It’s Read A Book Day ~ #amreading

Sept 6th is Read A Book Day.

Whatever your genre, or preferred medium, curling up and reading a good book  is a wonderful way to spend your time. There are loads of genres to choose from – crime, romance, paranormal, Young Adult, New Adult, non-fiction, memoirs and literary fiction. All will sweep you away into the world created by the author and give you some much needed escape from reality time.

A great place to get your reading material is at your local independent bookstore. Mine is Leeds County Books. If I find a book whilst shopping elsewhere, I take down the details and then go here and order my copy, if it isn’t already on the shelf.

I also have a great collection of ebooks on my ipad in the Kindle app.

read a book daySince this is read a book day, I’m going to do a wee bit of shameless, self-promotion here. If you’re looking for a great read, check out A Shadow in the Past

When a contemporary teen is transported back through time to the Victorian era, she becomes A Shadow in the Past…

Nineteen-year-old Sarah Shand finds herself thrust back into the past. There she struggles to keep her real identity from a society that finds her comments and ideas strange and her speech and actions forward, unlike Victorian women. When Sarah verbally confronts confining social practices, including arranged marriages, powerful enemies commit her to a lunatic asylum. After falling in love with the handsome Laird of Weetshill, Robert Robertson, she must decide whether to find her way back to her own time or to remain in the past with him.

read a book dayand The Consequences Collectionan eclectic compilation of twelve stories ranging from non-fiction through creative non-fiction to pure fiction, in prose and poetry.

The story of a Scottish Home Child is based on fact and told from the child’s point of view; The Mystery Woman of Kinettles is a non-fiction article on the appearance and subsequent disappearance of a woman’s body near the Wellington County House of Industry (Poor House) in 1879 Southwestern Ontario.

Some of these stories are lighter than others, and some might even beg you to leave the lights on.

is an eclectic compilation of twelve stories ranging from non-fiction through creative non-fiction to pure fiction, in prose and poetry.

The story of a Scottish Home Child is based on fact and told from the child’s point of view; The Mystery Woman of Kinettles is a non-fiction article on the appearance and subsequent disappearance of a woman’s body near the Wellington County House of Industry (Poor House) in 1879 Southwestern Ontario.

Some of these stories are lighter than others, and some might even beg you to leave the lights on.

- See more at: http://www.melanierobertson-king.com/wp02/?page_id=7339#sthash.VVdE3rEX.dpuf

is an eclectic compilation of twelve stories ranging from non-fiction through creative non-fiction to pure fiction, in prose and poetry.

The story of a Scottish Home Child is based on fact and told from the child’s point of view; The Mystery Woman of Kinettles is a non-fiction article on the appearance and subsequent disappearance of a woman’s body near the Wellington County House of Industry (Poor House) in 1879 Southwestern Ontario.

Some of these stories are lighter than others, and some might even beg you to leave the lights on.

- See more at: http://www.melanierobertson-king.com/wp02/?page_id=7339#sthash.VVdE3rEX.dpuf

is an eclectic compilation of twelve stories ranging from non-fiction through creative non-fiction to pure fiction, in prose and poetry.

The story of a Scottish Home Child is based on fact and told from the child’s point of view; The Mystery Woman of Kinettles is a non-fiction article on the appearance and subsequent disappearance of a woman’s body near the Wellington County House of Industry (Poor House) in 1879 Southwestern Ontario.

Some of these stories are lighter than others, and some might even beg you to leave the lights on.

- See more at: http://www.melanierobertson-king.com/wp02/?page_id=7339#sthash.VVdE3rEX.dpuf

What are you reading today?

 

 

Works-in-Progress #amwriting

#amwriting

Yep, I’m writing. As a matter of fact, I’ve got two projects on the go at the same time. Well, sort of at the same time.

Shadows From Her Past (the sequel to A Shadow in the Past) is comfortably ensconced with my beta readers. So while I’m waiting for feedback from them before moving on to the next revision, I plotted another book.

Plotting for me is huge! I’m more of a pantser but I have to know where I’m going so maybe that makes me a plantser?

Anyway, I had started this project a while ago and it languished in the dark recesses of my hard drive. I wrote the ending but that was about it. So while I had lots of time (well not lots but you get my drift), I went to my trusty software Storybook Pro (similar to Scrivener) and plotted my little heart out from beginning to end.

My writing has changed (hopefully for the better) a lot since I originally started this project so a lot of things have changed since that early draft. Some of the characters are new, some aren’t. They’re older now – thirtysomethings – but essentially the plot remains the same.

