Archive | April, 2013

Book Review: Celebrity Status by Kassandra Lamb

24 Apr

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This week I reviewed Celebrity Status by Kassandra Lamb.

What’s the book about?

Kate Huntingdon is married to Skip Canfield, the man who has patiently courted her through the last two books in the series, and life is good. Skip’s private investigating agency, Canfield and Hernandez, may be doing a little too well, however. They’ve attracted their first celebrity client, a pop singer whose anonymous stalker has a twisted concept of love.

Before Skip realizes just how twisted, he involves first his psychotherapist wife and then their lawyer friend, Rob Franklin, in the case. Soon they are being hounded by paparazzi and someone is planting evidence to convince Skip that Kate and Rob are lovers. As they try to cope with this onslaught of unwanted attention and a stalker who will stop at nothing to remove the obstacles in his path, Kate and Skip struggle with the reality that you can’t always keep those you love from harm.

My Review

A nice, cosy mystery – 4 stars

This was the first Kassandra Lamb book I read, and even though it wasn’t the first one in the series, I felt that it worked well as a stand alone book. Celebrity status is a nice, cosy mystery, at the heart of which is a great example of a loving couple and their blended family. It is well written, with likeable characters and an interesting plot. I thoroughly enjoyed the mystery, although I would have liked to be left guessing a little more. It’s quite a Christian book, with just a little sex and violence so I think it would be suitable for older teenagers as well as adults.

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About Kassandra Lamb

 Writing and psychology have always vied for number one on Kassandra Lamb’s Greatest Passions list. In her youth, she had to make a decision between writing and paying the bills. Partial to electricity and food, she studied psychology. Now retired from a career as a psychotherapist and college professor, she spends most of her time in an alternate universe in which her protagonist, Kate Huntington, is always the kind, generous and insightful person that Kass wishes she was herself. When not at her computer, transported in mind and spirit into Kate’s world, Kass lives in Florida and Maryland, with her husband and her Alaskan Husky, Amelia.

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Video

Going free early on Amazon with KDP select

14 Apr

In my first ever video post, I talk about my experience of going free on Amazon three days after my book launch.

I’ve been nominated for the Liebster Award 2013!

11 Apr

Roberta Capizzi nominated selfpublishbible.com for the Liebster Award just over a month ago, but I’ve been so tied up with my book launch that I haven’t had a chance to post about it.

First of all, thank you Roberta. Friends, you can check out Roberta’s Dreamworld here.

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Here are the  rules of the LiebsterAward:

1. Thank your Liebster Blog Award presenter on your blog and link back to their blog.

2. Answer the 11 questions from the nominator, list 11 random facts about yourself and create 11 questions for your nominees;

3. Present the Liebster Blog Award to 11 blogs of 200 followers or less who you feel deserve to be noticed and leave a comment on their blog to let them know they’ve been chosen.

4. Copy and Paste the blog award on your blog.

11 facts about me:

1. I once went to Austria by mistake. I was only 11 and my (ex-navy) mum was doing the map reading, using a German map. There was no Euro in those days, and we we had no Austrian currency, so we had to make it a quick visit.

2. I was once given a homework assignment of taking over a small African country and putting my brother in charge of the military. My brother was really up for it.

3. I destroyed my last microwave by microwaving a thermometer. In my defence, I had a newborn baby and I was very tired. 

4. I’m obsessed with the Eurovision Song Contest. I went to see it live a few years ago when it was in Kiev. I am very excited that Bonnie Tyler’s going to represent the UK this year. My dad was less thrilled to hear the news since ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart’ reminds him of when he had a nose job. 

5. I used to work at the British Home Office. Oddly, when we moved into new premises, they decided to name one of the buildings FRY. I was in the middle of writing my novel at the time, so it freaked me out a little. I took it as a sign.

6. I used to worship the pink plastic crack. No, that’s not some kind of illegal narcotic. I’m talking My Little Ponies. I used to be one of the organisers of UK Ponycon, a collector’s convention that takes place every year in the UK. One year we raised money for charity by asking celebrities to sign customised My Little Ponies. Bill Bailey’s had a beard. The convention’s going to be in Cardiff this year, if anyone’s interested.

7. Our car got towed from outside the birthing centre when I was in labour with my son (Halloween 2009.) I made sure it didn’t happen a second time by having my next child at home. I gave birth, then went back to bed. Take that, traffic wardens. 

8. Just over a year ago, my baby daughter and I were on the cover of the Independent. My  parents were going on the Titanic Memorial Cruise to mark 100 years since the Titanic disaster. And since my Grandad waved off the original Titanic when he was a boy, I thought it would be fitting to dress my kids up in naval outfits to see their grandparents off.  We ended up on the BBC news, on Yahoo, and in newspapers all around the world.

9. I can run twice around the duck pond. Maybe three times when I’m feeling really inspired.

10. I’m such a terrible cook, I forget to put any pasta in the lasagna and my three year old makes better mash than me. Luckily my husband is a budding masterchef.

11. I went to Japan a few years ago and I just love Japanese toilets! They have so many knobs and buttons, you just don’t know what they’re going to do next. One public bathroom I went to even had a map on the door, so you could choose which loo you wanted to use. Also a big fan of the British ‘Loo of the year’. Always get really excited when I find one.

The blogs I have nominated:

(Some may have more than 200 followers, and others may have been nominated before, but it can’t be helped!)

