16 Dec 2010

All about epublisher, Smashwords

This Last Summer is published on Amazon and at Smashwords. Smashwords, run by Mark Coker, is a powerhouse of epublishing. If you want to publish your own work there, have a look at the presentation below.Introduction to Smashwords - Ebook Publishing and Distribution Made Easy
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20 Nov 2010

Great Photographer - Keep him in mind

Got the kids' school photos back the other week. Grim is not the word. One looked like he was about to kill himself, the other was mid-sentence when his photo was taken. So I didn't buy them. But that left me without photos to send to relatives at Christmas. What to do?
I suddenly remembered that the Dad of one of my children's former schoolmates was a photographer, Grant Pritchard, so I got in touch and today he came over and took some shot of the boys and also of me for publicity for my book,This Last Summer.
Even though I've only seen them only on the camera screen, I can already see they're looking good and I can;t wait to get the CD next week. However I wanted to tell you about Grant's website in case anyone needs a good photographer for any reason. Have a look at his work at http://www.grantpritchard.co.uk and give him a call or pass it on to your friends. Will put up my pix when I get them!
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13 Nov 2010

This Last Summer moving up Amazon charts

This Last Summer has gone up to number 11 in Women's popular fiction chart on Amazon! Get yours at £1.45 from here on Amazon.co.uk or on here on Amazon.com. 
The blurb:
Who said working in TV was glamorous? It’s shocking - and it can break your heart...
It's not easy keeping an office romance secret in a newsroom full of the treacherous and the lecherous and local TV reporter Maddie Chamber's life is about to get even more complicated.
While out filming she stumbles across a family bombshell - her long lost mother, whose reappearance is set to wreak havoc on her father and autistic brother. Then there's an even more shocking discovery that threatens to pull the family apart.
Set in the south of England and the sunflower fields of France, travel with Maddie Chambers on her emotional journey in This Last Summer.
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9 Nov 2010

So who is Madeleine Chambers?

Madeleine Rebecca Chambers is a twenty-something television journalist whose dream was always to be a reporter.

She worked hard at college, did a post graduate in broadcast journalism and ended up at a local radio station where she learned how to make even the dullest items news-worthy.

Fast forward a couple of years and Maddie is hired by NewsNet South, a local TV news programme, as their most junior reporter. She’s been there, finding her feet ever since, despite having a producer who wants to see her fail and trying to resist the advances of a handsome colleague.

Maddie lives in a flat in Guildford and regularly visits her father, brother and Grandma, usually for free meals. Her brother, Ben, has Asperger Syndrome but is ferociously clever and is constantly battling against people’s misconceptions of what a young man with AS is actually like.

But where is Maddie’s mother in all this? She walked out on the family long ago but as you will find out, that’s not the last they’re to see of her...

View sample of This Last Summer in PDF

Download From Amazon.co.uk

Download from Amazon.com

Download in all formats from Smashwords
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8 Nov 2010

Local author publishes ebook on Amazon

FARNHAM, SURREY Nov 8th 2010: Farnham-based author, Tania Tirraoro, has published her first novel, entitled “This Last Summer” as an ebook, available on Amazon Kindle and the multi-format ebook seller, Smashwords.
The women’s fiction book is mainly set in Surrey and Hampshire, featuring a young local TV reporter, Maddie Chambers, who is struggling to make her way in a newsroom full of the treacherous and the lecherous.
While out covering a story one day, she makes a discovery that sends shockwaves through her family – the reappearance of her long lost mother. Her father, grandmother and autistic brother all have a different reaction as they struggle to come to terms with the news. Maddie’s life is made more complicated by a secret office romance and the realisation that all is far from well with her mother.
Tania Tirraoro previously worked for Meridian Television as a journalist and the updated research for the novel was done at Meridian’s south coast headquarters.
She now works as a press officer for Hampshire Farmers’ Markets and several health charities, as well as raising her two sons who have Asperger Syndrome.
Tania Tirraoro said, “The new world of digital publishing is fantastic news for authors who can now bring their work to market much more easily. I think with Amazon’s Kindle and other e-readers, ebooks are really starting to take off and I expect they’ll be on many people’s Christmas wish list”
She is currently completing her second novel, a romance, which she hopes will be out in 2011.
Tania has a website at www.tirraoro.com, a blog at http://notasadvertised.blogspot.com and a site helping parents with SEN at www.specialneedsjungle.co.uk.
For those who haven’t gone digital, a paperback version of This Last Summer will be be available early next year.
Editor’s Notes:
1. Find This Last Summer on Amazon at http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B004774N6E
and Smashwords at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/27911

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30 Oct 2010

Cheap Ebooks - look no further

If you're looking for cheap ebooks, check out http://bargainebooks.blogspot.com. The site features ebooks that are priced under $5.00 and a new books posts every 24 hours.
Authors are welcome to submit books to be included, and readers are welcome to recommend cheap finds. It doesn't matter if a book is traditionally or independently published.
The site is the brainchild of Holly A. Hook, herself an author of young adult fantasy books.
Her first Kindle book, Tempest, is available now on Amazon and Barnes and Noble, and is the first book in the Destroyers series.
You can find lots of great reads on the site so pop over and take a look.

