Monday, 7 December 2009

Our Latest Title, due December 10th: The Movie by Bosley Gravel


Stewie A. Smithee lives in a small town ... but he thinks big.

Behind the counter of the local grocery store, he plans to break into the movie business by writing, directing, producing and filming his masterpiece Sci Fi flick, Cannibal Lesbian Zombies from Outer Space - versus - Doctor Clockwork and his Furious Plastic Surgeons of Doom. And the only thing small about that epic project is its budget.

The whole town - many promised starring roles - rallies round: Apart from the local police chief and his brother the judge, who'll stop at nothing to sabotage the shooting of the outrageous, sexy movie on their prim and peaceful patch.

And there are other major headaches for Stewie ... a cast of unruly friends, a morally-challenged cousin as his PA, and a luscious fiancée with a script of her own and a tough deadline: "Your film's in the can before our wedding day - or you're out of the picture!"

There's a whacky wisdom, an endearing innocence and a thrillingly encouraging message of optimism in Bosley Gravel's hilarious tale of dead-end, small-towners breaking all the rules and battling all the odds to earn their place in the big picture. In times of global gloom and doom, The Movie reminds us just how much can be achieved with a dream - and the sheer guts to chase it. Gravel's drum-tight prose make the pages turn at the rate of a smile-a-minute.

The Movie is the most indecent thing to ever disgrace the city of Podunk. It features lewd acts by paid sex workers and glorifies the occult. It encourages lascivious and lustful behavior between half naked, sexually confused women and the living dead. Even five minutes of this will turn moral folk's stomachs.

Sheriff Lyle McNutt. Podunk Observer 

The Poison Garden of Dorelia Jones by Valentine Williams


The garden of Dorelia Jones flourishes with strange poisonous plants - but her
mind is as full of poison as her garden. This venom permeates everything she does.
About to be made homeless and disinherited by her mother, Dorelia plots and schemes
to ensure her own survival and comfort. A marriage of convenience turns out to
be anything but for her unfortunate husband who has to suffer being ostracized
by his family and then haunted by Dorelia's murdered mother. Even an exorcism
fails to rid the house of the wickedness Dorelia has unleashed.

A Gothic fantasy, craftily plotted, about parasitic relationships, mushrooms,
and the power of suggestion.

The Blue Man Dreams the End of Time by Michael McIrvin


Sonny, a drunken convenience store clerk living uneasily in a relationship with
twin sisters, woke up naked and blue. Not sad, but actually blue from head to
toe.

A warped warning from a former CIA colleague? A message from a deranged hit
man that he and those he loves are marked for death? Or is his blueness a more
invidious omen?


Sonny's search for answers will lead him to a perverse reconciliation with
his former bloody role in geopolitics - and his destiny - on the bloody trail
to Chiapas.


Along the way he will befriend a people struggling to survive, reconsider the
nature of terrorism and the drug trade, and decipher an ancient Mayan vision
of the end of time.


He will also meet another former CIA operative who doubles as a jaguar shaman,
a Mayan holy man whose prophesies include Sonny, and a mysterious boy whose
role in his people's future is both mythic and deadly.


Sonny's flashbacks to his gore-stained government work in Mesoamerica, including
the act for which he was 'excommunicated', constitute proof of power's inhumanity,
but his darkest revelation is that violence and greed are the true mechanisms
of history.


Michael McIrvin's high-octane, intelligent novel is an immaculately researched,
powerful indictment of brutal counterintelligence, including torture and murder,
an exploration of how ends are achieved by a nation-state. This book is frighteningly
timely.

A new poetry title: Repulsion Thrust by Magdalena Ball



Exploring a new voice is at first alienating. A reader looks for clues. In poetry
the difficulties are greater than prose, not because poetry is harder, but because
it uses modes of explication that are individual, sometimes idiosyncratic. Magdalena
Ball here appears at full length, no longer the figure behind a beguiling chapbook
or the collaborator with other poets. The result is explosive.

The voice is the same but it is more insistent and the reader responds to what
was already known but never before shown to such advantage. In poetry the thin
line that divides the hermetic from the obvious is dangerous ground and not
all poets can tread there without destruction. Maggie is comfortable here and
not only treads but dances.


There is everywhere a kernel of hard reality at work. It often works deep below
the surface but it is always there - a relationship that has slipped from the
ideal, a scientific fact that is a capsule for experience, an event of intense
resonance. Although she is a skilled writer of prose, her poems show a different
sensibility. Her concern is with the details that support our experience but
which we pass over. To bring these to our attention is an act of originality
and it requires an obliquity of approach. What marvelous events are these that
we never see and how clever she is to bring them before us.


