The Social Bubble

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MONTH: October

YEAR: 2020




Book Blogs


Ever wanted a platform to express your Instagram talents?

Is all that hard work and your amazing creative talent getting the credit it deserves?

Watch a Video in a magazine, whatever next, Watch, learn & participate

Welcome to your Social Bubble

Welcome to your Social Bubble

Welcome to your Social Bubble

THE INDEX Bumper First week at the Bubble

What’s the BUZZ?

1st Edition

Booktubers, bookbloggers & bookstagramers, Facebook book group, this is your magazine, get involved and share with the world

Your time to Shine Welcome, The Social Bubble where your creative talents, reviews and general book news can be shared, we are here to showcase your talents and give you a platform to SHINE.....All you have to do is step into the limelight and get in touch......


Book Reviews Take a look at some of the reviews doing the socials at the moment, 5 stars to below pars across all media platforms

4 All contributors are credited If you want to be involved, contribute or maybe you have an idea we might want to try? Get in touch 2

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Hello, I’m new here Take a look at our selection of this month’s newbies in the Social Bubble. Please give them a watch and if you like what you see, give them a like and maybe even subscribe. We were all new once you know, think about how you felt at your first day at school, Booktube are kicking us off this month, go and take a look.







Reviews from all the social platforms including watching Youtube videos if you are online

So, you think you know all about books? Well test yourself out with our latest book related quiz


And much MUCH MORE


Our first author interview is with the lovely Diane Chandler who reveals all including news about her new book

EDITORIAL “Hello World” it seems quite apt for me to be writing those words. If you don’t know the history of “hello world” then make sure you look it up.

Many programmers and software geeks will be giving me a nod of appreciation and laughing into their beers, so, “Hello World.” is not a bad start for this new venture. So, after all the salutations why are we here? Well to cut a long story short, don’t worry, I will cut it long later. As a new booktuber I had a crash on my bike, as part of my video that week I attached a mock-up of a newspaper.


Giveaways, new releases in the next month or so and other book related news

A few of my new booktuber friends mentioned in the comments, (Yes you are allowed to comment) what a good idea it would be to start a newspaper about books. So here we are, I hope you enjoy the first edition and all the content, after all, you made it, not me, I’m just giving you a platform. Enjoy the journey... KINDLE PAPERWHITE GIVEAWAY Oh and don’t miss the international Kindle Paperwhite giveaway on page 10, please subscribe and send an email to enter. Trev Lince The Social Bubble


Welcome Your platform to SHINE

Step into the light

Welcome team and you are the team. This is your platform to shine. We talk books whilst incorporating all your socials Lights, camera, action. Like many inventions throughout the years such as cornflakes, the microwave and post it notes were invented by accident. We can now add this magazine ‘The Social Bubble’ to the accidental, how the hell did this happen list.

“So what is the Social Bubble and how did it happen?” As a relatively new booktuber, ‘The Reluctant Reader’ I thought I would embark on a new series where I ride around on my bicycle and talk about book related stops on my ride. After finishing recording for the day, I set off back home then BANG! I crashed into a parked car, when I put the video together I did a mock-up of a newspaper, local author and booktuber survives bike crash. This was done as a joke, however, I received a few comments from my growing army of followers. The comments were about the newspaper and stating if I made a real one, they would all subscribe. Well it may not be a newspaper but a magazine for the book community, that’s where you all come in. We have the platform, you are the creators, so we are calling all of you lovely people to get involved.

Your spotlight is waiting for you, all you need to do is step inside


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“Together we all grow stronger.” Remember this is your platform; let us know if you have a good idea for a feature, a new hashtag you want to promote. Bloggers do you need to recruit for your blog tours? It’s all possible, in fact the possibilities are endless. This is the October 2020 first full edition with the intention to publish monthly from here on in; that said, content does not create itself, so get your creative juices flowing.

“Is it your time to shine?” Get in touch with your content ideas and anything else you want; it’s your platform and we are all in this together.

Q: They ALL float down here. When you’re down here with us, you’ll float too!

Let us know what is going on in your world, what tags are going viral, bookstagrammers who are posting beautiful pictures and reviews, booktubers who are slipping under the radar and need a boost. Newbies and new contributors, let’s give them a leg up, we all know how hard it is to start off. Facebook groups, audible listeners, book bloggers everyone is in, even ‘tik tok’ if we ever understand what that even is. Booktube videos can even co-exist inside this interactive magazine (internet connection allowing). So, buckle in and take advantage of the many offers we hope to get along the way, free and discounted books from independent authors and as we grow even main stream publishers with their bestsellers in tow. Social media is all about growing together; subscribing to this magazine, contributing and supporting contributers is our vision.

Q: “Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.”

If you see a‘Q:’ a book, an author or movie quote, answers will be in the next edition (5 in total)

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BOOK Reviews



At the Social Bubble we take some of the best reviews from all social platforms, from the what’s hots to the what’s nots. We will also offer up some books we are looking for reviews on. Star ratings (we don’t do things by halves) but we do like a good rating. Hey, if you prefer not to give one, remember, it’s your bubble. If you are reading online you can also watch the reviews from the booktube community.