The ending will remain the same just improved (I hope) because my voice has developed and I’ll be able to pack more oomph into the emotional upheaval.

So all that being said, this work-in-progress (currently known as Second Chances) is sitting at … drum roll please … 5133 words. I know it’s not much but every word counts. I’m thinking this one will come in at about 85,000 words when all is said and done.

And what is this work-in-progress about?

Here are two versions of my two-sentence blurb.

#1 Katherine Murphy lives in fear of losing her partner when the helicopter he’s on ditches in the North Sea on a return flight from the oil platform he works on. Will he perish in the crash or will they be given a second chance together?

or

#2 When a helicopter ditches in the North Sea returning from the Alba Ecosse platform, Katherine Murphy lives in fear knowing that her partner, Jared Martin, is onboard. Will he perish in the crash or defy the odds and survive?

Which one do you like best?

THREE LITTLE BIRDS by Carol E Wyer ~ Launch Day Splash

three little birdsTHREE LITTLE BIRDS – BLURB

If your friend challenged you, would you dare? Charlie Blundell cannot get over the tragic death of her only daughter. She drifts between her job at the Art cafe and her hospital radio show, the only things which give her life purpose. Her best friend, the madcap Mercedes, cajoles Charlie into writing a ‘carpe diem’ list, but then swaps Charlie’s list with her own. Now, each must complete the other’s challenges, and the outcomes will astound both of them. The challenges begin as a series of relatively harmless, fun activities. Soon, though, the stakes increase when Charlie has to complete her challenges to save the hospital radio station. As the tasks become more demanding, a handsome stranger takes an interest in her, but he is not what he seems. One challenge causes a secret buried deep within her to surface, which may prove to be her undoing. Three Little Birds is a story of love, friendship and discovery, laced with hilarity and topped by a wickedly funny parrot called Bert.

~~~~~~~~~~

Here’s Carol’s story behind her latest novel, Three Little Birds.

Three Little Birds was a book I wanted to write for some time. There is quite a bit of personal stuff hidden among the pages and it has a clear message – one of hope. It is more than just a story about two women and two bucket lists. The title alone is a giveaway of that fact. Not only is it to do with the lyrics of the Bob Marley song but there are three birds (parrots) in the story that provide much of the light-hearted humour and on a deeper level, the title has a relevance that I can’t divulge but will touch the reader and quite probably make them shed tears.

I set the book at a hospital radio station because I wanted to highlight the importance of those presenters who give their time freely and whose role is more important than you may realise. It is no secret that I spent a fair amount of time in hospital, undergoing treatment for spinal problems when I was younger. I had operations and treatments over a period of several years. At one stage, I spent 11 weeks on traction which involved being laid at an angle in bed so my head was at the lowest point, with heavy weights attached to my legs that were then dropped over the end of the bed. The idea was to stretch the spine and move a trapped disc. It didn’t work. All I managed to do was be sick, drop food and drink all over myself and feel depressed. Hospital radio kept me sane. I tuned in first thing in the morning and listened until lights went out. I would have howled every day in frustration had I not had hospital radio to keep me company with its cheerful presenters and request shows.

More recently, I met fellow author and hospital radio presenter Charlie Blundell on FB. She is such a cheery lady and so positive. She epitomises the sort of presenter who lifts patient’s spirits. She became my inspiration for Charlie in the book. There the similarity ends though as my character’s life is very different to Charlie Blundell’s.

The book offers a tale of friendship, love and moreover hope, even when there seems there is none. I liked all the characters, even the lesser ones such as Peggy who owns Bert the parrot and Susannah, a middle-aged woman who Charlie meets at belly dancing class. There is more than one person’s story in the book.

The thread that runs through the book is of course, the challenges that both friends have to complete. Each character undergoes a journey that is only made possible through the challenges. Of course there is much hilarity and the results are often unexpected. Even the slightest challenge sends the character on a different path and it was that message that I wanted to get across. Whoever you are and whatever your situation, be brave. Have a go at things that you would ordinarily not try even if it is not an adrenaline-filled challenge. Maybe it is as simple as learning to swim or have a go at cooking something adventurous.

Last year, I wanted to take up something from my Grumpy Old Menopause book to prove it would help women like me. I really fancied pole dancing but as I had a painful frozen shoulder that wasn’t possible, so I went for something I knew would terrify me but could be rewarding—I did a crash course in stand-up comedy!

The results were surprising all right. Having done one gig to a sell-out audience, I was soon booked up to tour the Black Country doing my comedy routine, Smile While You Still Have Teeth and then was invited to do it at the Isle of Wight Literary Festival on main stage! I’m not bragging, merely pointing out that you don’t know where these things will take you, so have a go. At worst, you will feel you have achieved something. If you have no idea of what you want to do, check through the list of 100 ideas at the end of the book. I’m sure you’ll find something there to amuse you.

So, for this book, I had to prove the point and embark on some of Charlie’s challenges. I’ve chosen four of them and a bonus challenge—indoor skydiving! How did I get on? You need to check the videos and photographs to find out. So, what are you waiting for? Carpe Diem!