In certain backward areas and circles uninformed bullies have put forward stupid
legislation in an effort to coerce the general population. Here is the opening
of her poem on recent events in Texas and the efforts to impose creationism
on the Texas schools.


Pollyanna wants good intentions
calls separation of church and state
sacred
there's an irony
twisting words
down the sugar chute.


How she avoids the journalistic! She has lifted the acts of fools to a level
of art that enhances effectiveness. She finds unexpected centers and from them
can be just as deadly and accurate as the most Swiftian satire.


To talk about poetry is as hard as - meaningfully - to talk about music. There
is no substitute for the thing itself. Here is a sample, THE VISIBLE SPECTRUM:


A waving giant of flotsam
ducking and bowing

white light broken to spectral colours

my hand opens, grasps, and opens through you
empty

fingers wide, then closes again

blinking desire


Tuesday, 10 November 2009

New Title: Bottom of the List by Steve Attridge


Paranoid recluse Adam Bittermouth’s Roebuck University makes a fortune. But as a seat of learning it gets bottom marks when money-grubbing bean counters replace professors and students become craftily manipulated cash cows.

From his opulent high-tech hermitage in a tower 500 feet above the campus, Bittermouth monitors every eccentric move of staff and students via hidden cameras ... and dreams of the day when his money-spinning institution will be free of both.

Meanwhile, far below, political corruption, monstrous egos, existential terror, corporate bullying and murder head the curriculum, along with romantic angst, constipation problems, sanity issues and bad plumbing.

In an hilarious riot of a tale that echoes an imploding real world, author Steve Attridge introduces scary security guards Baz and Dave; sex-mad failed poet Damion Dimmuck; Dr Duff with his paranoid terror of sick people; Mercedes Blonk, seducer of young men and radical theorist; and psychopathic dwarf, General Spinelli, a bloodstained South American dictator who enrols (at a price) to read (but misunderstand) classic literature.

Unlikely champions of human values are a befuddled academic whose only friends are literary characters, a weedy fantasist student addicted to list-making, and his secret love, the Rubenesque, silent and unsmiling girl with poetry in her soul and a huge cache of illicit chocolate bars under her bed.

At stake are all future generations in the western world ... will they be educated or programmed?

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

A new title: Notes from the Lightning God by John W Schouten


Here is another great book we're excited to have published.

In the majestic Andes a civilization is torn apart by revolution, terror, murder and extortion. A rebel army vows to bring down a corrupt government, which is equally brutal in defending its own interests. Meanwhile defenseless peasants are swept up in the bloodbath.

Into the strangely peaceful town of Santa Rosita wanders Samson Young, a med-school dropout and budding anthropologist. Sam’s well-intended efforts to get his bearings and win the trust of the villagers seem fruitless, doomed by superstition that casts him as a pale bringer of death and disaster. That is, until an accident of nature transforms him in their eyes into a savior. Their legendary Lightning God.

As the unbridled violence closes in around him and the people with whom he has cast his lot, Sam can only record the horror in futile field notes … and count its victims.

In Notes from the Lightning God, good and evil reside impurely in shades of gray. Terrorists, soldiers, police and drug lords, more than purely evil, are hard-edged expressions of their times and struggles. Sam’s allies and antagonists include a village priest in a crisis of faith, a precocious eight-year-old boy, an extortionist cop, a lady doctor with a mobile medical clinic, a pragmatic captain of industry and coca, a conflicted television star, and a spirited and seductive graduate student, who is destined to be the love of Sam’s life … or the death of him.

Our latest title: Flawed by Tom Larsen


BeWrite Books is proud to announce the latest addition to our catalogue.

'Brass Balls’ Riley is leading a settled life when a friend from his youth re-appears with a scheme to make one, last, big score. Riley carries off the caper with the not-altogether helpful assistance of his criminally impaired wife and their friend. Can the wily and resourceful Riley keep one step ahead of the police, the FBI, and the special investigators hired by the victim?
This is an intriguing tale, told primarily from Riley’s point of view, reminiscent of Raymond Chandler in style. Beautifully crafted, it takes the reader into Riley’s mind and his surroundings sympathetically and humorously. A first rate read.

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Last Birds by Andrew Thelander published today


Feathers fly when a penniless wildlife artist accidentally traps the world’s last living Paradise Parrot in the ramshackle ghost town he shares with his enigmatic pet wallaby and a mysterious Indian barrister.

It seems everyone has a claim on the soon-famous bird, and the reclusive and unworldly young painter finds himself up against government bureaucrats, animal protection officials, police, the courts, the gutter press, and an eccentric multi-millionaire birdwatcher with madcap plans of his own.