# HASHTAG ALERT # f you would like a review to be considered for inclusion in the Social Bubble, simply tag us in using #SocialBubbleRev - we’ll find you, we are always watching. By you tagging us in, we take that as permission to post your review, but where possible we will always be in touch.

So, what is in the review crosshairs this month in The Bubble In this edition we have reviews from a range of bloggers, booktubers and bookstagrammers. On each review you will see the link details for the contributer. Please go follow, like, share and help these amazing people in any way you can; the Social Bubble as all about caring and sharing.

Q: “We were the people who were not in the papers. We lived in the blank white spaces at the edges of print. It gave us more freedom. We lived in the gaps between the stories.”


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The Testaments - Margaret Atwood Synopsis hen the van door slammed on Offred’s future at the end of The Handmaid’s W Tale, readers had no way of telling what lay ahead for her--freedom, prison or death. With The Testaments, the wait is over. Margaret Atwood’s sequel picks up the story more than fifteen years after Offred stepped into the unknown, with the explosive testaments of three female narrators from Gilead. In this brilliant sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale, acclaimed author Margaret Atwood answers the questions that have tantalized readers for decades. “Dear Readers: Everything you’ve ever asked me about Gilead and its inner workings is the inspiration for this book. Well, almost everything! The other inspiration is the world we’ve been living in.” --Margaret Atwood

Review by Georgia’s Life Bookblogger The Testaments is told in the perspectives of Aunt Lydia and Offred’s biological children, Agnes and Nicole, charting their interactions with their respective ‘families’ and their roles within the world of Gilead. Soon enough, the characters interact through the seamless chapter plotting, as the inner-workings of Gilead are revealed. It’s hard to not give things away, but the plotline will certainly have you on your feet. Atwood, obviously, skilfully crafts language that is also addictive; regardless of the novel being 300 plus pages, it is still a relatively quick read, as every chapter leaves you wanting more. Aunt Lydia’s perspective was my particular favourite; Atwood’s subtle word choices allow the reader to delve deeper into how the Aunt’s interact with each other. I know there has been some divided opinion and controversy surrounding The Testaments, so I expected not to enjoy it as much as I did. I tried to read it two times in the past year and failed to get past the first 100 pages, though, so I would recommend you make sure you have the time to give it your full attention. I really enjoyed reading it this summer with no pressing reading to do. The ending, which has a similar format to the ending of The Handmaid’s Tale, tied the novel together perfectly, as well as tying the duology together nicely, too. Overall, the novel didn’t disappoint at all: regardless of what controversy surrounds it, I certainly would put it to the top of your reading pile.

Georgia’s rating - 4 STARS GoodReads rating - 4.20 STARS

Why not visit Georgia on her blog?

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Daisy Jones & the 6 - Taylor Jenkins Reid Synopsis knows DAISY JONES & THE SIX, but nobody knows the reason behind their split E veryone at the absolute height of their popularity . . . until now. Daisy is a girl coming of age in L.A. in the late sixties, sneaking into clubs on the Sunset Strip, sleeping with rock stars, and dreaming of singing at the Whisky a Go Go. The sex and drugs are thrilling, but it’s the rock ’n’ roll she loves most. By the time she’s twenty, her voice is getting noticed, and she has the kind of heedless beauty that makes people do crazy things. Also getting noticed is The Six, a band led by the brooding Billy Dunne. On the eve of their first tour, his girlfriend Camila finds out she’s pregnant, and with the pressure of impending fatherhood and fame, Billy goes a little wild on the road. Daisy and Billy cross paths when a producer realizes that the key to supercharged success is to put the two together. What happens next will become the stuff of legend. The making of that legend is chronicled in this riveting and unforgettable novel, written as an oral history of one of the biggest bands of the seventies. Taylor Jenkins Reid is a talented writer who takes her work to a new level with Daisy Jones & The Six, brilliantly capturing a place and time in an utterly distinctive voice.

Review by Jenna at jjsbookcase Bookstagram Wow...Just wow wow wow. This book was structured like nothing else I have ever read before. It was a fictional tale of a band in the 70s that seemed strikingly real, told through an oral history interview. There is no narrator, and no real chapters, but it worked. It worked very well. This book made me feel like I was watching Bohemian Rhapsody or The Dirt (movies based on real bands). It told the story of how Daisy Jones & The Six came to be a band and how they eventually met their end. The creativity that TJR brought to the format of this book was insanely innovative for a historical fiction novel, and that made me all the more interested in it. One of my favorite parts of this book was watching everyone tell their own side of the story, which meant that a lot of stories didn’t match up (because memories aren’t very reliable) and you aren’t sure who to necessarily believe. It made the book feel that much more realistic. My second favorite part was the character of Camila. God bless Camila. After reading Evelyn Hugo, I was very excited to read more books by @tjenkinsreid and I was not disappointed with this one. I can’t wait for her new novel Malibu Burning to debut ✨ P.S. (you know what’s coming here) Daisy Jones & The Six is being adapted to a 13-episode limited series on Amazon Prime starring Sam Claflin and Riley Keough (Elvis Presley’s granddaughter) produced by Reese Witherspoon Jenna’s rating - 5 STARS GoodReads rating - 4.20 STARS Why not visit Jenna on her bookstsagram


