Why Do Authors Diss Other Authors?

model-2748342_1920
Credit: Gerd Altman

You know what’s hot right now, other than global warming? Tearing down your peers in order to promote your new book! And it’s not new authors, desperate for any kind of media coverage they can get – these are well-established authors who all seem to be hopping on the latest controversy bandwagon. But why are they doing it? Does it result in more sales or is a just a ploy to get your name ‘out there’?

For a while there, it seemed like a queue of predominantly white male authors were awaiting their turn to declare that the novel (as they knew it) was dead. Will Self being the most vocal (who even is he??!). It was all a bit pathetic really – writers bemoaning the fact that their work was no longer relevant and choosing to denounce the younger generation for their lack of taste rather than accept that their books mightn’t be as good as they thought they were. Or that, like the rest of us mere mortals, their books have no¬† guarantee of a warm reception.

Irish author Colm T√≥ib√≠n recently told a Guardian interviewer:¬†‚ÄúI can‚Äôt do thrillers and I can‚Äôt do spy novels.‚Ä̬†¬†

Asked which books he felt were most overrated, he said: ‚ÄúI can‚Äôt do any genre-fiction books, really, none of them. I just get bored with the prose. I don‚Äôt find any rhythm in it. It‚Äôs blank, it‚Äôs nothing; it‚Äôs like watching TV.‚ÄĚ

So clearly, Colm has read ALL THE BOOKS and they’re all boring. Thanks for that Colm, inspirational.

Poor old John Banville can only write ‘genre’ under a pseudonym, lest his good name and reputation be besmirched by popular fiction. It’s a form of snobbery, looking down one’s nose at other writers, and readers for that matter. Like the ‘real book’ brigade who scoff at eBooks and their readers. Like, get over yourself and the delusion that you are the sole arbiter of good taste. By dismissing things that people enjoy, you are dismissing them and what matters to them. And to me, this seems a very foolish thing to do.

The most recent author to diss an entire genre is Louise Doughty, when she told The Guardian (why is it always The Guardian?) “I can’t bear anything chicklitty or girly.”

Wow. Can’t bear it, eh? Any book in particular, or just every book written by a woman who has been classified under the broadest commercial fiction genre EVER? Now, everyone is entitled to their opinion, but such an established writer must be aware of how dismissive this sounds to her peers? How many years have female authors been fighting this exact kind of stigma associated with chick lit? It’s a marketing tag, that has unfortunately sidelined contemporary romcoms¬† written by women as vacuous, vapid and unimportant. The definition of chick lit is ‘a heroine-centred narrative‘, so far so brilliant, and luckily for us fans, promotes a whole plethora of styles, voices and subject matter. In fact, categorising novels by a single criterion is such a reductive exercise anyway, the dismissive tone used by this authors is at best, unhelpful.

I also think the media has a lot to answer for here. If an author is asked their opinion, they have every right to give it. It was the editor’s choice to pick that one quote from the interview and run it as click-bait on all social media platforms. And this seems to be the way of it now – the¬†newspaper takes the most inflammatory line from an article, tweets it and watches the book world have a meltdown. And that my friends, is marketing.

But in case you were thinking literary authors were safe from all this criticism, think again. Sally Rooney has committed a cardinal sin – the worst thing you can do in literary fiction – she has sold a lot of books. It’s one thing garnering critical acclaim, but to be successful in the monetary sense can risk the loss of your member’s card to the ‘serious’ literary writers club. Will Self (him again!) ‘bravely’ took it upon himself to put her back in her place by labelling her writing as ‘lacking ambition’, lest she go getting any ideas that she might have earned her place among the literati. Fortunately we have men like him to save us from our own bad taste.

