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A pick 'n' mix genre author. "I'm not greedy. I just like variety."

Friday, 20 June 2014

The Spell of Summer Blog Tour

Welcome Dianna. It is so lovely to have you over today.
I have read The Spell of Summer - LOVED IT! - and would like to ask you a few questions. So, here we go. ;)

1. What was the inspiration behind The Spell of Summer? The seed that planted the idea; how did it all begin?

It began because I wanted to write something “light” to balance out the darkness of my other series, particularly Eye Of The Storm and the last two books of The Witching Pen series. Little did I know that this story was not going to be that “light” to write. It has its own element of darkness, but it's the darkness of everyday reality and what you find in “real life” as opposed to my more fantasy-orientated books. And I think that was another reason I wanted to write The Spell of Summer: I wanted to write something based more on real life. I've always tried to combine reality into all my books and series – in the way the characters act and think, particularly – but with this book, I wanted it to be more like it could happen to anyone, or be anyone.

2. I loved all the characters in this story - Jamie is delicious on all the right levels. I wouldn't mind bumping into him. ;-P - but I related to Meredith, to certain moments in her life, and even her views. Was there a particular character you found hard to write, or one that you yourself relate to?

That's a hard one! There is a teeny-weeny bit of me in every single character I write, including the male characters. In many ways, I related to them all. I don't think there was a character I found particularly hard to write, but there were definitely moments I found almost impossible to write; the situations they go through. It was also hard writing a slightly different genre to what I've been writing so far. It really does involve a flick of some switch in your brain to an alternate mode.

3. Most of the story is set in Cornwall, was there a particular reason you were drawn to that part of the UK?

This book was always going to be a “takes place at the beach” book, not least because of Jamie's occupation. Also because the sea, to me, represents freedom and awakening, as well as loneliness and vastness. Having been there a few times in my life, I couldn't think of anywhere better than Cornwall in the UK.

4. You have a set of wonderful characters, and I for one can't wait to learn more about them. Did you know when you started The Spell of Summer that it would be the first book in a new series, or was that something that became clear as you wrote?

It became clear as I wrote it. It was initially going to be a standalone (and can still be read as one), but as with all my books, the secondary characters always grow and demand to be heard, and I also doubt that Merri and Jamie's story will end right here – we'll see!

5. I loved the book, and am eagerly awaiting book 2. Can you give us any information on the next book in the series?

Book two is set to be called “Summer's End” (working title), and it will focus on two of the secondary characters in The Spell of Summer, one more so than the other for now. Again, the theme will be loving, trusting and letting go.

6. What can we expect next from Dianna Hardy?

A two-month vacation? Kidding :D I'm working on three series altogether right now: this one (Once Times Thrice), the Eye Of The Storm series (about holy-hotter-than-hell British werewolves, with emotional baggage and control issues – always fun!), and at the end of this year, I'll start writing the Saving Eve series, which will be a story centred around Lucifer, and it's the same Lucifer from The Witching Pen series, although Saving Eve will be in no way a continuation of The Witching Pen – The Witching Pen has definitely ended.

eBook Cover
The Spell of Summer
(Book One in the Once Times Thrice Series)


Meredith is leading a straight-laced life in London with her straight-laced fiancé, determined to forget her reckless, wild-child past. They're about to get married.
Jamie is an old, poetic soul with a broken heart returning home to Cornwall to get his life back in order.
What binds them?
One chance meeting thirteen summers ago; one innocent spell spoken after one perfect night...
Print Cover
And now history is unravelling; the past and present, merging...
Words can change everything, but can they change your destiny?
And in the messy world of magic, what part does love play?
It's summer all over again, but the spell has only just begun.

Defined as Practical Magic meets a Nicholas Sparks novel, written 'Dianna Hardy-style' - do not miss this summer's must-read story!


Kobo - http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/the-spell-of-summer
Barnes & Noble (Nook) - http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/dianna-hardy 
iBooks / iTunes - https://itunes.apple.com/gb/book/spell-summer-once-times-thrice/id881293283?mt=11 Smashwords - https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/440225 
Amazon US - only available on release day – try this search link
Amazon UK - only available on release day – try this search link

Book Depository - http://www.bookdepository.com/Spell-Summer-Dianna-Hardy/9780957540422 Amazon US - http://www.amazon.com/Spell-Summer-Once-Times-Thrice/dp/0957540426/
Amazon UK - http://www.amazon.co.uk/Spell-Summer-Once-Times-Thrice/dp/0957540426/

Full links can also be found on Dianna’s website: http://www.diannahardy.com/the-spell-of-summer.html

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My Review of The Spell of Summer

5 Stars!

I have adored Dianna Hardy's voice since I first picked up one of her books ('Til Death Do Us Part) and have loved every story she has written. Her stories have always been unique, engaging, sweet, very sexy, and there have always been heart-warming moments in each story, as well as a good mixture of action and humour, but personally, I feel that The Spell of Summer is possibly her best book yet.

