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Friday, 31 May 2013

Book Reviewers for Famous Five Plus



Author Showcase Trailer Designed and Produced by Avalon Graphics


At Famous Five Plus we have some amazingly talented authors who have written many top selling books. Several have won prizes and have been honoured as great reads from international web sites through to Goodreads.

If you like what you see and feel you could be a reviewer for Famous Five Plus, then please contact

In the meantime I hope you enjoyed watching our Author Showcase Trailer and it has given you an appetite for wanting to read more great reads!

Thursday, 30 May 2013

Northern Lights Library Systems Conference


Eileen Schuh is talking Self-publishing to Librarians

I’m so excited to have received the final itinerary for the Northern Lights Library System’s (NLLS) massive conference coming up this fall. I’m excited because I, alongside two other authors, have been invited to participate on the conference panel discussion on self-publishing—and there’s my name in the brochure!

What aspects of self-publishing we’ll discuss has been left entirely up to us which is both awesome and scary—trying to predict what a roomful of librarians and educators want to hear about self-publishing is difficult. But we intend to have a great time and promote not only our books but all those wonderful indie books out there.

I’m in the unique position of having both self-published and traditionally published, so the ups and downs of both experiences are mine for the telling. The conference is in September so I have plenty of time to prepare.

An hour and a half is a lot of time to fill and I’ve learned from past experience not to count on participation from the audience. Sometimes a question and answer session will run far past the allotted time and sometimes—nobody says a thing.
I will be prepared for that possible silence. I’ve arranged to have a laptop there so that I can play some book trailers perhaps. Or show them my website and blog and talk about how I promote my books online. Perhaps I’ll click over to Famous Five Plus and introduce these people to a passel of fine indie authors.

I’m all set to read a bit from one of my books should the opportunity arise; we all like being read to. It stirs warm memories of laying our heads on our desk after lunch and listening to the teacher read The Secret Garden or Black Beauty. Or, of curling up in bed with Mom and falling to sleep to Curious George. Besides, a book reading eats up lots of time and can be extended indefinitely if need be!

And oh, my goodness, Chris Longmuir has been so helpful providing information on famous self-published authors as well as the definitions of self-publishing and other forms of publishing. I’m sure to use all that information.

I’ll speak about the finances involved in the various publishing pursuits as well. And marketing, and formatting, and royalities. Pricing and paperbacks, and eBooks. Perhaps somewhere in there, I’ll even invite the other two panelists to say something! (Just kidding; we’ll all take turns.)

Here’s a link to the NLLS Conference Brochure. You’ll see my name under the Friday “B” events at 10:30 – 12:00 noon.

Wish me luck and if any of you have other suggestions for topics to cover, just let me know.











You an find out more about Eileen by visiting our Author, Books, Trailer & Review Pages

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Peggy Stanton Chats with Heart Throb Jonny Mason



Today, Peggy Stanton’s heart is beating a tad faster as she chats with the heart throb, Jonny Mason from Angel Girls.


Peggy: Do come and make yourself at home Jonny, believe you me I’m more than cheered up at having a good looking young man sitting in my chat studio. If I’m not mistaken you could be taken for an idol of mine, James Dean.

Jonny: Hi Peggy, thanks for having me and normally I am not one to blow my own trumpet, but I have been told by a certain lady called Debbie that I am a bit of a pin up boy in a book called Angel Girls.

Peggy: All I can say is that those Angel Girls are very lucky.

Jonny: Mmm not to sure as I have to tell you that I am a one woman sort of a fella, and I am already spoken for.

Peggy: Don’t your worry, you’re safe with me. So tell me about this love of your life.

Jonny: It’s the beautiful Sarah Miller and she also says I look a lot like the movie star James Dean. I don’t know about that, but I do have blonde hair and blue eyes.

Peggy: Take it from me your Sarah is not wrong. Now how did you two meet?

Jonny: At the Lyceum ballroom. Our eyes met during a rock and roll revival dance and I could not get her out of my head, Peggy. I have to admit, she was the only girl for me. I am a resourceful and persistent guy, and I managed to track her down at her workplace and managed to get a date. Well, one thing led to another and we have been together ever since. I fell in love with Sarah the first time I met her in and I’m still in love, though it’s not always been plain sailing.

Peggy: Why ever not, surely young people know a good thing when is comes along?

Jonny: I do, but it got a little complicated. You see there was young Louise to deal with. She wanted to be my girlfriend and clung on like an annoying tick. She caused a lot of friction between me and Sarah, and that's putting it mildly. I told her I only had eyes for Sarah, but she would not listen. What could I do?