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25 Oct 2010

This Last Summer now available in all ebook formats

Like the title says - This Last Summer is now available for download from Smashwords in whatever format you use, price just 99c.
It's still available as Amazon too, so choose your format and go for it!

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17 Oct 2010

This Last Summer Available on Amazon Kindle

My Novel, This Last Summer, is now available on Amazon for Kindle. It's women's contemporary fiction, featuring a young TV reporter, Madeleine Chambers. Keeping an office romance secret in a newsroom full of the treacherous and the lecherous isn't easy and local TV reporter Maddie Chamber's life is about to get even more complicated. While out filming she stumbles across a family bombshell - her long lost mother, whose reappearance is set to wreak havoc on her father and autistic brother. Then an even more shocking discovery - her mother doesn't have long to live.
Set in the south-east of England and the sunflower fields of France, This Last Summer has been described by readers as, "An extremely sensitive piece of writing. A joy to read." and "An intelligent, fascinating story. You skillfully captured my attention, and then my heart. Relatable characters. Artful writing"
If you'd like to find out for yourself and can spare 71p/99c (after the first two weeks this will rise to $2.99 and the converted UK price) then you can:
Find it here on Amazon.co.uk 
or for those not in the UK, you can find it here on Amazon.com. There's a sample to download to whet you appetite. Do let me know what you think.
If you don't own a kindle, you can download Kindle apps for free for PC, ipad, iphone and android.
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10 Oct 2010

Hazard River Series - Great Children's Books

The author of the Australian-based Hazard River Series is an old friend of mine. In our younger years as girls-about-town, we shared many a fab evening and a few mad holidays together. She now lives back in her native Australia with her family and has just published the books which will hopefully soon be available on Amazon and are already available in Australian bookshops. See below for more details!

New series from Ford Street Publishing


The series
Hazard River is a new adventure series from Ford Street Publishing for readers aged eight to ten. The emphasis in the series is on fun and action, but each story has an environmental theme. It offers young readers a message without lecturing. The first two stories in the series, Shark Frenzy! and Snake Surprise! will be out in October. They will be followed in March by Bat Attack! and Tiger Terror!

The stories
Shark Frenzy! : Jack Wilde and his friends are on holidays at Hazard River when they discover a dead shark washed up on the sand. It has no fins. Is it the work of a monster shark… a giant squid … or pirates? The gang decides to investigate. But finding out what killed the shark lands the kids in a whole lot more trouble than they ever imagined.

Snake Surprise!: It’s a boring wet day on Hazard River until Jack Wilde and his friends find a note on an abandoned boat.  The message is damaged but they can all read the words HELP ME. The gang must find out who needs help and why. But as they get closer to the answer, will they be the ones who need help?

The selling points 
  • Well-targeted humour
  • Attractive covers by Deltora Quest illustrator, Marc McBride
  • Fast-paced and easy reads even for reluctant readers
  • Issues dealing with endangered species without being didactic
  • Local author willing to do signings, interviews, blogs
  • Bookmarks and stickers available (while stocks last) 
  • The Hazard River series is adventure, fun and unputdownable action – a page turner from start to finish.

“I love the characters, they are fun and believable, the adventure is perfect for this age group and the story keeps you interested all the way until the end.  A good choice for tweens, and even the reluctant readers could be turned with this one.  It flows well and with plenty of humour and action it is sure to impress. I would definitely recommend this book, and indeed this series.” Bug in a Book 

The author
J.E. Fison is a television reporter turned children’s author. Her work has been short-listed for the Raspberry and Vine Short Story Competition and was long-listed for The Times (London) Children’s Fiction Competition 2009. Prior to writing the Hazard River series, she spent 20 years in news and features in Australia, Asia and the UK. Julie was a television news reporter and anchor for Asia Television in Hong Kong and a producer in London for Worldwide Television News. More recently she has written travel stories for The Australian and Australian Traveller and businesses pieces for The Australian Financial Review. She lives in Brisbane with her husband and two sons and spends as much time as possible on the Noosa River, the inspiration for the Hazard River series. 