Nothing else for it but to take flight into the great Australian bush where the artist, his brilliant and beautiful, newly discovered zoologist sister, a pompous university professor and an obsessed taxidermist lose their inhibitions, their clothes – and in some cases their minds – living with, and learning to think as, wild kangaroos.

In his and her own way, every key character in Andrew Thelander’s hilarious, sometimes touching, often profoundly wise, tale is a Last Bird … an utterly unique, wildly exotic example of an endangered species.

Last Birds is a rollicking good read, full of unexpected twists, that leaves the reader pondering the role of individuals, science and the law in determining how we can best live and interact with nature.
Liz Hall-Downs. CompulsiveReader.com

Thursday, 10 September 2009

We've just published a new title! The House in the Riddle by Liza Granville


Sorrel and Mark, her controlling, apocalypse-obsessed husband, arrived at the ruined barn and cottage chosen by him to be their final refuge in the coming End of Days only to discover that the property has its own secrets. Can Sorrel use these to break free of her past and find a life for herself? In this novel the lives of the mismatched pair intersect with those of several equally odd characters as their drama is played out. A well-written psychological thriller gripping to the last page.

Friday, 21 August 2009

"Masters of the Hunt" by Hugh McCracken published today!




Now fully trained for grim medieval warfare and in their mid teens, Hugh McCracken’s small band of once-reluctant time travellers take history into their own hands and journey back to 13th Century Scotland where age-old friends – and bitter enemies – are waiting.

In their desperate bid to save the dukedom of the young nobleman they have taken under their wing, the time-shifting Lords of Möbius recruit a squad of turncoat mercenaries to their cause ... and a teenaged William ‘Braveheart’ Wallace, unsuspectingly destined for battle, glory, torture and excruciating execution.

Once again in his popular series of thought-provoking historical adventure novels, McCracken meticulously recreates the harsh realities of medieval life and death as his heroes and anti-heroes struggle to apply a modern mind-set to the cruelties and superstitions of a world, geographically on their very doorstep, but 750 years distant in time.

Available in Print and eBook format from www.bewrite.net, Amazon, and all major retailers.

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Great review by Susan Wingate for "The Bait Shack" by Harry Hughes

Hi all,
I've just been told about this cracking review for "The Bait Shack" by Harry Hughes, written by the author Susan Wingate.
Glad to see that someone else agrees with us!

Cheers,
Alex

Friday, 7 August 2009

Dead End Road - prepublished review

Due to be released on September 3rd, Dead End Road is a poetry collection already gathering fabulous reviews. Check out Richard Wink at this review site.
http://fullofcrow.com/crowreviews/2009/08/dead-end-road-richard-wink/

Bookmark Richard and star your calendar for the September 3rd release!
Congratulations too, Sam Smith for expert editing.

Friday, 31 July 2009

A Thousand Beauties gets interviewed!

The literary raconteur, Ambrose Musiyiwa, interviewed BeWrite Books author, Mark Kaplan on his amazing novel, A Thousand Beauties.

Read the interview >> http://conversationswithwriters.blogspot.com/2009/07/interview-mark-kaplan-author-of.html

Thursday, 23 July 2009

Prestwick by David Hough - Out Now


Three pilots, three crippled aircraft but only one can land.

A freak mid-air collision cripples a trans-Atlantic 747 and a US Air Force jet.

What’s left of the planes’ crews struggle against the clock and overwhelming odds to save their on board survivors.

But no airport will allow them to even attempt a landing because of a secret international emergency that overshadows their own problems, condemning more than four hundred people to almost sure and horrible death over icy, blizzard-swept seas.

Meanwhile, an obsessed narcotics detective aboard the shattered Jumbo tries to pin drug smuggling and murder on its injured captain and crew.

Could things get any worse?

They could. And they do. Much, much worse!

David Hough whips his reader along in a roaring jet stream of action and high tension that buckles the reader to his seat. Prestwick is a breathtaking, whirlwind of a thriller.
_______

Read an extract from Prestwick

About the Author

Purchase: paperback | eBook

Title: Prestwick
Author: David Hough
Print ISBN: 978-1-905202-84-3
eBook ISBN: 978-1-905202-85-0
Page count: 266
Release Date: 23rd July 2009

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, 14 July 2009

Review: Until the Skies Fall by Liza Granville


England is a post-apocalyptic condition. Genetic engineering has proved disastrous to human civilization. Laz is a young man who must save the world from the imminent threat of a true Death Star. As he sets out on a quest Laz encounters very strange (and hostile) remnants of previous genetically transformed societies with each one of them utterly convinced that they are the true representation of an authentic humanity. An original and superbly crafted novel, "Liza Granville's "Until The Skies Fall" is a thoroughly entertaining read from beginning to end, and highly recommended for community library collections, and science fiction fan reading lists.

