New Novel – First Review

 

Cover pic
There’s really something very special about receiving great feedback on something you’ve written, especially on something you’ve spent a lot of time on, like a published book.

Huge thanks to the wonderful Ellie Scott for being the first to read and review my new novel which came out just a few weeks ago. 

I’m so pleased that Ellie enjoyed the book and took such a lot from it.

Her review made me proud to have written it.

Read Ellie Scott’s review of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’.


 

Come What May Day by Ellie Scott

And while you’re over there be sure to check out Ellie’s FREE OFFER this weekend on her witty and wonderful collection of short stories: ‘Come What May Day’.
You can read my review of Ellie’s book on Goodreads

 


Remember:

Read and Review Indie Authors

 

 

 

 

Tell the Story Challenge #4

000Tell the story prompt from The Haunted Wordsmith

Teresa, The Haunted Wordsmith – nominated me to participate in the Tell The Story Challenge a week or so ago (this one slipped down the back of my desk temporarily).
This is the photo for the challenge.

The rules:
Write a story about the picture you’re given.
Select 3 nominees.
Give them a new picture.


Georgie’s secret

Georgie is a trusting kind of kid; obedient too. Each Saturday morning he dutifully departs to his piano practice with elderly eccentric Zephaniah Zimmerman, even though the open maw of the grand piano, with its great grinning gnashers, smirks at his inability to transverse their scales.

He’s always very smartly turned out, although his mother’s sartorial choices are not to everybody’s taste. Including Georgie’s. But even at the tender age of six, he rises above the taunts and sniggers.

That’s because Georgie has a secret. He leads a double life. Georgie disappears into other worlds.

You see, Georgie reads books.


Despite the rules to nominate three people, I think this time I’ll just throw it open and see what comes back.

What’s the story behind this old photo? I could tell you…

MISS ARNOLD

Tell the Story Challenge #3

Tell the Story NOMINATION from A Pause for Nature Lunasonline

SanaHA Pause for Naturenominated me to participate in the Tell The Story Challenge. This is the photo for the challenge.

The rules:
Write a story about the picture you’re given.
Select 3 nominees.
Give them a new picture.


The Sealed City

‘You’re new here, aren’t you?’

He nods.

‘You see the city over there. It looks like any other city, doesn’t it?’

He frowns and shakes his head. ‘But it’s not; I heard. That’s why I’m here. I’m a writer.’

They sit down.

‘I heard there’s no way in or out. That, although you can’t see it from here, there’s a cordon, an impenetrable ring of steel around the whole perimeter.’

She nods. ‘Since the virus struck.’

He leans towards her. ‘Is it true about the virus? Everyone who catches it becomes some kind of monster?’

‘That’s what they say. Flesh eating monsters and worse.’

The writer’s eyes widen. ‘But the whole thing’s been contained? I mean, no way in and no way out.’

She leans forward and grabs his wrist. Her hand is very cold and her grip is strong. ‘Don’t be so sure.’ She smiles, pulling his arm closer.


I hope these three guys will up for this challenge: 

Sandmanjazz

A Guy called Bloke and K9 Doodlepip

Fangango: This, That and The Other

Flowers Beating by Walter Molino - picture prompt

Flowers Beating by Walter Molino

 

Tell the Story Challenge #2

Tell the Story - Chris Hall - lunasonline

Teresa, The Haunted Wordsmith, nominated me earlier this week to participate in the Tell The Story Challenge. This is the photo she gave me.

The rules:
Write a story about the picture you’re given.

Select 3 nominees.
Give them a new picture.


Uncle Foss’s Library

Catherine loved books which was just as well as she had very few friends other than the characters in the stories she read. Fortunately she wasn’t short of these, as there were so very many books in her uncle’s library. Uncle Foss had been her guardian ever since she could remember. He had engaged various tutors over the years, as had been stipulated in her wardship agreement, but none had lasted long. Catherine had therefore educated herself, partly under her uncle’s guidance, through the perusal of the wealth of knowledge which was contained between the covers of his extensive library.

