Category Archives: Books

Eloise De Sousa’s Books and Publications Spotlight

Eloise De Sousa’s Books and Publications Spotlight
— Read on www.lulu.com/spotlight/eloisedesousa

A fresh look at both children’s and adults’ stories that capture the imagination and inspire young minds.

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Space Dust

It’s here! My blood, sweat and tears arrived today in the post and I’m so pleased with how it turned out.

The setting is as close to perfect as I can get it and my illustrations have come to life on the white, glossy pages. The true test, of course, will be whether the children engage with the book and if the story fires their imaginations. After testing it on my book club members and year Reception at school, I have optimistic hopes of getting them to love this story as much as I do.

Now the fun part: this story was written for the library service in my borough, inspired by their theme Space Chase. I didn’t want to write a generic book about racing through space and instead, took inspiration from the imaginings of the children as they gazed up at the moon. Is it made of cheese? Does it have alien trees?

Using these ideas and brainstorming with Mark Hickling, one of our teachers at my school, and my youngest sprog, a new concept was born. I created Little One – a character who could be a boy or girl, giving the story a gender neutral balance. Little One’s mum has gone away and, like most young children at some point in their lives, Little One feels as if the separation is for a long time. Big Ox, the adult in charge, decides to take Little One on an adventure to help his tiny friend cope with Mum’s absence. What better way to occupy the mind of a small person than take them in a canoe ride across space, using Big Ox’s absolute favourite spoon as an oar?

This space story aims to entertain young and old alike with various visions of space through eyes that aren’t jaded by time or a lack of imagination; instead it inspires silly questions and adventure.

If you’d like to order your copy of Space Dust, click on the pic below. It will take you to my author site with all my book titles available to purchase.

Thank you for stopping by.

Book Tuesday – Andrew Joyce’s ‘Mahoney’

Welcome to a long-awaited guest post for our book lovers out there. Today’s guest is Andrew Joyce, a wonderful fictional writer who takes the journey to America, hoping for a better life, to a whole new level.

Without further ado, I’ll hand it over to Andrew…

My name is Andrew Joyce and I write books for a living. Eloisehas been kind enough to allow me a little space on her blog to promote my new book, Mahoney. So, I thought I’d tell you how it came about. But to do that, I gotta tell you how my mind works.

A few years ago, I had just finished reading Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn for the third time, and I started thinking about what ever happened to those boys, Tom and Huck. They must have grown up, but then what? So I sat down at my computer and banged out Redemption: The Further Adventures of Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer. I had them as adults in the Old West. Kind of like Wyatt Earp type characters. It was a modest success and won an award as Best Western of 2013.

I think my favorite book of all time is The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck. I’ve read it a number of times over the years. The last time being two years ago. Now, for those of you who may not have read it, it’s about one family’s trek from the Oklahoma Dust Bowl of the 1930s to the “Land of Milk and Honey,” also known as California. Of course, California wasn’t a land of milk and honey. If anything, the family was worse off in California than they were in Oklahoma. The subtext of the book is how those on the lower rungs of society’s ladder are oppressed and have very little voice to fight against that oppression.

Near the end of the book, Tom Joad, the protagonist, runs afoul of the law and must leave his family or else be arrested on a trumped up charge or be killed by the big landowners’ goons.His mother, quite naturally, will miss him and is worried for him. The words he spoke to her in that scene have become iconic.

“I’ll be aroun’ in the dark. I’ll be everywhere-wherever you look. Wherever there is a fight so hungry people can eat, I’ll be there. Wherever there is a cop beatin’ up a guy, I’ll be there. I’ll be in the way kids laugh when they’re hungry and they know supper’s ready. An’ when our folk eat the stuff they raise an’ live in the houses they build—why, I’ll be there.”  Tom Joad, TheGrapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck

So, here’s what I did. Just like with Huck and Tom, I started thinking about what ever happened to Tom Joad after he left his family. I wanted to write about injustices and the people who suffer those injustices. I thought I’d follow Tom around and write about what he encountered from about the mid-thirties to 1963 when Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his “I have a Dream” speech.

However, there was just one problem with that: copyright laws. The character of Tom Joad belongs to the heirs of John Steinbeck. So, I had to come up with another angle. After somethought on the matter, I decided to expand my initial time frame from between 1933 and 1963 to 1849 and 1963. I’d start the story in Ireland during the potato famine and work my way to America and then I’d end up where I had originally intended.

Here’s the blurb for the book:

In this compelling, richly researched novel, author Andrew Joyce tells a riveting story of adventure, endurance, and hope as the Mahoney clan fights to gain a foothold in America.