Margaret Lane, Midwest Book Review

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

The Wolf Has No Pillow - Out Now


Bree McDonald and her Grandfather are the sole survivors of their immediate family. Following their eviction from the family home during the Highland Clearances in 1792, they decide to walk to London to plead their case with the absentee landlord.

Related from the point of view of eleven-year-old Bree, the tale is told with a charming simplicity and humour and one cannot but empathise with the plight of the girl and her Grandfather.

Can they reach London in safety? If they do, will the new owner of their land have any sympathy for them or any understanding of their troubles?

A story of real courage and determination in the face of adversity.
_______

Read an extract from The Wolf Has No Pillow

About the Author

Purchase: paperback | eBook

Title: The Wolf Has No Pillow
Author: Ben Z. Grant
Print ISBN: 978-1-906609-06-1
eBook ISBN: 978-1-906609-07-8
Page count: 130
Release Date: 8th July 2009

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, 6 July 2009

New Bee-Keeper for BeWrite Books

BeWrite Books is delighted to break the exiting news that a new keeper will be tending the buzzing beehive when BB publisher Cait Myers leaves the company after ten years at the end of July for new adventures in far-flung places.

Geoff Nelder – based in Chester, England – is already working along with Cait as she helps smooth the transition to be sure that BeWrite Books doesn’t falter in its established commitment to stability and reliability. And she’ll remain informally on call for several months to help keep the house in order while Geoff gets into his stride.

But Geoff – an award-winning author in his own right – is already well versed in many of the considerable duties Cait so expertly covered over the years. Qualified to handle accountancy and admin and with a firm grasp of modern technology and publishing practice, Geoff is also dynamic and innovative in the promotion and marketing of books, and a top-notch networker at important publishing events.

He accepted early retirement from his lifetime job as a senior educator recently so is now free to dedicate to his new position the time and energy it requires.

Geoff said: “I’m thrilled to be taking over – It’s a challenge to become the new Cait Myers. I’ve been involved with, and have closely watched BeWrite’s development over the past ten years. Cait’s input and expertise has been impressive ... and so modestly behind-the-scenes.
“We’re all old friends now. In fact, Editor Neil Marr is my daily online Scrabble opponent (it’s our coffee break from work). And, no, he doesn’t always win ... he generously allows me success now and then.
“My first job, of course, is – with Cait’s kind help – to make sure there’s solid continuity so that the internal change-over at BB doesn’t adversely affect anyone, especially authors and readers. Later, when my learning curve levels, I’m sure I’ll brainstorm with the others and we’ll talk over new ideas to enhance the house. Maybe trying short-run, maybe opening the door to new genres and imprints. We’ll see.
“For now, I’m just happy to be here. BeWrite has always seemed more like a nuclear family than a business, so I feel a bit like I’ve been adopted. Others in the extended family are the authors and readers. I’ll try hard to be as welcoming to them as Cait has always been. She laid out the red carpet to them; I just have to keep it swept.”

BeWrite Books Editor, Neil Marr, said: “Sad as I am that Cait is moving on, I’m tickled pink to now be working with Geoff at the helm. We’ve been friends for years and – not only because he often beats me in online Scrabble – I have unbounded confidence in him as a wordsmith and administrator. Cait is leaving the house she helped create in capable hands.
“We’ll share an interesting future. And I know our warm stable of authors and editors will very quickly take Geoff to heart. Apart from being so darned efficient that it’s frightening, he’s one of the nicest chaps on this third rock from the sun.”

Cait, who is leaving her BB Munich desk for new, international adventures, said: “It’s sad to be leaving BeWrite Books after all this time, it has really felt like a family. I wish everyone the best of luck with their projects and look forward to reading lots more excellent books from BeWrite.”

A Brief Biography of Geoff Nelder
Geoff Nelder lives in the ancient and quaint English city of Chester. Born in Germany to British parents, he has lived all but four years of his life in England.

A former high school teacher of geography and information technology, Geoff has had non-fiction books on microclimates in the UK published along with several articles in academic journals such as Weather, Geographical Magazine and the Times Educational Supplement. Geoff is a part-time journalist contributing humorous travel accounts to Cycling World.

His love of teaching and the environment is reflected in his Bachelor of Education degree and Master of Science for climatology, research for which he was awarded a Fellowship of the Royal Meteorological Society. More important to him is his family. His physicist wife is invaluable for her love but also helps in the technical aspects of Geoff’s science fiction writing. They have two grown children, whose intelligence and warmth go beyond Geoff’s expectations. Now they’ve started to collect grandchildren, too.

