Monday, 15 December 2008

Reviews: Earthdoom! by David Langford and John Grant


The ideal book if ever you're lost for words - just open Earthdoom and you'll find lots of them Exeter Advertiser

An oasis in the ocean of literature Bob Shaw

The greatest contribution to English literature since the invention of the semi-colon Ansible

... sounds like an amusing idea ... Isaac Asimov

Does for the disaster genre what Ludd did for the Industrial Revolution Roy Tappen

Fills a long-needed gap Eve Devereux

Could this be the finest book ever written? White Dwarf

The trouble with Earthdoom! is that you really have to grope through a host of books with titles like Tapeworm! and Sludge! and plots like – well, like episodes of Earthdoom! to appreciate just what Langford and Grant are sending up. By then, of course, either your brain has rotted away from disuse or you're so paranoid that the next time the gerbils nip your finger you come down with psychosomatic rabies and infect half the neighbourhood.


Even if you forego the study of literary influences, however, you'll still enjoy Earthdoom! You won't, of course, be able to read another Disaster Novel without giggling (but don't you, anyway?) as what we have here is a scenario for just about every end-of-the world novel possible, starting with the earth tilting on its axis and taking in Hitler cloning himself on a Devonshire farm, the Loch Ness Monster, comets and Horrible Slimy Aliens on a collision course with earth and sub-critical-mass bits of plutonium doing likewise in the London Underground – and I won't even mention the lemmings and the superglue save to say that you'll probably never want to go to the lavatory again. It's all held together with a plot line involving Death, the Antichrist, various sets of incompetent scientists as two-fistedly gung-ho as any Doc Smith character (but randier) and numerous knock-knock jokes ...

If you don't get a copy of this for your collection of skiffy blockbusters there isn't much hope for you.

Andy Sawyer for Paperback Inferno

In the mood for something so outrageous, so epic, so wildly funny, something so common, but yet filled with personality that it reads differently, so differently that it is addicting?


Earthdoom!
is the book for you.


The world is going to end, but not in a flash; it will be long and slow and take millions of lives in the process. The main concern is an antimatter comet heading straight for the sun that will set the Earth off, but that is just the tip of the iceberg; throw in some melting polar icecaps, werewolves, vampires, the loch ness monster, chemical warfare, terrorism, and alien invasion.


Through these chains of events, we are introduced to and suffer with a group of individuals who try to save the world.

Up in space, Colonel Bart Malone, a closet homosexual and brazen American astronaut, and Adrianna Dimpla, Russian cosmonaut, run a parallel course with the comet, intending their doom as well. Can Dimpla stop the comet and ward off Malone's sexual harassment?

On Earth, Junior Finkelstein, a 6 year old who has premonitions of Earthdoom!, puts together a Think Tank of doctors and scientists who could save the world. There is his mother, Nadia, a Nasa boss; Mark Tampion and Lise Pranther, mathematicians trying to decode an lien message; Gwyntor Bjorstrom, a climatologist; Lucious Apricot, a drunken particle physicist; and Al Bran, a psychologist; to name a few.


Then there is Adolf Hitler who has escaped into his time machine back in 1941 to the present (1991) where he begins cloning himself to form the 4th Reich with the help of Farmer Loam''s cattle cloning machine.


Oh, there is also Death who wanders around and a race of aliens called Cygnan.


As you can see, this is a very busy novel, but really quite simple in plot. The authors manage to keep their head on the ground and not forget what they are trying to accomplish: as wacky as the end of the world is, it is still scary as hell.


The heart of the novel lies in the 2 dimensional characters' simplicity. Mostly, the men are sex starved idiots even though they have powerful and intelligent positions in their career, and the women, although extremely beautiful, are intelligent and often manipulating the men. This dynamic often had me rolling with laughs and shaking my head in disbelief; and art that is tough to pull off and I''m sure it is something that you have to be born with.


Sharp, witty dialogue, overblown imagination, and just plain fun, Earthdoom! is a hell of a ride.
Mike Purfield

Friday, 5 December 2008

From the Field Book reviewed by Graham Rippon


from the field book by Carol Thistlethwaite


Illustrations by Tom Adamson

Readers of many magazines will be very familiar with Carol's name and poetry, and of course, her excellent reviews in Carillon, for which she has been a tower of support So it gives me much pleasure to highlight this, her first collection.

The book has a nice feel to it and my copy, though it's been around a bit, still looks good: clearly a quality publication - and matched by its contents (which you would expect with an editor like Sam Smith involved).

The poems emanate from Carol's love of ornithology. Indeed, the contents page reads like a Birds of Britain "Who's Who". Some poems are located in time and space - Lapwings... 5th December 2005, Rufford. etc. Most are not, but you do get the feel of much travelling and much time spent with her book, pen and binoculars in the open air.

Three things stand out: Carol's bird knowledge, her observational powers and her poetic skill. The poetry, firmly paced in a "modern" arena, is replete with technique. But above the technique is the quality and quantity of imagery, action and moods packing these pages. It is difficult to choose examples from the plentiful so I'll pick a couple or so of my personal favourites chief amongst which is Cemlyn Bay a two-verse poem which starts gently:

Just one of those evenings
when mist holds the setting sun
subdues it to an April linnet's blush,
Just one of those dusks
That levels the sea so we can watch...

and then switches in the second half:

then bolt awake
as tern plover jerk and cry alarm...

And then there's the startling, metaphorical Wren:

- a chuck of tiny clockworks
all chiming coils and springs,
ully wound, brand new from the box...

The circling and juxtaposition of men and birds in Gannets off Bass Rock struck me, too:

Circling higher,
seeing further
deeper,
gannets prey on fish
where a would-be king hunted heir to throne...

which ends with the men circling higher and seeing further, deeper.

One opening line raised an amused eyebrow: Oh Happy Chough: round here, a "Chuff' is definitely not a bird, nor sensible!

We're told that this book gives us the "Jizz". er ... what is "Jizz"? Whatever it is, it seems good, though.

There are no long, tedious poems here. No, they are mostly bite-sized. You can easily imagine them as jottings in a field notebook - which brings us back to the title and, undoubtedly, the poems' solid provenance.

It's a lovely book, perhaps more for dipping into regularly than reading straight through. One for ornithologists? Yes. One for poets? Definitely. And a bargain at the price.

Reviewed by Graham Rippon

Thursday, 4 December 2008

ABRACADABRA … IT’S ALLAKAZZAM! - Part Two

From Real Life Horror at an African Murder Scene to Sheer Magic

Read Part One here

Eventually, the voices of his ancestors called out to him from Israel – were he eventually landed up via a circuitous root that saw him working as a juggler, a tightrope walker, a fire eater, a magician ... and even a snake charmer.

When he got to the Levant, much to Abelman’s chagrin after successfully avoiding the South African national military service conscription, he soon found himself drafted into Israeli Defense Force. After many years of active service, slipping in and out of Lebanon, both in the regular army and in the reserves, he was honorably discharged with the towering rank of private. His military memoir has been published as the short story, No Medals & No Mentions.