PO Box 2335. Ascot QLD 4007 E: julie@thefisons.net T: 0437 230566

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8 Oct 2010

Impeding Justice - Mel Comley

My friend, Mel Comley has just published her fantastic crime novel, Impeding Justice, on Amazon Kindle. Here's the blurb:
Underworld criminal The Unicorn cruelly destroys lives. His businesses dealings involve people trafficking, extortion and terrorism. His victims are those who insist on standing in his way.
Detective Inspector Lorne Simpkins fears if she doesn't bring the Unicorn to justice soon he'll punish her.
After leading Lorne and her partner into a trap in which Pete is killed, the Unicorn ups his game further still by kidnapping the DI's daughter.
Can Lorne rescue her teenage daughter and overcome life threatening situations to bring the Unicorn down?

Mel's book earned a gold star on the Authonomy site with the review from a Harper Collins editor saying "The opening grabs the reader's attention and feels like a well-plotted page-turning read.
All the raw materials for a really gripping story are here..."
 Download it for Kindle here
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3 Sept 2010

A visit to Winchester's Hampshire Farmers' Market

We went to the Hampshire Farmers' Market at Winchester last Sunday (No secret that I work for HFM, in marketing and PR)
This Sunday I took the husband and boys and a shed load of cash and bought some of the most delicious food. Top of my list was meat for a BBQ, so Bowtell Farm Shop's sausages and burgers went into the bag first of all.
Foccacia came from Slindon Bakery and a sun dried tomato bread from The Flour Stall. The Garlic Farm provided Tomato and Mango Chutney and Garlic and Horseradish mustard and my personal favourite from Pratt's Food is their lovely salad dressings, one cider and rapeseed and the other a balsamic and rapeseed
 Lunch was provided by Broughton Water Buffalo and we also bought some burgers for the barbie!
Winchester is the largest FM in the country. It takes place in the middle of the city and the best thing about it is that it's all locally produced so the money you spend goes straight back into the local economy.
My 12 year old, Luca made a film of the visit. Take a look!
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6 May 2010

When It Comes to Health - It's Not Good To Be Unusual

I haven't posted recently; being online is more difficult these days. On Easter Sunday, I woke up with a grey streak in my left eye's vision. I wondered what it could be. The next day, it was still there. I rang the local out-of-hours serice who advised me to go to A&E as 'you don't mess around with eyes'.
Much, much later that day, after waiting to be seen for three hours, I was told in a matter-of-fact way by the on-duty opthamologist that it looked like a 'degenerative macular condition' and he would make an appointment with the eye clinic.
My long-suffering husband drove me home, the atmosphere in the car sombre and worried. What would this mean? Total eventual loss of vision? Partial sight? An effective treatment programme and recovery? And a Happy Easter to you too..
Several visits to our excellent local eye clinic later and an audience with a top professor of macular diseases in London - ALL on the fantastic NHS and in very quick time, I might add, I had a diagnosis.
I have a condition called Punctate Inner Choroidopathy or PIC, a rare 'white spot' eye condition. It is progressive and incurable and although I have lesions in both eyes, only the vision of one eye is affected. I read somewhere that only around 500 people in the UK are affected by this and they are predominantly younger women who are (or were in my case, thanks to LASIK) short-sighted.
There are no trials for PIC (as far as I know) as there aren't enough people with it to benefit from the cost of developing treatment, so they rely on treatments already developed for Age-related Macular Degeneration such as Avastin or Lucentis. First-time treatments involve high-doses of steroids.
They don't know what causes it (though some think stress or the immune system may be implicated) or why the profile of people who tend to be affected is as it is. Outcomes are different from individual to individual, as is treatment. It won't go away, but it may well be medically manageable. It's nice to be rare but I'd rather be a bit more common in this instance..
Since diagnosis, I have lost a lot of vision in my left eye but can still drive thanks to perfect vision in my right and peripheral sight in my left, giving me no 'blind spots'. It does mean, however, a readjustment of my expectations for the future as I don't know if or when my other eye will be affected.
I am having some treatment, we have yet to see if it will work. The thought of not seeing my children's faces when they are grown up is distressing and the long list of things you can't do with limited vision that I rely on is truly frightening. Adjustment takes time, especially when the outcome is uncertain and uncertainty leads to fear, stress and irritability.
My parents-in-law have been fantastic, caring for the children when needed and ferrying me to hospital appointments because they put pupil dilating drops in so you can't drive; I don't know what I would have done without them.
I thought long and hard about writing this post but in the end, I thought if it helped someone else, it was worth it. If you are similarly affected, there is a helpful Facebook group and there is also a support website The PIC Society. The Facebook group has over one hundred members so there must be more people out there in the world who may be comforted by finding it.
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13 Jan 2010