Irish author Catherine Ryan Howard has her finger on the pulse and her tongue firmly in her cheek with this latest tweet:

 

So is this the future for authors? A newspaper article in which they upset not only their fellow authors, but the millions of readers who enjoy their books?¬† And while everyone has the right to speak their mind, it is the contrivance to cause controversy that seems to be the PR drug of choice these days. To me, it just makes people look arrogant and insecure. I’ve always been taught that people who try to make you feel small are only doing it so they can feel big. Authors dismissing other genres must have some dire need to feel important, or to be seen as superior, i.e. someone whose work matters. But newsflash, we all matter and a bit of diplomacy goes a long way.

We are all creatures of habit and of course we tend to gravitate to certain styles of writing and subject matter. There is nothing wrong with that and there is nothing wrong with not liking a book. Art is subjective. But when does it stop being an opinion and start being derisory? Good critique is backed up by fact and reason (like books where the characters are under-developped, for example) but generalisations that have no real basis tell us nothing constructive. The truth is, there are crap writers and crap books everywhere. There are crap literary books, crap self-published books, crap traditionally published books, crap YA books, crap detective novels, crap books by men, crap books by women … but to give one broad sweep of criticism to any of these categories is just ignorant and lazy.

I have always found the writing community to be supportive and always remember the first time I read another saying that there is room enough for all of us. We don’t have to compete by putting one another down. Most readers, like myself, read across genres, so in the long run, it’s probably wiser to big up your fellow authors rather than risk alienating your audience. Your readership could well overlap. But just on a human level, as Michelle Obama once said, when they go low, we go high!

Special Offer

If you have managed to miss the exciting news that The Story Collector was reviewed in The Irish Times last weekend, then well done to you because I have been telling everyone I know and many people I don’t! To celebrate, The Story Collector is available to download for 99p all weekend on Amazon and if you fancy bagging yourself a signed copy, check out my Twitter page for a chance to win.

What’s that? You’d like to see the review? Well, I mean if you really think it’s necessary, I suppose I could see if I have a copy somewhere…

img_20181013_163225.jpg

Honestly, this is something I will treasure for the rest of my life. I remember years ago, my sister saying “oh you should be writing for the Irish Times”. She may as well have said, you should write your novels from space. It seemed so far-fetched. Even now it feels surreal.¬†I keep wondering, how did this happen? I think a lot of writers tend to overlook the years of hard slog when something amazing suddenly happens, as if it has nothing to do with us. Also it feels a bit indulgent and most of us have been taught not to indulge in our own success. Irish people are renowned for being utterly crap at taking compliments and we are brought sharply back down to earth if we even show signs of having ‘notions’. But when your peers tell you that your achievements are ‘well deserved’, maybe it’s okay to take a moment and say, ‘I did it!’ So sod it, my book is in the Irish bleedin’ Times and I’m flippin’ delighted!!

A Writer Unwritten

There’s a great line from one of my favourite songs (Pink Rabbits by The National) which goes:

‘I was a television version of a person with a broken heart’¬†

¬†The one time I should have felt most like a ‘proper writer’, during my book launch, I felt like a television version of an author. Or what I thought an author should be. In reality, I felt adrift; like a boat that had slipped its moorings. Writing was the one thing that had kept me tethered and yet, while my book was published, I wasn’t¬†being a writer (or at least, not in the sense that I’m familiar with); I was being a spokesperson for my writing, which is a completely different skill set. I never thought I would say this, but it’s official folks – not writing is worse than writing!

Being a published author, promoting a book you have written (past tense) is weird for all sorts of reasons. It’s a time of contradictions, where you feel like the centre of attention one minute, but oddly alone the next. Not many people are fortunate enough to have this experience, so not many people get how strange it can feel. Yet it’s only in the last few weeks, since I’ve returned to my WIP that I’ve figured why.¬†Writing is a verb – if you’re not doing it, then it starts to feel like a distant thing. I felt like I was masquerading as a writer, because I wasn’t actually writing and hadn’t written for months. Don’t misunderstand – I’m not one of those ‘write everyday’ evangelicals (although I probably am still writing in my head, if not on screen or paper). But I feel more like a writer when I’m frowning at my laptop, still wearing my pyjamas at lunchtime and eating cheerios out of a box (although that’s not the author photo I went for in the end).