~~~~~~~~~~

My review:

Three Little Birds had me hooked from the opening page. Once I started reading, I couldn’t put it down until I finished. It’s filled with laugh out loud moments, a few you evil woman, you’ve made me cry moments, intermingled with suspense, sexual tension and everything you’d expect to find in a romance novel, plus the ‘feathered’ man of the hour, that lovable parrot, Bert.

~~~~~~~~~~

About the Author:

CarolAn ex teacher and linguist Carol used to live and work in Casablanca until the late eighties when she returned to the UK, set up a language company and settled down to married life.

When her son finally left the nest a couple of years ago Carol took up writing full time. She has written articles and novels which generally encourage others to age disgracefully and enjoy life.

Carol blogs at Facing 50 with humour.

Thanks for dropping by today, Carol, and best of luck with your launch of THREE LITTLE BIRDS.

Satin Murder by Bonnie Glee – COVER REVEAL

Satin Murder

Satin MurderBlurb:

‘“Ladies don’t just let a gun rattle around in the bottom of their purse.” Sallee took the beige bag, unzipped it, and dropped the contents on the bedspread. She gasped, as Officer Riley and Mr. Davis starred in silence. In place of the gun there laid a mostly flat, brownish-black rock.’

It’s 50’s Seattle and socialite Sallee Anderson appears to be at the height of her popularity. But her beauty, intelligence and savviness won’t stop her from being implicated in the cold murder of her husband; found dead in his office with a single bullet to the head. The .25 pistol used for the crime is Sallee’s, but someone has removed her gun and replaced it with a rock. Lawyer Jack is now hot on the case trying to unravel the mystery, but will he make it in time to save Sallee from jail and disgrace?

Disgrace is not all that threatens Sallee’s happiness. With suspicious family and friends surrounding her, Sallee doesn’t know who to trust, especially not with her big secret…

My review:

I love the first line in the book’s blurb and when that scene arrived, the timing was perfect. Bonnie has a strong voice and kept the suspense going throughout the story, only revealing snippets (aka red herrings) as and when required. I thought I had it figured out but I didn’t. And, no, I’m not going to tell you. If you want to find out whodunnit, you’ll have to buy the book.

☆☆☆☆

About the Author:

Bonnie Glee

Bonnie Glee’s sixth grade teacher, Mr. Orville Nelson, observed her constantly writing during recess. When the school year came to a close, he mailed her a handwritten note encouraging her to follow her passion for words. Her maternal grandmother, a newspaper columnist, and her mother, a published poet, greatly influenced her. As a single working mom of five children, her publishing career began with poetry when four Utah State University professors, one by one, took her under their wings and mentored her. She held leadership positions with the League of Utah Writers, Utah Poetry Society and the National Poetry Society.

Family stories often leave a compelling image in Bonnie Glee’s mind; an image that drives her to expand such one liners as . . . ‘Your Aunt’s husband was killed by his business partner’. Bingo, Satin Murder was written. She writes about people, diverse people, and how they conquer everyday life.

She blogs here: http://bonnie-glee.blogspot.de/

More info on the book here http://safkhetpublishing.com/books/suspense/Satin_Murder.html

 

THE GHOSTLY FATHER by Sue Barnard

The Ghostly Father

Blurb:

Romeo & Juliet – was this what really happened?

When Juliet Roberts is asked to make sense of an ancient Italian manuscript, she little suspects that she will find herself propelled into the midst of one of the greatest love stories of all time. But this is only the beginning. As more hidden secrets come to light, Juliet discovers that the tragic tale of her famous namesake might have had a very different outcome…

A favourite classic story with a major new twist.

 ~~~~~~~~~~

I managed to get Sue to sit down long enough to answer a few questions…

You say your background is stranger than fiction (I’ve got some crackers in my family history, too), could you share a snippet from your family history? You don’t need to mention names.

