Paranormal anyone?

I asked Shani Struthers, fellow Crooked Cat author, what drew her to her favourite genre and this is what she said ~

Shani PicFor as long as I can remember the paranormal has fascinated me. Even as a child I preferred darker stories and devoured Ruth Manning-Saunders’ twisted fairytales. I also had a strong stomach for horror films and loved nothing more than cosying up with my family to watch a scary movie on the TV – it was seen as something fun in our house! Although I kick-started my writing career in the romance genre, I quickly switched to paranormal as it’s where my heart truly lies. I’ve also had a lot of knowledge passed down to me from my mother who has a life-long intellectual interest in the Occult, so in a way I’ve grown up with the paranormal all around me. It simply makes sense to me that there’s a spiritual world as well as a material one. Regarding fellow paranormal authors, I’m inspired by Shirley Jackson, Susan Hill, Stephen King and Dean Koontz – all writers I aspire to rank alongside one day!

Shani’s latest book, Psychic Surveys Book Three: 44 Gilmore Street, comes out on Friday, 27th May.YES2-2

“We all have to face our demons at some point.”

Psychic Surveys – specialists in domestic spiritual clearance – have never been busier. Although exhausted, Ruby is pleased. Her track record as well as her down-to-earth, no-nonsense approach inspires faith in the haunted, who willingly call on her high street consultancy when the supernatural takes hold.

But that’s all about to change.

Two cases prove trying: 44 Gilmore Street, home to a particularly violent spirit, and the reincarnation case of Elisha Grey. When Gilmore Street attracts press attention, matters quickly deteriorate. Dubbed the ‘New Enfield’, the ‘Ghost of Gilmore Street’ inflames public imagination, but as Ruby and the team fail repeatedly to evict the entity, faith in them wavers.

Dealing with negative press, the strangeness surrounding Elisha, and a spirit that’s becoming increasingly territorial, Ruby’s at breaking point. So much is pushing her towards the abyss, not least her own past. It seems some demons just won’t let go…

Gilmore multi

Bio

I write ghost stories – vampires, werewolves and shape shifters need not apply! Influences include the great Shirley Jackson, Anne Rice, Stephen King and Dean Koontz. I’m also a mum of three children, and live in the funky city of Brighton with them, my husband and four mad cats. I’ve always loved reading and writing but occasionally I venture outdoors on sunny days and walk in the stunning green downs that surround us. Other pastimes include hanging out with friends and just having fun – life’s too short not to.

Buy Links

Psychic Surveys Book Three: 44 Gilmore Street

UK http://tinyurl.com/jobnwoo

US http://tinyurl.com/j6jvev5

Social Media Links

Facebook Author Page: http://tinyurl.com/p9yggq9

Twitter: https://twitter.com/shani_struthers

Blog: http://shanisite.wordpress.com

Goodreads: http://tinyurl.com/mq25mav

Website: http://www.shanistruthers.com

 

 

 

Antidote to Ebook rip offs

kindle I love my Kindle. It’s small and light, easily fitting in my handbag, yet can hold zillions (OK, slight exaggeration) of books. It doesn’t slam shut while I eat my breakfast. The wind can’t ruffle the pages while I walk my dog. My new Kindle (I wore out my first) is illuminated so I can read in bed or the car, without disturbing my partner.

Until recently, ebooks were significantly cheaper than their paper siblings. For someone who reads in excess of 50 books a year, that’s important. **Note: I do support my library when possible but it’s not always practical. Recently, several ebooks by my favourite authors have been as expensive (or even more) than the paperback of the same title.

The outrageous fact that we have to pay VAT on ebooks but not paper or hardbacks doesn’t account for this because, of course, it’s based on the asking price.

Ebooks cost the publisher and the environment a tiny fraction of the expense of producing a paper version. Think of the trees that have to be cut then transported to a paper factory then on totrees the printer. The finished book then has to be driven to a distributor, stored in a warehouse, then taken to the shop. The reader has to travel to the shop or have a man-with-a-van deliver it to their home. That’s a great deal of manpower and resources, in other words expense.

