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Saturday, 31 December 2011

Happy New Year!


From all of us at Famous Five Plus HQ we wish you a very Happy New Year. 
Thank you for following, visiting, reading and buying our books.
We will be in flow again in 2012 talking about our writing, our ideas and our publications, so please come back for more!

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Welcome Kimberly Menozzi


Today we are once again raising a glass to welcome our latest new member to the group, Author, Kimberly Menozzi.

"Thank you for having me in your vibrant group I am looking forward to getting to know you all. I have been an aspiring writer from the age of eight, I began writing my first stories instead of paying attention in school. While my grades might have suffered, my imagination seldom did. I managed to keep most of my stories together for years, then lost them after a move when I left a trunk full of papers behind. (I meant to go back and get them, but circumstances prevented me from doing so.)

So, I started over again. And I lost those, too.

After a trip to England in 2002, I began work on A Marginal Life (Well-Lived), inspired by the music of Jarvis Cocker and Pulp. The novel was completed in 2003, and is undergoing rewrites with hopes of publication in the near future.

Also in 2003, I met and fell in love with an Italian accountant named Alessandro. I married him in 2004. This necessitated my arrival in Italy and I have lived there ever since. After several months of working for language schools and writing blog entries for my family in the US to read, new story ideas began to develop.
Finally, in 2007, I began work on a new project, inspired by my love/hate relationship with my new home. The novel Ask Me if I'm Happy was completed in 2009, and was first released November 15th, 2010 in the UK, before being re-released in the US on May 31st, 2011. In May of 2011, I also published the novella Alternate Rialto, a prequel to Ask Me if I'm Happy.

I am presently at work on my next project, 27 Stages, a novel set in the world of professional road cycling."

Follow me on Twitter!
I'm also on
Facebook.

To learn more about Kimberly visit our Author and Books Pages




If you are an Indie Author or a Book Reviewer and are interested in joining Famous Five Plus, click in the link below and email for more details


Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Sue Fortin Reviews The Traz by Eileen Schuh


Today, Famous Five Plus Book Reviewer and Author, Sue Fortin reviews The Traz by Eileen Schuh

The Blurb (as per Amazon UK)  Katrina is thirteen, wealthy, grieving, and alone. But she is more than that. She's intelligent, beautiful, and intrigued by the dangers of street life.
Shrug's a giant of a man with a voice of thunder and eyes of granite. He has tattoos, The Traz gang patch, and a motorbike. When he asks Katrina if she wants a ride, she makes a decision that will change her life forever.

Katrina quickly discovers the violent side of life on The Traz compound. However, there is no way for her to escape until she meets Chad—an undercover cop with rich brown eyes, a gentle chuckle, and a plan to rescue Katrina from the clutches of the gang. However, there's a problem.
Somebody is keeping dangerous secrets from them both.


My Thoughts - I enjoyed reading The Traz, although initially I was a little uncomfortable with how young Katrina was but maybe that's because I'm a parent myself and was looking at it from an adult point of view, rather than that of someone who could more closely relate to Katrina in age.  That doesn't mean, however, that adults won't enjoy or even benefit from reading The Traz as much as the YA audience.  Through the story line, it addresses some interesting social issues, bringing to life some ambiguous and complex characters with realistic dialogue.

The plot is intriguing with some twists and surprises along the way and although it reaches a conclusion, I wasn't quite ready for it.  However, the door has been firmly left open for more novels in the series and it will be interesting to see the characters develop further.  I definitely want to know more about them and what happened next.

To learn more about Sue visit our Book Review, Author & Book Pages

To learn more about Eileen, visit our Author, Book & Trailer Pages



If you are an Indie Author or a Book Reviewer and interested in joining Famous Five Plus, click on the link below and email for more details

Friday, 23 December 2011

Merry Christmas


From everyone at Famous Five Plus HQ, thank you for all your support since we started on 31st October. It has been an amazing few weeks and we will be back in full flow straight after Christmas.

 In the meantime, we hope you find time to sit down, relax and enjoy a great read.
Merry Christmas.