Geoff has had many short stories widely published and won a commendation for a story in the Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future Competition. Besides his 2005 released humour novel, Escaping Reality, published by Brambling Books, he won a Prix d’Argent in 2007 and the Prix d’Or in 2009 for mystery thriller, Hot Air, to be published by a Dutch Arts Academy in 2009, and a Science Fiction novel, Left Luggage, is in the hands of an agent. Double Dragon Publishing published Geoff’s Exit, Pursued by a Bee science fiction mystery in 2008.

Geoff is a co-editor for Adventure Books of Seattle, working mainly on Escape Velocity, a print and ezine magazine of science fact and fiction. He has been a freelance editor of novels and short stories for several years. He is also the 2009 short-fiction judge for the Whittaker Prize.

Friday, 26 June 2009

Publisher Caitlin Myers to leave BeWrite Books

BeWrite Books Publisher Caitlin Myers will be leaving the company at the end of July to start a new life in the UK.

Cait, 35, was one of a trio that brought in the first day of the millennium with a promise to somehow help new authors find their place. She kept the promise ... and then some.

Within weeks, she – along with writer/editor Neil Marr and his IT expert son, Alex – launched BeWrite.net, a non-commercial writers’ site that edited, showcased and promoted struggling authors. The site attracted a membership of over 3,000 and its lively forum became one of the busiest on the net under her guidance.

Just a couple of years later Cait, Neil and Alex launched BeWrite Books paperback and eBook publishing house. With Neil concentrating entirely on editorial matters and Alex on the technical side of things, Cait became Publisher. But she was much more than that. A list of the jobs she so expertly took upon her own shoulders would fill pages. They included: technical work, proof reading, cover design, accounts – including chasing retailers for payment and making sure author royalty cheques were accurate and arrived on time – maintaining the BeWrite.net website and blog, dealing with printers, handling author and reader mail, first-screening submissions, proof reading, overseeing distribution and promotion, supervising legal work ... and a score of other unsung but vital tasks.

And she always found time to network with the giants of publishing at international book fairs in London and Frankfurt ... and even to attend every year the smaller but thriving book fair she and BeWrite Books helped establish five years ago in the northern English towns of Wigan and Leigh.

She happily met BB authors whenever an opportunity arose. And her winning smile and unstinting generosity in time and effort earned her an international group of appreciative literary friends.

Working mainly, though, by personal email and phone (even when undergoing the suffering and heartache of radio- and chemotherapy for cancer recently), her time with BeWrite saw her based in England, France, Switzerland and Germany. Her motto has always been: Have laptop, will travel.

UK-born Cait took BeWrite from a vague idea over New Year midnight drinks nearly ten years ago to its position as a well respected, internationally known small independent press with, already, over 120 fine titles under its belt. Along the way, she signed new professional editors like Hugh McCracken in Canada, John Grant in the USA, poetry editors Heather Grace Stewart in Canada, Heather Bryant in the USA and Sam Smith in the UK.

When she leaves her desk for the last time, it could take an office full of new staff to cover everything she put into the company in terms of expertise, accuracy, reliability, fair-mindedness, enthusiasm, energy ... and that always-present personal touch so rare in modern publishing.

Cait’s reasons for leaving her Munich-based BeWrite Books desk and moving to the UK on July 24 are personal.

She said: “It’s sad to be leaving BeWrite Books after all this time, it has really felt like a family. I wish everyone the best of luck with their projects and look forward to reading lots more excellent books from BeWrite.”

BeWrite Books Editor Neil Marr said: “It’s difficult to imagine BB without Cait. Her hard work, enthusiasm, professional approach to every aspect of the job, her constant desire and ability to stay on top of a drastically changing publishing industry, and her natural flare, imagination and sheer good taste helped shape the whole thing. I’m very sorry to see her go, but I’m certainly glad she was here at all. Without her, there would not be a BeWrite Books.”

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Riders of the Seven Hills - Out Now


Lad Moore tells tales ... some of them long, some of them short and some of them - by his own admission - pretty tall. All of them re-create a world of recent yesterdays to set some folks to rememberin' and others to dreamin'.

They're down home yarns of East Texas and dazzling adventure stories set in the mysterious Far East, they're of store-stove conferences and dark murders, of the good, the bad and the ugly who've crossed his many paths.

Lad's writing has appeared in countless journals and anthologies and Riders of the Seven Hills is the third of his popular collections, each of which - although skillfully presented in dozens of bite-sized chunks - leave his reader with that satisfying, well-fed feeling of someone who's just devoured an epic novel.