Suffice it to say that for almost forty years, I was a skeleton in someone else’s cupboard – a secret baby who had to be given up for adoption because of the unforgiving attitudes of the time.  How I came to be reunited with my birth family is a long and very complicated story, but when it happened, it felt like a homecoming.  And the day I met my mother would have been a very good day to have owned shares in Kleenex!

What prompted you to write this book?

It was in response to the prompt “Write the book you want to read.”  I’ve always loved the story of Romeo & Juliet but hated the ending, and I’ve often wished that there was an alternative version of the story which had a better outcome.

What’s the best thing about being labelled as “professionally weird”?

The label “professionally weird” originated when I first became involved with writing questions for BBC Radio 4′s fiendishly difficult Round Britain Quiz – something which requires a particularly warped type of mind.  The best thing about the label is that it gives me something to live up to!

Thanks so much, Sue, for stopping by Celtic Connexions and sharing your book and your story.

~~~~~~~~~~

About the author:

Sue Barnard was born in North Wales but has spent most of her life in and around Manchester. After graduating from Durham University, where she studied French and Italian, Sue got married then had a variety of office jobs before becoming a full-time parent. If she had her way, the phrase “non-working mother” would be banned from the English language.

Since then she has had a series of part-time jobs, including some work as a freelance copywriter. In parallel with this she took several courses in Creative Writing. Her writing achievements include winning the Writing Magazine New Subscribers Poetry Competition for 2013. She is also very interested in Family History. Her own background is stranger than fiction; she’d write a book about it if she thought anybody would believe her.

Sue has a mind which is sufficiently warped as to be capable of compiling questions for BBC Radio 4′s fiendishly difficult Round Britain Quiz. This once caused one of her sons to describe her as “professionally weird.” The label has stuck.

Sue joined the editorial team Crooked Cat Publishing in 2013. Her first novel, The Ghostly Father (a new take on the traditional story of Romeo & Juliet) was officially released on St Valentine’s Day 2014. Her second novel, a romantic mystery entitled Nice Girls Don’t, is due for release in July 2014.

You can find Sue on Facebook, Twitter (@SusanB2011), or follow her blog here.

There’s a Facebook Event happening today, too. You can join the fun here:

Facebook Events page -

You  can purchase The Ghostly Father at:

Amazon UK

Amazon.com

Waterstones

Smashwords

 

BOOKS ON BILLBOARDS

Celtic Connexions is thrilled to have the creator of look4books.co.uk, Gary Walker, here with us today. Not only does Gary support indie authors on this site, but he also creates fabulous billboards with their covers. This is the one he did for my debut novel, A Shadow in the Past. I’m thrilled beyond words.

Books on Billboards

So settle in Gary and make yourself comfortable in our ‘hot seat’. You work in a completely different field. How did you get interested in photo manipulation? How long have you been doing it?

I have been seriously doing this work for around 18 months. The reason for me getting interested in this would be better suited to your second question

What made you decide to do “books on billboards” for Indie authors?

I had written two books which I had published independently. They did fairly well on Amazon Kindle for the first few weeks, but then I noticed a sharp fall off of sales. At this time I had no interest in Social Media, so knew nothing of the marketing possibilities of using images with links to my book selling pages on sites like Twitter and Facebook. By the time I had gained this knowledge I had already decided to remove my book from Amazon. I then made the decision to help other independently published authors by putting their books on my website www.look4books.co.uk and began to design posters for them.

When did you start your website look4books.co.uk?

The website has been going for a number of years, it began life as an antiquarian book selling, and information site. I had been a collector of old books for more years than I care to remember.

Of all the billboards you’ve done so for authors, do you have any particular favourites and will you share them with us? Was it the degree of difficulty, the type of billboard the author wanted, or the way the colours from the background worked with the book cover images?

A lot of questions there. To be perfectly honest the answer would probably be all of the above, and sometimes none of the above. What I’m trying to say is I just know when a poster really works. It also helps when I get feedback from the author themselves, be that positive or negative.

Many thanks Melanie for inviting me to do this interview.

Thanks for coming over today. It’s been great getting the ‘inside scoop’ on your work. Here are a few more examples of Gary’s brilliant book posters.

Books on Billboards

Books on Billboards

Books on Billboards

Books on BillboardsYou can see more of Gary’s photo manipulation genius on his Pinterest board book posters.

SOPHIA’S SECRET by Julie Ryan

Sophia’s Secret – Book 2 in the Greek Island Mysteries

Sophia's Secret

Blurb:

This is the second book in the Greek Island Mystery series. Although each book is intended to be read as a standalone, some of the characters from the first book, Jennas’s Journey, do make an appearance.

Kat has never understood why she was sent at the age of seven from Greece to live in England with her Aunt Tigi. When she receives an email from her grandmother, the first contact in over twenty years, informing her of her mother’s death, she knows this could be her last chance to find out the truth. Little by little she finds out the shocking facts as her grandmother opens her heart. It seems everyone has a secret to tell, not only her grandmother, as Manoli, her school friend, also harbours a guilty secret. Then there’s a twenty year old mystery to solve as well as a murder and what happened to the missing Church treasure?

