Sunday, 29 March 2015

This Week's News Round Up

Hello romance fans...
It's a day late, but what's a day between friends?! Here's a quick round-up of what's been going on this week:

New releases

Congratulations to this bunch of lovely people who've had books released this week!

A Long Awaited Title Release

I'm sure you all know the lovely Rebecca Pugh (aka. @BeccasBooks) - if you don't, do go and say hi, she's one of the friendliest bloggers you'll ever meet! Anyhow, her first book is due to be published by Carina this summer, and until this week has gone by the name #SecretTitle - no longer! Becca announced her rather lovely title this week - here ya go...

...And a Long Awaited Paperback


It came out in paperback this week- woot woot! Grab your copy here

The Blurb:
Becky Brandon (nee Bloomwood) is in Hollywood! It's as if all her life has been leading to this moment. She's hanging out with the stars … or at least she will be, when she finally gets to meet movie superstar Sage Seymour, whom husband Luke is now managing.

There's so much to see and do! And getting Minnie through the hurdles for her A-list Hollywood pre-school will require some…er…help.

Becky sets her heart on a new career - she's going to be a celebrity stylist. Red carpet, here she comes! But Becky soon finds it's tough in Tinseltown. Luckily her best friend Suze comes over to keep her company, and together they embark on the Hollywood insider trail. But somehow...things aren't quite working out as they’d hoped.

Then Becky's big chance comes, and it's an opportunity that money can't buy. But will it cost her too much?


...Oh, and Loads of Yummy Book Post!

I can't help it, I love book post- so thought you'd like to see what's been arriving...

Don't forget, if you're a blogger, author, agent, publisher or event organiser and have some romance news you'd like me to include in my Weekly News Round-Up - email me on l dot bambrey at gmail dot com - the deadline is 5pm on a Friday.

Laura x

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

How To Get Published- Advice for Hannah from HBO's Girls


Today is release day of HBO’s Girls Season 4 on digital release and box set.

I’m a massive Girls fan – for any number of reasons. As a book blogger, I admit that I’m a voyeur into the publishing world- nothing short of obsessed by writers, publishers, books and agents. I’m intrigued by how the process works and how a “nobody” can become a “somebody”- seemingly overnight (to the uninitiated – but to those in the know- after years of hard-graft and a lot of luck!). Hannah Horvath- the main character in Girls is a twenty-something wannabe writer – so it’s no great surprise that the show has me hooked! Oh – and it doesn’t hurt that the star of the show, Lena Dunham who plays Hannah, also happens to write it – that’s a whole lot of talent right there.

At the end of Season 3, we see Hannah taking steps to follow her dream of being a serious writer. So to celebrate the digital release of Season 4 today, I’ve teamed up with The Writers’ Workshop to gather some advice for Hannah from their Getting Published Day.

Don’t Find Your Voice  - Use Your Voice

Girls fans will know what a strong voice Hannah has – her own unique way of viewing the world and a very specific way of reacting to it. As a writer, it’s important to find a way to use your natural speaking voice to tell your story- using your own plain, unadorned language.

This is doubly-important for Hannah as she writes personal essays and memoirs- so, Hannah – make sure every word counts- don’t fuss too much or explain too much. Cut out the crap, lose the long words (you know you don’t have a clue what they mean!) and use your voice… (you don’t tend to have a problem doing this in your day-to-day life- so make sure that translates into your writing!)

Your voice is the best tool you’ve got, it’s what makes you unique- it’s your vehicle to get the message out.



How to Climax in Every Genre

There’s tonnes of great advice on getting started with your story, but how do you finish with a satisfying ending? Here’re some examples for you to think about…

The Cliff Hanger -  leave the story open, or in doubt, or with a question hanging over it (much like the end of each Girls series!)

The Resolution – whether surprising, expected or answering all of the questions- tie it all of neatly with a bow.

Whatever else- you need a compelling climax. Your story can’t exist without the Set-Up, then Development, then Climax. You’re not happy if you miss out on a climax- so trust me, your readers (and prospective agents and publishers) won’t be either!

