Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT Mediterranean Summer by @JaneFMackenzie

Today’s second team review is from Alison, she blogs here http://alisonwilliamswriting.wordpress.com/

#RBRT Review Team

Alison has been reading Mediterranean Summer by Jane MacKenzie

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I’m a bit of a Francophile. France is definitely my favourite place to visit and I plan to move there permanently one day – Brexit permitting. So I love reading anything set in France and this novel, set just after the civil unrest of Paris in 1968, sounded intriguing.

Art student Laure is returning home to her quiet village after her involvement in the Paris demonstrations. She needs to rest and recover, and she also needs to find a way to resolve the problem hanging over her – a problem that could mean the end of her studies.

At first the peace and solitude are soothing, and Laure enjoys reconnecting with her family and her childhood friends. But her brother-in-law Daniel has a new job at the Nobel factory in Paulilles, and trainee doctor Martin, his brother and Laure’s best friend, is worried about the risks the workers there face from exposure to nitro-glycerine.

The gorgeous summer is clouded by these issues and with Laure’s worries over what has happened in Paris. Then Martin’s cousin Robert, a lawyer from Paris, offers to help. The novel focuses on these relationships – between Laure and Robert, Laure and her family, and Laure and Martin’s family.

There is romance here, and conflict, and at the heart is a girl trying to find her place in a changing world. Laure is a lovely main character, and the interactions between the characters are well-written. There are some beautiful descriptions, of the little towns, the gorgeous countryside, and, of course, the wonderful food, and this part of France is really brought to life through the writing.

It’s a gently-paced read, which works well with the setting. However, it was too slow at times, and, while the descriptions were beautifully done, there were places where they went on for too long, and I did find myself skipping ahead. I do feel that this novel could be quite a bit shorter.

It was also a little difficult to keep track of the many characters and their complicated relationships – though it was worth persevering. The writing was a little too formal at times as well, and came across as a little forced and unnatural. However, on the whole this is a lovely novel, just right for a summer read.

Four out of five stars

Book Description

‘Beautiful artist, beautiful woman, and beautiful lover.’
May 1968 and Paris is hot with rebellion, passion and hope, as protestors clash with the riot police. Brilliant art student Laure stands boldly on the barricades, heady with her new-found defiance, and is swept into romance with Lolo, the fascinating student leader. But youthful rebellion comes at a cost.
Two months later, the excitement is over. Laure heads home for the summer to Vermeilla, her picturesque Mediterranean village. She looks forward to the simplicity of village life, and to a summer in the sun with family and friends, but is aware that the new Laure may shock her little Catalan community.
But even Vermeilla isn’t protected from the forces of change. Shadows hang over both Laure and her village haven. Can she battle the menace that has followed her from Paris? And can she trust Robert, the aloof lawyer who may be the only one who can keep her safe?

About the author

Jane MacKenzie

Jane MacKenzie has lived an exceptionally adventurous life, working in such far-flung corners of the world as the Gambia, Bahrain, and Papua New Guinea, and Switzerland and France nearer to home.
She is as much at home teaching in an African village as organising the research budgets of Nobel scientists, and is a natural linguist, picking up languages wherever she has lived, to complement the fluent French from her first degree in French Language and Literature.
She is an entrepreneur, an international expert in education, and latterly helped transform the UK Government’s Office at CERN in Geneva during two years as its Head. In her fifties Jane turned to writing novels, for a new challenge, and to fulfil a long-held dream.
Jane splits her time now between her homes in the Scottish Highlands, and in her beloved Catalan village in France, the region where her three novels have been set.

Goodreads | AmazonUK |  AmazonUS | Twitter

Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT The Former Chief Executive by @k8vane #TuesdayBookBlog

Today’s team review is from Alison, she blogs here http://alisonwilliamswriting.wordpress.com/

#RBRT Review Team

Alison has been reading The Former Chief Executive by Kate Vane

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Deborah’s vision of her retirement – to spend her days finally relaxing with her husband Peter after a long career – has had to be re-imagined. Peter has died, and she is alone, struggling to know what to do with her time and how to live without him, and without the career that defined her.

Luca is also struggling – struggling with life after prison, a new job, a pregnant girlfriend. He finds solace in working on Deborah’s garden and the two develop a friendship.

But the arrival of Deborah’s daughter complicates things as their problematic relationship is put under new pressure. And Deborah also has to contend with her past, and the fear that it will come back to ruin the present.

This is a thoughtful book, measured and considered. The pace is rather slow, but it works with writing that is skilful and assured. The characters are incredibly well-drawn and have so many layers – they have a real depth, and, while not all are exactly likeable, their stories are compelling, and you really care about what happens to them.

