5 Amazing Authors!

As a bookblogger, I am always finding time to sit back with a good book. Often I am making my way through loads of contemporary dramas and YA stories. I also love getting to grips with a well written biography now and again.

Today I wanted to recommend some amazing authors of contemporary drama novels. These writers are my go-to experts in building tension, exploring relationships and making me chuckle.

Joanne Harris

I first read her brilliant novel Chocolat back in 2000 and absolutely adored the French setting and the intriguing characters. She tends to write in short chapters which are told from different characters viewpoints.

‘Chocolat’ was followed by three more France based novel. My favourite of these was ‘The Lollipop Shoes’ which I would love to see made into a movie, set in Paris. She also writes YA books related to the Norse God Loki and short stories which are always well worth reading.

Liane Moriarty

Liane is known for her books which were turned into huge TV series. ‘Big Little Lies’ drew my attention as the book had Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon on the cover of the TV tied edition. I went on to love the TV shows and her writing.

Now I always have one of her incredible books on the go. She is Australian and her novels are all based there. Liane writes in the close third person which means she focuses on one character at a time.

Matt Haig

Matt writes fiction and non-fiction rather well. Having experienced mental health problems, he writes in detail about that experience and provides motivational texts such as ‘The Comfort Book’.

Having also explored Matt’s brilliant fiction, I am now always looking out for his content. His story ‘The Midnight Library’ sees Nora caught between life and death. She gets to find out what alternative lives she might have had. All of his work is easy to read and very relatable.

Lily King

When I randomly selected the book ‘Writers and Lovers’ based on its brilliant blue cover, I had no idea who Lily was. Now I am a big fan of her writing style. Writers and Lovers is a modern book about a woman who waits tables and writes in her spare time. It also follows her difficult dating life.

Since then I have enjoyed her short stories in the book: Five Tuesdays In Winter. This is an eclectic selection of tales exploring social issues. I totally recommend checking out her publications.

Celeste Ng

Again, I became aware of her books when Reese Witherspoon created a TV version of ‘Little Fires Everywhere’. As I knew the TV series was being made, I quickly read the book and both impressed me. I then went on to read her debut, ‘Everything I Never Told You’ which explores a family dealing with a significant loss.

Her stories deal with issues such as race, sterotypes and disadvantage. The characters feel very real and their storylines are very thought-provoking.

Final Thoughts

If you are looking for something new to read, then please consider one of these amazing authors. They are all very talented and write very well developed characters with complex but fascinating narratives and cleverly planned plot points.

I have written a review of Blackberry Wine by my top author, Joanne Harris which may tempt you to try her insightful style. You may also want to consider following my blog for more bookish content.

Read, Watch, Listen (February)

Every month I love to talk about what I had the chance to read, watch and listen to. Recommending books and TV shows or movies is a big part of what I do on my blog, Podcasts tend to be things that I listen to in the bath or when I am driving around. Hopefully, some of the things I review will make you interested enough to look them up.

Photo from my Apple Books library

Read: Dash and Lily by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

This third novella is following the same format as the first couple, where each chapter is told by Dash and Lily alternatively. I think I am right in saying that every Dash chapter is written by David and the Lily ones are penned by Rachel.

Dash has gone to university in England, studying at Oxford, while Lily has taken out a year to expand her dog walking business and doggie Instagram, which has become incredibly successful. To surprise him for Christmas, she has deserted her close family and flown to bed down on her cousin’s sofa in London.

The comforting references to English Christmas festivities and traditions are funny when described by these American teenagers. I really like them and the way that these two explore some of the typical aspects of Christmas and compare them to what happens in New York, which is their home.

What I especially like about these books is how intelligent Dash and Lily are and how thoughtful and reflective they seem. You hear their inner worries and pondering as they negotiate their relationship and wrestle with career options, dislocated families, and everyday stuff.

Watch Happy Valley

I came late to the party with this one. I overheard two friends talking about Happy Valley and they sounded so fascinated that I just had to check it out. First, I looked up the original series from 2014 and soon I was hooked.