His cast of players come and go; sometimes with a character taking center stage, sometimes with him or her merely in the chorus. Just as you'd expect in real life. But the creeping result is real life people who grow familiar as the stories unfold, events that are fully explored, and places that almost miraculously achieve solid form as the pages swiftly turn.

Lad's short works take shape like the tiny dabs of seemingly random color in an impressionist painting. The colors combine to create a living landscape because the brush is held by a master of his art. Now let's take the time to step back a little and admire the broad canvas.
_______

Read an extract from Riders of the Seven Hills

About the Author

Purchase: paperback | eBook

Title: Riders of the Seven Hills
Author: Lad Moore
Print ISBN: 978-1-906609-02-3
eBook ISBN: 978-1-906609-03-0
Page count: 244
Release Date: 31st May 2009

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, 25 May 2009

Review: Until the Skies Fall by Liza Granville


Delightful book, very interesting and provides a good idea of where genetic engineering is going to take the world. Too bad the scientists don't consider the future when they begin playing god.


At a future time, after our world is nearly destroyed by genetic experimentation, it is now faced with the possibility of destruction by a Death Star. Arthur, who has no surname and who looks the perfect human, is sent out into the world to search for four beings who have the ‘fire’ ability that will wake the Magic Stone. The Magic Stone will in turn destroy the Death Star and result in the earth being saved. When Arthur reaches Homestead West, Laz, part animal, part human, learns he has the ‘fire’ and must go with Arthur back to the far North where the Magic Stone rests.

Laz’s brothers and Ferrik, Laz’s adopted father, insists on accompanying them. A friend of Laz’s, Dann, and an old female healer, Wyc, decides to go with them. Time is short and confusion is rife, but the group sets out on the long journey. On the way, they must look for others who have the ‘fire’ ability. Death, heartbreak, near starvation, battles involving earth elements gone awry decreases the number in the group, yet they trudge onward. The entire world depends on them now.

I really liked this story. Not only does it involve a group of people and what happens to them on a long trip, but it also explores the ways various people react to the same incidents, the same danger. It explores the innermost feelings that can fill the mind as a result of these happenings. Liza Granville does a great job bringing Laz and his brothers, mentally, from youth to adulthood and yet leaving them with the sense of playfulness that makes life so much fun no matter how old one gets. She shows the dirty side of discrimination and how it hurts us and others. A good book for those who like to read of family trials with a touch of magic and the weird.

______

If I had more than 5 stars to give, I would give them to this book.

Lisa Granville has written a wonderful story in which she has created a totally believable alternate world with characters for whom the reader develops a real affinity.

The story is set in a post-apocalyptic world. At some time in the past, scientists began to experiment with genetic engineering, creating many people and animals which were very different in appearance from the norm. People and animals with extra limbs and wings are commonplace, but looked down upon, in this world, by people known as Perfects or Near-Perfects, those who are genetically most like humans once were. At some point, a huge battle arose between the religious right and the scientists, which caused the destruction of most of civilization.

Now, the earth is threatened again, this time by a "death star" from space. Only a few people can stop the death star and save the earth, and among them are Laz, his father Farrik, his brothers Rom and Longshanks, his friend Dann, and an old wise woman named Wye. Together, they set out on a quest to save the world, led by a perfect human who turns out not to be "folk" at all, Arthur, who must be an android.

At no point does Granville give us a full description of Laz, his family or friends. She gives us tantalizing hints as to their looks, but the only way we know how truly different they are is by the reactions of others to them. To themselves, they are just "folk," and differences in appearance mean nothing.

Every detail of their actions and personalities are perfectly suited to the setting and the story. The travellers encounter places called Yell and Purgtree, and travel through land inhabited by creatures called Howls and Ships. They endure hunger, loss, injury, and high adventure.

In the end, Granville leaves plenty of room for a sequel. I, personally, can't wait to read it. Any time a writer leaves a reader hungry for more of the story, that is a book worth more than 5 stars.

______

Read an excerpt

Click here for more information about Liza Granville

paperback | eBook

Friday, 22 May 2009

Listen to an interview with Joe Bright


Joe Bright, author of The Black Garden, is interviewed by MJ at What Dwells in Midnight.

Listen to the interview here.

It's a rather dramatic interview, as an earthquake hit LA at the same time as Joe was talking!

Hear all about his guitar playing, writing songs and performing with a band as well as what he has been up to and what is to come. See if he can be convinced to read part of his novel.

Monday, 18 May 2009

The Devil Can Wait wins a Bronze IPPY Award


The Devil Can Wait (2008), published by BeWrite Books (UK), is one of three finalists selected to win the bronze medal in the 2009 Independent Publishers Book 13th Annual Award (IPPY).

