Book Giveaway – Firebolt by Adrienne Woods

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I am pleased to host a giveaway for Adrienne Woods in regards to her YA fantasy story Firebolt.

firebolt_title2For the love of blueberries, Elena Watkins was destined for greatness, even though she didn’t know it. Before entering Paegeia Elena was not special, she wasn’t even average until the night her father was killed by a creature she thought only existed in fairy tales – a dragon. With her father’s death leaving her orphaned, Elena is whisked away to her true birthplace, Paegeia. Arriving at Dragonia Academy, the premier school for young Dragonians; a school she was never meant to attend because her father was a dragon. Unbeknownst to Elena danger is lurking behind the enchanted vines concealing the once thriving capital of Paegeia – Etan. Goran, the darkest sorcerer in the realm, has lain dormant for over a century behind the crumbling city. There, in the shadowy ruins he plots his revenge to destroy the only weapon that can kill him – the King of Lion Sword. When the sword is stolen without a trace Elena doesn’t think twice about seeking it; knowing deep down that it is her destiny to save her new home.

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Adrienne Woods is born and raised in South Africa, where she still resides on the East side of Johannesburg with her husband and two little girls. She’s been writing for the past four years and in her free time she likes to review books of new and upcoming authors.

 

Enter the Giveaway here!

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Here Lies Love to become Audiobook

Audible 2Isn’t it great news? I’ve been searching for a producer for a while now and I’ve found the perfect person: Corina Marcos. It was really important for me to work with someone who sounded like Abbey, and Corina does an absolutely marvellous job with it. The audio book is currently in production, which basically means it is currently being recorded. I’ve listened to the first fifteen minutes and I love it. I am excited to see (or listen rather) how the finished audio turns out. The planned release for the audiobook is October, but that isn’t definite.

Do you listen to audiobooks? Being a member of Audible will mean that you can listen to the book by using one of your credits, but it will also be available from Amazon and iTunes too. The audiobook market is increasing in favour and this is a step I am keen to explore.

In other news, Here Lies Love is changing distributor, making it available to various other websites and bookshops. When the new edition of the paperback is available, I will let you know. For the meantime, you can still pick up the kindle version over at Amazon US / Amazon UK or any other Amazon site come to think of it.

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My Publisher for Here Lies Love, Autumn Orchard is looking for likes on their Facebook pageThey are giving away two brand new paperbacks when they reach 100 likes. Can you help? Spread the word!

 

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Supporting my local Library

Being able to support my local library by donating a couple of copies of Here Lies Love was a great honour. The press came along and took some pictures, and you know what, I quite liked the photo they published. I’m not very photogenic you see, but for some reason, the picture didn’t make me feel embarrassed. What do you think?

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Not too long ago, I was asked by author Jack Croxall to take part in his What do libraries mean to you? debate. You can head on over there to see what my local library did for me. It was really important for me to take part in both the discussion as well as donating to my library as over here in the UK (for all you guys who aren’t aware) the government is cutting grants and funds that are needed by the library. In my county alone, a good chunk of local libraries are under threat to shut their doors for good.

SaveLincsLibraries is a campaign over on twitter. Please follow them and give your support. The next generation could miss out on the cultural and social input libraries offer. It would mean a lot. Thank you.

Now, back to my writing. I’m currently writing the sequel to The Black Petal.

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Guest Post: Just One Reason You Will Love Scrivener by Rebecca Bradley

Before we get to today’s fantastic guest post by emerging crime writer Rebecca Bradley, I just wanted to ask my fabulous readers if they’d go over to Goodreads and vote for my upcoming YA Fantasy novel The Black Petal on a list called UKYA in 2015. It showcases some of the most anticipated young adult and teenage novels being released in 2015. The higher up we can get The Black Petal, the more reach it will have. You have my eternal thanks in exchange :)

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Just One Reason You Will Love Scrivener by Rebecca Bradley

 

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In 2013 I did a post on why I was starting to use Scrivener.

I attempted to use it last year. I downloaded the trial. Had a couple of sessions with it and gave up. I liked the idea of what it could do, but, practically, working in it, I just couldn’t do it. It didn’t feel right. I was used to having a full blank page in front of me. This however was a full open piece of software.

