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EMERGING WRITER AWARD 2017

The Emerging Writer Award – Submissions open 23rd January
Deadline: Monday 25th February, 5pm

 
Established in 2015, the Emerging Writer Award (formerly the Bridge Award) is now in its third year, and is run by Moniack Mhor in partnership with The Bridge Awards, a philanthropic venture that has helped to fund theatre and visual arts projects.

 
The award winner receives a tailor-made package worth up to £2,000 including tuition via open courses, retreat time and/or mentoring.
You can read about the previous winners HERE.

 
Moniack Mhor and The Bridge Awards are pleased to announce the opening of applications for the 2017 Emerging Writer Award, (previously The Bridge Award). The award is for unpublished prose fiction writers wishing to make a significant breakthrough in developing a full-length piece of work.

 
Tracey Emerson, from The Bridge Awards, says: “We hope that the combination of Moniack Mhor’s beautiful setting, inspiring courses and experienced mentors will enhance the awardee’s creative practice and provide a valuable stepping-stone in his/her writing career.”

 
The successful candidate will receive a tailor-made package worth up to £2,000 including tuition via open courses, retreat time and/or mentoring. Click here to find out how to enter

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14 – 18? Love Books? Want to be a judge on a Book Award? Read on for more info…

The Times/Chicken House Children’s Fiction Competition 2017 are looking for young judge to help discover a new children’s bestseller

The Times/Chicken House Children’s Fiction Competition, the biggest children’s writing competition in the UK, is looking for a confident and passionate young judge with a demonstrable love of books to join the prestigious judging panel and help choose the winner.

Entrants must submit a 1-3 minute video about the book they would most like to persuade others to read. Aspiring judges aged 14-18 have until 28th October to make their short video, upload it to YouTube (or a similar site), and email a link to competitions@chickenhousebooks.com.

The winner will join the judging panel for the Times/Chicken House Children’s Fiction competition which includes industry experts such as the Times arts editor and children’s books reviewer Alex O’Connell, and Barry Cunningham, the founder of Chicken House and the publisher who discovered J.K. Rowling.

The winner of the young judge competition will have six weeks to read approximately five shortlisted titles before joining the other judges at an exclusive members club in London for a day of judging in spring 2017. The prize also includes: (i) travel and accommodation for the winner and their parent/guardian to the London judging day, (ii) a £50 Waterstones voucher and (iii) five Chicken House titles of their choice.

The prize also includes: 

  • travel and accommodation for the winner and their parent/guardian to the London judging day
  • a £50 Waterstones voucher
  • five Chicken House titles of their choice.


Barry Cunningham says: ‘We’re looking for original, engaging and exciting video entries; the more imaginative, the better. Demonstrate your love of children’s books, your passion for reading and your powers of persuasion and you could have a hand in finding a future bestseller!’

Full details of the young judge competition can be found at bit.ly/youngjudge17

CH-YoungJudgePoster

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Reader Review Panel members thoughts on Holy Spy by Rory Clements

When we passed the Reader Review panel members thoughts on the book Holy Spy by Rory Clements to the publisher Hodder they were so pleased they have used them in their campaign to promote the book. We think they look splendid and wanted to share them with you.

Holy-Spy-quote-cards-all

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Reader Review Panel members thoughts on Wolf Winter by Cecilia Ekback

When we passed the Reader Review panel members thoughts on the book Wolf Winter by Cecilia Ekback to the publisher Hodder they were so pleased they have used them in their campaign to promote the book. We think they look splendid and wanted to share them with you.

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LOVEREADING READERS’ CHOICE BOOKS OF THE YEAR 2014

THE MEMORY BOOK CROWNED LOVEREADING READERS’ CHOICE BOOK OF THE YEAR 2014

NEWS COPY

A novel about the devastating effects of dementia has won the Lovereading Readers’ Choice for favourite book of 2014.

The Memory Book by Rowan Coleman, which follows the story of a young woman struck down by Alzheimer’s, received the most votes in an annual poll by the recommendation site, Lovereading.co.uk.