Maybe, at the back of my mind, it was the fear that I wouldn’t be able to do it again. Yeah, sure, I wrote this one, but what if there’s nothing left? I know other authors feel this way from time to time – regardless of how many books they’ve written.¬† Because writing a book is never a sure thing.¬† We all have those hopeful starts; manuscripts that crash and burn before hitting the 20k words mark.¬† Potentialities simply abandoned.¬† There is no real formula – either you’re feeling it or you’re not and that’s not exactly the most reliable career path.¬† Because once you’re published, you begin to see writing as a viable career, but only if you can keep writing. Eek!

It’s the same with art.¬† I haven’t painted anything in ages and it’s almost as if that channel gets blocked through lack of use. So if I don’t have dried paint under my fingernails, it feels very far away from me.¬† And I’m not making a judgement or a generalisation here – this is a very personal realisation came as a surprise to me too. But I feel like book promotion is so divorced from story creation, that I almost became a different person.¬† And in a way, I think that’s essential.¬† You have to be a bit harder, a bit more calculating and a lot less sensitive. You need to be cool with seeing your face shared across the internet and nurture the ability to find eleventy-thousand different ways to say the same thing (i.e. please buy my book because it’s actually quite good – for realsies).

To craft a story, you need to be a dreamer.¬† To sell one, you need to be a realist. And I’m not sure either personality trait sits comfortably with the other.¬† I assume other authors feel some or all of these things. I know there are many on tight deadlines who don’t have the luxury of not writing while promoting and I take my hat off to those authors. Promoting and writing at the same time is the ultimate Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde act, which I have yet to master!

For now, I’m back in my happy place… mumbling ideas to myself in the shower, researching, scribbling notes, getting to know new characters and wrangling my plot into some kind of coherent structure.¬† This is where the magic happens and I’m lucky I’ve got time and space to figure it all out and most importantly, enjoy it.¬† It’s the best part – the part you won’t be able to explain fully in words when people ask, ‘What inspired you to write this book?,’ or ‘Where did the idea come from?’ You’ll just remember that year (or two, or three) in your life when you immersed yourself in a world of your own making and you’ll find it hard to believe that other people are now exploring it – as if it always existed, as if it wasn’t a bloody miracle that it ever got written!

So, to all the new writers or unpublished writers out there, wondering if they should even call themselves ‘real writers’ before they’ve got a publishing deal, hear this:

If you’re writing, you’re a writer!

The rest is icing, fur coat, what have you. It is the action of writing that makes you a writer. But crucially, it is the act of publishing that makes you read ūüėČ

 

*** THE STORY COLLECTOR ***

Book Depository ~ Dubray Books ~ Foyles ~ O’Mahony’s ~ Waterstones ~ WH Smith

https://read.amazon.co.uk/kp/card?asin=B07D3TD965&preview=inline&linkCode=kpe&ref_=cm_sw_r_kb_dp_.U-PBbHC6KF7N&tag=wwweviegaugha-21

What Is A Review Worth?

love of books

Out of every 100 copies of my book sold, approximately 2 people will leave a review. At least that’s what the statistics say, but empirical evidence shows that it is far less.¬† The fact is that most readers don’t see the connection between leaving a review and improving the book’s visibility on Amazon or Goodreads.¬† Yet, that is exactly what happens, every time someone writes a review. In fact, few people outside¬†of the publishing industry are aware of the importance of reviews. ¬†They are the lifeblood of authors and their books – a priceless promotional tool that is aimed purely at other readers. In this USA Today article by Elizabeth Weise, it claims that “Just going from zero review to one increases the rate at which online window-shoppers actually click the ‘buy’ button by 65%.”

The publishing industry has changed a lot. ¬†It used to be that you went to your local bookshop, picked up a book you liked the look of and if you enjoyed it, you probably loaned it to a couple of friends. ¬†There was no such thing as writing a review and word of mouth was the only way to spread the love. ¬†Nowadays however, leaving travel reviews on sites such as TripAdvisor has become the norm and something businesses rely on heavily for publicity and future trade. ¬†It’s no different for books and reviews can¬†make a huge difference to future sales, especially for Indie Authors and publishers.

