The Other Mrs Miller By Allison Dickson – A Review

Publisher: Sphere

Publication Date: 16th July 2019

I do love a thriller every now and again folks! If you know me at all, you’ll know my usual favoured genre would be dark, gothic historical fiction, however sometimes a pacy thriller is the perfect antidote to all the darkness.

The Other Mrs Miller by Allison Dickson tells the story of Phoebe Miller, a reclusive wealthy woman who likes to while away her days by her swimming pool, self medicating with glass after glass of wine. Her marriage is faltering over the subject of children, Phoebe is against the idea of starting a family whereas her husband Mark is hoping to do everything in his power to persuade her otherwise.

Also, Phoebe’s high profile businessman father has become embroiled in very public controversy surrounding his conduct around women. Phoebe is rightly mortified about her father’s behaviour and the subsequent spotlight it has thrown on other areas of his life, mainly her. This is why she chooses to stay indoors, away from prying eyes.

But how safe is she behind the walls of her secure home? Just recently she has noticed a blue car parked outside her house, daily. She cannot see who the slight figure is inside the vehicle but she keeps a notebook logging the times the car arrives, how long it stays and the time it leaves.

When a new family move in across the street, Phoebe’s mind is taken off the car and it’s mysterious driver for a while. Vicki and her doctor husband Roy arrive in the neighbourhood with their son Jake and Phoebe suddenly has a reason to leave the house again. A tentative friendship with Vicki during which they share their woes surrounding their respective marriage troubles, and a clandestine relationship with Jake added to the mix.

But just why did the family choose this exact neighbourhood? Why did they have to leave their previous home so quickly? and why do they appear to have money worries? Phoebe feels that there is a lot more going on behind closed doors than Vicki cares to let on.

When an explosive event occurs, everyone’s lives are changed forever, not least the mysterious stalker who has had eyes on Phoebe all along.

I have to be entirely honest with you, as I always am. I very nearly gave up and put this book down a little way into part 2. Now don’t get me wrong, part 2 starts with an absolute jaw-dropping bang! I was NOT expecting that opening. After a fairly gentle first part, I was surprised and excited by the turn of events going into part 2. However, things took a little unbelievable turn which pushed the boundaries of credibility and I did a little eye-roll.

BUT ……here’s the thing. Despite plans being formulated which WOULD NEVER WORK IN A MILLION YEARS, I was still wholly invested in this book and desperate to see what the hell was going to happen! What did it matter if the realms of possibility were in question? I was thoroughly enjoying this book!

I even took to Goodreads to see what other folk were saying and was heartened to see that I wasn’t the only one shouting ‘Oh come on!’ It’s always nice when your thoughts are validated and you don’t feel so ‘out there’ on a limb, alone.

So the upshot of this is I continued to read the book. Of course I did. I NEEDED to know if this madcap scheme would pay off!

The other thing I felt slightly uncomfortable about was that I was finding certain parts quite lighthearted and amusing despite them featuring some really grim content……I rooted out the press information that came with the book and was relieved to see it described as ‘darkly humorous’.

HUZZAH! I wasn’t a complete sicko after all!

The front of the book does say that it is soon to be turned into a TV series and I can totally see why. I’m getting slight Fargo/Santa Clarita Diet vibes in terms of style. I hope so anyway!

I think this is a book that could potentially divide opinion but in a buzz creating way. The second part flies at a pace, with characters mistrustful of each other, trying to trip each other up and discover the truth. There is a particularly well constructed, awkward dinner party scene where the characters are all sitting around the table knowing each others dark secrets and knowing that the others know they know each others dark secrets! Crikey!

I had read some reviews which said that the ending was questionable but I really don’t agree.  I thoroughly enjoyed it and think that it played out in a very satisfying way.

To sum up, I don’t think this book will be for everyone, but I would urge you to give it a try anyway.  Suspend your disbelief for a wee while and just go with it!

Thank you as always to the publisher for my review copy.

See you all soon.

Amanda – Bookish Chat xx

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Bookish Chat About: Blogging Doubts

Whenever I’ve written and posted a review of a book, there’s always a small lull immediately afterwards where I worry about the quality of writing I’ve set free out there in the bloggersphere. Have I been too gushy? Too harsh? Have I tried too hard to be funny, quirky or relatable?

Once I’ve received a simple ‘like’ or a retweet or a lovely comment on the blog post itself, I can breathe a sigh of relief. Phew! I’m not a pathetic, clueless blogger berk after all. I am always genuinely grateful for the interactions that result from a blog post or a tweet and I try to say thank you and reply to all comments on my blog.

