WWBB on Facebook!

You are invited to post your book links, blurbs, snippets on WWBB's Facebook page. Follow me on Twitter and use @louise_wise for a retweet.

Thursday, 27 September 2018

Erotically primal! A raw soul to soul connection between a human and a non-human species – can Macy endure his loving? #ASMSG #IART #supernatural #erotica #alien #romance #inlust #alpha #venom

Meet the Jelvias, masters of 
corruption and killers of humans.

When journalist Macy stumbles onto a story of a lifetime—a Jelvia with humanity—she investigates and comes across a devilishly handsome Jelvia, called Narcifer. And when fate pushes them together, Macy seizes her chance to interview him.

Her best friend, however, dismisses that it’s down to fate and warns Macy that Narcifer has been following her because the newspaper she works for is owned by an enemy of the Jelvian government.

But Macy, overpowered by her own emotions as Narcifer pushes her boundaries and unlocks all her inhibitions in a weekend of sex, spankings and more sex, wants nothing more than to forget her friend’s warnings and the newspaper she works for. But then she overhears Narcifer on the phone: he’s going to kill her.

Narcifer isn’t all he claims to be, and Macy finds herself in a very dangerous situation.

Is Narcifer her lover or her destroyer?

Contains mature themes.

Purchase links: 


Shock crossed his face, rapidly followed by revulsion. It was an emotion she never wanted to see on his face while looking at her. But before she could react, he bent down and hauled her up. He tossed her over his shoulder as if she weighed nothing, then carried her up the stairs and almost threw her onto the bed.

She twisted to the side and tried to get away from him, but he grabbed her hip and pulled her round on her back. He held her down with one hand, while his other hand tugged out of his jeans.

Freed from his constraints, he crawled onto the bed and on all fours, moved over her. His body wasn’t touching her; his hands were either side of her head, his knees either side of her thighs. His eyes were on her breasts; his breath was ragged. She felt exposed; vulnerable.

His knee roughly parted her legs, and before she had a chance to take a breath he thrust into her hard. It was without emotion. There was no tenderness.

Pure lust.

He pounded into her, rocking her body below his.

It hurt, and she cried out. But Narcifer didn’t stop. There was an anger in his eyes; a strange blaze that both disturbed and aroused her at the same time. She put her hands out to touch him, wanting tenderness, but he grasped her wrists in one hand and pinned them above her head.

He came for a second time, spilling into her in rapid thrusts, and then he lowered his head and kissed her fervently, forcing her mouth open, and plunging his tongue into her mouth. The kiss was as angry as his lovemaking. She tasted blood in her mouth, and then the kiss changed.

Became caring.

He let go of her wrists, cupped either side of her head and looked into her eyes.

‘Don’t ever ask me to kill you again. Ever.’

Then he broke away and pressed his mouth against her throat where she knew her pulse was rapidly pounding. He kissed her neck and up to her ear. Then slowly, gently, he entered her again and moved in and out of her body so tenderly, so lovingly, she wanted to cry.

They climaxed together, softly at first, but then as it hit its peak, they shuddered and Narcifer roared as he came into her. He looked down at her, watching her at her most vulnerable as she finished her climax. She was still clutching his upper arms, her fingers not able to circle the huge biceps. She stared into his eyes. They were dry. No emotion in them at all.

Jelvia: Not Human book 1


Tuesday, 25 September 2018

This isn't described as 'gripping' for no reason! Check it out! #historical @rararesources @VivienneVermes #fiction #thrillers

The Barefoot Road


Vivienne Vermes
Purchase Link
Vivienne Vermes' debut novel is a gripping read which will appeal to readers who enjoy historical fiction, thrillers and evocative themes. The book begins with a young woman found, emaciated and unconscious, in the mountains surrounding a village in Transylvania. When it is discovered that she is of an ethnic group which was violently driven out of the regions many years before, old wounds are reopened as the villagers are reminded of their role in the bloodshed.

An uneasy peace is maintained until a young married man falls in love with the girl, and tension begin to rise within the community. The mysterious disappearance of a child causes this tension to mount into hysteria, driving the story to its chilling outcome.

WWBB asked the question:
'Why that particular character?'