Muncie, IN, May 18 - From the Vatican to the jungles of South American, 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.

Author Marta Stephens, a new voice in crime mystery, has gained a steadily growing readership for her gritty, complex plots and likeable protagonist, Sam Harper. The Devil Can Wait, released in November 2008, was selected as one of seven finalist from among 120 entries in the 2009 IPPY mystery/suspense/thriller category.

The Devil Can Wait, written in the traditional detective mystery style, has drawn the attention of readers and critics alike with such comments as, “Stephens’s protagonist, Sam Harper, is a genuine, somewhat imperfect, thoroughly human personality ... it is this character that breathes vivid life into the pages of her books.”

“... She (Stephens) writes with a forensic authority that makes these pages bleed with real world angst. Detective Harper is a well-realized, no-nonsense cop, a streetwise guy who refuses to give up despite the odds. When the going gets rough, everyone else has given up, an easy option looms, and the race becomes overwhelming, Harper is just getting started. He is the original it ain't over guy.” Thomas Fortenberry for Midwest Book Reviews.

The Devil Can Wait by Marta Stephens, paperback, ISBN 978-1-905202-86-7, $15.99, is available online at Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble and numerous other online and traditional bookstores world wide. For more information, contact Marta Stephens or publisher Cait Myers at .

About the author:
Marta Stephens resides in Indiana, USA with her husband and two children. The first novel in her Sam Harper Crime Mystery series, Silenced Cry (2007) received honorable mention at the 2008 New York Book Festival and ranked among the top ten in the 2007 Preditors & Editors Reader Poll. The Devil Can Wait ranked top ten in the 2008 Preditors & Editors Reader Poll. Stephens holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism/Public Relations from Ball State University (IN) where she is employed in human resources. She is a member of Sisters in Crime International, Sisters in Crime Speed City Indiana Chapter, and the Midwest Writer's Workshop. Stephens’s collective authors’ blog, Murder by 4, was selected by Writer’s Digest among the 2009 101 Best Websites for Authors. View additional reviews of her novels at www.martastephens-author.com.

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Exclusive excerpt from Riders of the Seven Hills

Slipping on a Mossy Log, a story where 'Forbidden fruit is highest in calories and shame'.

An excerpt taken from Lad Moore's new collection in available to read online here

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Coming Soon - Riders of the Seven Hills by Lad Moore


Tales of Red Clay and Blue Denim

Lad Moore tells tales ... some of them long, some of them short and some of them – by his own admission – pretty tall. All of them re-create a world of recent yesterdays to set some folks to rememberin’ and others to dreamin’.

They’re down home yarns of East Texas and dazzling adventure stories set in the mysterious Far East, they’re of store-stove conferences and dark murders, of the good, the bad and the ugly who’ve crossed his many paths.

Lad’s writing has appeared in countless journals and anthologies and Riders of the Seven Hills is the third of his popular collections, each of which – although skillfully presented in dozens of bite-sized chunks – leave his reader with that satisfying, well-fed feeling of someone who’s just devoured an epic novel.

His cast of players come and go; sometimes with a character taking center stage, sometimes with him or her merely in the chorus. Just as you’d expect in real life. But the creeping result is real life people who grow familiar as the stories unfold, events that are fully explored, and places that almost miraculously achieve solid form as the pages swiftly turn.

Lad’s short works take shape like the tiny dabs of seemingly random color in an impressionist painting. The colors combine to create a living landscape because the brush is held by a master of his art. Now let’s take the time to step back a little and admire the broad canvas.

For further information, interviews, pictures, etc, Lad Moore can be contacted by email

Title: Riders of the Seven Hills
Author: Lad Moore
Print ISBN: 978-1-906609-02-3
eBook ISBN: 978-1-906609-03-0
Release Date: May 2008
Distributors: Bertram Books, Gardners, Baker & Taylor, Ingrams
For further information and review copies, please contact: Cait Myers at BeWrite Books

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

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

2009 Independent Publisher Book Awards Semifinalist Results announced


Congratulations to author, Marta Stephens, whose novel, The Devil Can Wait, has been shortlisted in the highly competitive mystery/suspense/thriller genre for the 2009 IPPY awards. http://www.independentpublisher.com/article.php?page=1294

Winners are announced on May 29th, fingers crossed!

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

London Book Fair (LBF) - Wednesday


Day three

LBF 2009 had 1613 companies exhibiting from 54 countries.

Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, gave the keynote speech and is being quoted as saying that Google is no threat to publishers. He also said that computer games are the one threat to young male literacy.





