Q&A with Penny Parkes, the author of The Larkford Series (Best Practice Blog Tour)

I am so happy to be today’s host in Best Practice blog Tour.
I want to say thank you to Hayley McMullan for giving me this opportunity, to Penny Parkes for answering all of my questions, and to Simon and Schuster UK for sending me a free copy of the book.

 

Best Practice is out now in hardcover and paperback.

 

About the book:

THE BRAND NEW BESTSELLER FROM THE AUTHOR OF OUT OF PRACTICE
Love and laughter with the residents of Larkford is exactly what the doctor ordered!

Dr Alice Walker has become accomplished at presenting a façade to the world – to anyone watching, she is the epitome of style, composure and professionalism. But perhaps it was to be expected that the cracks might begin to show at some point. Thankfully Grace is on hand to offer both friendship and support when it’s needed most.

Meanwhile, Dr Holly Graham has her hands full both professionally and personally. Planning a wedding with Taffy Jones is challenging enough, even before some surprising news changes everything. At least beloved Larkford resident, Elsie, still has a few tricks left up her sleeve!

Dr Dan Carter, on the other hand, has decided to throw himself into his career – the best antidote he’s found to unrequited love. When tragedy strikes in the heart of Larkford, Dan makes it his mission to help the community.

Penny Parkes’ first novel, Out of Practice, won the RNA’s ROMANTIC COMEDY OF THE YEAR AWARD in 2017. 

 

Q&A

Hi Penny, thank you for visiting Book Dust Magic. Can you please introduce yourself?

Hi, I’m Penny Parkes and I write novels about love, community and sneaking behind the scenes – it’s the contrast between my fictional GPs’ personal and professional lives that provides the springboard for my Larkford novels.

Can you please describe your journey to become a published author?

The moment I turned from talking about writing to actually writing seriously didn’t happen until my children started school. Going back to my old line of work finding film locations just wasn’t an option, so I had a small but distinct window of opportunity to see if I could make it as a writer. That focused the mind rather!

There have been many points of serendipity along my path to publication, but the common theme has always been taking a risk, jumping in with both feet, walking into a publishing party knowing nobody, taking on a challenge… And happily I haven’t looked back…

I just love The Larkford Series. Have you always planned for it to be a series, or was Out of Practice meant to be standalone in its early stages?

In my mind, it was always a series, but it has grown and grown, as my characters have developed on the page. Larkford gives me scope to write the stories behind the stories.

Who is your favourite character?

Oh, without a doubt it has to be Elsie Townsend – although she can be a bit of a show-off and can monopolise a scene without careful attention! Her Life Lessons and general empathy and generosity are a joy to write. In fact, she’s fast becoming my role model for my later years…

I always imagine your series as a Lifetime TV show. I assume you’d like to see it on the screen one day, but this time I want to ask you what TV shows do you like to watch?

It probably will come as no surprise to learn that Greys Anatomy and House MD feature very highly on my wish list for TV-time. I’m also a huge fan of shows like Sherlock, Elementary and The West Wing – sharp, funny, clever drama where I can’t predict the outcome (the curse of a writer’s mind that spoils many a TV show)

What do you like to do in your spare time?

Reading – obviously – and from a variety of genres. I feel positively twitchy without a book on the go! I’m also a huge movie fan and love to escape to the cinema. The rest of my spare time I’ll spend swimming, walking The Ginger Ninja, baking gluten free goodies or plotting the next Big Family Adventure. It also has to be said that I spend a glorious amount of time catching up with friends and fellow writing mates and just putting the world to rights over coffee or a little something stronger.

Where do you find your inspiration?

In the most unlikely of places, to be honest. Sometimes it’s not so much an event, as a comment, or a glance that sets the cogs tumbling into place. I do believe that you cannot

write fiction effectively in isolation though – conversations, movies, books, newspapers – they all add in to the mix.

What kind of music do you like to listen to?

When I’m writing, it has to be classical music, otherwise I start singing along! Einaudi is a firm favourite.

There is a presumption that all writers are also avid readers. How many books do you usually read in a month and what book did you really like that you read this year?

I’ll usually read one or two books a week, but on occasion I’ll devour a much-anticipated proof overnight – I don’t sleep much! Something in The Water by Catherine Steadman ticked all my boxes and is sure to fly next year.