My only issue is that I feel this could have been longer. I wanted to know more about Deborah’s past, about what happened at the hospital. And I wanted more about her relationship with Eleanor. Luca is so interesting too, and I felt that there were things in his past that could be explored more thoroughly. The writing is so well-crafted, so good, that it seemed a shame that that wasn’t more of it!

This is a well-crafted and enjoyable read. The restrained tone is deceiving – there is a great deal going on here, a lot of it seething away under the surface. The author shows a great amount of skill in resisting the temptation to let everything bubble over.

An excellent novella.

Four and a half out of five stars

Book Description

Without your past, who are you?
Deborah was a respected hospital manager until a tragedy destroyed her reputation. She has lost her career, her husband and even her name.
Luca wants to stay in the moment. For the first time in his life he has hope and a home. But a fresh start is hard on a zero-hours contract, harder if old voices fill your mind.
When a garden share scheme brings them together, Deborah is beguiled by Luca’s youth and grace. He makes her husband’s garden live again. He helps her when she’s at her lowest. But can she trust him? And when the time comes to confront her past, can she find the strength?
This sharply drawn short novel explores the distance between the generations – between health and wealth, owners and workers, guilt and blame.

About the author

Kate Vane

I write crime and literary fiction. My latest novel is The Former Chief Executive.

I have written for BBC drama Doctors and have had short stories and articles published in various publications and anthologies, including Mslexia and Scotland on Sunday.

Goodreads | AmazonUk | AmazonUS | Twitter

Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT Forbidden by F. Stone Romantic #Suspence

Today’s team review is from Alison, she blogs here http://alisonwilliamswriting.wordpress.com/

#RBRT Review Team

Alison has been reading Forbidden by F. Stone

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This was a difficult review to write because there are some really good elements to this book. The author has obviously researched extremely thoroughly. She has also put a huge amount of work into this novel and it is clear that she cares deeply about her characters and about her story.

The plot is a good one and there is plenty of drama here to keep the reader entertained and the two main characters certainly lend themselves to a potentially explosive and compelling romance. There is a good mix of conflict and attraction between the two.

The setting and the storyline are timely and the idea behind the story is sound.

However, in my opinion the novel needs another edit. There are too many issues with both the story and the writing itself that should have been picked up and improved upon prior to publication. There are places where the writing needs tightening. There are common issues like exposition, unnecessary dialogue tags and awkward prose that need a thorough going over.

I also felt that some of the characters were a little stereotypical. And I wasn’t convinced by the ‘seer’ aspect of the story. It felt under-developed and unnecessary.

I do hate to be negative, and I’m sure there will be a lot of readers that will really enjoy this novel. But for me, it needed an extra polish.

Three out of five stars.

Book Description

Year 2047, City of Samarra, capital of the Republic of Islamic Provinces & Territories 
Fifteen American travelers have vanished. Surrendering to Mayor Aamir’s demands, a devout Muslim and police captain becomes the reluctant keeper of his city’s bloody secret – and the witness, Eliza MacKay. Captain Sharif is horrified to discover that if he exposes the cover-up, his family will suffer dire consequences. 
The CIA has the lying Sharif in their cross hairs. Sharif’s only hope is to prove his country’s government is free of guilt. Secretly, he hunts forensic evidence. Cryptic messages, backstabbing informants, and corruption threaten Sharif’s resolve to see justice served. When he discovers the shocking truth, he and MacKay become the targets of a ruthless killer. 
Sharif is tortured by his attraction to the impetuous Eliza MacKay. In spite of her struggle with PTSD, he’s drawn to her vivacious personality. Islam forbids the intimacy he craves. In desperation to save Eliza, Sharif plots an act most forbidden and fatal.

