Welcome back to #BookLove. Today it’s Julie Ryan’s turn to take over the blog and help us spread a little book love by sharing a few of her favourite books.
My debut novel is called ‘Jenna’s Journey’ and is a romantic mystery set in Greece. Part of my inspiration in writing this novel was a love of the country gleaned over many years but it is essentially a reminder of when I lived there during the eighties. I taught English as a Foreign Language and although the work is fictional, some of the amusing things that happened at that time may inadvertently have found their way into my book.
I have always written, mainly short stories and poems but this is my first novel. Ironically it also started life as a short story until inspired by my good friend Linn B Halton, it developed into the work you see today. I thoroughly enjoyed the writing process even when my charaters took off in a totally different direction to what I had planned. Maybe especially when that happened! It did mean lots of frustrating moments though when I had to totally rewrite the story and change the characters until it evolved into somthing quite different to the first version. Looking back I probably have enough material from the rewrites to write another novel.
About Jenna’s Journey
Leaving town, heading to the Greek Isles without telling husband or friends, is heady medicine for a failing marriage. Seduced by Grecian sun and sky, Jenna innocently obtains an ancient urn that tangles her into the web of a criminal world more sinister than she ever imagined. Romance is always afoot in the Greek Isles and Jenna gets a large helping with the seductive Nikos. Family is important in Greece, and Nikos helps Jenna learn all the richness it brings, and pass it on to the next generation.
Twenty-five years later, Allie takes this same journey, and the lives of a mother and daughter intertwine. Twisty as the streets in a Greek island village, full of unexpected characters and nasty villains, Jenna’s Journey will keep you turning pages far into the night
You can follow Julie on her blog: All Things Bookie.
Favourite book from childhood
I was brought up on Enid Blyton to whom I owe a debt of gratitude for inspiring my love of books. I adored the Famous Five series and rather fancied myself as George! We didn’t have a lot of money when I was growing up so on Thursday evening when Dad got paid we would go to the supermarket and while mum did the shopping I would read the first chapter of a book in order to decide which one to buy.
The first book you fell in love with
I was in my teens when I came across Agatha Christie. I think ‘ The Murder of Roger Ackroyd’ stayed with me as the first book that I appreciated in terms of plot and characterisation. The twist seemed absolutely brilliant and the red herrings that she manages to plant and then disregard are done so well. There’s definitely a touch of her influence in my own mysteries.
Biggest book crush
The book character you’re totally in love with
Rhett Butler in ‘Gone With The Wind’. He has it all – looks, charisma, humour, and doesn’t take any of Scarlett O’Hara’s nonsense yet you can see how much he loves her and how much he’s hurting. A lot of modern day heroes would do well to take a leaf out of his book.
Weirdest book crush
When we studied ‘Jane Eyre’ at school. I did have a slight crush on Mr Rochester; at least until I found out about the ‘mad’ wife in the attic and suddenly I didn’t feel quite the same about him after that.
Hardest break up
The book you didn’t want to end
There are so many! Each time I come across a writer I adore, I just race through the book and then wish it were longer. Anything by Victoria Hislop, Kate Morton, Charlotte Betts tends to have that effect on me.
The one that got away
The book in your TBR or wish list that you regret not having started yet.
Despite reading about 100 books per year, my TBR list keeps growing at an alarming rate, probably the result of my one-click addiction! I’ve had Jessie Burton’s ‘The Miniaturist‘on my shelves for a couple of years now so that one is well overdue to be read.
Guilty Reading pleasure
Clean sheets, new PJs, coffee and a box of chocolates. With a good book to read that’s my idea of heaven.
Love one, love them all
Favourite series or genre
I love Sara Alexi’s Greek village series. Her style is very simple yet underneath she portrays universal themes. I’m saving up the last three for my holidays.
Your latest squeeze
Favourite read of the last 12 months
It has to be Victoria Hislop’s ‘ Cartes postales from Greece.’ The hardback copy is so touchy-feely and the lovely postcards just contribute to the overall effect. Add in some anecdotes and legends as well as a good story and you have a terrific book. I JUST LOVED IT!
Blind date for a friend
If you were to set a friend up with a blind date (book) which one would it be?
As I love Greece so much it would have to be a book set there. John Fowles’ ‘The Magus’ springs to mind. He captures the mystery of Greece as well as telling a great story full of psychological suspense. This book is partly responsible for me going off to Greece to teach English so is very much a part of me.
Greatest love of all
Favourite book of all time.
When I studied ‘A’ Level French my favourite book was ‘Le Grand Meaulnes’. Alain Fournier somehow manages to capture that moment of adolescence when you first fall in love. Seeing the magic of the ball through the eyes of a young boy gives the reader a totally different insight. Wonderful writing, magical descriptions; a book that has stayed with me and will no doubt stay with me forever.
What a brilliant selection. Thanks Julie. Definitely some interesting titles there outside of my typical genre. I might have to dip into one or two of these myself.
What do you think folks? Anything there take your fancy? Join me next week for more #BookLove from Chris Botragyi and Tracey Sinclair.
Have a brilliant day all and keep spreading the book love.