Reviewers agreed that the book, published in January by Ebury Press, was “a work of literary excellence”.

In a separate review for the Richard and Judy Book Club, TV chat show host Richard Madeley – whose own mother died of dementia in April – said Rowan Coleman’s book was a “tear-jerker” and a  “metaphor for how love can transform a family tragedy”.

The book, Coleman’s eleventh novel, has now been crowned the Lovereading Readers’ Choice Book of the Year 2014.

It beat The Amber Fury by Natalie Haynes, and A Man Called Ove by Frederick Backman to the top spot.

Lovereading Readers’ Choice book of 2014?

In November we asked our 600+ Reader Review panel members, a lot of whom are regular book bloggers, to let us have their top 3 books of 2014; the top 10 choices then went to the public vote. 

 

1st

The Memory Book

Rowan Coleman

 

2nd

The Amber Fury

Natalie Haynes

 

3rd

A Man Called Ove

Fredrik Backman

and the rest of the Top 10 were…

 

The Lovereading4kids Readers’ Choice book of 2014

Awful Auntie, a “screechingly funny” novel by comedian David Walliams, won the Lovereading4Kids Readers’ Choice Book of the Year 2014.

Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan and Sweet Honey by Cathy Cassidy took second and third place in the children’s category respectively.

1st

Awful Auntie

David Walliams
(9+) Best-selling David Walliams is back on top form with Awful Auntie. Stella Saxby is the unfortunate owner of the awful auntie!

2nd

The Blood of Olympus

Rick Riordan
(11+) Another awesome Greek mythology epic in the series from Rick Riordan.

3rd

Chocolate Box Girls: Sweet Honey

Cathy Cassidy
(9+) The girls are growing up and learning to deal with new problems.


and the rest of the Top 10 were…

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Lovereading Books of the Year 2014

The end of the year is often a time of reflection. Here at Lovereading the staff and the Reader Review panel members have been doing just that on the novels they’d like to unwrap at Christmas had they not already read them!!! It is such a cracker of a collection that we thought we’d share it with you. Take a look below and guarantee yourself (or friend or family) a riveting read.

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What is the Lovereading Readers’ Choice book of 2014?

A month ago we asked our 600+ Reader Review panel members, a lot of whom are regular book bloggers, to let us have their top 3 books of 2014; the top 10 choices then went to the public vote. All of them were fantastic reads and we can excitingly reveal the top 3 winners below. Congrats to all the winning authors and publishers.

 

1st

The Memory Book

Rowan Coleman

 

2nd

The Amber Fury

Natalie Haynes

 

3rd

A Man Called Ove

Fredrik Backman

and the rest of the Top 10 were…

 

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STOP PRESS… Love at first write winner announced

5 December 2014… 4pm… the winner of the Lovereading & Corvus writing competition has been chosen.

LAFWlogo1

The winner of the romantic novelist competition is Sophie Cousens, who has penned a story called How to Get Ahead in Television. We have an exclusive extract of her forthcoming novel and a bit more information about Sophie… who is overjoyed to have won. Sophie will now be working closely with the Corvus editorial team in finishing and editing her book. Corvus will publish the book as a digital-first late 2015. It will, of course, feature on Lovereading and we can’t wait. Click here to read more about the competition.

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE EXTRACT

 

Sophie-Cousens-b&w_sm

Sophie Cousens is a thirty-three year old Television Producer who lives and works in London.

 

When she’s not making TV, Sophie can be found tending her allotment, baking elaborate animal-shaped cakes, or writing everything from Young Adult Sci-Fi to modern romantic comedy. Her greatest ambition is to become a full time novelist and own of a longhaired miniature dachshund called Horace.

 

How To Get Ahead In Television is based on her own experiences working in the TV industry. From diva celebrity strops to ruthless production tactics, it’s a backdrop ripe with comedic potential and the perfect setting for a classic love story.

 

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Cover revealed for Flood of Fire by Amitav Ghosh

The mesmerizing new masterpiece and final book in the bestselling Ibis trilogy from the author of Booker-shortlisted Sea of Poppies.

