(3) $20 Amazon Gift Cards
(2) Grand Prize “Gift Baskets” of ALL eBooks!
(60+) Winners of Individual eBooks (randomly selected titles)
Talking of dogs, friendship and bones, we’re madly excited to offer TWO mystery novels on a very limited free promotion: our very own When Good Friends Go Bad, a story of divorce, love and friendship (in which a scruffy mongrel happens to play a key role), and Julie Frayn’s dark, suspenseful and highly entertaining Pocketful of Bones. We also have Helen Smith’s Invitation To Die on sale for only 99 cents and a fantastic giveaway with a ton of Crime, Thriller and Suspense Novels to be won. Only available for a day or two so don’t miss out!
By Ellie Campbell
Tomboy Jen, snobby Georgina, hippy Meg and gentle Rowan, were inseparable all through school until a childish prank gone wrong tore them apart. One attempted reunion in their twenties was a complete disaster, with Rowan failing to appear and the others vowing never to speak again. And yet, ten years later, while a depressed Jen is suffering through a painful divorce, Meg calls, wanting her former friends to track down the mysteriously vanished Rowan. As they search to find the truth about their missing friend, Jen, Meg and Georgina will test the bonds of love, loyalty and marriage, unearthing dark secrets, forbidden passions and a long-buried danger that threatens them all.
By Julie Frayn
“… a narrative that flows with often painful beauty.“ Rabid Reader’s Reviews
“The story is dark, suspenseful, at times funny, and even heart-breaking. The ending made me gasp out loud.“ April Wood, A Well Read Woman
Finnegan MacGillivray, red-haired, freckle-faced social pariah, finds solace in his mother’s garden while she entertains “dates” in his home. When an accident takes the life of a friend, Finnegan buries the evidence amid the purple dead nettle and bougainvillea, and unearths a treasure trove of human remains. Did his house rest atop an ancient burial ground? Or was there a killer tucking him into bed at night?
His fascination with bones grows as fast as his obsession with his mother. She rejects his advances, and he escapes to the other side of the country. Years later, he returns to his childhood home, to the secrets and the guilt and the bones — and to fulfil his destiny.
Twenty-six-year-old Emily Castles is out of work again. So when famous romance author Morgana Blakely offers her a job helping out at a conference in London, Emily accepts. Just as eagerly, American blogger Winnie Kraster accepts an invitation from Morgana to attend as a guest, not realizing she has, in effect, accepted an invitation to die. As a cast of oddball characters assembles at the conference hotel, grievances, differences, and secrets begin to emerge. When Winnie goes missing, and then is found murdered nearby, Emily begins to suspect that someone involved with the conference is responsible. Could it be one of the organizers, one of the authors, a member of the hotel staff, or even the supplier of the chocolates for the conference gift bags? Emily teams up with guest speaker and eccentric philosophy professor Dr. Muriel to find out.
Hi there, cozy mystery lovers, for Ellie Campbell (and hopefully the rest of you) 2018 is already starting with a roar. We have a fantastic giveaway for you below but first a little update on our eventful, often crazy, lives.
No sooner were the Christmas decorations put away than Pam (confirmed non-skier) was off to Val D’Isere with the family, visiting her chef son Alex in the French Alps, experiencing snow, blizzards, dog sledding huskies and all the dangers of some luscious French cuisine.
Meanwhile Lorraine was fulfilling a lifetime dream of a Tanzanian safari, tenting it under starry African skies, cruising in an open jeep through Tarangire National Park, Ngorangoro Crater, the Serengeti and Ruaha, snapping photos of lions, wildebeest, zebra, giraffe, antelope and of course elephants. The big boy above decided our Land Cruiser was going to move or he was coming in the vehicle with us! He literally could have touched us.
And of course there was no strolling far from our tents at night for fear of meeting these handsome but deadly characters What do they have in common with our cozy mystery giveaway? Well, they may all look like pussycats but you never know when one of them will turn into a natural born killer.
Reblogged from TakeFiveAuthors
Huge Congratulations to author Mary Smith. See her blog post below
I’m delighted to announce the paperback version of Donkey Boy & Other Stories is now available.
I had a launch event recently along with fellow author Lynn Otty who has also brought out her own collection of short stories called Having a Ball & Other Stories.
It was a lovely evening and great to see so many friends who came along to share in our celebrations with fizz and nibbles, a couple of short readings, lots of sales and a lot of chatter. Only, we forgot to take any photos apart from one Lynn’s son took before our guests arrived.
Donkey Boy has already started to collect some fabulous reviews on Amazon and on review sites such as this one, which had me dancing round my desk, on Linda’s Book Bag:
“With under 80 pages, Donkey Boy and Other Stories can fit into any reader’s busy life.
What a little gem this book is. There’s a super variety of stories packed with atmospheric and entertaining writing containing both pathos and humour. Mary Smith manages to convey clear and distinct voices for each of her brilliant characters, from a Pakistani boy to an elderly Scottish woman. What I liked so much about every one of them is at I felt I knew them instantly and understood them completely but without the author imposing her own judgement on them as they make their way through life.
I loved the unifying themes across each of the stories too. Whilst each story has its own unique identity, Mary Smith explores themes that encroach into all our lives, from poverty in third world countries, through domestic abuse to mental health, grief, fear, love and disability. She does so with skill and finesse, never preaching, but conveying a wonderful sense of humanity for the misrepresented, lost and lonely and for those living unconventionally or outside social norms. I enjoyed every single tale, but especially the last in the book, The Thing in Your Eye, with its slightly supernatural undercurrent as Molly sees ‘Nasties’ in strangers’ eyes. The opening story, Donkey Boy, set in Pakistan also made me think about my own behaviour as I shall be travelling to India next year and will obviously be tipping those I come into contact with.