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The Bone Shard Daughter - Andrea Stewart Synopsis In an empire controlled by bone shard magic, Lin, the former heir to the emperor will fight to reclaim her magic and her place on the throne. The Bone Shard Daughter marks the debut of a major new voice in epic fantasy. The emperor’s reign has lasted for decades, his mastery of bone shard magic powering the animal-like constructs that maintain law and order. But now his rule is failing, and revolution is sweeping across the Empire’s many islands. Lin is the emperor’s daughter and spends her days trapped in a palace of locked doors and dark secrets. When her father refuses to recognise her as heir to the throne, she vows to prove her worth by mastering the forbidden art of bone shard magic. Yet such power carries a great cost, and when the revolution reaches the gates of the palace, Lin must decide how far she is willing to go to claim her birthright - and save her people.

CLICK play to watch (Must be online) Review by Claire at Books with Claire Booktuber Did Claire like this adult fantasy, you will have to watch to find out, but let’s just say after you watch this booktube video I think you might all have an addition to your ever growing TBR’s. It is totally spoiler free and without doubt this review is out of the top draw, oh, and Books with Cliare is only a few subs short of 200. What are you waiting for. Claire’s rating - Watch and see GoodReads rating - 4.42 STARS Visit Claire’s chanel -

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In our first edition we will be giving away a new kindle paperwhite to celebrate our launch. Make sure you subscribe to this magazine and then CLICK HERE to enter to have a chance to win. Entries must be in by 15 October 2020. The winner will be picked at random and announced in the next edition of The Social Bubble


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Room 119 - T F Lince £1.99/$2.99 on Kindle until 1 Nov 2020

High-flying trader Dean Harrison has it all – the London penthouse apartment; the fast car; the beautiful wife. But when the threads of Dean’s life start to unravel, they do so with alarming speed. Following the advice of a frail stranger, Dean sets off for Welnetham Hall Hotel and is plunged into the mysterious world of Room 119 – a world where nothing makes sense. How does everyone in the hotel know his name? Why does he travel there on a train line that shut down over fifty years ago? And who is the sinister man in black who pursues him wherever he goes? As he gradually pieces together the puzzle of Welnetham Hall, Dean is forced to re-evaluate his life and realises that nothing is more important to him than his wife and daughter. Desperate to get back to them, he vows he would lay down his life for the people he loves. It’s a promise he may have to keep.

Buy it Now

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The Revolt - Clara Dupont-Monod Synopsis a soft voice, full of menace, that our mother commands us to overthrow I touris with father . . Richard Lionheart tells the story of his mother, Eleanor of Aquitaine. In 1173, she and three of her sons instigate a rebellion to overthrow the English king, her husband Henry Plantagenet. What prompts this revolt? How does a great queen persuade her children to rise up against their father? And how does a son cope with this crushing conflict of loyalties? Replete with poetry and cruelty, this story takes us to the heart of the relationship between a mother and her favourite son two individuals sustained by literature, unspoken love, honour and terrible violence.

Review by The Book Magnet Bookblogger I don’t know a great deal about Plantagenet history but we’ve all heard of Richard the Lionheart and perhaps also his mother, Eleanor of Aquitaine. Both of these historical figures are brought to life by Clara Dupont-Monod in The Revolt. The Revolt is an absolutely stunning piece of historical fiction; it’s so good that I read it in one sitting, being unable to put it down until I had greedily devoured every single word. Never have historical figures spoken so clearly and vividly from within the pages of a book. It’s highly commendable that Clara Dupont-Monod has managed to breathe so much life into these 12th century figures, making them so multi-dimensional that it’s quite remarkable. Of course, the author has used her artistic license to create such amazing characters whilst still maintaining as much historical accuracy as possible. I did google a few things that intrigued me and found them to have a basis in fact. Written in the voice of both Richard and Eleanor, with a few guest chapters from notable characters, I learnt so much more about this period of history than I have ever managed to absorb from a history book. I’ve always found Eleanor of Aquitaine to be a fascinating historical figure but I’ve struggled to find a book about her that held my interest for more than a few chapters. The Revolt is precisely the book I have been searching for; it didn’t just hold my interest, it completely gripped and captivated me from start to finish. Often lyrical and poetic in its prose, The Revolt is exceptionally well written by Clara Dupont-Monod and impeccably translated from French by Ruth Diver. It’s a fascinating and captivating account of one of the most powerful and influential women in English history. I didn’t have to think twice before awarding 5 stars to this stunning novel. A very highly recommended read. I chose to read an ARC and this is my honest and unbiased opinion. Michelles rating - 5 STARS GoodReads rating - 3.78 STARS (French Version) Why not visit Michelle on her blog?