Electronically produced and distributed direct to your device without any travel, storage or paper at all, there is very little risk or cost in the production of ebooks.

It seems the publishers are using their inflated price ebooks to prop up the unprofitable paper based side of their business. This is neither fair or sensible. Not only do they receive much less, if anything, from the sale of each paperback but those same books can then be shared easily amongst many friends before being donated to a charity where even more people can read it without a penny going to the publisher or author.

Paperbacks did not spell the end of hardbacks, as predicted, and they will not disappear in the face of ebooks but digital formats should not be used to artificially support the others.

11870800_945960492114414_3868054758535637395_nThe good news ~ the antidote ~ comes in the form of independent publishers like Crooked Cat. They are cutting-edge, well edited books featuring new authors and exciting, sometimes less conventional plots. With almost 200 titles across a wide range of genres there’s something for everyone. Their books are always reasonably priced but this week they’re running a sale with most titles available for 99p/99c! Just type Crooked Cat Books in the Amazon search bar and you’ll find 10 pages of books to choose from. I’ve bought 15 for less than the cost of two rip-off titles and am looking forward to many hours of pleasure.

My novel, Once Removed, is in the sale so please check it out. And remember11855855_10205964734250158_1712845661173886856_n

 

“My Lovely Blog” Hop

hibernationThanks to my friend and fellow author, Christina (https://funnylass.wordpress.com/…/…/12/everything-is-lovely/), and this blog hop thingy, I’m finally getting round to my first Nuts and Crisps post of 2015! All being well I should have a post from another fellow author, Jeff Gardiner, on Wednesday. Looks like I’ve surfaced from deep hibernation at last.

So, the first memory that comes to mind was searching for my beloved grandfather. I was four and had just been told he’d died. I looked under furniture, in cupboards, everywhere for him. That sense of confusion and loss left a hefty imprint. Nowadays parents have some very good books to help young children with bereavement.

Books are one of my passions. In second grade (age 7), I was one of the Scott of the Antarcticoldest children in the class, often bored and given to disruptive behaviour. In desperation, my teacher began to give me books with the instruction to go read them and write book reports ~ genius. The first one was about Scott of the Antarctic and I never looked back.

The library was too far away for me to get to as a child, likewise I can’t remember any bookshops, but I was given a children’s classic book collection for Christmas one year and never remember being short of something to read. Both my parents worked and we were encouraged to be as independent as possible. I spent most of my youth outside on my bike, climbing trees, playing team games and that kind of thing but there was plenty of time to read on long car journeys.

Holmfirth libraryWhen I was a young wife in a remote village, the mobile library was a lifeline. I took my children from infancy to their local library every week and now take my granddaughter. Quality books can be expensive but libraries enable access to an endless supply and the freedom for children to choose the stories they want to hear. Now, apart from the books, films, music and computers on offer, my library also provide a venue for my writers’ group. I guess you can tell I’m a big fan and pretty outraged that these essential places are under threat.

How dull life would be if there weren’t always new things to learn. My grandma clip artcurrent course of study is grandparenting ~ learning to slow down and observe life alongside a toddler, keeping in my daughter-in-law’s good books and how to help grown-up children without interfering.

Writing… hmmm. I’ve written two books, published one myself called A Life Less Lost and had the other, Once Removed, published by the marvellous Crooked Cat team. I’ve won a few local competitions with short stories and I write for my church magazine and my other blog, Biblically Blogging. Currently trying to build enough confidence to work on several ideas for children’s books.

cover LLL

A few Crooked Cats have agreed to follow on from me; Scott Perkins, www.pagestotype.com, who has an exciting new book, Howard Carter Saves the World, coming out this week, Yvonne Marjot, The Knitted Curiosity Cabinet, author of the brilliant Calgary Chessman and the delightful Ailsa Abraham, The Bingergread Cottage, author of Alchemy and Shaman’s Drum. I hope you’ll visit them later in the week, when they offer a tiny peek into their “Lovely Blogs”.

What are you working on?

What am I working on? Hmmm…

Well, I’ve started two or three novels that have dribbled to a stop.

