Tuesday, 27 March 2012

My GoodReads Review for Shakespeare's Cuthbert by Patrick Barrett - damn funny book

Shakespeare's CuthbertShakespeare's Cuthbert by Patrick Barrett
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This type of book is not my normal fare, not being YA, fantasy, or paranormal, but, I have to say, I loved it.

Set in 'the valley', Shakespeare's Cuthbert follows the life of farmer and local undertaker, Cuthbert; he's not 'real valley folk', he's a bit dim and a true accidental hero, and he is really fun to read.

The book is quite long and densely packed with chortles and asides (a la Terry Pratchet, only not at the bottom of the page) - be warned, until you get used to this, you may get a little lost as the story delves into an anecdote without warning, but it's normally worth the delve.

All the valley characters are as engaging as they are odd from Geraldine the somewhat cracked archaeologist to Percy 'the gardener', who seems to have a lot of strings to his rather bent bow. And close to my heart are the twins, they have no non-collective names, they are the valley mafia and ruthless, plus they like large bangs :).

At times this book made me smile, at others snigger and at others laugh so hard I had people coming in to see what I was laughing about. The best bits are the jokes that creep up on you and take you by surprise - all I will finish with is to say 'ninja sheep'. :D

View all my reviews

Chance to Win Sacrifice of An Angel - 26th - 31st March 2012 at Scott Roche's Blog

A chance to WIN The Haward Mysteries eBook: Sacrifice of An Angel by Tasha and Sophie Duncan This Week, 26th-31st March 2012

 Sacrifice of An Angel by Sophie
The fabulous Scott Roche is offering the first in the Haward Mysteries as a giveaway on his blog, Scott's Author Blog, this week, just drop him a line on his blog post and tell him what your favourite genre mashup is.

Monday, 19 March 2012

New FREE Haward Mysteries Short Story - Rite Name by Sophie Duncan Available Now

My new Haward Mysteries short story is out today and available from Amazon and Smashwords (Smashwords is FREE, still working on Amazon price matching). It should be up on Apple, Kobo, Barnes & Noble and Sony soon, once it has been approved for the premium catalogue on Smashwords.

Rite Name (Haward Mysteries Short Story 3 by Sophie Duncan

Author(s):Sophie Duncan
Date Pub: 19th March 2012
Length: short story (~3.75K wds)
Genre: Contemporary Fantasy
Buying Options:
Amazon UK £0.77 Kindle
Amazon US $0.99
Amazon DE EUR0.89
Amazon FR EUR0.89
SmashwordsFREE ePub, PDF, mobi(Kindle), rtf, ltf(Sony), Palm Doc, Plain txt
ISBN 978-1-908333-28-5, ISBN 978-1-908333-29-2


The right name is important when working magic.

It is the night of the Spring Equinox, a time for beginnings, and Rommy Haward is in search of a new name. Remy isn't very happy about it, but he won't say no to his twin when goody-two-shoes Rommy asks him to help him to be naughty and work magic to find the name.

The Haward Mysteries is a set of Contemporary Fantasy, short stories and bargain priced novels full of magic and mystery with a side of CSI thrown in. Follow the Agatha Christie style whodunits of the novels, delve into the artfully rendered sorcerous science of the magical crimes and explore the enchanted world of the Haward Twins as they face supernatural trials in both their professional and private lives. Or enjoy a briefer, less investigative sortie into the twins lives in the short stories.

Rite Name was released at the Spring Equinox 2012 as a FREE gift for fans of the Haward Mysteries. Check out the other books using the series link.
You do not need an eReader to view this publication; there are Kindle aps available for most devices as well as formats for other eReaders, devices and PC.


"What's wrong?"

Remy's question came pretty quickly after the light went out and Rommy looked over to see a worried frown lit by moonlight on his twin's face. He didn't really know where to start, because he wasn't sure why he was so upset.

"It's not the name thing, is it?" Remy got it right as usual and Rommy nodded.

Remy sat up then and, leaning over Rommy, dismissed, "That was just Auntie Daisy. She has to be spooky one time every day."

"But she's right," Rommy confessed and felt instantly guilty as Remy's shock showed.

"You don't like being Rommy?" Remy checked and his voice was rather small.

Rommy sat up then as well and Remy looked away at his knees.

"Doesn't feel right," Rommy tried to explain what Auntie Daisy had told him to think about.

"But we're Rommy and Remy," his brother sounded lost and Rommy stuck an arm round him.