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Author Paul Anthony, Dyslexia Foundation & Audio Book


Dyslexia Foundation UK and Audio Books, Paul Anthony talk about a new scheme to create an audio library for the Foundation.


I wondered on whether the title of this post should be either ‘How to Produce Audio Books’ or ‘Audio Books - A Missed Opportunity’. It’s debatable. So I invite you to read my story and then you can decide.

In 2011, the Dyslexia Foundation UK, selected one of my books to be the first audio book in their forthcoming library to be located primarily in the Manchester and Liverpool area of North West England. They picked a book published by a traditional house so I rang my publisher and arranged to donate electronic distribution rights to the registered charity. Two ‘phone calls later, the charity bought a dozen books at a discount price suitable to both parties concerned and commenced the project. The project is designed so that the dyslexic individual can simultaneously read a printed book whilst listening to the audio. This stimulates the brain and enhances both the reading ability and educational standard of the dyslexic person. Dyslexia isn’t a disease. It’s a condition that we can do something about. I’m lucky, I’m not dyslexic. Are you?
‘Do you need any more books from different authors?’ I asked.
‘Yes please,’ they replied. ‘We’re making a library.’
‘I’ll write an open letter to all the authors I network with,’ said I. ‘We’re bound to get some interest.’
‘Do you have any network friends?’ They asked.
I responded, ‘Across ‘social media platforms’ - about 5,000 and rising.’
‘Oh, we don’t need that many. It’s just a small library,’ they replied.
I wrote the letter and transmitted it to my 5,000 ‘friends, likers, and followers.’ It’s on this blogsite.
 Audio production began.
The Foundation engaged a BBC producer to firstly read the work and become familiar with the syntax and the characters defined in the book - so that one might have an understanding of the actions and emotions that leap from the pages into the narrator’s speech. They used software to turn my 350 page single spaced novel into an 850 page double spaced A4 script for the narrator to read and speak from during the production. Then they hired a recording studio in Manchester and recorded the work over a five day period. It took time and it was their first production. Of course, once the work is recorded, it has to be edited in the studio so that the quality of the recoding is maximised and not lost in the electronics. Then it’s packaged into a CD or an MP3 and it’s ready to go. And oh yes, we’ll stimulate some press interest - local and regional radio stations, regional television, and local newspapers in the North West. Mmm.. We’re done; the work is completed, we’re ready to go in 2012 - with one book.

The Foundation will rent out the recording and the printed book to their members at a couple of pounds a time and all the money will go to their charity. They’ll give me the CD or MP3 and I can sell it wherever I want if I wish. Err.... yes, I can sell it too. So my book is in an audio library; the Foundation will make money from the audio book, and I can sell it elsewhere if I want too - or to be precise, copies of it  - just like Amazon audio books then and in the same format!

You can produce an audio book at home, I hear you say. Correct, you need to have a computer, buy the relevant software, and have a really quiet room and a very expensive but really good microphone. And then you need to be able to read and record the work without picking up the noise of pages turning and all the background noise you might expect in a house. You know, passing traffic, voices, telephone ringing... and, oh yeah, you do have a good voice for narration, don’t you? I’m pretty sure some authors work pretty hard at producing audio books from home and make a good job of it. But you could also hire a recording studio yourself and pay a narrator and a sound engineer to do the work for you. Do you have a calculator? Are you adding up the cost of this project? If you’re already published by a traditional house then your publisher may well have you in audio already, but there are actually very few audio books out there. And if you’re a self publisher then cost will be no object at all, will it?
‘So how’s the response been to your open letter from other authors?’ I hear you say.
Well, research reveals that the Goodreads community is awash with authors who give away their printed books every day of the week in the relevant area of that website. You put your book cover and blurb in the Giveaways section and then people enter a free raffle for your book(s). I’ve done it with all my books. It’s free marketing for a month for the author and a free book for the winner, and it’s fun. Free books! Oh yes, Smashwords and Amazon are saturated with authors giving away those free books - sorry ebooks - They even got blogsites and websites dedicated to the distribution of free books. They’re climbing all over each other to give away free books that are ebooks. It’s so dangerous out there you could get injured pushing in front of someone determined to give you a free book before someone else does. But it’s good to give free books away. Good for marketing, exposure, and future sales. Why on earth would you want to donate a free book to a charity? No marketing, exposure or future sales there, is there? And some of the ebooks we know of are also in print, aren’t they?
Well, reader, I’m a self publisher now because I choose to be and I’m in print, kindle and all the other technical formats that you can think of. I’ve donated all my books to the Foundation. I’ve worked out it will cost me.. Nothing.. Other than a few printed books and a postage delivery... to ‘go audio’.
So how many of my 5,000 cyberspace ‘friends, likers, and followers’ have donated their work so far?
I’ll tell you - Here’s their names, not including myself, ... Elizabeth Marshall, Magda Olcahwska, CC Cole, Sonia Rumzi, Miriam Wakerly, .... and, well that’s five ..... from 5,000. (But not forgetting Zoe Saadia who isn’t in print but has offered to assist in marketing the project)
Yep, thank you, ladies. I mean thank you. That’s part of 2012 taken up in recording your books.
The cost to you? Err.... Sorry, I lost my calculator. You work it out!
Now then is the title of this posting correct? How to Produce Audio Books.... Or.... Audio Books - A Missed Opportunity.... You decide.