Doing this interview with Penny Parkes was so much fun, and reading her books is even more awesome.
Make sure to check out The Larkford series, and to visit other blogs that participated in the tour.

 

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Cover reveal: No Further Questions by Gillian McAllister

Today is the day when Gillian McAllister’s new book cover will be revealed (or was revealed, bc of time you’re reading this).

In my personal opinion, the cover looks fabulous! It’s so beautiful, detailed but still simple, and it has that recogizable Gillian McAllister style.

What do you think?

Here is the cover:

 

Synopsis:

The police say she’s guilty.
She insists she’s innocent.

She’s your sister.
You loved her.
You trusted her.
But they say she killed your child.

Who do you believe?

Original, devilishly clever and impossible to forget, this is a thriller with a difference. You won’t be able to tear yourself away from the trial that will determine both sisters’ fates.

 

Preorder your copy here:

I don’t know about you guys, but I simply can’t wait for this book to come out. I adored McAllister’s Anything You Do Say. It was so brillian and perfect for book discussions. My copy still circles around my office, because someone is always reading it.
So I don’t think I have to stress out how badly I want to read No Further Questions.

 

 

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Reading Diary + Book Review: The Strange Fascinations of Noah Hypnotik (Blog Tour) @prhinternational #partner

I am so happy to be today’s host in The Strange Fascinations of Noah Hypnotik blog Tour.
I want to say thank you to Amanda Holman for giving me this opportunity, and to Penguin Random House, Viking Books for Young Readers for sending me a free copy of the book (ISBN (9780451480477) ).

Blurb:

This is Noah Oakman → sixteen, Bowie believer, concise historian, disillusioned swimmer, son, brother, friend.

Then Noah → gets hypnotized.

Now Noah → sees changes: his mother has a scar on her face that wasn’t there before; his old dog, who once walked with a limp, is suddenly lithe; his best friend, a lifelong DC Comics disciple, now rotates in the Marvel universe. Subtle behaviors, bits of history, plans for the future—everything in Noah’s world has been rewritten. Everything except his Strange Fascinations . . .

 

Reading Diary:

So… This time around I decided to do something different. Watching reading vlogs is something I enjoy doing in my free time, especially when I need that little push when it comes to my reading. As you probably already know, camera is not friend of mine, so I decided to track my reading in a different, but still similar way.
I decided to write a short reading diary, and take you with me (via pictures) to all the places in Zagreb that I thought would be great reading spots (yeah, I made it sound like I’ve been to soooooo many places, when in reality, I visited only few of them).

I enjoyed taking pictures and reading in public so much, that I decided to do this again some time in the future.

Without further ado, this is my reading diary…

 

May 23rd 

Wednesday morning and I am on a mission to take the most comfortable chair in McCaffe, so I could eat and read a bit before I have to go to work.
Of course, that specific chair was taken (because it always is) and I took the second best: just a regular spot.

This is my breakfast:

Some would say it’s unhealthy, but I call it breakfast of a champion. Reading champion that is!

In other news, I read 42 pages and the story is so far so good. The writting style is a bit messed up, but I like it. I like Noah’s friends, but since I read synopsis, I am affraid to get attached to them, because I am afraid I will miss them. There are so many pop culture references and I’ve learned so many facts about pop culture, like the one that Elvis Presley had a twin brother who died on birth.

 

May 24th

I started my day with a cup of coffee and a book. My kitten GiGi is my new reading buddy.

After our lazy morning, I decided to visit Botanical Garden in Zagreb, to do some reading before work.

I read cca 50 pages in Botanical Garden. It was so nice reading there, so peaceful quiet. There are so many places where you can just sit and enjoy your surrounding. Suddenly, I have an urge to watch Gilmore Girls, and I blame Noah Hypnotic.

 

May 25th

I decided to have some me time before work, so a book and a sheet face mask did their work. This is me, looking like panda:

I read around 80 pages (I’m on page 177 right now) and it’s getting really interesting. I wonder if a Fading Girl is a real thing? I should check it out on Youtube and let you know (fun fact: I checked it and no, it’s not a real thing. Too bad!).
I like Noah’s sister and yes, the story is actually going in the direction I thought it would, only it’s not as drastic as I thought it would be. At least it’s not for now, but who knows where the pages will take us!