No books in Uncle Foss’s library were forbidden or out of bounds, although there were certain high shelves that he’d steered her away from, saying she’d enjoy those books better when she was older. But now, a few days away from her fifteenth birthday, while her uncle had been occupied in Town, she’d climbed the library ladder and removed three interesting-looking volumes which she’d been considering for some weeks now. At almost fifteen she was certain she was ready for the high shelves.

Back in her room after supper and a game of backgammon with her uncle, she chose the smallest book. It was old, bound in finely tooled black leather with silver embossed letters on the front which read: ‘Faerie Folk and Mischievous Creatures – A Guide’. Catherine had loved magic and fantasy stories since she was a little girl. She started to read.

They are as old as the oldest hills and their presence is clings on even in the most rational minds, deep within our collective memory. Ancient and modern, of both sexes, and neither good nor ill, they live long, long lives, then disappear as ash on the wind.” Catherine started as the window behind her rattled. She looked round, but it was just the oak trees branches brushing against the glass. Storm clouds were gathering, covering the bright face of the new moon.

Although of the earth, they are otherworldly, living between our world and theirs. Rarely noticed, they appear at the periphery of our vision, hidden in plain sight…”

Out of the corner of her eye, Catherine suddenly noticed a movement behind the nightstand next to her bed; a mouse? But no, it hadn’t moved like a mouse, and she was sure she’d seen a flash of scarlet.

There was a knock at the door. Her uncle entered, smiling. He crossed the room and gently took the little book from her hands. “It’s time, Catherine,” he said. His face lit up with excitement, “time to introduce you to the other members of our household.”


So, my nominees are:

Amartya, Jumbled Letters

Dr Tanya, Salted Caramel

One Life, Tap My Toes

A story, a verse, a vision? See where this takes you.

00 Image for Tell the Story - Your dog. Your style by @dogmade.artwork
 Your dog. Your style by @dogmade.artwork

Tell The Story Challenge

tell the story challenge

Vicklea, of Vickie’s Book Nook and Mediation Corner, nominated me last week to participate in The Eclectic Contrarian’s challenge. The challenge is to be given a photo and then write a story based on the photo, hence the Tell The Story Challenge. The photo Vicklea gave me is above.

Here are the rules:
Write a story about the picture you’re given.

Select 3 nominees.
Give them a new picture.

So, the story which, although prompted by the photo, is also a homage to my little old rooster who gave his last cock-a-doodle at the weekend.


Bird Life

The little rooster is first to awake, greeting the pre-dawn with his joyful call. Young squirrels start their chatter and mama guinea fowl calls from the fence top like a loud rusty gate.

The little rooster calls again; the hens shift about on their perches. He hops down and struts about, pecking at the floor of the hen-house, waiting for the day to begin.

The side gate opens. The hens hop down and jostle for position, peering through the chicken wire. Food arrives and with it, freedom. Pecking soon done, they all file out across the yard.

The little rooster rounds the corner of the house and sees mama sparrow tugging at the earth. Out pops a fat green caterpillar. She takes off and lands on the edge of her nest, offering it to the first new-born chick to raise its beak.

Then, a flash of yellow as a black-masked bird swoops in. The little rooster watches as he plucks another long strand of bamboo leaf and flies up to the high, high branch which sways over the pond, to weave it deftly into his beautifully-crafted nest.

Then the little rooster sees his favourite little black hen settled in the shade of the myrtle bush. He shuffles in beside her. He’ll take another stroll later; there’s no hurry.


And my nominees are:

Teresa, The Haunted Wordsmith

JP the Wide-eyed Wanderer

Sadje, Keep it alive

Here’s your picture: make of it what you will!

