Archive | August 10, 2010

Another Competition and More Chat

This not doing much work at work is really working for me. Today, I’ve entered a very short story competition. Over at my new favourite website Chick Lit Shorties they’re running a very short story competition in August. They’ve given us an expert of an Isabel Wolff novel then we have to carry it on – in 500 words.

So I’ve written and posted my entry. If you want to take a look, click on here. There are three winners, to be shortlisted enough people have to ‘like’ your story. So, if you like my story, please ‘like’ it too.

Yesterday I sent off my next writing course assignment. I nearly forgot. I got home, had dinner, lounged about and was halfway through watching a movie when I suddenly remembered. Phew. The longest it takes to have it back is 10 days. Oo, exciting.

I wrote a list of all the writing I NEED to do this week. I got a little freaked out by it all. So when through my inbox to delete some of the 5,000+ I have. You know, a job that’s so important!!

I’ve actually crossed a couple of things off the list, so that’s making me feel pretty good. The first was the Chick Lit Shorties competition and the second was my review of The Happy Home for Broken Hearts – which can be found here if you’re interested. I’ve got a little dilemma about this. I got the novel as a freebie to review, but from Facebook. I want to let Rowan know that I’ve reviewed it, but, my Facebook account is in my real name, and obviously this isn’t. I guess I’ll send her a direct message. But if I posted it so that all her ‘liker’s (fans) saw it, I bet I’d get a few visitors across. Hmmm. I might have to do it. I guess it’s not going to be anyone I know on Facebook that sees the link – no one else I know is a fan (except a couple of other writers that know my two identities). I guess at some point I have to let the world know my name, cause I’m going to (if I get that far) publish ‘Holiday’ under my real name.

The reason I’m not using it though on here, is that the first book I’m going to try to publish is going to be a Mills & Boon book, and I don’t want to use my name for that. I want a distinction between my chick lit and M&B books. And also my thrillers and children’s books. If I do either of them. How much ambition do I have?! 🙂

Speaking of ‘Holiday’ I think I’m going to have to change that name much sooner than I thought I would have to. The reason? My next writing course assignment (when I’ve read SIX modules) is to write about a novel I’m planning (I’m going with the idea at only 20,000 words, it’s still in the planning stage – ok, I’m cheating using this but still). I need to have a title, and do a 750 word synopsis and a 150 bio of four of the main characters. Woop! Loving that.

Of course, there’s always the option I don’t write about Holiday. I’m thinking of writing a YA novel for NaNoWriMo in November, so I could do a little planning of that now (or when I’ve read those modules anyway). I quite like the idea of doing Holiday though, cause then I can get some actual feedback straight away.

It did cross my mind to do it about Italian Infatuation, but as that’s already written I don’t think it’s a good idea.

Ok, that’s probably it for now. I should really go and do a little work… 😉

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Book Review – The Happy Home for Broken Hearts by Rowan Coleman

Ellie Woods spends her days immersed in the escapist pages of the romantic novels she lovingly edits. But her reality is somewhat less rose-tinted. Once upon a time, Ellie had her ‘happily ever after’ moment when she married her beloved Nick, but fifteen years later her husband’s tragic death leaves her alone with their soon-to-become-a-teenager son, faced with a mountain of debt, and on the verge of losing the family home. On the brink of bankruptcy, Ellie finally succumbs to her sister’s well-meant bullying and decides to rent out some rooms. And all too soon the indomitable Allegra with her love for all things lavender, Sabine on secondment from Berlin and estranged from her two-timing husband, and unreconstructed lads’ mag aficionado Matt enter her ordered but fragile existence – each with their own messy life in tow. And Ellie finds herself forced to step out of the pages of the romantic novels she hides behind, and learn to live – and love – again. Maybe a new chapter is about to begin for them all…

 

          I’m one of Rowan’s fans on Facebook (although I think now I’m a ‘liker’ not a fan) and when she asked if anyone wanted to read her new novel to review I almost ripped her hand off in excitement. I’d just finished one of her previous novels The Baby Club and had absolutely LOVED it. However, what if I read it and didn’t like it? How could I review a book I didn’t like?

          Well, I didn’t need to worry about that. From the first page I fell in love with Ellie, by the 3rd page she’d hit something inside me and I cried. At page three! I know I’m an emotional person, but I’m really impressed Rowan created a character that I could sympathise with so much in such a short space of time.

Her development through the book realistic – I can imagine some authors would have her making a complete recovery (I won’t spoil it from saying what from) in a short time, but the fact it happens slowly – like real life – adds to her character.

          The other characters are lifelike too. Especially Matt who I must admit I kind of fancy a little and Ellie’s son is just the greatest – he almost made me want an eleven year old son!

          One of the cleverest things about this novel, is that it’s almost two in one, as every now and then you’re treated to a page or two of Allegra’s novel.

          I’d really recommend this novel to anyone that’s a fan of the ‘chick lit’ or ‘romance’ genres. There’s everything in there: love, family, friendship, betrayal and bereavement. From the first chapter I was hooked and stayed up way too late on two consecutive nights because I just couldn’t put it down. I laughed (a lot) and cried (more than just on page three) and was so sad when it finished. Another fantastic read by Ms Coleman.