In the second year of an Gorta Mhór—the Great Famine—nineteen-year-old Devin Mahoney lies on the dirt floor of his small, dark cabin. He has not eaten in five days. His only hope of survival is to get to America, the land of milk and honey. After surviving disease and storms at sea that decimate crew and passengers alike, Devin’s ship limps into New York Harbor three days before Christmas, 1849. Thus starts an epic journey that will take him and his descendants through one hundred and fourteen years of American history, including the Civil War, the Wild West, and the Great Depression.

Well, that’s how Mahoney came about. For those of you who may read it, I hope you enjoy it. It took me almost two years of full-time research, writing, and editing to get it to where I wanted and to tell the story I wanted to tell.

Thank you, Andrew. For anyone interested in a taste of the book, here’s a little excerpt to tantalise your reading taste buds:

The reflected firelight flickered across awestruck faces and mirrored in the eyes of those who listened as stories were told of yesterday’s indignities and tomorrow’s aspirations. The look in those yearning eyes spoke of hopes and dreams. The laughter heard around the fire conveyed a sense that somehow it would all work out. For a few short hours, on Saturday nights, in the deep woods of a place none of them had ever heard of before, the constant fear that lived within their hearts was banished from their lives.

In time, they would prevail. Their sons and daughters would one day stand straight and tall as proud Americans, as proud as their fathers had been to be Irish.

Follow Andrew’s writing journey here and please remember, ever author survives on reviews. Please don’t forget to leave yours.

Author Week and lots more…

After a busy week sketching and painting the illustrations for my new book, Space Dust, I assumed I could slide into the weekend and enjoy the fun and shenanigans planned for  special event I was looking forward to attending. Unfortunately, the cards have turned and I’ve lost this round. It’s a working weekend!

As a writer, you sometimes find that events planned coincide with deadlines – or should I say, deadlines decide to land on event days and it’s a game of trying to balance everything and be in different places at the same time. Not that I’m complaining. I am grateful for these opportunities and realise how different my life is now compared to a few years ago. The one big regret I have is not knowing how to market my books well. With sales tanking, it’s heartbreaking to create another book knowing it will be sitting idle, waiting for readers to take it off the shelves.

Author Enrichment Week is fast approaching at school and this year I’ve gone for a more historic theme with mythical fantasy thrown in for good measure. We are promoting good writing across the school and expect our pupils to thrive in an environment where they can use their imagination and the skills we have given them to produce amazing pieces of writing. To top it off, the playful teachers are planning something special for the children – which I have to write by Friday – that will have them sitting up in their seats as they are introduced to the week ahead. It’s a busy time because we are squeezing this in between school visits and sports day. I’m sure it will all work out in the day – we thrive under pressure!

Waiting patiently in the background is the October Literary Festival where I will have my first opportunity to talk about children’s books outside a school setting. I’m both excited and nervous about it. Watching the panel at the Blogger’s Bash fed inspiration on what to do when thrown a curve ball question and the authors speaking about their books were great to watch and figure out how I want to present myself. More work to do before then, so that will sit on the back burner until after the Summer Reading Challenge has been completed.

Well, I have to run away again. Dinner is probably burning and I have to finish more illustrations tonight if I’m going to meet the deadline of this weekend to format my book and publish it in time for the proof to come back and then print enough copies for prizes and donations to the local libraries.

Before I go, check out my blog next week Tuesday – I will have a guest author on my Book Tuesday post sharing his latest book which I have added to my reading list and can’t wait to review (once I’ve finished reading Hugh Roberts’ ‘More Glimpses’ which has me enthralled at the moment.)

Leave a comment and let me know how your week is going.

 

I’ve Been Nominated!!

This has to be one of the best Valentine’s Day gifts I’ve received (don’t tell my Hubble!): a nomination for the Best Book Blog! Thank you so very much for nominating my blog. Continue reading

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Book Review:   A Prison Without Walls, by Kelly Bristow

“A vividly enlightening read!”

 

via Book Review:   A Prison Without Walls, by Kelly Bristow

Re-run of Book Tuesday

Hello.  For today’s post, I’ve decided to share some of the reviews, shares and promos for my new crime thriller, The Iron Pendulum.

My ten year old daughter decided to spend her morning creating an IMovie promo to promote the book after I gave her ideas of what was trapped between the crisp pages. With the aid of some photos, she came up with this gem…

I was very impressed with her efforts and she has now moved on to my children’s book, A Tale of Knots!

Hugh, Colleen, Olga, Wally and many other bloggers, writers and friends have been sharing the link to TIP (The Iron Pendulum).