To learn more about Paul visit our Author, Books & Trailer Pages



If you are an Indie Author or a Book Reviewer and are interested in joining the Famous Five Plus, click on the link below and email for more details.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Author Gilli Allan Talks About Christmas Traditions and Torn


As we head towards one of the most important days in the calender, Christmas Day, Author Gilli Allan talks about past Christmas traditions and her novel, Torn.

Everyone loves Christmas don’t they?  I certainly do. It’s a serious event in our house. We are not religious, but I love the Christmas story, as well as all the traditions  - sparkle, snow, carols, fairy lights and gifts piled beside the decorated trees  -  which have grown up around the celebration of Christmas. We enjoy it as the mid-winter pagan festival it once was in these islands.
The perpetuation of tradition happens on a smaller scale, within families. I am well aware that the things I insist upon   - the foil wrapped nugget of coal, alongside the nuts, chocolate money and Satsuma, in the toe of the stocking   -  is not necessarily what anyone else does, it is simply a repetition of what happened in my family when I was a child. So there is a lot of sentiment wrapped-up in the attempt to recreate the Christmases of your own childhood  -  a need to sink back into that remembered warmth, excitement and security.


My book, Torn, starts just before Christmas.  Jessica has escaped London with her young son, and is making a fresh start in the country. Here she believes life will be simple, straightforward and peaceful.  As she leaves a pub on her first evening out, she breaths in the chill air with a sense of relief and optimism.



To learn more about Gilli, visit our Author and Book Pages




If you arev an Indie Author or a Book Reviewer and are interested in joining Famous Five Plus, click on the link below and email for more details


Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Ananda Reviews Diary of a Mummy Misfit


Famous Five Plus Book Reviewer, Ananda - Books to Remember - reviews Diary of a Mummy Misfit by Amanda Egan


All Libby ever wanted was for her son, Max to have the best education. She and her husband are not rich, but willing to sacrifice and invest in their son's future. Libby and Ned are on Cloud 9 when they find out their only child, Max is accepted at Manor House Prep School. But education at a prestigious school costs a lot, and Libby and Ned are starting to worry, and feel stressed, especially Libby.
But this charming and sweet mommy has more problems..Mainly the other women, mothers at the committee, new tasks, events to attend, not to mention the fact she has to put up with snobs and Gestapo mommies. But at least she has Fenella, who is rich but not a snob, so they create a lovely girly bond and a deep friendship.

