Sunday, 19 November 2017

Scifi & Dystopian Giveaway





I'm thrilled to announce that Where Rainbows Hide has been included in a mass e-book GIVEAWAY hosted by well known author and pod-caster, Paul Teague.

Can you spot my little baby in the fabulous line up above?

Get your FREE books here

Friday, 17 November 2017

My Top 5 #Discworld Reads





It’s time to update you on how my annual reading challenge is going. For those of you new to this blog I’ll give a quick recap. This is the second year I’ve set myself a reading challenge. Last year I decided I would have a go at reading 100 books in a year. It nearly killed me but I did it. If you want to read about it please do so by following the link above.  This post however is about my current reading challenge. It’s the one where I try to read as many Pratchett novels as I can in a year. I started with the Discworld books and there are 41 in the series.  I’ve managed to read 24 and thought I’d give you a heads up on the five I’ve found the most entertaining so far.


At number 5 is Witches Abroad


The triple act of the witches Weatherwax, Ogg and Garlic are crucial in giving readers a taste of Pratchett’s brilliance at character creation.  He does a mean job of description and one of my favourites is of Nanny Ogg’s son Jason:  “He didn’t look as if he could possibly have been born, but as if he must have been constructed. In a shipyard.  To his essentially slow and gentle nature genetics had seen fit to add muscles that should have gone to a couple of bullocks, arms like treetrunks, and legs like four beer barrels stacked in twos.”



Coming in at number 4 is Lords & Ladies


It’s loosely based around A Midsummer Night’s Dream so naturally there are fairy folk. But as this is Pratchett, expect the unexpected.  My absolute favourite scene is when Nanny Ogg takes a bath. It involves people and animals running for cover and is nothing short of brilliant as it has echoes of my own bath time regime and its effect on my lodger and neighbours. While this is a thoroughly good read in its own right I would recommend you read Wyrd Sisters or Witches Abroad before you do so as it is a sequel to them in many respects.



Pirouetting in at number 3 is Maskerade


I love it when Granny Weatherwax & Nanny Ogg get together to sort out a problem. I love it even more when their world collides with that of Ankh-Morpork.  This tale travels through the opera house and along the rooftops of Ankh-Morpork with a satisfying disdain for snottiness. Truly befitting of some of Pratchett’s most entertaining characters.




Loping into the Number 2 spot is Men At Arms



In this novel we get the opportunity to get to know a deal more about both Sergeant Carrot and Lance Corporal Angua. I’m particularly pleased about this as I’ve always rather liked Carrot’s simple, affable character which masks an innate intelligence while I’ve been intrigued by Angua ever since I first read about her in later Discworld novels.


Finally at Number 1 is Guards Guards


The wonderful and terrifying thing about this novel is how aptly Pratchett captures the essence of society’s worst aspects. The main reason I read Fantasy is because it leaves me with the hope that right will always triumph over wrong. It’s an optimistic view which I find needs re-enforcing more and more as I grow older.  This book contained so many favourite characters that it’s difficult to pinpoint whose performance I loved best.  I however found the raw recruit Carrot totally and utterly endearing.


Pratchett takes the things we know and love and transposes them into more incredible versions of themselves. I love his unusual take on everyday items. His genius lies in the fact that he so completely transports you into the world these things and characters inhabit. And what a terrific journey it is.

If you’re into Fantasy and you’ve never read any Pratchett… you should really do it now!



Thursday, 9 November 2017

Project Imagination Set Free



An e-book GIVEAWAY

Hosted by Scott Ferrell and featuring over 30 writers, including myself, of  amazing young adult stories that fall under the genres of fantasy and sci-fi in all of their many forms.

Get your free books here

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Blog Tour




So this is my first ever blog tour to promote the release of a new book.  I’m being hosted by a fabulous set of bloggers. A massive thank you to them all for having me.





Dates for your diary

2nd November

To begin with I’m staying more or less local. Post 1 is hosted by Lindsay Bamfield who I met through a North West London writing group. It was run by Stewart Permutt and was the most welcoming group ever to grace the face of the planet. I was introduced to it by my good friend Barbara Hartridge. Even though getting there and back was a major trek on the North Circular, I stayed in this writing group for almost 4 years while it was run out of various venues, including a room at Alexandra Palace.

