Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Gifting Book Tour Day Four: Secret betrayals ...

Day Four of The Gifting book tour and I'm at the Talisman Books site, discussing the whys and wherefores of secret betrayals. Something we've surely all done, even on a very minor scale, and something my characters in The Gifting know rather too much about ...

So come along and join in - don't forget that every comment during the tour means you're in with a chance to win three books from my backlist, plus there's a competition to win a Kindle ereader - just for you!

Anne Brooke
The Gathandrian Fantasy Trilogy

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Gifting Book Tour Day Three: a dangerous journey

Today, Simon the Scribe and I are at the Unique Flavors of Life Blog, remembering some rather dangerous journeys we've made. I've had some unfortunate (to say the least ...) experiences in the air and at sea, and it's making me feel ill just thinking about them! I'm definitely not the bravest of folk.

Neither, in all honesty, is Simon, especially as his journeys are far more significant to the people and lands which surround him. He too faces a difficult sea journey, not to mention a heck of a lot of trekking. And, to cap it all, he even has to cross the skies, without a plane. Now, just how on earth is he going to do that?...

While you're at the blog, don't forget to leave a comment in order to be in with a chance of winning THREE of my backlist books. And you can also enter the competition to win a Kindler ereader. Have fun!

Anne Brooke
The Gathandrian Fantasy Trilogy

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Gifting Book Tour Day Two: The World of My Garden

On Day Two of the book tour for The Gifting, I'm at The World Of Dreams talking about the world of my garden. Do pop by and offer any plant and gardening advice you may have - as I definitely need all the help I can get.

And don't forget to enter the competition to win a Kindle or three books from my backlist while you're there. Good luck!

In the meantime, I hope you enjoy the picture of my lovely gloxinia flowers in bloom - I'm so happy with them.

Anne Brooke
The Gathandrian Fantasy Trilogy

Monday, August 27, 2012

The Gifting Book Tour Day One: Interview with a Mind-Scribe

The anniversary blog tour for fantasy novel The Gifting starts today, and until 7 September, you can enter a competition to win a Kindle ereader. So hurry along to the first of my stops below and find out how Simon the Scribe really feels about his mind-skills ...

Book 'Em North Carolina: Interview with a Mind-Scribe: Please welcome our guest today, Anne Brooke, who comes to us through Goddess Fish Promotions. Anne Brooke’s fiction has been shortlisted for...

Happy reading!

Anne Brooke
The Gathandrian Trilogy

Saturday, August 25, 2012

FREE on Amazon: Not A Shred Of Evidence

Just popping in between showers on this rainy bank holiday weekend to say that surreal office comedy Not A Shred Of Evidence is FREE at Amazon UK and Amazon US for today and Sunday only - so grab this no strings attached bargain while you can. Enjoy!

And a happy weekend to all.

Anne Brooke
The Gathandrian Fantasy Trilogy
Gay Reads UK
Biblical Fiction UK
Lori Olding - Children's Fiction

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Why Straight Women Love Gay Romance

It's a question I get asked so often that if I had a pound every time someone asked it, I'd be a rich woman by now: why do straight women read/write/love gay fiction/romance? Well, thanks to a series of very searching and inspirational questions from Geoffrey Knight, you're about to find out.

Because Why Straight Women Love Gay Romance will be published by MLR Press on 7 September, and includes an interview with me, and I'm very proud indeed to be in it. Many thanks to Geoffrey for asking me, and I'm also delighted to say that the book is endorsed by, and includes a foreword from, US bestselling author Suzanne Brockman. Great news indeed for gay romance/gay fiction writers. And, hey, what's not to like about that cover?...

Meanwhile, there are only 4 days left before the anniversary book tour of critically acclaimed fantasy novel The Gifting begins on 27 August. It runs until 7 September and during that time you can win a Kindle ereader in the competition plus a host of other goodies. So don't miss out.

It's also not long before the UK GLBTQ Fiction conference in Brighton in September, so I'm very much looking forward to that. You can find out more about it, and some of the participants including myself, at Jessewave Reviews. I really can't wait! We're off to a cabaret on the Saturday night too, so that will be great.

