Competitions: April’s Winner – Which Book is This Anyway?

rp_Mystery-Competition-300x193.jpgA little late but it’s time to announce the winner of April’s Which Book is This Anyway? Did you guess which book it was?

All we said about it was that ‘this story includes a loveable, quirky character who likes order and making lists.’

Well done to Martin Turner who is our winner this month. The competition for May will be open soon.

About ‘Which Book is This Anyway?’

Many of us judge books by their covers and make our choices based on that and the accompanying blurb. Our competition adds a little mystery.

The prize for this competition is a book but the identity of that book will not be revealed until the lucky winner receives it. It could be a recent new release or a well-known classic. Who knows? We won’t even reveal the genre.

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Novel Kicks Fiction Friday: Short Story

rp_friday-300x16411111111111111.pngFriday 1st May 2015: Short Story

Fiction Friday is our weekly writing prompt. The aim is to write for a minimum of five minutes and then keep going for as long as you can. Once you’ve finished, don’t edit, just post in the comments box below.

Today’s prompt: Write a story based around the following prompt: ‘Able to hear others’ thoughts, a TV presenter goes on a blind date.’ What happens? Try to aim for at least five hundred words.

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Bella’s Scribblings: Paperback Writer

rp_Bella-185x30011111.jpgI am riding along on the tip of the foaming crest of a magnificent wave of excitement. I have been really lucky to have received so much support from brilliant bloggers, lovely readers and my ever-enthusiastic friends and family. My novel came out as an e-book on 12th February and has been bouncing around in the Amazon and KOBO charts each day since (my husband is obsessively monitoring it’s fortunes). Yesterday saw my novel ‘It Started At Sunset Cottage’ enter the world as a paperback – an actual real, hold in my sweaty palm (I’m excited and roll-on doesn’t doesn’t work on that part of my anatomy), proper book with paper pages and everything! I have avoided stroking the beautiful cover so far, but it’s been hard. I thought I was excited when the e-book came out but seeing it in real life is a whole new level of excited!

So next week on Wednesday 29th April I am joining four other local authors to hold a joint book launch at Coventry library. We have exchanged e-mails and decided that we will each talk about ourselves and our writing for ten minutes and then read an extract from our book. It suddenly struck me (like a chair in the face) that our audience of lovely readers (assuming someone turns up) will be coming along expecting to see real authors. Right now I feel like I’m masquerading and have sneaked in alongside these multi-published individuals experienced at such book events and there will be a line of proper authors and then… me. I feel it will be a little bit like putting Miranda Hart on Prime Minister’s Question Time – which would be fun for all the wrong reasons.

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Novel Kicks Fiction Friday: Myths

rp_friday-300x1641111111111111.pngFriday 24th April 2015: Myths

Fiction Friday is our weekly writing prompt. The aim is to write for a minimum of five minutes and then keep going for as long as you can. Once you’ve finished, don’t edit, just post in the comments box below.

Today’s prompt: Write a story that has elements of mythology in it. From what time period is up to you.

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Author Interview: Ben Adams

Ben AdamsBen Adams is the author of 6 Months to Get a Life. Thank you for joining us, Ben. Can you tell us a little about your new book? 

Thanks for inviting me on to your blog.

Six Months to Get a Life is the story of a man trying to come to terms with his divorce. The book follows Graham Hope as he strives to get over his ex, to maintain his relationship with his children, to build new friendships and to work out a way of having sex again at some point in his life.

 

How did the idea for the book originate?

I recently went through a marriage break-up myself. I started writing Six Months to Get a Life as a way of capturing my own thoughts. If you like, it was therapy for me.

 

So is it about you then? I thought it was fiction?

It is fiction. About two days into the writing process, I realised that the book shouldn’t be about me. It shouldn’t be about my ex or my children either. What right did I have to write about them? And who would want to read it if I did? If it had been about me, people would have slit their wrists by the end of Chapter 3.

So instead of writing a memoir, I created a fictional tale. I invented a new ex, new friends, new children, new events and new debacles. Did the marriage guidance scene happen to me? No. Did I meet my ex in a sexually transmitted diseases clinic? Er, no. Have I ever twerked in a nightclub? Maybe, but that’s another story. Have I got a big ego and a small penis? No comment.

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My Favourite Books: Harry Potter

prisoner of

Copyright: JK Rowling

I have always been a big reader. Even at a young age, you were more likely to find me reading than watching TV (the only rival to my reading would have been colouring books.)

I have loved going on different adventures, falling in love with characters and loving to hate the villains. I’ve been thinking back to the books that have stayed with me even years after I’ve stopped reading the last page and in this new feature, I wanted to share some of my favourites with you.

One of the books that has stayed with me, is Harry Potter & The Prisoner of Azkaban by JK Rowling.