Peggy: I’d be telling her to sling her hook and I hope you did too!

Jonny: If that was all I had to worry about, but things got more complicated. You see there was Sarah's father to deal with. I adore my own father, so it was hard to understand how any man, let alone a father could be so cruel, but maybe I should not say too much about that. Just thinking about it gets me riled, so please lets move on, shall we?

Peggy: Now calm down, there’s no need to upset yourself, but sadly I know your friend Billy was not the friend you thought he was.

Jonny: He wasn’t and it doesn’t make pretty conversation either. As you can see, I'm getting angry again. Well, you would be too if someone you thought was a pal betrayed you like he did... It's hard to talk about it Peggy, you see he stole money from Sarah's best friend Suzy, then he broke into my home and when my dad caught him, he stabbed him. Left him for dead and scarpered! I wanted to kill him with my bare hands, especially as he had tried to cause a rift between Sarah and me. Phew, I'm getting all emotional now. Sorry, but I don’t think I can say anymore.

Peggy: That understandable, you seem to have been through the wars. Now let us talk about something I know will bring that smile back to your lovely blue eyes. It says here on my notes that you work in an antique toy shop. Now that sounds fascinating.

Jonny: You have no idea Peggy. It’s great. I work with my dad, Victor Mason and our shop is in Camden Passage. That is in Islington London where the book, Angel Girls is set. I also love classic cars, big daft Labradors, music and dancing.
And I’d love to talk more with you about it all, but firstly I need to get back to the shop and secondly, Debbie has said I have to keep my conversation restricted. Of course you can find all about me and what really happened with Sarah and me by reading Angel Girls.

Peggy: You can be certain of that young man, you’ve fascinated me and I want to know more about this other girl too, Louise and also if that nasty tow rag, Billy got his comeuppance.

Jonny: I can tell you, you’ll find all the answers there. Thanks Peggy you are brilliant, if it wasn’t for my Sarah, who knows!

Peggy: Be off with you, just because you’ve got the looks of an old film star doesn’t give you the right to chat me up, even if I love it. So on your way and sell a few antiques and do calm down.




You can find out all about Angel Girls and the author D S Ingram by visiting our Author, Books & Review Pages

If you are interested in sponsoring the Peggy Stanton Interview posts, then please visit our Advertising Page for details

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Round Up with Pauline Barclay


A round up with Pauline Barclay who looks at some of the highlighs of the last month on Famous Five Plus




Novelicious Books visited FFP HQ and talked out its exciting new Publishing Company. If you missed this just click here to read the full article.http://www.famousfiveplus.com/2013/05/special-guest-novelicious.html






Agent Hunter talked to FFP about the new service to help Indie Authors find agents and publishers. To read the full article click here... http://www.famousfiveplus.com/2013/05/agent-hunter-agent-hunter-making.html






Writing that sequel how tough is it? MIchelle Betham shares her frustrations as she sets the pace for the 2nd book in her football trilogy.






This month we welcomed Tanya J Peterson author of the top selling, Absence Without Leave.




T

Tim Vicary gave talked about the importance of your book cover in Dressed To Sell





How to load an e-book on your Kindle - step by step invaluable instructions by Chris Longmuir





Our sassy Peggy Stanton continues to visit FFP HQ every Wednesday where, in her studio, she chats with some amazing peeps.
 Her guests this last month included:

Caroline James

Jane Leonard

Tim Vicary

Cathy Speight

Click on the name to read the full interview


There are over 400 posts on FFP, to read recent and old posts, click on our Home Page and keep scrolling!
Enjoy!




You can find out more about Pauline and all members of FFP by visiting our Author, Books, Trailer & Review Pages

Monday, 27 May 2013

Are You Marketable?


Are you marketable? Do you care? Valissa Enever takes a look to see if we should care!

A conversation happened the other day whilst I was talking with a few friends.  The discussion centred around whether society was vain. Perhaps society in general is and perhaps society in general is not.

Am I making myself clear? Even myself, I am unsure. However we did conclude that an impression is based upon perception, perception of what the general consensus will like.

Let me make myself more clear, we were talking about a show that pitted two contestants together, both, equally good, both equally talented, both beautiful in looks, one perhaps more so. Which won?
I don’t think I need to answer because I think you already know.

This comes full circle in any profession that casts an outsider's eye on the product/company, not necessarily a person.  As a whole we are more perceptible to believe that what we want is the best, yet if you dissect the group as a whole into individuals, they would more likely be led to the one that is less perfect, (this of course is my opinion, I would like to hear if you agree, or disagree).