And I'm looking forward to publishing my two Bible stories, Little Bird and A Small Betrayal, on Kindle under the title The Betrayal of Birds. The cover's really shaping up beautifully so I can't wait to reveal it. Other book news is that literary lesbian short story The Girl in The Painting was briefly at No 71 in the Amazon UK gay & lesbian charts, plus gay thriller A Dangerous Man gained a 5-star review at Goodreads (many thanks, Ayanna) and Where You Hurt The Most gained 4 stars (thank you, Silkeeeeee - I hope I'm getting the number of Es right there!).

Turning to more erudite matters (well, sort of ...), it's good to discover that Prince Harry (ah, you can always rely on a redhead) occasionally takes his clothes off and sometimes in a room with another person in it, hey ho. Mind you, I did enjoy the fact that the online US picture (no, really, you can Google it yourself if you wish to - my loyalty as a British subject naturally prevents me from aiding and abetting you ...) helpfully puts a red star over the prince's bottom so we can be spared the experience of the royal ... um ... passageway. How very thoughtful of them. Or perhaps, as K pondered earlier today, the big red star on the behind is how you recognise the rich folks. It could well be the case.

Speaking of husbands, K has gained a HUGE raft of Husband Points this week by (a) clearing out the garage so it now looks wonderfully ordered and neat; and (b) mending my computer chair. However, I gain equally HUGE numbers of Negative Wife Points as he mended my chair on Tuesday and I only just noticed it today (Thursday) - even though I'd been sitting on it since Tuesday evening ... Ah well, I never pretended to be the most observant of women.

The weekend's cake was Carrot Cake with Mascarpone Frosting, and I have to say it was really incredibly tasty. Mmmm, will definitely be making this one again. I particularly enjoyed the addition of walnuts and banana to it. Lovely!

I'm very happy with my Russian Giant sunflowers, as there are now two of them and very glorious they look as well. My indoor gloxinia is also beginning to come into flower, and I'll be taking a photo of that as soon as it's completely out.

Finally, a big thank you to my sister-in-law and her family, D, B & H, who came for lunch on Sunday and we had a fantastic time. Lunch at The Woolpack was wonderful too and that chocolate dessert was to die for. Bliss indeed.

Anne Brooke
The Gathandrian Fantasy Trilogy
Gay Reads UK
Biblical Fiction UK
Lori Olding - Children's Author

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Holidays and Hallsfoot

Have taken this week off in order to get my holiday days down - as usually I get to the end of the holiday year at work and have to scrabble around to take time off. So K and I have been out and about visiting various gardens and houses, and buying yet more plants to fill the garden with late summer colour. Am also attempting to look for flowers which will take me through autumn, but there don't seem to be many around as yet, oh well. Maybe I should have got some bulbs in and planted them before now? I'm probably sadly too late for the autumn crocuses, sigh...

Anyway, my Russian Giant sunflowers are now over 6 feet tall (how do they get so much in such a small seed??) and one of them even has a flower. Result! Plus there are more mauve hibiscus flowers out now so that's very jolly. And the phlox is doing well too - now I've cut a space through the cotoneaster so it can actually see the sun ... That cheered it up no end.

Oh, and the sweetpeas have at last started to blossom, so I brought a bunch in for the dining room yesterday, and the smell is glorious.

Beyond that, I've been a wee bit down really. Saw the doctor yesterday, and we've decided to keep the same level of anti-depressants at the moment, and see how I've doing at the start of October. It makes sense for sure as, money-wise, things might be a bit clearer then.

Speaking of which, I've decided to try to self-publish more work directly to Kindle in an effort to help out with finances, but so far the experiment with Not a Shred of Evidence isn't really working. Since publishing it (though I know it's only been a week so probably way too soon to tell!), I've altered a couple of things on the Amazon landing page and fiddled around with my tags etc, so will see if that makes any difference. Beyond that, my best bet might be to choose stories which are more erotic than satirical, so I'm making preparations for that purpose. I'm hoping my next Kindle offering will be two lesbian erotic stories which I'll package under the title, The Truth about Butterflies. I still have to think about the cover though.

Plus there are a couple of Bible stories, which might do well, as Dancing with Lions doesn't do too badly, and of course there's my long-suffering novella The Prayer Seeker, but they'll be Numbers 3 and 4 on my self-publishing list. Onward and upward.

Book news for now rather than the future is that children's book The Origami Nun is now out in paperback, and you can even buy it directly from Karabeth Publishing at a 10% discount if you put the code AUG10 at check-out until TOMORROW.