1. http://lornasvoice.com

2. http://petedenton.wordpress.com

3. http://ramiungarthewriter.wordpress.com

4. http://www.saffronbryant.blogcatapult.com

5. http://thomasrydder.wordpress.com

6. http://thevampirequeen1.blogspot.com

7. http://nickrennie.wordpress.com

8. http://eyedancers.wordpress.com

9. http://katieajennings.wordpress.com

10. http://redpenofdoom.com/about-me

11. http://laurajhogan.wordpress.com

 

Here are my questions

 1. What was the best moment of your life?

2. If you had a time machine, what year/era would you visit?

3. Would you consider yourself a pessimist or an optimist?

4.What is your greatest passion in life?

5.If you could choose anyone, dead or alive to write a guest post for your blog, who would you pick?

6.Who would you most like to throw a custard pie at?

7. If you could have any super power, what would you choose?

8. What kind of music do you like?

9. What book would you take with you to a desert Island?

10.What are your favourite pastimes?

11.What would you like your last words to be?

As always, thanks for reading! Please leave a comment 🙂

 

 

 

 

Interview with Garry Kay, author of psychological thriller, Don’t Fear the Reaper

3 Apr

 

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This week I interviewed self-published author, Garry Kay. Don’t Fear The Reaper was the first self-published book I read on my brand new kindle and I was really impressed by the quality. If you would like to check out, Don’t Fear the Reaper is going to be free on Amazon for the next two days (Thurs 4th and Friday 5th April.) Read on to find out more…

Tell me a bit about yourself 

I am 49 and live in Cornwall with my wife Ginny and two teenage children Hannah and Sam. I did an economics degree at the University of Surrey and Michigan State University. In 1986 I started as a trainee reporter on the West Sussex County Times in Horsham. After the County Times, I joined the Yorkshire Gazette & Herald in York as sports editor. I then took a career break with Ginny to work in a bar in Lanzarote while she worked as a holiday rep. I returned to York as chief sub-editor before joining The West Briton in 1995 as deputy editor. In 2000, I joined the Press Association in Leeds as new media chief sub-editor, but missed Cornwall so much that I returned. Since then I have made a living through property investments and writing novels. During my time at the Yorkshire Gazette & Herald, the paper won the coveted Press Gazette national award for Newspaper of the Year, a success I repeated at The West Briton in Cornwall.

Tell me about your books

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Break Free: Stockholm syndrome is a psychological phenomenon in which hostages have positive feelings towards their captors. Andrew Leopard has not been kidnapped. He is a teenager starting university, but he has lived in his father’s shadow for so long that he struggles to break free when endless opportunities slap him in the face. He falls in love with Pink Socks. He doesn’t even know her real name. She’s a fox … but is Andrew the incapable in pursuit of the unattainable?

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The Door: Jack String and Bruce Morfield don’t like each other. The feud steps up when they become reporters on rival newspapers. The race is on for the  big front page splash. Bruce is always one step ahead as Jack is distracted by the dark-haired daughter of a wealthy property developer  … when he’s not playing football. He’s never far behind Bruce but as  he closes in, the light at the end of the tunnel is switched off. Jack is left with questions. He hopes to find the answers behind a mysterious locked door.

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Don’t Fear The Reaper: One of the best film endings ever is The Italian Job. ‘Hang on a minute lads, I’ve got a great idea.’ But what happens next? Don’t Fear The Reaper starts where The Italian Job ends but there’s no gold and it’s not in Italy. It’s a crashed bus full of tourists balanced upside down over a cliff in Corfu. The Grim Reaper arrives in playful mood with a quota of 16 to fill. As you face death, your whole life flashes before your eyes. This book explores that fascinating and most fleeting moment.

What gave you the inspiration for Don’t Fear the Reaper?

I was fascinated with films like Flatliners which look at what happens immediately after death … the out-of-body experience which many people have spoken about after being revived from near death. In short, the moment your life flashes before your eyes when you face death.

When and where do you write?

Ideas fill my head in the night and I wake up with a head full of new chapters. Can’t write with others in the house, so must wait till they’ve all gone, then I play key mood songs, which for the Reaper included Hurt by Johnny Cash,Seasons in the Sun by Terry Jacks and The Scientist by Coldplay, then I tap away at my desk in the bedroom (warmest room in the house) 

How long did it take you to write your first novel? Have you got any faster?

First novel took 16 years. Second and third were six months each.

Why did you decide to self-publish?

Big publishers are understandably profit-driven and only touch new authors if their work is similar to something which has previously made them money. Basically there is very little scope for originality. I’d like to think my books are a little bit different … all have a few psychological surprises, which may spook the majors. Self-publishing does not have these constraints … clear winner.

Who designs your covers?

I do. Newspaper design was may first career, so my book covers use the same ideas.

Do you use a professional editor?

Having won newspaper of the year (national title) on two separate papers, I’d like to think I am a professional editor … although there are always a few “literals” which sneak through

What’s your top self-publishing tip?

Don’t be dis-heartened if you don’t outsell Fifty Shades. There are a lot of very good self-published books … FRY by Lorna Dounaeva being a perfect example. You’re not going to make millions without a lot of luck … right place right time.

Thanks for agreeing to be interviewed on selfpublishbible, Garry. Wow, 16 years to complete the first novel and then the next one in just six months. That gives me hope! And I can’t believe you designed your own covers! That’s awesome, not to mention money-saving! 

If you’re in the mood for a psychological thriller with a difference, Don’t Fear the Reaper is free for the next two days.

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