Here’s what they had to say…

“I was a beta reader for this book. It was a brilliant read, so go buy/download it right now. You’ll be thanking me. 😀” Hugh

“With little evidence to go on the detectives are thrown head first into one of the most bizarre missing person cases I have ever read. Author, Eloise De Sousa adeptly strings the reader along revealing more grisly discoveries along the way. There is an extraordinary family history intertwined within the story that propels you forward to the shocking conclusion.

If you love a good murder mystery and don’t get squeamish reading about blood and murder, then this book is for you. I did get pretty creeped out, I won’t deny that. There is quite the shock factor when you reach the end… Remember, I warned you!” Colleen

I have to admit, this story has a lot of grit to it, but I can assure all my readers, it’s not enough to put you off finding out who did it in the end.

One of my Hot Shots subscribers gave her review of TIP.

This story takes you down a twisting road, pairing childhood memories of horror, to the present search for the couple. As these detectives seem to be getting no closer to solving the case, it begins to become more personal to them.

If you haven’t ordered your copy yet, click on the pic below for the Amazon page.

a href=”https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/1326689983/ref=cm_cr_arp_mb_bdcrb_top?ie=UTF8″> Click on the pic to order your copy[

A big thank you if you have read TIP.  Please don’t forget to leave a review, good or bad, on your purchase site or my book page.  It’s always good to get feedback from you.

Join me next week when I shall be featuring something a little different!

Thanks for reading.

Moofy and Flo

As a writer, the brick wall of procrastination and mind block is fatal to any projects awaiting completion. Here’s an example of one of my projects which have fallen under its deadly blocks of silence. Continue reading

Book Tuesday

It has been a fair bit of time since I last wrote a blog post for Book Tuesday. So, grab your cup of whatever, come sit by me and let’s discuss what we have been reading over the past weeks.

Since the end of the school term and my school year, I’ve taken advantage of my free time between the sprogs, pets and general housekeeping to catch up on my much anticipated collection of must-reads. So far, I’ve tried to reach many of my blogging friends’ books, but alas, have not conquered the pile which is starting to resemble Mt Everest.

Whilst delving into romance, kicking back with crime thrillers and adding to my general knowledge with well-known best sellers, some stories have floated back up to the surface of my writer’s mind, bobbing away until I rise to the bait and take a nibble. Such dark little demons giggle from the shadows, tempting me to write out my quirkier fantasies that usually remain locked away for ‘special’ horror writing days.

13 Steps to Evil: How to Craft Superbad Villains (Better Writers Series)Saying that, a quote from Sacha Black’s 13 Steps to Evil: How to Craft a Supervillain  resonates with that dark side. “Whatever doesn’t kill you, makes you stranger.” (Quoted from 13 Steps to Evil, discussing the insanity of the villain: the Joker) Needless to say, my villainous tendencies are usually packed in a box for those deliciously dark days when the writer takes over and throws caution to the wind, sending the superheroes aflutter with dastardly deeds delivered by my delectable diabolics. Of course, this doesn’t happen without the stimulation of a good book like Sacha’s. A catalyst needs to be created to form such stimulus and she has it in buckets!

Keepers (The Eden East Novels Book 1) by [Black, Sacha]I am currently enjoying a book from Sacha’s great collection The Eden East Novels –  Keepers.  Now generally, I’m not a great fan of Science Fiction and Fantasy, preferring the creepier realms of horror or crime fiction, but her book surprised me. Similar to 13 Steps to Evil: How to Craft a Supervillain, Sacha’s words resonate and make the story flow in a way that keeps me wanting to read more. I tend to read at least three different books at the same time when on a role (usually covering different genres for interest’s sake); her book is calling out to me to be read first every day and, to be honest, I can’t resist.

Sitting next to my phone with Sacha’s book safely stored inside is Charles Dickens’ Hard Times and Robert Crais’ Indigo Slam (both paperbacks). They are in great company with Sacha’s collection and I look forward to diving into her next novel, Victor (the next book in The Eden East Novels collection once I’ve finished these three books. I’ve already finished the sloppy romance series I was reading and have now absorbed enough sweetness to last me a week, so this selection provides me with the perfect balance for nutritious reading. I do enjoy having a good collection of writers at hand to focus my own writing skills.

Now, this is not all about me. I  would love to know: what’s on your night stand waiting to rock your world?

Before I end this post, I must remind you that any book your read deserves a review. Authors need their readers to respond so that others can find their books. So please, be kind and leave reviews.

Thanks for reading.

 

 

 

There’s Something About Harry

Harry is a bit of a conundrum. She’s the kind of woman you want to sympathize with but end up hating because of her frailty and ability to call every man in close proximity to her assistance. Her life has been hell and though she seems to think there might be a light at the end of the rainbow – it’s the light of an oncoming train! Continue reading