I really appreciated Mary Smiths wonderful craft in creating a sense of place, time and person so that although these are brief stories, each has a completeness and there’s real satisfaction in reading them.
I found Donkey Boy and Other Stories a moving, engaging and beautifully written collection that has the ability to touch the reader, make them thankful for their own life and to make them think. I’m delighted to have read it.”
And this ‘little gem’ of a book is an absolute bargain, if I say so myself, at only £4.50.
Buy it here: www.smarturl.it/dbaos
Under the shadow of this week’s eclipse, we ponder life’s great mysteries. Why do multiple possessions vanish into a black hole the second Lorraine puts them down? Why after many gruelling fundraisers on her tandem, did Pam choose a cycling holiday in Germany when she could be lying on a beach? Why does Binkie, out of all Lorraine’s ten chickens, have her own Facebook page? Why did she and her fellow hens choose to lay her eggs next to a massive snake. Most worrying of all, where is that snake hiding now?
We may never know the answers to these questions but we do have a fabulous giveaway featuring some brilliant and extremely entertaining women sleuths.
Pam’s about to shoot off to Hamburg where she’s tandem cycling to Berlin over the next couple of weeks (her husband’s idea of a holiday), while Lorraine is nursing her husband’s bad knee. Don’t know who’s got the best deal but in the meantime we thought you might like to hear about a great competition at Authors XP.
Good luck everyone!
Deadlines – you think when you’re an indie writer, you’ll be free of them. When I left magazine publishing, I was only too happy to escape the mounting panic as the dreaded date approached, production managers shrieking for copy, editors making last minute changes, art departments scrabbling to find a picture for that impromptu article just slotted in. Entrepreneur.com has an interesting article on it here.
‘Time urgency,’ they say, ‘kills attention spans, rational decision-making skills and, at its most acute, the body itself by contributing to factors that lead to heart disease.’ Now if that thought doesn’t cause you stress, I don’t know what would.
Still, deadlines can be both a blessing and a curse to authors. Reblogged from Take Five Authors
Light up the fireworks for a blazing hot 4th July giveaway extravaganza! And if America’s Independence day doesn’t mean much where you happen to live (like Pam), it’s still a winning situation. OK, maybe those bunch of pesky colonists still can’t brew a decent cuppa tea but they did bring us Starbucks and Desperate Housewives, right?
So while Lorraine fires up the barbecue and chills the beer, (Coors, of course, our local Colorado brewery), Pam’s making sure everyone gets a chance to take part in these two great offers. Free to enter, so good luck to all. Hope you win something.
Follow one or more authors and enter to win one of two $20 Amazon gift certificates! Just click on the picture and it’ll take you to Amy’s site at Authors XP.
Discover new authors and win free books. You may win one book or the grand prize – every book featured in this contest!
Happy Independence Day!
And if you see something like this on the beach – run!
So you’re hot on language, your grammar is impeccable, your style puts Strunk and White to shame and like Akelah you could win any old spelling bee. Why would you, as an indie author, need to pay for outside help? Well, you only have to read a few Amazon reviews to know that readers can be an unforgiving bunch, quick to spot a typo or a missing space between paragraphs. As an indie author you have to make some difficult choices about how much assistance you can afford to enlist. We wrote a whole post on the importance of a good book cover and we still feel that unless you’re amazingly hot stuff at art, you’re probably wiser to leave that to a professional. But here’s Ellie Campbell’s take on things.
Having a good editor is brilliant. Our first editor, Emma at Arrow Books, was instrumental in whipping How To Survive Your Sisters and When Good Friends Go Bad into shape. She pointed out that the endings were too short, the middle was too long, told us which characters needed motivation or fleshing out, where we’d over-described, repeated ourselves, or missed some vital information. After our rewrite, she did a massive line edit, cutting, stretching and pulling those babies until they cried uncle and turned into halfway decent novels. And did we learn a lot from her! These days we rely on our two sets of eyes, multiple drafts and hard-won experience to get the story tight and hopefully catch any glaring errors. We might then send the book to one or two amazing friends who can be trusted to say things like ‘your hero’s a bit of a creep’ instead of just ‘it’s great, honest’. BTW, if you have discerning friends like that, never let them go. They’re pearls beyond price.
Then copy editors, what an amazing job they do. Who knew that you’d been misquoting Shakespeare or the words of that pop song for your entire existence? Or what year Madonna adopted her black biker jacket, cropped bleach hair, ‘bad girl’ look? How could the fact that your own heroine changed from blonde to a redhead halfway through the manuscript escape you? A copy editor will check facts, correct misspellings, grammar and punctuation, notice when you switch from British to American English, or say ‘10’ instead of ‘ten’, warn you of potential lawsuits and altogether bring clarity and consistency to every element of your manuscript.
In fact Ellie Campbell has been saved from all kinds of awkward bloopers by copy editors, and anything they might have missed (or we’ve introduced in the flurry of a last-minute re-write), our proofreader, Wendy Janes, will spot. Traditionally proofreaders come along at the end of the process, when the edited manuscript has been printed as a proof, looking out for printing errors, spotting those awkward word and page breaks – and of course the dreaded typos.
Meanwhile, about those typos – isn’t it amazing how you can read and re-read the book numerous times, scan each word line by line, yet still those little devils slip past you? Apparently the reason it’s so hard to spot your own typos is because your clever busy brain skips over details like transposed or missing letters because it knows the meaning you’re trying to convey and focusses on that. In other words it sees what it expects to see. And that, more than anything, is why we need outside help.
But perhaps you have a different experience. Or another professional you – and your writing career – couldn’t live without?
This post also appears on https://takefiveauthors.wordpress.com/2017/06/03/editor-proofreader-whats-in-your-indie-budget/
along with other great writing tips from our fabulous fellow authors