I was late coming to the Harry Potter series. I think the books came to my attention when browsing in a book shop one day around the same time that the first film had appeared in cinemas. As the film had just been released, I’d been hearing a lot about the series (or the books that had been released up to that point,) and I was intrigued so I picked up the first book in the series. Let’s just say, within three days, I had to buy the rest. One of the things I love about this book series in particular is that it appeals to all ages and covers a variety of themes. I am fascinated by how these seven books all interconnect – how a small piece of information in the first book, like the fact that the wands are brothers is the thing that ends up saving his life later on.

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Book Haul: Five Books I’m Excited To Read

I have a HUGE obsession with books. I have been sent some great books over the past few weeks and I have also brought a few new books too. Despite the fact that I have quite a large TBR pile, it doesn’t stop me from adding to it on an almost daily basis. You can never have enough books, right? It was hard to pick but I wanted to share five of them with you – five I am looking forward to reading and reviewing soon. Let me know in the comments if you’ve read any of the books below and what you thought? Do you have any more you’d recommend?

 

IMG_1277The first book is We Are All Made of Stars by Rowan Coleman. 

I love Rowan Coleman. Simple. I am also adoring this cover for her upcoming novel. It’s beautiful. It is due to be released on 21st May 2015 by Ebury who were kind enough to send me a review copy. I can’t wait to get stuck into this book and going by the blurb, it sounds great.

The blurb… Do not miss me, because I will always be with you…I am the air, the moon, the stars. For we are all made of stars, my beloved… Wherever you look, I will be there. Stella Carey exists in a world of night. Married to a soldier who has returned from Afghanistan injured in body and mind, she leaves the house every evening as Vincent locks himself away, along with the secrets he brought home from the war. During her nursing shifts, Stella writes letters for her patients to their loved ones – some full of humour, love and practical advice, others steeped in regret or pain – and promises to post these messages after their deaths. Until one night Stella writes the letter that could give her patient one last chance at redemption, if she delivers it in time…

 

The second novel I wanted to share is Freedom’s Child by Jax Miller. 

IMG_1278This book sounds like such a roller coaster and it sounds so intriguing. I like mysteries (if you’ve not already guessed.) This is the debut novel from Jax and it is due to be released by Harper Collins on 30th July. I love it when books arrive with little surprises from the publisher. This review copy arrived at my house with a mini bottle of Southern Comfort which the husband will enjoy immensely.

The blurb…A heart-stopping debut thriller about a woman named Freedom, who will stop at nothing to save the daughter she only knew for two minutes and seventeen seconds. Call me what you will: a murderer, a cop killer, a fugitive, a drunk…There’s a lot people don’t know about Freedom Oliver. They know she works at the local bar. They know she likes a drink or two. What they don’t know is that Freedom is not her real name. That she has spent the last eighteen years living under Witness Protection, after being arrested for her husband’s murder. They don’t know that she put her two children up for adoption, a decision that haunts her every day. Then Freedom’s daughter goes missing, and everything changes. Determined to find her, Freedom slips her handlers and heads to Kentucky where her kids were raised. No longer protected by the government, she is tracked by her husband’s sadistic family, who are thirsty for revenge. But as she gets closer to the truth, Freedom faces an even more dangerous threat. She just doesn’t know it yet.

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Review: The Red Notebook by Antoine Laurain

red notebookThe Red Notebook tells the story of Laurent Letellier, a bookseller living in Paris. One day, he finds an abandoned ladies handbag. Looking inside with a hope to reuniting it with its owner, he finds no money, wallet or personal contact information. What he does find is a small, red notebook which is full of handwritten private thoughts, lists and jottings. The longer he spends in possession of this notebook, the more it reveals someone who Laurent wants to get to know – a woman named Laure. This book is his journey to try to find her in a city full of strangers.

Written by Antoine Laurain, this book has been translated from French by Jane Aitken and Emily Boyce. I’d previously read The President’s Hat so I had a small idea of what to expect. I loved that book so I was very excited and intrigued when The Red Notebook arrived. I love the covers of both this book and The President’s Hat. They are beautifully drawn and adds to the whimsical theme of the book.

This book isn’t very long. It is under 200 pages so I read it in a couple of sittings. It’s perfect for if you want a book for a train journey or a lazy afternoon. The style of writing is easy to get into and I was reading it not realising a huge chunk of time has passed.

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Bella’s Scribblings: When Stupid Strikes!

rp_Bella-185x3001111.jpgI have often read criticism of Women’s Contemporary Fiction, Romantic Comedy, Chick Lit – call it what you will. A frequent comment is that the seemingly intelligent heroine suddenly does something rather stupid. Readers condemn this as ridiculous , out of character and unbelievable. Now, please bear this in mind as I tell you my sorry tale…

I am not a genius (neither Mensa nor NASA are beating down my door and begging me to enlighten them) however, I am also not stupid. I did well at school (I was a bit of a girly swot, actually) I got good grades in my exams and I hold down a fairly pressured job. Even so I have discovered that ‘stupid’ can strike any of us and any time.

I was printing off copies of papers that needed to be stapled together in pairs – a fairly simple task for someone of my experience and deep knowledge of stationery items (I have a serious stationery buying habit) and a task I have accomplished before unaided and without incident.

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