I do feel that a little appreciation goes a long way, don’t you?

I’m not for one minute expecting every single publisher/publicist or author to always ‘like’ or retweet my review but when it happens it makes the hard work involved in the whole reviewing process seem all the more worthwhile.

I choose to do this as a hobby. I’ve mentioned before that I have 2 children (13 and 10) and whilst they aren’t toddlers they do still need some parenting (when they’re not attached to gaming devices!) I work full time and I have a husband who likes my company every now and again….I think……I hope. So whilst this book blogging caper is an immensely enjoyable hobby it is also very time consuming and sometimes (for me anyway) draining. But I adore it and the world it has opened up for me.

Not only that but the people it has allowed me to meet, be that virtually or in real life. I know there are quite a few of you out there who really have my back and I know I can rely on you to sound off at or moan to.

Because I do occasionally moan, I think we all do sometimes. We need to let off steam and vent frustrations due to the fact that it’s not all hearts and flowers this blogging life.

I always try to rise above any dramas. In fact I see very few of them on my social media feeds as I’ve become more adept at creating the content I want to see. I know there are dramas for sure, people who want to bash others over the head with their opinions. This ain’t my vibe kids.

This doesn’t mean that I am an angel. Every now and again I get the dark passenger on my shoulder…..

‘How come they got that book and I didn’t?’

‘Why do I not have eleventy billion daily visitors to my blog?’

‘Why did that publisher/publicist not ‘like’ or retweet my review? Was it shit?’

‘Do I put enough effort into my reviews?’

‘Why did I not think of putting that in my review but they did?’

Blah blah blah and the list goes on…..and this is where doubts can creep in.

I do occasionally let these doubts overwhelm me.  They drag me under and I give in to them which is not healthy.  There are times when I want to have a break from the twice weekly posting (which isn’t masses compared to some, I know, but also takes up a lot of my time).

Times where I JUST WANT TO READ WHAT I WANT WITHOUT REVIEWING IT.

Times where I don’t want to feel weighed down with guilt that I’ve accepted a proof copy of a book so therefore must ABSOLUTELY WITHOUT FAIL get it read and reviewed before it’s publication date or the world will surely IMPLODE.

No Amanda, it won’t.

I will of course try my best to review the books I have accepted copies of.  But who will really care if it doesn’t get reviewed by me at least one week in advance of publication?……Probably nobody in truth.

But doubts creep in don’t they…..

I read and appreciate everyone’s different styles of reviewing books, but sometimes I have to check myself when the old green eyed monster rears it’s ugly head.  I wonder why I don’t seem to be as eloquent as that person, as insightful or erudite.  I worry I have enjoyed a book at a surface level and I’m not intelligent enough to find hidden themes or meanings.

I worry that perhaps my reviews are not as long as other peoples, and why that is? Why did I not find as much to say? Does this mean my review is rubbish?  Did I not enjoy the book as much as them? Did I not ‘get it’?

The rational part of me knows I write reviews to the length I would be happy to read myself.  If I have to scroll more than a few times then the chances are I’m not going to read to the end of a review or i’ll just skim read it.  I write as much as I feel I’ve got to say, no more, no less, so whats the issue Mand? The length of a review does not (in most cases!) correlate to the quality of a review.  I know this (aside perhaps from the old copy and paste of a blurb and a few lines of vague ‘this is a real page turner’ Amazon reconstituted bullshit).

Oh yeah, I worry I swear too much too!

I suppose the point of this impromptu ramble is this…

I ADORE blogging, I have no intentions of jacking it in, but just every now and again I need to check myself and cut myself some bloody slack.

We all do.

See you soon.

 

Amanda – Bookish Chat xx

 

 

Looker by Laura Sims – A Review

Publisher: Tinder Press

Publication Date: 25th July 2019

At just under 200 pages, Looker is a brisk read. Chopped up into bite size paragraphs, I raced through it.

It’s a tricky one for me to review though and I might find it difficult to explain why but please bear with me!

Looker tells the story of an unnamed female protagonist who lives in the building opposite a famous blockbuster actress and her family. Our protagonist lives alone with her cat after the demise and ultimate complete breakdown of her relationship.

She develops an unhealthy obsession with the movie star whom she dubs ‘The Actress’ and spends her time watching their family life play out through their blindless windows. Harbouring fantasies about The Actresses husband, taking note of their routines and basically spending way too much time and effort concentrating on their lives instead of her own, which is slowly falling down around her.