He said: “We were all Zionists in our family and supported Israel. There was no shortage of books on Judaism and related subjects in the house, both religious and secular.

“One of the first games I can remember playing was ‘Germans and Jews’. In a draped, darkened dining room, the table was covered with blankets skirting down to the floor. The ‘Jews’ would hide under the table with a little reading lamp. When they heard a sound outside, they had to turn the lamp
off and sit silently until a ‘German’ yanked up the blankets with a yell – ‘Juden raus!’ –giving a scare to the cowering ‘Jews’. I must have been three.

“Jews in the Diaspora live dual lives. Outside the house we were proud South Africans and Jews, inside the house we were proud Zionist Jews and South Africans. My father’s name was Abraham, and rather than contend with the split personality of Diaspora life, I decided to move to the land of Abraham, where you can be yourself both inside and out.

“My brother had made the move some years earlier so the way was paved for me. With a single suitcase, I
tary disciplinleft South Africa – ‘coincidentally’, a week before induction into the South African Defence Force – not to return until fifteen years later, by which time the military police had stopped inquiring as to my whereabouts.

“Mili
e in Israel didn’t come as too much of a shock – I knew it existed. There are rules and regulations, but as long as you take your training seriously (and you’re stupid if you don’t because you can find yourself at war quicker than you expected over here) and do your job as directed, the Israeli Defence Force is a happy-go-lucky place to be; compared to other armies that is.”

At a loose end after his army service, Daniel soon found employment as a professional performing artist. As thrice winner, in successive years, of the Israeli National Magic Competition, it paved the way to success. His hat trick set him off, traveling the country, performing up north in the Golan Heights and as far as the southern resort town of Eilat.

“The performing arts can be a hot, sticky and, at times, filthy business,” he said. “A tight rope walker may make a living with three ten minute acts a day – but it’s not something I would recommend anyone trying. Artists spend more time waiting around for the show to begin then they actually do performing. It’s a boring, nerve racking and dangerous way to make a living.”

Daniel married a rabbi’s daughter, Joani, and after the birth of their third child, it dawned on him that seasonal work as a performer wasn’t the best way to provide for a growing family and that long periods away from home wasn’t the best way to enjoy it. So he hung up his wand when the Intifada that followed the Israeli Scud War (into which he was drafted for three months) discouraged tourists, and the performing arts job became even more precarious.

He became a licensed electrician, a competent plumber and, for a while, built wooden frame houses

But his beautiful wife’s outstanding success as a prenatal educator and childbirth assistant, a field in which she attained near guru status, decided Daniel to become the primary care-giver parent in the family, leaving Joani to spend more time on her career.

By the time Daniel became a house husband, there were four children. And between hectic breakfasts in the morning and brushing teeth before beddie-bies, was when he began to write in earnest. Mornings, with the young Abelmans at school, were his most productive hours. It was during these mini brakes from the bedlam of so many kids in a home of just sixty square yards, that ALLAKAZZAM! took shape.

“Contrary to popular belief,” said Daniel, “kids have to be fed on a regular basis and tucked into bed on a regular basis. Hungry and tired kids are ratty kids. The quickest cooked meal to prepare is corn-on-the-cob with a sliced tomato for salad. Being a ‘fun-father’ we would sometimes do the outrageous; breakfast for supper! ‘Cereal for supper tonight!’

“But kids aren’t stupid. They won’t put up with such dismal parenting for long. I really had to work hard at the job. It’s like tight rope walking, fire eating and juggling all in one ... and all sheer magic.

“Then, of course, there’s the eternal battle as to whose turn it is on the computer. Mostly I have to write things on scraps of paper and then transcribe them into the computer when the kids decide it’s my turn. Out of school time, if I managed two good paragraphs a day on ALLAKAZZAM!, I was happy with the output ... and don’t forget there’s a wife who appears at the most ungodly of hours and who demands to be fed and given some love and attention, too.”

When people ask Daniel how he ever got ALLAKAZZAM! finished, though, he doesn’t tell them about the late nights, the early mornings, the entire finished sentences and paragraphs carefully filed away in his head, the lifetime of research through experience, adventure, diversity and astute and compassionate people-watching, or the decades of practicing and mastering the writer’s skills to supplement an inborn talent -- and the years spent carefully polishing ALLAKAZZAM! to a perfect shine.

After all, it’s a poor magician who reveals all the secrets of his tricks.

Interview by Alexander James

Interview first appeared in Twisted Tongue Magazine

Read an excerpt from ALLAKAZZAM!

Click here for Daniel Abelman's biography

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

ABRACADABRA ... IT’S ALLAKAZZAM! - Part One

From Real Life Horror at an African Murder Scene to Sheer Magic

Daniel Abelman was sixteen when he stumbled upon the battered corpse of a murdered black man at the side of a remote dirt road in South Africa.

He called the police who swung the body onto the back of a dusty pickup truck.

“Don’t you want my statement … you know … for your investigation?” Daniel asked.

The boss cop’s reply numbed him: “Investigation? Are you bloody mad, kid? It’s just another kaffir.”

That’s when young Daniel decided to leave what had been the Beloved Country – and the adventure began.

Daniel had been born in the busy South African shipping city of Port Elizabeth on the coast of the Indian Ocean in 1958. It was also the body-surfing capital of the world, and as a tot, he learned to swim long before he could walk.

Later, unknowingly, he started to play the illusion game that became his life and fueled his bitingly satirical novel of skullduggery, ALLAKAZZAM!

“It was a pleasant four-mile downhill freewheel on my pushbike to the beach,” he said. “But after a day’s surfing and swimming, the prospect of pedaling back, uphill and in the summer heat, wasn’t so appealing. So I’d let the air out of one of my tyres to fake a puncture and sit, looking thoroughly miserable, at the side of the road until some kind-hearted driver was fool enough to load my bike into the back of his car and take me home in style. Never failed.

“When I arrived home – invariably late for supper – I’d blame the ‘puncture’ and the family would feel sorry for me
and heap my plate. I guess that’s when I first learned about the power of illusion: my first step toward becoming a professional magician, and a writer. Mastery of illusion is vital in both art forms.

“Conjuring is the plausible demonstration of the implausible. The audience is spoon-fed with only what they have to know; nothing more and nothing less if the demonstration is to be plausible. There are techniques in building a workable magic routine, and I use the same tricks of the trade when composing a story. The reader gets all the information they need; nothing more and nothing less. The outcome is a believable story, no matter however outrageous and impossible the concept might seem. The catch is that conjurors are made and not born – with writers, it’s pretty well the opposite.”

Daniel’s Jewish Lithuanian grandparents and uncle fled to Johannesburg from their home country in fear of their lives. With the outbreak of the Boer War the Jewish community was transferred in masse to
Port Elizabeth, yet again in fear for their safety. Enthusiastic and prolific breeders, the Abelman clan waxed with the years and did well for themselves as dairy farmers and wholesale merchants.