I really enjoyed every page of this book! Wow, I think it helped me realise I LOVE British chick lit and British humour. I must admit I wasn't familiar with some of the phrases, and I had to check them online, but I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It's witty, original and I just loved Libby. It was pretty much easy for me to identify with her on many occasions, her fear for being in a completely new world where it seems she doesn't belong. But she is lovely, and I shall quote Lou (Libby's old friend) - Libby, they may have money, but you have a class!
I absolutely love the friendship between Libby and Fenella, and the way they support each other, though they have different backgrounds. As for the humour, it's absolutely fantastic! Libby is a hilarious character, positive, sweet and absolutely someone you would want to be friends with.
This is one of those book that guarantees you hours of laughing and complete enjoyment. It will also get you hooked from the very first page! The sequel is now out (as kindle
and paperback) and I am really really looking forward to reading it. Mrs Egan sure got me addicted to her writing style and the adventures of lovely Libby. 

To learn more about Ananda visit our Book Reviewer Page
To learn more about Amanda visit our Author, Book & Trailer Pages


If you you are an Indie Author or a Book Reviewer and are interested in joining Famous Five Plus, please click on the link below and email for more details


Monday, 19 December 2011

Stephanie Keyes Launches The Star Child


Author Stephanie Keyes, launches her debut novel The Star Child


"Over the past month, I’ve finally started to share with friends and work colleagues that The Star Child is about to be released. Even though I always knew I would publish it, I didn’t want to deal with the inevitable “Have you finished with that book yet?” types of questions. However, now that we are so close I’ve started letting the cat out of the bag so to speak.

"Needless to say, I’m getting quite a lot of questions about the book. Particularly from people who are surprised that it’s from the Fantasy genre and it’s for Young Adults. So as I sit on an inner tube with my margarita, I thought I’d tell you a little but about that.

"The reason that I was drawn so much to Fantasy is because there is very little magic in our day-to-day lives. Granted there are those of us who try to incorporate it, myself included. However, when it comes to it, most of us are stuck in a cycle of getting up, going to work, coming home, and going to sleep – with various other tasks mixed in between. There is very little opportunity for anything other than the ordinary.
The Young Adult audience was equally appealing because at that time in our own lives, there are so many possibilities. Your life hasn’t quite begun yet. There is a strange sort of romantic quality associated with this exciting time, so the combination of these two appealed to me.

"In The Star Child, I was writing a protagonist in an opposite gender from my own, so it was very important that he have a very strong personality. Kellen St. James shares many of my own views. That was something that I decided to pass on early.

"For example, I am a very direct, no-nonsense kind of person. However, when it comes to romance, I’m mush, if the sceptic in me allows the romance in. Kellen is that same way. He is absolutely convinced that Calienta is lying to him and really takes a decent amount of time deciding whether or not to believe her, let alone fall in love with her.

"The relationship between Kellen and Calienta mirrors my own with my husband in many ways. I didn’t believe that he was for real; he was almost too normal. Opening myself up seemed risky and I put him through the ringer quite a bit before I really decided to commit to him. He was always patient and always there, consistently reinforcing his commitment. So Calienta is quite a bit like him. Although, between us it would be nice if you didn’t share that I gave his qualities away to a female character. I don’t want him to suffer an identity crisis.

"Although The Star Child is a fantasy, there is also quite a bit of romance and adventure backed in. If you look carefully you will also see quite a bit of my own real-life romance embedded in the story, minus the world-saving prophecy."


The Star Child is available on;




To find out more about Stephanie visit our Author, Book & Trailer Pages
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If you are an Indie Author or a Book Rweviewer and are interested in joining the Famous Five Plus, click on the link below and email for more details.

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Warm Welcome to More Famous Five Plus Authors

This week we welcomed to the Famous Five Plus group two more talented authors, Harvey Black and Francine Howarth.


Harvey Black -  qualified parachutist, I served with British Army Intelligence for over ten years. My experience ranges from covert surveillance in Northern Ireland to operating in Communist East Berlin during the cold war, where I feared for my life after being dragged from my car and attacked by Russian KGB soldiers.

Since then I have lived a more sedate life in the private sector as a Director for an International Company, but now enjoys the pleasures of writing. I am married with four children.

