Sunday, 20 April 2014

My Picks for World Book NIght 2014 and How I Got There!

It's almost time - 2 more days (or nights) to go and it will be World Book Night 2014!
I wrote a post a few months ago about which WBN books I would buy purely on the basis of the cover, and I also talked about those I had already read.
Today I want to talk about which of the books, having now read all of the blurbs, are my top picks and which I will potentially be buying on Wednesday.

For those of you who fancy choosing a World Book Night book, here's the link -

Gorky Park, whose cover I liked from the start, has intrigued me further after reading the blurb - set in Russia and the USSR, this thriller by Martin Cruz Smith holds a lot of promise.

Confessions of a GP I wasn't sure if I had already read. I must have read a similar book, as this isn't it. Looks funny and since I can only imagine the avalanche of tales told to the doctor by his various patients, I would definitely pick this up - by Dr. Benjamin Daniels.

59 Seconds - I'm not a great fan of self-help books in general, but have recently been re-thinking this, after editing a Mind, Body, Spirit book. The cover for 59 Seconds is pretty boring, but the blurb had me interested - and since my memory seems to be failing after having had baby Antonia, I could do with all the help I can get! Any book that can get me in shape simply by thinking about going to the gym gets my vote!

CHERUB: The Recruit looks very exciting and novel in that the spy is a teenager, bugging a terrorist's home. Who are best at using computers these days after all?! I am pretty sure I will be buying this - Robert Muchamore - a new author for me.

Vengeance is Mine Inc. and other stories by Roald Dahl. We've all read, I'm sure, many of Dahl's children's books, but what about his adult ones? As a fan in the '80s of Tales of the Unexpected, it would be remiss of me not to consider this, although I am not the biggest short story fan ever.

After the Funeral - I was so sure I had read all of Agatha Christie's books when I finished university, but I don't recall this one, so feel duty bound almost to right that wrong. Apart from being a nostalgic trip down memory lane, it  looks good.

Rivers of London had interested me a few months ago by its cover - I almost gave up when I read the blurb, but I happened to read further down and see 'what we think' on the WBN website and I read that the key witness is a ghost, so it's going on my shopping list (where am I going to get the time to read all of these? Plus I must pick only three!) - Ben Aaronovitch

Whatever It Takes by Adele Parks - I've a few AP books in my home library which I haven't read yet - so I was automatically discounting this book on that basis. Some of her books I've enjoyed and others I thought were just OK. However, this book really does have a premise which attracts me and I think it's a more 'grown-up' book than some of her others I have. There seems to be very little women's fiction on this year's list - so this might have to be my nod to it.

Four Warned - I read all of Jeffrey Archer's earlier books and even got a Pointless answer the other day on, well, the quiz show Pointless, by knowing that Twelve Red Herrings was written by him. Although, as I've said, I am not a huge short story fan, I would read pretty much anything by JA, except his prison diaries. I think this will be getting picked up for sure.

Right, oh dear, I can choose only three (self-imposed limit) - the others will have to wait until I have more time...
so the votes have been counted, the jury is back and - TA DA!!

Gorky Park - without question
Rivers of London - the ghost won out!
CHERUB: The Recruit - for its novel concept

Well, those are my choices, but what are yours? Please note I haven't discussed all 20 books here. Follow the link near the top of the page to find your choice.

Have a great World Book Night and I'll report back at some point on my choices. I didn't do a Sooz's First Quarter Book Round-Up at the end of March, so you have that to look forward to - I will have it once every four months this year!!

Enjoy Easter Monday everyone - can you believe I haven't even opened my Easter eggs yet? That has to be a new record - such restraint!!

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Why An Overhaul Is Needed by Louise Wise

Here's an unusual post for you and on a subject which I feel must have been a hard decision for the author. I'd love to hear your thoughts.
But first a little about the author and the book.

Married, with four children, Louise Wise lives in England. She is a pharmacist technician by day and a writer by night. She was educated in an ordinary state school and left without achieving much in the way of qualifications; you could say she was the result of a crap school. Hungry for knowledge she enrolled in an Adult Education centre and studied English, maths and creative writing. Whereas other young girls asked for makeup and clothes for their birthdays, she asked for encyclopaedias!

Louise Wise used her general love of romantic fiction and interest in astronomy to write her first book. The book received many rejections stating the novel was too original for the current market, until finally, an agent took the book on but subsequently failed to find a publisher for it. Instead of becoming despondent, it made Louise realise that becoming a published writer WAS possible. She turned her back on traditionally publishing, threw herself into the indie world and went on to publish her first chick lit book, A Proper Charlie and then Oh no, I’ve Fallen in Love!

As for the ‘too original’ Eden it has been such a hit that Louise has now followed it up with the sequel, Hunted. So far, they are both selling well.



 And now for the book:

Oh no, I’ve Fallen in Love!

On the surface, Valerie Anthrope was happy with her life. She had her own brokerage with Sunny Oak Insurance and was financially solvent. But once asleep, she was plunged into a world of nightmares that reminded her she was cursed.
And that meant she couldn’t fall in love. Ever.