If your book garners¬†20-25 reviews, regardless of how many stars awarded, Amazon will highlight the novel under the ‚ÄėCustomers Who Bought This Item Also Bought‚Äô and ‚ÄėYou might also like‚Äô section on a page. ¬†If your book receives more than 50 reviews,¬†Amazon will include the title in their newsletter and increase its¬†visibility on the site with spotlights, which means it will reach more potential readers.

Obviously, reviews are paramount to your book’s future success. ¬†But how do you encourage readers to write reviews without resorting to begging and losing any sense of dignity?! ¬†Readers are under no obligation to leave a review and to be fair, they’ve already paid you the highest compliment of buying your book in the first place. ¬†But I honestly believe that if readers knew how much of a difference their review could make in terms of an author’s ranking (not to mention potential revenue and ratings), I think they would be much more inclined to write one.¬† Especially if they are already a fan of the author’s work. When it comes to Amazon in particular, they make it extremely easy to leave a review with their ‘reminder’ email, asking you to rate the book. ¬†These ratings are so important, because even when it comes to promoting your book with sites like Bookbub, they take your star rating into account.

So why do such a small percentage of readers write reviews? Even readers who contact me personally to say they enjoyed my book are reluctant to publish a review online, as oftentimes, they don’t know what they’re expected to say.¬† If you scroll through the reviews on Amazon on Goodreads, you will find that a lot of reviews are written by professional book bloggers and are written in a standard format that includes the blurb and an in-depth critique of the novel. ¬†However, it is the reader’s choice what they decide to write – after all it is their opinion and they’re free to express it however they wish.

One reader told me that she didn’t like reviewing because it felt like being back at school and writing book reports, so I wonder if that’s what puts people off? It’s not like reviewing a lipstick, for example, because you don’t feel pressure to sound clever about it. Either you liked it or you didn’t! But the thing is, a review is simply to inform other readers – a brief review of your response to the book, saying why you liked the book (or didn’t like it), and maybe a similar book that it reminded you of. ¬†I am currently reading a book that I would describe as an ‘Entertaining read, very likeable characters and an interesting plot. ¬†Fans of Nick Hornby would like this book.‘ ¬†However, when I REALLY like a book, I go all out and write something more in depth. ¬†It’s really up to the reader – if you’re really moved by a book, you want to shout from the rooftops about it. ¬†But if it’s just okay or average, you might not bother. However, all ratings have value and even critical ones give a more balanced picture of readers’ responses.

The truth is that we all rely on reviews to some degree before hitting the ‘Buy’ button. Apparently, they drive 20% of overall sales.¬† I always check out the reviews on Goodreads and Amazon before buying a book, just to get a feel for it and even if there are negative reviews, it can sometimes influence my decision to buy. ¬†As an example, I recently bought and read an AMAZING book that I absolutely loved (you can see me gush about it here) and that was after I saw a negative review saying that it was a story about a girl who talks to squirrels. ¬†Talking squirrels you say? ¬†Count me in! ¬†Obviously, the story was about so much more than that and it’s clear the reviewer hadn’t read the entire book. ¬†But the point is that what turned her off (a little quirkieness) completely turned me on. ¬†So you see, all reviews have their own funny way of influencing future readers. ¬†Ultimately, I think most people make up their mind using a combination of the blurb, the cover and reviews, but it definitely makes a book look more appealing if there are more reviews beside it.

So I would always encourage readers to use this platform to provide feedback on books that traditionally, might only be reviewed by book critics or worse, not at all. Short or long reviews, they all count!¬† Your review has a big impact on, not only the book’s future, but also the author’s career.¬† Writers and readers are so important to each other, as the author John Cheever once said:

‚ÄúI can‚Äôt write without a reader. It‚Äôs precisely like a kiss‚ÄĒyou can‚Äôt do it alone.‚ÄĚ

Book. Launched.