Francine Howarth - As a one-time published author I unluckily fell out of the writing saddle due to a serious riding accident. By the time I felt able to again start writing novels the two publishers who’d given me a break (one in UK and one in US) were no longer Independent publishers. One had fallen by the wayside the other lost to a take-over bid by a conglomerate. Subsequently, all authors previously listed (under contract) were dropped along with lapsed writers such as I. To get back into the publishing whirl in the conventional sense proved almost impossible, though I have now succeeded in securing a contract with a US publisher for contemporary romance: release date July 2012.

So why go Indie (?) you might ask. The simple answer Amazon has made it easy to be self-pubbed via Kindle, and Amazon has the lion’s share of the world book market.  I have three Indie historical romance novellas on Kindle that are rated higher on Amazon than similar by best-selling authors: whom I might add, were published by one of the three main romance publishers. So, I am now about to publish my first paperback. And it won’t be my last, despite the US contract for a contemporary romance. The reason I am going to push-on with Indie books is because I have complete control over when my historical novels are published and, I don’t have to waste time subbing, re-subbing, waiting on replies, and I love designing book covers and making book trailers.       

To learn more about Harvey & Francine visit our Author, Book & Trailer Pages.



If you are an Indie Author or a Book Reviewer and are interested in joining Famous Five Plus, please click on the link below and email for more details.
famousfiveplus@gmail.com

Friday, 16 December 2011

Suzy Turner is Cutting It Short for Charity!


Author of Raven and December Moon, Suzy Turner is cutting it short and all in the aid of charity!

"I'm chopping my hair off for charity... yes, you read that right, my long locks are going and will be replaced with a super short pixie crop!
Initially I had decided to go for the chop because I'd decided to go completely natural and let my white hair shine through but as I gave it more thought I figured I should make it a charity event. I've chosen to raise funds for the Make a Wish Foundation International, an amazing charity which helps make the wishes come true for children with life threatening illnesses. I'd watched videos of some of these amazing kids and I always balled my eyes out and so it seemed only right to support something that had such an impact on my emotional state (and tear ducts!).


"The day of the chop is set for Friday 13th January. Yes, Friday 13th!!! I am brave, aren't I?!

"Please, please, please help by donating whatever you possibly can, even if it's just a few dollars / pounds / euros... it will all make a difference to some amazing children around the world. You can visit my charity page, here, to help support my cause.

"And yep, if you're wondering about my hair, I am still going white. I've had enough of repeatedly putting all those chemicals on my head and I'm proud of who I am... and that includes my natural hair colour too!"

For more details, visit http://suzyturner.com/

To find out more about Suzy visit our Author, Book & Trailer Pages



If you are an Indie Author or a Book Reviewer and are interested in joining Famous Five Plus, click on the link below and email for more details
famousfiveplus@gmail.com

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Amanda Egan launches her 2nd Novel

An exciting and emotional day for every author when their book is launched and today, Amanda Egan is filled with these emotions and more as she publishes her second novel, the sequel to her debut novel.


The Darker Side of Mummy Misfit is today available in paperback from Lulu and from Amazon in Kindle.
Here is the teaser.....

Think you knew Mummy Misfit?
Well, you might be in for a surprise.
After a year of struggling with school fees, trying to become pregnant and feeling like she didn’t belong amongst the prep-school ‘Meemies’, Libby is back. Only this time, she’s got it all. But how long can it last and will she ever be truly happy?

Join Libby on her hilarious, yet sensitive journey as loyalty, friendships and values are tested in The Darker Side of Mummy Misfit.


To learn more about Amanda, visit our Author, Book & Trailer Pages



If you are an Indie Author or a Book Reviewer and are interested in joining Famous Five Plus, click on the link below and email for more details
famousfiveplus@gmail.com

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Nikki Bywater Reviews The Night Watcher


Book Reviewer, Nikki Bywater today shares her review of The Nigh Watcher by Chris Longmuir

The Night Watcher is a killer he has killed before and he will kill again. He hears voices in his head and he believes he is on a mission to seek out and find a new chosen one to punish. He is now in the city of Dundee and the voices have guided him to Nicole Ralston.

Nicole is married to Scott. He is overbearing, opinionated and he often makes Nicole feel worthless and like a child again. She should be happy with Scott but there is a void an ache that constantly needs to be filled and she does this through casual affairs with other men that are often married men, to boost her self confidence.

