Bunnies Abound!

Bunnies abound on lunasonline image courtesy of Beyond the Sphere
‘White Rabbit’ by Tom Merriman at Beyond the Sphere

Easter Bunny
Mad March Hare
Celebrating Rabbits Everywhere!

What’s this all about?
Well, spring (for most of you) is just around the corner and the Easter Holidays will follow hot on its heels. Maybe you have children? Grandchildren? Friend’s children?

Why not get them something original for Easter? It’s bunny-related…

Following the Green Rabbit by Chris Hall order on Amazon


Following the Green Rabbit

It’s my children’s fantasy historical adventure story for ages 9 years and up (and that includes the grown ups too).

It’s a book for adventurers everywhere!
You can read a bounding bunny bit here.
Order from Amazon

publicity pic


…for young adults upwards:
The Silver Locket
There was a little rabbit in my first novel too. With summer on it’s way, why not grab a copy for that lazy afternoon you’be been promising yourself?

Read a rabbit related snippet here.
Order from Amazon

Ever wondered what I sound like?
You can hear me rabbiting on about my books in a recent radio interview on Chat and Spin Radio, an internet radio station, based in the UK with a worldwide audience. I
t was my first live radio interview and a little bit daunting, but Ron and Ian who host the programme made it very easy.

My five minutes of fame start 42 mins into the programme after Diana Ross and before Sheena Easton so I was in good company.

And remember…

A child that reads will be an adult who thinks

 

 

 

 

 

My characters have their say (again)

You'll Never Walk Alone by Chris Hall Share the love this Valentine's month

‘I do like this new cover, Ms Hall.’ Cynthia opens the book and riffles the pages in front of her. ‘And I love the smell of a brand new book!’ She holds it out in a finely manicured hand and examines the cover again. ‘It conveys an air of romance, but without all those bulging biceps and bosoms like so many of the genre.’

Connor frowns. ‘I’d never really thought of it as a romance novel per se; it’s more gritty and down to earth, but with the elements of mystery and fantasy cleverly woven in.’

‘Oh, but Connor, it’s full of romance, right from the start. When Pierre sweeps Lucy off her feet… But you’re right; it has much more substance to it than a typical romance.’

For a moment I bathe in my characters’ praise.

Connor hands me a cup of tea, then picks up the whisky bottle from the sideboard and waves it in my direction. I shake my head. Connor shrugs and returns it to its place. ‘I hear you’re running another promotion*, Ms Hall; riding on the wave of Valentine’s month, so to speak.’

‘Romance Reading Month!’ exclaims Cynthia clapping her hands together so that the fine bracelet on her wrist jingles. I haven’t seen that before. ‘Charming idea.’

‘And you have a couple of interviews lined up, I gather,’ Connor continues. ‘You know, my few days at the Edinburgh book festival last year made such a difference.’ Connor sips his whisky-enhanced tea. ‘My agent’s got me an advance for another slim volume of my poems on the back of an interview I did.’

Okay, so my poet’s doing better than me. I did give him the agent though. And the gig at the book festival.

I change the subject. ‘Where’s everyone else?’ Normally I’m confronted with a roomful of my characters.

As if on cue, there’s a tap on the door.

‘It’s open, darling,’ calls Cynthia.

Lucy appears, her long blonde hair shining. I notice her face and arms bear a lovely honey-coloured tan.

‘You’re back, Lucy!’ I exclaim.

‘Of course I am; we’ve Gina’s wedding to plan.’ Well, okay, I knew Gina had got engaged after the book ended, I saw the ring.

‘Is Pierre with you?’ I should know, but my characters have a habit of making it up as they go along.

Lucy nods. ‘He’s got a job at Probe Records.’

‘I suppose having a…’ Connor interrupts himself with a cough. ‘Sorry, I almost gave an important piece of your plot away there.’

‘And guess who else is coming over for the wedding… oh,’ Lucy clamps her hand over her mouth, ‘now I nearly did I!’

‘There seems to have been a lot happening in your lives,’ I say.

Connor raises an eyebrow in my direction. ‘Enough to write a sequel perhaps? Of course we know you’re busy with another project but…’

‘…maybe next year?’ Lucy winks at me.


If you’ve no idea who these people are, or what they’re talking about, you’d better read the book!

*Valentine’s Month Offer:
Download for 99c at amazon.com or 99p from amazon.co.uk

read it anywhere

 

Black Friday and Beyond

Goodreads ratings for Chris Hall's books

Offers are about to abound on my novels as we approach the holiday season. They’ve all been well-received so far, so stay tuned to grab your freebie ebook or reduced price paperback.

Writer seeks reader…

Kindle front page

I’ve put together a collection of offers for e-readers which will start on Black Friday!