'She was Paraschiva – hen-throttler, stew-maker, healer, witch and mother. 

She was the beginning of The Barefoot Road. I have to rewind ten years, from fiction to fact:

I am hiking in a remote part of Transylvania. Night is falling. The group has gone on ahead. I want to linger here, in the forest. Although it’s called “The Valley of Wolves”, I’m not afraid. There is such a thing as the spirit of place. It is everywhere on this journey, but especially here, among the trees, at dusk, in a liminal place between light and dark. The guide tells me not to linger too long. We are spending the night in a remote farmhouse that belongs to an old woman called Paraschiva. We’ve already been told about her. Or rather, warned. She has one eye, fingers as warped as billhooks and a vicious temper that will cut you down with a babble of words in a language you don’t understand.

I linger too long, until the first stars have come out, then hurry down the rough track that leads to the farmhouse. Now I’m afraid of Paraschiva’s scolding.

She is waiting for me, silhouetted against the light, framed by a huge wooden gate. Above it is a portal with bats’ wings stencilled out of the wood, so that now the stars shine through them.

When I arrive, Paraschiva takes me in her arms and hugs me. There is something special in this hug, this welcome, this moment in time. I can’t put words to it. It feels strange as if I have come home.

I join the group for a dinner of Paraschiva’s special stew, washed down with a thick local wine.

The group retires early. Paraschiva and I sit up with a bottle of tuica, the local plum brandy. In broken German, she tells me stories of the village: about how the violins that used to be repaired by the “people who lived down by the river” have been out of tune for many years, ever since those people “left”. Later, I find out that these were the Jews, deported during the Second World War, as were the Rrom. She regrets the loss of their music.

She tells me other tales: how she lost her eye (she swears me to secrecy), how she came to be in this remote spot, how she keeps a coffin in the shed with the hanging hams and garlic and sacks of potatoes, “in case the Mother calls me in the winter”. The Mother? “Not God the Father?” I ask Paraschiva. “If you like.” She shrugs her shoulders.

She is as rich as her homemade stew, or her home-brewed tuica. She seems to have grown out of the wild soil of this region -- fertile, abundant, yet soaked in the blood of so many atrocities. She is rough and wise, crude and refined, harsh and tender.

Purchase Link
The guide is astonished at our connection. “She never talks like this,” he says.

The next day, my parting view of Paraschiva is of her standing in the frame of the gate, waving goodbye until I disappear out of her sight. It is as if she is wishing me well on my long and winding road. As if she will be there, witch and wise woman, hovering over me with her dark-green brew of wisdom, spells and words.

I know she has to go into a book.

I begin to write – just about her, with no plot, no idea of where my story is going - just with the knowledge that something of Paraschiva has to live on in me and in my pages.  As well as the echo of her words about the village being “out of tune” ever since the people who repaired the violins “left”.

Paraschiva died three years later. The guide visited me in Paris, where I lived. He told me that on her deathbed, she had told him that her real name was not Paraschiva at all, nor was she Romanian, as everyone had thought. Her real name was Annushka*, her origins were Hungarian Jewish, and her last name was Schwartz*. The same name, the same background as my own father, who had escaped Nazi Hungary in 1940. Were we related? The name is common enough. Probably not, except in spirit.

Some meetings, however brief, change the course of our lives. It was a long haul, writing The Barefoot Road. It began with Paraschiva. Later, much later, would come the story, the plot, the other characters – some invented, some drawn from life – but the beginning was the hug from the old woman who waited for me under the bats’ wings filled with stars.'

* Not her real name, nor our family’s, changed for reasons of personal privacy.

About the author:

Vivienne Vermes is a writer and actress of Irish and Hungarian descent who divides her time between Paris and London. She has published four collections of poetry: Sand Woman, Metamorphoses, Passages and When the World Stops Spinning, and has performed her work in festivals throughout Europe. She is winner of the Piccadilly Poets’ award, the Mail on Sunday’s Best Opening of a Novel competition, as well as Flash 500s prize for short prose and the Paragram national competition for best poem and “petite prose”. She has taught creative writing in universities in Transylvania, and runs a writers’ workshop in Paris.