Let's put this back to the real world where we as individuals try to compete against the larger companies.

Self publishing for example has lead a strong lead in the last few years where authors most likely try to promote their wares to a publisher or agent and were declined for whatever reason, thus turning their hand to publishing themselves.

Let me give you an example, I sent away a manuscript to an agent only to have it returned with a standard letter, a handwritten explanation on that letter scrawled 'not marketable'.

After few attempts and the standard 'sorry letter' later I decided to self publish and I am proud of what I have achieved. I very rarely market myself or my books yet they sell and I get responses from readers who love my books. This gives me great satisfaction.

Getting back to marketability.  The last craze on our bookshelves was erotica with E.L James leading and paving the way. Not long after, many publishers soon found that they could market erotica and perhaps wizard books were on the way out.

The question I want to ask is; are you in the market?

For readers: Are you reading the latest craze? If so, is this because the publishers have jumped on the marketable bandwagon flooding us with books hoping to make a quick buck, or.
Do you scour the stores looking for that interesting book, that quirky book, or are you steadfast to your favourite genre not giving a damn what the latest craze is?

For Authors: Are you writing to keep up with the latest craze? Are you writing and cashing in on the marketability of your books. Or, do you write for the love of writing in a genre that you love?
And lastly, can you combine the both.

Some food for thought.



Find out more about Valissa by visiting our Author, Books & Review Pages

Saturday, 25 May 2013

HUG A BOOK with Tanya J Peterson




Hug A Book is sponsored by
Volkan-Watches





It’s HUG A BOOK and this weekend it’s with Tanya J Peterson

And

You could win a Kindle copy of
Leave of Absence





Meet Tanya



I am passionate about issues that involve mental illness and mental health/wellness for all people, so I write novels with themes involving the human experience of mental illness. I have a mental health blog (www.tanyajpeterson.com/blog), and I participate in events both off- and online to increase awareness and understanding and to end stigma.  I’m active in my local NAMI chapter, and I give presentations and speak at conferences.  I’m passionate about mental health because I have a unique combination of experiences that have put me on both sides of the proverbial couch.  I have a Master of Science degree in counseling and am a nationally certified counselor.  I've volunteered my services in schools and communities (I've also been a high school teacher) in order to help people help themselves.  And I've been the recipient of help as a patient.  After sustaining a traumatic brain injury after a car accident (and a couple other concussions in the months/years following that accident due to acts of stupidity and clumsiness), I was on an intense roller coaster ride that had me in and out of a behavioral health hospital.  It was during this time that I was officially diagnosed with Bipolar I disorder.  I've been there -- on both sides, helper and helpee.  So armed with a desire to help people, to teach about the realities of mental health, and a love of writing, I've set out to combine these things.  My most recent novel, Leave of Absence, became available in April, 2013.  A new one, also dealing with mental illness, is already in the works.
I'm married and have two children, a daughter in high school and a son who's almost done with elementary school.  We live in the Pacific Northwest of the United States.  I love the outdoors -- hiking, biking, tent camping, kayaking, and show shoeing.  I often drag my family along on these adventures, but sometimes I enjoy quiet solitude.  I also like attending symphony performances.  Especially, though, I like quiet evenings at home with my family.



Details of Leave of Absence



In this insightful and evocative novel, Tanya J. Peterson delves deeply into the world of post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and schizophrenia.

When Oliver Graham’s suicide attempt fails, he is admitted to Airhaven Behavioral Health Center.  Unable to cope with the traumatic loss of his beloved wife and son, he finds a single thread of attachment to life in Penelope, a fellow patient wrestling with schizophrenia and its devastating impact on her once happy and successful life. They both struggle to discover a reason to live while Penelope’s fiancé William strives to convince her that she is worth loving. As Oliver and Penelope try to achieve emotional stability, face others who have been part of their lives, and function in the "real world," they discover that human connection may be reason enough to go on.

Written with extraordinary perception into the thought processes of those grappling with mental illness, Leave of Absence is perfect for readers seeking an empathic depiction of grief, loss, and schizophrenia, as well as anyone who has ever experienced human suffering and healing.