She had problems getting pregnant when she was with her husband and went through gruelling and expensive rounds of IVF treatment. The infertility issue lay with herself and not her husband which left her harbouring lots of guilt. She longs for a baby of her own and perfect family idyl that she perceives The Actress to have.

As the story progresses we witness her mental health slowly beginning to decline until her behaviour is so erratic and odd it is difficult to fathom. This is not so much a plot based book, although obviously things do happen to power the story along, it’s more a study of the protagonists issues with her relationship and fertility problems and how they ultimately affect her mental health.

Told in the first person, the narrator takes the reader with her through her myriad thoughts and feelings surrounding her life. We are with her in her head and this makes her somewhat of an unreliable narrator. I LOVE an unreliable narrator and she is no exception.

Here comes the tricky bit……

I wasn’t entirely comfortable with the portrayal of the character’s decline in mental health. This subject (struggling to conceive, baby loss etc) has been so deftly dealt with in a few books recently, most notably The Flight Of Cornelia Blackwood by Susan Elliott Wright, however in the case of Looker it felt a little more like an exaggeration. I enjoyed the obsessive/voyeuristic element of this book hugely but I felt uncomfortable at times.

There are many women who suffer depression and mental health issues when faced with the devastating fertility problems our protagonist has, but I felt her behaviour was perhaps unneccessarily over-exaggerated. I don’t mean that to come across as glib or offensive in any way, I just felt like it was too convenient a reason for her behaviour and maybe a little insensitive. But this is of course just my opinion.

I guess what I’m trying to convey is that many women suffer from these issues and they are strong and resilient and they get through it, as devastating and as difficult as that may be. To portray a woman losing her grip and having a dark spin put on it as a result of these issues felt a little uncomfortable to me.

That said, I did enjoy the writing style, the first person perspective and the building tension to what is a eye opening if not exactly shocking denouement. It is very much a character study, a quite claustrophobic one at that.  It has building tension and a propulsive writing style that kept me invested right to the end, however if it’s an action packed thriller you’re after, you’re barking up the wrong tree with this one.

If you’re after a quick, slightly dark, quirky read then I would recommend it. I will also just say that I don’t tend to give trigger warnings in my reviews but i’ve read a lot of reviews for this book where there is a trigger warning for animal cruelty.  So please be aware of this.

Thank you as always to the publisher for my review copy.

See you all soon.

 

Amanda – Bookish Chat xxx

Mini Bookish Reviews: Women Who Changed The World – By Grace Jones

Publisher: The Secret Book Company

As I’ve mentioned on a few occasions here on my blog, I have two children.  A nearly 14 year old boy and a 10 year old girl.  The boy child used to be an avid reader when he was little but is now more likely to be found with an X-Box controller welded to his hands.  He will occasionally pick up a book before bed but I think this is out of desperation!

On the other hand, the girl child LOVES her books and her reading.  She reminds me so much of myself as a young girl and I really do hope she continues to love reading.  I get a bit misty eyed sometimes imagining all the great books I have on my Forever Shelf that she can pick up and read when she’s older (she’s already got her eye on The Doll Factory by Elizabeth MacNeal!).

So, when the guys over at The Secret Book Company contacted me to see if I would like one of their children’s titles to read and review with my girl, we jumped at the chance. The title they sent us was Women Who Changed The World by Grace Jones and it looks like this:

My little Mini Bookish girl (MB we’ll call her!) read this book aloud to me, one inspirational woman per evening.  I was pleased that there are a varied range of women in this book, a scientist, an author, a sportswoman, a singer, an equal rights activist, etc.  MB enjoyed enlightening me with the facts laid out in this book, and they really were enlightening! for example, I remember learning a little about Helen Keller at school but I had completely forgotten what her story was, it was nice to be re-educated!

So, without further ado, I shall hand you over to MB so you can hear her thoughts:

I think the cover of Women Who Changed The World is very vivid and colourful and I love the symbols. The woman on the cover looks amazing and the symbols link to the information. It is very eye catching. If you walked past it in a shop, you would look at it and know instantly what the book is about.

The book was very easy to understand and very easy to read. I like how the difficult words are bold and coloured pink and then are in a glossary at the back of the book.

It has real photo’s which is also good, they are good quality photo’s and very eye catching. The quotes from the women at the bottom of the photo’s or pages are amazing.