“How they got their hands on the farms,” Daniel admits, “is shrouded in mystery. All I am prepared to say is that we come from a long line of renowned Lithuanian horse thieves and, by all accounts, grandpa and company made it onto the boat to Africa by the skin of their teeth -- with a posse of irate, horseless Cossacks hot on their tails.

“Grandpa and Great Uncle Isaac would schlep their products from door to door in hessian bags, taking o
rders from farmers on the way so as so stock up with supplies for the return journey. They’d spend the night on the back of their donkey cart, snuggled up in sack cloth sleeping bags.

“Later they opened a general store in Selbourne. On Thursdays, my mother – a ten-year-old then – would run down to Rabbi Bloch, the ritual slaughterer, with a shilling and a hen. On Fridays she ran down to the Port Elizabeth train station with kosher cooked chicken and baked hallot loaves for the Sabbath, which she gave to the guard on the train. The guard, in turn, handed it over to Uncle Isaac on the Selbourne platform.

“Runaway horse thieves and rogues they may have been, but you’ve got to admit, they were good, kosher runaway horse thieves and rogues.”

Writing was in the family from as long as Daniel could remember. His father was the community’s scribe, penning letters in Yiddish to the old country and reading replies from home.

The multilingual household, shelves stocked with books, was a literary incubator. Family time was spent with Daniel’s father reading to the company. Balzac and Herman Charles Bosman, the Yiddish literary greats, and running commentaries from Pa had the household moved to tears or howling with laughter.

“Our edition of Balzac’s droll stories was illustrated and, as the level in Pa’s brandy bottle lowered, so did the Old Man’s guard, letting us peep at the naughty succubi and incubi pictures. Then Pa would de
cide it was time for bed and Ma would decide he was to drunk for that. The advent of TV and Ma’s distaste for Pa’s over-imbibing during story-telling sessions is probably what put an end to our family nights ... and what brought on the birth of the twins.”

Now with five siblings, making up a total of seven souls in the family unit, and with three library cards per family member, the weekly trip to the public library was accomplished with the help of a giant wicker basket and a strong back.

“We lived on 2nd Avenue and the library was way up on 5th. There is a lot a youngster can do traversing those few blocks, even when weighed down with a basked stuffed with books and a pair of flip-flops (the librarian wouldn’t let us in without some form of footwear). You could stop and mix with the mice (white) in the pet shop, or jive with the petrol station attendants (black). Great care was to be taken to resist the temptation of a rest on the bench in the 4th Avenue Park and make a start on the reading. It would invariably result in trouble when, once again, arriving home late for supper.”

There
was always something to read in the house. Daniel’s only complaint was that fate had left him as the middle child in a big family.

“With a rich blend of shtetl and farmers’ blood flowing through our veins, nothing went to waste in our household. Hand-me-down was the name of the game. Via numerous cousins and finally off the back of my elder brother, my wardrobe was a motley collection of short pants and tee-shirts. When I joined the school soccer team, I remember being given a pair of old rugby boots that laced up past the ankle. The bulbous metal-reinforced toe cap was out of date even back then. But they came in handy for giving the ball, mostly in the wrong direction, a hefty kick whilst positioned at left-back.

“The up side of being the middle pip was that my best friends were also my siblings, and that meant I was always surrounded by friends, some older, some younger. The close bonds of childhood remain to this day. My sisters married wisely and live in Johannesburg. The brothers, who married for love
and nothing much else, now live in Israel. We’ve all done pretty well for ourselves.”

The school where Daniel studied far from home had the reputation of being one of the best high schools in the southern hemisphere. Only one student had ever failed matriculation examinations. Young Daniel Abelman was the stain on an otherwise unblemished record.

“They don’t invite me to school reunions. It’s no skin off my nose -- I hated school, I hated the teachers (that was probably mutual), I hated the curriculum ... and I probably would hate going to a reunion, too. The day I left school, I never looked back. I lost contact with teachers and schoolmates, most of whom I had sat with on the same school bench for twelve years. I did hear a rumour circulating that I was clinically insane.

“I expla
ined to my parents my motives for failing matriculation, that it was no accident. After a while, it was water under the bridge and they got over it. I think they might even have quietly approved.

“The school was by no means rank with perves and paedophiles like the school described in ALLAKAZZAM! But it did have two of them who stood out like sore thumbs, seen but inexplicably ignored. The headmaster was aware of what was happening and, for his own personal reasons and agenda, did nothing about it.

“This malpractice and social injustice had to be brought to an end, and it seemed it was up to me. I deliberately failed my incredibly easy matriculation exams and so tarnished the school’s clean record that the head was fired by the board of directors.

“I remember coming out of those exams. The headmaster was waiting, anxious to find out how things had gone. It was a real pleasure to lie and say that the exam was as easy as pie and that I had done marvellously, knowing that he would carry the can. Without the head’s support the paedophiles were soon got rid of.

“About a year ago, I managed to establish contact with the old headmaster via email. We traded a message or two that were surprisingly genial. I sent him the first chapter of ALLAKAZZAM! His feedback was wonderful and I asked if he’d like to read more. When he said he would, I sent him the fictionalised schooldays chapter from deeper into the book. I never heard from him again. A bit of a belated twist of the knife, what?”

Daniel later walked through his national matriculation certificate at another school of, he says, low esteem.

Then came the day at childhood’s end when he abruptly learned what the hateful South African Apartheid system was all about – when it hit him in the face in the shape of a murdered black man and a racist Afrikaans-speaking white cop.

He took to the road and travelled around Africa doing odd jobs and often living off the land. Eventually winning a grub stake in a card game, he left for Europe where the cruel climate took him unawares.

Read Part Two here

Interview by Alexander James

Interview first appeared in Twisted Tongue Magazine

Read an excerpt from ALLAKAZZAM!

Click here for Daniel Abelman's biography

Monday, 1 December 2008

Vote for The Devil Can Wait

Please cast your vote for The Devil Can Wait by Marta Stephens at Erin Aislinn's Book Cover of the Month http://www.erinaislinn.com/BookCoveroftheMonth.htm










Thanks!

Monday, 24 November 2008

It’s not about the drugs

In my novel Sleep Before Evening, a brilliant teenager named Marianne finds herself slipping down the treacherous path of heroin addiction. While the novel is ultimately redemptive, with a positive outcome and a positive message, it isn’t meant to be salutary or didactic. But fiction writers don’t dabble in solely made-up worlds. If your characters don’t follow a path which is realistic and utterly believable, they won’t work for the reader. As an author, you have to go mentally and sometimes physically to the places your characters go, even when those places are black indeed. It has to be real. It has to have the kind of truth that is truer than nonfiction, because you are also taking your readers there. You’re showing rather than telling, to cite that old writer’s chestnut.