Available for Kindle & paperback




 Excerpt

“Now go make each hour of today bearable.  I will see you tomorrow.”  Unceremoniously, Dr. Willis left his room without giving him a chance to protest.
“How am I supposed to do that?”  Oliver asked the empty room.  He pulled his picture of Maggie and Henry out of the pocket of his robe.  “My doctor just told me to do something to make each hour bearable,” he said to the smiling faces.  “But without you here, nothing is bearable.”  He tipped over sideways onto his pillow and curled up.  He ignored the voice calling though the day area to signal the upcoming music group.  He remained motionless until he heard a soft knock on his open door. 
“Are you going to come with me to the music group?  It’s starting in a few minutes,” Penelope asked in an exaggerated stage whisper.  “I’m talking like this so I don’t startle you.  You haven’t moved, so I guess it’s working.  Are you awake?”
He rolled onto his back.  “Yeah, I’m awake.  And thanks for not startling me.”  He swung his legs over the side of his bed and sat up.
She looked at his hands.  “You have their picture.  Can I see it again?”  She looked to her left and to her right and behind her, and then she closed her eyes.  “Is it okay to go in?”
Oliver didn’t answer because he had a feeling that she wasn’t asking him. 
“Okay, I’ll count with you.  One, two three, go!”  She tiptoed quickly into his room and plopped down beside him on the bed.  She offered no explanation for the conversation but instead looked intently at the picture.  Both of Oliver’s hands grasped the bottom corners of the photo.  Penelope slid her hand into one of his without causing him to let go.  She leaned against his shoulder and said simply, “I’m sorry, Oliver.”
“Thank you.”  They sat quietly together, her hand snaked through his, taking in the image.  Guilt pricked him.  It pierced the hand that Penelope held and the arm where she leaned her head and traveled through his skin, into his bloodstream, and straight to his core.  He shouldn’t be accepting this comfort.  But after months of stark comfortlessness, this just felt good.  He wanted to pull away, but he didn’t.  It was nice in a way, too, to let someone see the beauty of his family.  Was this part of doing something to make the moment bearable?  It felt good, and because of that it felt lousy.  God, he hated himself. 
“Last call for music group!  Five minutes to Fra-ank!” This time the tech calling was Matt.  Oliver looked out the door, and seconds after the call, Matt walked past his room.  A second after that, he walked backward to return to Oliver’s doorway.  “Is there a reason rules are being broken in here?”  Matt’s tone was light and held no anger or reprimand.
Penelope stayed exactly in the same position.  “Oliver seemed down, Matt.  When he sat up, I saw that he had his picture and I wanted to see it again, and I wanted him to know that I care.”



Tanya’s Links

http://www.tanyajpeterson.com (my website and blog)
http://www.facebook.com/TanyaJPeterson (my facebook Page; my personal profile is Tanya Joy Peterson, and this link should take you directly there: https://www.facebook.com/tanya.j.peterson.9?ref=tn_tnmn )




Question
Who said, “Last call for music group! … “?


Answers in the comments and good luck!




You can now watch the Trailer


Friday, 24 May 2013

Wearing Two Hats!



Wearing two hats means life is more than busy as Kathryn Brown talks about her best two hats, wool and paper!


It’s been a tremendously busy time recently as I’ve been hard at work in my other job as a farmer. We’ve been lambing on the farm and every year I draw the short straw and end up in the lambing shed at midnight, often working into the early hours. It’s extremely tiring, very frustrating but incredibly rewarding, especially when a ewe is having trouble giving birth and I step in to help, pulling out a large healthy lamb that’s standing up within five minutes and searching for its mother’s teat. Just watching a new born lamb suckle for the first time gives me a warm glow inside and I stand back, a smile etched on my face and a tinge of pride in my heart. Quite a similar feeling to the one we experience when we have a new book out; the feeling of the paper-jacket in our hands that leaves a deep sense of pride running through our veins, or to see our words on the eReader screen that makes us feel good about ourselves, an achievement to add to a growing collection.

During the busy times on the farm my writing career has to take a back seat but the passion is always there, ideas and potential scenes still play a massive part in my life as a writer. I often spend hours in the lambing shed, running through character names, building a character’s personality in my head, and I occasionally take my Dictaphone with me, as my memory isn’t the best it’s ever been. The recent lambing season had me creating ideas for my third book, a comedy written in the first person, a light hearted read about a young man and his determination to change his philandering ways. I’m about two thirds of the way in now, though it is only the first draft. But it’s one of those books that if I was reading it myself, I’d struggle to put down. Perhaps I’m blowing my own trumpet a little too loudly but I’m thoroughly enjoying it! I’ve read quite a lot of humorous books recently, written from the man’s point of view, and it’s something I wanted to explore myself as a writer.