It’s been almost a week since The Story Collector was released and I think I’ve finally dragged myself out of my post-launch stupor!¬† How to even begin to explain to you, dear reader, what this week has been like.¬† It has been a mixture of utter joy, trepidation, excitement, anxiousness, exhaustion and elation.¬† Let’s say it together, it’s been an emotional roller-coaster!¬† But mostly, there’s a sense of mission accomplished.

The Story Collector
Launching in style at Ashford Castle!

There are so many stages to getting a book from manuscript to shelf and even though I’ve had a publisher behind me this time, it still doesn’t change the amount of work to be done.¬† Thankfully, all of the preparation has paid off and my new book has been chaperoned into the world by the most amazing book bloggers – newly christened #TeamEvie !¬† Book bloggers are quite simply, angels.¬† I never cease to be amazed by the amount of work they put into helping authors and publishers promote their new books to the world.¬† All for the love of books and reading.¬† It’s kind of phenomenal and something I never take for granted.¬† It’s a huge commitment that they take on for no financial gain, and yet their professionalism is exemplary.¬† It also helps that readers (we knew this already!) are just the best humans!!¬† I’ve had such fun on this tour, so big thanks to everyone who is taking part and cheering from the sidelines.

I was so happy to kick off the week with a piece for the Irish Times, all about folklore in fiction.¬† I loved writing this article and I’ve connected with some fellow folklore fans (try saying that three times!) off the back of it, so do have a read if you’re interested in the inspiration behind the story.

Another feature I really enjoyed doing was My Life In Books for Woman’s Way Magazine.¬† I love sharing books that I’ve enjoyed and it’s a nice change to chat about other writers!

 

Finally, the lovely people at with Female First UK invited me to do their feature,¬†10 Things I Want My Readers To Know About Me.¬† Honestly, I couldn’t think of one at the beginning!¬† But once I started writing, it kind of snowballed, reminding me of things I hadn’t thought about for years.¬† Like how I worked as an intern with Airbus Industrie in the south of France, and in a bizarre twist of fate, they are publishing a book this year with my publisher, Urbane!

 

feminine first

So that’s it, The Story Collector is out in the world, revealing its pages to new readers every day.¬† There is still lots more to come, so stay tuned for details.¬† If you want to pick up a copy, check out the following stores for more info.

 

Book Depository¬†~ Dubray Books¬†~ Foyles ~ O’Mahony’s ~ Waterstones ~¬†WH Smith

Amazon UK  ~ Amazon US ~  Amazon (paperback)

The Dreaded Question – What’s Your Book About?

Evie Irish TimesIn a recent article I wrote for The Irish Times, I set out to examine why writers find the question ‘What’s your book about?’ so tricky to answer. ¬†Apart from filling your cheeks with air and slowly forcing it out through your mouth, what can you say about the behemoth that has taken over your life for the last few months/years?

And that is the conundrum that is the creative process. We’re not entirely sure how we do it. It’s such a fragile thing that, even having achieved it once, there is never any certainty of being able to repeat the performance. There is an element of alchemy involved in creating something out of nothing, willing an idea into existence by conjuring words onto paper. So perhaps, like magicians, we don’t like to reveal our secrets… because the truth is, we have no idea how any of this works. The trick is making people believe we do.   IT Books

I found some excellent quotes from the greats in our industry like Orwell, Atwood, Saunders and others that will hopefully make you feel less of a deer in headlights the next time you stumble over your answer.  You can read the article in full here.

You could be forgiven for thinking that all successful authors are able to transform into sleek, marketing machines the moment their book hits the shelves, but most of us are just fumbling our way through as best we can.  Self-promotion takes practice and is a skill that has to be learned and more often than not, learned the hard way.

Interestingly, Author Lan Samantha Chang has written a wonderful essay on the subject of protecting your inner life as a writer, especially when it comes to promotion.  It can be difficult to navigate your way from lone writer behind a screen to a public author and she questions if perhaps the reason it is so difficult to discuss our art is because the art should speak for itself?

