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Posts Tagged ‘Celebrating Indie Publishing’

Earlier in the year I was delighted to welcome Anne Stormont to join me to chat about being an author, and share a little about her upcoming novel Settlement. Well the publication date has rolled around and I am thrilled to welcome Anne back again with a guest post titled “Proud to be Indie”.

Proud to be Indie

Settlement – the new novel by indie author Anne Stormont was published in September. In this guest post she talks not only about the book, but also about being an independent author.

“First of all I’d like to thank Kate for having me back here as a guest on her blog. I not only appreciate the opportunity to be here, but I’m also very grateful for all that she does to support independent publishing in general.

I’ve just published a new novel. It’s called Settlement. It’s the sequel to my previous book, Displacement, but it can be read as a standalone. So, of course, I’m here to give the new book a bit of a shoutout – and I will be doing that below. But I thought readers of this blog might be interested to know a bit more about independent authors and publishers and why I chose this particular route to publication. And so I thought I’d start with that.

Like my previous novels, Settlement is published by Rowan Russell Books (or RRB for short). RRB is my own imprint, my own tiny patch in the world of publishing. And I’m proud to be an indie author. In fact I love it.

My main reason for going the indie route was time. Real life and procrastination had both contributed to me not taking my writing seriously until I was in my forties – and I was in my fifties before I produced anything that was remotely ready for publication. To begin with, I did pursue the traditional route to publication for my first novel, Change of Life. I tried to get an agent. I tried to get a publisher. I got lots of ‘nice’ rejections telling me my writing was good, my story was good, but…

But, in short, what they all said was – readers of contemporary women’s fiction didn’t like books where the main characters were older than 30 – never mind 40 – and neither did they want to read about married characters or about ‘difficult issues’ such as cancer or bereavement. They also said the book would be hard to categorise as there was more than a simple romance going on in the story and would therefore be difficult to sell.

This was in 2009 and it was just as indie-publishing was beginning to become more possible and more popular. Small independent publishers were beginning to flourish. And so, too, were independent authors – that is authors who acted as their own publishers – authors who took a completely professional attitude to getting their work out there and in front of readers – authors who wanted to be in control of their work.

I was 53 and felt I couldn’t hang about any longer. If I was serious about being published, I was going to have to do it myself. And so, having hired a freelance editor, a proof-reader, and a cover designer I rewrote, polished and perfected my first book. Then in 2010 I published Change of Life. It got some great reviews and my career as a writer had begun.

Since then my learning curve has been more vertical than steep. In 2014, I took early retirement from my teaching job in order to be a full-time writer. And, supported by the same freelance team, I have now published four books – three for adults and one for children – (the children’s one was written by my alter-ego Anne McAlpine). I have a website, a Facebook author page and a loyal readership with whom I love to engage. I’m the author, the publisher, the finance controller and the publicist at RRB and I (mostly) enjoy the challenge of wearing all these hats.

Being, independent means I can write the sort of books I would want to read. But more than that, I can write the sort of books my readers want to read, and ensure those books are available to them.”

 

The New NovelSettlement Cover MEDIUM WEB (3)

So, what’s the new one all about? Here’s what the back cover says:

Settlement

Can the past ever be put peacefully to rest?  Can love truly heal old wounds?

Settlement is the sequel to literary romance novel, Displacement, but it can be read as a stand-alone.

Falling in love is the easy bit. Happy ever after requires work, commitment and honesty.

She wants him to be her friend and lover. He wants her as his wife. Can a compromise be reached? Or are things truly over between them?

When former Edinburgh policeman Jack Baxter met crofter and author Rachel Campbell at her home on the Scottish island of Skye, they fell in love. It was a second chance at happiness for them both.

But after Jack proposes marriage, it becomes clear they want different things.

Then, as Rachel prepares to return to the Middle East to work on a peacemaking project that’s close to her heart, and as Jack’s past catches up with him, it seems their relationship is doomed.

Can Rachel compromise on her need to maintain her hard-won independence?

Can Jack survive the life-threatening situation in which he finds himself?

Will they get the chance to put things right between them?

If you like a complex, contemporary, grown-up romance with lots of raw emotion, dramatic and exotic settings, all mixed in with some international politics and laced with elements of a crime thriller, then this is the book for you.

A huge thank you to Anne for joining me today and sharing a little about indie publishing, I always enjoy hearing about the road to publication from authors and how it all worked out for them.
It’s also lovely to see that Settlement is now available to buy, I’ve already bought my copy and cannot wait to get reading!

Settlement is available as a paperback and as an ebook and you can buy it in bookshops or online here.

 

About the Author:

Anne Stormont writes contemporary, women’s fiction that is probably best described as literary romance. Her writing is both thoughtful and thought-provoking. Her stories are for readers who enjoy a good romantic story, but who also like romance that is laced with realism and real world issues – and where the main characters may be older but not necessarily wiser.

Anne was born and grew up in Scotland where she still lives. She has travelled extensively having visited every continent except Antarctica – where she really must go considering her fondness for penguins.

Anne was a primary school teacher for over thirty years before taking early retirement in order to concentrate on her writing.

She describes herself as a subversive old bat – but she also tries to maintain a kind heart. She hopes this comes through in her writing.

Anne loves to hear from and keep in touch with her readers.

She can be found on Facebook and Twitter and you can also find out more about her, her writing, and her latest book news on her blog and on her website.