As an actress, she has played roles in a number of French films, including Les Trois Frères, Le Retour and in Les Profs 2 in which she portrayed Queen Elizabeth II. Her voice also warns passengers on the Paris metro to “Mind the gap”. The Barefoot Road is her first novel.

Friday, 21 September 2018

Fancy a bit of #cozy crime? Then check out Haircuts, Hens and Homicide by @llamamum #romcom #crime @rararesources

Dear reader,

Hi, Megan here, the narrator of ‘Haircuts, Hens and Homicide’. I’ve been invited chat about myself, so here goes.
First of all, who am I and what’s made me me? Well, I’m nobody special really, but I do like to think I’m a loyal friend, and I always try to do the right thing. It may not work out in practice, but the intention is there.
I was brought up by my prickly grandmother after my teenage mum went to India to ‘find herself’ when I was three, but whether Mum went or not nobody knows, because she disappeared without a trace. Gran never gave up hope, and wrote letters to her every week. I found those in the attic last month and they broke my heart.
Gran died recently so I’ve come over to France to sort out her affairs and decide what to do with myself: whether to stay in France or go back to England where I have no job, no boyfriend (he dumped me two months before our wedding, the worm) and no home (my flat, along with the others in the block, is being turned into a bingo hall). Such choices!

Dealing with my difficult grandmother, who is… was the sort of person who could start an argument in an empty room has led me to be a tactful, conflict-avoiding sort of person, but I could always see beneath the skin. Hidden below the thick veneer of cantankerousness that coated Gran was a warm, loving person. And so I don’t immediately pigeon-hole the people I meet, no matter how weird, annoying or irritating they might first appear to be. Usually there’s more than meets the eye. I hope people appreciate that quality in me and find me a sympathetic person to be with.

me chicken
I love the colour peach, which I think speaks ‘sympathetic’. I don’t know, it just sorts of suits me as you can easily tell from my wardrobe. I also love chickens. That’s a recent development, because inheriting Gran’s house meant I also inherited her four chickens and one duck, and her shy adopted cat Catastrophe (name speaks for itself!). Oh, and some other wandering chickens came my way too. They chose to appear on the day of Gran’s funeral, as did Romain, the arrogant gendarme. That’s French for cop, btw. He was very snooty and wouldn’t let me explain that I had a burial to be at until Gran’s hearse rolled up the drive. He went as red as a beetroot but in true French style didn’t apologise.

I’ve become used to the French not apologising now. Even though they may do something that, in hindsight, wasn’t the best course of action, the word ‘sorry’ will not pass their lips—actually, it would be ‘désolé’ but you know what I mean.
Romain was therefore my main dislike, but the more I’ve got to know him, the more I’ve begun to like him.

My biggest wish at present is to set up my own hairdressing salon. That’s my profession, and I love it. I’m not half bad either. I’ve been steadily relooking – making over – the local women in return for baked goods mainly. Until my business is up and running properly, I can’t accept money. That’s frustrating but at least I don’t go hungry. There’s certainly demand for a hairdresser here, especially a mobile one who can call on elderly clients. In this part of Creuse the average age is about sixty, or so it seems. A lot of old folk are housebound. So, I know I could earn my living. But, my plans are all up in the air, as you could probably imagine. 
Now, what would I change about myself if I had a magic wand? Easy. My nose. It’s a rather an enthusiastic one, much bigger than it really needs to be. But, that said, I’ve got used to it and I would certainly never have surgery on it. Too expensive, and I might miss it. Which is why a magic wand would be perfect. If I didn’t like my new look, I could restore the old one with a quick wave. And anyway, Romain’s nose is even bigger than mine.
Finally, and before I bore you to tears, will you be seeing more of me? Oh yes. I can categorically state that will be more adventures to share with you, my first one being HAIRCUTS, HENS AND HOMICIDE so please do come and see me there! I’m sure that they’ll be starring a particular type of bird, an element of hairdressing and some appropriately alliterative skulduggery! 
I’m already starting to investigate the suspicious death of a pigeon fancier…  
Anyhoo, that’s all for now,