  • A 4 day free ebook offer for You’ll Never Walk Alone will start on Thursday 28 November at midnight PST.  I’ll be doing some targeted advertising to parts of the US and Canada via a Facebook ad campaign to see how the novel will be received ‘across the pond’.
  • Hot on its heels will be a 5 day freebie of Following the Green Rabbit which I’m going to run alongside a reduced-price offer on the paperback version, targeted at UK readers on amazon.uk. Again I’ll be trying some paid advertising via Facebook. This certainly worked for my ‘summer-read’ novel: ‘The Silver Locket’ (penned as Holly Atkins), reached the dizzy heights of No.17 in the UK charts for free Kindle books during that campaign.
  • And talking of the summer, I’m going to try a similar freebie offer directed towards Australia and New Zealand to see if they’d like to pour themselves a Pimm’s and spend a sunny afternoon with The Silver Locket over the holidays there.

Offers will be across all Amazon territories, so you might want to bookmark this page, although, of course, I’ll be mentioning them again as they’re launched!

thank you

To everyone who has read my books already.

Especially to everyone who has read, rated and reviewed
on their WordPress sites, on Goodreads and on Amazon. 

I’m really thrilled by your support and enthusiasm for my work!

 

 

You still have to sell!

Writers, we love to write, don’t we? That’s the best, even if NaNoWriMo can make us a little jittery (I know I had a wobble last week). But if you’re a writer, or an artist or creative of any kind, you know how wonderful it feels to be in the zone.

The converse of this: you still have to sell. 

For indie authors, it’s all down to us.

This is why friend and fellow author, Paul English and I were selling our books at the local car boot sale last Saturday. My husband Cliff was there too with his some of his lovely artworks. He’s a very important member of the team as he has the transport (that’s his bakkie in the background) and the tables and the all-important awning were borrowed from his school.

I have to tell you, it was not a great success. I sold a copy of ‘The Silver Locket’ very early on, but that was it! No other sales of anything! A couple of sniffs… and a couple of people said they’d come back next time. And there will be a next time, in two weeks.

I mean, who wouldn’t want a lovely book for a Christmas present?

Ah well, there’s always next time.

Meanwhile I’m planning some Black Friday and holiday offers – stay tuned out there!

Another conversation with my characters

all 4 books

“Nice review of ‘Sextet’, Ms Hall,” says Connor, as Cynthia hands me a cup of coffee. “Would you like a little something in that?” He waves a hip flask in my direction.

I shake my head. It’s a bit early for me.

Connor pours a liberal slug into his own cup. “Of course, I find a slim volume always has an appeal; like those novellas that Leonardi chap’s written. I must say, I do like his work.”

“Connor did very well with both his poetry collections at the Edinburgh Book Festival.” Cynthia smiles at him proudly.

“Publicity, d’you see.” He takes a mouthful of coffee. “Isn’t it time you gave our book another little push? I mean, we know you’ve only just released ‘The Rabbit’…” he chuckles. “‘Released the rabbit’, rather catchy that, eh?”

I nod in acknowledgement. I have used that, corny as it may be.

“Oh, it’s a lovely story, Ms Hall. Quite charming!” Cynthia interjects. “That nice young woman, Ellie Scott, enjoyed it too, didn’t she? So nice to hear from her.

“Our book’s done well in the ratings, but it doesn’t seem to have achieved quite the sales we might have hoped, does it?” Connor rubs his chin.

“I thought it would’ve sold loads more by now.” Gina drains her coffee.

“That’s what I wanted to talk to you all ab…”

I’m interrupted by an instantly familiar beat coming from the flat upstairs. Gina rolls her eyes. “Not again! I’ve woken up to that song every morning since Bob moved into Lucy’s old room,” she sighs. “Hold on.” Gina gets to her feet and hurries upstairs.

“It has become a little tiresome,” says Cynthia.

“You can always bunk in with me, old thi… Cynth.”

Cynthia looks at him sharply.

The music stops. Moments later Gina returns followed by Gary and Bob who has Fingers perched on his shoulder. The little monkey chirrups when he recognises me, launching himself from Bob’s shoulder, via the back of Cynthia’s couch, onto my lap.

Gina, Gary and Bob squeeze onto the couch and look at me expectantly. I stroke Fingers’s head.

“The thing is, I may have made a misjudgment with the title.”

“How so, Ms Hall? I think it’s a lovely sentiment, using that pretty song from Carousel.” Cynthia beams.

“You mean the Liverpool football team anthem. That’s what it’s properly famous for.” Gary thrusts out his chest which is clad in the latest LFC team shirt. “Best team in the world!”

“That’s just the point, Gary,” I say. “Not everyone would agree.”

“Me Nan wasn’t best pleased with yer title. You know, being an Evertonian, like,” said Bob. “I mean, she did read it, but only ’cos of Fingers being in it.”

Hearing his name, Fingers sits up and chatters.

“Do you think that’s the reason? The title?” asks Gina.

“Quite possibly. Certainly in the UK.” I remember the reaction on Twitter back in July.

“So what would you call it?

“I’m not sure, Gina.”

“How about ‘We are the Champions’,” suggests Gary.

I frown.

“Don’t be daft, Gary,” Gina digs him in the ribs.