Social Media Links:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/annestormontauthor

Twitter: www.twitter.com/writeanne

Blog at https://putitinwriting.me

Website at https://anne-stormont.com

 

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Hello and welcome along to another Friday post to share another brilliant offering from the world of independent publishing! Today I have a review of Around the World in 80 Words written by Paul Anthony Jones, it was published in October 2018 by Elliott and Thompson Ltd and is available to purchase now.


Book Feature:

Description:

around the world 80 days PC final.indd

From Monte Carlo to Shanghai, Bikini to Samarra, Around the World in 80 Words is a whimsical voyage through the far-flung reaches of the English language.

What makes a place so memorable that it survives for ever in a word? In this captivating round-the-world jaunt, Paul Anthony Jones reveals the intriguing stories of how 80 different places came to be immortalised in our language.

Beginning in London and heading through Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia and the Americas, you’ll discover why the origins of turkeys, Brazil nuts, limericks and Panama hats aren’t quite as straightforward as you might presume. You’ll also find out what the Philippines have given to your office in-tray; what an island with more bears than people has given to your liquor cabinet; and how a tiny hamlet in Nottinghamshire became Gotham City.

Surprising and consistently entertaining, this is essential reading for armchair travellers and word nerds. Our dictionaries are full of hidden histories, tales and adventures from all over the world – if you know where to look.

 

My Thoughts:

I’ve been a fan of this author ever since I discovered his book The Accidental Dictionary in 2016, and have enjoyed the books that have followed. For those who don’t know who Paul Anthony Jones is, he is the man behind @HaggardHawks on Twitter and http://www.haggardhawks.com which pulls together blogs, quizzes, newsletters, a Youtube series and details of his books full of etymological delights. I would recommend checking out the website and the Twitter page, each day there is a new forgotten word posted each day.

In this latest offering, the author takes readers on a wonderful literary journey without them having to leave the comfort of their own homes. Around the World in 80 Words informs and educates readers about the names of 80 destinations that have been absorbed into the English language, and are so commonly used that we might not give them a second thought.
I love the way that this book can be picked up and flicked through without having to follow each chapter as you would with an “ordinary” book. This is a fascinating read, and the author has evidently put a lot of time into researching the material, his passion for etymology pours from the pages and it’s almost infectious. I had no idea of the origins of phrases such as being sent to Coventry, and you can be sure that Paul Anthony Jones takes great delight in sharing this knowledge. It also leaves the reader feeling that wonderful sense of having learned something new, you almost feel like you want to attend a quiz night, just in the hopes that a question may come up so that you can use your new knowledge.

This would make the perfect stocking filler for fans of etymology, I’ve already bought a copy to wrap as a Christmas gift.

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Hello and welcome along to Celebrating Indie Publishing! I am thrilled to be chatting with another fantastic indie author and sharing my review of his latest book. Today’s author is Ian Patrick, a name that I link to intelligent writing, gritty stories and utterly fantastic characters. If you’re not familiar with Ian’s books, I would highly recommend them. His first book, Rubicon was published in August 2017 and has been optioned by the BBC for a six episode series. I read and reviewed this back in May 2018.

Stoned Love is the second book in the Sam Batford series, and I have to admit to loving this book! It’s clever, it’s punchy and it’s downright brilliant!
It was published in August 2018 and is available to buy direct from the publisher or Amazon now!


Book Feature:

StonedLoveAugust2018JPEG

Description:

Detective Sergeant Sam Batford has been lying low at a remote safe house in the highlands of Scotland. He’s doing his best not to attract the attention of the enemies he made, on both sides of the law, during his last under-cover operation but Batford knows he’s just killing time until he’s called to account.

Inevitably the sharks begin to circle and as Batford is called back to front-line action in London he’s thrown into a deadly game of cat and mouse where it seems everyone is out to get him.

After having to endure a frustrating resolution to their previous undercover operation together DCI Klara Winter from the National Crime Agency is determined to prove that Batford has crossed the line into criminality and finally bring him to face justice.

All Sam Batford wants is to outwit his enemies long enough to stay alive and come out ahead of the game.  

My Thoughts:

I was thrilled when I heard that Ian Patrick had written a follow up to Rubicon, his thrilling debut novel featuring DS Sam Batford. This is a character that I eagerly look forward to catching up with, his wit and quick thinking make him such a fascinating character, and there’s something magnetic about him, he draws readers in making them want to know more about him and the various guises he wears as an undercover officer.

Without rehashing the blurb or giving anything away, I will say that this is a very bold and exciting book. Batford is up to his neck in danger, and that’s nothing new there really. However, this time the undercurrent of danger is more like a perilous riptide waiting to sweep our protagonist out into the murky depths.
Any undercover job has the potential to go wrong, but in this case it seems that Batford is working against the clock as well as enemies both seen and unseen.
For fans of Rubicon, the fallout from the previous operation leaves Batford with a price on his head. But fear not, if you’ve not read Rubicon and want to jump straight into this book then you can be sure that the author has included wee details that will quickly get you up to speed with what has happened before without bogging down the narrative for returning readers.

Stoned Love is a fast paced read, the sort of book that you really, really want to race through to find out what happens Sam, his handler and those colleagues around him. The notion that there are investigations within investigations makes this a deliciously thrilling read, making readers wonder who they should trust and what the motivations of certain characters might be. Characterisation is excellent, each of the main personas has been thoughtfully created and appears very lifelike in their quirks and temperaments. I love that the narration swaps between Batford and DCI Klara Winter, giving readers a glimpse into their mindsets, making this a deceptively clever read. It’s clear from reading this that not only has Ian Patrick researched well, but he has lived policing. His experiences in a policing role ensure that this remains credible and realistic at all times without becoming drab or boring.