Haircuts, Hens and Homicide

Megan finds mayhem when she arrives in France to bury her Gran and sort out her affairs. She expected difficult encounters with civil servants and red tape but not with wandering chickens, an imperious policeman and a dead body.
Together with her unlikely new friend, the elderly and grumpy Alphonse and his canine equivalent, Monsieur Moustache, Megan becomes involved in investigating the fowl-related foul play that’s at work in this sleepy part of rural France. 
Purchase Link
She’s helped but mainly hindered by the people she comes across. These include the local mayor, who wants Megan to stay and set up a hair salon in his village to help keep it alive. There are the cousins Romain, the gendarme, and Nico, the clumsy but hunky farmer. They have always clashed, but do so constantly now that Megan is on the scene. Michelle, Romain’s terrifying ex who wants him back, appears along the way, as does Claudette, a wheelchair-bound old lady, and Kayla, Megan’s best friend, who is hugely pregnant but not above taking on the forces of French law and order when Megan finds herself the prime suspect after Alphonse is stabbed.

There’s excitement, humour and lots of ruffled feathers in this rom-com slash cosy mystery, the first in a projected series.

About Stephanie Dagg, in her own words...
'I'm an English expat living in France, having moved here with my family in 2006 after fourteen years as an expat in Ireland. I now consider myself a European rather than 'belonging' to any particular country. The last ten years have been interesting, to put it mildly. Taking on seventy-five acres with three lakes, two hovels and one cathedral-sized barn, not to mention an ever increasing menagerie, makes for exciting times. The current array of animals includes alpacas, llamas, huarizos (alpaca-llama crossbreds, unintended in our case and all of them thanks to one very determined alpaca male), sheep, goats, pigs, ducks, geese, chickens and turkeys, not forgetting our pets of dogs, cats, zebra finches, budgies , canaries, lovebirds and Chinese quail. Before we came to France all we had was a dog and two chickens, so it's been a steep learning curve. I recount these experiences in my book Heads Above Water: Staying Afloat in France and the sequel to that, Total Immersion: Ten Years in France. I also blog regularly at www.bloginfrance.com.
I'm married to Chris and we have three bilingual TCKs (third culture kids) who are resilient and resourceful and generally wonderful.    
I'm a traditionally-published author of many children's books, and am now self-publishing too. I have worked part-time as a freelance editor for thirty years after starting out as a desk editor for Hodder & Stoughton. Find me at www.editing.zone. The rest of the time I'm running carp fishing lakes with Chris and inevitably cleaning up some or other animal's poop.'

Monday, 17 September 2018

Domestic abuse is hidden from the outside world, and even hidden from the abused through a mesh of mind games and psychological attacks. Read Silencing Anna, it’s truly harrowing. Based on true experiences. #domestic #abuse #thriller #fiction #authorontour@rararesources @sadiedmitchell

Silencing Anna
Sadie D Mitchell

James Green, Anna’s ex-boyfriend, has been arrested and charged with attacking Anna after she was found unresponsive in hotel bathroom. James claims he’s innocent and Anna, unconsciousness, in a hospital bed is unable to tell the truth. But James Green is far from innocent. 

He’s an abuser.

He believes he has the right to control his partner and he uses many tactics to achieve this. The first he uses is early in the relationship and it’s to build her up. He dazzles Anna with attention, compliments and gifts. He makes sure that she knows that he’s never ever had such an amazing woman before.