When one of her married lovers David Chalmers is found dead hanging from a stairway and is suspected of committing suicide, his estranged wife Julie thinks that if it had not been for Nicole, her husband would still be alive, she plans to get revenge on Nicole. Nicole was not going to get away with stealing someone else’s husband and driving him to his death. Julie is going to make sure she pays and she comes up with a plan to exact her vengeance.

With both The Night Watcher and Julie stalking Nicole which one will reach their prey first? Will this be far more dangerous than Julie could ever imagine and is she putting her own life in danger?

If you like crime/ thriller novels that are packed with suspense and a fantastically gripping storyline, with an interesting cast of characters that keep you entertained all the way through the book. Then this is the book for you.  I really liked reading this book and I could not wait to find out what would happen next. I would really recommend this book it is an excellent read. I will look forward to reading more of Chris Longmuir’s work.

Chris Longmuir was born in Wiltshire and now lives in Angus. She writes short stories, articles and crime novels. Her first book Deadwood won the International book prize
 
The learn more about Nikki visit our Book Reviewer Page
 
To learn more about Chris visit our Author, Book & Trailer Pages
 
 
 
If you are an Indie Author or a Book Reviewer and are interested in joining Famous Five Plus click on the link below and email for details
 

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

A Festive Poem by Paul Anthony


Multi talented author, Paul Anthony shares one of his poems with a festive theme.
 
Steady Work
~   ~   ~
I’ve been helping out for thirty five years.
Never made a penny.
I went looking for my pay cheques.
Couldn’t find any.
Of course, it’s not just the money.
Sometimes, the things they say are so funny.
But there is a downside. It’s manual,
And just the one day, annual.
But it’s steady work, I reckon.
And there’s still a hesitant shuffle when I beckon.
Sometimes, I forget all their names.
So I make it up to them with laughter, and sacks of lovely games.
Then I let them stroke my woolly white beard.
The older ones sometimes think it’s a little weird.
I must have seen thousands of girls, and boys,
And given away as many wonderful toys.
I think they like the red suit,
And the black Wellington boot.
But when the children grow older they ask if I’m real?
Maybe they think I’m all a bit surreal.
Well, for you, any queries, I can relieve.
I’m one of his helpers. I’ve met him. I believe.
Just the one day, annual.
But it’s steady work, I reckon.
Believe.
I do.
Don’t you?
~
(Extracted from Sunset a collection of poetry by Paul Anthony)
 
 
To lean more about Paul visit our Author, Book & Trailer Pages



If you are an Indie Author or a Book Reviewer and are interested in joining the Famous Five Plus, click on the link below and email for more details
famousfiveplus@gmail.com

Monday, 12 December 2011

Miriam Wakerly Talks About her writing & Why Gypsies!


Miriam Wakerly today talks about how through working to support single mums it lead her to research about gypsies and travellers, which ultimately became the focus of her two published novels. This is a fascinating post!

Why Gypsies and Travellers?
 -  usually the first question people ask

At book-signings and talks, this is what intrigues people. Am I Gypsy? No. How come I am writing stories with a theme that hinges on Gypsies and Travellers, their origins, way of life and present-day problems?

Two happily converging paths led me to write Gypsies Stop tHere (link to Amazon.co.uk   http://amzn.to/t5tIap. )

Firstly, I wanted to write a novel with thought-provoking social realism, but equally, it must be enjoyable!  It should make readers smile as they turn the pages, with engaging characters driving the story. This fusion of fact and fiction would be an interesting challenge.

The second influence that prompted me was through working to support single, teenage Mums. I questioned whether my colleagues and I should approach local Travellers to offer our services – mostly information and emotional support. I was told families tend to look after themselves and might not want us interfering. This set me off on a fact-finding trail, reading about their secretive but proud culture, to discover a mix of persecution and achievements. I dug deep to understand their origins, the differences between, say, Romany Gypsies, Irish Travellers, Roma and New Age Travellers. I became more and more fascinated. It is, trust me, a huge and complex subject! 