Oh, and you need to  show us how your character has changed throughout the journey. Season 4 sees you taking yourself seriously- make sure you’re writing about you now- not harking back to how you were in Season 1- you’ve changed- make us see it!!

As you’re writing a memoir, impress us with your choices to push yourself against all odds, show us how your life has moved on- and show us what you’ve learned.

… just remember that “characters drive plot… but the plot also drives characters.”







So that’s it really, Hannah my friend! The key to getting published is as follows:

Be true to yourself, know how to ‘hook’ them, make sure you always climax- and find yourself a life-long partner to champion you…

Sounds like a recipe for the perfect happy-ever-after to me!

*****

With huge thanks to HBO and The Writers’ Workshop.

The Writers' Workshop is the world's leading consultancy for first time writers. They offer professional feedback on your work, run courses, host events, and provide a mass of free advice. For further information about The Writers’ Workshop please visit www.writersworkshop.co.uk

HBO’s Girls Season 4 is available on digital release today and is available to own and watch instantly via Amazon Instant Video, blinkbox, Google Play™, iTunes, Wuaki.tv and Xbox Video.  GIRLS: THE COMPLETE FOURTH SEASON comes complete with exciting extra content including Marnie & Desi: Making the Band and a special Invitation to the Set.  Take the opportunity to catch up on the whole series from the beginning as THE COMPLETE GIRLS SEASON 1-4 BOX-SET also becomes available exclusively on iTunes, also from today.



Saturday, 21 March 2015

This Week's News Round-up

This is a brand new feature for me- I’ve decided to add a weekly news digest to Chick Lit Love- giving you some short snippets of exciting things going on in the book-blogging, writing and publishing world- things that have happened over the week and that are due to happen over the next week…

If you’re an author, publisher or blogger and have some news that you’d like mentioned in this feature – a book release, competition, publishing deal… whatever really!- I’d love to hear from you. My email address can always be found on my Review Policy page. I’ll go for posting this feature on a Saturday to begin with, so the deadline for anything to be included is Friday at 5p.m. UK time.

So… without further ado… here’s this week’s news round up (I promise to come up with a nice catchy title soon !)

RoNA Awards 2015

The RNA held their annual, glittering awards ceremony on Monday. Compèred by Jane Wenham-Jones, the star of the show (at least according to everyone’s raving Twitter feeds,) was Barbara Taylor Bradford, who presented the awards. Here’s a list of the fantastic winners, along with links to Amazon if you’d like to check out the winning books!

Contemporary Category
Lucy Dillon, A Hundred Pieces of Me (Hodder & Stoughton)

Epic Category
Ella Harper, Pieces of You (Avon)

Historical Category
Hazel Gaynor, The Girl Who Came Home (William Morrow - Harper Collins)

Romantic Comedy Category
Lucy-Anne Holmes, Just a Girl, Standing in Front of a Boy (Sphere - Little, Brown)

RoNA Rose Award
Louise Allen, Scandal's Virgin (Harlequin Mills & Boon Historical)

Young Adult Category & Overall Award of Romantic Novel of the Year
Joss Stirling, Struck (formerly Storm and Stone), (Oxford University Press)

Outstanding Achievement Awards
Jill Mansell and Carole Matthews were presented with Outstanding Achievement Awards – very richly deserved awards for two fantastic champions of the genre.

Congratulations to all the winners!


The winners with Barbara Taylor Bradford (by permission of the RNA)

This Week’s Releases

Congratulations to all the wonderful authors who’ve released their book-babies this week:

(I know I've missed a whole load of incredible releases this week - send me a note of any you'd like included in next week's round up!) 


April Paperback Month

Sophie at Reviewed TheBook and Suze at Lavender Likes, Loves, Finds and Dreams are hosting April Paperback Month – have a read below, and click on the image to read more about the challenge, sign-up and enter the giveaway!


And that’s it for this week – short and sweet- but I’m hoping that as the weeks go by that this will be your go-to round up for everything rom-com, chicklit and romance! Send me your news for next week!


Love Laura x

Friday, 20 March 2015

Review: Six Months to Get a Life by Ben Adams

How many of my female readers feel like you need a window into a man’s way of thinking from time to time?- you know, so you can understand where he’s coming from, what he’s thinking, why he reacted the way he did… I’ve found the perfect read for you.