Flood of Fire by Amitav Ghosh

Published by John Murray 28 May 2015

It is 1839 and tension has been rapidly mounting between China and British India following the crackdown on opium smuggling by Beijing. With no resolution in sight, the colonial government declares war.

One of the vessels requisitioned for the attack, the Hind, travels eastwards from Bengal to China, sailing into the midst of the First Opium War. The turbulent voyage brings together a diverse group of travellers, each with their own agenda to pursue. Among them is Kesri Singh, a sepoy in the East India Company who leads a company of Indian sepoys; Zachary Reid, an impoverished young sailor searching for his lost love, and Shireen Modi, a determined widow en route to China to reclaim her opium-trader husband’s wealth and reputation. Flood of Fire follows a varied cast of characters from India to China, through the outbreak of the First Opium War and China’s devastating defeat, to Britain’s seizure of Hong Kong.

Flood of Fire is a thrillingly realised and richly populated novel, imbued with a wealth of historical detail, suffused with the magic of place and plotted with verve. It is a beautiful novel in its own right, and a compelling conclusion to an epic and sweeping story – it is nothing short of a masterpiece.

About the author

Amitav Ghosh was born in Calcutta in 1956. He grew up in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and India. He studied at the universities of Delhi and Oxford and published the first of eight novels, The Circle of Reason in 1986. He currently divides his time between Calcutta, Goa and Brooklyn. The first novel in the Ibis trilogy, Sea of Poppies, was shortlisted for the Man Booker prize.  @GhoshAmitav http://www.amitavghosh.com/

‘A tremendous novel, and if Amitav Ghosh can sustain its brilliance in the two remaining parts, his Ibis trilogy will surely come to be regarded as one of the masterpieces of twenty-first-century fiction’ 

Literary Review on Sea of Poppies

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Gerald Wixey Book Reviews: A Boneless Kiss, Salt of Their Blood, Small Town Nocturne

A Boneless Kiss: Letters From A Dead Heart by Gerald Wixey

This enthralling mystery tale follows the path of a journalist Stuart who discovers that his former lover, Helen Mably, has gone missing in suspicious circumstances.

FBSA_Boneless_Kiss-cover-smReaders quickly discover that Helen is a complex character, who is very bright but has always been slightly off the rails and sexually promiscuous. The main thread of the book centres around her dysfunctional relationship with her father — a former police inspector called David — and her apparent desire to humiliate him and get revenge for a past event; namely, when she was sexually assaulted by three policemen at the age of 17 — a crime which her father then ‘covered up’ so as to protect her from a public court case and intrusive press.

A few months before Helen ‘disappears’, she reveals to her father the first 30 pages of a journal she has written, which hints at the assault and reveals intimate details of her many sexual encounters. Stuart then has to decide whether David is telling the truth about his reasons for keeping the assault secret or whether he has more to hide. Is it the case that the Inspector loves his police force and his colleagues more than his daughter, and will do anything to protect them? Or has Helen faked her disappearance and is simply trying to frame him?

Readers will find the book engrossing and entertaining and will enjoy the character traits developed by the author.

The telling of the back story, namely Helen’s early and adolescent life, is also excellent. Much of this revolves around her father ‘dumping’ her in a social club full of “salt of the earth” policeman, where she would play snooker in tight tops and skirts and draw the attention of the men who subsequently went on to assault her.

It also builds upon the differences between Helen and her father and how she rebels against her upbringing.

David, for instance, is described as a “stickler for rules and regulations”, a man who would always be “immaculate in his uniform, highly polished black brogues, heavily starched shirt and perfectly knotted tie”.

Helen, on the other hand, is said to be “lovely and bright”, attending a girl’s grammar school and winning a place at Cambridge, but a person who resents having her life mapped out for her.

 This rebellion frequently manifests in promiscuous behaviour, which the book highlights in many scenes, such as when she is waving the hem of her short summer dress around “like an accomplished flamenco dancer” while not wearing any knickers. She is described as both being a provocative tease and having Machiavellian flair.