About the Author

Feather Stone

On our cattle ranch, when an animal was in distress or injured, I was put in charge of nursing it back to health. Never mind that I was just a kid and hated the sight of blood, but I had to muster up the courage to apply home remedies. My survival rate was pretty good. It seemed like a foregone conclusion that I would progress to nursing – humans. After one year into nurses training, I bolted. Bed pans and chronic diseases pushed me in different direction; a career of dealing with drug addicts, murder, suicide, fatalities, and biker gangs. In 1983 I graduated with honors as a paramedic and worked in the City of Edmonton’s Emergency Services. For the next twenty years, I came face to face with scenes most people would rather not think about. I loved it. Having experienced life in the most deadly and gut wrenching events, and work alongside the police service, I gained the fodder for creating intense novels. My creative DNA shocked me when I was driven to write a dystopian / paranormal / romance novel, The Guardian’s Wildchild. After taking several writing courses, I presented the manuscript to Omnific Publishing who published it in 2011. Just when I thought I could get my life back, another story took me prisoner – Forbidden. I couldn’t believe there was this kind of story within me and desperate to be told. I resisted. It was futile. Retired and focused on home life, I’m back to being a mom to four pets and one husband. We travel and taste the excitement of other cultures. In between adventures, I’ve dabbled in water color painting, photography, needle work, gardening – the list goes on. In my next life, I plan to explore the cosmos. I’ve learned a few things in my seventy years. Thoughts are powerful. Intention is everything. Passion is the key to success.

Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT The Silent Kookaburra by @LizaPerrat family #Thriller #wwwblogs

Today’s team review is from Alison, she blogs here http://alisonwilliamswriting.wordpress.com/

#RBRT Review Team

Alison has been reading The Silent Kookaburra by Liza Perrat

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This is a really well-written and absorbing story. Set in 1970s small-town Australia it centres on Tanya – an unhappy child, overweight, bullied at school and trying to cope with her mother who has been devastated by a series of miscarriages. Her father loves her, but he doesn’t cope either, seeking solace far too often in the local pub, and her grandmother, Nanna Purvis, is a hard woman, although her kindness shines through as the novel progresses.

When her mum finally gives birth to a daughter, Tanya thinks things will be fine, but problems with baby Shelley’s health, cracks in her parents’ marriage and the arrival on the scene of creepy Uncle Blackie mean that Tanya has much more to deal with than she can cope with.

And things only get worse.

But this isn’t a miserable story. Yes, some parts are uncomfortable to read. I wanted to whisk poor Tanya away and give her a cuddle and a decent meal. But there are glimpses of hope – Nanna Purvis, who underneath her hard exterior is full of love, and Tanya’s best friend Angela and her kind and loving (if possibly criminal!) family.

The author obviously knows her setting well and there’s a real sense of time and place with little details about food, TV and fashion giving the realistic touches that make this novel so authentic.

A well-executed book about family, relationships and the extraordinary things that can happen in ordinary lives.

Five stars.

Book Description

All eleven-year-old Tanya Randall wants is a happy family. But Mum does nothing besides housework, Dad’s always down the pub and Nanna Purvis moans at everyone except her dog. Then Shelley arrives –– the miracle baby who fuses the Randall family in love for their little gumnut blossom. Tanya’s life gets even better when she meets an uncle she didn’t know she had. He tells her she’s beautiful and could be a model. Her family refuses to talk about him. But that’s okay, it’s their little secret. Then one blistering summer day tragedy strikes, and the surrounding mystery and suspicion tear apart this fragile family web.  Embracing the social changes of 1970s Australia, against a backdrop of native fauna and flora, The Silent Kookaburra is a haunting exploration of the blessings, curses and tyranny of memory.  Unsettling psychological suspense blending the intensity of Wally Lamb with the atmosphere of Peter James, this story will get under your skin.

About the author

An image posted by the author.

Liza grew up in Wollongong, Australia, where she worked as a general nurse and midwife for fifteen years.
When she met her French husband on a Bangkok bus, she moved to France, where she has been living with her husband and three children for twenty years. She works part-time as a French-English medical translator, and as a novelist.
Several of her short stories have won awards, notably the Writers Bureau annual competition of 2004 and her stories have been published widely in anthologies and small press magazines. Her articles on French culture and tradition have been published in international magazines such as France Magazine and France Today.

Spirit of Lost Angels is the first in the historical “The Bone Angel” series set against a backdrop of rural France during the French Revolution. The second in the series, Wolfsangel, set during the WWII German Occupation of France, was published in October, 2013. The third in the series, Blood Rose Angel, set during the 14th century Black Plague years was published in November, 2015.

The Silent Kookaburra, a dark psychological suspense novel set in 1970s Australia, was published in November, 2016.

Friends, Family and Other Strangers From Downunder is a collection of 14 humorous, horrific and entertaining short stories set in Australia, for readers everywhere.

Liza is a co-founder and member of Triskele Books, an independent writers’ collective with a commitment to quality and a strong sense of place, and also reviews books for Bookmuse.

Goodreads | AmazonUK | AmazonUS | Twitter

Did I Meet You In 2016? A Year in Review #NewYearsEve #WeekendBlogShare

Hello Lovely Readers – Did we meet in 2016?