Six Months to Get a Life by Ben Adams is the fictional diary of newly-divorced Graham Hope- and tells his story as he struggles to navigate the new and confusing territories of part-time single parenting, moving back in with (and out of!) his parents’ house, approaching women (at all!) and dealing with his ex (not that he’s going to talk about her at all. This isn’t about her.)

This made the perfect companion over the past week – the format allowing me to dip in and out of the story whenever I had a free moment. The diary is strangely compelling reading, and I found myself really starting to care for this struggling, slightly moody almost-forty-three year old. I think it’s because he proved very nicely to me that men and women go through an awful lot of the same agonies in life – if only they could learn to communicate like adults, things would be a lot smoother.

Ben Adams is now an author who’s firmly on my radar for writing real, flawed characters that manage to make you like them by being ruthlessly honest. Graham could be a moody git- but he was (mostly) aware of this and (sometimes) apologetic, so you couldn’t help but warm to the guy.

I urge you to pick up a copy of Six Months to Get a Life. The story is about as ‘real-life’ as you can get- and has made me look at people around me and wonder what dramas they’re currently in the middle of.

So – if you're wondering what ‘he’ might be really thinking…
Grab your copy here
Connect with the author on Twitter @BenAdamsAuthor

The Blurb:
Graham Hope had it all - a wife, two perfect children, a detached house in the suburbs and a huge TV. Until today. He now has an ex-wife, lives in his parents' spare room and gets the kids and the dog at weekends. He might be lost and lonely, but Graham is not a victim. Six months from today he will be forty-three. He vows to sort this mess out by his birthday. He gives himself six months to get a life. 

Will Graham play a meaningful role in his boys' lives? Will his mates take him under their wing? Will he move out of his childhood home? More importantly, will he ever have sex again? For Graham, failure is not an option.

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Review and Giveaway: The Day We Disappeared by Lucy Robinson

I’ve been putting off writing this review… I’m just not sure I can find the words…

Oh wait… found them…  READ! THIS! AWESOME! BOOK!
Seriously, this is one of my top reads of all time, and that makes reviewing it a tad difficult to navigate without gushing all over the place… so please excuse me while I gush a little bit (or a lot?)

So- I’m sure by now, you’ll have seen the gorgeous cover all over the internet. This is a book with a huge buzz surrounding it- every review I’ve seen and blogger I’ve spoken to has been unrelentingly excited about The Day We Disappeared. I’m here to confirm this and tell you- all this praise is deserved!

The Day We Disappeared follows the stories of two close friends, Annie Mulholland and Kate Brady. Annie’s life is on the up – she has a new job and things are going well. Kate has escaped her life by running away to an equestrian yard in the middle of nowhere. Both friends have a secret, and their lives are not quite all they seem.

The story is told from the viewpoints of both Annie and Kate – but there is also a third perspective- a flashback to the past. We don’t know quite who it belongs to, but the story it tells will have you sitting in the bath for at least an hour after the water’s gone cold. (Ahem, that isn’t what happened to me… not at all…!)

I refuse to tell you any more about the story – it’s too good to risk slipping up and ruining it for anyone. Just be assured, this is a gripping story with incredible characters and is some of the best story-telling I have ever come across.

The Blurb:

Annie has a secret. But if she's not going to tell, we won't either. It's a heart-breaking secret she wishes she didn't have - yet Annie isn't broken, not quite yet. Especially now there's someone out there who seems determined to fix her.

Kate has run away. But she's not going to tell us why - that would defeat the point of running, wouldn't it? It's proving difficult to reinvent herself, however, with one person always on her mind.

Scratch beneath the surface and nobody is really who they seem. Even Annie and Kate, two old friends, aren't entirely sure who they are any more. Perhaps you can work it out, before their pasts catch up with them for good...A gripping and unpredictable story of two young women running from their pasts. We defy you to guess the twist...

Out on 9th April, you can pre-order your copy here  


Now for the great news- I have ONE advance copy of The Day We Disappeared to give away. Simply enter the Rafflecopter giveaway below to be in with a chance!

a Rafflecopter giveaway