Someone I work with asked me what Sleep Before Evening was about and it was hard for me to convince him that the novel wasn’t about drugs. Of course the protagonist’s heroin addiction is a critical component of the story, as is her recovery through a 12-Step clinic, and other types of support she receives. But the novel certainly isn’t about the drugs, because even a ‘real life’ drug addiction isn’t about the drugs. It’s about the impetus for the addiction—the underlying pain and hunger that drives the addict to seek the kind of comfort he or she feels drugs (any kind of drugs) can provide. And they do provide that kind of comfort, at least initially, while simultaneously increasing the hunger and pain. Because drugs malnourish the pain and hunger, rather than feeding it. It feels good, but only so long as the buzz lasts. And it doesn’t last. It can’t last. There’s always a crash.

The story isn’t about the drugs or the pain or the crash. It’s about the need that all of us have for self-actualisation; for discovering our voice and finding a way to let that voice out. That’s what the protagonist in Sleep Before Evening finds. She was lucky. And fictional, which makes luck a lot easier. She had help from a benevolent god (that’s me in this case). It isn’t always so easy. But the answers are almost always the same. We all have the need, the hunger and pain, and we all have to find some way – hopefully a way that’s positive and that can last, to feed that need. We all have to find our voice. That’s what the book’s about.

Magdalena Ball is author of The Art of Assessment and Quark Soup. She runs the popular Compulsive Reader website. Her short stories, editorials, poetry, reviews and articles have appeared in many printed anthologies and journals and have won several awards.


Magdalena's debut novel, Sleep Before Evening, was published by BeWrite Books in 2007.

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Harry Hughes podcast

Listen to Harry Hughes discuss the social science behind Bela Lugosi's film 'Bowery at Midnight' on UEN SciFi Friday.

Harry also talks about his varied career and his novel 'The Bait Shack'.

http://www.uen.org/News/article.cgi?category_id=340&article_id=2316

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Free books up for grabs


Win a free, signed copy of Silenced Cry by Marta Stephens along with other cool stuff to enhance your next reading experience, in a Christmas Murder Scavenger Hunt - see contest details here





Brian Kavanagh is giving away a paperback copy of Bloody Ham, the third the Belinda Lawrence mystery series, to the lucky winner.

But that's not all!

He's also giving away an eBook (PDF) copy of the first book in the series, Capable of Murder.

To enter, please sign the Guest Book on Brian's web site, and specify which book you want, the paperback or the eBook. Names will be placed in separate hats and the first name drawn will be the winner in each case. Winners will be notified by email.

Brian Kavanagh's website

Friday, 14 November 2008

Developing an Internet Presence: Spread the Word


Spread the Word

Authors have an amazing power at their fingertips and it’s not a magical wand. It’s called the Internet, but what he or she does with it is the make or break difference in their success to reach a global audience. Let’s say the author has a website, a blog, and a book on Amazon -- that’s not enough. They must network to gain global exposure. Think of it as multi-level marketing. She tells ten people about her book, they tell ten people, and so on and so forth. The obvious difference between the standard concept of word of mouth, face to face communication, and the internet is that one person has the potential to reach millions of people with a few key strokes.

One of the easiest, cost effective, and most immediate forms of communication, of course, is e-mail. Build a mailing list of friends, family, and readers, professional contacts and referrals. When you have a book signing, ask those who buy your book to sign a guest book and provide you with an e-mail address for updates about your writing. Send out periodic announcements to your fans about signings, contests, appearances, and other milestones in your writing career. Make it personal by maintaining a land mailing address list and mail out signed postcards announcing the launch and pertinent information about your new book. You’ll be out of the cost of printing and postage but the returns can be magical.

Author/reader groups and forums.
Word of mouth is still the number one best way to sell your book even if “word of mouth” takes on a different form of communication. The Internet is overflowing with groups that bring authors and readers together. Don’t limit yourself to one or two groups. Social networks, forums, critique groups, and professional writers’ groups are key to today’s Internet marking. Many sites will allow members to create a profile page that offers the capability to post book covers, the author’s photographs, bios, book trailers, and blogs. Some groups also include forums for the exchange of information and ideas. They’re a great way to meet others who have similar interests and will often lead to many positive connections.

The interactions we have with one another are the cornerstones of relationships. Therefore, the key to success in these groups is to give as much as you receive. Make it a point to respond not only to the messages posted on your page, but get in the habit of interacting with the other members via their posts. Get involved in group discussions whether they are related to writing/publishing or not. Few authors have the luxury of writing full-time which means they work outside the home and often are highly skilled in other areas of expertise. Share your know-how, when applicable, with others. Members will support fellow members they have come to know. I belong to a number of author/reader groups and have found each through links that members from other sites have shared or invited me into. In return, I invite them into my groups and also pay it forward. Eventually your base of contacts will grow into a wonderfully diverse set of cyber friends. After a while, you’ll start seeing familiar faces at the different sites who by now have met new contacts for you to contact.

One argument against social networks is the amount of time required to keep active; some can be quite demanding of your time and expect you to post on a regular basis. Blogs and forums can become addictive if you let them. Let’s face it, if you’re blogging, you’re not writing. Fortunately, you’re in control of your time, right? Allow yourself say, 20-30 minutes a day to visit a select group of sites. If you don’t make it into all of the groups, visit the next set of groups the following days, but don’t exceed your allotted time on the blogs. Review the posts, respond to those you are interested in, certainly support the member who have been supportive of you, and get out. Set your e-mail preferences to daily or weekly digest which will only send out one e-mail listing that day’s or week’s activity for you to select from and read. This will also cut down on the number of e-mails in your mailbox.

Join a professional writers' organization.
Organizations are as varied as there are genres; Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, Romance Writers of America are just a few. This link lists several groups: http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art10679.asp.

Some membership fees are hefty and carry a minimum criterion for acceptance into the group. Do your homework and see which one best fits your needs. The advantages of a membership in a professional writers’ organization are that:
  1. active participation in a professional group, reflects the level of time and financial commitment an author is willing to make in his or her writing career.
  2. these organizations provides support for authors by promoting the author’s work to the membership and others in the publishing business, provide a networking system, announce upcoming events, contests, and other opportunities, and pass on valuable information about current publishing trends to the members.
Conferences are another great way to connect with others in the publishing business as well as readers. If you are fortunate enough to be invited to speak on a panel and/or have a book signing, make sure you have ample bookmarks to pass out that include your website and e-mail information along with a picture of your book cover and blurb. The costs of some events can be prohibiting. Plan ahead and select one or two key conferences per year to make those critical connections.

Send
media releases to the major newspapers and radio stations in your state and ask for an interview – not a review. Most newspapers no longer write book reviews. Follow up with a phone call to the appropriate editor to make sure he or she received it and to check if additional information is needed. Continue to focus your marketing to posting articles in high traffic blogs. Journalists often go to web sites to find their next story. Here are some useful links:
Create a blog on Amazon and take advantage of all the features Amazon offers to help get your book in front of readers. One important feature is the tags that the author may type in to help readers in their search. Shoot for a minimum of 60 – the more the better.

