Click on the image below to see me read the opening few pages of MYOPIA, my novel about bullying in schools.
Click on the image below to see me read the opening few pages of MYOPIA, my novel about bullying in schools.
FALCO is the sequel to PICA, further exploring the ancient magic of nature in a contemporary setting.
Click on the image above to take you to Amazon UK
or here for Amazon US
Here’s the blurb:
Ancient powers are stirring.
As Luke continues to develop his skills as Felis, he finds himself hunting, surviving and using feline instincts, as well as fine-tuning his powers over nature, becoming more powerful than he’d ever dreamed.
However, Luke’s parents find him tearing away and struggle to understand how their son is changing so much – not realising the true extent of it. When a new transformation forces him to leave, he flies across the world and learns how to survive, meeting others who share his powers which opens up a new world to Luke, one he must learn to co-exist alongside.
A lovely new review has just appeared for ‘Igboland’ on NetGalley:
“Set in 1960’s civil war era Nigeria, this book tells the story of Clem a Methodist Missionary and his wife Lydia who settle in Biafra/Igboland to work with the local populous and churches, clinics and schools. The story is told from Lydia’s point of view and grips from the very start with such attention to the smallest details whilst opening your eyes to the cultural, religious and political differences that they are challenged with.
“Set over a few years it shows the strain that a missionary’s wife has as someone without a ‘role’, ie she is not the missionary, but his wife and the search for self-recognition and finding her own identity. However, war, love, the local villagers and illness all drive wedges between the couple and the pressure on their relationship is huge.
“The story is very well written and you are there with them as they face West Africa together and come to terms with their lifestyle adjustments. The author has created something very special here that really gave me cause to want more of this style of writing that’s alive and thoroughly researched.
“A great book that was hard to stop reading!”
MYOPIA is my YA novel exploring the effects of bullying and how a victim responds with creative non-violence.
It is dedicated to anyone who’s been on the wrong side of bullying. Being a victim is never your fault. The problem is with the bully NOT you. Stand strong and always believe in your individuality.
One reviewer wrote: “Myopia is a poignant, beautiful and heart-wrenching story that resonates with truth, hope and above all, the immeasurable power of human compassion . Thoroughly recommended.”
Here is the new cover:
The shadow and background represent the sinister nature of bullying, but the clenched fist also suggests a triumphant gesture of victory over adversity.
The old cover presented an abstract section of an eye, to fit in with the title and theme of short-sightedness. Its pixilated nature shows the blur of myopic vision.
Now the new cover gives a stronger indication of the drama, angst and struggle confronteded by Jerry and other characters in the novel.
As well as a new cover, the text has been edited and revised into a fresh edition. If you know any teens or young adults looking for a great read then click on one of these links.
“One of the most charming fantasy novels I’ve read in years. An engrossing and original story, beautifully told. Wonderful!”
“It’s one of those ‘one of a kind, never read that before’ books … it’s a great read that will change your perceptions of the world and make you think twice about what humanity really is.”
Confessions of a Book Lover
“Pica is beautiful, complex, forceful and always gripping. Jeff Gardiner is undoubtedly one of the greatest storytellers.”
Paulo Brito, Porto VIII
“I loved this book, it’s just so unique and eye opening. The story never gets dull. As the magic and fantasy aspect gets deeper and bigger, so does reality. It was an incredible read.”
I’m delighted to introduce YA author Sofi Croft to my blog. She is here to tell us about the Dragon of Krakow, which inspired her new novel, ‘Indigo’s Dragon’.Her post below also includes an intriguing extract. There are purchase links at the end of the post. Don’t miss out on this brand new Accent YA adventure. Over to you, Sofi…
The Dragon of Krakow is a famous dragon from Polish folklore. He lived in a cave in Wawel Hill, on the banks of the River Vistula, and spent most of his time terrorising the population of Krakow. The cave, located underneath Wawel Castle and Cathedral, is now free of the dragon and has become a popular tourist destination. A metal dragon can be found outside the cave, breathing fire every few minutes.
Stories about the Dragon of Krakow have been told since at least the 12th century, and as with most stories of that age that are many different versions. All of the ones I have found end with the dragon being destroyed; sometimes slain by a prince, but more often poisoned by a tailor or shoemaker using a sheep stuffed with sulphur.