At first I thought the book was about civil and equal rights, I never knew there were so many other inspirational women who were athletes like Serena Williams and scientists like Marie Curie. There are all types of inspirational women in the book!

I didn’t really know a few of the women so I have learnt more about the different women for example Malala Yousafzai receiving the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014 or Helen Keller when she was taught words when she was both blind and deaf.

The book was very interesting and also very helpful because I now know about lots of women who changed history.

I think the book would be enjoyed by children between the ages of 8-14. I enjoyed it very much and I can’t wait to look at more achievements.

Thank you to the publisher for sending me this book to review.

See you again soon.

Mini Bookish xx

So there we have it! That’s what MB thinks of Women Who Changed The World.

We really did enjoy reading this book together. There’s just the perfect balance of text and images with some easy to comprehend stats and some amazing inspirational quotes. A nice educational, interesting read for just before bedtime.

There are also a number of other books in the range to check out. MB has her eyes on The Greatest Human Achievements next!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this break from the norm! And thank you all for supporting my little Mini Bookish!

Thank you to The Secret Book Company for sending the book for review.

See you soon!

Amanda – Bookish Chat xx

The Carer By Deborah Moggach – A Review

Publisher: Tinder Press

Publication Date: 11th July 2019

When this book dropped unsolicited through the letterbox I was drawn by the title of The Carer but I have to be honest, not by the front cover.  If I’d have seen this book on the shelf in the shop I think I would have passed it by, which would have been a real shame!

The title drew me in because I’ve found in recent years that I have a liking for books that focus on the relationship of a carer and a patient (patient is not always the correct term but I couldn’t think of an appropriate one…….client?……I don’t know, but you get the picture!).  I plan to do a blog post about books I’ve enjoyed featuring this kind of relationship/dynamic, so keep your peepers peeled for that.

I think I made certain assumptions about this book which turned out to be unfounded.  Nothing negative, just assumptions that I had before going in, having read the blurb.

I assumed that the story would be heavily constructed around the carer/patient relationship with this being the main focus, and whilst it is indeed an integral part of  the first half of the story, it is by no means the central subject matter.

So whats it all about?

We have Phoebe and Robert struggling to look after their elderly father James.  A wise old professor who is now sadly widowed and unable to look after himself adequately and safely.  Phoebe and Robert have lives of their own and don’t live close enough to their father to be able to care for him, so they employ Mandy, a bubbly, charismatic whirlwind of a woman who swoops in and takes over their father’s care without batting an eyelid.  She swiftly forms a close bond with James, taking him on outings, introducing him to daytime TV, having tea and cake and sharing little ‘in-jokes’ that Phoebe and Robert can only stand on the periphery and observe.  They are both initially thrilled that Mandy is taking over the difficult task of their fathers care, however as they witness the growing bond between Mandy and James they start to become jealous.  Both Phoebe and Robert feel that their father, now in later life, is giving his affection freely to this woman, when they struggled to elicit any interest or affection from him when they were children.

Add to this the fact that they both have seperate concerns over Mandy’s motives in being their father’s carer and the whole mix is muddied with suspicion. Could the bright and breezy Mandy have more sinister reasons for infiltrating the family?

This book has so many layers, so many subject matters to be debated.  Each of the characters are flawed in their own way but absolutely fully rounded. They each have their own issues in life which are explored and excellently used as a backdrop for the main thread of the story.  Phoebe is an unmarried 60 year old, having a relationship with a man who lives in the local woods, a bit of an aging hippy by the name of Torren.  Their relationship is based mainly on sex and Phoebe is vaguely aware that Torren may be spreading his seed wider than he should be, but she chooses to ignore it in the hope that he will pick her as his main squeeze and actually bring their relationship out into the light of day.

Robert is married to an ambitious, successful newsreader. He lives a privileged life in the huge house with all the mod-cons but spends most of his time ensconced in his writing shed, trying to construct his novel. He used to work in a high flying job in the city but since being made redundant he has lost his way a little and is trying his hand, not very successfully at novel writing.  His marriage is strained and he feels a little untethered, which isn’t helped by the concerns he has over his Father and Mandy.

The first part of this story is excellently constructed to build up a view of each of the characters.  It also places various suspicions and doubts in your mind as a reader and I for one was unsure who to trust or who’s point of view to believe.

The second part changes focus completely and puts James’s earlier life under the spotlight.  For me this was a brilliant change of pace and interest and I gobbled this section up.  For the latter third we switch back to the present day and are back in the hands of Phoebe and Richard, making sense of their discoveries about their father and tying up some loose ends.