Set up a Google Alert.
This is a free feature through Google that will e-mail the author when someone does a search by the key words the author has stipulated (i.e.: book title, author’s name, genre, etc.). It’s best to create very specific key words otherwise, let’s say you key in the word “romance,” you will receive an e-mail every time someone searches on that word.

A questionable promotional tool is the flyer. Choose your target audience carefully. If the intend is to mail flyers to bookstore owners, be sure to include a picture of the book cover, author’s picture, bio, book blurb, publisher, ISBN, cost, distributors, and author and publisher contact information. These are most effective if sent to local bookstores owners who know you and will be more inclined respond to your mailing. The chances for a response from bookstores owners who are not familiar with you or your work outside your immediate area, diminishes drastically. Mailing lists can be purchased. Read the fine print for the minimum number available and the cost. These can run up a tidy bill of thousands of dollars without a guaranteed return in sales. This expense is in addition to the cost of printing and postage. I acquired a list of mystery bookstores located in the US and Canada through a writer’s organization. Although the list was free to members, most of the 200-300 envelops were returned marked undeliverable. Live and learn.

The use e-mail address will give the sender immediate notification if the address is invalid. Although this method will eliminate costly printing and postage expenses, it still doesn’t offer a guaranteed response. Unsolicited mails might be considered spam and automatically deleted. My suggestions on the use of flyers is to do the homework and proceed with caution.
  1. Developing an Internet Presence: An Author's Website
  2. Developing an Internet Presence: The Public Author
  3. Developing an Internet Presence: Book Trailers
  4. Developing an Internet Presence: Spread the Word
  5. Developing an Internet Presence: Virtual Book Tours
  6. Developing an Internet Presence: The Hometown Advantage
Marta Stephens, a native of Argentina but a life-long resident of the American Midwest, began her career as a fiction writer in 2003. This evolved into a life-changing passion that has led to the birth of her Sam Harper Crime Mysteries and her debut novel, Silenced Cry. She runs the popular Murder by 4 blog along with her fellow crime authors at Murder by 4. She also has several short stories and flash fictions to her credit.



Marta's debut novel, Silenced Cry, was published by BeWrite Books in 2007.







Her second novel, The Devil Can Wait, was published by BeWrite Books November 3rd 2008.

Thursday, 6 November 2008

From the desk of Sam Harper

It’s snowing again. Big wet flakes plunge from the evening sky to the streets below. From my fourth floor window the scenery looks as peaceful as the pictures on the Christmas cards Emma keeps on her desk. But the new layer of snow reminds me of the bodies piling up in the morgue. I close my eyes – each victim’s face flashes before them.

I curse under my breath and try to make sense of the killings.

Superstitions and biblical prophesies – old wives’ tales told to scare the shit out of weak men, and innocent children. Delusions of twisted beliefs rule the mind, poison the heart, and push unsuspecting fools to the brink of insanity.

To hell with what anyone says. There’s nothing supernatural about those boys we pulled out of the bay. They were dead long before their bodies surfaced and washed ashore. It was the water and natural processes, not demons that left us with little more than the discarded remnants of a madman’s fury. Yet the crimes are precise, planned like a well-choreographed dance, but even the most deliberate acts of violence are rarely perfect.

On the streets, tinsel and bright colored lights can’t mask the undercurrent of fear that has spread through the city and reporters are pressing for answers. All I need to hear is a slip of the tongue – just one mindless deed and the killer is mine. But solutions are in short supply and every minute measures another segment of time without answers. One inaccurate statement from me is all it would take to feed the media frenzy. This pack of journalists can lick their lips and starve before I’ll give them a crumb to feed on.

It’s late, I’ve thumbed through the case file a million times and the lack of evidence stings like a sharp blow to the jaw. Facts seem distorted, leads haven’t panned out. Just when I thought I was close, the evidence pointed in a different direction. A familiar, unsettling jerk in the pit of my gut yanks harder with each ring of my cell. I know what’s coming. Don’t need to answer the call to know the killer has struck again. This time, that nagging little voice in the back of my head tells me I’m in for a long ugly chase down a narrow path that leads straight into hell.


The Devil Can Wait by Marta Stephens. A Sam Harper Crime Mystery. The city of Chandler, Massachusetts is plunged into terror when the bodies of three local teenagers wash ashore. While homicide detective Sam Harper hunts down the guilty, a sinister plot emerges overseas. From the Vatican to the jungles of South America, a cursed black pearl ring, the demonic prophecy it represents, and the men who pursue its powers find their unfortunate way onto Harper’s turf.

Enthralled by the ring’s story and a front-page spread, newspaper reporter Jennifer Blake agrees to pick up the ring at a local pawnshop for her former college professor. When she does, unforeseen events shoot Blake to the top of Harper’s prime suspect list. Soon, the seemingly unrelated cases converge and the heat is on for Harper to expose the truth behind a Vatican secret and stop the self-righteous man who does the unthinkable in the name of God.

Print ISBN: 978-1-905202-86-7 | eBook ISBN: 978-1-904492-87-4

BeWrite Books are available from: BeWrite Books, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Waterstones and other online booksellers and to order from high street bookshops.

Monday, 3 November 2008

The Devil Can Wait by Marta Stephens - Out Now

A Sam Harper Crime Mystery


The city of Chandler, Massachusetts is plunged into terror when the bodies of three local teenagers wash ashore. While homicide detective Sam Harper hunts down the guilty, a sinister plot emerges overseas. From the Vatican to the jungles of South America, a cursed black pearl ring, the demonic prophecy it represents, and the men who pursue its powers find their unfortunate way onto Harper's turf.

Enthralled by the ring's story and a front-page spread, newspaper reporter Jennifer Blake agrees to pick up the ring at a local pawnshop for her former college professor. When she does, unforeseen events shoot Blake to the top of Harper's prime suspect list. Soon, the seemingly unrelated cases converge and the heat is on for Harper to expose the truth behind a Vatican secret and stop the self-righteous man who does the unthinkable in the name of God.