The Dragon of Krakow was one of the inspirations for Indigo’s Dragon. I took the story and thought what if …? I expanded it, weaved in other threads, and twisted it into another tale.
Like living things stories often grow, evolve and reproduce, and I hope by borrowing and changing the story of the Dragon of Krakow I have not done it an injustice, but helped to keep it alive.
Here is a short extract from Indigo’s Dragon, which features the indestructible story of the Dragon of Krakow:
Rue sat and pushed her fingers into the sand. ‘He grew up in Krakow, when the city was young. It was beautiful. Cobblestone streets, wooden buildings, roofs painted gold and blue, willows drooping into the clear blue waters of the River Vistula, and a stone castle on a green hill overlooking it all. The people were peaceful and happy.’ She turned to Indigo and her eyes darkened with anger. ‘That was before Smok came.’
‘The dragon?’ Indigo sat next to her, and she continued.
‘Krakow never recovered from the damage he did. Dragons can be so destructive.’ Rue shook her head. ‘Over time the smoke cleared, the ash washed away, houses were rebuilt, crops grew back, livestock recovered, and trade returned. But it wasn’t the same. Every family had lost a loved one, either killed by Smok, or by the starvation he caused. The people changed from peaceful to warlike. They built armies and weapons. They were scared, suspicious, and selfish, thinking only of self-preservation. Orava was a tailor. He made beautiful clothes for the king and the princess. Smok turned him into a killer.’
‘Orava killed Smok?’ Indigo felt a pang of grief. He had thought Smok was alive – Omi kept pointing to the sky and saying his name, as if she were waiting for him.
Rue nodded. ‘Orava filled a sheepskin with explosives, sewed it up, and planted it near Smok’s cave.’
‘Boom,’ Indigo whispered, remembering the picture on the side of Opi’s book.
‘Orava never forgave Smok for making him do that, or for what he did to the town. He’s still angry about it, and the anger eats away at him.’ Rue looked at Wojtek, who was now swimming towards them. ‘So you see he has good reason to hate him. To hate all dragons.’
‘Indigo’s Dragon’ (Indigo’s Dragon #1) by Sofi Croft is a children’s fantasy novel full of adventure, mystery, monsters and dragons.
It is published by AccentYA on 23rd June
You can find out more about Sofi and her books on her website www.soficroft.com
A Cunning Plan is a romantic suspense with a strong dose of humor. It’s about women, their insecurities, their own brand of crazy, and how unexpectedly strong they can be.
Sloane lives in London. Her life is small, predictable, and she likes it that way. She’s a normal woman to whom incredible things happen.
Sloane Harper has been married most of her adult life. As such she feels she can’t manage life on her own. She’s shy and weak willed, a human doormat. When her husband, the main reason for her insecurities, leaves her for another woman, instead of embracing it for the blessing that it is, she feels compelled to get him back. She stalks his mistress, which puts her in the middle of an investigation she wants no part of and threatens to shatter life as she knows it.
I write a novel like I’d do a puzzle. First I start with the outline then I start filling in the blanks. I spend a few weeks writing random scenes from the book, snippets of conversation, interactions between my characters. When the story begins feeling real enough that it can surprise me, then I write in a more linear process.
Write for yourself first. Get excited about your story. If you see writing as a job it will make the whole process tedious. Keep it fun. Publishing does not make you a writer, writing does.
Book 2 of the Sloane Harper series.
An island, the feeling of the sun on my skin, a nice breeze and a nap! With a toddler and a newborn at home, I am so tired these days!
Life of an Unknown Man from Andrei Makine. Just beautiful.
You don’t need a reason to be happy. Just decide to see how lucky you are to be alive.
BLURB FOR A CUNNING PLAN:
Determined to put her family back together, Sloane Harper stalks her ex husband and his annoyingly stunning mistress, Kate. But she’s not the only one. Handsome IRS agent Ethan Cunning is surveying them too, but not for the same reasons. He is attempting to nail Kate’s playboy boss.
Ethan and Sloane decide to help each other, which sends Sloane’s wobbly life spinning out of control. She’ll have to face danger, humiliation, and scariest of all, the dating scene, to lure her daughters’ father home.
Losing control was the best thing to happen to Sloane… until it turned lethal.
After dabbling in journalism, interning at Glamour magazine, and teaching kindergarten, Arditi returned to her first love: writing.
She now splits her time between raising her kids (a brand new baby boy just joined the family) and making up stories.