This struggle takes place, I think, because the sincere reaction to making meaningful art is often speechlessness. We make art about what we cannot understand through any other method. The finished product is like a pearl, complete and beautiful, but mute about itself.

Yet, her greatest advice is not to worry.  In traditional publishing, the publisher would have dealt with the day-to-day concerns of getting your book out there.  But nowadays, we are all working as authorpreneurs Рwe are responsible for creating a platform, generating interest and reaching new readerships.  However, Chang advises that we should keep our writing life separate from our writing career.

The single essential survival skill for anybody interested in creating art is to learn to defend this inner life from the world.

But is there anything we can do to avoid the selective mutism that takes hold when trying to compress several years’ worth of work into a catchy sound-byte?

Many people just want to know what genre your book is, but for a lot of authors, their book doesn’t fit neatly into any one genre. ¬†An author recently told me how she attended a PR course for author interviews and one of the best tips she received was to outline three key points about your novel. ¬†And then learn them by heart, so no matter the pressure cooker situation you may find yourself in, your three key points are burned into your grey matter. ¬†It might not convey everything you want to say about your book, but I think that’s the very reason we find the question so difficult to answer in the first place. ¬†We want people to know why our book is so unique, so different to anything else out there. ¬†But no-one has time for that and it’s a sure-fire way to talk yourself into a word-shaped corner. ¬†Talking about your book should be fun, so I think if you can get past the initial hurdle by using these key points, the rest should be a piece of cake (lol!).

The Magical Mailing List

4641693023_942b8b2232_nIf I hear one more author tell me how VITALLY IMPORTANT a mailing list is, I think I’ll scream. ¬†Swear words. ¬†The bad ones. ¬†The more observant among you will notice a new pop-up box asking you to join MY mailing list – don’t run away!! ¬†This is merely my feeble attempt to jump on the wagon I should have flagged down four years ago, when this whole crazy thing started. ¬†But do feel free to close it and completely ignore my cutesy request to give me your email address. ¬†I know I would. ¬†So how are other authors doing it? ¬†Building up mailing lists with thousands of addresses (allegedly)? ¬†Some say that they give away a free book to entice people. ¬†Eh… so do I, it’s on Amazon, where anyone can download it. ¬†No strings attached. ¬†(Betwixt – a free short story that I wrote for readers who have supported me and future ones who’d like a taster of my style). ¬†Besides, when people send me automated DM’s on Twitter (if you do that, please cease and desist immediately!) with links to free books, I NEVER click on them, much less download them. ¬†So how do you let people know you have a mailing list without being annoying?

We would all love to have a database of names you could contact directly when you have a new book out. ¬†It makes sense. ¬†People like ¬†your book, they want to know when you’re next one is out, or if it’s on sale, so they sign up to a mailing list. ¬†Because we’re busy, people forget and you can’t catch everything on social media. ¬†But you will check your email. ¬†So it works for both the author and the reader. ¬†However, I can’t help thinking that people don’t subscribe to these lists (myself included) because they don’t want to be bombarded with a whole load more crap they have to read in their inbox. ¬†I have enough to be doing to keep up with reading articles, writing articles, supporting author/blogger friends and, you know, writing my book, without having to either read or delete unwanted newsletters.

How then, do you get people to subscribe? ¬†If you’re not going to bribe them or promise them the secret to eternal youth? ¬†It’s enough work getting people to follow your blog, your twitter, your train of thought! ¬†Build it and they will come, right?! ¬†I created a mailing list with Mail Chimp a few years ago, when I (yet again) read how important it was for authors to have one. ¬†I put a link on the site and waited for the subscribers to come. ¬†I’m still waiting. ¬†And I’m still reading (mostly Indie) authors pontificate about the importance of the list to your marketing plan.