Importantly, the dad daughter relationship and its early destruction is central to the book. David knows he has let Helen down and, more fundamentally, knows that she has never forgiven him. In turn, Helen has what her psychologist calls a ‘fixation’ with her father, or is it, perhaps, an obsession?

This is a dark, psychological tale of a disturbed woman seeking justice and revenge, but who only finds betrayal. It asks the question, is everyone on Helen’s side, or no one? Read it to find out.

A Boneless Kiss: Letters From A Dead Heart by Gerald Wixey is available now in Kindle format, priced £1.69. For more information, visit www.geraldwixey.co.uk

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Salt of Their Blood by Gerald Wixey

In this book, author Gerald Wixey delivers on what he does best: thriller mysteries,  revenge, the past catching up with the present, and a young man’s determination to find out the truth at all costs.

Salt-of-Their-BloodsmSet in small English town in the 1960s, to a backdrop of Paul Simon music, the protagonist Stuart embarks on a passionate love affair with Kathy, who is married but hopelessly in love with him.

But while this is happening, there are also two other events Stuart has to grapple with and establish the truth about.

First, there is the death of a mechanic, killed by a five-ton truck which crashes down on him in a “dreadful accident”.

A few weeks later, Stuart’s best friend disappeared — and Stuart is convinced somehow that the two events are connected.

This was 12 years ago, at the same time that Stuart’s uncle was having a tragic love affair with a lady named Shirley, Kathy’s mother-in-law.

But now, as Stuart is himself falling in love with married Kathy, a chance encounter with the dead mechanic’s wife confirms the incidents were indeed linked in some way and that all is not well.

There are further twists and turns, namely that his lover Kathy is the sister of his missing friend. Her husband is also someone Stuart has a terrible relationship with and, worse still, knows of his wife’s affair, and also a bit too much about those confusing past events. It doesn’t take long for Stuart to realise his liaison is more dangerous than he thinks.

There is no doubt that Salt of Their Blood is a gripping page turner, with enough blood, guts, mystery and sex to keep readers captivated.  It takes a few chapters to get into it, and understand just who is related to who, how they are connected and why they’re important, but as soon as the major loose ends and characters are in place, it’s a fast, enjoyable read.

A key selling point is the prose. From the first brilliant line: “I heard someone die,” the author excels at creating mood, atmosphere and a great sense of place.

Great lines include: “The frost clung on, hard enough to bind the car park gravel into small knots,” and “A nasty wind sighed across the allotments”. He also expertly uses evocative aromas and plants —  “honeysuckle and cut grass” —  to draw the reader in.

Places are incredibly well described, as too are characters, particularly Stuart on his lazy summer holidays as a child.

Salt Of Their Blood is a great read about a dark love affair that will make readers cry, gasp out loud in surprise but mainly want to know more about what happened in that small 1960s town.

Salt Of Their Blood by Gerald Wixey (ISBN 978-1848766969) is available now, priced £7.99. For more information, visit www.geraldwixey.co.uk

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Small Town Nocturne by Gerald Wixey

“Small Town Nocturne” is no accidental name for this book. It’s a brilliant depiction of small-town England with corrupt council officials, affairs carried out in cheap hotel rooms, and seedy characters in positions of relative power.

Small-Town-Nocturne-smA main character, as in Wixey’s previous books A Boneless Kiss and Salt of Their Blood, is Stuart,  who has been a sexual voyeur since he was 12 when he watched his womanising uncle embark on an affair, with devastating consequences. He then developed an inquisitiveness that turned into a consuming passion for detective work and finding out what makes people tick. The politics of relationships is his idée fixe.

This leads to a confrontation with Chris Bruton, a “little weasel” of a man and responsible council leader with large department to run and a budget of millions, but who spends most of his time having an affair in a hotel, which Stuart documents.

Then there’s Rhonda, who we meet at the start of the book. She is a runaway from Wales who ends up in Reading after having enough of her stepfather abusing her. Homeless and alone, she’s picked up by Graves, a wealthy paedophile who is actually cruising the streets and stations looking for young boys.