I have never read any of Deborah Moggach’s books before but she is the author of The First Exotic Marigold Hotel which I have heard lots of great things about. Her writing style is very easily accessible and flows beautifully.  The switching of perspectives via alternating chapters helped the flow of the story and kept me invested and I always find this is a powerful writing tool to maintain momentum.

I think this would be a fantastic book club book, given all its multiple layers and subject matters. I will certainly be heading to more of Deborah Moggach’s work in the future.

Thank you as always to The publisher and Georgina Moore for my review copy.

See you all soon.

Amanda – Bookish Chat xx

 

 

 

Snegurochka By Judith Heneghan- A Review

Publisher: Salt

Publication Date: 15th April 2019

I saw Jen Campbell talking about this book on her YouTube channel recently and it was the struggling new mother element that I was immediately drawn to.  I think I have mentioned in previous blog posts how I am always fascinated by those early days of motherhood, particularly when the mother is not finding it very easy.  This is mainly due to the fact that I didn’t take to early motherhood very well myself, but now that my children are way past the baby stage (they are 10 and 13) I feel like I am sufficiently far away enough to not feel ‘triggered’ for want of a better word by other struggling mothers’ stories.  In fact I find I have quite an affinity with them.

Snegurochka by Judith Heneghan starts with new mother Rachel moving to Kiev in the Ukraine to follow her BBC journalist husband Lucas in his career pursuits.  The baby, Ivan, is only 3 months old when she makes the journey over and already Rachel is struggling to cope.  On her arrival in Kiev she is greeted by her new home, an austere tower block, on the 13th floor of which is her flat. It is 1992 and the Ukraine has not long gained independence from the USSR, the Chernobyl disaster occurred a mere 6 years prior to this, the repercussions of which are still very much being felt.

Being 13 floors up unnerves Rachel and she has a particular fear of going out onto the balcony which is just off the living room.  She has visions of herself letting baby Ivan drop over the edge of balcony to his certain death.  These images plague her and she has to comfort herself with various obsessive rituals in order to keep her anxiety levels manageable and most importantly to keep her baby safe. She has counting rituals, going over and over the same pages of words in the same book (Jurassic Park), she counts and neatly orders her diminishing supply of Pampers nappies for the baby, she counts groups of words and mutters the same phrases over and over.  If she is unexpectedly deviated in some way from her rituals she becomes increasingly anxious.  Going anywhere near the balcony is completely out of the question.

Rachel looks down, still bewildered by the sight of her white arms cradling her son with the small brown spot above his right ear that will one day be a mole, his eyelashes like tiny scratches and his pink, almost translucent nostrils. Earlier, in the living room, she had glimpsed Ivan falling. Such visions she knows, must be dismissed with a sharp shake of her head before they can fix themselves like premonitions, like memories, but Vee had been watching her so she hadn’t moved. It’s a long way down from the thirteenth floor. Five seconds, she thinks. Maybe six…..

Lucas is working long hours and has to quite often drop everything and chase a potential lead for a story.  He is extremely ambitious and is desperate to prove that moving his wife and baby son over to the Ukraine has been worth it.  He wants to make a name for himself as a good journalist and wants to be the one to discover the next big scoop.  In doing this he does lots of networking and has already made a few friends to socialise and talk shop with before Rachel makes it to Kiev.  Rachel has to infiltrate his world or end up isolated on the periphery.  At first it is just herself and the baby, left to their own devices a lot.  She walks the streets with Ivan in his pram, garnering disapproving looks from the old women, who seem to be disappointed that she has brought a new baby from a land of plenty to a place where fresh produce and many items besides are in short supply. One such woman is the caretaker (or dezhornaya) of Lucas and Rachel’s building Elena Vasilyevna, a woman who Rachel is initially very dubious of with her disapproving looks and taciturn demeanour. A young boy Stepan who lives in the apartment above Rachel and Lucas also becomes involved in the narrative. A boy who sees things from the periphery and has allegiances of his own.

Stepan’s job is to hold each jar steady while Elena stands on a stool and ladles in the soft purple heads. When the lids are secured and the jars are wiped clean she will store them beneath the stairs with the bottled pears and tomatoes, the trays of chitting potatoes and the onion seeds in their twists of yellowed newspaper. If he likes, decides Elena, he could help her in the spring. She could start him on some digging.