If you’ve not already got Ian Patrick on your radar, I would highly recommend adding his name now! This is an author you definitely want to keep an eye on, and I know I will be waiting eagerly to see what he writes next!


Author Feature:Ian Patrick Author Photo

Ian spent twenty-seven years as a police officer, the majority as a detective within the Specialist Operations Command in London. A career in policing is a career in writing. Ian has been used to carrying a book and pen and making notes. Now retired, the need to write didn’t leave and evolved into fiction.

Rubicon is his debut novel published by Fahrenheit Press and Stoned Love the second in the series. Rubicon has been optioned by the BBC for a six part TV series. 

He now lives in rural Scotland where he divides his time between family, writing, reading and photography. 

Social Media Links:

Twitter: @IPatrick_Author

 

What’s your most favourite thing about being an author?

Having a reader say how much they loved your book. I write to bring joy, entertainment and escape from everyday life. When you get feedback that you’ve achieved that it’s wonderful. It makes me want to do better the next time too. Time is precious and a reader’s time should never be wasted.

What’s your least favourite thing about being an author?

The inability to switch off. Once it has you, you’re captive to its will. It means if you aren’t writing you are thinking about it, making notes, plot ideas arise that can’t wait to be addressed. You get the idea? Sounds great until it prevents you enjoying any downtime! To write is a privilege so I’m prepared to suffer the small irritation. I have an incredibly supportive family so this too makes it easier.

If you could have written any book what would it be and why?

Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk. That book defined a generation and has gone way beyond the written word to be engrained in male and minimalist culture.  The whole concept works on so many levels, it’s just an incredible book.

How do you spend your time when you’re not wrapped up plotting your next book?

See the answer to question 2!  I’m a nightmare to live with if I’m not writing. I have a disability that does restrict me in how much I can do outside the home but I do enjoy photography and taking the dogs out. They trot alongside my scooter so we can get a couple of miles in easily. I’m also a parent so spending time with the kids is important to me too.

Do you have a set routine for writing?  Rituals you have to observe? I.e. specific pen, silence, day or night etc.

None. I spent 27 years in the Met Police so not having a structure is a blessing. Flip side is it can also be a challenge. Writing is a disciplined art and without some form of discipline you can’t be a writer of novels. If the words aren’t adding up then you won’t have a story. I always try to write each day. Word count doesn’t matter. I just find a space and write.

I’m fortunate that I’m now retired from the police so finding the time is easier. Rubicon was written in the evenings. Stoned Love whenever I could find the time. That would mean carrying my laptop with me and using any spare time I had to write.

I don’t need silence to write, either. Most of Stoned Love was written in The Clachan Inn pub in Dalry. My youngest daughter was at a local playgroup in the morning. The hall she was in had a back room but it was too cold in winter. So cold I could barely type. I was offered the chance to write an article for the local paper on an award the pub had won. The owners’ took pity on my plight and said I could write there each morning. How could I refuse a table and open fire? The rest, as they say, is history.

What’s on the horizon?

My third book, Fool’s Gold, is with a beta reader. It’s third in the Batford series. Once this is done it will be on its way to Fahrenheit Press, my publisher. Hopefully Chris and his team will like it enough to publish it.

Can you tell me a little about your latest book?  How would you describe it and why should we go read it?

Stoned Love follows on from Rubicon and explores the life of a corrupt undercover cop, DS Sam Batford. What you will get is crime fiction with a dash of police experience that will take you on a journey you will want to repeat again and again. You’ll find yourself warming to a protagonist you wouldn’t take home for tea but could be persuaded to have a meal with at Claridges.

 

Finally, if you could impart one pearl of wisdom to your readers, what would it be?

Don’t waste time on a book you don’t enjoy (mine included). Life’s too short and there’s some incredible talent out there to discover. Sometimes we pick up a book at the wrong time in our lives. If we’re meant to read it then it will come back. I’d recommend any on the Fahrenheit list. A diverse and talented set of writers. There are also a host of other fabulous independent publishers.

 

My thanks to Ian for joining me today and being so honest, there are so many authors who have said that they find it hard to switch off the writing side of their brains and it’s always interesting to see what they do outside of being wordy rockstars!
I’ll have to keep an eye out for Ian appearing at some book festivals so I can pop along to get some signed books.
I completely agree with Ian, it would have been foolish to turn down the table and open fire in the local pub, purely for the purposes of writing whilst his wee one was at playgroup, that’s the savvy thinking that we’ve come to know from our favourite writers! Fool’s Gold is something to look forward to, and I will be sure to keep an eye on Fahrenheit’s twitter feed/website for news of publication!

 

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I am thrilled to welcome you to The Quiet Knitter blog today for today’s instalment of Celebrating Indie Publishing and introduce you to an author who is turning suspense novels on their heads with some brilliant characters!
K.T. Lee is the author behind The Calculated Series, which sees women in STEM working with various government agencies to solve cases and fight crime.

There are four books in the series, Calculated Deception, Calculated Contagion, Calculated Sabotage, and the prequel novella Calculated Extortion. More information about the series can be found on the author’s website and I would recommend checking them out!


Book Feature:

Description:

A criminal hiding in plain sight on campus. A professor caught in the middle. Can Dr. Ree Ryland help the FBI stop a killer before it’s too late?