He takes Rhonda in, “dresses her up sharp and razors her hair short (like a boy)” then uses her to help him pick-up other children, also teaching her a few other criminal tricks along the way. Rhonda is haunted by her past, and her dysfunctional relationships with men, especially her doctor, whom she sleeps with on their fourth meeting. She’s also got something of a drug habit.

The book follows the twists and turns of affairs, conspiracies, illegal property deals and men with criminal and unsavoury interests.

At times it is difficult to know which character is the worse and who we should be cheering for — but that is also part of the charm, and plot! It’s a tightly-paced thriller which builds to a fantastic but shocking denouement. Readers will love it.

Small Town Nocturne by Gerald Wixey is available now in Kindle format, priced £1.99. For more information, visit www.geraldwixey.co.uk

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THE ORANGE COAT By Sarah Baldry Lovereading Review

The Orange Coat is the harrowing and often shocking story of one woman’s alleged domestic abuse nightmare, and subsequent dealings with the police — whom, she claims, grossly mishandled her case almost from start to finish.

sbfc-The-Orange-Coat-smAs the author explains in the book’s introduction, she decided to put pen to paper to share “the story of various chapters of my life” and about her “dealings with officers of the law in the UK, during a time where I felt very scared and unsafe and I feared for the safety of others too”. It is, as such, a personal and heart-felt testimony that also serves as a  form of catharsis for the writer. It goes without saying that all names in the book, save the writer’s own psychiatrist, have been changed.

As with many works within the inspirational literature genre, The Orange Coat details the many wrongs and tragedies that have befallen the author throughout her life. Sarah has suffered from depression since childhood and says that this stems from her days at boarding school when, separated from her father and brother, she was the victim of ongoing institutional punishment that would rival anything from Dickens’s novels in its cruelty. The author goes further, hinting at sexual abuse, and this sustained loneliness and suffering may help account for her hasty and ill-advised marriage at 30 to a man she had only known for seven weeks.

Sarah claims that her time with her husband was a “marriage of mind-games, manipulation and cruelty” which featured a series of inexplicable events, illnesses and injuries that plagued and perplexed her until she built up the courage to escape the relationship. She says that after leaving her husband these issues disappeared and it is only on later reflection that she began suspecting his hand in these tribulations.

More worryingly, Sarah believes that her ex-husband might have been involved in much darker and disturbing deeds. There is no definitive proof for these suspicions, but the author presents her own evidence — the discovery of a child’s orange coat and drawing hidden away in the house she shared with her ex, when they had no children of their own — and leaves it to the reader to come to their own conclusions.

To try and escape her past, Sarah — a highly successful make-up artist — moves to Dubai to start anew, and for a time finds happiness, marrying again and starting a family. But, as she relates, the spectre of her ex soon comes back to haunt her and she turns to the British police for help, fearing for her safety. The rest of the book details the alleged mishandling of her case and makes some strong and alarming accusations against the very people who are meant to be their to protect the public. The authors presents the charges as she sees them in as objective and honest a way as possible throughout, and at the end of many chapters provides commentary on the incidents she describes — with the added benefit of hindsight.

The extensive amount of time, energy and money she spent dealing with the police, both in the UK and Dubai, to try and get some form of reassurance of safety from her ex caused no end of stress and worry for Sarah, and led to both a mental collapse and the break-down of her marriage.

Sarah says that The Orange Coat is a book that she has wanted to bring out for a long time, to air her grievances in public after failing to get the recognition or response she so desperately wanted from the police.

There are no happy endings to be had and no substantial answers — but that’s not what this book is about.

Sarah Baldry has given readers a “walk in her shoes”, offering a rare and powerful insight into the hell of domestic abuse that will help inspire other victims to seek out the support they need to get through it as well.

The Orange Coat by Sarah Baldry is available from Amazon in print (and Kindle) format, priced £8.43 (£6.16). For more information visit www.TheOrangeCoat.com

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