I was intrigued by the whole idea of a community living on the edge of society, who seem to keep themselves together – and apart. Or, was it the rest of society that was ostracising them? Why was there such a mismatch between the old romantic notion of a Gypsy in his gaily-painted, horse-drawn wagon and the more modern image? Hundreds more questions began to build up and I wanted to understand; I needed to know more. The more answers I found the more questions arose.

As I went on to meet Gypsies and Travellers, visit sites, attend meetings and events, I found these people did not, by and large, chime with the negative stereotypes fixed in the psyche of mainstream society. This launched me into something of passion for my subject. There is so much to learn, and so much to say! And I must add there are plenty of Gypsies and Travellers who speak for themselves, both as individuals and through numerous organisations, but they are not always listened to.

Waterstone’s attached a note to Gypsies Stop there: ““A fantastic, insightful first novel by a local author. Challenges prejudices and entertains thoroughly. This is a perfect holiday read”  You can see clips from reviews for both this first novel and the second one, No Gypsies Served on Amazon and my web site http://www.miriamwakerly.com/  All you writers know how rewarding it is to get positive comments from people; keeps the creative momentum rolling along!

There is more about this leg of my ‘journey’: www.miriamwakerly.blogspot.com  ‘How Come Gypsies and Travellers?’ 6 Dec 2009, and ‘Why I cannot leave Gypsies and Travellers alone’  10 October 2011.


To learn more about Miriam visit our Author & Book Pages


If you are an Indie Author or a Book Reviewer and are interested in joining the Famous Five Plus, click on the link below and email for more details.
famousfiveplus@gmail.com

Saturday, 10 December 2011

A Warm Welcome to more Authors & Book Reviewers

Famous Five Plus is not only growing at an alarming rate, but is truly international with members from, Canada, USA, Macedonia, Portugal, Canary Isles, UK and Australia. Today we officially welcome three Authors and one Book Reviewer to our exciting and dynamic group for Indie Authors.


Sylvia Massara -  I have been writing since my early teens and I have written a number of plays, screenplays and, most recently, novels. I live in Sydney, Australia.

Although a multi-genre writer, one of my favourite genre is romance/chick lit, and I have a soft spot for chicks who are on the cusp of 40 and beyond. Yes, chicks still date after 40! To prove this, I wrote The Other Boyfriend (loosely based on my own life experience while I briefly lived in Taiwan and Hong Kong). Just recently, I released a third book, a romance/chick lit novel entitled Like Casablanca; this is a cross between Internet dating and Rick's Cafe (also loosely based on my life).

I have also written a general fiction drama, The Soul Bearers, a story inspired by real life events and filled with hope and inspiration when overcoming life's obstacles and learning to live and love again.

Currently, I am working on a mystery series whose protagonist is a spunky and wiseass chick—and she’s 48! Older women have much more fun.


I am the creator and host of The Lit Chick Show, a literary blog run as a mini-TV show that features authors of all genres plus special guests and bits and pieces about anything literary.

Brain Hoffman - The 18th Scroll started as a short treatment called All My Bones and grew.  The core of the story came from my brother in law who was a Border Patrol Agent and from my own interest in Biblical archaeology.  It took almost two years to write pecking at it when I had time.  But this story took me to full time fiction writing.


Stephanie Keyes - When I am not writing, I work full time as a Corporate Educator and Curriculum Designer. I hold a M.Ed. from Duquesne University and an undergraduate degree in Management information Systems from Robert Morris University. I am a clarinetist, saxophonist, and vocalist, and I am always making music somewhere at sometime. I credit my loving husband of ten years and our two sons for the completion and publication of The Star Child.




Silvana -  Silvana-I'm 34 old  mother and wife.I'm a Latin teacher in high school.Since my first days in school I find my passion READING.
But the reading is not enough I want to share my thoughts for the books which I'm reading.I'm think that books are for everyone just grab them and read them. You may find me on Goodreads,Twitter and on my blog.


To learn more about Sylvia, Brian and Stephanie visit our Author, Book & Trailer Pages

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Friday, 9 December 2011

Paul Anthony on A Life of Crime!


