I’ll Be Gone In The Dark by Michelle McNamara #BookReview #TrueCrime

Title: I’ll Be Gone In The Dark by Michelle McNamara

Date Published: 27th February 2018

Genre: True Crime

Description:

WINNER OF THE GOOD READS BEST NONFICTION BOOK OF THE YEAR AWARD 2018

THE NEW YORK TIMES #1 BESTSELLER

SHORTLISTED FOR THE GORDON BURN PRIZE 2018

The masterful true crime account of the Golden State Killer – the serial rapist turned murderer who terrorised California for over a decade – from the late Michelle McNamara.

I’ll Be Gone in the Dark offers a unique snapshot of suburban West Coast America in the 1980s, and a chilling account of the wreckage left behind by a criminal mastermind. It is also a portrait of one woman’s obsession and her unflagging pursuit of the truth, three decades later, in spite of the personal cost.

Review:

So I’m dipping my toe into true crime, something that has always appealed to me but I’ve never got around to doing. I saw that this book had been made into a documentary so I thought I’d try it.

I got my copy from the library which was from the original publication but I believe they’ve done an updated version to include what happened after it was published.

I’ll Be Gone In The Dark is an unflinching and at times utterly terrifying look at the Golden State Killer.

The Golden State Killer is not one I’ve ever heard of before, probably because a) his crimes happened before I was born in a different country and b) up until recently he never been caught. 

Michelle McNamara’s writing really brought this book to life, making you feel like you were actually there which is why I’m going to warn you not to read this at night like I did, it gave me nightmares! She also put a good chunk of herself in there too, laying her obsession bare for you to read.

Unfortunately you can tell, particularly in the last half of the book where Michelle McNamara didn’t get to finish the novel, the writing ends up losing a little bit of the spark that initially drew me in.

After reading this I’m going to watch the TV show and I’m really looking forward to it, it’s just a shame that Michelle McNamara didn’t get to see how much of a success her work has become.

About The Author:

Michelle McNamara was a screenwriter, journalist, and true crime writer. She was the founder of the blog “True Crime Diary,” which covers lesser-known crimes and cold cases. In 2005, she married comedian Patton Oswalt. They had one daughter together, born in 2009.  She died in 2016.

#BookReview A Fantasy Writers’ Handbook by Richie Billing @Magpie_Richie

Title: A Fantasy Writers’ Handbook by Richie Billing

Date Published: 12th June 2019

Genre: Non Fiction/Writing

Description:

‘A Fantasy Writers’ Handbook’ provides detailed guidance on the pillars of storytelling as well as aspects of writing that rarely feature in other books, such as writing fight scenes and world-building. At times the focus shifts away from the technical elements and considers the philosophies behind writing, ways to help you maintain focus, and methods of battling the demons of doubt that forever loom over our shoulders.

Section two explores the thriving genre of fantasy and the many facets that make it what it is, before looking at the histories of our world that so often inspire our fantasy tales.

The final part looks at the things that come after you’ve finished your story—formatting, peer-reviewing, finding publishers—and other things the contemporary writer can do to enhance their careers, such as making and maintaining a website, blogging, and marketing methods.

By the end, you’ll have a sound foundation upon which to build as well as the tools to venture on alone with courage and confidence.

Review:

This is a seriously overdue review, Richie Billing himself sent me a copy of this last year and I’ve only gotten round to reviewing it now!

I write mostly mystery but I’ve always had a bit of a fascination with fantasy but I thought there was no way I could write something like that, so I was interested to see what A Fantasy Writers’ Handbook had to offer.

Written in a friendly conversational style, A Fantasy Writers’ Handbook offers advice on characters, world building and even editing.

Don’t be put off by the title A Fantasy Writers’ Handbook because there are plenty of practical tips on things like characters and plotting that are helpful to any wannabe author no matter the genre.  

What made this standout for me was not only was there loads of writing advice, there were suggestions of extra reading on writing and editing which I really appreciated. 

Like most writing advice books, not everything will work for you but writing is a learning curve afterall!

A Fantasy Writers’ Handbook is a well written and helpful book that I’m glad I’ve got a copy of on my kindle shelf for when I want to tackle a fantasy story in the future.

