Day in the Life of a Writer and Her Grumpy and more #writers-life #new-release

biggie smallsLast week, I was interviewed by chellesandbbooks and I thought I’d share the interview with you. If you ever wondered where my inspiration comes from, or which character I’d really like to bitch slap, read on….

Please tell us a little about What Happens in France and where your ideas for the book came from?
It’s a feel-good story about Bryony Masters, a somewhat quiet and reclusive teacher, whose sister, Hannah, ran away from home when she was 16. Bryony blames herself for the incident and has over the years, tried to find Hannah, but to no avail.

When her father has a sudden stroke, she is propelled into taking more drastic action and egged on by her best friend, Melinda, applies for a televised gameshow in the desperate hope she can use it as a platform to find her sister.

The show is filmed in France and she finds herself teamed up with the gorgeous but unattainable Lewis, and a bunch of hilarious competitors, including a limelight-stealing pug – Biggie Smalls. With Lewis’s help she has to fight off the competition and take part in a series of wacky and fun challenges, not to win the prize but to get the winners’ ten minutes of air time at the end of the show each day, which she uses to find Hannah.

As for the book’s inspiration, well, it was a mishmash of things. My mother suffered very badly from St Vitus Dance as a child and relayed the horrors of her own childhood which gave me the kernel of the idea for the Hannah and Bryony plot. That led me onto how Bryony would manage to find her sister and in turn, took me down the gameshow route. Given our obsession with shows like Love Island and the like, it seemed an ideal solution, so I applied for a variety of gameshows to see what I could find out. I ended up on quite a few (all in the name of research) but they helped fuel my ideas for the ridiculous challenges and games Bryony and Lewis have to tackle.

Finally, I am an absolute Francophile and have lived and worked in France. Nowadays, I visit the country several times a year, renting small gites, so it seemed the perfect place to set the book. A few years ago, my husband, AKA Mr Grumpy, and I travelled around Brittany and the Loire-Atlantique and stayed in chateaux along the way. It was such fun we went back a few more times and saw as much of the regions as we could.

Do you have a favourite character or scene from What Happens in France?

Read more and my life with Grumpy by clicking this link HERE which will open another window and take you to the interview.

 

#Giveaway #Winner

biggie prize

Finally, I can reveal the #Biggie Prize winners. There are a few of you scattered over Twitter/FB and Instagram but here we go:

*****1st Prize ******

A cuddly toy pug, pen, signed postcard and sticker go to:
Nicola Southall
Alison Stockley and Dawn Vegas

*****2nd Prize*****
A cuddly pug key ring and signed postcard
Shell Baker

*****3rd prize*****
Biggie pen, signed postcard and sticker
Ann Jones

*****Runner Up prizes*****
Signed postcards, Biggie stickers
Diane Croad,Susan Hampson Julia Davis,Trish Tishylou Hills Julie Ryan

Many thanks to everyone who took part and to all those who are hosting me on the WHAT HAPPENS IN FRANCE blog tour.

A Big #Biggie #Giveaway @canelo_co

Day 3 of the What Happens in France Tour and the Biggie Giveaway. Today, I’m also offering a short extract from the new book below.

You can win this super prize (a cuddly pug, stickers, signed postcards and a pen) just by downloading a copy of What Happens in France and sending me proof of purchase. (via FB or Twitter message)

biggie prize

EXTRACT FROM WHAT HAPPENS IN FRANCE

‘Time for your first challenge. It’s a pretty basic one but will test your communication skills and determination. If you’d like to follow me.’

The contestants trooped after Laura to the front of the château.

‘You’re joking!’ Lewis exclaimed. Lined up on the drive stood three Citroën 2CVs. The first was covered in orange and black zigzags, the second had bright yellow and black panels and the third was covered in fur fabric so it looked like a woolly car.

‘You cannot be serious!’ exclaimed Donald in a fair impression of tennis star John McEnroe. ‘There is no way on this planet I’m getting into the woolly one,’ he stated, folding his chunky arms and pouting. ‘It will ruin my macho image.’

Laura held out three cards to Nicola. ‘Pick a card.’

Nicola took the middle card, turned it over and read, ‘The 2CV Tabby.’

‘Is it that orange one? A tabby cat. At least it doesn’t have ears and whiskers,’ grumbled Donald, taking the key from Laura. ‘But it clashes with my kilt.’

‘Jim, your turn.’

Jim selected one and passed it over to Oscar, who read, ‘The 2CV Bumblebee. Has to be the yellow and black one.’

‘That means we’ve got the beautiful furry one,’ said Bryony. She accepted her card. ‘It’s called the 2CV Furby.’