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Clown in the Cornfield - Adam Cesare Synopsis Maybrook just wants to make it until graduation. She might not make it Q uinn to morning. Quinn and her father moved to tiny, boring Kettle Springs to find a fresh start. But ever since the Baypen Corn Syrup Factory shut down, Kettle Springs has cracked in half. On one side are the adults, who are desperate to make Kettle Springs great again, and on the other are the kids, who want to have fun, make prank videos, and get out of Kettle Springs as quick as they can. Kettle Springs is caught in a battle between old and new, tradition and progress. It’s a fight that looks like it will destroy the town. Until Frendo, the Baypen mascot, a creepy clown in a pork-pie hat, goes homicidal and decides that the only way for Kettle Springs to grow back is to cull the rotten crop of kids who live there now

CLICK play to watch (Must be online) Review by Connor’s Library Corner Booktuber Here at the Bubble, this is one of our favourite booktubers. Connor is for ever re-inventing the art of the possible, coming up with new ideas, he’s a must follow booktuber on the up. He generally posts a new video 2 or 3 times a week Oh, then he’s gone and dressed as the creepy clown for the occasion. What’s not to like? Connor’s rating - Watch to find out GoodReads rating - 4.07 STARS Why not visit Connor’s Booktube page - Connors Library Corner

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The Wall we Build - Jules Hayes Synopsis Reverberating through three generations and nine decades, and set against the stunning backdrop of Chartwell, Winston Churchill’s country home, comes a tragic story of misguided honour, thwarted love and redemption. Growing up around Churchill’s estate, Frank, Florence and Hilda are inseparable, but as WW2 casts its menacing shadow their friendships become more complex and strained. Following Frank’s death in 2002, Florence writes to his grandson, Richard, hinting at a dark past. On investigation, disturbing secrets come to light that have not only haunted his grandfather’s life but will now impact on his too. When a pivotal encounter between Frank and Churchill is revealed and a mystery relative in a psychiatric hospital discovered, just how much more does Florence dare disclose, and is Richard ready to hear?

Review by Being Ann Book Bookblogger Romance, injustice, slowly uncovered family secrets, a vividly-drawn wartime backdrop, the strongest and most well-drawn characters, a sweeping and all-consuming story filled with twists and surprises, a perfectly balanced present day story that draws on all those echoes from the past, and the very finest of story-telling – what more can you possibly ask of a book? Ok, a little bit of Churchill too – and not as a simple cameo, but central to the story line and the way it unfolds? The research that must have gone into this book is seriously impressive – historical, social and in its settings, all used exceptionally well to give the story depth, context and authenticity. This book grabbed me from the opening pages, and its grip never lessened for an instant. One of its real strengths is in its characterisation, as you become involved and invested in the lives of Florence, Frank and Hilda. Frank is both complex and sympathetic, and the twists and turns of his life rather drive the story, with the emotional content perfectly judged: but Florence is perhaps the story’s primary anchor, moving sometimes into the background, but at other times at centre stage, also providing that all-important link through to the present day. And while the story that takes you through wartime and beyond is a page-turner in itself, I really did love that present day story too – with a mystery at its centre, some real tension and some clever echoes from the earlier story. It gives the book another dimension, has a strength of its own, and brings the whole to a really satisfying conclusion. Dual time threads can be troublesome when they’re not equally strong, when you’d prefer to remain with one rather than the other – there are no such issues here, all the links and transitions so very smoothly handled. While the story-telling is wonderful throughout, there are some set pieces that will long stay in the memory – particularly, but certainly not only, that “pivotal” wartime encounter with Churchill, with its vividly drawn setting and context. And I really must commend the author for the book’s perfect conclusion – when I set the book aside with a tear in my eye and reflected on how very much I’d enjoyed it. No, not just enjoyed it, I unreservedly loved it – one of my books of the year. Anne’s rating - 5 STARS GoodReads rating - 4.47 STARS Why not visit Anne on her blog? 14

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The Assassin’s BLADE - Sarah J Maas Synopsis Celaena Sardothien is Adarlan’s most feared assassin. As part of the Assassin’s Guild, her allegiance is to her master, Arobynn Hamel, yet Celaena listens to no one and trusts only her fellow killer-for-hire, Sam. In these action-packed novellas - together in one edition for the first time Celaena embarks on five daring missions. They take her from remote islands to hostile deserts, where she fights to liberate slaves and seeks to avenge the tyrannous. But she is acting against Arobynn’s orders and could suffer an unimaginable punishment for such treachery. Will Celaena ever be truly free? Explore the dark underworld of this kick-ass heroine to find out.

CLICK play to watch (Must be online) Review by Books and Barbells Booktube Cara, you will thank the bubble for introducing you to the crazy world of books and barbells and now lightsabres. You like fantasy fiction and like cosyplay well Cara’s your girl. We don’t do favourites here at the bubble. (But if we did, she would be up at the top) Go and join the madness at books and barbells, you can thank us later. Cara’s rating - Watch and see GoodReads rating - 4.41 STARS

Why not visit Cara’s Booktube page - Books and Barbells

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The Night Circus - Erin Morgenstern Synopsis circus arrives without warning. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. TuponheAgainst the grey sky the towering tents are striped black and white. A sign hanging iron gates reads: Opens at Nightfall Closes at Dawn As dusk shifts to twilight, tiny lights begin to flicker all over the tents, as though the whole circus is covered in fireflies. When the tents are aglow, sparkling against the night sky, the sign lights up: Le Cirque des Rêves The Circus of Dreams The gates shudder and unlock, seemingly by their own volition. They swing outward, inviting the crowd inside. Now the circus is open. Now you may enter.