Lex Kendal was a multi-millionaire. Women flocked to him, preened and flaunted for his attention. But one woman, Valerie, knocked him back. Hard. It dented his pride and Lex set out to convince himself he still ‘had it’ by pursuing her.

Only he found himself being needed in a way he never, ever, expected and, for once in his life, money wasn’t the answer.

And finally, here's the article - a very brave decision I thought, so I am wishing Louise the best of luck with it.


Why sometimes an overhaul is needed


 Louise Wise

The Fall of the Misanthrope has been re-launched with a new cover and title: Oh no, I’ve Fallen in Love! I should’ve listened to advice when I released it back in 2012. ‘It sounds too literary,’ they said. ‘What the heck is a misanthrope?’ they cried. ‘Awful title,’ they moaned.
But I liked it and I stubbornly stuck with it. My character was called Valerie Anthrope and single so therefore Miss Anthrope, which becomes misanthrope. Geddit? She isn’t an easy person to like and the misanthrope word matched her personality perfectly. I thought I was onto a winner!
It didn’t do too badly in the beginning and I told myself it needed to be out for a year before I saw decent results. Oh how we convince ourselves we’re right!
After that first year, I played around with the blurb and tag lines. I tweeted it and shared it (and begged others to do the same) but to no avail.
So, to all the people and especially my editor Doug Watts, I’m sorry. You were right and I was oh so very wrong.
My advice to those looking for a title is to write a list and then Google each and every one to see (1) how many books there are sharing it and (2) see what the title is matched against (horrible to find later that your sweet romance is matched against an erotic title!). Delete the ones on your list that are too popular or, better, that are the same as yours and also delete those that have something linking to the title that you don’t want to be associated with.
Your list should now be a lot shorter.
Then sit on it for a while, just like your final draft, and go back and arrange them in order of preference. List why they SHOULDN’T be used: too long, too short, too obscure, too cliché…
Narrow your list.

Ask writer friends for their opinion (especially those who have read the book) and take into consideration what they feel. Don’t just ask them what they think, ask them what feelings your title evokes.
And, like me, if your book has been out a while, don’t be afraid of changing it. That’s the beauty of being an independent author.
You can buy the book via the following links:
You can keep in touch with Louise via the following means:



Thursday, 3 April 2014

The Dating Game in The Elvetham Heath Directory

Delighted to see that The Dating Game has been featured in a print magazine! Yep, those who can get their hands on a copy of The Elvetham Heath Directory will find yours truly and The Dating Game featuring in pride of place! Here's the online version -

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

How hard is it being a translator?

Morning everyone - delighted to have my article on translation featured on Janet Emson's From First Page To Last. So, exactly how difficult is it to translate material?

Friday, 21 March 2014

NEW RELEASE - Far Away In Time by Maria Savva

As you may recall I've read and reviewed a few of Maria Savva's books, and this collection of short stories got an easy 4 stars from me.

Our lives are a series of stories, and we are the characters with the starring roles. The memories, regrets, secrets, and struggles that fill these pages are at once unique and relatable. These stories belong to us all.

Eight unforgettable tales reaching out to a place Far Away In Time...

And here's my review:-
A lovely collection of shorts - a real mixed bag - from the criminal to the magical.
I'd read quite a few of Maria Savva's books before and enjoyed in particular Haunted and Coincidences. However, as I don't term myself a short story fan, I was pleasantly surprised to discover I really enjoyed all of these stories, except the first one, The Ghost of Christmas Past - not that it wasn't well-written - it was - I simply found it too disturbing. My favourite was the eponymous Far Away In Time, which came in two parts. The main character was beginning to doubt her sanity, but it was all about everything not being quite what it seemed. She followed the instructions of an old man from her past and managed to inadvertently help prevent a crime from being committed, as she had faith. I loathed with a vengeance the father and stepmother in Betrayal, although I felt sorry for Desiree and the children, and was glad to see that the back-stabbing, selfish gits got their comeuppance. I both felt sorry for the mother in Echoes Of Her Dreams, as well as feeling exasperated at her that she let everyone walk all over her, particularly her sister. She was so eager to please, or never say no to anyone, that her life never really took off. In A Sign, Grace uncovers an object which helps bring joy to an elderly neighbour whilst also questioning the afterlife. A sweet, blossoming romance adds another dimension to the story. Tragedy of Love was just that - so sad. I could completely imagine this having happened at some point - what a waste; a very poignant tale. Mike and Toyah's tale in The Beach had an otherworldliness to it; Mike's dreams seemed so real and the content concerned him and with good reason it seemed. There's something in this collection for everyone


And that's not all - we have a rare treat -  a book trailer - feast your eyes!
You can buy your copy of Far Away In Time via Amazon
Tune in again on Monday for another book-related post. Have a great weekend, Sooz

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Happy Hump Day - I'm on Julie Valerie's blog

Well, it's still Wednesday in parts of the US, so still Happy Hump Day! Perfect Prose Services is featured on author Julie Valerie's blog along with some wonderful info about other authors' new releases and how to make a vine video.