Sam Harper is back in the blistering followup to 2007'S SILENCED CRY. Serial murders, small-time crooks, an ancient prophecy tied to a cursed ring, and a beautiful reporter who's as dogged in her pursuit of the truth as Harper himself - Marta Stephens fits the pieces of the intricate plot together with the assured skill of a master craftsman. It's a pure joy to watch it all come together. Shamus Nominee J.D. Rhoades, author of BREAKNG COVER

The Devil Can Wait interlaces a complex plot that grabs the reader and doesn't let go ... Sam Harper is thrust into a world that leads to a cursed papal ring tied to biblical prophecies in the book of Daniel. Sam's not a religious man, but it raises the question of whether a series of unrelated murders are the result of a sick mind or are they actually connected to the beasts in Daniel chapter 7? Harper's investigation leads him on an unpredictable trail making him more of a believer with each turn. This one is a must read. Donna Sundblad

Stephens' compelling characters, razor-sharp dialogue, fascinating forensic detail, and complex plot twists make this second book even more entertaining than the first. Stephens introduces the element of the supernatural into the cutting world of Sam Harper, giving the reader something new to savor, and undoubtedly hooking her fans with longing for the next release in the series. THE DEVIL CAN WAIT more than lives up to the expectation set by Stephens' first book! Jennifer Luzadder, Muncie Public Library

Looking for a deliciously convoluted tale that will twist its way through your brain and keep you up late into the night? Look no further, for Marta Stephens has just released the second book in the Sam Harper crime mystery series, The Devil Can Wait. Stephens has skillfully detailed police procedures in a realistic fashion and has woven intriguing subplots with a love entanglement that thrusts the story forward to its climatic end. The sexual tension between Harper and reporter Jennie Blake is natural and sublime - adding icing to this already delectable confection of supernatural elements, grisly murders, and the stoic talent and courage of one very likeable cop. Don't take my word for it - buy it and read it today. Aaron Paul Lazar

The Second Coming of Sam Harper was not a disappointment. Three times I just knew I had the plot figured out only to have Sam Harper, prove that candidate innocent. Twists and turns take us from a Voodoo Priestess in Columbia, to the bowels of the Catholic Church, to astral projections. A wicked good story by Marta Stephens. Jake George

Read an extract from The Devil Can Wait

About the Author

Purchase: paperback | eBook

Title: The Devil Can Wait
Author: Marta Stephens
Print ISBN: 978-1-905202-86-7
eBook ISBN: 978-1-904492-87-4
Page count: 316
Release Date: 3rd November 2008
Also by Marta Stephens: Silenced Cry - A Sam Harper Crime Mystery

Distributors: Bertram Books, Gardners, Baker & Taylor, Ingrams

BeWrite Books are available from: BeWrite Books, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Waterstones and other online booksellers and to order from high street bookshops.

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

The Bait Shack by Harry Hughes - Out Now



Unemployed whiz kid Dale Cooles struggles to save his marriage and his sanity when his previously charmed life’s turned topsy turvy by a cadre of killers and clowns.

Dale and wife Lacy – daughter of an eccentric but filthy rich Tennessee lumber magnate – unwittingly adopt into their domestic wrangle Twist, the brain-damaged orphan, and Lieutenant Revels, the beat-weary yet determined conservation officer seeking revenge for Lacy’s unscrupulous boss’s part in the mysterious extinction of rare birds on a prime piece of real estate.

And then there are the other extinctions ... the human ones.

In the parade of offbeat characters in Hughes’ ingenious and ’90s-set street smart black comedy of crime, we meet cutthroat businessman Henry Meredith, out for what he can get, psycho hitman Connie Jablonski, out for what he can hurt, mobster Johnny Avalino, greedy to enhance the value of his beach-front property by any means, Nancy Littlecrow, the shameless and cagey Native American attorney who gives new meaning to the term ‘Indian Affairs’, Seymour L. Bram, the retired and retiring Air Force Major suffering from chronic depression and delusions of easy money, Duncan Slochbauer, the slovenly and obsessed amateur producer of grisly news videos ...

And we don’t quite meet poor Karen Kern and the faceless others who might have crossed the path of a crazed and kinky serial killer nobody seems to have noticed lurking somewhere in Hughes’ uniquely colourful dramatis personae.

Harry Hughes takes noir to a new level. Wry, classy, compelling, and utterly hysterical. Think Iain Pears crossed with Martin Amis. Dale and Lacy make an endearing team of anti-heroes in a world showing its true colours. Magdalena Ball. The Compulsive Reader

A stunning first novel. An up-to-date take on the classic American murder mystery. Harry Hughes tells his suspenseful story in quick-paced and colorful prose and creates dozens of sharply drawn characters, including Dale Cooles, an unforgettable anti-hero in the Philip Marlowe tradition. Michael Lydon. Author. Co-founder of Rolling Stone Magazine

Read an extract from The Bait Shack

About the Author

Purchase: paperback | eBook

Title: The Bait Shack
Author: Harry Hughes
Print ISBN: 978-1-905202-92-8
eBook ISBN: 978-1-904492-93-5
Page count: 264
Release Date: 28th October 2008

Distributors: Bertram Books, Gardners, Baker & Taylor, Ingrams

BeWrite Books are available from: BeWrite Books, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Waterstones and other online booksellers and to order from high street bookshops.

Monday, 27 October 2008

Developing an Internet Presence: Book Trailers


Book Trailers


Book trailers are to authors what music videos were to the rising musical talents in the early 1980s. Why were music videos so successful? They were innovative and engaged the viewer using the power of site and sound. Although we see more and more book trailers being used today, they are still a popular 30-90 second book promotional tool that has the same power to draw a viewer in and capture their imag
ination. The question is, if the video is bad, can it hurt the success of the book? There are thousands of samples to view. Take a few minutes to view a selection and make note of what attracts you to each sample and what turns you off.

An effective book trailer will stimulate viewers through pictures, text, color, and music.

Don’t try to fit the book blurb into the trailer. Consider the recent movie trailers you’ve watched. They only hit on the key points of the film, not every detail of the action. Highlight the major plot twists without giving the story away. Another reason to avoid lengthy narratives is that viewers want to watch the trailer, not read long sentences. Use 2-3 key words per frame tops. A 90-second trailer can have anywhere from 18-21 frames depending on the viewing length of each frame or how long each frame will remain on the screen. Decide on key words or phrases that will peak the viewer’s interest. Make every frame count with appropriate, thought-provoking p
hotographs or other images. Choose color(s) that reflect the mood of your book and use it as a theme that ties it all together along with an appropriate piece of music.

Pacing is a crucial component of matching the images and text to the music. Just as the writer uses pace to slow down the action or build suspense, the tempo of the music should be used in the same man
ner. The right combination can spark an emotional reaction from the viewer which is the goal of any such promotional tool and will hopefully trigger the impulse to buy the book.

Possibly the hardest part of creating a book trailer is timing – make sure every frame fits the music within 90 seconds or less. Be sure you use only copyright/royalty free photographs and music. Here is one site to find free downloadable photographs http://www.sxc.hu/home. There are similar sites for music too.