Dr. Ree Ryland is an engineering professor who loves her job and plays by the rules. Her life is reassuringly predictable – until an enemy hiding in plain sight decides her squeaky-clean reputation is the perfect cover to commit a crime.

When Agent Parker Landon and his FBI team discover that someone at the university has been procuring military-grade hardware by disguising it as test equipment, all evidence points to Ree. After the FBI intercepts a shipment that puts Ree in the clear, Parker is forced to tell her that she’s being used as a pawn by an unseen enemy. And now she’s in that enemy’s crosshairs. Ree turns down the protective detail offered by the FBI and insists on using her inside knowledge to help with the investigation. Parker is leery of bringing a civilian on to the team, but he’s surprised at how much fun he has working with Ree, even as he tries to keep her out of harm’s way.

Parker, Ree and the FBI team find increasingly worrying evidence that someone is quietly acquiring everything they need to cause destruction on a massive scale. Now, they must uncover the motive and identity of the killer hiding among Ree’s friends and colleagues before it’s too late.

Calculated Deception is Book 1 in The Calculated Series. All books in The Calculated Series may be enjoyed as standalone novels or as a series.

My Thoughts:

When I first heard about this book and the inclusion of STEM I was very curious, how had the writer managed to weave that in, had they pulled it off, would it work …? I also read a fantastic feature with the author on the magnificent blog Linda’s Book Bag back in March and wanted to find out more about the book.  If you’ve not already checked out Linda’s blog, I would highly recommend doing so (after you’ve finished reading this post of course!).

So, Calculated Deception … what can I tell you without giving too much away about the plot or repeating the book description? I can tell you that it’s a fast paced, thrilling read that you really do not want to put down. The strong characterisation makes this such an appealing read, the protagonist is an intelligent woman, an engineer, a scientist, but she also has a wonderful relatable way when her awkwardness comes through.
There is a lot going on in this book, and the pace makes this a brisk read. And although it can be read as a stand alone book, I really think that it’s worth following the series to see what K.T. throws at Ree next!

I liked that the author didn’t bog down the narrative with too much scientific detail, and I did wonder when I went into this book if I would be able to understand the ins and outs of the plot, but thankfully I managed to read along and enjoy it. The detail is instead woven into the creation of Ree and her colleagues, and the FBI agents. Each of them have their quirks and compliment each other, the humour in the dialogue feels natural and makes the characters more realistic.

Now to get cracking on the next books in the series!


Author Feature:Logo Only

K.T. is a mom, engineer, and writer of books about women in STEM fighting international crime. When K.T. began to write the kind of books she wanted to read, she mixed clever women and the sciences with elements from thrillers (and a dash of romance) to create The Calculated Series.

Social Media Links:

Twitter: @ktleewrites
Facebook: www.facebook.com/ktleewrites
Instagram: @ktleeauthor
Website: www.ktleeauthor.com

 

What’s your most favourite thing about being an author?

If I had to pick one thing, it would be the opportunity to learn new things and interact with interesting people (ok, I may have snuck two things in). Since I’ve started publishing my books, I’ve interacted with fellow authors, book bloggers, and people passionate about STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). I even emailed the FBI with some questions and they responded, quite helpfully!  Because The Calculated Series features women in STEM teaming up with government agents to solve crimes, I get to dive into a new, interesting subject for each book based on the specialties of the characters. Learning about interesting people and science adds depth and interest to each story. It’s a blast!

What’s your least favourite thing about being an author?

It’s quite scary putting yourself out there, particularly when you know you are operating a little bit outside of traditional genre expectations. The Calculated Series is a mashup of thrillers and cozies (with a dash of romance) featuring clever women in STEM. It’s a little different than a traditional thriller! The first few months after release were fairly intense for me. As readers have found the books, left positive reviews, and begun asking for more novels in the series, it’s been really wonderful! On that note, a huge thank you to all of the lovely readers who take their time to leave reviews of new books they enjoy! I appreciate it so much and I’m sure other authors do as well!

If you could have written any book what would it be and why?

While there are so many fabulous books out there to choose from, if I had to pick just one, I’d say Timeline by Michael Crichton. It’s a delightful and unexpected blend of science thriller and history and I’ve read it multiple times. For me, books are a lovely escape for the busy brain and this book took me somewhere else entirely. Although after reading it, I learned never to start a Michael Crichton novel in the evening – I can’t put his books down until I finish them in the wee hours of the next morning!

How do you spend your time when you’re not wrapped up plotting your next book?

I’m an engineer and a mom when I’m not writing (and when I am!). Those two things keep me pretty busy but I’m also part of an improv comedy group. We have a ton of fun making up stories on the fly and making people laugh! Like a few of my characters, I also love to run – there’s something very relaxing about running long distances for me.

Do you have a set routine for writing?  Rituals you have to observe? I.e. specific pen, silence, day or night etc.

I write whenever and wherever I can! I write on my lunch break, early in the morning if I’m the first one awake, whenever I can squeeze it in, really. I look forward to the time I spend writing – it’s so fun for me to disappear into the world of my characters for a bit. I do find that I have to schedule blocks of time when I am editing and I have to be in a relatively quiet room. Editing takes 100% of my brain!

What’s on the horizon?  What can your fans look forward to next?

