Somewhere to review books I'm reading without giving away any spoilers!
My Sweet Friend
I originally posted my review of this book in February but when I was invited to participate in this blog tour, I couldn’t resist joining in again. This time, I’ll share my review again but also share the answers y kgiven by the author to some questions I asked. There’s also a Rafflecopter giveaway, too, so please keep reading on!
Wow, this proved to be an unpredictable, enthralling read. When Alexa joins the Parisian PR company where Rosie and Jack work, both are quickly befriended by her, though one of their coworkers is considerably more reticent about the newcomer. As the story unfolds the impressions of Alexa fluctuate, especially as more revelations and contrary evidence is revealed. Just what is true and what is fiction? Can Alexa really be trusted?
Get ready for a roller coaster ride which has you questioning your own viewpoint and attitudes. There are surprises galore in this page turner where you’ll also soon discover the significance of the title!
A stand-alone novella from the author of Manipulated Lives
A perfect friend … or a perfect impostor?
Alexa is an energetic and charismatic professional and the new member of a Parisian PR company where she quickly befriends her colleagues Rosie and Jack. She brings a much-needed breath of fresh air into the office and ambitiously throws herself into her new job and friendships.
But is Alexa all she claims to be?
As her life intertwines with Rosie and Jack’s, they must all decide what separates truth from fiction. Will the stories that unfold unite or divide them? Can first impressions ever be trusted?
In this original novella, H.A. Leuschel evokes the powerful hold of appearances and what a person is prepared to do to keep up the facade. If you like thought-provoking and compelling reads with intriguing characters, My Sweet Friend is for you.
Purchase Link – https://t.co/BtwZGcmEwt
Thank you very much for inviting me on your lovely blog Splashes Into Books
Where did you get the inspiration for the book?
For My Sweet Friend, I got my inspiration from numerous discussions with a psychologist and it transpired that pathological lying can become so extreme that the person does not even notice any longer that they are making things up. Analysis in neuroscientific research even suggest that pathological lying – also called mythomania – changes the very structure of the brain. This ultimately means that lying is rarely laudable.
My Sweet Friend is a stand-alone novella, even though I could add that it is also an after-thought of my story collection Manipulated Lives. The latter describes characters with narcissistic personality disorder who all have one common trait which is that they are compulsive pathological liars. Without the confabulations and convincing lies and fibs that they come up with spontaneously, they could not sustain their web of deception and pretence. However, some people grow up to become expert liars due to damaging circumstances in childhood as well as personality traits that makes them more prevalent to lack inhibition and hence gives them the inclination to bend the truth … again and again, until it becomes a habit. This is the core theme my novella is focused on.
What is your writing process?
I write anywhere at any time, whether it is jotting down notes in one of my notebooks or on a phone or tablet. Once I’ve got an idea for story, a few strong characters and know what their goals and intentions are, I create a chapter plan which will help me build the different stages of the book.
Do you write using pen and paper or on a computer?
I love notebooks in all shapes, colours and sizes and I always carry one with me when I’m out and about. Once I’m ready though to create a story, I mainly write on the computer. It’s much easier to paste, copy, shift and delete than to attempt re-writing on paper only.
Who is your favourite character out of your stories and why?
This is an interesting and difficult question because I have a few that I feel attached to when I think about it. However, I would say that teenage Holly who is the main character in Runaway Girl is still with me the strongest because she tempts me the most to write a follow-up story for her. I want to know how she gets on, whether her dreams do come true and what it will take her to get there.
If you were a character in your story, which would you like to be?
I find Nurse Sandra in my story Tess and Tattoos the most inspiring character. She reminds me of a dear friend who is always ready to help, very confident from within and able to make every person she gets in touch with feel special and listened to.
How and why did you choose the names for your main characters?
I would say the choice of names is usually spontaneous and I have had to change the odd one in the past because at a later stage of writing the book, I’ve come to feel that the character didn’t fit the name any longer. It’s a very personal and intuitive process I guess.
Author Bio – Helene Andrea Leuschel grew up in Belgium where she gained a Licentiate in Journalism & Communication, which led to a career in radio and television in Brussels, London and Edinburgh. She now lives with her husband and two children in Portugal and recently acquired a Master of Philosophy with the OU, deepening her passion for the study of the mind. When she is not writing, Helene works as a freelance journalist and teaches Yoga.
Social Media Links –
Giveaway – Win a signed copy of Manipulated Lives by H.A. Leuschel (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.
Here are the other stops on this tour:
Many thanks to Rachel’s Random Resources for organising this tour and providing materials for this post and to Helena for kindly answering my questions. The review is my own, honest opinion after choosing to read this intriguing novella.