Saturday 27 December 2014

New Ereader? Fill it up Now, Before the VAT Increase.

This is a quick heads up for those who remain unaware. From January 1st 2015, all digital books will be subject to VAT at the rate applied in your country of residence. At present, if you buy through Ebay or Amazon, and no doubt many other international companies, you pay only the rate that applies at the selling site. Amazon and many others trade from Luxembourg, where the rate is 3%, so there will be substantial increases for most buyers in the New Year.

So, if you own an eReader, new or old, now is a good time to stock up on new books. You'll save a good deal of cash in the process. Do it now, regardless of the genre or type of book you enjoy.

And, in a bit of authorial cheek, I guess I dare mention my adult epic fantasy series, A Seared Sky, which is now published in its three volumes. Buy it now in digital form, and not only will you save the VAT increase, but you'll benefit from a discount we've applied for the holiday season. So, what are you waiting for? Here's the link; just click it.

Enjoy your reading. I enjoy the writing, and want you to share in that experience.

Saturday 6 December 2014

Murder and mayhem in North Yorkshire


Private Investigator Annie Raymond’s fifth outing is now available as an ebook. 

Annie has always been very careful in treading the right side of the line between private and public investigation, but she steps unexpectedly into deep water this time. So deep in fact, there might be no way out.


Buried Deep by Hornsea Writer Penny Grubb is available from Fantastic Books Publishing and from Amazon.

Saturday 29 November 2014

Book Sale & Free Chapter


The Kindle ebook to Beneath The Shining Mountains is being offered at 99c / 99p or equivalent for this weekend only. If you're curious how the native Apsaroke lived during the 1830s, when the only encroaching European was the occasional fur trapper, this novel has been hailed for its rich historical detail wrapped in a pacey read.

Follow the link to where Linda Acaster is blogging about her childhood passion. 

She is also giving away a full chapter of her writers' guide Reading A Writer's Mind.... to anyone who subscribes to her occasional Newsletter.

Saturday 22 November 2014

Using Writers' Retreats

NaNoWriMo - (Inter) National Novel Writing Month - is in full swing. 

In parallel, Linda Acaster is running two mini-series of blogposts. Mid-week are handy editing questions to use when interrogating a work-in-progress. 

Saturdays have seen two posts on writers' residencies and retreats - both funded and on a shoe-string - with personal input from Alan Wilkinson, a 20 year professional, and JS Collyer, a debut novelist.

Drop by for the full info:                 
Editing questions
Writers' retreats

Saturday 15 November 2014

Spoof stories



The recently published Bookmuse Readers’ Journal parodies various literary genres in a selection of short stories. Madeleine McDonald contributed a spoof cosy crime tale, in which murder most foul is investigated over gin and tonics by the flower arrangers at the local church, with the help of a pet cat. To read her story, and others, go to

Saturday 8 November 2014

WW2 Saga - 'The Land Girls'

Following on from Angel of the North, Annie Wilkinson's new book The Land Girls is again set against the backdrop of war. 

It is 1943 and 17 year old Muriel has survived the Hull Blitz. But working among the ruins on bare rations is taking its toll. When a friend returns from working as a Land Girl, Muriel sees the rosy-cheeked change in her. Lured by tales of dances and high jinx, fresh food and no bombing, Muriel signs up.

But farming is back-breaking work, and rising before dawn is no joke. There are disputes between the locals and the city girls... and then Muriel meets Ernst, a German prisoner of war. Is he as lonely as she is?

The Land Girls is currently out as an ebook and a hardback - borrow it from your local library. The paperback is due for release on 4th December.



Monday 3 November 2014

Thankful Author blog



Visit Angela Hayes' blog today, 3 November, to read Madeleine McDonald's tribute to her writer Dad.


Friday 24 October 2014

TASTE OF TREASON. April Taylor

I am delighted to announce that the second book in The Tudor Enigma, Taste of Treason, will be published on Monday 27th October.

In this second adventure for Luke Ballard, there is a new danger for the Tudor dynasty in the shape of a threat to Queen Madeleine who is pregnant with her first child, the heir Henry IX needs so badly. A series of murders puts the Queen's life at risk and there is only one man Henry can turn to - apothecary, Luke Ballard.