Book 3 in the Calculated Series is full steam ahead and I’m excited about where it’s going! Fans who met Cam in Calculated Contagion, you’ll get to spend a lot more time with him and a new character in this latest novel. I’ve also found that readers are quite attached to Ree and the FBI team – don’t worry, they’ll be back too! One of the best things about writing a series is that character growth is really not limited to one book – I can allow their story to develop over multiple books and let readers read about their favorite characters again. I can’t wait to share what I’ve had in store for Book 3 even as I was writing Book 1.

(Since K.T. Lee sent me the answers to these questions, her latest book has now been released and is available to buy)

Can you tell me a little about your latest book?  How would you describe it and why should we go read it?

Sure! I quick-released Calculated Deception (Book 1) and Calculated Contagion (Book 2) last year, along with a free prequel novella (my freequel novella, if you’ll forgive the pun) to introduce new readers to The Calculated Series.

Books in The Calculated Series are fun, page-turning suspense featuring clever women in STEM. There are elements from spy thrillers with the focus on characters and small community feel of a cozy mystery. There is a little sweet romance as well. My books always have a bit of fun and banter between the characters along the way. I love to hear from readers that I made them laugh out loud or kept them up too late reading! So, if you like a little fun with your suspense, this is a good series to check out!

 

Finally, if you could impart one pearl of wisdom to your readers, what would it be?

My favorite quote I’ve come across recently is: “In a world where you can be anything, be kind.” I think it’s incredibly important to try to be the kind of person that lifts other people up, not the kind that tears them down. This is true no matter who you are or what you do for a living.

 

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A huge thank you to K.T. for joining me today and sharing a little about her and her books. I know that these are the first books I’ve encountered with STEM and the concept really appeals to me, and having read Calculated Deception, I cannot wait to work my way through the rest of the books!

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Celebrating Indie Publishing today sees a mini review of a humorous crime tale set in the Scottish Borders, written by Mark Farrer.

The Good, The Bad and The Rugby was published in ebook on 18th October, copies can be purchased via Amazon UK or Amazon US.

As part of the blog tour, there is a giveaway running to win some bookmarks, this is only open to UK entrants, details and your chance to win is below.


Book Feature:

 

Description:GBR-Front-Cover

Getting to the truth. By trial… and eror error.

Cullen is on jury duty, and the sleepy Scottish town of Melrose is experiencing a rare crime wave: the famous Rugby Sevens trophy is stolen, a dead body is unearthed, there is a spate of petty arson, and someone drives a van into Gloria’s front room.
Why? And what is her husband doing every night up on Eildon hill?

In this hilarious crime romp, misguided loyalties, thwarted love, and unbelievable gullibility reach crisis point on the one day in the year when the world pays a visit to Melrose.

At the final whistle, Cullen will ensure that justice is done.

Because sometimes twelve good men just isn’t enough.

 

My Thoughts:

What a funny and madcap book this turned into! When I started this book, I had no idea that I would be chuckling aloud at sections and dialogue so much, and even reading parts out to my long suffering husband to see if they were as funny to him as I found them.

The characters are superb creations, Farrer has brought together a wonderful cast of societal misfits with a great dash of humour and mixes them with a plot that has readers racing through to find out what happens next! Although the character of Cullen is from previous books, this is a stand alone book, and it reads very easily in that respect. Although, after having met Cullen, I am keen to go back and read the previous books.
Clever plotting and weaving together the various strands of it all means that this is a well rounded and enjoyable read. Humour is balanced well with darkness, and so when we reach various points of the plot, the scenes feel realistic as well as entertaining.

 

Giveaway:

As part of the blog tour, Mark’s novella Dirty Barry is available to download from Amazon for free here.

For your chance to win 2 bookmarks featuring the covers of all four of Mark Farrer’s books, please click the following Rafflecopter link.
Please note this a UK only giveaway.  The 14 winners will be selected at random and your postal address will be passed onto Mark Farrer.  There is no cash alternative.  The giveaway ends of midnight (GMT) on 16th November 2018.  Any personal information stored by the Rafflecopter giveway will be deleted after the winners have been drawn.

Rafflecopter Competition Link

 

About the Author:

Mark was born in Liverpool, studied Computer Science at Hull University, then had a successful career in IT management in London and the South-East for twenty years before moving to Edinburgh in 2001. He continued working in IT until 2015 when he decided to retire from the rat race and focus on becoming a writer. He now spends half his time writing and the other half worrying why he is not yet making money from writing.

The Good, The Bad & The Rugby is Mark’s third comic novel featuring a morally righteous loner called Cullen. He also has a perma-free novella on Amazon, called Dirty Barry, which tells how Cullen and Big Paul first met. He is currently at work on a second novella, called Bronchial Billy.

Mark has three children, one at University, one on a gap year in Ghana, and one still at High School. He lives with his partner Claire, a photographer, near West Linton, in the Scottish Borders.

He likes: his Mini Cooper, songwriting, playing piano, vanilla panna cotta, The Beatles, woodburning stoves, wittertainment, Bill Bailey, #sadmanonatrain, fruit gums, Carl Hiaasen, The Wire, spicy food, Van Gogh, Lindsey Buckingham, oaked chardonnay, House MD, long walks, cinema, reading in bed, florentines, Only Connect, board games, Otis Lee Crenshaw, Budweiser, GBBO, India, cheese, David Armand’s mimes, bookshops, Scandi Noir, Diet Coke, The Economist, Blackadder, good sausages, Dickens, Helena Bonham-Carter (secret crush), the Times crossword, the song mmmbop, and pies.