Paul Anthony is in the hot seat today talking about what he knows a great deal about, a life of crime, but from which angle..... read on to find out!

Thank you for the invitation to contribute to this wonderful website. I love my writing and have decided to write to you about my life and the 61 years I have thus far lived. I'm very lucky to have a very supportive family and am pleased to say that I regularly give talks to various groups from library groups to book clubs to Freemasons lodges to WI dinners and gatherings to..... whoa stop....

The title of my talk is 'A Life of Crime'... Only on this website, I'm going to write it and not speak it. Well, for those who are interested, my first published book occurred in 1996, but my first work was written between 1966 and 2009... Poetry... But poetry written from the age of 16 years onwards.

A life of crime began as a police cadet in Cumbria and swiftly became 'a Life of Grime' when I was seconded to Haigh Colliery in Whitehaven, Cumbria, for 6 months as part of the secondment to industry that the police training programme for cadets then entailed. I carried the picks, worked at the coal face with a 'roof slater' (a chisel for slicing coal from the ceiling above you)  and wore Davy's lamp. Covered in cold dust I was the thinnest , youngest, and shiest young miner they'd ever seen. Black as the ace of spades after 10 hours underground, I went for a shower and a pint or two with the lads who took me in and looked after me. Drinking pints at 16? Well, pints of milk in the canteen out of big white pint mugs.... My life of crime began in a life of grime. I was 16 then and when I returned from a great secondment to the miners, which I thoroughly enjoyed, the police then sent me to work in a biscuit factory for 6 months. This was in Carlisle and my Mum gave me a shilling a day to buy my lunch. I went to the pub across the road from the factory every day and bought a pint of shandy and a pie for nine pence. I saved the other three pence every day for whatever was the flavour of the times. I worked with the plumbers and the machine operators in the factory and I was bored. Thankfully, they sent me to Eskdale Outward Bound Centre in the Lake District for 6 months on the Junior Leader's Course. To put it simply, you eventually learn to live of the land, travel light but insulated and secure, and survive long cold winters on the top of Cumbria's highest and coldest fells. But more next time when I return to ground level and end up on the factory floor.

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Thursday, 8 December 2011

Sue Fortin Reviews, See You At The Show


Author and Book Reviewer, Sue Fortin today reviews Michelle Betham's novel, See You At The Show.

Stevie Stone is a tattooed, straight talking, girl-roadie with the highly successful American rock group, Black Rock Diamond.  In a world dominated by men, she can hold her own and gives as good as she gets.  Stevie is also involved in an open and ambiguous relationship with front man Mark Cassidy - which pivots around the physical relationship they have and the fact that, no matter what, they always gravitate back to each other.    However, when things are bad between the two and Mark is hooking up with one groupie or another, Stevie runs to Black Rock Diamond's guitarist, Johnny Jackson,  for comfort, reassurance and a certain amount of retaliation towards Mark.  An arrangement that is accepted by everyone it seems.
Life for Stevie and the band jogs along in its usual yet complicated way until politician Daniel Madison turns up and is completely captivated by Stevie.  Is there any possible way a prominent MP could become involved with someone such as Stevie without committing political suicide?  Not only that, but what's in it for Stevie?  Is this where she can find true love or will it be thwarted by others?  Their two worlds are about as far apart as can possibly be.  How can they fit into each other's lives?  Who will have to give up the most?  Will past lives and secrets stay that way or will they come back to haunt everyone involved?
This is the third rock themed romance I've read recently and each one has been very different; See You At The Show falling on the more edgy side of the romance spectrum.  I enjoyed reading it and, for me, the story really took off at the half way mark when the stakes were raised and with the tension building, I really didn't know which way the story line was going.   At times I was cheering Mark on, other times championing Johnny's corner and then still finding myself urging Daniel on - no wonder Stevie was confused, I certainly couldn't make my mind up what she should do!

See You At The Show check list

Attitude?  Tick.    Realistic dialogue?  Tick.    Edgy? Tick.     Hot?  Tick.     Fun read?  Tick


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