It is very rare that I watch episodes of anything back-to-back but I viewed all three seasons in a fortnight. I was even able to watch the last ever episode when it came onto BBC One on Sunday evening.

Catherine is a mid-fifties police woman from Hebden Bridge, Yorkshire. Her daughter had been attacked by a manipulative Tommy-Lee Royce who ended up being the father of Catherine’s grandson. This gripping crime drama is a cleverly scripted piece of TV magic conjured up by writer Sally Wainwright. With a disturbed family at its heart, the narrative is fast and easily draws you in.

The characters are so interesting and realistic. Played by the impressive lead, Sarah Lancashire, her police sergeant is gritty and skilful. Her nemesis is played by James Norton and her sister by Siobhan Finneran (of Downton Abbey fame).

I don’t want to give anything away but this is a five star series which is so brilliantly written and acted. Definitely go and watch it from the beginning.

Listen to: Happy Place Podcast with Fern Cotton

I love dipping in and out of this podcast because it is full of positivity. Fern Cotton used to be a Radio One DJ and TV presenter but now spends a lot of time writing mental health books and making this fantastic podcast.

Recently I listened to an episode with Sara Cox and I have heard many celebrities discussing what makes them happy and how they stay motivated. Fern has such open conversations and is keen to share ways to build stronger mental health. I love it.

I am looking forward to the newest episodes which involve Joanna Lumley and Shania Twain. If you get the chance, have a listen to this brilliant podcast which is available on Spotify, Apple podcasts and all the usual providers.

Final Thoughts

I hope that I have managed to get you interested in one or more of these suggestions. Happy Valley is outstanding television and Dash and Lily is a brilliant YA book to unwind with. If you can’t find a good book to get into, you can count on Dash and Lily to cheer you up. Fern Cotton has a soothing podcast with bounding positivity to improve your mood.

Thank you for taking the time to read my article. For more TV reviews, check out Two TV Shows Worth Watching on my blog. You may also find my thoughts about House of the Dragon interesting. If you enjoyed my Read, Watch, Listen post then perhaps drop a comment or even follow my blog.

Brand New Poetry – Cleverly Woven Words

Writing is more than just a hobby. It is a lifestyle.

Guest Post

This week I am excited to share the poetry of an up-and-coming writer/ performer. I first heard about him on Davina McCall’s podcast – Making The Cut – which I have previously reviewed here.

In my opinion, Jacob Dolley’s words have meaning and resonance. I can tell that he speaks from his own experiences and shows empathy as well as encouragement in his work. It is great to see a new poet emerge onto the scene, starting with high praise from Davina and Michael, whose recommendations are always brilliant.

Brief Bio

My name is Jacob Dolley (18 years old)

I started writing poetry in lockdown when I was at my lowest with depression.
Poetry for me was a release and an escape from the outside world, but as my mental health has got much better and I’m feeling happier, my poetry has expanded into something more positive that I want to share with the world.
I want to inspire young people that there is 100% light at the end of the tunnel and that bad things don’t last forever.
I’m highly ambitious and have my eyes set on becoming a published writer (writing poetry).
I perform spoken word and spoken poetry, so a huge goal for me is to work with Charities and brands, using my poetry to spread the awareness of mental health.
I’ve been featured on Davina McCall’s podcast, as well as being a guest on ‘The Show Love’ podcast.
You can find me on Instagram @lightningpoems and TikTok (@lightningpoems).

Jacob’s Poem:


Treasure Your Smile

If you’ve forgotten what happiness is,
Let me run around your mind and jog your memory.
It’s little love songs and piano ballad melodies.
It’s warm hugs and rich kiss remedies.
Treasure your smile,
It’s your most beautiful accessory.


Jacob’s words:

Thank you very much,
This is my first time being mentioned in a blog so I’m very honoured!!
I’m based down in Tunbridge Wells (Kent) and perform at the venue ‘The Forum’ every month through ‘WordUp’ at an open mic poetry night if you ever wanted to come down.


Massive thanks to Jacob for sharing one of his poems and introducing himself to our lovely blogging community. Please give him a follow and check out his videos, as well as dropping a comment below this to show support.