Anna feels loved, protected and cherished, and this is the hook James has dangled in front of his victim. She’s reeled in. But then comes the verbal abuse and coercive control.
James creates a cycle where he hurts Anna and then heals her again. It’s subtle to start with, but it eventually escalates to physical violence. James always denies responsibility for his actions, shifting the blame onto the victim and using mind games to make her doubt herself. He also isolates her from her family and erodes her self-confidence.
James is a horrible character. He is cruel and nasty and ugly inside, but only those closest to James would ever get to witness this. He controls himself in public and presents a wholesome image to the outside world. He has a good job, he is intelligent, funny, interesting, well dressed and softly spoken.  No one would suspect him to be an abuser and Anna herself doesn’t realise that she is being abused, even after he has violently attacked her.
This the most important message in Silencing Anna: domestic abuse is hidden from the outside world, and it is even hidden from the abused through a mesh of mind games and psychological attacks. 
I deliberately developed the character of James to show the contrast between how someone presents themselves to the outside world and the reality of their behaviour. You see, it’s not always possible to tell if someone is an abuser. They’re not likely to admit their behaviour, and are often the most presentable and charming of people!
I based the character traits of James on my ex-partner. He was gentle, softly spoken and funny. He wasn’t macho—far from it. He liked art and flowers, he loved interior design and could make anything look nice. He didn’t drink even beer or spirits, and he wasn’t into football. He appreciated beauty and culture. He didn’t fit any stereotype of abuser that I was aware of at the time.
Everyone was shocked when I left him, and told them why. But family and friends believed me and helped me grow again. I owe them a lot.
In all honesty, I think that most frightening thing about an abusive relationship is the fact that you don’t have to look far to find a woman who has met and had a relationship with someone just like James Green. 
That is the biggest reason for writing the book. I want to shout about this from the rooftops. I want to raise awareness and wake society up from its apathy regarding domestic abuse for Anna’s story is harrowing, but it is not unique.
Do you know a man like James?  I’d bet my life that you do.

Silencing Anna

Voices surround Anna as she lies on her hospital bed, but she cannot answer them. Her voice has been taken, along with her mobility and her sight. She can hear the nurses chattering and her family that come to visit.
Her mum cries a lot and her dad struggles to deal with what he sees. Life used to be good for Anna, but life can change in a heartbeat, as she knows so well. 
Paperback | Amazon

And then there are the people we think we know. When the smile hides the anger. When the beauty hides the beast.
Only Anna knows the truth, but Anna cannot speak.

About the author:
This is Sadie’s first novel. She has three children and works in healthcare. When she’s not writing or working most of her life seems to involve picking up toys and finding things she’d forgotten she has.
WWBB note: I have read Silencing Anna (review to follow) and it was truly a brilliant book. It won't be one to forget in a hurry!

Friday, 14 September 2018

This looks brilliant!! Remeber the classis Prince and the Pauper? Well, here's the modern-day adaptation! .@rararesources @KatieWWriter

Katie Ward discussing her character from the novel

The Pretender

It’s clear from the start of my debut novel ‘The Pretender’ that Sophia Lazarus has had a rough start to life but fear not she is a survivor. In this guest post, we will delve further into Sophia and what makes her the way she is. 

Firstly, it is worth noting that ‘The Pretender’ is a modern-day adaptation of the Mark Twain classic ‘The Prince and the Pauper’. Set in Tudor England, the pauper comes from an abusive home, however, it is portrayed in the original as almost an acceptable part of life. When I came to write the story, I really liked the idea of having two characters at the extreme ends of the scale so this is how Sophia came to have such a difficult start in life.

Sophia has a real strength of character, although she feels her mistreatment keenly she uses it as her force to succeed not as an excuse to fail. The more her father tries to stop her by belittling and abusing her the more she stays firm. This leads to her being targeted by her father even more.

Despite her appalling parents, she has a very special bond with her sister Mireille, whom she looks to as a mother figure. In turn Mireille adores her baby sister, even a long separation can’t weaken the bonds between them. It is her loyalty to her sister that brings her back to her family home, it is her greatest wish to see them both out of that situation once and for all.

Sophia is a very kind and gentle person, she isn’t brash or aggressive but she can stick up for herself if she has to. Given her background, she can’t stand to see people being bullied or harassed and her inner strength means she will always stand up for others too.

On the fateful day she returns home, Sophia is confronted by her father. Initially she tries to avoid a confrontation but when he pushes her she tells him exactly what she thinks. This is Sophia to the core, she isn’t one to cower even when she feels scared and she has a real defiance towards her father. She knows how much he wants to see her scared so she makes sure she stands proud, as she knows it will irritate him. While she is so scared of her father, she won’t let him know that.

The one thing Sophia wants most out of life is to be happy and to have the family she never had as a child. She places a lot of importance on security and safety, that’s what her attraction to the Palace is. Ever since she was a child she has idolised Princess Isabella, for Sophia it isn’t really about the fact she is a Princess, when she looks at Isabella she sees the life she always wanted. Not in terms of material possessions as these haven’t ever been that important to her, but the fact that Isabella is from a family who obviously love her. Isabella seems happy and contented in a way that Sophia would love to be. Given they are the same age and born on the same day, Sophia has always been curious about whether Isabella and herself would ever be alike and similar in nature.