~~~~~~~~~~

I see in your bio you have a strong attachment to Greece. Can you elaborate on it?

I first went to Greece in 1984 to work as a Language Teacher and although it wasn’t love at first sight – I arrived by train in Thessaloniki in the middle of the night – as soon as I saw Athens I felt a tingle and by the time I visited the islands it was a full blown love affair. I stayed for two years in all and have been back to visit on numerous occasions. There’s just something magical about the light and the scenery and climate are fantastic. What more could you ask?

You were born in Barnsley, Yorkshire (I have a character in one of my WsIP who comes from there). What was it like to live in a former mining town? (Since I’m not sure of your age, if you lived there before the mines closed any memories such as the miners’ strike in (I think) 1984?

I have a strong attachment to Barnsley – though for different reasons to my attachment to Greece. The people are down to earth and for me it will always be home. I remember the miner’s strike well and how divisive it was to the community. It was a very dark time and some of the wounds it opened still haven’t healed completely. I have family there and whenever I return, it’s like reliving my childhood and I immediately lapse back into ‘Yorkshire.’

Sophia’s Secret is the your 2nd book in the series. How many do you envision in the complete series? Two? Three? Four? More?

To be honest, I have no idea. The first book in the series, Jenna’s Journey’ began life as a short story. I was amazed that it developed into a novel. I thought that was it but I missed writing about Greece and before long a second book was on the way. There will definitely be a third but after that I’ll wait and see what my characters tell me.

Did you always want to be a writer? When did the bug bite you?