Review by Phoebe at thebookreviewer Bookstagram Summary: One day the circus is there, one day it isn’t. A challenge has been set and the circus is the playing ground. The book goes between different years and different places, but the challenge is always at the heart of the story. Review: At first, I didn’t enjoy this book, I didn’t really understand it. I couldn’t get used to the years changing on nearly every chapter and my mind would not remember the characters name and what they did. After about 50ish pages my head got used to it and I fell in love with the book and the not knowing of it. I also fell in love with the circus and definitely wanted to be a part of it. The way Morgenstern describes the illusions and acts performed at the circus was incredible, the picture was very clear in my mind. The storyline is great! You’re left waiting until the last few pages to see what’s going to happen (I am being vague so as to not spoil it) and the ending does not disappoint. Overall, this book is magic (haha) and I would highly recommend it, just remember to pay attention to the dates at the start of each chapter as they are important. Special shoutout to Bailey in the book as he was a gem and my fave character for sure! Has anyone read this one and what did they think of it? Phoebe’s rating - 4 STARS GoodReads rating - 4.04 STARS

Why not visit Phoebe’s Bookstagram?


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Normal People - Sally Rooney Synopsis and Marianne grew up in the same small town, but the similarities Cloner.onnell end there. At school, Connell is popular and well liked, while Marianne is a But when the two strike up a conversation—awkward but electrifying— something life changing begins.

A year later, they’re both studying at Trinity College in Dublin. Marianne has found her feet in a new social world while Connell hangs at the sidelines, shy and uncertain. Throughout their years at university, Marianne and Connell circle one another, straying toward other people and possibilities but always magnetically, irresistibly drawn back together. And as she veers into self-destruction and he begins to search for meaning elsewhere, each must confront how far they are willing to go to save the other. Normal People is the story of mutual fascination, friendship and love. It takes us from that first conversation to the years beyond, in the company of two people who try to stay apart but find that they can’t.

Review by Jess at Double_bookedd Bookstagrammer This Having watched the TV series first, and having loved it, I was apprehensive about how I would react to the book... But safe to say I loved it too!! I was shocked how similar the book and TV series were... that’s usually not the case. This is probably why I loved the book so much as it was just like reliving the TV series in my head BUT with much more detail and more answers to Connell and Marianne’s frustrating behaviour!! Although I was still frustrated with them by the end of the book I was also expecting a lot more sexual description in the book since the TV series is so sexual but there really isn’t at all! But I enjoyed that as it focused on their emotions and feelings far more, making me understand the characters further. This is like no other romance novel that I have read, AT ALL. It is so unique and would urge anyone to read it who wants a change from their usual romance reading!! Jess’s rating - 4 STARS GoodReads rating - 3.86 STARS

Why not visit Jess’s bookstagram page - double_bookedd

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Author Interview

Diane Chandler

Diane was a political lobbyist in Brussels before then working at the European Commission in overseas aid for several years. Back in London, she joined the Ukraine and Africa desks at the Department for International Development (DFID). Her first novel, The Road to Donetsk, draws on her experiences in overseas aid. Her second, Moondance, on the emotional impact of fertility treatment. Her third novel, Only Human, is about a woman struggling to find new meaning in life after her husband cheats on her and her only daughter flies the nest. Diane co-runs Creative Writing Workshops London with Stephanie Zia of Blackbird Digital Books, and also coaches aspiring writers. She hosts book club Words with Wine in W4.

Your third book, Only Human, was published on 8th September. Can you tell us a little bit about it? Yes, it’s a family drama, a tale of love, lies and betrayal! Anna Bond is in her mid-forties and gave up her career to stay home with her family. Her teenage daughter is now chopping at the apron strings and she’s just discovered that her husband of twenty years is having an affair. She considers leaving him but has lost all confidence, having been duped by him and also a stay-at-home mum for so many years – a product of the school gate, as she calls herself. So she’s floundering, struggling to restore herself to the confident woman she once was. Then her daughter’s first boyfriend enters their lives, bringing a breath of fresh air to the whole dysfunctional family. Anna begins to find new purpose, but she makes some dodgy decisions and finds herself caught up in a web of lies and deceit… What inspired you to write Only Human? When my daughter started secondary school, I was already pursuing my passion of writing and was about to be published. But around me were so many women, friends and other school mums, who now had more time on their hands and were desperate to do something for themselves again, but had no idea what. The corporate world, where many of them had worked before having children, was no longer appealing for them – they’d moved on. But they were struggling to find a passion, a new meaning in life now it was their time again. I was inspired to explore these issues in my novel. he cover of Only Human is very unusual and personal to you. Can you tell our readers why? Absolutely! My daughter created the cover and painted the original artwork. She chose a blank face looking down amidst a myriad of shapes, which could be Anna’s mind, or could be mountains to climb – or really anything the reader wants them to be! Then the wonderful Aimee Coveney at Bookollective added the graphics and came up with the sketchy font which has imperfections, suggesting the title Only Human. Genius really! Before you started writing, you had a very impressive international career. Tell us about your life before writing. Well, I lived abroad in Brussels throughout my twenties and early thirties, working first as political lobbyist and then at the European Commission. There I worked on regional development programmes, providing aid to the coal and steel communities across Europe, and then moved on to international development programmes in the former Soviet Union, including Ukraine. How much did your work in Brussels influence your decision to start writing? I’d always tinkered with writing, bits and pieces here and there, and my job involved designing aid programmes and drafting many documents. When I came back to the UK, Ukraine and its people lingered in my mind – the country had got under my skin, and I wanted to write about it. Tell us about your first novel, The Road to Donetsk, that won the People’s Book Prize for Fiction 2016. The Road to Donetsk draws very much on my personal experiences in overseas aid. I wanted to bring the daily realities of aid to life, and also Ukraine itself. The novel is a love story, between an idealistic English girl who wants to change the world and a cynical older American man who knows that you can’t. I now wish I had called it ‘The Girl with the Bleeding Heart’ which would have been much more accessible as a title...