“Well, we were all champions in the end, weren’t we?” Gary holds his hands out. “I mean, Connor here…”

I hold up my hand. “Don’t give away the plot!”

“No, well, y’know what I mean.”

Cynthia turns to Connor. “What do you think? You’re so good with titles.”

Connor rubs his hand across his face. “What about ‘The Ruby Necklace’? Pierre giving Lucy that necklace is your inciting incident, isn’t it?”

“That fits in so well with your first book,” Cynthia claps her hands together. “The Silver Locket followed by ‘The Ruby Necklace’. That would be perfect.”

“And after that, ‘The Solitaire Diamond’..?” Gina touches her engagement ring.

I nod slowly. I wonder, maybe I should change the title?


The music referred to is ‘Blue Monday’ by New Order, which my flat-mate played loudly every morning for the whole of our last term at university.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FYH8DsU2WCk

 

New Release!

Following the Green Rabbit by Chris Hall paperback and ebook

It’s out! My new book is available through Amazon. 

‘Following the Green Rabbit’ is a historical adventure story.

Originally written with the younger reader in mind, it has a wider appeal for every adventure story fan from 9 to 99 years!

Check it out:

USA – http://ow.ly/bg2C50wlWEz

UK – http://ow.ly/dOJS50wlWEA

CAN – http://ow.ly/MNET50wlWEB

AUS – http://ow.ly/PfUY50wlWEC

South Africa and rest of the world: http://ow.ly/bg2C50wlWEz

Free on Kindle Unlimited

The Green Rabbit illustration

 

Will you be
following
the rabbit?

Writing My City Book Launch

writing my city book launch at the Fugard Theatre with Africa Melane
Book launch discussion hosted by Cape Talk‘s Africa Melane

Last Saturday saw the launch of the #WritingMyCity book, the exciting collection of
Cape Town writing, put together by Cape Town Library Service and Open Book.

writing m city book launch at the Fugard Theatre
The Fugard Theatre was packed!

The selected authors signed a copy for the organisers, Christelle Lubbe and
Frankie Murray. Then we opened our copies and started reading each others stories.
There are some fascinating stories, poems and memoirs in the collection.

 


Here’s the piece I wrote (page 96):

I’d been late leaving school that afternoon. I’d stayed behind because nice Miss Leibrandt had been helping me with my poem.

On the way home I’d been kicking a can along the dirt pathway between the shacks when I heard shouting over on the main road. Then there was the explosion. Flames shot up into the air, all red and angry-looking. Black smoke billowed upwards.

My house was the other way, but I had to see. I peered out from the end of the lane. People were jumping up and down in the street, arms waving angrily. They were chanting.

Flames licked out of the little corner shop. My friend’s shop. Mr Kabongo whose skin was as black as night, who came from another country further up the map of Africa. Mr Kabongo who told me stories about the animals of the forest where he grew up and the people who lived there before the war in his country. Mr Kabongo who gave me sweets when I went to fetch a half-loaf for my mother.

And now his shop was destroyed. I wondered if he was safe. Had he run, as he’d run before?

Why can’t we all live together?


writing my city book on the coffee table
The latest addition to my coffee table collection

Almost there!

Following the Green Rabbit artwork by Cliff Davies

Here it is! The artwork for my new novel for younger readers, commissioned from my artist husband, Cliff Davies. Since the action happens in the ‘olden times’, I thought it might be nice to have a wood cut design. This is actually a lino-cut but the effect is similar and we’re both rather pleased with it.

You may remember my working title was ‘A Nick in Time’ but now the book is finished, a further transformation has occurred. From the chrysalis of the completed manuscript, and after readings, re-readings and feedback, a new title has emerged:

‘Following the Green Rabbit – a fantastical adventure’

If all goes to plan the rabbit will be released into the wild at the beginning of October.


And not to forget those who encouraged me on the journey and who were left in suspense as we neared the finish line: a voucher for the e-book will be coming your way.
Debra ~ Tom ~ Jean Lee ~ Teresa Violet Lentz ~ Sadje 

And friend and author, Paul English, who has painstakingly read all the chapters and provided such useful feedback, will receive the first paperback out of the box when it arrives here in South Africa.

The Green Rabbit illustration

 

 

 

You’ll never walk alone – A review

How nice is this then? A splendid endorsement of my novel ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone” by ace-blogger, Sadje. I’m always touched when someone takes the time and effort to review my work. Thank you, Sadje!

Keep it alive

I have just finished reading this very fascinating book by Chris Hall.

This is a spoiler free review.

The book is set in 1980’s Liverpool, England. The story is fast moving and completely attention grabbing. I finished reading the book in a couple of days. And I feel compelled to share my views with you all.

I loved the pace of the story. The characters are well developed and the plot is very interesting. Lots of things are happening and the threads of the story are woven expertly to make a believable tale. There is a monkey and a cat who are more than just pets. The charming monkey is playing a vital role in the story.

The Chinese triad is in an undeclared war with a mysterious hypnotic man and his minions. There are mysterious objects with magical powers which both parties are desirous of acquiring.

Then there is…

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