Category Archives: Book Tuesday

Books, stories, blogs of interest and other articles that may stimulate conversation.

Sacha Black’s ‘The Anatomy of Prose’ is out!

I do not like manuals, self help or how to books! Yet, here I am endorsing an author who is not only a well-established Young Adult novelist, but has also written incredibly fun, readable manuals on prose, creating heroes and building believable villains. Her name is Sacha Black and she takes no prisoners when compiling helpful advice for readers and writers.

If you’re offended by a bit of profanity then this is probably not the book or author for you. But, if you’re happy to skip the bullshit and get cracking with the nitty gritty details of empowering your prose, order your copy today.

Sacha’s ability to capture the debilitating aspects of writers’ crutch words and faults and her straight forward advice on how to strengthen your knowledge on essential elements of drawing your audience into your prose without putting you to sleep or drowning you in condensed rhetoric puts her a cut above the rest.

Here is a brief outline on what The Anatomy of Prose has to offer:

Do your sentences fail to sound the way you want? Are they lackluster, with flat characters and settings? Is your prose full of bad habits and crutches?

In The Anatomy of Prose, you’ll discover:

  • A step-by-step guide to creating descriptions that sing
  • The key to crafting character emotions that will hook a reader
  • How to harness all five senses to make your stories come alive, deepening your reader’s experience
  • Tips and tricks for balancing details at the sentence level
  • Methods for strengthening each sentence through strategic word choice, rhythm and flow
  • Dozens of literary devices, and how to utilize them to give your prose power
  • Tactics for differentiating characters in dialogue as well as making it punchy and unforgettable
  • A comprehensive prose-specific self-editing check list
  • How to embody your character’s personality at the sentence level
  • The most common pitfalls and mistakes to avoid

The Anatomy of Prose is a comprehensive writing guide that will help you create sensational sentences. Whether you’re just starting out or are a seasoned writer, this book will power up your prose, eliminate line-level distractions and help you find the perfect balance of show and tell. By the end of this book, you’ll know how to strengthen your sentences to give your story, prose and characters the extra sparkle they need to capture a reader’s heart.

If you like dark humor, learning through examples and want to create perfect prose, then you’ll love Sacha Black’s guide to crafting sensational sentences. Read The Anatomy of Prose today and start creating kick-ass stories.

Join Sacha celebrate the launch of The Anatomy of Prose at her website and order your copy here. Don’t forget to leave a review!

Literary Festival

Join me at the Festival.

Smorgasbord Book Reviews by Sally Cronin – #Children’s – Space Dust by Eloise de Sousa

I’m over the moon to receive another wonderful review for Space Dust. Sally has recommended this little story as a great Christmas gift. I hope you’ll agree.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Delighted to share my review for the latest children’s book by Eloise de Sousa.. Space Dust which is available in print.

About Space Dust

We’re going on a trip in Big Ox’s canoe. Watch the fire bears roar on Venus as pepper pot trees grow on the moon. As Big Ox steers us to the planets, Litte One wonders if Mum will come home soon.

My review for Space Dust

A wonderful journey around the planets in a canoe paddled by a favourite spoon that will delight younger readers, and those reading the story to them. There are beautifully colourful illustrations between the stages of the trip, which will encourage a pause in the storytelling, offering an opportunity to discuss the journey so far. The two main characters, Big Ox and Little One are lovable travel companions as they head off in search of Little One’s mum. and discover creatures…

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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.

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.

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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

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.

 

 

 

Book Tuesday – Inspiration from Whitney

Hello and welcome back. Whilst taking a break from studying Shostakovitch, I thought I’d write a little story for you. It was inspired by Whitney Houston’s, I Wanna Dance with Somebody. Okay, here goes:

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Library

It is with great pleasure that I get to announce that my books are now available at the Woodley Library in Reading. From Spoilt Miranda to The Iron Pendulum, they are rubbing words with the likes of Tom Clancy and Julia Donaldson!

It’s not the easiest thing to get your books into your local library and it can take a while for them to be vetted and loaded onto the database. But that’s not the most exciting thing: it’s opening a copy of your book and finding the first page stamped with dates acknowledging the book has been taken out for a spin! That’s when the bubbles ricochet against your rib cage and you realise book lovers have access to your words, anytime.  

I’m jumping for joy and would like to thank the librarians at Woodley Library for adding my stories. Little events like this mean so much to budding authors like me. 

If you get a chance, why not ask for an independent author’s story to be added to your local library and don’t forget, spread the word with reviews – we all need them!