To watch the taster video go here:
https://animoto.com/play/xXZayI0J5sNZQN7kdn5HGg

Taste of Treason by April Taylor available here:


To learn more about April Taylor follow these links:

Website           Blog     Facebook  Twitter



Friday 17 October 2014

Krampus Krackers



Madeleine McDonald's story, Advice from the Heart, is one of the twelve flash fiction stories chosen for Tiny Owl Workshop's Krampus Krackers project. Brisbane in Australia and Leeds in Yorkshire will be the setting for a Christmas package with a difference. Unsuspecting visitors to both cities may find themselves offered a traditional Christmas cracker. However, instead of a tacky plastic toy, these crackers will contain a printed story. Instead of a benign Father Christmas, all stories feature the Krampus, the bogeyman of German tradition who punishes naughty children. A contemporary Krampus, re-imagined by twelve contemporary storytellers.  

Saturday 11 October 2014

Celebrating 'Books Are My Bag' #BAMB #BookADayUK

Today in the UK is ‘Event Day’ for Books Are My Bag, raising the profile of both books and bookshops. Over the past few weeks celebrities up and down the country have been posing with their favourite book and the distinctive BAMB bag. As you can see, Hornsea Writers has been doing its bit. And that’s not even all the books members have had published.

If you prefer to talk books from the comfort of your home, or pub, or commute, catch the Twitter feed via #BookADayUK. It’s been running since the beginning of the month with a new theme posted daily.

Linda Acaster and Stuart Aken have taken up the gauntlet and throughout the month are blogging in and around the given themes. Follow their name-links for samples.

But why just read? Why not add your two penn’th to the Twitter feed via its hashtag? Or your four penn’th by blogging about your favourite book. You never know where it might lead.

Friday 3 October 2014

Accident or murder?




This month the murder mystery magazine Over My Dead Body publishes Madeleine McDonald's entertaining tale of village life, Last Resting Place. To find out how a council busybody gets a well-deserved comeuppance, go to:


Sunday 21 September 2014

How-To Write titles with Fantastic Books Publishing

The liaison between Hornsea Writers and Fantastic Books Publishing continues. The paperback of Linda Acaster's Reading A Writer's Mind: Exploring Short Fiction - First Thought To Finished Story  joins The Writer's Toolkit - A Handbook For Writers of Commercial Fiction by Penny Grubb and Danuta Reah in being distributed by the Yorkshire independent publisher.


The titles are a good match, as neither crosses the content of the other, while both fulfilling the duty of writers' guides in explaining, in plain English and easy steps, the techniques to be mastered so as to enhance fiction to catch an editor's eye and a reader's imagination, no matter the genre.

Like all good non-fiction, they do what they say in their extended titles.

Saturday 6 September 2014

Publishers' Sales?

Yes, on occasion publishers do put their authors' books on sale price with selected retailers. The planets have aligned for Hornsea Writers and two members have books on offer until 28 September:


Annie Wilkinson's Sing Me Home is currently £1.49 in the Sainsbury's ebook store so if you read ebooks in the ePub format here's a great read in the Family Saga genre.


Ginny Wilde yearns to experience more than being the wife of the Durham coalfields and is determined to use her fine singing voice to her advantage. But are the bright lights of the London music halls - and their unscrupulous managers - more than her fiery spirit can cope with? 





April Taylor's Court of Conspiracy, the first in The Tudor Enigma series, is down to 99c on Amazon.com, £1.11 on Amazon.uk, plus other territories, for all Kindle e-reading devices/apps. For a Mystery/Alternative History this is a fine introduction to the period's widespread belief in magic most other historicals ignore.

King Henry IX, son of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, holds the balance of European power in his Protestant hands, but his enemies are many and various. Luke Ballard, people's apothecary in the Outer Green of Hampton Court Palace and still training in his secret role as Elemancer, finds the welfare of the Tudor crown - and England itself - could depend on him alone.

Great reads both. Give them a spin while they are on offer.

Friday 29 August 2014

Guest Posting on Writers' Village

Once again, group member, Stuart Aken, is guesting on the popular blog, Writers' Village.

This time, he's looking at making the often tedious task of marketing and promotion into something with fun and satisfaction.