When Sophia comes to swap places with Isabella, she becomes her protector and ends up trying to fix the problems that Isabella places her in to. Sophia is the perfect counterbalance to Isabella’s tempestuous and spontaneous nature. Despite being virtual strangers, Sophia cares a lot about Isabella’s wellbeing and takes a lot of responsibility in the situation they find themselves in, which causes her a lot of anguish that isn’t really of her making.

 You might think, having such differing backgrounds to each other, that Sophia would become jealous of Isabella and her Royal life but she doesn’t. While she does wonder why things couldn’t have been easier for her, having seen how Isabella lives, she never succumbs to jealousy. To the contrary, she believes in Isabella when others don’t and sees the good in her when others only see her as selfish.

Sophia is the friend we would all want, she is truly selfless and loyal. As her family life has always been so difficult, her friends mean the absolute world to her, they are her rock and while she doesn’t easily confide in them, she knows she is truly loved and that she has their support which truly means everything to her.

The Pretender

France 2000: Two babies are born on the same day just two hours apart - but to very different lives.
Isabella is a Princess and heir to the French throne, while Sophia is born into a life of poverty and abuse at the hands of her father. 

At the age of 18, Sophia runs away from home. That same night, Isabella is also fleeing from the burden of her royal life when she finds Sophia slumped at the palace gates. Amazed by how alike they look, Isabella proposes a daring plot - to exchange their lives for one week. 
‘The Pretender’ is an emotionally intense and compelling story of friendship, love and the strange power of destiny.

Giveaway – Win a signed original illustration from Emma Haines (Open Internationally)
*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.
OR if you don’t like html or are on WordPress

Author bio

Author, Katie Ward always knew she wanted to write for a living. However, she was told by her careers advisor that “it might be more appropriate for you to work in a shop”. When Katie didn’t get the grades she needed to get into college, she negotiated a three month trial. After successfully completing the course she secured a place at her first choice university to study Journalism.

After realising she wanted to be an author, Katie moved to Dublin where she worked her way up from receptionist to Executive Assistant at Merrill Lynch. Katie continued to write in her spare time, submitting her short story into the “Do the Write Thing” competition being run by Irish TV show ‘Seoige and O’Shea’. This story was originally written when Katie was 14 after she was inspired by an article in her favourite teen magazine. Katie was the only non-Irish author selected to have her story published in an anthology of the same name which reached 19 in the Irish Best sellers List. Katie was also shortlisted for a competition judged by MAN Booker Prize winning author Roddy Doyle which was run by Metro Eireann newspaper.
Katie currently lives in Devon with her cat (aka ‘Her Royal Fluffiness’) where she sings in a community choir and has recently taken up Archery. Katie’s favourite author has been Roald Dahl since she was a child as she loves the dark edge he brings to his books. On the flip side though, Katie loves Disney, magic, unicorns and a good rom com film at the cinema with her friends.

Sunday, 9 September 2018

Author interview and an introduction to Sleeping Through War by Jackie Carreira #1960 #literary #fiction @rararesources #historical

An interview with the author of Sleeping Through War - Jackie Carreira

How many unpublished books do you have lurking under your bed/in your cupboard?

There are two novels that I'm working on at the moment, both sitting proudly on my desk, and at least another three books in my head - not to mention a number of stage plays. Ideas are never in short supply. My mental cupboards are full of them!

Are your family/friends supportive of your writing?

I'm extremely fortunate to have a lot of support from friends and family. My husband is an actor, so he understands how ridiculous (and wonderful) it is to try and earn a living from the creative arts. And as for friends, not only have they been buying my book, they've actually been reading it as well! I've had friends get in touch to wish my well that I haven't seen for years, and I can't thank them enough. It's that kind of support that keeps me wanting to write.

How do you deal with rejection letters/bad reviews of your own work?