On this New Year’s Eve: My 2016 year in review

I think many folks will be looking back at 2016 and wondering what it all meant to them. I’ve handpicked some of the highlights for me.

meet-ups

In April I had a planned meet up in Glasgow with Barb Taub, Cathy Ryan and Alison Williams. These lovely ladies are all part of my review team. Barb is an author and her blog posts are just the best to entertain you. Cathy is a book reviewer and her book reviews are extremely popular, check out her blog here. Alison is an author and editor, check out her rates and recommendations from satisfied customers.

In June I went to the Bloggers Bash in London and met lots of faces from social media. Sacha Black, Ali Isaac, Hugh Roberts and Geoff Le Pard are the bash organisers. It was the second year of this event and if you can get to London easily and want to meet a variety of bloggers and network, this annual event is a great opportunity. Next year’s date is June 10th, more details here. I chatted with Shelley Wilson, Christina Philippou, Mary Smith, Lucy Mitchell (Blondewritemore), Sarah Hardy and Suzi from Suzi Speaks, the founder of #SundayBlogShare.

Shelley is a very inspirational blogger and author, splitting her work between fantasy and non-fiction self help. I’m thrilled that she will be running a four week guest series on ways to motivate yourself here on the blog every Wednesday this January.

In August had I an enforced two weeks off as I was required to do jury service, not something I wanted to attend, but you can’t wriggle out of it very easily these days. However is was interesting to see how the system works, how strict it all felt and how sad that the case I had, ever came to court. On a positive note, whilst in Guildford I made a renewed contact with Christina Philippou and this lead to me attending her book launch in September.

At Christina’s book launch for her debut novel (Lost In Static), I met Neats from the Haphazardous Hippo ( lilac Hippo) a book blogger who lives near by and we met Chris’ publisher Matthew from Urbane Publications. This is small up and coming publisher check it out here.

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My links with Chris and Neats took me to a Blogger/author meet up in London. Event organisers; Kim Nash @kimthebookworm and Holly Martin @hollymartin00  run these events alternating between London and Birmingham. This was a fun afternoon with a mix of authors and book bloggers all chatting in a relaxed atmosphere. I particularly enjoyed chatting to; Author Jessica Norrie, Book bloggers Susan Hampson, Anne Williams and  Jo Robertson, authors Barbara Copperthwait,  Jan Brigden and Steven Hayward

Another day I met book reviewer Liz Lloyd for an Autumn walk around a local village.

Late November Neats invited me to a book launch. We spent a Saturday afternoon in Farnham meeting author Kristen Bailey as she launched book #2 of her contemporary women’s fiction  “Second Helpings”. We also networked and by chance met another Urban Publication’s author Shirley Golden.

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December saw me heading to Leicester to meet Lizzie Lamb, June Kearns, Adrienne Vaughan, Margaret Cullingford and several other members at their monthly RNA meeting. Lizzie, June, Adrienne and Margaret are also know an the New Romantics Four. With me came author, reviewer and Twitter Queen Terry Tyler, Cathy Ryan, Shelley Wilson, and Proofreader Julia Gibbs. It was great to meet Terry’s sister Julia, who was recently on the TV quiz show Pointless. If you need recommended help with copy editing or proofreading do check out her site here.  In the evening we met with authors Mark Barry and Georgia Rose. Mark runs workshops in schools encouraging reluctant readers to pick up books and Georgia has been a guest speaker for Mark, she also runs her own self publishing workshops.

The 2016 Goodreads Reading Challenge tells me I’ve read 175 books this year, however I’ve also beta read 4 books and have read others which aren’t yet on Goodreads, this bumps the number up a little.

What am I going to do next year? Perhaps I’ll meet you. I plan to go out and meet lots more authors and bloggers, nothing beats a face to face meeting.

I’d like to wish all my readers and reviewers a very Happy New Year.

Here are useful Twitter handles of people I’ve met this year.

@barbtaub

@CathyRy

@AlisonW_Editor

@sacha_black

@aliisaac_

@HughRoberts05

@geofflepard

@ShelleyWilson72

@CPhilippou123

@urbanepub

@marysmithwriter

@Blondewritemore

@sarahhardy681

@suzie81blog

@lilac_hippo

@KimTheBookworm

@hollymartin00

@jessica_Norrie

@susanhampsom57

@Williams13Anne

@jocatrobinson

@BCopperthwait

@JanBrigden

@stevieboyh

@LizanneLloyd

@baileyforce6

@shirl1001

@lizzie_lamb

@june_kearns

@adrienneauthor

@CullingfordMags

@newromantics4

@TerryTyler4

@ProofreadJulia

@GreenWizard62

@GeorgiaRoseBook

@rosieamber1

#FridayReads If you like #HistFic I can recommend these books #amreading

If you like books with historical themes and elements I can recommend these books