And I'm not trying to say that her other books aren't amazing, because they are. Both her Witching Pen Series, and her Eye of the Storm Series are original, wonderfully written, entertaining, touching, and Til Death Do Us Part was tragically beautiful and true to the original story, but The Spell of Summer is so very raw, so very real, and so very close to home.

You always connect with the characters in all her stories, but well, for me the connection was a lot deeper with The Spell of Summer, and yes, it had a lot to do with the fact that this book is closer to real life - don't get me wrong, if you tell me there are Werewolves in Surrey, hell, I'd believe you and move there, because that would be awesome - but reality is very different to fiction reality, and well, I cried while reading this story. I read it in one sitting; 3pm till midnight. I couldn't stop reading. I had to not what was going to happen. I had to know that everything was going to be okay in the end. That these two people were meant to be, that love like that is possible. I had to finish the book.

Out of all the characters I related to Meredith the most. I related to some of the events that had happened in her life. I related to her fears, her views, her wants and her hopes. And that is what is great about this book; fear and devastation, and then hope and so much love. The perfect balance; the balance that is life.
You see these characters, the heart of them; you see what they have gone through, what life has dealt them, you see the choices they have to make, have made, you see their mistakes and you watch them grow and change from those situations and moments, you watch how they become the people they are.

That is naturally the case with Jamie and Merri over everyone else, because this is their journey, their story, but you still see segments of the other characters; their personalities, hints of what they have been through, and I do hope that Dianna does continue because I really want to learn about her secondary characters, I want to see their journey, and their growth, and their happily ever after.

Overall, this book made me, as a reader, feel not only hopeful for the characters, but in general; it made me feel hopeful about life in general. It made me believe in love, and if something is meant to be it will be; in fate.
Jamie is lovely; not just because he sounds like a total dream-boat, but because he is so down-to-earth, and honest; accepting, fun . . . I want him. Ha. But seriously, you can't help but love him, and you can't help but wish to be like him. He is so relaxed, so go with the flow. And even though he has been through his own heartaches, he is so very supportive and caring of those around him. He is a rock.

And Merri, like I said earlier, I related to her a lot. I understood her. She is a great character; vulnerable child, to rebellious teenager, to a career orientated adult, who like most of us loses herself, thinks she knows what she wants, who she wants; she isn't happy even if she doesn't realize it, and has to go back to the beginning - back home - to figure herself out, figure out life. We've all been there. And when you look back over your life you can see those phases so clearly.

Candy and Pippa are fabulous secondary characters, who have both been through a lot, and are dealing with everything the best they can; trying to be strong for those around them. I really can't wait to learn more about them, to watch their growth and see their hope flourish into a happy ending.

I loved this book. It moved me. Only one other book has ever done that. If I wasn't crying while reading this book then there were tears in my eyes. It is real, raw, beautiful, hopeful, and romantic and in that magical way Dianna Hardy said it would be.

The Spell of Summer pulls you in. It makes you think about life, your wants, regrets, fears and hopes, and it makes you feel, and when a story makes you feel you know you will never forget it.

I really feel that we have seen a piece of Dianna Hardy's heart in this story. And I for one am very grateful to have had the privilege to see that.

The Spell of Summer, this summer's must read, and one that will most definitely weave a spell across your heart.

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Win yourself an eBook copy, plus an exclusive, made-just-for-this-book necklace by Dzyne’d It! (Below.)

All you have to do is leave some entries on the rafflecopter below. 
International contest – ends in two weeks on June 30th at midnight - 6pm eastern time. Good luck!

Author Bio:

Dianna Hardy is the international bestselling author of The Witching Pen series, and the Eye Of The Storm series. She writes paranormal / urban fantasy and contemporary fiction that's twisted in plot, big on the romance, high on the erotic, with a dusting of humour. She currently lives in Surrey (United Kingdom) with her partner and their daughter, where she writes full-time.

Official site: http://www.diannahardy.com

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