Stepan screws up his face as the steam rises in vinegary clouds. He’ll want payment, that’s obvious, and he has a taste for preserved cherries so for now she will give him half a jar. Elena knows about hunger. She knows how starved limbs swell, how skin becomes shiny, almost see-through, before it splits open and the body’s fluids leak out. Famine eats you from the inside. When winter comes, hold on to what you’ve got.

Life is hard in the Ukraine and the only way to procure certain items, for example white goods, seems to be via underground rackateers and ‘fixers’.  Rachel becomes inadvertently embroiled with one such gangster when a favour is misconstrued.

Rachel forms a falteringly tenuous bond with Elena, Stepan and Zoya, Lucas’s fixer with secrets and problems of her own to bear. This eclectic mix of people thrown together by circumstance, each surviving their own battles is such a compelling group to observe.

I also enjoyed watching Rachel develop as a mother, find her feet not only navigating the unknown lands of early parenthood but literally navigating the unknown land that is the Ukraine.  I also was intrigued by the relationship between Lucas and Rachel, the stresses of parenthood and the move to a new country when one of the couple has already had the opportunity to be come acclimatised and find their feet, leaving the other person playing catch-up in the mystifying ways of a whole new culture.

Judith Henegen’s writing is expertly evocative. I could really get a strong sense of what life in the Ukraine was like at that time. I even felt cold reading about the stark, bleak, bitter winter.

There is a very distinct and haunting sense of unease running throughout this book, which I love.  I was constantly questioning every characters motives and behaviours. With an almost claustrophobic quality, Judith Heneghan’s story telling skills are superb. She crafts a very compelling story which builds tension at a perfect pace.

Whilst this is a fascinating story of the people of Kiev, it’s social landscape and events of the time, it is ultimately a portrait of a marriage and motherhood, which held me captivated.

I would thoroughly recommend this book. I very much enjoyed it.

Thank you to Salt Publishing for my review copy.

See you all soon.

Amanda – Bookish Chat

Bookish Chat About: Lost The Plot Work In Progress Prize – Sponsored by Agora Books and Peters Fraser & Dunlop.

I am super excited to finally be able to tell you all about an exciting new project I will be working on.

Agora Books and Peters Fraser & Dunlop have set up a writing community called Lost The Plot, which is a space for aspiring authors to gain knowledge surrounding navigating the sometimes confusing world of publishing.

The concept is simple really, Lost The Plot is a community bringing writers together to connect in one space.  A hub of very useful, important and necessary information that any aspiring author might need.  Inspiration in the form of writing prompts, advice and industry insight including how to access resources, connect with other authors, find representation and navigate the waters of publishing.

Joining the community could not be easier, click here to sign up! What are you waiting for?

As if this is not awesome enough, they are running a writing competition with some amazing prizes. Lost The Plot Work In Progress Prize, is open to anyone with a manuscript they want advice and possible representation on. The idea is that you will submit the first 3 chapters of anything you have been working on and you could potentially win:

  • A consultation with an Agora Books editor

 

  • A PFD agent

 

  • Feedback on your manuscript

 

  • A Writers Survival Kit

 

FABULOUS!

Two runners up with also receive feedback on their manuscript and a Writers Survival Kit, and two honourable mentions will receive a Writers Survival Kit aswell!

I think this is such a fantastic opportunity for any writer who is maybe unsure of how to get their work out there.  Imagine being able to get input and feedback on the work you have been putting your heart and soul into.  Professional advice like this is invaluable.

Details regarding how to enter the competition and full T’s & C’s can be found here.

It’s all really rather simple and you have absolutely nothing to lose!

The competition is open from Monday 1st July to Wednesday 31st July.  After this is where myself and my fellow panel judges do our bit. Exciting!

So who makes up the judging panel?….

We have Kate Evans Agora Books publisher, author Laura Pearson, literary agent Marilia Savvides and little ‘ole me! We will get our reading and judging heads on and come up with our winner and runners up ready to be announced on 28th August.

I feel really honoured to have been asked to part of the judging process, it’s nice when competitions like this can include a book blogger, not to blow my own trumpet, more blowing the trumpets of us all as a collective, but we do have important input! We fly the flag for great books, get a buzz going around great stories and just generally share the book love far and wide!

I am braced and ready to read some corking work! So get submitting!

Please also get following the Lost The Plot Twitter account here and the Instagram account here and the private Facebook group here, to keep up with all the news!

Exciting times are ahead, so don’t be shy, show us your work!

See you all soon.

 

Amanda – Bookish Chat xx