Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Tears and Laughter

Tears and Laughter and Happy Ever After is the project I mysteriously referred to a while ago - a short story collection now available on Kindle at a very reasonable price. Hurray!  Not that you HAVE to buy it, but you'd be mad not to. Oh and I'm in it, by the way.

The paperback version will be out in time for Christmas - which is rather handy and I hope, if you do fancy a peek, that you find something to your liking.

All the contributors are members of the short story writing group I joined three years ago, and without it I'm certain I wouldn't have gone on to sell so many stories (*cough, seventy-five, cough*) and I'm very proud to be in such good company.

And now for the blurby bit ...

"Tears and Laughter and Happy Ever After" is a vibrant and varied collection of tales from writers who between them have had hundreds of short stories published in women’s magazines in the UK and around the world. Contributors have also won or been placed in dozens of competitions, published novels and written non-fiction for many UK magazines.

As the title suggests, the twenty-six stories encompass the heights of happiness, the depths of sadness, and every emotion in between. Within the pages are a housewife with a surprising secret, a beekeeper with a problem and an undertaker with something unusual on his mind. You’ll encounter angels, ghosts, aliens and other intriguing characters. And, in the end, may just find the path to happy ever after.

“This anthology has something for everyone. It’s a delight.
I only wish I was in it!”
Della Galton

“Like diving into a big box of Quality Street”
Kate Long

Thursday, November 10, 2011

All I want for Christmas

Beth Prince has always loved fairytales and now, aged twenty-four, she feels like she’s finally on the verge of her own happily ever after. She lives by the seaside, works in the Picturebox – a charming but rundown independent cinema – and has a boyfriend who’s so debonair and charming she can’t believe her luck! There’s just one problem – none of her boyfriends have ever told her they love her and it doesn’t look like Aiden’s going to say it any time soon. Desperate to hear ‘I love you’ for the first time Beth takes matters into her own hands – and instantly wishes she hadn’t. Just when it seems like her luck can’t get any worse, bad news arrives in the devilishly handsome shape of Matt Jones. Matt is the regional director of a multiplex cinema and he’s determined to get his hands on the Picturebox by Christmas. Can Beth keep her job, her man and her home or is her romantic-comedy life about to turn into a disaster movie?

The lovely Cally Taylor's new novel, Home for Christmas, is out today and although it's normally my policy to put off thinking about Christmas until the very last moment, I'm going to make an exception and read it as soon as possible.

All the main character, Beth, wants for Christmas is to hear the words "I love you", which got me thinking about the things I wanted for Christmas when I was growing up.

To be honest, it was mostly a puppy - but we weren't allowed one because my mum (quite rightly with hindsight) felt she'd be the one who ended up looking after it, and she already had four children to contend with. (They were hers, I hasten to add - not four random children she'd taken in especially to avoid having to buy a dog.)

Books always featured highly on my wish lists, and I definitely got plenty of those. We didn't have a TV growing up so reading was our entertainment. That and pestering our parents for a puppy.

But my best-ever present was a camera when I was fouteen. I'd put one on my list, not holding out much hope, and was over the moon to find one in my stocking. (Pretty uncomfortable, I can tell you. HO HO!)

It was an old-fangled one with a cube-flash on top. PLEASE tell me you remember them? Barely a step up from my gran's Box Brownie, but it led to a love of photography that's stayed with me.

I now have a fancy-pants, all-singing all-dancing digital SLR, but I still remember the thrill of that little plastic one - not to mention the look of glazed boredom on people's faces when I begged them to pose again, one last time ...

These days, all I want for Christmas is for everyone to be happy and a plentiful supply of food. Oh and an offer to publish my novel would be nice. Harrumph!