A few weeks ago I was interviewed on a radio talk-show and asked the question, “Which would you rather do, farm or write?” My answer was simple, “I’d like to write about farming. I’m not sure I could give either of them up because I really don’t have a preference. My passion lies with both my careers; one pays the bills (farming), one excites me (writing), but both I am passionate about.”

Where does your true passion lie, and could you sacrifice something else in order to fulfil that passion?




You can find out more about Kathryn by visiting our Author, Books, Trailer & Review Pages.

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Loading an eBook file on your Kindle




Our in house technical expert, Chris Longmuir guides you through the steps for loading an eBook file on to your Kindle.

Kindles are more popular than ever, and many readers only download books from Amazon onto their Kindles. But what happens if you have a Kindle eBook file that you haven’t obtained through Amazon? It may be your own book that you want to check prior to sending it to be published, or it could be an eBook you’ve acquired elsewhere - the Gutenberg project comes to mind. Or you may have been asked to review a Kindle eBook, and you’ve been given a copy. So, how do you get it onto your Kindle?

Well, I believe it’s known as side-loading, and it’s quite easy to do. So here are some basic instructions:-

Instructions for a legacy Kindle - that’s one of the original ones in case you don’t know and applies to all models including the Keyboard one and the Touch (the Fire is slightly different. So here goes:-

1 – Attach your Kindle to the computer with the USB cable.
2 – Open the Kindle on your computer – you’ll probably have the wee dialogue box that gives you options – click on ‘Open to View Files’. If the dialogue box doesn’t come up, look for the Kindle in ‘My Computer’ or ‘Computer’ depending on what version of Windows you have. That’s the window that shows all your drives. Click on the one for your Kindle.
3 – On your monitor you will see the folders that are inside the kindle, usually ‘active-content-data’, ‘audible’, ‘documents’ and ‘music’. Click on the ‘documents’ folder to open it and copy the file inside there. The folder will already contain files for all your other ebooks, so if you see all your books you’re in the right folder.
4 – eject your kindle from the computer and remove the cables.
5 - Open your Kindle and your book should be there, ready to read.

Instructions for the Kindle Fire:-

1 – Attach your Kindle to the computer with the USB cable.
2 – Open the Kindle on your computer – you’ll probably have the wee dialogue box that gives you options – click on ‘Open to View Files’. If the dialogue box doesn’t come up, look for the Kindle in ‘My Computer’ or ‘Computer’ depending on what version of Windows you have. That’s the window that shows all your drives. Click on the one for your Kindle.
3 - On your monitor you will see a window with one icon in it, which says ‘Internal Storage’. Click on this and the window that opens shows several folders. Look for the folder labelled ‘Books’. Click on that and a window will open with loads of folders and loads of files, depending on how much you have in your Fire. Copy the ebook file into that window as a file, do not put it in any of the folders. If you scroll down the window you will probably see all your other books there, although they will all have numbers not names. The only books that show names are the ones you’ve side-loaded into the Kindle.
4 - Just to make sure you’ve got it, you open the folder that is labeled ‘Books’, but you do not open any of the folders inside the ‘Books’ folder. Your book file should join the other files already there.
5 – eject your kindle from the computer and remove the cables.
Your book should now be inside your Kindle fire, but for some peculiar reason, you won’t find it under the ‘Books’ tab in your Kindle. It will be in the ‘Documents’ tab.

I hope this post is helpful to you, and I hope I haven’t confused you further





Find out more about Chris by visiting our Author, Books, Trailer & Review Pages

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Peggy Stanton Chats with Caroline James



Peggy Stanton slips on her trainers to chat with the lovely Caroline James!


Peggy: During my life I've been quite an active person and I could still give many a run for their money, even with my cronky knees. Now having mentioned the word run, I hear you've slipped on a pair of trainers and started gallivanting through parks and along narrow lanes. Now what is that all about?


Caroline: I had an epiphany Peggy! I overheard a conversation about an App called Couch 2 5k - everyone was raving about it and discussing how even the laziest person could get off the sofa and be fit enough to run a race in a matter of weeks. I was curious and thought I'd give it a go. I was hooked from the first day! It's just like having a personal trainer run alongside you and if I can do it, anyone can! I haven't felt so well in years. You have to listen to your body though; I have a few groans from the knees and legs and know when to rest, but am also learning to run through the pain. The App makes sure you cool down properly too, with brisk walking and stretching - so important to avoid stiffness. Got my first race in four weeks!