And lists.

He dislikes: ITV, pinot grigio, tattoos, ballet, ready meals, rap, religion, clutter, artificial raspberry flavouring, marmite, jazz, under-powered showers, people who don’t look after their stuff, opera, sprouts, and waste.

And mashed potato.

He really doesn’t like mashed potato.

Social Media:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/mark_farrer

Website: http://markfarrer.com/

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mark-Farrer/e/B074S4XMGL/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

good-bad-rugby

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Today on Celebrating Indie Publishing I’m giving a nod to the autumnal season and Halloween with a review of Cailleach Witch and an author feature with Jane Gilheaney Barry.

Cailleach Witch was published in August 2018 and is available to purchase now via Amazon UK.


Book Feature:

Description:

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A LITTLE SPOOKY, A LITTLE QUIRKY, A WHOLE LOT OF ATMOSPHERE AND MYSTERY…

Dara Cleary and her sisters are returning to their childhood home in the west of Ireland, where the aunts still live.
Dara is seeking revenge for an incident that happened ten years earlier and was the reason for their leaving. But when they arrive they find a far bigger story waiting for them.
They are Bean Feasa, witches, bound to the Cailleach, a paranormal landscape witch.

Now is the time of reckoning, and Dara and her sisters must face formidable odds to complete their family’s quest for freedom. A beautifully lyrical and eerie tale, with touches of magic and an abiding sense of atmosphere and place. Jane Gilheaney Barry drives her cast of memorable women at lightning pace through the landscape and climate of Ireland’s wild west.

 

My Thoughts:

When I saw this book being spoken about on Social Media I immediately headed to Amazon to buy a copy, it sounded fascinating and just the read for Halloween!

This is a mixture of fairy tale, darkness, fantasy and thrills, all wrapped up in a plot that draws the reader in and holds their attention. The writing is packed with detail, atmosphere and some great characters. The characters feel incredibly real and it’s hard for readers not to feel a connection with them as their stories unfold, even with the ones who do wrong.

Cailleach Witch is the sort of book that would benefit from more than one reading to fully appreciate the subtleties, the atmosphere and really,  the story.
Jane has a gift when it comes to setting the scene, and vividly brings to life the small Irish town, she evokes great intrigue with mention of folklore and that makes this such a powerful and entrancing read. I’m trying to avoid saying much about the plot, I don’t want to give anything away and, this is truly a story that you want to discover on your own, at your own pace. And I think that readers will take away something different from this when they read it, whether it’s learning about ancient tales of witchcraft and magic, or appreciation of what has passed before or indeed give pause for thought about the ways in which humanity views those who may be “different”.

A rich and entrancing read that cannot help but connect with.


Author Feature:

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Author image and bio from Amazon.co.uk

I’m Jane, author, creative enabler, rebel in chief and curator at creative lifestyle brand That Curious Love of Green. Your one stop shop for creative living. I hail from the north west of Ireland where I live, in a wonderful house, with my lovely husband Adrian, children, Sadhbh, Saoirse, Shaylyn, and assorted pets. I’m passionate about creativity, writing, houses, women, wild nature, and living life to the full. When it comes to writing fiction I love modern gothic, mystery, and all things witchy. Follow me at That Curious Love of Green.com and fb.

 

What’s your most favourite thing about being an author?

I’ve only been an author since September of this year and so far it has to be the sense of personal achievement, of a dream realised. And hearing from people who’ve read and loved the book so far.

What’s your least favourite thing about being an author?

I can’t think of anything! Publishing has been a steep learning curve so if anything maybe that.

If you could have written any book what would it be and why?

Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights, or Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier. Can I throw in a series? Penny Dreadful. I wish it was it was a book so I could savour it. Brilliant writing, dark, mysterious, full of passion and furious longings.

How do you spend your time when you’re not wrapped up plotting your next book?

I want to say painting, drinking champagne, and having fascinating conversations with interesting people, but in reality it’s try and stay on top of everyday life without going mad. Managing a home and family is still the hardest job of them all. In my opinion. Aside from that I love taking photographs, creating content for my social pages, cooking, playing in my house i.e. pottering & decorating, and I spend as much time as I can in nature. I also read a colossal amount, at high speed. I need constant intellectual stimulation.

Do you have a set routine for writing?  Rituals you have to observe? I.e. specific pen, silence, day or night etc.

I have to write everyday or I’m miserable. At weekends it’s usually a social media post or two. Monday to Friday I write while the girls are at school. From about 9.30 to 2.30 I prefer to write in the mornings. I love silence for writing but I’ve trained myself to write without it. I like my surroundings to be clear and tidy if possible but when I’m in deep writing mode the house could fall and I wouldn’t notice.

What’s on the horizon?  What can your fans look forward to next?

A series of non-fiction books, one on creativity and creative living, and a guide for artists and writers on how to fall in love with marketing. Lots of writing and creativity workshops coming up and plans to do more of those in the new year. And the next novel. Not sure what it’s going to be yet. I’m waiting for the spark, the seed to get me started.

Can you tell me a little about your latest book?  How would you describe it and why should we go read it? 

I would describe Cailleach~Witch as a book for strong modern women, creative women, different, outsiders most likely. It’s for anyone who dreams of freedom. If you like a really fast-paced, atmospheric read, with touches of magic and wildness, then I’d say it’s for you. Even more if you like women, the sibling relationship, wild nature, and witches.