I’ve always loved writing but never really imagined that I would write a novel. I think I just needed some self-confidence. Once I saw that it was a real possibility then the bug took hold and now I don’t think I could stop even if I wanted to.

 ~~~~~~~~~~

GIVEAWAY!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sophia's SecretAbout the Author:

Julie was born and brought up in a mining village near Barnsley in South Yorkshire. She graduated with a BA (hons) in French Language and Literature from Hull University. Since then she has lived and worked as a Teacher of English as a Foreign Language in France, Greece, Poland and Thailand. She now lives in rural Gloucestershire with her husband, son and a dippy cat with half a tail. She is so passionate about books that her collection is now threatening to outgrow her house, much to her husband’s annoyance!

She is the author of two novels set in Greece, “Jenna’s Journey” and “Sophia’s Secret” both part of the Greek Island Mystery series. She is currently working on a third book, ‘Pandora’s Prophecy.”

You can follow Julie on

Facebook
Twitter
and on her Blog

You can buy Julie’s Greek Island Mysteries

Jenna’s Journey

Sophia’s Secret

Canada Day 2014

Happy Canada Day!

Canada Day

This year, I spent the day at the Canada Day Morrisburg Market. The heat was oppressive as was the humidity. I think it felt like 41C outside – and that was even under a canopy in the shade. Thankfully, there was a breeze coming in off the river, but that also posed a few problems.

Canada Day

My table. Notice hubby is also wearing A Shadow in the Past T-shirt.

My little table (while it looks very nice decked out in red and tartan looks so small under the 10′x10′ canopy. And because there was so much room in the tent, people took the short cut through the one end to go to and from other parts of the park.

I rearranged the table after this photo was taken and put the easel with the “what people are saying about A Shadow in the Past” in the middle behind the calendars and moved the stacks of A Shadow in the Past to the edge of the table.

I had a few people ask if we had T-shirts for sale but I only ordered the two – one for hubby and one for me to wear to assorted signings (unless more formal attire is required).

Canada Day

Showing of my A Shadow in the Past t-shirt

The militia reenactors scared most of the people (me included) when they started firing their guns… without warning I might add. Still I managed to get a couple of pictures of them.

canada day 2014 3

Militia reenactors

canada day 2014 4

Militia reenactors

Early in the afternoon, the wind changed and my easel became a sail, so it spent most of the afternoon under the table, although I did manage to get it back on display a few times. It meant having to hang on to it and even then there was no guarantee it would remain upright.

By the end of the day, I had sold 4 copies of A Shadow in the Past and 2 copies of The Consequences Collection. In addition, a number of people took my postcards and were quite pleased that both books are available as ebooks. Now we’ll see if that interest translates into sales.

How did you spend your Canada Day?

Launch Extravaganza for FALLEN FOR ROCK by Nicky Wells

Launch Day is here for FALLEN FOR ROCK!

Fallen for RockBlurb:

‘A thrilling and delicious story of love and self-discovery woven around a broken romance that will make you turn page after page and cheer to the end.’

Love, life, loyalties. Nothing stays the same when Emily gets drawn into the world of rock.

Glossy and sophisticated professional high-flyer Emily has no time for nonsense such as the rock music her ex-boyfriend Nate adored so much. Yet when she unexpectedly comes into possession of VIP tickets—access all areas—for new rock band phenomenon, MonX, she can’t resist the temptation.

The fateful gig turns into more than one night, and Emily finds herself strangely drawn to this new and unfamiliar glittery world. However, only weeks later, MonX and her own universe fall apart with devastating consequences for all. When MonX lead singer Mike appeals for her help, she reluctantly embraces a new opportunity. But she soon discovers that while she may be a rock chick after all, a groupie she is not… Or is she?

Just exactly where do her loyalties lie? And what direction will her life take now that she’s left behind everything she treasured?

Warning! Fallen For Rock contains some explicit content and strong language that may not be suitable for readers under eighteen years of age.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Proudly introducing: Mike Loud, rock guitarist and “I’m hell to live with” lead singer in Fallen for Rock

Welcome, Mike, and thanks for taking the time to chat with me today. How are you?

I’m fine, thanks so much for having me. It’s a bit early in the day, so please nudge me if seem a bit spaced out. And thanks for the extra strong coffee!

Late night recording, was it?

Absolutely. We didn’t leave the studio until four in the morning. That’s like…five hours ago.

Goodness. I’m doubly honoured that you made it, then.

Wouldn’t have missed it for the world, chick.

I’m very glad to hear that you’re back recording again. It was all a bit touch and go after the MonX break up for a while, wasn’t it?

Well. *coughs* You could say that. We didn’t part on the most amicable of terms.

You’ve been keeping very quiet about what happened. You never gave a statement to the press at the time, but you did reveal all to Nicky Wells for her latest novel, Fallen for Rock. How come?

Technically, I didn’t reveal anything to anyone. Nicky was primarily chatting with Emily, and Emily shared what I’d told her. Obviously I met Nicky a few times as well, and I read the whole book before it ever went to print…

You did?

Of course I did. I’m a fast reader. I’m not adverse to a bit of romance, although it was a little strange seeing… um… well… some of Emily and my… physical encounters…rendered on the page. In written words. Not that I’m a prude or anything. It was just odd to read that stuff about me.