A Cunning Plan is Arditi’s first published work.
I blog at www.astridarditi.com
Facebook Astrid Arditi author https://www.facebook.com/Astridarditiauthor
Twitter @astrid_arditi https://twitter.com/astrid_arditi
Welcome back to Jeff Gardiner, who has taken up my challenge to talk about the setting for his latest book. Whatever your favourite genre, I guarantee you’ll enjoy his books, for he’s a…
Source: The Setting in Pica
Fellow Crooked Cat, Sue Barnard, gives us a timely reminder of Shakespeare’s importance to all writers – and speakers – of English…
This coming Saturday (23 April 2016) commemorates the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare. Many people believe that he was England’s greatest ever poet and playwright. Whether or not this is true is a matter of personal opinion, but in any case he’s definitely up there with the front runners.
One thing which cannot be disputed is how much Shakespeare has contributed to the English language. A surprisingly large number of words and phrases in common use today were first penned by the Bard himself. If you’re on a wild goose chase and find yourself neither here nor there, feeling faint-hearted (having not slept one wink), waiting with bated breath for the naked truth, and all of a sudden find yourself saying “Good riddance” as those who have eaten you out of house and home whilst playing “Knock, knock, who’s there?” vanish into thin air – you are quoting Shakespeare. The world is [your] oyster, but for goodness sake, don’t wear your heart on your sleeve and end up looking a sorry sight in a fool’s paradise. Truth will out, and it’s a foregone conclusion that you can still have too much of a good thing.
The Bard of Avon has certainly inspired much of my own writing. One of my first successes as a poet was winning a limerick competition, in which I summed up the plot of Macbeth in five lines:
On the strength of a witches’ conjection
a regicide’s planned to perfection,
but revenge is prepared
by a tree-moving laird
who’d been born by Caesarean section.
One of my long-term projects is to produce a limerick for each of the plays. That’s still very much a work in progress, but in the meantime, two of Shakespeare’s other plays – Romeo & Juliet and Julius Caesar – formed the basis of two of my novels.
The Ghostly Father takes a new look at Romeo & Juliet, and asks the question “What might have happened if the events of the story had taken a different turn?” If, like me, you love the original story but hate the ending, here is your chance to read an alternative version – one with a few new twists and a whole new outcome.
The Unkindest Cut of All is a murder mystery set in a theatre, during an amateur dramatic society’s performance of Julius Caesar. What really happened to the actor playing the title role, during the final performance on the infamous Ides of March?
Shakespeare-themed celebrations will be taking place all through the anniversary weekend. My humble contribution to these celebrations is to offer a special discount on the ebooks of these Shakespeare-inspired titles. For a few days only, they will cost you just 99p each. That’s two books for less than the price of a regular cup of arty-farty coffee. And if you usually prefer to spend a little more and go for a large coffee, then why not splash out another 99p and treat yourself to my other novel, Nice Girls Don’t, which is also reduced? This book isn’t directly Shakespeare-themed, but the Bard does get a couple of mentions.
Just click on the book titles above to be taken to your local Amazon links. And you’ll still come away with change from £3.
About the Author:
Sue Barnard was born in North Wales but has spent most of her life in and around Manchester. After graduating from Durham University, where she studied French and Italian, Sue got married then had a variety of office jobs before becoming a full-time parent. If she had her way, the phrase “non-working mother” would be banned from the English language.
Since then she has had a series of part-time jobs, including some work as a freelance copywriter. In parallel with this she took several courses in Creative Writing. Her writing achievements include winning the Writing Magazine New Subscribers Poetry Competition for 2013. She is also very interested in Family History. Her own background is stranger than fiction; she’d write a book about it if she thought anybody would believe her.
Sue has a mind which is sufficiently warped as to be capable of compiling questions for BBC Radio 4’s fiendishly difficult Round Britain Quiz. This once caused one of her sons to describe her as “professionally weird.” The label has stuck.
Sue joined the editorial team of Crooked Cat Publishing in 2013. Her first novel, The Ghostly Father (a new take on the traditional story of Romeo & Juliet) was officially released on St Valentine’s Day 2014. This was followed in July 2014 by her second novel, a romantic mystery entitled Nice Girls Don’t. Her third novel, The Unkindest Cut of All (a murder mystery set in a theatre), was released in June 2015.