Snow Joke - Duvet Days and Council Failures

Okay, a bit of snow was fun; the kids enjoyed themselves, built snowmen, lobbed a few snowballs. But now, after either being marooned or taking our lives in our hands to venture out, the novelty has definitely worn off.
Yesterday, I had to be given a lift up the hill to the Hampshire Farmers' Market office by Toby and his tractor after my Prius slewed across the narrow access road and needed to be dug out.
Overnight, another couple of inches fell on top of the white-out still left behind from last week and that meant one more duvet day for everyone in our little lane. Fortunately, my husband had done a supermarket sweep round Tesco last night so at least we're not starving.
The government and local councils say they can't set aside cash to pay for a 'just in case' severe weather event and so our roads were not gritted, post has not been delivered, bins have not been emptied and recycling has not been collected. And we live on the edge of a town for heaven's sake, not in the rural wasteland.
It's funny, I'm sure they don't say the same thing about potential terrorism - "it doesn't happen often so let's not bother preparing," and yet the bad weather has cost families and the economy much money and in some cases, people's lives. But with global warming likely to bring more unpredicable weather, isn't it about time they did get prepared?
Our council says it's stationed some bin trucks at the local Sainsbury's so people can take their stinking rubbish in their cars to be disposed of, but it's far too dangerous for their workers to get to people's homes. Or out to grit the roads either, apparently. Will we see a refund in council tax because our bins haven't been emptied since before Christmas or because the council has refused to grit roads, making it hazardous for us to get to work? I won't be holding my breath.
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3 Jan 2010

It's A New Decade - So Who Stole My Energy?

"We must do something", I said to my husband.
"What do you mean, do something?" he asked.
"You know DO something, get some energy together, get busy, change our lives. It's 2010, a new decade!"
"Oh, that", he replied.

We slumped back into bed and read the papers instead. I'm sure we're not alone. The dawning of a new decade brings with it the prospect of new possibilities but, damn it, where's the energy gone to take advantage of it all?
I had lots of it in my twenties, great flat in Primrose Hill, little red coupé, friends to have a good time with, career in TV, new horizons to explore. Only myself to look after though, perhaps that had something to do with it. That and the optimism of youth.
My thirties were lost to a haze of child-rearing and adapting to life in the home. Two kids in two years meant giving up my burgeoning career as a television journalist because I'd waited until I was thirty to have them and I didn't want to miss anything. To misquote Philip Larkin, if anyone was going to f*ck them up, it was going to be me.
I discovered child-rearing, particularly my hyperactive older son and dreamy younger son who was afflicted from toddlerhood with reflex anoxic seizures, was physically exhausting. It was also a lot tougher than I had imagined and, oh my God, I wasn't as good at it as I was at writing and presenting news. But then I'd had a lot more practice and training for the latter and none at all for the former.
Then both boys were diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome and all my energy was taken in finding them the educational support and financing they needed. I succeeded but every day was a struggle; weekends went by in a flash in which nothing seemed to be accomplished. Every birthday, every Christmas, it seemed as though the years were slipping through our fingers like grains of fine sand.
Now we are in our forties, our boys are older and are growing up to be intelligent and thoughtful adolescents and I have work again - not the same but more suitable to my lifestyle. But still, what's happened to the energy?

My theory is, the kids stole it. I used up a whole decade's energy in half the time sorting out the kids' early years, so I had to borrow half my allocated forties energy from the age of 35. That only leaves five years worth of energy to be eked out through this decade.
This explains why I'm ready for bed at 10pm and why walking the dog has to be done first thing while I still have some energy left. 
I have searched Amazon.co.uk for 'supplies of energy', but it just came up with ways to conserve or monitor energy rather than create it and I somehow don't think walking around clad in a PV panel is going to be the look of the year.
So this year, 2010, my resolution is to find some energy. I don't really know where to start but maybe I should try a spa or meditation, or some superfoods or a new exercise regime (if I had the energy). If you have any ideas, lemme have 'em.
Though tired, I'm not actually dead yet and I'm going to make sure that the next decade ends with my supply of energy heading towards full. But (yawns) writing this has taken it out of me so I might just have to leave starting my quest until tomorrow...
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