Friday, 25 July 2014
Just a quick note, to apologise for lack of postings. My Father died recently and I have not had time to do any blogging as have been having to do other things relating to his passing. Please stick with me and normal service will soon be resumed. I have some book reviews to do.
Sunday, 1 June 2014
BOOK RELEASE & AUTHOR INTERVIEW - Carrie May Lucas, author of "Where Fault Lies: A Survivor's Story of Game, Shame" & Blame"
Pages - 326
In a gripping and powerful narrative, Carrie tells the true story of how falling for the wrong person can cause so much more than heartbreak.Where Fault Lies is a chilling exploration of memory through trauma, trust in humanity, and a captivating story of strength and survival that appeals to the hearts of fathers and mothers, sons and daughters, and men and women alike.
But once I decided I wanted to share my story, and give other victims a voice, the process became very different. I had to face parts of my experience that I was ashamed of, afraid of, and embarrassed by. And this didn't mean sitting down with my therapist for an hour session and opening up. No, it meant reliving it over and over until I had it to an excruciatingly finite detail. And then working with my editor who picked apart my sentence structure, metaphors, character development, and story telling. But this wasn’t a story, she was picking apart my life.
There were parts when I needed to step back and take a break. Parts where I wanted to give up, or erase entire chapters like I wanted to erase them from my life. But when I didn’t, when I faced them instead, I learned what real growing was about. Not only did it change me as a person, but being so transparent in my writing has connected me with a community of survivors that can reach through the pages and relate to my experience. Because even though each person’s story is unique, connecting to other survivor’s is how we feel less alone.
My book is now so engrained in my mind that I will never forget it. I will never forget the man that did this to me, that I loved him, and all that he took from me. But I will keep writing. If my story can save even one life, can relate to even one victim, and help them see there is life on the other side, then it is worth it.
Through my day job and my previous volunteer role as a Domestic Violence counsellor, I have encountered many women who are survivors of domestic violence and sexual abuse. How has your book been received by others in a similar situation?
I wrote my book while I was still living my experience, which explains the raw emotion and connection I had to the assault. But it also makes it very triggering for victims, especially those who have been recently assaulted. Those who are in a place where they are ready to read such an emotional story, have felt deeply impacted by it. I think there are some truths in my book that can unilaterally speak to any survivor of domestic violence or sexual abuse. I have received touching letters, and people reaching out just to tell me their own story. Some friends, some strangers. And some of these people have never told anyone else. My story may have helped them, but by sharing their stories too, my readers have had an even greater impact on me.
Has the writing of this book spurred you on to write more, and if so would you stick to non-fiction?
Absolutely. I always enjoyed writing, but never had inspirations of writing a book. Now that I have, and have a taste for how this art can reach people, I have plans for more books. I’d love to write fiction, but in the short term I have a few ideas of non-fiction pieces I want to write first. I have found that there are so many people out there who have unique stories to tell but are not necessarily writers. So, the book I’m working on now is the non-writers guide to writing and professional self-publishing a memoir. I learned so much during this experience that I want to share it with others willing the tell their stories, because I truly believe incredible things happen to average people everyday.
What are your top reads so far for 2014?
Keeping Faith, Lovely Bones, and Behaving Like Adults.
What was the last book you bought and was it a tree book or an e-book?
I buy books all the time, and they are all ebooks. I prefer tree-books, but I usually get them on trade at my local coffee shops or from friends. I have been reading Jodi Picoult lately and just started My Sister’s Keeper. It’s about a young girl who was born for the sole purpose of saving her sister’s life by giving her an organ. Eventually, she fights back against the family that only had her for that reason and sues her parents. It has some other plot twists (like all Jodi Picoult books do!) and they made a movie out of it. I haven’t seen the movie; I always read the book first.
If you could trade places with someone famous for a week, who would it be and why?
A female senator. I really want to better understand how laws are written and passed. I am very interested in the political process and trying to find ways to impact my community through legislation. There are so many things about the world that frustrate me and keep me up at night, but knowing that we are (slowly) moving towards progress gives me the hope I need to keep fighting for social justice and equal rights across the globe.
If someone was to play you in a movie, who would you like it to be?
Mila Kunus. First of all, she smoking hot, and secondly I like her punchy, coy sense of humor. She’s adorable with the right amount of sass.
Quick fire questions.
1) Early Bird or night owl?
2) Crime or Romance novels?
3) Cats or Dogs?