I’ve since changed my mind.

It is a complex, or should I say, fully functional piece of software for a writer, having anything you could possibly need, right at your fingertips. I have seen multiple posts on why people love Scrivener and why you should try it, so I thought I would let you know why I use it and the freedom it has recently given me in my writing life.

Just one reason I love it and will stick with it from now on.

You know how if you’re working on a word document, you work in a straight line? Sometimes you could write the ending earlier than you get to it if you know what it’s going to be, but you save it somewhere else maybe, but other than that, you’d be left with folders all over if you tried to do anything other than write in a straight line.

Well, that’s just what I’m loving about Scrivener. The internal folder system that lets you drag and drop them around at will and then compile them in a straight line when you’re ready. I found that at times I would get stuck in a place and I’d sit there staring at the screen with no word output, but because of this wonderful ability of the folder system, and the fact that I have a full synopsis so know what is happening, I can move on to a scene/chapter that my mind at that point in time feels it wants to work on. So this way, I am always writing. I’m currently working on all the chapters for one of the threads of the story because my heart is there right now. I can move them all into the right places as the rest of the story progresses. I’m not confined. I’m free to write what I want, when I want to. It’s liberating, my word count steadily rises and my story progresses because of this. I think I’d find it extremely difficult to write a first draft in a word document now.

If you’re not using Scrivener, you can get it on a free trial. It’s worth taking a look. Anything to keep those words and that story moving forward.

Rebecca Bradley has an engaging and insightful blog that you must check out.

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Fuzzy Hedgehog Press Accepting Submissions

A small update to kick things off today, which is that 600 people have now added Here Lies Love to their Goodreads shelf. This is the most I’ve ever had before, and I really hope it means people will remember the book and buy it sometime down the line. If you haven’t added it yet, you can do so here. There is also an upcoming Review Blog Tour coming up soon and if you haven’t bought the book yet, you will be able to read the reviews and see what others think. Across different sites (and not counting the same reviews) Here Lies Love has 8 FIVE STAR REVIEWS ***** which is absolutely amazing. I can’t thank people enough for their support and kindness.

You guys rock!

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Fuzzy Hedgehog Press Accepting Submissions

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I know that many of my readers are also writers, novice writers and wannabeAKA The Summer writers. I feel that it is my duty in bringing certain information to you that can better help your move forward in the industry. Which brings me on to, well, exactly what the title suggests. Fuzzy Hedgehog Press is currently accepting submissions for novellas and full-length novels. I have read quite a few Fuzzy Hedgehog Press books now, including A. Ka’s Isaac the Fortunate series, as well as Zachary Bonelli’s Voyage: Embarkation and Alterra. And let me tell you, their finish and quality is superb. Even though you could say it is a small independent publisher, it is the perfect opportunity for someone to get involved and get their début out there! FHP publish both ebooks and paperbacks of their novels across many mulitple forms and retailers’ websites, which include Amazon, Waterstones, Barnes & Noble, Nook, Kobo and The Book Depository. They also distribute their books through local bookstores, getting involved in the local community and presenting Q & As too. As someone who reads a lot of their books, you may never know, I could be reading yours in the near future.

Before I give you the link, I want to provide you with the submission details, guidelines and information (which I have silently and stealthily stolen borrowed from their website).

What FHP Accept

Fuzzy Hedgehog Press is a publisher of weird speculative fiction for all orientations. If your story could be classified as fantasy or science fiction, we are interested. If the terms “new weird” or “slipstream” apply, even better.

We are open to stories that feature LGBT characters as well as those that do not. We are, however, wary of heteronormative societies and gay characters who function solely as a sidekick or best friend. We respect our LGBT characters’ whole lives.

We do not publish works that are strictly romance (though we remain open to cross-genre submissions). We do not publish any form of erotica.

Speculative Fiction Novella or Novel

AlterraFrontCover_600x914What do you notice about the world? A great speculative fiction novel is about seeing our real world in a way that most people don’t, and then using the strange and weird to help others see what you see. Show us your vision for what the world really is. Let us in on what you think is orderly or chaotic or real or unreal or ethical or immoral or right or wrong, with everything and anything in between.