Peggy: You’ve almost convinced me to find this app, but I’m going to stay sitting on the fence, but you go for it, you certainly have the enthusiasm and the legs for it. Now that you've got the get fit bug, what happens to your writing, have you abandoned it or are now super energised?

Caroline: Running only takes a small part of the day and I get up early to do that, it seems to set me up with a new energy. As a consequence, I find I am getting much more done and that includes writing. Anything that improves my potential to write has to be good?

Peggy: Mmmm maybe I should slip of the fence and think more about this running malarkey. Let me see, yes, you've published one book; Coffee, Tea the Gypsy and Me, love the title and it’s on my list to read, that I promise you. Now are you writing another one?

Caroline: Oh yes! So You Think You’re A Celebrity…Chef? Will be published in the autumn and I am currently editing it. The book takes a light hearted look at today's world of celebrity chefs as the heroine, media agent Hilary Hargreaves, endevours to manage the mishaps and mayhem they experience as she pushes them forward on their journey to success. The book is a romance too and hard-hearted Hilary has some soul searching to do! I've really enjoyed writing this book and have already started to plan the next.

Peggy: Sounds like a good read to me, let me just make a note of the title then I can make sure it appears on my Kindle once it is published. Good luck with it by the way. So apart from being a successful author and a likely candidate for next year's London Marathon, I know that you have been a chef in a previous life - many bows to you apron I see; please tell me what kind of a chef are you? And I don't mean good or bad!

Caroline: London Marathon?? I will if you will Peggy! When I cooked professionally in a hotel and restaurant I owned, my staff said I was like a female Keith Floyd with a hint of Basil Fawlty and I can see where that came from! My recipes were a culmination of lots of experiments and plenty of slurps of wine and the hotel certainly had a Fawlty Towers atmosphere. It was a lovely old place though, with enormous charm and character and I found it a huge privilege to cook well and satisfy guests, who were taking time out of their busy schedules to stay there. I love to cosset, care and fuss and that's probably a key element to cooking well, no matter how simple the dish. But I hung up my apron a long time ago and now just cook for family and friends.

Peggy: What a pity as it all sounded so chaotic, homely and right up my street. Pity, maybe you’d like to adopt me so you can cook for me… !  Anyway, I digress. Looking at my notes I see I don’t have your address, I’m going to sack my assistant for failing to write it down, so do tell, which part of our beautiful country do you reside in?

Caroline: I currently live in Cheshire. I grew up seven miles away from where I live now. I never, ever expected to live here again and when I left all those years ago, I vowed that I'd never return for good. I hated my school years and couldn't wait to set out on my own. I traveled the world and lived in many different places and it's strange that I should come back here, but Cheshire is a beautiful county and well located with airport, motorways and trains. Home is where the heart is? Yes it is. I don’t know where my heart will take me next, but it's an exciting prospect!

Peggy: You’re a romantic, I can tell. Bearing this in mind, what is your favourite colour

Caroline: Cerise. Absolutely cerise every time. I love love love it! It brightens my life. I love colour and cerise is my favourite.

Peggy: I couldn’t agree more a splash of colour in our lives, makes such a difference. What about clothes, are you a jeans or dress sort of person?

Caroline: I love jeans but I like to dress up too. Business meetings seem to have changed in my world and what was unforgivable a few years ago seems quite acceptable today. I often wear jeans and smart jackets to meetings, in the past I would have cancelled at the thought! Suited and booted no longer seems to apply, so a good pair of jeans is an absolute must.

Peggy: If I was your age again, I’d wear nothing but a decent pair of jeans, but with my bottom, good grief, not now! And finally, if I was to invite you to my little bungalow, what would you bring for me to taste?


Caroline: I'd bring you a big jar of my home made pesto. I grow basil in the greenhouse and garlic in the garden and use pine nuts, olive oil, lemon juice and parmesan - all lovely sunny Mediterranean ingredients to compliment your lovely sunny world.

Peggy: Sounds define, but my little bungalow in Surrey can be a long way from the Med sunshine, but hey ho, I can dream. Thank you Caroline for making my day with your lovely chat and colourful jacket, now where did you get that cerise jacket from?


Caroline: Thanks for our chat today Peggy, have a perfect summer and as for the jacket, I bought it at…….







Find out more about Caroline by visiting our Author, Books, Trailer & Review Pages

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Tuesday, 21 May 2013

What, Where & If with Joanna Lambert



Interesting answers from Joanna Lambert on what, where and if, but what would you have replied?