About The Author:

Richie Billing writes fantasy fiction, historical fiction and stories of a darker nature. His short fiction has been published by, amongst others, Kzine, TANSTAAFL Press, Bewildering Stories, Liquid Imagination, The Magazine of History & Fiction, Aether and Ichor, and Far Horizons. His debut novel, Pariah’s Lament, will be published by Fiction Vortex in Summer 2020. He co-hosts the podcast The Fantasy Writers’ Toolshed, a venture inspired by the requests of readers of his acclaimed book on writing, A Fantasy Writers’ Handbook. Most nights you can find him up into the wee hours scribbling away or watching the NBA. Find out more at www.richiebilling.com.

#Review 52 Weeks of Writing Author Journal and Planner by Mariëlle S. Smith @rararesources

Hello lovelies! Today I have my review of 52 Weeks of Writing Author Journal and Planner with a fabulous giveaway (see bottom of the post) but first a little about the book:

52 Weeks - cover-image

Title: 52 Weeks of Writing Author Journal and Planner by Mariëlle S. Smith

Date Published: 1st December 2019

Genre: Non Fiction/writing

Description:

Are you ready to become the writer you were always meant to be? 

52 Weeks of Writing will get you cracking by making you plan, track, reflect on, and check in with your progress and goals an entire year long. 

52 Weeks of Writing will help you dig deep by offering questions and writing prompts designed to unravel whatever truths about your writing you’re ready for. 

52 Weeks of Writing will keep you inspired by delivering a thought-provoking writing quote every week. 

  • Do you struggle with setting goals that reflect your daily reality? 
  • Do you want to practise breaking goals down into manageable chunks? 
  • Would you like more insight into your writing habit(s) and figure out why you keep getting in your own way? 
  • And do you want to create a sustainable writing practice that honours your needs and desires as a writer? 

Then the 52 Weeks of Writing: Author Journal and Planner is for you. 

52 Weeks of Writing brings together every lesson Mariëlle S. Smith has learned as a writing coach and writer. Wary as she is of comparisonitis and unhealthy competition, this author journal and planner was designed to help writers develop and fine-tune a practice that works for them. 

If you’re ready to get out of your own way and become the writer you’re meant to be, pick up your copy of 52 Weeks of Writing today.

You can buy your copy here: https://mswordsmith.nl/journal/

Review:

I want to thank Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me on this tour and providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

52 weeks of writing has been compiled by Mariëlle S. Smith, writing coach who has managed to publish eight books since 2018 which as a person like myself who can’t even finish one seems like a huge feat!

I want to point out this book is not a how to write manual. It’s something that will help you identify what is getting in your way of writing, help you set goals and recognise when you might be setting yourself up for failure.

I found myself reflecting on what is holding me back, I still haven’t quite gotten to the bottom of it yet but I hope with the use of this book I will do soon!

There are also some helpful writing prompts along the way if you’re struggling with your creativity.

52 weeks of writing is a handy book that feels like you’ve got your own personal writing coach! 

About The Author:

Mariëlle S. Smith is a coach for writers and other creatives, an editor, (ghost) writer, and52 Weeks - Author Photo custom retreat organiser. In 2019, she moved to Cyprus, and island in the Mediterranean Sea, where she organises private writer’s retreats, is inspired 24/7, and feeds more stray cats than she can count. 

Social Media Links – 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mswordsmith

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mariellessmith/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtnYOpjmj83mvMM2L348F1w

52 Weeks - Giveaway

Giveaway to win….

THREE paperback copies of the 52 Weeks of Writing Author Journal and Planner,

TWO paperback copies of Tarot for Creatives: 21 Tarot Spreads to (Re)Connect to Your Intuition and Ignite That Creative Spark, and

ONE coaching session.

https://mswordsmith.nl/en_GB/giveaway/

#BlogTour #Review Motivation Matters by Wendy H Jones @WendyHJones #LoveBooksTours

Title: Motivation Matters by Wendy H Jones

Date Published: 21st May 2019

Genre: Non-Fiction

Description:

Has your motivation to write flown out of the window? Do feelings of self-doubt creep in and haunt your writing day? Looking for a way to beat the doubts into submission? Award-winning author and writing coach Wendy H. Jones shows you how, with 366 glorious exercises you can use to boost creativity and change the way you think and feel about your writing. Techniques that can easily be incorporated into your day, becoming part of your writing routine. It’s time to change the way you think and feel, in order to set your creativity free.