18760917A privileged young wife on a large Cornwall estate gains responsibility and confidence when her husband leaves to fight overseas. This English home front saga then becomes something more when she leaves for France herself to rescue a friend from danger. Elin lives a luxurious but lonely life at Hiram Hall. Her husband Hugo loves her but never recovered from the Boer War. Now another war threatens to destroy everything she knows. With Hugo at the front, and her cousin Alice and friend Mouse working for the war effort, Elin has to learn to run the estate in Cornwall, making new friends – and enemies. But when Mouse is in danger, Elin must face up to the horrors in France herself. And when the Great War is finally over, Elin’s battles prove to have only just begun. Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

22011018Terry Tyler’s seventh novel is a romantic drama spanning the years 1971 – 2007, with an unusual echo from history …

“KINGS AND QUEENS” tells of the life and loves of charismatic Harry Lanchester, which just happen to mirror the story of Henry VIII and his six wives. All the passion and suspense of the Tudor court, but set in modern times.

Harry’s realm is his South of England property developing company, Lanchester Estates, while his ‘wives’ are the twentieth century sisters of their historic counterparts: Anne Boleyn is reincarnated as the equally intriguing Annette Hever, and Henry VIII’s fifth wife with the risqué past, Catherine Howard, lives again in 1999 as Keira Howard, a former lap dancer.

The saga is narrated by each of the six women, in turn, interspersed with short chapters from the point of view of Harry’s lifelong friend, Will Brandon.

Don’t worry if you know nothing of this period in history – “Kings and Queens” can be enjoyed as a contemporary family drama, very much in the vein of Ms Tyler’s previous novels. Readers with an interest in the Tudors, though, will pick up on many similarities, references and metaphors, some quite amusing. For those non-Tudor fanatics who would like a brief look at the life of Henry VIII before reading, the author has included, in the Kindle book, a link to a mini-biography on her blog. Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

18286661Shiri blocks her ears to her mother’s screams and sees the arrows strike her father’s chest. With their murderers bearing down on her she turns to obey his final command. “RUN!” Amenhotep, Prince of Egypt, burns her village, enslaves her people, and destroys all she loves. Only Shiri escapes. With tears in her eyes and vengeance in her heart, she races to warn the Shepherd King. If she doesn’t reach him in time, all Palestine will burn. It’s a race that takes her from the fields of Armageddon, to the sands of Ancient Egypt and the very heart of Pharaoh’s court. It’s a struggle that brings the deaths of kings and the birth of a god. It’s a quest that sees her fall in love.   Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

18752098‘Look upon this wretch, all of you! Look upon her and thank God for his love and his mercy. Thank God that he has sent me to rid the world of such filth as this.’ 1647 and England is in the grip of civil war. In the ensuing chaos, fear and suspicion are rife and anyone on the fringes of society can find themselves under suspicion. Matthew Hopkins, self -styled Witchfinder General, scours the countryside, seeking out those he believes to be in league with the Devil. In the small village of Coggeshall, 17–year-old Alice Pendle finds herself at the centre of gossip and speculation. Will she survive when the Witchfinder himself is summoned? A tale of persecution, superstition, religious fundamentalism, hate and love, ‘The Black Hours’ mixes fact with fiction in a gripping fast-paced drama that follows the story of Alice as she is thrown into a world of fear and confusion, and of Matthew, a man driven by his beliefs to commit dreadful acts in the name of religion. Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

28234601February 1603, the last of the Tudor monarchs is dying, but Death must wait for Elizabeth of England to finish her tale…

As The Bastard Princess, Elizabeth Tudor, daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, has fought through a childhood of intrigue and peril to her place as the heir to the English throne. But as her sister, Mary I, the first anointed and sole Queen of England takes the crown, Elizabeth must face her most dangerous challenges yet… for Mary I is determined to return England to the Catholic faith, and will have none stand in her way.

Protestant Elizabeth knows that she must survive the suspicions and distrust of her sister, in a reign where rebellion and war freely stalked the lands of England.
To survive, this heretic heir must hone her skills in survival, wit and wile, in order that she may one day… become Queen.

The Heretic Heir is Book Two of the Elizabeth of England Chronicles by G. Lawrence. Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

23496306The boy looks up and sees the foreigner’s rifle aimed at him. Why is this man here? This is not his conflict, it is not the boy’s… it is hell.