Where would be your most ideal place to write?
Somewhere that’s soundproof I think as I tend to play music fairly loudly while I’m writing.  I do actually take a pad away on holiday too (writer’s never switch off do they?) and two years ago when we were in Minorca the villa there had a wonderfully cool loggia at the front which overlooked the valley.  When I’d had enough sun I’d sit there with an A4 pad and write.  I got several scenes down in the time away and surprisingly did it without music! Think the cicadas may have helped!

What is the most disgusting food or drink you have ever tasted?
I absolutely hate the taste of Campari.  I drank it long ago on holiday in Italy and once was quite enough! And Shellfish  - mussels and scallops not only look disgusting, they taste awful as well – definitely an acquired taste!

If you won the lottery what would be the 3rd thing you would spend your money on?
Someone to do the ironing, it’s my least favourite task next to vacuuming!  I have to say though, the ironing pile has changed since my husband took early retirement last September – next to no shirts now!

If you were invisible what would you like to witness?
 One of David Cameron’s cabinet meetings just to see what goes on behind closed doors at No 10 and how he handles things as head honcho in the government!

If you were given three wishes what would you wish for?
a) I think I’d definitely like to be taller.  Being a small woman does have its advantages of course but the big disadvantage is the choice of clothes available.  Although there are petite ranges in most brands the variety is far more limited.  I also have trouble with shoes, taking a size 36 – on occasions I’ve even been known to get into a 35!  Some shoe stores don’t do anything smaller than a 37.
b) I’d also wish for my beautiful long haired ginger and white tabby cat Max to return.  He disappeared last September and has not been seen since despite a huge local advertising campaign.  Having not found evidence he has met his demise we still think he may be out there somewhere!
c) And thirdly?  I’d love my books to be turned into TV drama.

What would you never wear and why?
Shell suits – I absolutely loathed them when they were around.  I always swore no one would get me into one.  However this is one vow which got broken (not intentionally I hasten to add!).  An accidental soaking walking along the beach while on the coast for a day visiting friends saw me borrowing one of these dreadful two pieces.  Worse than that I actually found myself having to wear it out for a pub lunch while my clothes were drying.  My humiliation was complete, added to which, the friends we were with knew about my dislike of shell suits, so it made for a good laugh! 
I think the only other thing I can think of is hats.  For a start they don’t suit me, I feel totally swamped (another problem with being small) and then there’s the hair issue.  It great if you have thick hair, it just springs back once you take the hat off. But I had the misfortune to be born with fine hair which either clings to the hat (with static) when I take it off, or gets completely flattened – not sure which is worse!



You can find out more about Joanna by visiting our Author, Books, Trailer & Review Pages

Monday, 20 May 2013

Breaking News! The Last Word is Written !



Chris Longmuir is asking for your help now that the last word is written!

I’ve been a bit absent on the media front lately because I’ve been working hard to meet a deadline.

Are you curious?

Well, a few weeks ago I wrote the last word in the last sentence of my new crime novel Missing Believed Dead. Since then the book has been edited to within an inch of its life, the cover has been designed, thanks to Cathy Helms of Avalon Graphics (it’s a cracker). And no, I’m not going to show you the cover today, nor am I going to tell you what it’s about - not yet anyway. I’m waiting until the book launch in July, before everything goes public.

Oh, and did I tell you that the launch of the paperback will be at Waterstones, in Dundee, on 11 July at 6.30 pm. Anyone who lives within spitting distance of the Dundee store is welcome to pop along and have a wee glass of wine with me. Of course, you’ll have to put up with me rabbiting on a bit, but it should be a good evening.

However, if you want a sneaky preview of the book, I’m looking for reviewers who can deliver a review by the first week of July. I want to have a bank of reviews on Amazon as soon as the book goes live. So, if you think you can meet that deadline, while I’m still working towards my deadline, then send me your email address and I’ll send you a prepublication Kindle file, and that way you’ll be able to see the lovely cover as well as read the book.

P.S. It would be great if one of Famous Five Plus Reviewers was able to send a review to FFP to be included on the web site.