You Can Buy Your Copy Here:

https://amzn.to/2IsnOu2

motivation-matters

Review:

I want to thank Kelly over at Love Books Tours for inviting me on this tour and providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Motivation Matters is a fantastic book packed full of little tips and tricks to help break you out of that creative rut.

There’s 366 tidbits of advice, written in a fun friendly style that almost makes you think that you’ve got your own little personal coach, egging you on. You can dip in and out or work through them on consecutive days, it’s really up to you!

Like most writers, I struggle with procrastination and self doubt, Motivation Matters helped me step back a little, relax and not be so hard on myself.

Of course there’s going to be a bit of trial and error as you work your way through the book, not everything is bound to work for you but this book is really about helping you find out what does work.

I’d recommend Motivation Matters for anyone who needs that extra boost of inspiration to help you reach your goals.

About The Author:

Award Winning Author Wendy H. Jones lives in Scotland, and her police procedural series WendyHJones2018featuring Detective Inspector Shona McKenzie, is set in the beautiful city of Dundee, Scotland. Wendy has led a varied and adventurous life. Her love for adventure led to her joining the Royal Navy to undertake nurse training. After six years in the Navy, she joined the Army where she served as an Officer for a further 17 years. This took her all over the world including Europe, the Middle East and the Far East. Much of her spare time is now spent travelling around the UK, and lands much further afield. As well as nursing Wendy also worked for many years in Academia. This led to publication in academic textbooks and journals. Killer’s Countdown is her first novel and the first book in the Shona McKenzie Mystery series. Killer’s Crew won the Books Go Social Book of the Year 2107. There are now six books in this series with Killer’s Crypt being released in August 2017. The Dagger’s Curse is the first book in The Fergus and Flora Mysteries for Young Adults. This book is currently shortlisted for the Woman Alive Magazine Readers Choice Award Book of the Year. She is also a highly successful marketer and she shares her methods in the book, Power Packed Book Marketing.

Twitter:

@WendyHJones

#BlogTour #Review The 365-Day Writer’s Block Workbook by Morgen Bailey @morgenwriteruk @BOTBSPublicity

Title: The 365-Day Writer’s Block Workbook by Morgen Bailey

Genre: Non Fiction/Writing

Description:

Over a thousand sentence starts, three per day, with writing tips at the end of each week to motivate and inspire, providing kick-starts to avoid the dreaded ‘writer’s block’. Useful for any writer at any level, whether they have 10 minutes or 10 hours, to start a new project. Also an ideal tool for writing groups.

With a combination of six first-person, six second-person, six third-person and three non-specific point of view starts per week, there are plenty to choose from. Beginning at ‘Day 1’ this book has been designed to be started at any time of the year, and regardless of whether the sentences are used in order or not. With a choice of three per day a writer can select one, two or all and see where it leads them.

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Review:

A huge thank you to Sarah Hardy at Books On The Bright Side Publicity for inviting me on this blog tour and providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

The 365-Day Writer’s Block Workbook is a great book that really gives your creative spark a boost!

As the title suggests there are 365 days worth of writing prompts. You can do an exercise every day if you want to or like me dip in and out when you need that extra bit of assistance.

Each day you’re given three lines, in a different tense or point of view which you can use to start a story. The great thing is you can use as many lines as you want, you can even change the POV or names or tense, mix and match lines from different days, there’s endless possibilities!

When I got my hands on this book I was really suffering from maybe not full blown writer’s block but I’d really hit a wall with my writing. I used a couple of the prompts and while the stories I wrote were not the best, it really helped me get back into writing.

The 365-Day Writer’s Block Workbook is a fab little book that every writer should have in their toolbox.