Interested? Here are some of the submission guidelines:

  • If submitting a novella, word count should be between 17,500 words and 39,999 words in length.
  • If submitting a novel, word count should be between 40,000 words and 100,000 words in length.

You will find the full guidelines over on their submissions page, which you should read and follow very thoroughly. When I speak to agents and publishers, one of their pet-hates is when applicants do not follow the simple guidelines. I’m not sure when submissions close again so best get your writing boots and polish everything up now. And besides, you can’t say no to the hedgehog, can you?

Click here to visit the Submissions page on FHP!

Good Luck!

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Introducing a New Talent in the Children’s Genre

My small news update is that I get a small feature in the upcoming issue of Writing Magazine, where I talk about Here Lies Love, my inspiration behind the book, as well as my recent signing to Ghostly Publishing with The Black PetalIt would make a great souvenir!

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Introducing a New Talent in the Children’s Genre

Tony gilbert GPWriting for younger children is hard; it certainly isn’t something I could do, let me tell you. No my audience is a little older. I don’t think I have the ability to hold a young person’s mind. But let me tell you someone who does have that rare ability! Tony Gilbert. I am constantly amazed by his writing process and his skill at creating stories that make children laugh and be creative. I buy all his books for my daughter Autumn, and she just loves them. They are catchy, rhythmical and utterly memorable, which is a must for children’s books. The author’s mind must be a humongous cloud of all things creative, because his books are always so imaginative and clever.

His latest book, Doodeedoo has just been released by Visionary Press. Tony worked in cahoots with his lovely wife on this project, who provided the unique and raw illustrations for the book. It really is quite unique, as it strips all the clever computer graphics and photoshop nonsense and returns to the basic hand-drawn colourings of someone who brings to life Doodeedoo, the puppet who is made of socks and superglue.

When it came in the post, I couldn’t wait to give it to Autumn, as she is quite independent now in practising  her phonics. I let her read the book to me first, before I reread it back to her. The books is ingenious – full of rhythm and rhyme in  equal measure, playfully skipping from one page to another. When read aloud, the book turns into a playful episode, which had my daughter in fits of laughter. It is easy to see the moral and links in the story of never judging a book by its cover, or more rather never judging another before you get to know them, but despite its obviousness to us adults, I think it rather hidden for its child audience, which is great as it will linger in their heads and hopefully, gently, coerce them into making the rights choices themselves.

 

This is the tale of Doodeedoo Doodeedoo artwork
Who was made of socks and superglue 
By a little mouse with tiny paws, 
Red painted lips, and well-trimmed claws. 

She’d read a book called Frankenstein 
But never passed page 109, 
And as she said, “I’ll have a go!” 
The mouse picked up some thread to sew… 

And so the tale goes, A fun story for children, written in rhyme and a lesson in not judging a book by its cover.

 

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If your child has difficulty reading, or loves hearing based reading, then this fantastic book is also available in audiobook too! Imagine having the paperback book in hand as well as the audio playing at the same time to really liven up the room. Trust me, this will be a sure fire fav for children of 4,5 and up. The Audiobook is narrated by Chris Barnes and is available from Amazon or Audible. You’ll be able to listen to an audio sample there too!

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My August Reading List

Since my last post, I’ve received two new reviews of Here Lies Love I wish to share with you. The first is from Faye from Bookshelf Butterfly, which you can read here. She writes:

“It’s serious and at times a little bleak, but there is meaning and hope if you hold out for it. If you do like dystopian fiction and have a leaning towards the darker side of storytelling, then Here Lies Love is the book for you.”

I also received a three star review from Compelling Reads, which you can read here. They write:

“Overall though the story has a great arc and a few twists to keep the reader engaged on Abbey’s journey.  A warning though the story does deal with some dark concepts so it’s not one for the young or sensitive reader.”

It doesn’t matter if I receive a three star review, a five star review or a two star review, somebody taking the time to read my work and reviewing it is important in getting my book heard. OK, I may not like a two star review, but I can face facts that some people won’t find something in my books.

On a plus point, over 500 people have added Here Lies Love to their Goodreads To-Read shelf. Why not give me an early birthday present and join them by adding the book to your Goodreads To-Read list or Amazon Wishlist?