‘What does 2CV mean anyway?’ asked Oscar, picking up a prancing Biggie, who was keen not to be left out.

‘The 2CV name is an abbreviation for Deux Chevaux Vapeur,“two steam horses”, which is actually a technical legal term from the French tax code,’ explained Jim. ‘The 2CV was designed to fall into the second horsepower tax class. It did not mean that it had only a two-horsepower engine,’ he added.

‘So it’s got more poke than a lawnmower,’ said Lewis.

‘I think it has a little more “poke”, as you put it, but it’s no Ferrari,’ replied Jim. ‘Or “Fur-rrari”, Lewis.’ He chuckled. ‘It was designed for country roads not grand prix circuits.’

‘Jim, you have more knowledge in your brain than there is in an entire series of University Challenge. Is there anything you don’t know?’ Oscar asked, head cocked to one side.

Jim thought for a second. ‘There’s lots of things I don’t know,’ he mused before adding, ‘yet.’ His shoulders rocked with silent laughter at his quip, making Oscar snigger.

*****

“Carol Wyer is back! Laughs aplenty and a heartwarming read.’ Mandy Baggot, author of One New York Christmas

 

Buy WHAT HAPPENS IN FRANCE by clicking HERE

My thanks to today’s hosts on the blog tour

Buttercup Reviews

Belle and the Novel

The #Biggie #Giveaway

biggie smallsIt’s day 2 of the What Happens in France blog tour. All this week I am offering the chance to win a fabulous #Biggie Prize: a cuddly toy pug, a Biggie pen, signed Biggie postcards and Biggie stickers.

*****

WHAT HAPPENS IN FRANCE

“She stood and took her place in front of the camera… It was now or never”

Bryony Masters has been looking for her long-lost sister, Hannah, for years, but when their father has a stroke her search takes on new urgency. So when primetime game show, What Happens in France, puts a call-out for new contestants, Bryony spots the ultimate public platform to find her reality TV-obsessed sister, and finally reunite their family.

With the help of handsome teammate Lewis, it’s not long before she’s on a private jet heading for the stunning beauty of rural France. With a social media star dog, a high maintenance quiz host and a cast of truly unique characters, Bryony and Lewis have their work cut out for them to stay on the show and in the public eye.

Yet as the audience grows and the grand prize beckons they find that the search that brought them together may just fulfil more than one heart’s wish…

******

GIVEAWAY

biggie prize

To win your very own cuddly pug, just send me proof you have bought a copy of WHAT HAPPENS IN FRANCE (a screenshot will do) to author@carolewyer.co.uk or message me on Twitter or Facebook.

Buy the book by clicking on the title: WHAT HAPPENS IN FRANCE 

Good luck!

*****

Today my thanks go to the following bloggers for hosting me:

Katherine’s Book Universe

Blooming Fiction

 

what happens in france blog tour

France, Pugs and a #Biggie Giveaway #Giveaway @carolewyer

whif postcards1I could never have guessed when I wrote What Happens in France that a pug dog who dressed like his namesake the late rapper, Biggie Smalls, would end up being the star of it.

*****

What readers are saying about What Happens in France:

Wow, wow and double wow….What a fantastic, fun and beautifully written book this was” Reader review

Left me with tears in my eyes and wanting more. A hilarious and touching tale.” Sue Watson, author of Love, Lies and Lemon Cakes

“Carol Wyer is back! Laughs aplenty and a heartwarming read.’ Mandy Baggot, author of One New York Christmas

‘A refreshingly different romcom that’s sweet, funny and moving in all the right amounts.’  Victoria Cooke, author of The Holiday Cruise

Fantastique and frivolously funny – but for goodness sake, read with a box of tissues!… A sensational story that will sweep you up in spontaneity, sympathy and endless smiles.” Isabella May, author of Oh What a Pavlova and The Cocktail Bar.

Funny, lighthearted, romantic and utterly fabulous. This book is a chicklit fan’s dream” Reader review

Buy the book by clicking on the title: WHAT HAPPENS IN FRANCE 

*****

GIVEAWAY

biggie prize

To celebrate the release of What Happens in France, I’m offering a brilliant Biggie prize: one of these cute toy pug dogs, a Biggie pen, signed Biggie postcards and Biggie stickers.

To win your very own cuddly pug, just send me proof you have bought a copy of WHAT HAPPENS IN FRANCE (a screenshot will do) to author@carolewyer.co.uk or message me on Twitter or Facebook.

Buy the book by clicking on the title: WHAT HAPPENS IN FRANCE 

Good luck!