You see, apparently I was supposed to put a link at the end of all my books. ¬†Of course, it makes total sense now. ¬†The reader has just finished (and hopefully enjoyed) your book – they want to know more, get hooked up, stay in the loop. ¬†This is the moment to hit them with the mailing list, while they’re still in their post-book euphoria! ¬†So I guess I’ll just have to resubmit my documents to Kindle with the all-important sign up links. ¬†Joy of joys. ¬†Love upsetting the careful balance of an already formatted and published book.

However, because I can’t keep ignoring the value of ¬†having a mailing list when you’re a writer building a relationship with your readers, here it is. ¬†I am officially inviting you to join my mailing list, purely for the purposes of letting you know when I have a new book out. ¬†I won’t be telling you every time I have a new blog post, or sending recipes for granola (I have a really good one by the way, but I’ll keep that to myself….. and my Instagram). ¬†If you’re interested in all those bells and whistles, you (like me) can waste endless hours following my social media accounts. ¬†But if you just want a heads up on my books, that’s what this list is for.

But let’s face it, every request needs a little sweetener doesn’t it? ¬†I was going to run a giveaway for my paperbacks, but that’s just a bit predictable. ¬†So, in the interest of trying to be original, I’m going to give away a signed print of my original artwork to some lucky reader once I’ve reached 50 subscribers. ¬†Below is the original painting, but I will be posting the winner a gicl√©e print on archival paper, double mounted on mounting board. ¬†That’s assuming that you like my artwork! ¬†If not, I’ll just send you a book ¬†ūüôā ¬†So, let’s see how it goes and if you haven’t already done it, you can sign up to my amazing but totally non-invasive mailing list HERE.

Wouldn’t I look lovely on your wall??

 

**Update:  The winner was Caryl

Ye Olde Kindle Countdown Deal

Cross collage - Copy

It’s summer. ¬†You all want a good read. ¬†Something you can really get your teeth into, historical fiction with a modern twist? ¬†I’m only too happy to oblige! ¬†Get your peepers over to Amazon UK and Amazon US where you can download a copy of my novel, The Cross Of Santiago for only 99p/c until June 7th. ¬†It’s got it all – Spanish knights, battles at sea, mystery, family ties, heirlooms and a love story that spans four centuries. ¬†

Adopted as a baby, Amanda Morrison knows nothing of her biological family. But when a lawyer reveals that she has been bequeathed a mysterious heirloom from a long lost aunt, she unlocks the door to a distant past and a secret love. Can her past life really be haunting her present and what can she do to put things right?

The Cross Of Santiago is a tale of two women living in different centuries, whose lives seem to be entwined by fate. A perfect read for Outlander fans.

But don’t just take my word for it! ¬†Readers have left the following reviews….

5 stars

Very good read and also an interesting change of times

Published 2 months ago by christine gaster

4 stars

An epic romance across the centuries!  This book has two settings and I loved both.
If you know nothing about the Spanish Armada and how so many of the ships were shipwrecked on the coast of Ireland and Scotland; then worry not, this book will fill you in. I had forgotten so much of this part of history that it was fantastic to revisit it and I ended up having great discussions about the battle and their mission with my husband who is a history fiend.

Trish @ Between My Lines


5 stars

Really enjoyed. Kept my interest.

Published 12 months ago by Martha Smith

‚ÄúThe¬†Cross¬†of¬†Santiago‚ÄĚ is an intelligent and well written historical romance book. I love historical fiction with a bit¬†of¬†romantic story-line thrown in and this book sure fits¬†the¬†bill.

OnlineBookClub.org full review here.

4 stars

This book has a lot of mystery. I was adopted and so I can relate to Amanda as a character. She wants to know about her past, about her birth family, and her family’s history. I have been there and so this book was a good read for me because I could REALLY relate to her. I think books that the reader can relate too are the best kind. They help you feel that the story is more REAL, rather than it just being a story that is being read.