Author Bio:

Morgen Bailey – Morgen with an E – is a multi-genre author, freelance editor, writing tutor, writing competitions magazine columnist and judge, blogger, and speaker.2 Morgen July 2017

Her website is www.morgenbailey.wordpress.com, email is morgen@morgenbailey.com, she is morgenwriteruk on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Her books can be found at Amazon.com (http://www.amazon.com/Morgen-Bailey/e/B007SNIBF8, http://www.amazon.co.uk/Morgen-Bailey/e/B007SNIBF8 etc.),

Smashwords (https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/morgenbailey) and wherever books can be ordered.

 

#BlogBlitz #Review How NOT To Write Female Characters by Lucy V Hay @LucyVHayAuthor @rararesources

How Not To Write Female Characters by Lucy V. Hay

Title: How NOT to write female characters by Lucy V Hay

Date Published: 23rd August 2018

Genre: Non-Fiction/Writing

Description:

Female characters. When fifty per cent of your potential target audience is female, if you’re not writing them in your screenplay or novel? You’re making a BIG mistake!

But how should you approach your female characters? That’s the million-dollar question … After all, women in real life are complex, varied and flawed. Knowing where to start in creating three dimensional female characters for your story is extremely difficult. 

So … perhaps it’s easier to figure out how NOT to write female characters?

Script editor, novelist and owner of the UK’s top screenwriting blog http://www.bang2write.com, Lucy V Hay has spent the last fifteen years reading the slush pile. She has learned to spot the patterns, pitfalls and general mistakes writers make when writing female characters – and why.

In How Not To Write Female Characters, Lucy outlines: 

•WHO your character is & how to avoid “classic” traps and pitfalls
•WHAT mistakes writers typically make with female characters
•WHERE you can find great female characters in produced and published content
•WHEN to let go of gender politics and agendas
•WHY female characters are more important than ever

Lucy is on a mission to improve your writing, as well as enable diverse voices and characters to rise to the top of the spec pile. 

REVIEWS FOR LUCY V’S WRITING ADVICE: 

‘A timely guide to creating original characters and reinvigorating tired storylines. ‘
– Debbie Moon, creator and showrunner, Wolfblood (BBC)  

‘Lucy V. Hay nails it’
– Stephen Volk, BAFTA-winning screenwriter: Ghostwatch, Afterlife, The Awakening 

‘Packed with practical and inspirational insights’
– Karol Griffiths, development consultant and script editor, clients include ITV, BBC, Warner Brothers 

‘A top-notch, cutting-edge guide to writing and selling, not just practical but inspirational. Lucy’s distinctive voice infuses the entire journey. Quite brilliant. Here’s the woman who’ll help you make things happen.’
– Barbara Machin, award-winning writer & creator of Waking the Dead 

‘Delivers the stirring call to arms that writers must not only write, but take their work to the next level themselves, making sacrifices and taking risks if they want to see their stories on screen.’
– Chris Jones, Filmmaker, Screenwriter & Creative Director at the London Screenwriters Festival 

‘Writing and Selling Thriller Screenplays is a must-read for any writer, producer or director looking to create (or in the process of creating) a thriller production. It could also be immensely useful for those generally curious about the genre or looking to learn more.’ – Film Doctor

‘Lucy V Hay explains what a script reader and editor’s role in filmmaking, tells you to work on your concepts and that dialogue is the last thing to work on in her new book.’ – Brit Flicks

Review:

So as a wannabe author, I’m always on the lookout for books to help with my writing journey. How NOT to write female characters is definitely one of those books.

The focus of the book is looking at clichés surrounding female characters from kiss ass hottie to adding a female just for the sake of it.

Even though I am female, I still found this book extremely helpful and Lucy V Hay really uses her years of writing expertise to create this informative read. It’s a quick, straight to the point read, written in a no nonsense style which took me less than an hour to read.

I feel like a lot of the advice can be used not just for female characters, but to create any fully rounded character in general, so it’s definitely worth a read.

How NOT to write female character is a quick read, written in a clear and straight to the point style that I’d recommend to anyone who has an interest in writing.

