Count down to launch #ReleaseMe

Book cover for Please Release Me - a bride at sunrise

The early reviews for Please Release Me are in now and so far they’ve all been 4 and 5 stars. It won’t be live on Amazon until the 10th of Sept, so there are no reviews there yet, but if you want to see what people are saying about it, check of the reviews on Goodreads and on Netgalley.

Please Release Me is a rom com, but it’s actually about grief and depression. When I submitted the book to Choc Lit for consideration, I wondered if it would be rejected because of this. For all our complaining about the frothiness of Chick Lit, do romance readers really want to read a book about sad things? Turns out they do (phew – I would have hated to be wrong). One reviewer said it had an ‘almost perfect portrayal of grief’, which is a wonderful description. Someone else said she laughed at the scene when Sally comes out of her coma. It’s not the traditional place for a joke, but the scene made me laugh when I wrote it. Good old Sally.

Book cover for Please Release Me - a bride at sunrise
The cover for Please Release Me, in case I haven’t bored you with it enough already.

It’s usual to do some jumping up and down and cheering when a book comes out, so (apologies) I’m going to be doing just that on Thursday. More importantly, some lovely friends have agreed to join me. They’re all going to post something on their blogs based on the theme of being stuck (and wanting to be released). I will be sharing their links with you as they come on line.

They all used the same prompts – I’m intrigued to see what different answers show up!

If you’re on Twitter or Facebook, follow the #ReleaseMe tag on the 10th to join in the fun!

The first Book Review of Please Release Me

Book cover for Please Release Me - a bride at sunrise

I saw the first review of Please Release Me today (the advance review copies have gone out to reviewers now and the book is on Netgalley.) I’m limp with relief that this reviewer liked it (4.5 stars! Yay!). I’m also delighted that she took from the story what I’d try to convey.

I tried to write a book that was about falling in love, falling out of love and inadvertently becoming friends with your enemy. A small part of me was worried that it had all come out in a jumbled mess. I’m very relieved to hear that it didn’t.

You can read the review here:

Book Review – Please Release Me by Rhoda Baxter.

And, of course, you can preorder Please Release Me here: myBook.to/PleaseReleaseMe  🙂

I’m off to celebrate by eating copious amounts of chocolate.

Please Release Me book trailer (in Lego)

Book cover for Please Release Me - a bride at sunrise

As some of you will know, I like playing with Lego. Given that I usually have more pressing things to do, it’s always nice to have an excuse to get the Lego out. With Please Release Me coming out on the 11th of September, I thought ‘I need a book trailer’. I can’t afford real actors, so here’s my book trailer in Lego.

I’m particularly pleased with the shot of Sally’s car accident. Playdoh may have been involved. Luckily I have kids, so there’s plenty of the stuff lying around in our house.

Incidentally, I wasn’t very keen on girl’s Lego when my daughters first started getting it. I find the idea that someone saw the need for Lego in ‘girly’ colours and themes a little patronising. I’ve got used to it now. Since no one is likely to buy the girls a Star Wars Lego set, I’ll just have to buy the Lego Stormtroopers myself.

If you want to see the trailers DD1 and I did for Doctor January, you can see them here.

Inheritance Books – Berni Stevens

I’m very excited about this week’s Inheritance Books because they are from none other than fellow Choc Lit writer Berni Stevens. Berni is not only a talented author, but she also designs fabulous covers (examples here).

Hi Berni, welcome to Inheritance Books. Grab a chair and pull up a biscuit. Please, tell us about yourself.

BERNI_newI’ve always loved anything spooky and supernatural. My Grandmother used to tell me she was a witch – her birthday was on Halloween – so of course, as a child, I believed her! I’m convinced it’s where my interest in the paranormal began.

I love to dance – have always loved to dance – since the age of six, when I joined a small stage school in North London. I was nearly eleven when my parents decided to move to a small village in Sussex and it broke my heart to leave. I joined various ballet schools in Sussex, but there was nothing comparable – until I discovered horses!

I used to write stories as a child, and even (badly) illustrate the stories, so it is no surprise to anyone who knows me well, that I have continued to write for pleasure. To have a book published this year by fabulous Choc Lit has helped me to achieve my dream.

I met my husband at art college, and we moved to London together after we graduated. Then a friend told me about Pineapple Studios, and my dance obsession began all over again.

On leaving art college, I worked as a designer in publishing. Over the years, I’ve worked for most of the big houses, HarperCollins, Penguin, Little, Brown, Transworld etc. Every publisher works differently, so I learned more with every job. I’ve been freelance for ten years now, which works well with my dance obsession, because I can nip out to a lunch-time dance class if I want to!