Ha! I bet. So what happened with MonX?

*Mike grins* You’ll have to read the book for the gory details. I swear I was innocent, really.

Tell me about the book. How does it feel to be not only a rock star but also a romantic hero?

A romantic hero, crikey! *guffaws loudly* I’d never considered it like that. It feels surreal, to say the least. I’d never planned to ‘star’ in a book. A movie, perhaps, but not a book. Although who knows… maybe one day Fallen for Rock will hit the big screen.

Anything’s possible. I hear Nicky had an offer for a movie deal on her first novel before now?

She certainly did.

And?

She turned it down, or so she told me. Apparently she didn’t like the terms of the deal, and they wanted to change the location too.

Crazy. But Fallen for Rock…?

I guess if the right deal comes along, we’ll have to talk casting.

Who’d be you, do you think?

Me? *laughs loudly* I’d play myself.

It’s interesting to hear about what drives you.

Ha! Some would say I’m too driven. Emily nearly chucked me out way back when because I was such an arsehole while I was writing music. She was really worried for me too, and all I did in response was snap at her. Although in fairness, I had warned her that I’m hell to live with.

And that’s also in the book. Am I thinking of the right scene here?

You certainly are. That bit’s in the book, as is our whole story from start to finish. How we met, how MonX broke up, and what happened next to me, and to her.

Why “Fallen for Rock”?

Great question. Nicky says it’s because Emily goes through such a turnaround. You know, from rock-hater to rock-lover. Me, I think the title works on many levels. I took a fall, too, although not so much ‘for rock’ as ‘from grace.’ And Emily quite literally had a fall. A fall that would change everything! So it’s a fab title, and the meaning just gets more and more powerful as the story unfolds.

Thanks so much, Mike, it’s been brilliant talking with you. You take care now!

You too. And rock on, as Nicky would say.

Rock on indeed…

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Fallen for Rock SWAG Giveaway!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATo celebrate the launch of Fallen for Rock and to spread some joy, I’m giving away the following items:

 One Large Signed Poster of “Fallen for Rock”

Three Sets of Signed “Fallen for Rock” Swag (Postcards and Bookmarks)

Three Sets of Signed “Fallen for Rock SWAG SPECIAL” including 2 bookmarks, 2 postcards and 2 guitar picks

Five Sets of Signed “Fallen for Rock” Guitar Picks (two picks per set)

One Set of “The Complete Nicky Wells Swag” (signed): Bookmarks and postcards for Sophie’s Turn, Sophie’s Run, Sophie’s Encore, Spirits of Christmas and Fallen for Rock

One Audio CD: Bon Jovi “Greatest Hits” (2010)

One Amazon Gift Certificate for £5/$7 or equivalent

Enter HERE:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Portrait6About Nicky Wells: Romance that Rocks Your World!

Ultimate rock chick author Nicky Wells writes romance with rock stars—because there’s no better romantic hero than a golden-voiced bad boy with a secret soft heart and a magical stage presence!

Nicky’s books offer glitzy, glamorous romance with rock stars—imagine Bridget Jones ROCKS Notting Hill! If you’ve ever had a crush on any kind of celebrity, you’ll connect with Nicky’s heroes and their leading ladies.

Born in Germany, Nicky moved to the United Kingdom in 1993 and currently lives in Lincoln with her husband and their two boys. Nicky loves listening to rock music, dancing, and eating lobsters. When she’s not writing, she’s a wife, mother, occasional knitter, and regular contributor at Siren 107.3 FM with her own monthly show. Rock on!

Nicky’s books: Sophie’s Turn | Sophie’s Run | Sophie’s Encore | Spirits of Christmas

You can buy Fallen For Rock here:

Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.de | Amazon.ca | Amazon.au

Join Nicky:Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Romantic Novelists’ Association |Sapphire Star Publishing | Amazon | Goodreads| Pinterest

Did you know? There’s a single out now by Nicky’s fictional rock band Tuscq come to life! “Love Me Better” is available for download from Amazon, iTunes and many other places.

RomanceRockBanner_NickyWells

MY LIFE IN A NUTSHELL a novel – by Tanya J. Peterson

My Life in a NutshellBOOK BLURB

 My Life in a Nutshell: A Novel is the story of one man’s struggles with debilitating anxiety. Brian Cunningham has isolated himself to such a degree that his human contact is barely more than an hour a day. While lonely, he feels powerless to change his life. Unexpectedly, his safe little world is invaded by one Abigail Harris, a seven-year-old girl who, for the last five years, has bounced from foster home to foster home. She has come to live with an aunt and uncle she has never known. Unsure if she can trust her new environment, she turns to Brian. Neither one quite knows how to live in the world. Can they possibly help each other?

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I had the opportunity to interview Tanya about this project and her writing in general. So, welcome to Celtic Connexions, shall we get down to it?

How long does it take you to get from the initial concept for a novel to the finished product?

For me, the process involves two main stages. The first is my main love, the creation of the story and the characters and the world. This is a fluid, circular process that involves research, brainstorming, outlining, and writing. I flow among these activities for approximately five or six months (depending on how many other things vie for my attention), and then, hooray, there’s a novel! At this point, I have a bit more left in the first stage. This is when I go back through from beginning to end and do edits (I edit throughout the process, of course). Next, it’s onto stage two. I send it to my editor, and once the two of us have exchanged the document back and forth and are satisfied, it goes on to Inkwater Press. It takes another couple months for it to be fully designed and formatted. Then, it enters the ARC (advance reading copy) stage and is sent out for early reviews. Once those are all in, it’s ready for release! Typically, the entire process takes about a year. That seems like a long time, but I grow so very close to my characters that I’m not ready to let them go soon, so I don’t mind. (Oh, I’m ready to let them go into the world, but I’m not ready to let them go to be replaced with a new set for a new novel.)