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Only Human Synopsis Anna Bond is floundering. Tiger mum to tricky teen Sophie, now slipping through her fingers, and loyal wife to big sociable Ollie, whom she no longer trusts, what does she do next with her life? Once a confident career woman, after so many years at home and the school gate, Anna now finds her mind is chattering and her soul is searching - for what matters. Then Jack walks into their lives. Sophie’s first boyfriend is a breath of fresh air for the whole family, and Anna gradually discovers new purpose for herself. But when deceit creeps in, tensions surface, and she finds herself propelled through a tangled web of secrets and lies towards a devastating climax.

What was your publishing journey like? Rocky! I received around ten rejections from literary agents and then heard about the small independent publisher, Blackbird Books, which accepted direct submissions, thereby cutting out the need for an agent. So I submitted my work to them… and they published me. We’ve been together now for six years and three novels. They’re a truly amazing publishing house, alongside their authors every step of the way. Do have any words of advice for writers looking to get published? When I was starting out, twenty years ago, some published writer once said, ‘quality will out’ ie. if your writing is any good then eventually somebody will want to publish you. That always stayed with me. Perseverance too is imperative – you will most likely get many rejections before somebody takes you on. When I now come across my early work, it does make me smile, because my writing these days is so much tighter and more polished. The other thing I would advise is to trust your reader. Don’t over-write, repeating yourself, thinking that the reader may not get it, because they will. Your second novel, Moondance, received some rave reviews. What is this book about? Funnily enough I wrote Moondance first and it sat in the dark for ten years before my publisher asked to see it once Donetsk was out. It’s about a couple who are unable to conceive naturally and find themselves battling through a series of invasive fertility treatments. The novel tackles the physical and emotional impact of IVF on both of them. What was the inspiration behind Moondance? My own experience of IVF was the inspiration for Moondance. All the tests and treatment which Cat, the main character, has to endure were just as they were for me years ago - and in fact it was cathartic to write. The story itself and the characters, however, are pure fiction. Your books are very character driven but what comes first when you get an idea for a book, the plot or characters?


Very much the characters. I begin with a vague idea for a story and then imagine what the characters would be like within it. I don’t plot much – I’m more of a ‘pantser’ which means sitting down and writing by the seat of your pants, so that the story develops organically. I usually have idea the ending and ium work chapter by chapter towards that goal, but I’m much more interested in digging deeply into Et etan iust ea of conessi minimint my characters. The more flaws the better, alibust, consequi consequi unt, to make them rounded and more real. tem fugitaquae ni ut mo magnis There areaspid someqatreruptia strong emotions in your books, does the emotional impact of the book affect you when you are writing? velenisquodi dolesexplic.Amusanditae. Giam It does indeed. I immerse myself a chapter, walk around inside the scene, imagining what is happening, bringing all my senses to bear sum estem. Ari ium rentinearcias and capturing what I see, touch, smell, taste, hear. Crucial to that is how the character feels and I aim to capture that emotion in all its duntur sum ut moluptati ut quo rawness. tentium Once I’mquost in the zone, I’m experiencing that emotion for real and it can even lead me to tears of my own! Or, of course, laughter, aditat assit la dunt because ant there’s always humour in my novels – but of course you’re not supposed to laugh at your own jokes, are you? delibeatis nonem reniteceaqui quasit et eum volorporunt aut voluptata soluptinctam que nonetus aut delitaqui blabore sciliqui is volorepta. The Social Bubble