Recently I've been asked about how to buy copies of my ebooks for those of you without Kindles. The good news is that you can also find much of my work on the Nook at Barnes and Noble, hurrah.

I've also finished the first round of edits on fantasy novel Hallsfoot's Battle (Gathandria *2) and returned them to Bluewood, so am looking forward to the next stage of the process. The cover's fantastic too so can't wait until I'm allowed to reveal it to you.

Meanwhile, over at Vulpes Libris Reviews, I find myself rather disappointed with Sophie Hannah's crime novel, The Other Half Lives. And she's usually such a great writer too, oh well. Hope to try something else of hers soon ...

And, goodness me, but I've joined Pinterest. Whatever next, eh! Am enjoying having fun with cover art and pics though.

Anne Brooke
The Gathandrian Trilogy
Gay Reads UK
Biblical Fiction UK
Lori Olding Children's Author

Friday, August 10, 2012

Murder and mystery with just a hint of Ketchup

This week I've taken a big step and published one of my books directly to the Kindle. It's a screwball crime comedy set in an office and featuring cat-suited, vermilion-nailed heroine, Fallon Evans. Actually I can't tell you her full name as it's quite rude, but all is revealed in the book, I promise! It's called Not a Shred of Evidence, and the blurb is:

When secretary and would-be detective Fallon Evans slaps on her best Office Hag smile for another kick-ass day at Grabbit, Nickett and Leggatt, she doesn't expect a tormented boss or a murdered Chief Executive Officer. However, the office is a ruthless place, and Fallon must navigate the obstacles she faces armed only with her trusty leopard print catsuit, her vermilion nails and her attitude.

When she discovers a bottle of Heinz Tomato Ketchup next to the corpse of the CEO, she knows something sinister is afoot. Can she solve the impenetrable mystery, mend the shredder and be in with a chance of gaining that longed-for pay rise at all?

Here's the beginning for you:

The office is a mysterious place, full of sound and fury. Yes, it is. And we all fear it. Though some, the lucky ones, survive it. You don’t agree? Then let me tell you my story. Afterwards you can judge for yourself.
I’d been working as Support Hag In Training – a title that was never shortened – for Grabbit, Nickett and Leggatt Customer Service Consultants for two months but already I knew it was a job which might bring me hours of unadulterated pain, lightened only by the occasional sandwich or trip to the Ladies. At such times, much like the casual viewer of EastEnders, I would turn my back to the shouting and dream of better things. Some things can only be endured, but they bring a peculiar feeling of pleasure.
That day started out like any other. I’d come in ten minutes late, sweating from the effort of putting one foot in front of another; a Hag’s life was a hard one and they didn’t pay me for my energy levels. In fact they didn’t pay me at all. What with all that sweating, my salary went straight to the dry cleaners. It cut out the middle woman. When, oh when, would they give me a pay rise?
When I opened the office door, I could see my boss was weeping, his head squashed against the keyboard like an overcooked onion, and there were smashed segments of plant pot and half a wilted geranium on the thin grey carpet. Gosh, I thought, why the mess? But as I wasn’t overly fond of flowers, I trod on it on my way to my modern ergonomic workspace, or desk as it was traditionally known. At once the day improved.
‘Morning, Roger,’ I said, but not before ensuring my Morning Hag Smile was in its right place. In the bin. I could always rescue it later, should it be needed. ‘Lovely day.’

The only answer was a moan. Well, sometimes a moan is the most communicative sound bosses produce, apart from the odd groan or peculiar snorting noise, so this wasn’t unusual. I decided to impress him with my cool efficiency and understanding of business process.
‘Er-hem,’ I said, picking up the day diary and flicking through its blank pages, the subsequent cool breeze a boon to my hot skin. ‘Today you’re having a heads-up with the Director of Office Organisational Moves, then you’re touching base with the Head of Electronic Lighting Liaison. Lunch if there’s time and if you still have the will to live, and your afternoon will be spent on the beach head with the Premises and Internal Staff Support division, that is if you ever get them off the beach. You know what they’re like when they spot a sandcastle. Then the school bell will ring and it will all be over. Sound good to you, Rog?’
‘It’s no good, Fallon. It’s all over already, I can’t go on.’
‘Course you can. It’s what you do.’
‘But this time, it’s different. So very different.’
Hmm. Even to me this sounded serious. Roger wasn’t usually this melodramatic, not even when he’d caught his flies in the shredding machine, though only the gods know what his wedding tackle was doing there in the first place. Thank goodness for my trusty first aid experience and the good old stand-by of elevating the limb. But now I could see that whatever was wrong with him would need a lot more than some Arnica gel and a sticking plaster so I retrieved my smile from the bin and slapped it on my face.
‘Oh?’ I said through the wide grin I was now wearing and which was making it difficult to talk. ‘Why?’