Boundless Book Reviews

4 stars

The historical parts based around the Spanish Armada seem particularly well researched and it was interesting to hear the story of the Armada crashing around the coast of Ireland. The characters all feel fleshed out and interesting enough to want to read about and the story doesn’t get bogged down by too much history, there is a nice balance.

The Bearded Bookworm

While you’re at it, you may as well pick up a copy of The Mysterious Bakery On Rue De Paris, also at the delectable price of 99p!¬†

Happy Easter Book Sale!

Easter sale

Fancy¬†a good read while you’re stuffing your face with chocolate? ¬†You’ve come to the right place! ¬†Both of my books are on sale for Easter at the cracking price of ‚ā¨0.99/¬£0.99/$0.99/. ¬†But what are they about? ¬†Will I like them? ¬†I hear you cry. ¬†Hold on to your cream egg – here’s a little preview to help you decide.

 

The Mysterious Bakery On The Rue de Paris (6)

THE MYSTERIOUS BAKERY ON RUE DE PARIS

 

A charming bakery in a picturesque French town sounds like the idyllic place to escape her life, but Edith Lane soon discovers that some ghosts are harder to escape than others. A magical, heart-warming story that is sure to appeal to all of the senses, The Mysterious Bakery On Rue De Paris is a mouth-watering journey of love, liberty and la vie en rose.

 

*****  A wonderful, captivating story    *****  Terrifically written and researched

*****  Heartwarming story     *****  Magical read!

The Cross of Santiago-Amazon

THE CROSS OF SANTIAGO

A second chance to meet your first love’

Adopted as a baby, Amanda Morrison knows nothing of her biological family.  But when she receives a mysterious heirloom from a long lost aunt, she unlocks the door to a distant past and a secret love. Can her past life really be haunting her present and what can she do to put things right?

The Cross Of Santiago is an intriguing novel that tells the tales of women in two different eras and how their lives seem to be entwined by fate.

***** Epic romance across the centuries    *****  Intriguing story    

*****  Interesting mix of genres    *****  Unusual but enjoyable!

Betwixt short

And don’t forget, you can always download my short story Betwixt anytime of the year for free!

‘Catherine returns to Hollowbrook Cottage on a cold November night, looking to escape her present life and lose herself in the past. However, her journey crosses the path of a mysterious stranger who will change her life forever.’

 

 

 

 

 

Special Offer!

 

The Mysterious Bakery On Rue De Paris

Most Recent Customer Reviews

A wonderful novel about the books heroine Edith and her life changing adventure set in magical Compiègne . Read more

Published 5 months ago by John O’Malley

I finished this in two sittings. I enjoyed it, it is a nice gentle read but without the typical romance of many of the genre. Read more

Published 9 months ago by Lorna Sixsmith

Wonderful heartwarming story. It has been described as chiclit but I think it a great read for men too. Read more

Summer read must gives a lovely warm cosy feeling, just finished it highly recommend intelligent chick lit download now and support indie writers, I’m glad I did :).

Published 18 months ago by Lorna Dooley

A lovely, engaging read with some surprising twists. I’ve never been to Paris but the author really evoked a feel for the city with all its wonderful sights, smells and tastes. Read more

Published 18 months ago by Heather Hill

I chose this rating because this is a great book. Interesting, entertaining, engaging with a little bit of romance and magic thrown in and all from a very fine writer. Read more

The Cross Of Santiago

Most Recent Customer Reviews

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I enjoy books that combine a modern story with.one that takes place in the past.

Really enjoyed. Kept my interest.

Published 7 months ago by Martha Smith

The best thing about this love story, is that it doesn’t start off as a love story. Read more

This book had a lot of mystery. I was adopted and so I can relate to Amanda as a character. She wants to know about her past, about her birth family, and her family’s history. I have been there and so this book was a good read for me because I could REALLY relate to her. I think books that the reader can relate too are the best kind. They help you feel that the story is more REAL, rather than it just being a story that is being read.

Published on December 14, 2013 by Amazon Customer

I received a free copy of this book for an honest review.
The Cross of Santiago belongs in several different genres which makes it interesting.