Moondance Synopsis IVF could create a baby but could it also destroy a marriage? Cat has always been in control of her life. Happily married to Dom, but flying high as a political lobbyist, she dismisses his desire to start a family ... until she herself is ready. But what if it is then too late? Complex and selfish, intelligent and open, if she is to succeed in having that elusive child, Cat must battle through gruelling fertility treatment and the emotional strain it places on her marriage. By her side, Dom, easygoing and ever the optimist, finds that he too risks being run ragged by their journey. Both are forced to come to terms with their longing for a baby against the blitz on a relationship tested like never before. Bittersweet, at times funny, and always emotionally raw, this is by far the most moving and honest novel you’ll ever read about IVF and its impact on a marriage. What is the most challenging thing about writing? Finding the time to get down to it. I also run a busy home, volunteer, visit my elderly parents who live three hours away, and of course I also coach aspiring writers and run creative writing workshops with my editor, Stephanie Zia who heads up Blackbird Books. Sometimes, I confess, I do delay sitting down to it, by finding other things to do… I think every writer would recognise this avoidance tactic! When you’re writing, what does your typical day look like? Well, after I’ve tidied up, plumped a few cushions and got the dishwasher on, I shut myself away and aim to get a whole chapter written in one go. Once I’m in the zone, I hate to be disturbed, because I’m immediately sucked back out again and the world I was creating is suddenly lost to me. I don’t write every day, only when I’ve got a whole five or six hours free to complete that chapter, which may be two to three thousand words. What do you like to do when you’re not writing? I love to play tennis, I swim, visit art galleries, and this year over the summer I enjoyed grabbing an hour lying in the sun in my garden every so often. If you ever get time to read, do you have any favourite authors? I love Ian McEwan, because he can turn his hand to any subject and any character and pull off an amazing read. Generally, though, I plump for women’s fiction, which is what I write myself – so I love Maggie O’Farrell, Anne Tyler, Ann Patchett, Naomi Alderman. Do you ever hear from readers? What do they say about your books? I guess I mainly hear from readers through their reviews on Amazon or Goodreads and they say a whole range of things. As a reader, you bring yourself to a book, so your experience of it may not be the same as that of another reader – and sometimes even readers see something in the novel which I had not intended or had not spotted myself! So far, with Only Human, the reviews have been generous. If you could choose one of your books to be made into a film or TV series, which one would it be and who would you cast in the starring roles? Ooh wouldn’t that be fantastic?! I think Only Human could make a great TV drama, perhaps with somebody like Anna Friel as Anna, and maybe Michael Sheen as Ollie. Jack Nicholson would make an outstanding Fred too, ha ha!


The Social Bubble

The Road To Donetsk Synopsis It is 1994 and an idealistic Vanessa Parker enters the world of international aid, bringing with her youth, beauty and passion to do good in the ‘Wild East’ of Ukraine after the sudden collapse of communism. The country and its people completely win her heart. As does Dan, a jaded American Deputy Bureau Chief of USAID. Highly charged and turbulent, their love for each other is passionate and unyielding. Their romance unfolds in the beautiful lilac-filled city of Kiev, on frequent working trips to the coalfields of Donetsk and on weekend visits to the sparkling seas of Odessa, to the pristine ski runs of the Carpathians, and even to the chilling spectacle of Chernobyl. Older, wiser, Dan laughs at Vanessa’s determination to change the world, but helps her navigate the political minefield of overseas aid. He admires her achievements, not least the micro-credit scheme she sets up for the resourceful, magnificent wives of the Donetsk coal miners – her beloved Divas – but warns against her deepfelt passion and idealism. At the age of just 26, Vanessa has landed her dream man as well as her dream job. But then Dan springs a bolt from the blue, which throws her into turmoil... You chair an online fortnightly bookclub fabulously named Words with Wine on Wednesdays in W4. Tell us about it – when and how do we join in? Yes the book club was started during lockdown by a local news and events company, who invited me to host it. We have around fifteen regulars, plus anybody else who would like to join us. Everyone is welcome and you can dip your toe in and out as a particular book takes your fancy. We’re all avid readers and some of us are also writers, and, while we only chat about the book - no family chit-chat or gossip! - we always have a lot of fun. And occasionally we are joined by guest authors too, including David Nicholls, Louise Doughty and Amanda Craig, who all gave generously of their time and their thoughts in answering our questions. You can find more details on the website - or contact me via mine If there are any budding authors reading this, you run online creative writing workshops with Blackbird Books publisher Stephanie Zia. What sort of things do you cover and how do people sign up? Yes, we began three years ago with half-day workshops fuelled by coffee and homemade brownies around my kitchen table, sadly no longer possible right now. So instead we’re running one-hour, fun sessions online, which delve into one aspect of writing, such as character, plot, dialogue or using the senses. We start with a group warm-up exercise, share our tips on the topic and then run two other exercises. The emphasis is on unleashing the imagination – and there is no pressure to read anything out at all. Each one-off session costs £15 and are held at varying times – best to contact me through my website for more details. Sharing even more of the book love, you also offer one to one coaching for aspiring writers. What does your coaching entail? This is something I love doing and it’s really very flexible, depending on where the writer is at with their work. Eg. I can read a whole draft and offer a couple of pages of notes, plus a one-to-one over coffee or on Zoom. I can also assess just the first chapter and offer notes and a one-to-one. Currently, I’m coaching a woman who is writing a memoir, and we have taken it piecemeal with regular sessions over the past year to work on each section. She is now submitting to agents. Details are on my website.