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My August Reading List

One of the most important things an author can do, apart from writing that is, is reading. I know some people who tell me, in no uncertain terms, quit readin’ and get writin’! But let me tell you, reading keeps the mind nimble, promotes imagination as well as stopping that notorious of enemies at bay: Writer’s Block. You aren’t stealing ideas by reading, but it does help your mind along, to help connect the dots if you are particularly struggling with an aspect about your next writing project.

And besides, I enjoy reading. And what perfect excuse is there, but to get a book out and enjoy yourself?

There has been a many new books released this past month, but the great thing about books is that they are timeless. It doesn’t matter when they were released, whether it be ten years ago, ten months ago or even ten days ago. If you haven’t read a book before, they are still new to you.

Here are the books recently added to my To Read List:

The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness

The Book of life coverFall under the spell of Diana and Matthew once more in the stunning climax to their epic tale, following A DISCOVERY OF WITCHES and SHADOW OF NIGHT.

A world of witches, daemons and vampires. A manuscript which holds the secrets of their past and the key to their future. Diana and Matthew – the forbidden love at the heart of it.

After travelling through time in SHADOW OF NIGHT, the second book in Deborah Harkness’s enchant­ing series, historian and witch Diana Bishop and vampire scientist Matthew Clairmont return to the present to face new crises and old enemies. At Matthew’s ancestral home in France they reunite with their families – with one heart-breaking exception. But the real threat to their future is yet to be revealed, and when it is, the search for the elusive manuscript Ashmole 782 and its missing pages takes on a terrifying urgency. Using ancient knowl­edge and modern science, from the palaces of Venice and beyond, Diana and Matthew will finally learn what the witches discovered so many centuries ago.

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Painting Death by Tim Parks

Morris Duckworth has a dark past. Having married and murdered his way Painting death coverinto a wealthy Italian family he has long left aside the paperweight and the pillow to become a respected member of Veronese business life. But it’s not enough.

Never satisfied with being anything short of the best, he comes up with a plan to put on the most exciting art exhibition of the decade, based on a subject close to his heart: killing. All the great slaughters of scripture and classical times will be on show, from Cain and Abel, to Brutus and Caesar. But as Morris meet stiff resistance from the Neapolitan director of Verona’s Castelvecchio museum, everything starts to unravel around him. His children are rebelling, his mistress is asking for more than he wants to give, his wife is increasingly attached to her ageing confessor, and worst of all it’s getting harder and harder to ignore the ghosts that swirl around him, and the skeletons rattling in every cupboard. The shame of it is that Morris Arthur Duckworth really did not want to have to kill again.

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Realm of Blood and Fire by Dionne Lister

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The final exciting book in The Circle of Talia series. While the realmists watch, powerless to intervene, the gormons lay waste to Talia, city by city, moving closer to Vellonia each day. As the final battle nears, The Circle can’t meet the conditions of the prophecy, and hope is dwindling. But even if they can unite Talia, the prophecy demands that someone will be sacrificed. Can Bronwyn and Blayke do what they must — destroy those they love to save their world?

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Driftwood From the Specific by AP Gilbertdriftwood from the specific cover

 

Direct from the mind of A. P. Gilbert, ‘Driftwood from the Specific’ is a fantastically diverse collection of short stories and poems. Serial killers, through mysterious illnesses and all the way to ‘The Wall’, this collection is sure to grip, amuse and entertain. From a simple ditty to a short tale, it will soon become a favourite accompaniment to your moments of idle.

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Take Me Tomorrow by Shannon A Thompson

take me tomorrow coverTwo years after the massacre, the State enforces stricter rules and harsher punishments on anyone rumored to support tomo – the clairvoyant drug that caused a regional uprising. 

But sixteen-year-old Sophia Gray has other problems. Between her father’s illegal forgery and her friend’s troubling history, the last thing Sophia needs is an unexpected encounter with a boy. 

He’s wild, determined, and one step ahead of her. But when his involvement with tomo threatens her friends and family, Sophia has to make a decision: fight for a future she cannot see or sacrifice her loved ones to the world of tomorrow.

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So, tell me. What books are on your reading list?

That’s all for now, folks. I’ll leave you with a problem I’ve been having lately …

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