Rejection is just another part of doing anything creative. Nothing is ever loved by all - not even those books that we call 'classics' or 'greats' - because all art is subjective. It has to be because it's not governed by the logical brain. Anyone who wants to be a writer has to find ways to cope with rejection because it will come. I tend to initially get disgruntled: "They just don't understand my work!" Then after half an hour of that, I get depressed: "Maybe they're right; I'm just useless. I should quit and get a proper job." Then after a couple of hours of that, a cup of coffee and a piece of cake, it moves on to: "Oh well, it just wasn't for them. What shall I write next?" And that's pretty much exactly how it goes. As for bad reviews, I'm very lucky not to have had any of those yet. There's still time!

When did you first call yourself a writer?

It was the first time somebody else called me a writer. Some years ago, I did a Creative Writing evening course in London. The tutor was brilliant and really encouraging. At the end of the course she asked what I wanted to do, and I said, "I really want to be a writer." She said, "No, you already are a writer. What do you want to do about it?" I've been calling myself a writer ever since.

What are the common traps for aspiring writers/or tips for a newbie writer?

Don't be afraid to throw your work in the bin! Sounds crazy, but a big trap for new writers is not being able to let go of an idea, a character, a story that just isn't good enough for where you are right now or that simply doesn't work. Letting go of what doesn't work makes space for new ideas that just might. Don't clutter up your mind with 'what ifs'...which is good advice for life generally!

Why did you write Sleeping Through War? (What was the spark that made you put pen to paper?)

History is one of my favourite subjects, but so much of it is written from the point of view of the victors or those on the cutting edge of change. There is very little about the 'ordinary' people - the underprivileged, the minorities, and women in general - unless it's some criminal activity or disease! I was a child during the period in which Sleeping Through War is set (1968), so I was alive at a time which is now taught in history classes - very sobering! Growing up as the daughter of immigrant parents in a very working-class environment, I wanted to pay tribute to those, particularly women, that I met when I was young because they're the kind of people that don't make it into the history books. Their lives are nevertheless important and fascinating and I didn't want them to be forgotten.

What is Sleeping Through War about?

Sleeping Through War is about dignity and resilience in the face of everyday struggles. Set during 1968, it deals with issues like racism, poverty, grief, prejudice, but it doesn't shout about them - it tells you about them quietly, almost casually, because all kinds of prejudice were so casual at the time. It also illustrates how little has changed for women in 50 years. The recent International Women's Marches and the #MeToo campaign show that women are still having to fight for equality. Having said that, Sleeping Through War is not deliberately a feminist book. It's a novel about ordinary people, written from a female perspective, who learn how to find hope despite their difficulties - Spoiler alert! Yes, there is hope at the end. It's been called 'accessible literary fiction,' and I think that's a good description.

Who would be your dream cast if Sleeping Through War was made into a movie?

I love this question! I would have Selma Hayek playing Amalia (a Portuguese war widow and mother); Octavia Spencer playing Rose (a West Indian nurse living in East London); and, of course, Meryl Streep playing Mrs Johnson (a housewife from Washington whose son is fighting in Vietnam). Can somebody please make this film? I want to see it!

Is there an underlying theme to this book?

If I had to narrow it down to one word, it would be 'Dignity.' That's what the three women in the book have in common, despite everything that happens to them. Perhaps I unconsciously decided to write about this quality because I need a little more of it myself!

Can you share a few lines from your best review of Sleeping Through War?

I've been lucky to have had lots of great reviews. But the best review was from one of the anonymous readers when Sleeping Through War received a Chill With A Book award in May. It was only three words long, but I don't know if I'll ever have a review as pleasing as this: "A beautiful novel."

Sleeping Through War

It is May 1968. Students are rioting, civil rights are being fought and died for, nuclear bombs are being tested, and war is raging in Vietnam. 

For three ordinary women in Lisbon, London and Washington life must go on as usual. For them, just to survive is an act of courage.

How much has really changed in 50 years?

Buy from:
Wordery |
Waterstones | Amazon

Jackie Carreira is a writer, musician, designer, co-founder of QuirkHouse Theatre Company, and award-winning playwright.
She mostly grew up and went to school in Hackney, East London, but spent part of her early childhood with grandparents in Lisbon's Old Quarter. Her colourful early life has greatly influenced this novel.
Jackie now lives in leafy Suffolk with her actor husband, AJ Deane, two cats and too many books.