Jay has been home for a long time, but the ghosts of Yugoslavia
are still with him as he busks his way round the country.

Marilyn is fresh out of a controlling relationship and desperate
to reassert her independence. The last thing she needs is to fall
for an itinerant storyteller who has a strange relationship with
the truth. And then the police call on her.

When the past catches up with the present and stories become
reality, Jay and Marilyn must decide who to believe and who
to betray.

A compelling narrative of trust and betrayal, love, loyalty and honour from a talented debut novelist. Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Wednesday Wing #TwitterTips Change your Twitter Handle, catch all tweets @AlisonW_Editor #wwwblogs

Are you catching all tweets relevant to you? Do you wish you could change your Twitter Handle?

Rosie's Notebook

Alison Williams explains how an easy to find name, set up correctly, REALLY is useful.

Alison Williams

Changing your Twitter username – easy steps

When I first braved Twitter I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. Social media in all its various forms has been a huge learning curve for me. And as time has gone on, I’ve realised that I got some things wrong.

One mistake I made when I set up my Twitter account was with choosing my twitter username/handle. I wanted to use my actual name and unfortunately I have a really common name, so Alison Williams wasn’t available, and neither were any variations using numbers that weren’t far too complicated to use. So I decided to use a capital ‘i’ in place of one of the ‘L’s in Williams. Sorted.

Problems arose however when I was tagged in a tweet. For example, a book reviewer reviewed my novel and posted the review on her blog. She tweeted the review and included my username in the tweet. But she assumed that my twitter username was @AlisonWilliams. Of course, it actually wasn’t. So I didn’t see that tweet and therefore couldn’t retweet it. This means I lost out on sharing that review with a lot of people. The same thing happened when an editing client tweeted how pleased she was with the work I did for her – she asked me a few days later why I hadn’t retweeted. I lost out on some free advertising there.

I realised that I needed to change my username to something that, first of all, people could spell correctly, and secondly that would lead people to me on Twitter. So I decided to change my username to @AlisonW_Editor

This means that people tend to copy and paste the username when including me in a tweet, meaning that it can’t be spelled incorrectly. It also means that anyone looking for an editor on Twitter is more likely to find me.

Changing your username is really simple to do. Just go to your Twitter profile, use the drop down menu to select ‘settings’, and change the username listed in the username field. Click ‘save changes’ and you’re done. It doesn’t affect anything on your account; you keep all your followers, and all your past tweets, favourites and lists are still there.

The only issue I had was with my WordPress blog. My account is set up so that when I publish a new post, a tweet is instantly generated. Despite me disconnecting and then reconnecting my Twitter account, the old username refused to budge. It was time to call in some extra help – my twenty-year-old son! Who worked it out in a couple of minutes.

As with a lot of things on WordPress, the simple things are often the hardest to find. So if you have a WordPress blog and want to connect your Twitter handle or have changed your Twitter username, here’s what you need to do:

  • Go to WP Admin
  • On the left hand side under ‘Settings’ you’ll see ‘sharing’ – click this
  • Scroll down until you see: ‘Twitter username to include in tweets when people share using the Twitter button’
  • In the box alongside this enter your new Twitter username.
  • Save changes

And you’re ready to go.

Tip: Make your Twitter Handle as close to your “Author” name (or Business Name) as possible so fans can easily follow you.

Here are links to ALL our Wednesday Wing Posts http://wp.me/P2Eu3u-7Lw

Wednesday Wing – Self-Publishing Part 2 by @AlisonW_Editor #wwwblogs #amwriting

Here on Wednesday Wing we try to pass on useful information for readers and writers.

Rosie's Notebook

Today Alison Williams continues with more advice on Self-Publishing.

Alison Williams

Self-publishing – essential information

Contrary to popular opinion, self-publishing isn’t just a case of uploading your manuscript and spending the royalties. There are some technical and legal issues that you need to be aware of – issues that can have a real impact on royalties, marketing and sales.

ISBN

An ISBN is the International Standard Book Number. It’s a ten (pre-2007) or thirteen (post-2007) digit number that identifies a particular book. The ISBN is used by publishers, booksellers, libraries, internet retailers and others in the supply chain for ordering, listing, sales records and stock control. You do not need an ISBN to publish an eBook through Amazon’s KDP. When you upload your book, it will be assigned a unique ASIN (Amazon Standard Identification Number). If you publish a paperback version of your book through CreateSpace, you can buy an ISBN that you can use for any distributor, or you can use a free ISBN.