 

May 26th

I woke up with an urge to read Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas. Since I don’t have a copy here in Zagreb, I thought it would be nice to visit my favorite book store and while I’m there, see it the new book by my favorite author Paige Toon, Five Years from Now, is also available to purchase there.
Since it’s Sunday, I just kissed the door (in my defense, they used to work on Sundays) so I went to Zrinjevac park to read there.

 

 

 

 

 

After some time, I decided to it was a coffee time, so I was on a mission to get that chair in McCafe, but I was out of luck again, so I had to sit in  a regular spot.

This is my coffee and a cookie (because you have to eat something sweet while reading, right?):

After my big Sunday evening, I had only few pages left to finish a book, so I read it in my bed, with GiGi sleeping next to me.

 

Brief review:

 

Reading The Strange Fascinations of Noah Hypnotik was so enjoyable. I understand why someone would be turned off after reading the blurb, but you don’t have to worry.
It all makes sense in the end and is actually pretty realistic. I mean, it all has it’s why and how.

This is a wonderful coming of age story with the most interesting characters. My favorite was Noah’ sister Penny.

The story is full of pop culture references and you could actually learn a lot from those, at least I have.

I liked how Noah and his friends liked all the things my generation used to like (like Gilmore Girls and David Bowie) even though the story is set in this time.
I can’t help but think that it was the author’s nostalgia that lead the characters to listen certain music and watch certain shows, and also awoke my own nostalgia for those same things.
But in all honesty, I wish today’s popular people or shows were also mentioned (okay, Kardasians were mentioned, but I wished for more).

The writing style is somewhat unusual but I liked it. It reads pretty fast.

This story made me laugh so many times, but was also really touching and I would highly recommend it to everyone who like coming of age stories.

 

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February Wrap Up

February was a really good month for me, reading wise.
I managed to read 9 books.
Unfortunately, only one of them was a 5 stars read for me, and one 4 stars worth read. Others were all bellow four stars.
I guess it has something to do with the fact that the more I read, the more critical of a reader I become.
I don’t complain though, because I feel like I am growing as a reader in a way, if that makes sense.

Without further ado, these are the books I read in February: (click on covers to see my reviews)

        

My favorite book of the month:

That is it!

Please tell me how many books have you read during February and what was your favorite?
If you have wrap up post, feel free to leave your link so I can visit you. 🙂

Sunday Post (Weekly Wrap Up Feb. 20th – 26th)

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Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer.

This meme was created for bloggers to spotlight posts they published in the week, as well as to talk about what they plan to write in the week that’s coming.

Sunday post is also great opportunity to showcase books we got in the week behind us.

spoiler vrpca

Hi Guys!

It’s been a while (again) since the last time I wrote my Sunday Post. I think it has been three weeks.
I am not going to talk about previous weeks, but only about this, pretty slow week blogging whise.

I wrote only 2 blog posts. I have a feeling that some publishers are maybe angry at me for being overdue with some reviews, but I promise I will get to them next week, and the week after next one.

Maybe I haven’t been writing much, nor visiting blogs (that is also something I have and want to change), but I have been reading a lot.
Amanda from Chocolate Pages and I buddy read The Owl Always Hunts at Night and it was a good experience. We both liked the book, and had lots to discuss on a way.

I am now packing my bag and tomorrow I go on a short trip (4 days, family visits). After that I’ll go back to my obligations and old life.
I plan to schedule some posts today, because I don’t plan to bring laptop with me.
So until Friday, I will probably be MIA in blogosphere and on Twitter.
However, I will be (like always) active on Goodreads and will be checking my emails every day (on my phone).

 

Last week on Book Dust Magic:

Monday: I reviewed Lion in my Movie Monday post

Friday: I reviewed The Witchfinder’s Sister by Beth Underdown

 

Next week on Book Dust Magic:

Upcoming reviews:

annabel-lee the-fifth-letter

I also plan to post my February Wrap Up.

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Book Haul:

In this haul I will show you books I collected during last three weeks.