00 prompt street art in padova italy - streetart by kenny random
Street Art by Kenny Random – Padova, Italy

Daily Writing Challenge, Dec 9

Written in response to the prompt by The Haunted Wordsmith:
Dreaming, possible, peace

Teddy Bear lunasonline

The little bear remained awake long after Emily had gone to sleep. He stared up at the ceiling wishing he could stay in this moment of perfect peace, wrapped in the arms of a dreaming little girl. “Merry Christmas, Benji,’ he whispered to himself.

NaNoWriMo – update

nanowrimo 2018

The first week is almost over. Well, it’s been a week and a day, strictly speaking, but since my Thursdays have been too chock-full of ‘other stuff’, I’m not counting them (or on them).

I am enjoying it. I’m having fun. Maybe not getting quite the word count… but I have (mostly) finished my first five chapters. I’ve allowed myself to miss bits out: not worry about names, or particular locations. I’ve left notes to myself to look up this and fill in that. It’s working, at least in the context of my own particular goal for a short novel for children.

Oh, and the planning has mostly gone out the window. I’ve discovered I can’t write that way. Although I do still have the end written. It might change , I’ll have to see what my characters do. And I’m loving them!

So, my writerly friends out there who are busy with this little adventure too: may your words flow fluently, your plots thicken seamlessly and your characters give you joy! (Was that too many adverbs??).

On with the journey…

NaNoWriMo

nanowrimo 2018

It’s started and not quite as I’d imagined. Of course, I must start by coming clean and admitting to those who didn’t catch my admission on Twitter the other day, that I haven’t signed up for this properly and officially.

No. I decided to be easy(ish) on myself and aim for a modest target of 20,000 – 30,000 words. A children’s story. Something I could add to later: parts two and three perhaps.

So, at the start of the week, I did a little light planning, which was good. Feeling confident!

And then midweek, and I shouldn’t complain,  I got a whole bunch of ‘proper work’ to do. That, incidentally, means paid work for clients which, of course is good. But it did include reproducing a 28 page, closely worded, legal document, which took hours (it’s not something I’d normally do) and it numbed my brain, something chronic!

NaNoWriMo Day One – 7,239 words… and none of them fiction! Day Two has been better.

Good luck to everyone who’s doing this! I wish you very well. See you next month.

The Writer’s Pact

Humphrey the Unicorn

From my Flash Fiction collection

‘No more rides,’ said Humphrey the Unicorn, ‘especially not for that fat fairy.’ He was talking to himself, deep in the enchanted forest. His back ached and his horn was sore where the young fairies, pixies and elves had been touching it for luck. Much will that do them, he thought.

Humphrey sighed, ‘a noble beast like me, scratching a living as a side-show attraction at Friday’s Fantastical Fair.  He wandered over to a patch of four-leaved clover and started munching.

‘Hey, Unicorn!’ said a voice. Humphrey looked up to see a strange little man leaning against a tree with a notebook in his hand and a pencil behind his ear.

‘You’re good at story-telling aren’t you?’ the little man said.

Humphrey nodded. He’d always been fond of telling stories, but the magical kids of today weren’t interested.

‘And you’re looking for a new career?’

Humphrey nodded again.

‘Okay, here’s the thing,’ the little man pulled the pencil from behind his ear and waved it with a flourish. ‘I’ll pay you double what you get from the Friday Fantastical Fair, if every week, without fail, you provide me with a 250 word story for my Friday Flash Fiction spot.’

Humphrey jumped at the chance. He and The Writer, for that was who the strange little man was, made a pact for life. But one year later, when Humphrey couldn’t squeeze his brain for even one more story, he found to his cost that he’d made a pact with the devil.

©2018 Chris Hall

Inspired by The Haunted Wordsmith’s Three Things Challenge – fairy, unicorn, devil
These little prompts are coming to an end, but with Halloween approaching Teresa promises us new inspiration for tales of ghosties and ghoulies and long-legged beasties.
Sounds like fun!