What’s next for Diane Chandler? Are you working on anything at the moment that you can share with us? I’m taking a long break until next year before I start on the next one, but am toying with the idea of a love story set in Havana, Cuba :)

Interview by The Amazing Michelle Ryles (aka - The Book Magnet )

GIVEAWAY Diane has kindly offered a signed copy of Only Human to The Social Bubble and guess what? We’re passing it on to one of our lovely readers. Click here and send us an email to enter. EntrIes must be in by 15 October 2020. The winner will be picked at random and announced in the next edition of The Social Bubble. The Social Bubble



New kids on the block

WELCOME #BOOKTUBENEWBIE Q. “If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.”

We were all new once and some of us still are. Go take a watch - here is a selection of our favourite new booktubers this month. Like & Subscribe and you will make their day. Want to get involved? Here are the questions, be sure to tag us in if you want to be in next month’s edition. Jayde aka Paperback and Hardback, we love her work here at the Bubble, check her out.

Why did you start this channel? What are some fun and unique things you can bring to Booktube? What are you most excited for about this new channel? Why do you love reading? What book or series got you into reading? What questions would you ask your favourite booktubers? What challenges do you think starting a booktube channel will be the hardest to overcome? When did you start reading? Where do you read? What kind of books do you like to read?

Get involved by using #booktubenewbie in your videos.

Brooke at Brooke Books, she must be so happy to be called Brooke, almost a living anagram 22

The Social Bubble

We’ll be watching and will run this feature every few months.

He’s new so be nice to him, he had a bike crash and a crazy idea. The Reluctant Reader

We love Celest and The World of Reading channel, she makes you smile, every time

Uptown Oracle Becky’s a newbie, renowned blogger and bookstagrammer trying out Booktube again

# B O O K T U B E N E W B I E The Social Bubble


Quiz Q. Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen. 24

Do you know your books? Monthly book quiz, oh, and dont cheat, you are only cheating yourselves The quiz is out of 20, good luck (Answers on the back-cover) 1. Who wrote Moby Dick? What was the name of the Captain? Also what was the name of his ship? (3) 2. What was the name of the main character in 1984? (1) 3. What was the name of the 4th Harry Potter book in the series? (1) 4. What was Stephen King’s first published novel? (1) 5. Which children’s author wrote Swallows and Amazons? (1) 6. Book title Anagrams (4)

a, insulated rears

b, betrays that egg

c, wishing he get hurt

d, theoretically father coach can do

7. ---- -------- and the Shawshank Redemption is a novella by Stephen King from his 1982 collection, Different Seasons, subtitled Hope Springs Eternal., which film star completes the Title? (1) 8. What was the only novel that Oscar Wilde published? (1) 9. Which famous author wrote Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang: The Magical Car? Which other famous author co-wrote the screenplay for the movie? (2) 10. What was the title of the story where Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson first appeared? (1) 11. Victor Hugo wrote The Hunchback of Notre Dame. What was his other famous book, the story of an escaped convict, Jean Valjean? (1) 12. By what romantic name was Sir Percy Blakeney known in Baroness Orczy’s novel? (1) 13. Kipps: The Story of a Simple Soul was penned by whom? It was then made into a musi-

cal staring Tommy Steele called what (2) The Social Bubble

Sep & Oct Release Gallery

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Book Reviews next month

Some of the books listed above are not yet available in all regions, as they as they say: “hot off the press�.

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As they are new, some of the books above will be featured in the review section next month.

The Bike crash! As promised in the editorial, here is the famous bike crash, or a simulation of it. Watch me ride around Darlington talking about local book history before half killing myself. Warning there is a very bad reconstruction of the crash.

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Also tag us in to any other reviews you think would be of interest.

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Indie Authors

Do you have some interesting content or an interesting story?

If you want to offer a free signed copy giveaway, or maybe Audible free codes or even just that your book is on a KDP or reduced in November?

Are you an author and want to promote on this platform? Are you representing a publisher who wants to advertise with us? Please use the email below for any queries or questions about The Social Bubble.

Get in touch and we will see what we can do for you. I am an indie-author so I know how much support is needed and how hard it can be to get your books out there.

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“ D o n ’ t l o o k b a c k i n a n g e r, I h e a r d y o u s a y ”

Did you know?

Trivia Bubbles

in Les Misérables there is a sentence which is 823 words long.

There are four law books bound in human skin at the Harvard University Library.

The First book written on a typewriter? The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. by Mark Twian

Quiz Answers

Copies of pulped Mills and Boon novels were used to build part of the M6 toll road.

1 a, Herman Melville. b, Captain Ahab. c, Pequod. 2, Winston Smith. 3, Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire 4, Carrie 5, Arthur Ransome 6a, Treasure Island 6b, The Great Gatsby 6c, Wuthering Hights 6d, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory 7, Rita Hurworth and the Shawshank Redemption 8, The portrait of Dorian Grey 9a, Ian Fleming - 9b, Roald Dahl 10, A Study in Scarlet 11, Les Misérables 12, The Scarlet Pimpernel 13a, H G Wells - 13b, Half a Sixpence

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