There’s a frizzle of excitement building around a series of children’s books but they need illustrations so I’m stuck wondering how to go forward…

There are the articles I write for my church magazine, bits and bobs for Two Valleys Radio, poetry for the upcoming cycling extravaganza coming to Yorkshire/Holmfirth Arts Festival and Yurt experience.

My veg plotMy guilty secret? Mostly, I’m working in my garden. Oh, and having a rather remarkable year ~ the christening of my first grandchild in Finland, watching my niece in the Olympics, lunch at Highgrove ~ and it’s only March. Possible inspiration for future epistles?

How does my writing differ from others in it’s genre?

Herein lies one of many obstacles to my success as an author. I’ve never been able to squeeze myself into tiny boxes. Genre, what genre would that be?

cover LLL

This banner was created using quotes from some of Once Removed's brilliant reviews.

So far I’ve written a memoir and a novel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why do you write what you do?

The simple answer ~ I can’t help it. My fizzy brain requires me to get things down on paper/screen before I blow up. It can be a journal, story, novel, memoir, letter, lesson plan, poem, article, blog post…

How does the writing process work for you?th-1

Good question. Sometimes it’s a writers’ group that kicks me out of my comfort zone, or a deadline, or a challenge, or inspiration might fire me into action. When I was writing my two books, I sat at my computer every workday morning and wrote for several hours.

What’s this all about?

514HF84FgWL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-v3-big,TopRight,0,-55_SX278_SY278_PIkin4,BottomRight,1,22_AA300_SH20_OU02_My friend, Christina Longden, has just published her first novel, Mind Games and Ministers. She fancied joining the Monday Blog Tour and needed friends to take part. Writers of any description answer the questions above on a Monday and pass the baton on to two others. I received the ‘push’ from Laura Ripper, a proofreader and copy editor, to see her post visit http://lauraripperproofreading.com/2014/03/24/the-monday-blog-tour/. I like the idea because it’s more about information sharing than blatant self-promotion. 

Fellow Crooked Cat authors, Ailsa Abraham http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Failsaabraham.com%2F&h=aAQGFEvhG and Carol Hunter www.carolannehunter.co.uk, have agreed to follow me. I’ll post Carol’s links later today.

Crooked Cat’s Christmas Sale Now On!

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New Kindle?

77003_10151392040405761_600945175_nThere are some amazing reads available from the Crooked Cat collection, in lots of different genres. Pop over and have a look!

Crooked {Cat} News!

Crooked {Cat} is an independent publishing company based in the UK. A young company, they are full of fire and determination, working tirelessly to find the best in new writing and devoting time and expertise to polishing and presenting their books to the world. Originally producing e-books only, they are now branching out into paperbacks, too.

Crooked {Cat} Publishing have a new site called Crooked Cat Books. The normal ‘publishing’ one is where you’ll find details of authors, their blog, and submission guidelines (so is aimed more at writers), http://crookedcatpublishing.com/. The new ‘books’ one is aimed at readers and reviewers, and other interested people. Of course, along the way, the two will, no doubt, mix a little and each has a link to the other.

The address for the new bookshop is:  http://www.crookedcatbooks.com/

Folks can:

* Buy ebooks direct from the site in multi-e-formats

* Collect reward points for each purchase, and put these towards the purchase of a future ebook

* Review and rate books

* Add books to a wishlist and return to the list later

* Buy and send gift vouchers

* View ‘Specials’ – reduced, promotional, collected or otherwise timely items

* Share through social media channels links to their favourite book

* Sign up to Crooked Cat affiliates, which gives them a code-link. When people click through and buy through this link, the affiliate will get a percentage of sales

* View extra downloadable stuff that they won’t see elsewhere – photos, audio, video and other cool bits and pieces

* Other brilliant stuff that you’ll have to wait for…

They would love you to sign up, interact, leave reviews and rate things.

Once Removed and lots of other great reads, across a range of genres, can be purchased at reasonable prices so it’s well worth having a look.

 

Previous Older Entries

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For all things reading and writing