Do you see yourself as one of the characters in your books, or are they an amalgamation of a number of people you’ve met throughout your life?

I write realistic fiction, and I draw on things from the real world (including my own world); however, all of my characters are purely fictional. Their struggles are based on real-life struggles, but they’re their very own people.

What motivated you to begin writing?

For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved writing. I wasn’t always confident enough to do anything with it other than writing things for school, college and, later, graduate school. I’m also passionate about social justice, particularly around mental health/illness. I’ve worked as a teacher and a counselor, I have personal and professional experience with mental illness, I want to increase understanding and empathy, and of course I still have that love to write. I decided to be brave and combine them all into a writing career that includes writing novels that illustrate what it’s like to live with mental illness or to love someone with mental illness.

Most authors have difficulty coming up with titles for their work. Do you have the same problem?

Most definitely! I can write a nearly 400-page novel with ease, but I can neither summarize it or come up with a title! The title of my last novel (Leave of Absence) was developed with the help of my editor. She created a fantastic list of options, and I selected the final choice.) I’ll share the story of my current novel below!

How did you decide on the title for this book?

I actually came up with this one all by myself! I asked my editor for input if she didn’t like the title I used, but she had none. She approved of mine! As I was writing, I would think of the title here and there, while doing dishes or showering or other such things. Nothing really jumped out at me. One day when I was writing a scene in which Brian (the main character) was meeting with his new therapist, he was asked to describe his life in a nutshell. Bingo! That was it! That phrase is symbolic of a few different things (which become evident in the story), and I knew it was perfect. The story is told in the first person POV as Brian, thus the title My Life in a Nutshell: A Novel (The term “A Novel” was tacked on by the publisher just to make sure people didn’t think it was a memoir.)

Is your family supportive of your writing?

I’m very fortunate that yes, they are very supportive indeed. Both of my children are still at home, but at ages 17 and 12, they are definitely old enough to make this easier. If they were young, that would be a different story. My husband, too, is supportive of my doing this. Trying to make a career of writing is a huge risk, and I feel quite anxious about it often. But I believe in my “cause,” and my family does, too, so that’s really helpful and quite encouraging.

Thanks for stopping by today, Tanya. I know you’re busy what with the promo party over on Facebook and all. Good luck with your novel. It sounds like a fascinating read.

Thank you, Melanie, for taking the time to “chat” with me. Thanks to you and your readers for wanting to get to know a little bit about me!

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YOU CAN BUY MY LIFE IN A NUTSHELL a novel at:

AMAZON UK

AMAZON.COM

Barnes & Noble

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My Life in a NutshellAbout the Author:

Tanya J. Peterson, MS, NCC
Mental Health Novelist, Writer, & Speaker

Tanya J. Peterson holds a Bachelor of Science in secondary education, Master of Science in counseling, and is a Nationally Certified Counselor. She has been a teacher and a counselor in various settings, including a traditional high school and an alternative school for homeless and runaway adolescents, and she has volunteered her services in both schools and communities. Peterson is an active volunteer with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), and she is a regular columnist for the Anxiety-Schmanxiety blog on HealthyPlace.com.

She draws on her education, experience, and personal background with bipolar 1 disorder and anxiety to write stories about the psychological aspect of the human condition, specifically mental illness and the impact it has on human beings. Her goal is to change the way the world thinks about mental illness and the people who live with it.

Peterson believes that fiction is a powerful vehicle for teaching fact. Further, she knows that people empathize with characters in novels, and commonly they transfer their empathy to real-life human beings. To that end, she has published Leave of AbsenceMy Life in a Nutshell, and the YA novel Losing Elizabeth.  Additionally, she has published Challenge!, a short story about a person who finds the confidence to overcome criticism and achieve a goal, and a book review of Linley and Joseph’s Positive Therapy: A Meta-Theory for Positive Psychological Practice that appeared in Counseling Today, the national publication of the American Counseling Association.

Peterson has also been interviewed on numerous radio shows, given presentations on mental illness and book readings nationwide, spoken on mental illness at the 2013 national conference of the Mothers of Incarcerated Sons Society, Inc., and has been quoted in various articles about mental health and mental illness.

You can follow Tanya at:

www.tanyajpeterson.com

FACEBOOK – https://www.facebook.com/TanyaJPeterson

Twitter – https://twitter.com/tanyajpeterson1

 

My Scottish roots and writing by Melanie Robertson-King

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