZYGMPLB

UK :  https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sinking-Chef-Pot-Love-Book-ebook/dp/B06ZYGMPLB

Australia:  https://www.amazon.com.au/Sinking-Chef-Pot-Love-Book-ebook/dp/B06ZYGMPLB

Canada:  https://www.amazon.ca/Sinking-Chef-Sylvia-Ashby/dp/1548021784
GIVEAWAY (International)

1st prize: £25 Amazon voucher and an eCopy of the book

2nd and 3rd prize: ecopy of the book

Click here to enter the giveaway. 

Guest Post: WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR IDEAS?

Every profession has questions it can’t escape. If you become a lawyer, for example, you know you’ll get asked for free legal advice. For doctors, it’s information about medical complaints. Shopkeepers – discounts. Plumbers – leaks.

For authors, it’s where we get our ideas from.

When I was first asked this question, it was so early in my career I hadn’t even published a book yet. I gave a long and somewhat tedious lecture about the creative process. I talked about asking yourself questions and letting your imagination roam. I talked about following leads, allowing characters to be themselves and not forcing them to do things that don’t feel natural.  

Halfway through my answer I realised the poor woman’s eyes had glazed over. I realised she was bored out of her mind. She hadn’t signed up for a lecture. All she had done was ask the first question that popped in her head when she had heard the word “writer”. I finished my lecture because I had already started it, but I never gave a long answer again. Instead, I tried to reply flippantly. I said I buy my ideas from a small shop in Dell Quay. Or that I dream them up, which is a lie.

Nowadays, I answer truthfully.

When I’m asked, and I get asked this a lot, I simply say “I don’t know.” I say that the ideas are not important – everyone has them. They’re five a penny. It’s the hard work to turn them into books that counts. That doesn’t seem to be the right answer either.  People seem to think that I’m being intentionally cagey, because I don’t want to give up trades secrets or something. That I’m being borderline rude.  

My latest book, “The Sinking Chef” came out a couple of months ago. It’s about a talented chef and the man who keeps trying to bring her down. It’s set in London, in beautiful Belsize Park and is part romantic comedy, part mystery. And I’ve tried long and hard to remember where I got my ideas for it because I know I’ll get asked.

For every book I publish, I have to slide out of bed, shake the cookie crumbs, come out of my lair and talk to people. A writer’s life is absurdly secluded to a point where we lose essential social skills. In order to reconnect with society, I have to do some rehearsing in front of a mirror. 

The question I try to answer the most while staring at my pasty-skinned reflection in the mirror is “Where do I get my ideas from?”  In the case of “The Sinking Chef” I think the ideas came from asking questions: How do we overcome our insecurities and fix the mistakes we make? How do we react when we face awkward moments? And, most importantly, where do we find courage? What inspires us to fight for the things we believe in?

In “The Sinking Chef” the answer to all these questions turned out to be one and the same: love. Ashley loves Giacomo with all her heart. She can’t let things go. She has to stand up and fight to keep him, and the life she loves, safe from harm.

It’s the same for me, I realised. I still don’t know where I get my ideas from, but I know what helps me turn them into books: love.

Love for writing.

Love for reading.

Love for everything to do with books.


Author bio: Sylvia Ashby is fond of the written word: books, blog posts, recipes, even an explanation to the HM Revenue & Customs as to why she thinks skirts should be exempt from VAT – she’s written it all! 

She likes travelling and has lived all over Europe – London, Brussels, Amsterdam and Sofia, Bulgaria. Currently, she lives in Leuven, Belgium with her husband, daughter, son and a sparrow called Jack, who comes occasionally to peck the seeds she leaves for him on top of the garden shed.

Website: http://www.sylvia-ashby.com/

Twitter: @bysylvia_a

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Blog Tour Review: Sunshine After the Rain by Daisy James.

Blurb: A summer that changes everything…

Frazzled workaholic Evie Johnson has finally had enough! When she’s blamed for a publicity disaster at the art gallery she loves, she decides to flee the bright lights of London for the sun-drenched shores of Corfu and turn her life upside-down.

Under the shade of the olive trees, she picks up her dusty paintbrushes and begins to chase the dreams she had put aside for so long. But she never expected to bump into drop-dead-gorgeous Sam Bradbury – and certainly not whilst wrapped only in a towel!

A summer fling is the last thing Evie wanted but a few stolen kisses under the stars might just begin to change her mind…

Buy Links:   buff.ly/2rYOgDE 

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35331194-sunshine-after-the-rain?ac=1&from_search=true 

 

My Rating: 4/5.

Review:  A pet peeve of mine is how much people, myself included, rush around and never seem to stop and appreciate what we have, or this amazing planet we live on.  Thankfully I am able to stop and look at times but others don’t and this book highlights that through Evie, someone who works so many hours that the days just blur into weeks and months.  When Evie is blamed for something at work she feels she must quit her job and flees to Corfu for a break from everything. Where she finds a more relaxed pace of life, no one rushing around and plenty of to appreciate the local scenery.

I’ve never been to Corfu but I could picture it easily through the descriptions, especially the ones where Evie is thinking about the paint colours she’s used for the sea and the sky.  The colours and the descriptions brought the area to life and the more I read the more I felt I was there, relaxing with Evie as the slower pace of life makes everyone slow to fit in with it.  

There are almost two stories in one here, Evie’s rediscovery of herself and contemplation of her life in London until she left and that of her and Sam and the other characters on the island.  This is a lovely, easy read but one which transports you easily into Evie’s world and makes you feel as if you are walking alongside her throughout the whole book.  Definitely a read for the summer but it may also work well on those dark winter days when we want nothing more than to be somewhere sunny. 

A lovely, relaxing and uplifting read, probably best enjoyed with a drink with plenty of ice.



Author Bio:  Daisy James is a Yorkshire girl transplanted to the north east of England. She loves writing stories with strong heroines and swift-flowing plotlines. When not scribbling away in her peppermint-and-green summerhouse (garden shed), she spends her time sifting flour and sprinkling sugar and edible glitter. Her husband and young son were willing samplers of her baking creations which were triple-tested for her debut novel, The Runaway Bridesmaid. She loves gossiping with friends over a glass of something pink and fizzy or indulging in a spot of afternoon tea – china plates and teacups are a must.  Daisy would love to hear from readers via her Facebook page or you can follow her on Twitter @daisyjamesbooks,

Author Links:

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/daisyjamesbooks/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/daisyjamesbooks   @daisyjamesbooks