If you publish through Smashwords, they will assign a free ISBN as long as your manuscript meets the standards required to be included in its Premium Catalogue – details here. Although you can technically publish without one, an ISBN means Smashwords can distribute to more retailers.

Front and back matter

When you’ve finally finished your book, it’s natural to want to thank everyone who’s been involved, to dedicate the work to someone special and to tell the readers something about yourself. However, to be brutally honest, most readers won’t really care about this – they will want to get on and read the story. So if you’ve included information about your website, details of where to buy other books etc. in the front matter, the chances are the reader won’t look at these details. It’s far better to include your social media links, website details, information about other books etc. at the back. This means that if someone has read and liked your book and wants to know more about you and your publications, they will then have the opportunity to straight away find out more information. If you’re publishing an eBook, add links to everywhere a reader can find you and connect with you.

Add a note at the back asking readers to leave a review on Amazon etc. if they have enjoyed the book. If you decide to also publish through Smashwords, then don’t ask readers to review on Amazon in the back pages of what you upload to their site, or mention that any future books are available through anywhere other than Smashwords, as this will prevent you being included in their premium catalogue.

DRM

When you publish an eBook, you can choose to have the content protected by DRM (Digital Rights Management). It’s simply a case of checking a box when you publish. The purpose is to inhibit unauthorised copying or access to your book – pirating. Once you choose to have DRM for a publication, you are stuck with it, you can’t ‘un-choose’ it. While you are protected from potential pirating, selecting DRM means a reader who buys the eBook can’t then share it with other readers and they can’t transfer it to another device. It also means that the reader, the owner of your book, can only access it on the device they bought it for. This puts some people off buying books that have DRM.

It is a contentious issue and the decision is yours. My personal feeling is that I borrow paperbacks from other people all the time and pass on books I love to other people to enjoy. I would be flattered if a reader liked my book so much that they wanted to share it with someone else. That someone might buy my next book.

Tax (for non US authors)

If you publish with KDP, CreateSpace   or Smashwords, there are tax issues to bear in mind as you will be technically earning money from an overseas country. This used to cause a bit of a headache but it’s much simpler now. All the information you need is here.

 

You can find lots and lots more information about all these issues on both the KDP and Smashwords sites.

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Wednesday Wing – Publishing an e-book- easy to use steps by @AlisonW_Editor #wwwblogs #AmWriting

Wednesday Wing brings you useful tips to help with ALL things Books

Rosie's Notebook

Today Editor Alison Williams joins us to talk about Publishing an e-book

Alison Williams

Publishing an eBook

There’s absolutely no doubt that self-publishing has opened the doors to many new authors and many are tempted by the idea that they can write a book, upload it to Amazon and wait for the money to roll in. But of course it isn’t as simple as that. Aside from the issues around quality, you also need to prepare your manuscript for publishing.

There are freelancers and companies that will do this for you, but of course they will charge you. So, although formatting can be quite a tricky business, it is worth learning how to do this as once you have the skills you will then be able to format and self-publish in future without incurring any costs (aside of course from other aspects like editing and cover design). It can be time consuming, but it is certainly possible. If you are only publishing a kindle version, then formatting is far simpler than publishing a paperback copy.

Rather than providing a step-by-step, once size fits all guide here, I thought it would be more useful to cover the basics and provide links to more detailed information – the process can feel overwhelming, and, if you’re anything like me, it can be better to find things out as you go along, dealing with one step at a time, rather than trying to learn everything at once.

Having said that, I have included some pretty detailed information about your cover illustration, as this was the most difficult part for me to get my head around when I published!

You will first need to have a cover designed. Once you have a cover illustration, then uploading is relatively straightforward. As long as your designer sends you the illustration in the correct format then it should be a case of simply uploading the file. If you’re using Amazon KDP, ask your illustrator to provide a file that is:

  • A jpeg
  • Has a height/width ratio of 1:6 so a minimum of 625 pixels on the shortest side and 1000 pixels on the longest side (although KDP recommends 2500 pixels on the longest side). If you decide to publish through Smashwords as well as KDP then the recommended file size is 1600 pixels wide by 2400 pixels tall – these dimensions work for KDP too so you can use the same image for both platforms.
  • The image must be less than 50MB and should have 72 dots per inch (dpi)

Tell the illustrator that Amazon uses RGB (Red, Green, Blue or True Color). The image must be saved without using colour separation.

If the illustrator bears all this in mind, and supplies the correctly formatted image, then it should simply be a case of uploading the cover. Most book cover designers will be aware of what is required to upload a cover successfully, so it shouldn’t be a problem to get an image to simply upload.