Wednesday, 14 May 2014
Author - Steven Manchester
Genre - Contemporary Fiction
ISBN - 0977005046
Buy from - Amazon // Amazon US
Publication date - May 13th 2014
Book Blurb - Rick and Abby grew up together, became best friends, and ultimately fell in love. Circumstance tore them apart in their early teens, though, and they went on to lives less idyllic than they dreamed about in those early days. Rick has had a very successful career, but his marriage flat-lined. Abby has a magical daughter, Paige, but Paige's father nearly destroyed Abby's spirit.
Now fate has thrown Rick and Abby together again. In their early thirties, they are more world-weary than they were as kids. But their relationship still shimmers, and they're hungry to make up for lost time. However, Paige, now nine, is not nearly as enthusiastic. She's very protective of the life she's made with her mother and not open to the duo becoming a trio. Meanwhile, Rick has very little experience dealing with kids and doesn't know how to handle Paige. This leaves Abby caught between the two people who matter the most to her. What happens when the life you've dreamed of remains just inches from your grasp?
PRESSED PENNIES is a nuanced, intensely romantic, deeply heartfelt story of love it its many incarnations, relationships in their many guises, and family in its many meanings. It is the most accomplished and moving novel yet from a truly great storyteller of the heart.
They met at the worst possible moment...or maybe it was just in time. David McClain was about to go to war and Lindsey Wood was there at his going-away party, capturing his heart when falling for a woman was the last thing on his mind. While David was serving his country, he stayed in close contact with Lindsey. But war changes a person, and when he came home very little had the same meaning that it had before – including the romance that had sustained him. Was love truly unconquerable, or would it prove to be just another battlefield casualty?
Gooseberry Island is the most nuanced, dramatic, and romantic novel yet from a writer whose ability to plumb the depths of human emotion knows few peers.
Memories are the ultimate contradiction. They can warm us on our coldest days – or they can freeze a loved one out of our lives forever. The McCarthy family has a trove of warm memories. Of innocent first kisses. Of sumptuous family meals. Of wondrous lessons learned at the foot of a rocking chair. But they also have had their share of icy ones. Of words that can never be unsaid. Of choices that can never be unmade. Of actions that can never be undone.
Following the death of his beloved wife, John McCarthy – Grandpa John – calls his family back home. It is time for them to face the memories they have made, both warm and cold. Only then can they move beyond them and into the future.
A rich portrait of a family at a crossroad, THE ROCKIN' CHAIR is Steven Manchester’s most heartfelt and emotionally engaging novel to date. If family matters to you, it is a story you must read.
FOR THESE AND OTHER GREAT BOOKS BY STEVEN MANCHESTER, PLEASE VISIT HIS WEBSITE.
http://www.stevenmanchester.com/ or on Facebook click here
Friday, 2 May 2014
What if the only person you ever loved suddenly disappeared without a trace?
I pressed it with all the strength I could bring to bear. She said the
pages of books were made from cotton and linen rags stamped into
pulp, then pressed into paper and hung to dry. I laughed at her for
telling such a lie because I thought maybe she was just like my father
who told tall tales to make me behave. Rows and rows of lines she
called words looked odd to me. Many times I searched hard within
every letter, every sound to find meaning. The letters cut my tongue
as thorns on a rose bush, each one sticking to me. I could not speak
the next letter until the one before it came unstuck. Soon after the
word was finally spoken, my lazy tongue quit my mouth.
The first line was, Bodies gliding on morning’s cloak of dew, lit up
as iridescent insect wings they flew. When I came to the word iridescent,
Armande said to say it slowly, one letter at a time. She told
me it was from the word iris for the flower, and escent for colours
of the rainbow that change as a dragonfly in the sun. Finally, when
my tongue began working with me and worrying less, she asked me
to say other words like deliquescent, effervescence, and florescence.
These newfound words were as rare gems dug up by the wet nurse
solely for me. She wrote them out with big stokes that filled a whole
page. I rubbed my eyes to make the words go away, yet they only
stayed there waiting for me to say them.
well, and I learned first-hand about the miraculous effects of Armande’s
milk on babies. Before, I was a mere servant watching from afar as the
wet nurse suckled. Then I was part of her life, holding and changing
babies, burping them, and rocking them to sleep. Armande cared for
three babies during this period yet not all at once. She would also tend
to others from time to time, reassuring worried mothers in soothing
tones as gentle and sweet as the milk itself. First there was Jacques
who she still cared for. His mother died in childbirth and Armande
stepped up to nurse him without a thought about payment. Caroline
came after, then Héloïse. The first time I watched from up close as
Jacques drank her milk was in the drawing room.
seat and worn arms while I sat on the sofa. Suddenly Jacques stopped sucking,
then gazed at me knowingly, his eyes full of light. In that instant, a slim ray
of sun gleamed through a crack, lighting up the darkness inside me.