For review:

paige-toon-arc I was the happiest girl alive when I received The Last Piece of My Heart by Paige Toon from Simon & Schuster UK. If you remember, this book was my WoW choice recently, and the day it came unsolicited I just couldn’t believe it.

the-runaway Lovely Rhoda Hardie from Lion Hudson sent me the debut novel called Runaway and the sequel to Annabel Lee, called The Raven. I plan to read The Raven soon while characters from the previous book are still fresh in my mind.

bella-the-rest Author Sheryl Browne sent me a physical copy of her novel The Rest of my Life. I am really looking forward to read it soon.

the-fifth-letter-arc I was very happy to receive this UK paperback edition of The Fifth Letter from Michael Joseph, Penguin. I already read it and it was good.

 

Purchased:

28062012140 About the Girl was the only book from Kelk’s Girl series that I didn’t have in my collection, so I bought it. I also wanted to suport croatian publishers so I purchased Big Magic in my own language.

allegedly by-your-side collide the-transcend-saga I got myself some ebooks of books I didn’t want to miss. There was also a great deal from Michelle Madow, so as a thank you for pre-ordering her newest book Collode, I got the whole The Transcend Time Saga for free.

spoiler vrpca

Currently Reading:

by-your-side This weekend I’m reading By Your Side by Kasie West. I am only 9 chapters in and, even though the writing style is great, I hope the story will become more interesting then it is now.

 

That is it!
Let me know what’s been going on with you, what you’ve been reading or watching this week and feel free to leave your links so I can visit you.
Have a lovely Sunday!

January Wrap Up

When it comes to reading, January was mediocre month.
I managed to read 6 books, which is good. It could be better, but it’s not bad either.
Good thing is that I liked all the books I read during January.

 

These are the books I read in January: (click on covers to see my reviews)

the-secret-life-of-lucy-lovecake my-sweet-revenge chris-aslan the-good-girlfriends the-perks white-lies-and-wishes

My favorite book of the month:

the-perks

 

That is it!

Please tell me how many books have you read during January and what was your favorite?
If you have wrap up post, feel free to leave your link so I can visit you. 🙂

Sunday Post (Weekly Wrap Up Jan. 30th – Feb. 5th)

765

Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer.

This meme was created for bloggers to spotlight posts they published in the week, as well as to talk about what they plan to write in the week that’s coming.

Sunday post is also great opportunity to showcase books we got in the week behind us.

spoiler vrpca

Hi guys!

I hope you’re having a lovely Sunday!

This week was pretty slow and monotonous for me.
Except meeting some friends and family, not much was going on.
I was more active on my Goodreads group then in blogosphere. February challenge started and right now my reading team is placed first, which is great, especially considering that me and my January team were placed very last in January challenge.

My review for Split movie grabbed more attention on twitter then I expected. I was criticized for supporting it, and for writing in my review that the main character is schizophrenic.
Since then I learned more about DID, and I added a note about that as an addition to my review.

 

Last week on Book Dust Magic:

Monday: I reviewed Split in my Movie Monday post

Wednesday: I reviewed White Lies & Wishes by Cathy Bramley 

Thursday: I talked about my reading/blogging plans for 2017

Saturday: I reviewed Alabester: What is Most Precious is Also Most Fragile by Chris Aslan

 

Next week on Book Dust Magic:

Upcoming reviews:

books: freeks annabel-lee

I also plan to post my January wrap-up and tell you what book I can’t wait to be released in my WoW post.

spoiler vrpca

Book Haul:

For review:

learning-to-love Author Sheryl Browne contacted me and asked me if I’d like to give her book Learning to Love a chance, and I gladly agreed.

the-mesmerist I was so happy when I saw that my wish (that I requested last year in October) on Netgalley was granted. The only obsatcle is that it can not be send to kindle app, so I’ll have to read it on my computer.

freeks I can’t even tell you how excited I was to get this beautiful edition of Freeks by Amanda Hocking from Tor Books HQ, Pan

paris-for-one Paris for One was such a lovely surprise. Wonderful team from Penguin, Michael Joseph sent it unsolicited.

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In case you’re interested…

This week lovely Megan from BookslayerReads did a Q&A with me. We talked about blogging in general and I gave some blogging advices. You can check it out here.

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Currently Reading:

paris-for-one I starterted this yesterday before bed, read only the first (and main) story and thought it was pretty good.

 

That is it!
Let me know what’s been going on with you, what you’ve been reading or watching this week and feel free to leave your links so I can visit you.
Have a lovely Sunday!