As a writer who has always had deep suspicions and misgivings about self-promotion, he has some lessons for us all here.

This is the link, click here.

Monday 18 August 2014

FantastiCon


Over the weekend Linda Acaster and Stuart Aken attended FantastiCon in Hull organised by Fantastic Books Publishing - the first time either had been to a SF/Fantasy convention. It proved quite an eye-opener. They shared the stage on a panel devoted to Fantasy, and despite the number of hard-core SF gamers in attendance had an appreciative audience for their spot.

Click their names above for their individual takes on the event.

Friday 8 August 2014

Launching the Second Volume of the Epic Fantasy

A Seared Sky is the title of Stuart Aken’s epic fantasy series. Joinings, book 1, was launched with a Facebook Party on 30 March 2014. Partings, book 2, will be launched at the fabulous convention, FantastiCon, in Hull on 16 August. He and Linda Acaster will be in attendance, with some other writers of fantasy and science fiction, to sign books, talk about their work, and answer questions.

To discover more about and Partings and the convention, just click on this link.

Saturday 2 August 2014

From Quiet Desk to Dynamic FantastiCon

As well as the usual digital articles about their work, individual members of Hornsea Writers are occasionally asked to give talks on anything from The Writing Life to Developing Characters to Researching & Planning a Novel, but it isn't often that two members are asked to participate on a panel at a convention. In fact, neither have ever attended a convention, so it should prove quite an eye-opener.

On Saturday 16th August Linda Acaster and Stuart Aken will be in Hull at FantastiCon talking about aspects of their Fantasy trilogies - Torc of Moonlight and A Seared Sky. With them on the panel will be JS Collyer whose debut SF novel Zero will be launching on the day. 

That's if they can be be found at the appointed time. The place will be awash with gaming, costumes, Dr Who participants, "Elite" series authors Q&A, and everything SF. Personally I think they'll be fighting for a seat on the Star Wars speeder bike in front of the green screen. Who wouldn't want a photograph of that?


Fantasticon is hosted by Fantastic Books Publishing and has a Facebook event page and a YouTube video.
Venue: Mercure Hull Royal Hotel from 1pm-midnight (earlier for Gold Ticket holders)

Saturday 26 July 2014

When a writer knows next to nothing about the book they just published

It might seem suspicious when a writer is confused over a book they've just published, when they appear to have little more than a vague idea of what it’s all about. But in fact it’s just timing.

There comes a point in the process of writing a book where the story moves beyond a skeleton idea and really begins to take shape. It starts to ‘feel right’. The characters come to life, the backdrop switches from black & white to colour, the drama builds. Flesh (appropriately for a crime novel) attaches to the bones.

But such are production schedules that something else happens at this magical moment. The previous book barges back into shot and demands attention. Minute attention. It demands edits, macro and micro; it demands checking of copy-edits; it demands that its author’s mind is drawn back to all of its twists, turns, characters and shenanigans.

The old story goes into battle against the new. Those characters from the current tale bursting to life on the page are suddenly dogged by ghosts from a previous book. Who is doing what? Which plot strand belongs where? Who was the target of that red-herring? Was that the despairing cry of the author falling into a morass of tangled plot lines and wishing that the old book would get out of her head?

But that old book is actually the new book in publication terms. These are its final birth pangs before it lands on the bookshop shelves. It’s just the author who has moved on, who is now living in the next fictional world. It’s brand new to the reader, but to the writer it’s just a vague memory.

Saturday 12 July 2014

THE SHORT SHARP FOCUSED PITCH

Years ago I learnt a neat technique for writing a short sharp focussed pitch for a novel.

Once I started using this technique to pitch my work I never had a straight rejection. I was always asked for more. That wasn’t the end of obstructions in my route to publication because I taught myself to write a brilliant pitch before I learnt how to write a brilliant book, so hey-ho, I still got the rejections, but they came further along the way.

In later years once I’d cracked the book thing, I recorded this neat trick for creating a pitch along with several other neat tricks for writing the book and with a co-author recorded them in a book all of their own.

The book is for sale from the link below, but the neat pitch technique is reproduced HERE FOR FREE. If you like it, please spread the word, leave me some comments and go and buy the book.