Of course you could pay to have a book trailer created, but Microsoft Word has a feature called Movie Maker that works just fine for those who are interested creating one themselves. Once the trailer is done, save it to the web using one of the servers that supports Movie Maker. Mydeo is one of them and costs around $10 a month for unlimited viewing. Once completed, the book trailer can be downloaded onto your website and any number of websites sites that allow authors to download videos, such as, Gathers, Myspace, your personal blog(s), Youtube, NING groups, and Google. Add a link to your signature line on e-mails, etc. It’s another great promotional tool to save on a CD to include with your media kits.
  1. Developing an Internet Presence: An Author's Website
  2. Developing an Internet Presence: The Public Author
  3. Developing an Internet Presence: Book Trailers
  4. Developing an Internet Presence: Spread the Word
  5. Developing an Internet Presence: Virtual Book Tours
  6. Developing an Internet Presence: The Hometown Advantage
Marta Stephens, a native of Argentina but a life-long resident of the American Midwest, began her career as a fiction writer in 2003. This evolved into a life-changing passion that has led to the birth of her Sam Harper Crime Mysteries and her debut novel, Silenced Cry. She runs the popular Murder by 4 blog along with her fellow crime authors at Murder by 4. She also has several short stories and flash fictions to her credit.



Marta's debut novel, Silenced Cry, was published by BeWrite Books in 2007. Watch the Silenced Cry trailer here.






Her second novel, The Devil Can Wait, was published November 2008.

Friday, 17 October 2008

ALLAKAZZAM by Daniel Abelman review


"A very good read.

Subtitled “Man, Myth and Magic in Lightest Africa”, this is a wickedly funny – but oh-so-perceptive – journey into the realities which compound Jewish/South African identity, as embodied by Abelman himself.

We follow him through a maze of cul-de-sacs and byways from the African bush to Jerusalem, via Germany, resolving endless riddles that blur the lines between history, the present, fact and fantasy. Abelman’s breathless pace, boundless imagination and wit dazzle the reader, but the authenticity of his characters rings loudly, and ominously, through the chaos.

The book includes three short stories which poignantly underline the book’s theme, and illustrations by Catherine Edmunds."

Thursday, 9 October 2008

Out Now!

The Jealousies by Benjamin Stainton


"Ben Stainton's incisive poems take us back to what we think are familiar places … There seem to be no barriers. Life, death, location, the inner workings of the body, blood and skin are all seamlessly accessed, sometimes all at once … These tasty, gourmet poems satisfy our less familiar appetites." Greg Cox

"Inspirational … a truly great poetic read."
Lisa Stewart

"Brilliant, original, evocative, vivid … wonderfully sinister and often very beautiful."
Jane Darwin

Win a free copy of The Jealousies signed by Benjamin Stainton by simply adding a comment to the topic on Facebook here


We will chose a winner at random from those who post a comment by Thursday 16th October 2008.

Read an extract from The Jealousies here

Title: The Jealousies

Author: Benjamin Stainton

Print ISBN: 978-1-905202-96-2

eBook ISBN: 978-1-904492-97-3

Page count:152

Release Date: 9th October 2008


Distributors:

Bertram Books, Gardners, Baker & Taylor, Ingrams


BeWrite Books are available from:

BeWrite Books, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Waterstones and other online booksellers and to order from high street bookshops.

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Peter Tomlinson - The Genre Strike


One Author Who Believes Pigeon Holes Are For The Birds - Part Two


Read Part One here

Peter’s road to print was long, winding and frequently pot-holed. Born in a working class district of Merseyside, UK six months before the outbreak of World War II, he retains some hazy memories of the blitz he lived through.

“I vaguely remember my mother cradling me in a blanket and telling me that the ‘all clear’ would be heard soon and we would be safe again.”

His father joined the Royal Navy and served throughout the war on destroyers and mine-layers, returning home in 1945 a virtual stranger to Peter. Meanwhile, Peter was evacuated with his mother and elder brother to a remote hill farm in North Wales to escape the blitz, and that is where his vivid memory begins.

“I well remember the sheepdog and the farm animals and I have a pictorial recollection of being left on the edge of the field whilst my mother helped the farmers with haymaking. There is also a recurring infant memory of a distant mountain that seemed very remote and mysterious.”

There was no electricity, gas or piped water in the family’s evacuation home so that much time was spent collecting wood for the fire. Whilst in the safety of North Wales they knew that their home town was being heavily bombed and that relatives were in constant danger. It was inevitable that the anxieties their mother felt were inadvertently transmitted to her children.

When the war ended, the family was re-housed back on Merseyside in one of the emergency prefabricated houses (prefabs) on a cleared bomb site opposite a pawn shop. Peter received the minimum education and often ran wild with other kids in the wasteland of bombed-out buildings and post-war dereliction.

He has only two clear memories of his junior schooling: fear of being wrong and the embarrassment of a recurring stutter, a disability suffered by many wartime children. Perhaps this early communication difficulty led him to retreat into his own imagination.

It was during his brief secondary schooling that his interest in storytelling began. Often, when the teacher was engaged in administrative tasks, Peter was called out to stand in front and tell the class a story. It was terrifying at first, but he gradually mastered his stutter and enjoyed the task. This happened so often that making up stories on the spur of the moment became second nature to him.

He left school aged fifteen and worked briefly in a shipyard before finding a job as a telegraph boy at an American Cable Company’s station in Liverpool. They trained him as an operator and taught him the telegraph man’s economy and precision in the use of language. They also trained him to touch type, a skill useful to an author. In fact he can still type as fast as he can speak.

His main recreational interest at the time was mountaineering and rock climbing. He associated with a group of free-spirited, rebellious young people who regularly hitch-hiked to North Wales, slept in old barns and tents that fell down whenever the wind blew, and involved themselves in poetry, heavy drinking and deep discussions by candlelight.

Peter was a very early member of the Cavern Club in Liverpool. But these carefree years ended at the age of eighteen with conscription into the British Army. Peter resented the curtailment of his freedom and the discipline, bull and homesickness played heavily on him. Years later he published a poem recalling those feelings:

Conscription 1958-60

Barracked and confined
in drab wooden huts
with the smoke of cheap cigarettes,
smells of adolescent sweat
and scant privacy.

Tethered to an unfamiliar routine,
a world of harsh discipline,
contrived discomfort
and coarse khaki roughening skin,
chasing any kind word or praise
amidst insults and humiliations
embarrassingly endured.

Cold, always cold
in those slow, homesick,
day-counting weeks
in alien Catterick.

An ache filled the space
where our freedom once was,
where fettered youth could no longer run.

Then ranked in tight marching order
and dispatched as props for a dying empire
with mum’s fears, dad’s knowing eye
and daft words like: ‘It does them good’.

© Peter Tomlinson – first published in Reach Magazine

As a wireless operator, Peter spent eighteen months in Cyprus. It was here that his serious interest in poetry really began. It was often too dangerous for young soldiers to venture far from their army camp but he was able to wander freely in the nearby deserted ruins of an ancient Greek city and give his vivid imagination free rein. Often he put his thoughts on paper and years later he worked these into published poems.

Another three or four carefree years passed after demobilisation before he went to college and university and pursued an academic career.

After early retirement, he worked for a few years as a cultural guide overseas, leading tours on foot in Rome, Venice, Florence, Assisi, Verona, Istanbul etc. What he saw and what he learned was to find its way into the fictional land he created for Petronicus and his descendents.