About The Author –

Lucy V. Hay is an author, script editor and blogger who helps writers via her Bang2write How Not - hands in the air, looking upconsultancy. Lucy is the producer of two Brit Thrillers, DEVIATION (2012) and ASSASSIN (2015), as well as the script editor and advisor on numerous other features and shorts.  Lucy’s also the author of  WRITING AND SELLING THRILLER SCREENPLAYS for Kamera Books’ “Creative Essentials” range, as well as its follow ups on DRAMA SCREENPLAYS and DIVERSE CHARACTERS.

Social Media Links –

www.instagram.com/Bang2write

www.twitter.com/Bang2write

www.facebook.com/groups/Bang2writers

#UrbaneExtravaganza World Cup Guide @UrbaneBooks #LoveBooksGroupTours

Welcome to my second stop on the Urbane Extravaganza and today feature is World Cup Guide perfect for armchair fans. This will probably be the first and only time you’ll see the World Cup mentioned on my blog lol! Here’s a little about the book:

9781912666096-667x1024

Title: World Cup Guide by Lloyd Pettiford and Ronan Fitzsimons

Publisher: Urbane Publications

Date Published: 17th May 2018

Description:

This book makes a convincing case for not travelling to Russia for the World Cup, but rather staying at home and reading all about it.

It dissects the qualifying campaign and groups, and also has a history of the World Cup with some surprising facts. Then there’s a complete list of fixtures which has already printed England in the final to save you a bit of time. It even looks forward to Qatar 2022 and suggests it might not be so bad after all.

Written by the football enthusiasts who brought you The Premier League : 25 Years and Euro 2016, it has enough facts to inform, enough laughs to impress even Sir Alex, and the answers to many questions, some of which you may even want to know the answers to, including:

Why do Germany wear 4 stars on their shirts even though a country of that name has only won the World Cup once?

Is Eduard Streltsov the best footballer you’ve never heard of?

What naughty thing will Suarez do this time?

Which team has the best kit?

Which team went out at the last 16 stage of the last 5 consecutive World Cups?

So settle back and enjoy the ultimate guide to the World Cop 2018 – perfect for every football fan!

Check out the rest of the tour here:

24th Nov Chat About Books @chataboutbooks1
25th Nov Over The Rainbow Book Blog @JoannaLouisePar
26th Nov Being Anne @Williams13Anne
27th Nov On The Shelf Bookblog @OnTheShelfBooks
28th Nov Nicki’s Book Blog @nickijmurphy1
29th Nov My Reading Corner @karendennise
30th Nov Portable Magic @bantambookworm
1st Dec Black books blog @SimonJLeonard
2nd Dec Rae Reads @rae_reads1
3rd Dec So Many Books, So Little Time @smbslt
4th Dec Orchard Book Club @OrchardBookClub
5th Dec Zooloo’s Book Diary Zooloo2008
6th Dec Nemesis Book Blog @NemesisBlogs
7th Dec Katie’s Book Cave @katiejones88
8th Dec Books and Me @bookkaz
9th Dec Tangents and Tissues @tangentsbb
10th Dec Go Buy the Book @karen55555
11th Dec Cheekypee reads and reviews @cheekypee27
12th Dec Nicki`s Life Of Crime @NickiRichards7
13th Dec Emma the Little Bookworm @EmmaMitchellFPR
14th Dec Rather Too Fond of Books @hayleysbookblog
15th Dec Seansbookreviews @Seant1977
16th Dec Lizzums Lives Life @LizzumsBB
17th Dec The Magic Of Wor(l)ds @MagicOfWorldsBE
18th Dec On The Shelf Reviews @ljwrites85
19th Dec Grab This Book @grabthisbook
20th Dec Life Of A Nerdish Mum @NerdishMum
21st Dec The Quiet Geordie @thequietgeordie
22nd Dec eBook Addicts @ebookadditsuk
23rd Dec On The Shelf Reviews @ljwrites85
24th Dec Varietats @Sweeet83
25th Dec eBook Addicts @ebookadditsuk
26th Dec Portable Magic @bantambookworm
27th Dec Love Books Group @LoveBooksGroup
28th Dec A Little Book Problem @book_problem
29th Dec It’s all about the books @DeeCee334
30th Dec The Quiet Geordie @thequietgeordie
31st Dec Zooloo’s Book Diary @Zooloo2008