Find out more about Chris and her publications by visiting our Author, Books, Review & Trailer Pages

Saturday, 18 May 2013

HUG A BOOK with Suzy Turner



Hug A Book is sponsored by






It’s HUG A BOOK and this weekend it’s with Suzy Turner

And

You could win a Kindle copy of


The Ghost of Josiah Grimshaw
A Morgan Sisters novel



Meet Suzy



Suzy Turner was born in Yorkshire in 1975. She lived there until 1986 when she and her family embarked on an adventure to a land where the weather was warmer and the people spoke a strange language.
It didn’t take long for Suzy to pick up the Portuguese language in her new home of the Algarve, but it was the English language that always enchanted her. She could usually be found with her head in a book, whether she was floating around in the swimming pool or tucked up in front of a roaring log fire (yes, Portuguese winters are chillier than most people imagine!).
After completing her A’levels (including English Literature), Suzy was offered a job as a trainee journalist for a local English newspaper. Although her love of writing began to develop, so did her hatred of intruding into people’s lives and so Suzy found herself working behing the scenes, which eventually led to writing features.
Accepting the job of Assistant Editor for a popular lifestyle magazine proved to be a position she particularly enjoyed, especially as she was often given the chance to meet and interview people from all walks of life. This led to her becoming the Features Editor back at the newspaper before eventually becoming Magazine Editor. The recession, however, had others ideas and Suzy had no choice but to accept redundancy.
With an ever supportive husband behind her, Suzy decided to do what she had always dreamed of. And so she became an author, writing books for teens.
Suzy continues to live with her husband in Portugal, although they are currently planning an adventure of their own - moving to another country!






Details of Book

Adopted sisters Lana Beth and Emma Jane are polar opposites, but when the same strange ‘tattoo’ suddenly appears and winds its way up their bodies within days of each other, they soon realize there’s more to their relationship than they could ever have imagined.
Sent off to London for two weeks of ‘work experience’, the Morgan Sisters soon find themselves being initiated into the ancient Praxos Foundation, one that protects the innocent while fighting evil, both human and supernatural.
At the same time, Lana Beth and Emma Jane must also investigate why the sweet but sometimes pesky ghost of Josiah Grimshaw just won’t leave them alone.



Available for Kindle (& paperback soon!)




Excerpt

Staying put on the side of the road, Lana watched him cycle away into the distance. She didn't want to go home and she certainly didn't fancy going back to the hospital, so she hopped back onto her bike and took an easy ride towards the old churchyard. As she approached the crumbling remains of the building that had been destroyed in 1953, she kept a close eye on Carlton Point which stared back down as if goading her.
But instead of pulling up at the churchyard, something made her continue cycling. It was if they weren't her legs pedalling. She just kept going. Breathless, her heart thumped in her chest as she came to a slow about halfway up the steep hill. Stopping, she climbed off and pushed her bike to the grassy expanse to the side of the pathway, letting it fall to the ground. She followed it and sat down for a few minutes, getting her breath back.
The wind picked up temporarily and with it came a gentle sound. It sounded like someone calling out her name. Turning to look up towards the very top of Carlton Point, Lana couldn't see anyone. Its just my imagination, she thought. It's just because my heart is beating like God knows what. But the sound continued persistently: 'Laaaanaa..... Laaaanaa.... Laaaanaa...'
'What the...?'.
Standing, Lana did a full circle squinting her eyes before chuckling nervously, 'Very funny, Scottie. I know it's you. You can come out now!' she yelled.
But nobody appeared.
She fidgeted with her fingers nervously. Her plan was to climb back on her bike and cycle away but her legs moved in another direction: towards the summit.
No, she thought, no...
But it was no good. She no longer had any control over her body and she continued walking until she reached the pinnacle of Carlton Point. Lana was terrified. She'd always had what she thought to be an irrational fear of heights. Just like Emma had an irrational fear of water. There was no explanation to either phobia. Then why am I here? Why did I climb up?
At the very top of Carlton Point was a small circular patch of ground surrounded by an ancient stone wall. On one side of it was the pathway she'd just walked along... although steep, there were no scary edges as such. But the other side was an altogether different story. She'd seen it in pictures, and from afar, but she'd never seen it up close.
Standing dead centre as she let her handbag fall to the ground, Lana closed her eyes just for a second. I'm not here, she thought, I'm in bed having a nightmare. But the gentle breeze told her a different story. She gulped hard and opened her eyes, her limbs incapable of moving further. But she was no longer in the centre of the circle. She was now looking down at a sheer drop hundreds of feet below.
She could hear her heart beating, feel it thudding in her chest. She couldn't open her mouth; it was too dry. All she wanted to do was scream but she couldn't even do that. Please God don't let me die, she thought.
A sudden massive gust of wind took her feet from beneath her and she was forcefully pushed from the top of Carlton Point, falling silently and peacefully to the rocky hills below.

Suzy’s Links




Question
What does Lana have a fear of?

Answers in the comments and good luck!






You can now watch the Trailer