If you'd like to find out what happens next (and Fallon and I would be hugely grateful if you do!), you can pop a copy in your basket at Amazon UK for only 79p and at Amazon US for $1.20 or thereabouts. A bargain price for making you smile!

Meanwhile, much to my amazement, it's currently standing at No 12 in the Amazon UK Business Humour charts - can it get any higher? Time will tell ...

Anne Brooke
The Gathandrian Fantasy Trilogy
Gay Reads UK
Lori Olding Children's Author

Friday, August 03, 2012

A magical way of beating the bullies and it's FREE!

Great news! Children's book The Origami Nun is FREE on Amazon UK and Amazon US from today until Monday 6 August.

Here's the blurb:

Seven-year old Ruth can't speak, but that doesn't mean she can't think. She knows her birthday is going to be good as her beloved great-aunt has exciting plans for her. What she doesn't expect is a magical paper nun, an encounter with a bully who may not be what she seems or a school day to remember. Because, before her special day is over, Ruth is in for some very big surprises.

Here's a couple of recent reviews to whet your appetite:

"This is the most touching children's book I have read. I absolutely LOVED it ... I highly recommend this book to children in the age range of 8+. However, I think adults would like this book too."

"There is a wonderful life lesson in the story and I have read it to my own grandchildren with great enthusiasm. They adored it!"

Both these 5-star reviews can be found at Goodreads where you can also read more about what the reviewers thought.

So if you'd like a weekend filled with magic, the ups and downs of family life from a child's perspective and an unexpected friendship, pop over to Amazon UK or Amazon US to download your FREE copy!

Happy reading!

Lori Olding

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Creeping back slowly

Sorry I've not been around for a while. After having been ill, I thought I'd take a little break from blogging, and maybe just dip in when I was in the mood. This morning seems to be one of those moments, so here I am, albeit briefly.

I've fully recovered from the nasty illness that just kept on giving for those two weeks, and am feeling (relatively) normal again, hurrah.

Am making my way slowly through the Olympic zone - and trying to avoid it as I'm not a fan of any sport other than golf. It did occur to me at one point that it would be the ultimate in style for the UK not to win any gold medals at all during the games, but sadly that lifestyle statement has been dashed yesterday by our double win. Ah well.

The garden's looking lovely and my Russian sunflowers are now taller than the gate they're next to, and nearly as tall as the canes they're attached to as well. They might even have the beginnings of flowers. You never know. That would be amazing, as they're the ones I planted as seeds. Anyway, here are some garden pics to keep you going. The one with the tall gate is the back garden, with the sunflowers when they were smaller. The bench one is part of the front garden, with the sweet peas in the pot on the right. They're now in flower and smell amazing. The last one is our unexpected hibiscus flower. I love it!

In terms of my book world, I'm busy writing up interviews and a blog post for Riptide Publishing's one-year anniversary later this year, and also have just sorted out my giveaways for the upcoming UK GLBTQ Conference in September. I'm also working away on a short story for Amber Allure, and am giving some small time to a new Lori Olding children's story, Queen of the Fluffy Pens. Talking of Lori, The Origami Nun will be free at Amazon US and Amazon UK from tomorrow (Friday) until Monday, so a good chance to sample the nun's magic, if you've a mind to.

As a result, work on my gay fantasy novella The Taming of The Hawk has slowed down to virtually nothing, but I hope I can pick it up later on. Also I'm very pleased that my upcoming anniversary blog tour for fantasy novel The Gifting only has two empty slots left to fill - result!

Hope you have a great weekend, and I'll pop in again at some point.


Anne Brooke
The Gathandrian Trilogy
Gay Reads UK
Lori Olding Children's Fiction