Some, slightly random, facts from Boris Johnson’s speech:
  • Shakespeare had a vocabulary of 21 000 words
  • Churchill had a vocab of 64 000 words
  • German has 185 000 words
  • And English has 500 000 words - which makes it the best language for books, with such a large choice of words!
  • The phrase ‘big cheese’ come from Hindi

According to a poll at the book fair only 53% of UK publishers have digital plans in place, whilst 43% have no arrangements for the digital future.


More buzzwords and phrases:
  • Monetise content
  • Digital Rights Management (DRM)
  • Digital space
The Digital Zone was as popular on day 3 as day 1 – shame that the ‘theatre’ was so small, so the majority of the audience had to stand. It does show that there is interest in eBooks and ereaders, especially when the content of an eBook is not just text, but images can be displayed too.




HarperCollins have selected Tolkien titles as eBooks, which were on display the HC stand on the Sony ereader.

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

London Book Fair - A few facts and photos from Tuesday

Click on the image above to see larger version
Day Two




A day of seminars, in
cluding what the publishing industry may be like in 2020 (left) and the Keynote Seminar – Digital Publishing (right).














Favourite snippets from today:


“In the future publishers will be geared to the international world. With editors, printing presses, authors all working in different parts of the world and time zones.” It sounds like BeWrite Books are already in the future!

“Smaller indie publishers maybe unable to match major players’ digital infrastructure, but that lets you take risks, be more innovative and helps forge closer ties with readers.” Dan Franklin, Canongate

Keywords or phrases so far at LBF 2009:
  • Digital revolution
  • Disintermediation
  • Interoperable DRM
  • Content is King
  • Futurscape
  • Price Parity (of eBooks, paperbacks and hardbacks)
  • Piracy (of digital content)
More facts, figures and sites to investigate.
  • "The internet will the main retail channel for book sales in Britain within 3 years, despite accounting for only 14% of current sales." PubTrack
  • "Online content and adverts account for twice as much importance as print reviews.’"Kelly Gallagher
  • Authonomy is visited by editors, agents and publishers who read what is posted and take note of it too.
  • Bookbox a book video site to provide a platform for publishers to showcase their author and book videos.
  • Book Army even though it’s designed by Harper Collins, it has books from all publishers and it is a social networking site for all book lovers.
LBF also has less strenuous events for visitors.

Sarah Waters being interviewed by her editor, Lennie Goodings, and discussing her new book The Little Stranger








And wafting delicious smells throughout Earls Court Two is the LBF Gourmand Cook Book Corner. Trina Hahnemann from Denmark begins to cook the first of three dishes.




Monday, 20 April 2009

London Book Fair - A few facts & photos from Monday

Day 1

Visitor numbers at LBF are down this year, but only by 2%. It still feels as busy as previous years.

New this year the Digital Zone
The Digital Zone provides short seminars on all aspects of the digital book industry.







Luckily the seminars are short as the seats are the most uncomfortable ones in Earls Court!








Peter Tomlinson, author of The Petronicus Legacy series, (available in paperback and eBook) perusing the Sony eBook reader and rather impressed with the results.






Some surprising statistics from around LBF:

  • The UK consumes more video online than the rest of Northern Europe
  • People now use social networks more than email to keep in contact and pass on information.
  • The present demographics of Facebook is 45-54 year olds, it’s no longer a site mainly for the young.
  • Two thirds of books bought last year were by people 42 years old or older.
  • 14% of UK book sales are online, 28% in US. But 90% of all book sales in US are driven by online marketing.
Author blog tip: Write about your writing, how the next book is going, writing experiences ,etc

The Espresso Book Machine
A machine which can print books in store within 5 minutes of a customer placing the order. And the quality of the books seems to be good too. This machine is on loan from Blackwells bookshop in London, but there are other machines worldwide with more to come. Hopefully a shop, library or university near you will be getting one soon.

Friday, 17 April 2009

The Black Garden by Joe Bright - Out Now


A young university student from Boston takes on the summer job, in a small rural town, of clearing the accumulated rubbish from the house and garden of an elderly man, George O'Brien, and his granddaughter, Candice. The task is not as straightforward as he at first thought and Mitchell finds himself drawn into the mystery surrounding the Black Garden and the lives of his employers.

Can he solve the secret behind the animosity of the townspeople? Can he do so without endangering George's freedom and leaving Candice even more isolated?
______

Read an extract from The Black Garden

About the Author

Purchase: paperback | eBook

Title: The Black Garden
Author: Joe Bright
Print ISBN: 978-1-905202-98-0
eBook ISBN: 978-1-905202-99-7
Page count: 232
Release Date: 17th April 2009

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.