*****

Today my thanks go to the following for hosting me:

Chelles and Books

StefLoz Book Blog

My Book and My Coffee

what happens in france blog tour

OMG! My jaw is dangling. #TheDare

I know… bit of a weird title but that is pretty much what happened. There’s no doubt that  after months of writing and editing, one of the highlights is to see the cover for the first time and for those in the know, I am bat-shit crazy about the first two in the DI Natalie Ward series. Both were accompanied by noisy squeals and yelps of delight as I downloaded them and poor Mr Grumpy found my phone shoved up against his face – even when he was trying to fix the car – with me squeaking, ‘Look, isn’t it fab?’

When the cover for THE DARE arrived, I was balanced on my stability ball on a video call to Kim Nash, our PR extraordinaire, discussing publicity for the book’s release in April. She stopped speaking in mid-sentence then said … ‘Check your email.’

‘What? Now?’

‘Yes… go on… check it?’

I attempted to navigate from the video screen to my email account. I’m not very good with technical stuff and I lost Kim completely when suddenly the screen filled with the new cover.

My jaw dropped and stayed dangling for the longest minute. I think I said something along the lines of, ‘Holy cow… oh my… oh my.. oh… It’s phenomenal! Oh… my lord… it’s gorgeous!’ and then went slightly ballistic, bouncing up and down on my ball and performing a weird victory dance that involved a sort of heavy metal head banging ritual and pogoing.

Kim’s voice penetrated my manic activity .’You like it?’ I’d momentarily completely forgotten she was hanging on to hear my reaction.

I found the appropriate key on my keyboard to make the cover disappear and bring her back into view on my screen. ‘It’s fantastic,’ I replied, flattening my hair that had become dishevelled in the mad outburst.

‘I’m just going to email Lydia (my editor) with your reaction,’ she replied.

‘Yes… tell her I liked it.’

‘I can do better than that. I videoed the whole thing. I’m just going to send it to her…’

‘NO!’

‘…Now… Ha! Done!’

She played back the video so I could see what I looked like – a mixture of Animal from the Muppets and a crazed Tigger from ‘Winnie the Pooh’. Embarrassing. Deeply embarrassing.

It is an incredibly exciting moment when you see your cover for the first time, but next time, I’m going to make sure I’m locked away in my garret and no one can observe my reaction.

Suffice to say, the video has been deleted and Kim has gone on holiday with the payment I made. (LOL)

So… what caused such a lunacy?

This….

dare 2-2

It’s pretty stunning, isn’t it?

You can pre-order the book now and I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did writing it. 

http://geni.us/B07N3WYYLDCover 

How a Celebrity Pug Dog Stole My Book #pugs @canelo_co

Biggie Smalls.pngMy new release, WHAT HAPPENS IN FRANCE is out in 3 weeks. It’s a brand new romantic comedy that I can’t wait to unleash onto my readers.

I loved writing it – every single word, every character and every silly scene. I loved researching for it – getting onto gameshows (even though I felt a right idiot on some of them), travelling around France, collecting information about the country, and I even loved lying awake at night, conjuring up crazy games fit for It’s A Knockout and a gameshow that would be a delightful mixture of Big Brother meets Love Island meets I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here.

I wanted my readers to laugh uproariously at the antics in it and in the parts, shed tears and come away from the book uplifted and feeling that life is good. What I didn’t anticipate was for everyone to fall for a lesser character – a pug dog called Biggie Smalls!

Biggie has not won over every reader who received an ARC but my publishers Canelo, who were so enamoured by him, they had stickers featuring him made especially for a giveaway.

The idea of a media star pug came from an article about owners and their pugs. The feature showed the dogs dressed in various outrageous outfits and I wondered what it would be like to own a dog dressed like the notorious rapper, Biggie Smalls.

Biggie doesn’t play a huge role in What Happens in France but my goodness, he has stolen the show to a large extent. Even those who are not ‘dog people’ have been emailing me to say how much they like him.

It seems that in order to sell more books, I’m going to have to buy a real -life pug and dress him up in COOGIE jumpers and jewellery and parade him around bookstores because no matter how good the book is, and regardless of how much readers enjoy it… they’ll all remember it as the book about Biggie Smalls – the media star dog!

 

WHAT HAPPENS IN FRANCE  OUT 28TH JANUARY

“This delightful read is done with excellent pacing, thus showcasing the marvelous talents of this prolific author.” Robin Reads

“Wow, wow and double wow….What a fantastic, fun and beautifully written book this was”

 WHAT HAPPENS IN FRANCE is available to pre-order now for just £1.99 click HERE 

Video made by Inky Covers.