My hands shook. Sweat ran down my cheeks and the back of my neck.
Just as she said her father sometimes described it, we were entering a new
age driven by light. And I, a peasant girl whose father and mother never
held a book, would be there to witness the change
Thursday, 1 May 2014
Public Relations teaches you why you need a publicist and how to find the right one for you. To understand what you need she covers:
How publicity can help sell books
What you need to know about publicity
Where to find a PR agent
What to send to your PR agent
Babs Hightower became a publicity director in December 2012 for Entangled Publishing.
This mini read deals with authors who may have published a book but don't know how to get the word out.
The book is a step by step guide of what a publicist could and should do for you.
There are some great tips in this book too. One relates to bloggers who've hosted you on a blog stop. Stop by and say "Thanks for having me". Believe me, being a blogger, this does not happy very often.
The book talks you through getting reviews for your book too. It is a really informative guide, going through radio publicity; book stores and much more, with lots of examples for you to follow. There are examples on how media kits could look and what to include in a media kit; how books are publicized and what questions you should ask of a potential PR person.
This is a very well written short book, and a must for everyone looking to promote their own book. The guidelines are clearly written and well laid out. If you are just starting up you can't do without it; it's a must. If you're a seasoned author it may just give you a few more ideas.
SHORT STORY COMPETITION - Run by Corazon Books in partnership with the Historic Houses Association (HHA)
1) Historic House Short Story Competition
Publisher Corazon Books has partnered with the Historic Houses Association to launch a special short story competition with fantastic prizes. Writers are invited to submit a short story which is either inspired by or set in a historic house.
Ian Skillicorn, publisher of Corazon Books, says: "We are looking for a compelling tale with lots of atmosphere. It can take place in the past or present, in either a real or fictional setting, so writers can let their imaginations take them, and us, whenever and wherever they wish!"
The competition's unique prizes are in keeping with its theme. The winning writer and a guest will be treated to a private tour and afternoon tea with the owners of Levens Hall in Cumbria. The winner will also receive a cash prize of £150, and a double Friends membership for the Historic Houses Association. Two runners up will each receive a double Friends membership to the Historic Houses Association. Corazon Books also plans to publish an ebook anthology of the best entries, with each writer receiving royalties for their published story.
Richard Compton, President of the HHA, says: "A HHA Member property will offer great inspiration for budding writers and will make a fantastic setting for a short story. We look forward to partnering with Corazon Books and reading the entries in this unique competition."
Susie Bagot of Levens Hall says: “The Bagot family is very pleased to be associated with the Historic House Short Story Competition and looks forward to welcoming the winner to Levens Hall and telling them the story of this fascinating ancient house and garden.”
The competition will run from March 10th to September 26th 2014, and the winner will be announced during National Short Story Week (17th to 23rd November 2014). There is no fee to enter the competition.
Enter the competition at: www.catherinegaskin.com
Tuesday, 29 April 2014
Genre: Children’s Picture Book
Author: Hayley Rose
Publisher: Inkwell Productions Inc.
Purchase at AMAZON
Don't just take something without asking permission first.
Do remember to say "please."
"May I borrow your pencil please?"
Don't make fun of people who aren't like you.
Do become friends and learn from others' differences.
"Nice shot Greg. You play really well."
The Do's and Don'ts is a whimsical lesson book aimed at teaching young readers the difference between good and bad behavior/etiquette. In the book Zack and Chloe go from being manner monsters to well-behaved children as they provide samples of typical scenarios that not only young children encounter but can relate to. For example, Zack becomes a Manner Monster when he loses a game, kicking and pouting like a poor sport. In contract, good behavior is then modeled depicting Zack congratulating the winning team. Unlike other etiquette books for children that tell a story or just communicate positive behavior, The Do's and Don'ts compares and contrasts between good and bad behavior. Simply, yet colorfully displayed, are examples of inappropriate behavior and decisions young children may display followed by behavior and decisions that are more socially accepted. Each compare and contrast anecdote is set in the same scene so that young readers can instantly see the differences between good and poor behavior.
Discuss this book in our PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads by clicking HERE
Monday, 28 April 2014
BOOK TOUR & EXCERPT - To Live Forever: An Afterlife Journey of Meriwether Lewis - Historical/Paranormal Fiction & suspense
Author: Andra Watkins
Publisher: Word Hermit Press
Genre: Historical fiction/Paranormal/Suspense
Format: Paperback, Kindle
Purchase at Amazon