Finally, if you could impart one pearl of wisdom to your readers, what would it be?

If you feel you want to write don’t wait. It’s not too late and you don’t need any training. You just need to start, let yourself be a beginner, and create the habit. After that you have to trust the process and keep moving forward. And, don’t let the haters get you down.

 

Social Media Links:

Facebook: That Curious Love of Green by Jane Gilheaney Barry

Website:  www.http://thatcuriousloveofgreen.com

 

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Celebrating Indie Publishing sees a review of Literary Landscapes, the follow up book to Literary Wonderlands which I reviewed in October 2017.

“Hardy’s Wessex, Joyce’s Dublin, Du Maurier’s Cornwall sit alongside recent bestsellers, such as Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City and Elena Ferrante’s My Brilliant Friend.  Led by John Sutherland, a team of specialist literary critics have contributed individual essays eg Nick Lezard on Bleak House, Catherine Taylor on Bonjour Tristesse, Alison Flood on The Shipping News and Robert Macfarlane on The Luminaries.
Favourites are interspersed with the unfamiliar, but in all cases, landscape is as central to the tale as any character.”
Literary Landscapes was published by Modern Books on 18th October and is available to buy now.

Book Feature:

Description:Literary Landscapes Cover lo res

Some stories couldn’t happen just anywhere or any time – often the scenery , landscape or era is as central to the tale as any character – and just as easily recognised. What adventures would Heidi have had without her mountain neighbours? Would Jim Hawkins have experienced such an adventure had he not lived in mid – 1700s England? Literary Landscapes brings together an eclectic collage of over 50 familiar literary worlds paired with original maps and archive material, as well as illustrations and photography.

In this collection of essays the reader will follow Leopold Bloom’s footsteps around Dublin, become immersed in Les Misérable’s revolutionary Paris, feel the chill wind of Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights, and hear the churning paddles of Mississippi steamboats in Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn.

The landscapes of enduring fictional characters and literary legends are vividly brought to life, evoking all the sights and sounds of the original works. For anyone whoever dreamt of escaping the everyday, Literary Landscapes will transport you to the greatest places in literature.

 

My Thoughts & Review:

I adore books like this, books that give readers a little something more than a story, ones that give you an answer to a question that you’ve had at the back of your mind but never got round to looking up, or take you on a journey to a landscape you would love to visit.

The moment I saw this book I was wowed, the cover is instantly eye catching and gives you an idea of the detail you will uncover as you lose yourself within the pages of this book. And as soon as I opened it, I eagerly flicked through the sections of names I knew to feast on the beautiful illustrations and absorb the information before moving on to discover new places I’d love to travel to, as well as list of books to add to my ever growing reading list.

Set out in four different sections, Romantic Prospects, Mapping Modernisation, Post-War Panoramas, and Contemporary Geographies, these wonderfully detailed essays give readers a glimpse into the passion the writer holds for the subject. This passion is infectious in that it had me reaching for the mentioned books from my bookshelf, or in some cases buying a copy books that I wanted to read. It’s one of those books that you can dip in and out of, and it’s a great way to pass an afternoon, curled up on the sofa travelling to distant locations through the pages of this excellent collection.
I don’t usually mention anything about the way a book is laid out but in this instance I have to say that the illustrations are exquisite, the maps and photographs are are wonderful, and there is an almost luxurious feel to the book. It would make a great gift for book lovers!

 

Giveaway

For readers in the UK there is a chance for you to win a copy of Literary Landscapes.
Follow @modernbooks and tweet your own favourite #LiteraryLandscape for a chance to win a copy of Literary Landscapes.

This giveaway is open to UK entries only, and closes on 31st October 2018. Giveaway is not connected to The Quiet Knitter blog.

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Today on Celebrating Indie Publishing I am thrilled to share a review of a book that I immensely enjoyed. Disaster Inc by Caimh McDonnell is fifth book to feature his enigmatic character Bunny McGarry and is a true comedic delight for his fans.

Disaster Inc was published by McFori Ink on 16th September and is available to buy now!


Book Feature:

Description: 41rr4wchqsl-_sy346_

He’s a good man having a bad day with the worst hangover. 

All Bunny McGarry wants is a spot of breakfast and a decent cup of tea. So imagine how annoyed he gets when two masked men attempt to rob the New York diner he is in? Unfortunately, dealing with that problem just leads to a whole lot more. One of the diner’s other customers isn’t who she appears to be, and the odds aren’t great that she is going to live to see another breakfast. 

So just how much trouble is she in? 

Well, you know how they’re always telling us to pay attention to our pensions?   Some ex-employees of the US government are really taking that advice to heart by using their mayhem-creating abilities to maximise their investments. When one of their fund managers has a momentary crisis of conscience and confesses all to a woman he hardly knows, they will stop at nothing to deal with the problem.  Amy Daniels is in big trouble and the only thing keeping her alive is a man who is supposed to already be dead. 

My Thoughts & Review:

I bloody love Bunny McGarry, this is a character that I can happily say that I would probably follow into any genre, even if he were to start flying a spaceship or riding rodeo, though perhaps not if he were to swerve into a Fifty Shades of Grey type book … I do have limits.
Disaster Inc is another hilarious offering from the comic genius that is Caimh McDonnell, the Irish/Cork wit that he weaves effortlessly throughout the narrative will have readers chuckling out loud and reading out to anyone around you.