"I know, but I think it's wrong," Rommy sighed as the thought of it made him a little bit spikey inside also, kind of tingly as well, so he tried to explain again, "It's not like me not liking being called Romulus, I don't hate Rommy like that, but I think I have another name."

Remy looked at him then and he could see spikiness in his twin's eyes too, and he didn't like it either, but Auntie Daisy had only told him something that had been bothering him since the 'stopping stuff' had finished and the 'making magic' had started.

"Okay, what do you want to be called?" Remy asked with a shrug.

That was the thing Rommy had been thinking about since bedtime.

"Don't know," Rommy replied, sitting back, and he bit his lip when his brother scowled at him for that one.

"So what are we going to do about it?" Remy did not sound like he was in the mood to be patient.

It was Rommy's turn to look away then, because he had been thinking about it, but it would be naughty.
If you read and enjoy this title, please consider reviewing it at Smashwords or Amazon or one of the other eBook shops. Thank you.
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Friday, 9 March 2012

I've joined Kindlegraph

And what does this mean, I hear you cry? :)

 What it means is that I've loaded all my books** up into Kindlegraph's catalogue here.

 Kindlegraph is a service to allow authors to sign their ebooks for readers upon request. It's free, and although it is called Kindlegraph, you don't need a kindle to get an autograph, it outputs pdfs that can emailed to you.

 And this is no rubberstamp tool. Kindlegraph, upon request, will email an author to request a personal message and an autograph. The author then responds and the reader will get a copy of the front cover of the ebook with a personal message underneath. If you have a kindle, this can be delivered direct to that instrument, otherwise, it'll email it. You don't even have to have bought the book, although that would be nice :D - this is a completely free service and is separate from the ebook itself.

 **caveat to that, Tash and I are working on getting our joint books up there, currently we may have to create a separate joint author account, we think. Waiting on help to get back to us.

My GoodsReads Review of Murder on the Orient Express - by Agatha Christie - romping good murder mystery

Murder on the Orient ExpressMurder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I decided to read this book because I'd seen at least three adaptations on screen and finally wanted to find out what the original text said. Funnily enough, it was an odd combination of all of the versions I've seen.

Christie is quite a detached writer and Hercule Poirot is quite a cold fish, only solving the crime seems to matter to him. This is actually how I like my Christie, not too much examination of 'real' emotions, just a good delve into the psyche of crime itself, means, motives, opportunities. A damn good puzzle.

In a way, I would like to have been able to read this book not knowing how it ended, but I am never going to have that luxury with Agatha, since I've seen far too many adaptations. However, the beauty of Christie is that it doesn't matter. She can be watched and read over and over again just for the sheer, glee at her ingenuity of plot and the colourful cast of characters she provides.

Orient Express is no different, from the cool Ms Debenham to the outlandish Mrs Hubbard, all the characters are carefully observed and the plot beautifully crafted.

I didn't give this 5 stars, simply because I prefer Marple to Poirot. I find her more engaging, but this is a good ol' yarn. A real whodunnit! ;)

View all my reviews

Monday, 5 March 2012

Redundancy, Employment Seeking Leave and What Am I Doing With It - Writing a book!

Today is my first official day of Employment Seeking Leave from my company. What does that mean? It means my company is making me redundant and although I am technically still employed by my company for another 3 months, my time is now to be spent in seeking other employment opportunities. So, I basically have 3 months to find another job.

So, I'm taking the first month of that leave and I am using it to write a novel, my second book of that kind of length, but the first one where I have been free to dedicate my work time to it.

My first novel, Sacrifice of An Angel, that was written with my sis, and all my short stories and novellas, were written during lunch hours, at weekends and any time I could scrape together between work and other activities. Being able to write a book as my work, is a novel concept (pun intended :) ). Since moving house, I also have a study in which to write, rather than the dining room table: professional space and the time to make use of it, wow, makes a change.

So, what to do first. Well, actually, I've been writing this novel since last year, in between times, so I have a full breakdown and 16 scenes (35K wds) already under my belt.  I have fed these into Scrivener, a fantastic tool that I have only just discovered, and I am under way. Yay! I'm also a project manager by trade, so, naturally, I have this little project all planned out. I have 37 scenes to complete this month and 19 working days in which to complete them, so approx 2 scenes a day on average. I couldn't do NaNoWriMo last Nov, because I had too much work on, so this month is my NaNo month!

I'm on my third scene today - I'll put that down to first day enthusiasm! :D I aim to finish that third scene today and then call it quits. Don't want to burn out on the first day!

Wish me Luck, Folks!