Since achieving his ambition to take time to write, he has published hundreds of poems in scores of magazines. Success came to him when Bluechrome published his first commercially produced poetry collection Tunnels of the Mind, which received favourable reviews.

In an effort to present even more work to readers, his wife, Margaret, suggested self-publishing under their own imprint, Hengist Enterprises. This launched four collections of poetry, two collections of short stories and two collections of original epigrams.

Peter read his poetry at numerous poetry festivals. At the Oxford Poetry Festival he had a chance conversation with a friend, the well known British author and poet, Sam Smith, who suggested submitting work to his own publisher, Bewrite Books.

Neil Marr – who edits both Peter and Sam’s work for BeWrite Books – said: “It was a fortuitous meeting. Sam is another author whose writing refuses to be pigeon-holed. It courageously crosses genre lines or, like Peter’s, absolutely defies all genre definition.

“The sheer scope of Peter’s books is breath-taking. He’s the only author I know who can produce an epic in a tight 80,000 words.”

Many of Peter’s ideas for poems and novels come to him whilst he roams wild and lonely places; the Shropshire hills and forests, the mountains of North Wales, the Lake District and the Alps. He finds that the restful rhythm of solitary walking removes his thoughts from the futile imperatives of modern life and provides an easy conduit for ideas to flow into his receptive mind. His wife Margaret acts as an at-home editor, paying meticulous attention to his manuscripts, ensuring clarity, correct use of grammar and making sure a good clean copy is sent to his publishers.

Margaret says: “After we’ve had breakfast and discussed our plans for the day, Peter settles down to the intensive daily writing session. He is very self-disciplined about this and not even the lure of a visit to the supermarket can drag him away. Slips of paper with cryptic words litter the house as ideas enter Peter’s head and he scribbles them down before forgetting them. This can happen at awkward times: I’ve even found messages on the loo roll!

“He freely admits to living in a dream world and it can be disconcerting living with a daydreamer. Not only does he forget important things I’ve told him, but he forgets what he’s told me. Is this the onset of senility or the flame of genius burning bright?

“Despite these drawbacks, I think that Peter’s writing has drawn us closer. I am full of admiration for his creativity and feel privileged to be involved in the process, especially when we discuss ideas and language, although the dots and commas department is where I really feel important.

“Entering into the dream world is the best of all: during our recent travels to Iceland and Greenland we were both fired with delight at recognising scenes from Petronicus – the Land of the Towering Rocks, the Land of the Bubbling Mud, the Mountains that hold up the Sky. Peter had created them in his mind before we saw for ourselves that they actually existed in the real world.”

Interview by Alexander James

Interview first appeared in Twisted Tongue Magazine

Read an excerpt from The Stones of Petronicus, The Time of Kadrik, The Voyages of Delticos

Visit The Petronicus Legacy site

Click here for Peter Tomlinson's biography

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

25 for 25 - More Free Books!

The Devil Can Wait by Marta Stephens

We are offering an exclusive opportunity for people to get their hands on 25 pre-publication eBook copies of Marta Stephen's' latest novel The Devil Can Wait.

The book itself isn't out until November 2008, so this is a chance to read this book before anyone else. All we ask is that you promise us a review of 25 words. Why 25 words? Well 25 copies for 25 words! We'll then choose a winner at random from those we receive and the winner will get a signed copy of the paperback upon publication.

We'll use the reviews in promotion and publicity with your name on prominent display, including posting it on Blippr, the new site for reviews of 160 characters or less.

So for your chance to receive this pre-publication eBook (pdf) before everyone else, send us an email and we'll send the eBook to the first 25 people who email us here. And then you send us your review before November 1st 2008.

Here's the book's info:

The city of Chandler, Massachusetts is plunged into terror when the bodies of three local teenagers wash ashore. While homicide detective Sam Harper hunts down the guilty, a sinister plot emerges overseas. From the Vatican to the jungles of South America, a cursed black pearl ring, the demonic prophecy it represents, and the men who pursue its powers find their unfortunate way onto Harper's turf.

Enthralled by the ring's story and a front-page spread, newspaper reporter Jennifer Blake agrees to pick up the ring at a local pawnshop for her former college professor. When she does, unforeseen events shoot Blake to the top of Harper's prime suspect list. Soon, the seemingly unrelated cases converge and the heat is on for Harper to expose the truth behind a Vatican secret and stop the self-righteous man who does the unthinkable in the name of God.

ISBN: 978-1-905202-86-7 (paperback) 978-1-905202-87-4 (eBook)
Price: £8.99. $15.99 (US), $16.99 (Ca), €11.99
Page count: 316
Release date: 3rd November 2008
Excerpt
Author’s blog

Friday, 12 September 2008

Prestwick by David Hough

BeWrite Books has signed author David Hough to publish his breathtaking new airborne action thriller, Prestwick. The high-octane international drama sees three crippled aircraft and three desperate pilots in a race to a single landing strip. Only one can make it. Will it be the shattered 747 with hundreds of surviving passengers on board, the US Airforce jet with its frightened crew of young fliers, or the other one ... the one whose crash would spark World War Three?

Title
: Prestwick
Author
: David Hough
Print ISBN
: 978-1-905202-84-3
eBook ISBN
: 978-1-905202-85-0
Release Date
: Summer 2009
Distributors
: Bertram Books, Gardners, Baker & Taylor, Ingrams

For more information and updates about titles coming soon from BeWrite Books, please email us with the title of the book in the subject line.

Last day for free eBook download - Disremembering Eddie by Anne Morgellyn


To celebrate the release of Anne Morgellyn's latest Louise Moon novel, Pincushion. BeWrite Books are giving away free eBook copies of Disremembering Eddie. Disremembering Eddie is the first in the Louise Moon series.

Download your FREE pdf copy here. Or it can also be dowloaded from our shop here.

Pincushion was released on September 6th 2008.

The free download of Disremembering Eddie will be available until
12th September 2008.

Pincushion

Outrageous artist August Stockyard - attention-seeking heir to a media and property empire - dies in typically theatrical fashion … and the mischief that drove his life's work culminates in the bequest of adjoining houses to his pregnant girlfriend, Cressida, and to his former comrade-in-arms, Louise Moon.

But was August's demise simple suicide or was it the result of a kinky sex game that went wrong? Had he cleverly planned to shame his distant father and take revenge on his ruthless uncle, the obese and grasping millionaire who now had his sights set on Louise?

Or was it a game from the grave to throw the two women with whom August had been obsessed into a fight to the death as reluctant and mismatched neighbours?

Pincushion is the third and latest in a series of psychological thrillers that chart the adventures of Louise Moon and her precarious love affair with brilliant but unconventional pathologist and former boss Chas Androssoff.

More information


All BeWrite Books are available from: BeWrite Books, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Angus & Robertson and other online booksellers and to order from high street bookshops.