9th November

Next I’m off to Sheffield where Post 2 is hosted by the lovely Anna Caig’s reading blog. Anna and I met in a bakery while I was visiting my Sheffield BF. Anna blogs about books she’s read in her ever growing home library and her family’s obsession with James Bond films. Since our meeting she’s guest blogged for me and also reviewed one of my books. As with all things North of the Thames, this liaison promises to be a fruitful one. Long may it continue.

15th November

Post 3 is all the way over in Oz – Adelaide to be precise. This is thanks to the magic of the internet and the wonderful online contacts I’ve made since joining The Alliance of Independent Authors. Fellow author, Lisa White, was looking for indie authors who write Magic Realism or Urban Paranormal to interview or review.  I jumped at the chance as there are few people who even recognise Magic Realism as a genre. Since our initial messages on Facebook, Lisa and I have become regular correspondents via social media. This is evidence the internet can be a force for good.


29th November

Finally I’m back in the UK for Post 4. This transpired as I follow Naomi on Twitter and have always envisaged her being something like Jacqueline Wilson’s illustrated mum due to her Twitter handle - @tattooed_mummy. It turns out my tattooed mummy has only one tattoo but I find her posts on Twitter off the wall and highly entertaining. So when she put out a call for authors to interview for her blog I was quick to jump in the queue.


I invite you all to join me on my blog tour through the parts of the UK I’ve come to know and love well with a lay-over in Adelaide.


Buy Here!

Monday, 30 October 2017

HAPPY HALLOWEEN


May it be as scary & adventurous as possible


Stay safe while Trick or Treating & remember to brush those teeth afterwards, including the false set.

Friday, 27 October 2017

#Review: Witches Abroad




I thoroughly enjoyed this instalment of shenanigans in the Discworld. The main theme running through it is that stories have power.  Their part in the fight between good and evil is emphasised to the max. There are many literary references to look out for including The Lord of the Rings and Dracula.  Fairy tales also have a central role and thus we need the help of 3 witches first introduced to us in Wyrd Sisters.

The triple act of the witches Weatherwax, Ogg and Garlic are crucial to give the reader the viewpoint of different types of people.  Pratchett also very cleverly uses the combined enthusiasm and lack of experience of youth to lead the reader towards knowledge without hitting us over the head with a mallet.

There were some lovely descriptions and I particularly liked the one of Nanny Ogg’s son Jason:
“He didn’t look as if he could possibly have been born, but as if he must have been constructed. In a shipyard.  To his essentially slow and gentle nature genetics had seen fit to add muscles that should have gone to a couple of bullocks, arms like treetrunks, and legs like four beer barrels stacked in twos.”


Then there’s the description of what life would be like for a cat if it was ever to be given human form. Pratchett must have interviewed a cat because I believe he got it spot on.

Friday, 20 October 2017

BHM: Top 5 Films





In my view it’s always a good day to watch a film and especially one which enlightens. So as we’re doing all things Black History this month, here are my top 5 films to watch during this period:

Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner



An oldie but a goody. I loved this film when I first saw it primarily because it featured Sidney Poitier. I was too young to understand how important it was at the time. I’m even amazed I got to see it at all considering where I lived.  If you like what you see here I can also recommend you take a look at Blackboard Jungle and To Sir With Love. They are also terrific.


Mississipi Burning



A gruelling watch but well worth it to get a true flavour of the horrors so prevalent in the US at the time it depicts. Not that much seems to have changed mind. Be warned, though, there are some truly horrific scenes in it.


The Help



I read the book way before I saw the film but was gratified it stuck true to the events described in the book. I love the subversive nature of its content and how it shows it is possible to overcome adversity through the smallest of actions. I also absolutely love the fact the women find their voice through the printed medium.


Belle



The abolition of slavery in the making, a mixed race woman living in a racist society, the fight for love and equality – what’s not to like?


Loving



Despite the adversities the Loving’s had to endure, this film gave me great hope for the future. As long as we continue to see each other as human beings rather than consider the colour of our skin as defining who we are, we will remain truly humane.


Other films you may want to consider:
Selma
Roots
The Butler
Malcolm X
To Sir With Love
A United Kingdom
Blackboard Jungle
Twelve Years A Slave