You can upload your manuscript directly as a Word document, as a PDF, HTML or TXT, although some cause more problems than others. You can find more advice here.

Once you have uploaded your file, there is an online previewer that makes it very easy to see if there are any issues with the formatting. You can go through the previewer, noting where there are errors to sort out, go back to your original document to correct them, and then upload again. Keep doing this until you are sure your manuscript is correct.

There is plenty of advice on the KDP website. It does quite a good job of walking you through each stage, and if you get stuck then there is a good forum where you can find lots of answers.

If you choose to use Smashwords, they have information on formatting your document ready to upload including a step by step guide. Again, it can take time and some aspects are fiddly, but I used their guide and I managed – and I know it’s a cliché but if I can do it then really anyone can. You should be able to use the same cover image as with KDP. You can find lots of information about Smashwords here. Please note – other free to publish platforms are available!

Alison blogs here http://alisonwilliamswriting.wordpress.com/

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WINNER and Runner-Up of the 2015 Historical Fiction Award #SundayBlogShare

Winner Historical Fiction

The 2015 Golden Rose Book Award for Historical Fiction

went to Zoe Saadia with Two Rivers

Zoe Saadia Two Rivers

Meet Zoe

Zoe Saadia is the author of several novels of pre-Columbian Americas. From the glorious pyramids of Tenochtitlan to the fierce democrats of the Great Lakes, her novels bring long-forgotten history, cultures and people to life, tracing pivotal events that brought about the greatness of Meso and North America.

Having researched various pre-contact cultures of this continent for more than a decade, she is convinced that it’s a shame that such a large part of history was completely overlooked, by historical fiction most of all. Both Americas has an extremely rich, diverse, fascinating history long before this continent came in contact with the rest of the world.
So her professional motto is set. America has not been ‘discovered’, not yet. Not in her novels.

Find Zoe on Twitter @ZoeSaadia

Book Description

Having survived the failed raid on the enemy lands, Tekeni had no illusions. He was nothing but an enemy cub, adopted into one of the clans, but not accepted, never for real. To fit in was difficult, to run away – impossible. To get into trouble, more often than not, was the only available option. They did not expect anything else from him, anyway.

However, when a meaningless row during a ballgame grew out of proportion, resulting in a fight, Tekeni has found himself in a truly grave trouble. Neither he nor anyone else could have foreseen the chain of events the consequences of this fight would release, when the highly esteemed but controversial Two Rivers decided to help Tekeni out.

Two Rivers was a strange person with unacceptable notions and ideas. He maintained that to war on and on was a mistake of disastrous consequences. He went as far as suggesting a negotiation of peace with some of the neighboring nations. Even Tekeni, the despised enemy, thought such ideas to be far-fetched and wild. And yet…

With their trouble mounting and the revengefulness of some people around them growing, both Tekeni and Two Rivers find themselves pushed beyond limits.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

The Silver Award went to

Frances Evesham with Danger At Thatcham Hall

Frances Evesham and Danger at Thatcham Hall

Meet Frances

Frances Evesham writes mystery stories: the Exham on Sea contemporary crime series set in a small Somerset seaside town, and the Thatcham Hall Mysteries, 19th Century historical mystery romances set in Victorian England.

She collects grandsons, Victorian ancestors and historical trivia, likes to smell the roses, lavender and rosemary, and cooks with a glass of wine in one hand and a bunch of chillies in the other. She loves the Arctic Circle and the equator and plans to visit the penguins in the south one day.

She’s been a speech therapist, a professional communicator and a road sweeper and worked in the criminal courts. Now, she walks in the country and breathes sea air in Somerset.

Catch up with Frances on Twitter @FrancesEvesham

Book Description Danger At Thatcham Hall published by Wild Rose Press

Ambitious lawyer Nelson Roberts, embittered by war, jilted by his fiancée, and trusting no one, aims to make his name solving the mysterious thefts and violence at Thatcham Hall, a country house in Victorian England.

Olivia Martin, headstrong and talented, will stop at nothing to overcome the conventions of the day, avoid a miserable fate as a governess and fulfill dreams of a musical future.

The pair stumble on a body. Is the farmhand’s death a simple accident, or something more sinister? Who attacked the livestock at the Hall and why are the villagers so reluctant to talk? Can Nelson and Olivia overcome their differences and join forces to unravel the web of evil that imperils the Hall?

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Final congratulations to all our Historical Fiction nominees.

Alison Williams with THE BLACK HOURS

William Savage with AN UNLAMENTED DEATH

Tony Riches with OWEN

Vanessa Matthews with THE DOCTOR’S DAUGHTER