Bunny McGarry is now across the pond in America, but as always, drink has played a part in his downfall and he finds himself without his phone or money and no means of getting in contact with the only person that can help him. And if that wasn’t complication enough, he finds himself on the wrong side of a gun when two balaclava clad men storm the cafe he’s eating breakfast in.
The fast thinking Irishman soon realises that something isn’t right and sets about causing mischief, or sure, doesn’t mischief find him?

What then follows is a madcap adventure with McGarry not keeping a low profile as he was told to, instead he’s coming to the aid of a damsel in distress who has some dangerous people looking for her.

The writing is clever and the pace is almost breakneck speed, readers are thrown into the vortex with Bunny McGarry, but it’s enjoyable. The level of detail in the plot is fantastic, investment banking is something that I never thought I would find interesting to read about but somehow Caimh McDonnell managed to make it almost exciting.

And for the record, I completely agree with Bunny’s horror at the lack of tea … it’s just wrong!

A wonderful start to a new series and one I cannot wait to read more about!

You can buy a copy of Disaster Inc via Amazon UK

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I’m thrilled to welcome you to another Friday post to celebrate another great indie book, this time it’s Heart in the Right Place by Lisa Hill.

This is billed as “a perfect romantic read for the summer”, and is available to buy now. It was published by Manatee Books in July 2018.


Description:

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Lottie Hardwicke is Yorkshire’s answer to Kirstie Allsopp, but ten years spent raising her three children with husband, Drew, has relegated her to Saturday Girl status at the family estate agents. This is Lottie’s year; she’s turning over a new leaf and is going to make her time in property less of a borderline obsession and more of an actual career. Only, she hasn’t bet on her interfering in-laws returning to scupper her plans or her teenage crush, celebrity Tom Thorpe, arriving in the village and offering her the opportunity of a lifetime, which could compromise everything…

Can Lottie have it all? Can she be a hands-on mum and get her career back, without wrecking her marriage in the process?

My Thoughts & Review:

Heart in the Right Place is the perfect way to round off my summer reads, the sun may not be shining as is did in the summer months but it certainly felt like it was whilst I read this listening to the autumn winds blowing outside.

A cast of very human and relatable characters spring from the pages with some quirky personalities and although some are less likeable than others, they are written in such a way that draws some strong feelings from the readers. And as readers get to know them better, they begin to see that there might be more to the fluster and bluster or the brusqueness, I certainly was surprised by one character once I found out a bit more about them.

Several separate strands make up the plot of this book and for the most part they are intriguing, if not frustrating when you put yourself in the shoes of the character involved. It’s that sort of read that you cannot help but become slightly invested in.
The themes of friendship, love and family play a huge part in the narrative and are written in such a way that moves the pace of the book along so quickly.

A truly lovely and enchanting read to pass a few hours with!

You can buy a copy of Heart in the Right Place via:

Amazon UK

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Today I am thrilled to welcome you to another post to Celebrate Indie Publishing and share a review of the latest of the series to feature the brilliant Rina Walker, a kick ass character that thrills readers and leaves them breathless! Rina is the creation of Hugh Fraser, author, actor and theatre director, and a man I would recommend seeing at any book event/launch/talk that you can!


Book Feature:

Book Description:41lohuxt0fl-_sx324_bo1204203200_

When a step out of line means a fight to the death…London 1967. A working girl is brutally murdered in a Soho club. Rina Walker takes out the killer and attracts the attention of a sinister line-up of gangland enforcers with a great deal to prove.

When a member of British Military Intelligence becomes aware of her failure to fulfill a contract issued by an inmate of Broadmoor, he forces her into the deadly arena of the Cold War, with orders to kill an enemy agent.

Rina needs to call upon all her dark skills, not simply to survive, but to protect the ones she loves.

 

 

 

My Thoughts & Review:

It’s not often that you eagerly go into a book knowing that danger and thrills lie in wait for you but that’s something you’re guaranteed with a book in the Rina Walker series by Hugh Fraser.

Set in 1960s London, readers are led into the darkness of the underworld and aristocracy as they follow Rina Walker as she attempts to right wrongs, meet obligations and protect those she loves. The themes covered in this book are topical and Fraser does not shy away from the uncomfortable topics when portraying the gang related interactions – violence, torture and abuse featuring within the context of the scenes. There are however themes which some readers may feel difficult to read about.

The writing is rich in atmosphere, the mentions of music throughout evoke a great sense of the period and quite often had me singing along in my head as I read. Tension mounts swiftly as the pace quickens, the situations that Rina becomes involved in make for utterly thrilling reading.

Rina is a character that many readers will take a liking to almost instantly, there’s something so relatable about her, and admirable at the same time. Her quirks and personality are written so that it’s possible to get into the head of this character and appreciate the decisions she makes, understand her actions and in some cases, I found that I was almost cheering for her. The clever juxtaposition of this character’s ruthless side with her softer, caring and passionate traits is one I loved watching develop. She is calm in the face of danger and not fazed by violence, but at the same time, she bears mental scars from events that have moulded her into the assassin she has become. But none of the brutal or violent scenes can remove the humanity from this character, her love for her partner and her family allows her to show a softer side.
The more I read about her the more invested in her fate I became, almost unable to put the book down through fear of missing something!

Whilst this is the fourth book in the series, it can be read as a stand alone. Rina’s past and connections are well detailed throughout the narrative and give a great sense of what has passed before, but if you really want to get the full experience then I would heartily recommend reading the entire series.

You can buy a copy of Stealth via:

Amazon UK
Waterstones

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