I’m also on the Committee and Book Panel of the London-based Dracula Society, which is a literary society for fans of the Gothic.

 

Which book have you inherited from the generation above? Why is it special?

CHRISTMAS CAROLI inherited a copy of A Christmas Carol from my Great Aunt – which is actually two generations above – when I was about ten years old. My Great Aunt bought me my very first book when I was three, so she definitely started my love affair with books.

I also inherited her set of Shakespeare plays, but it was A Christmas Carol that I enjoyed the most. This edition isn’t dated, but according to Google, it was originally published by Ballantyne Press, around 1925. It has thirteen colour plates by Ethel F. Everett, which certainly look to be in the style of that era. Some of the illustrations are quite faded now, but I would love to have seen the originals; the artist’s style is beautiful. I wonder what became of Ballantyne Press too? Swallowed up by a larger publisher no doubt. Some things never change!

A Christmas Carol is a brilliant ghost story, with a moral attached. At Christmas I watch every version I can find on TV. (There are usually quite a few.) One of my favourites is the Alastair Sim version with George Cole playing the young Scrooge. But I have a sneaking regard for The Muppets Christmas Carol too!

Coincidentally, it was my Great Aunt’s Shakespeare books that helped me through my English Lit GCE – one of the books is an annotated Shakespeare and was invaluable at the time!

 I’ve  found that whenever I watch any version of A Christmas Carol, I can’t help thinking of the muppet version (Marley and Marley…wooo….)

 

Which book would you like to leave to future generations? Why? 

I would like to leave one of my many copies of Bram Stoker’s Dracula for future generations. It’s my favourite book, and since its publication in 1897, it’s never been out of print. The writing is exceptional and the book still gains new fans decades after its publication. The brooding Gothic atmosphere seeps deeper into the imagination with every page that’s read.

1928 DraculaTo write from more than one person’s point of view can be difficult, but Stoker writes from no less than five characters’ points of view. Stoker’s Count is depicted as ruthless, predatory and a cold-blooded killer – yet at other times he comes across as vulnerable and lonely. There are many good reasons why Count Dracula has become one of our most popular fictional characters.

I collect editions of Dracula, although I’m neither rich enough nor lucky enough to own a first edition. But I do have a 1928 edition published by Rider – with the original dust jacket – in very good condition. My husband bought it for me and it’s a prized possession – and valuable too. Constable published a numbered limited edition to coincide with the centenary of Stoker’s death in 2012. They published it with the original yellow and red cover, so of course I had to buy one!

I could wax lyrical about Dracula for pages, but there isn’t room, so I’ll just say I would hate for this amazing book to ever disappear from our shelves and our lives, although somehow I don’t think it will.

I don’t think it will either… he IS immortal, after all. Thank you for sharing your favourite books with us, Berni. Good luck with your book. Don’t forget your daily garlic.

Berni’s latest book Dance Until Dawn is available of Choc Lit. You can find out more about Berni from her website, or read her thoughts on Dracula on her blog, see her design work on her other website.DANCE UNTIL DAWN_thumbnail You can chat to her on Twitter (@circleoflebanon) or Facebook.

Inheritance Books: Carrie Lynn Barker

This a new feature on my blog where guest authors and readers will tell me about the books they love. The idea is based on Inheritance Tracks from Saturday Live on Radio 4. Today, I’m talking to my fellow Uncial author, Carrie Lynn Barker.

Hello Carrie. Welcome to my blog. Tell me a bit about yourself. 

I love to write and I’ve been doing it all my life. The first novel I read was Black Beauty.  I was five.  My first novel was published in 2010.  My series that started with Revelations will reach three novels this November, when Exodus is released through Eternal Press.  Revelations also was nominated in the Best Paranormal Fiction category at EPICon 2012.  I’ve been married for nearly 10 years to my filmmaker and writer husband, Brandon Barker.  Our indy feature, Wicked Bad made the festival circuit a few years ago, winning a few awards along the way. Being married to a writer when you’re a writer yourself can sometimes be hard but we’ve made it work for 10 years and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Which book have you inherited from the generation above you?

So I didn’t so much as inherit this book as steal it from my mother when she wasn’t looking just because it is so cool.  It’s a 1946 illustrated copy of Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass.  I remember Mom reading it to me when I was a kid and it always stuck in my mind as one of the most beautiful books. First chance I got, I took off with it.  It’s frayed on the edges, faded and a dirty but it still is an amazing copy of an amazing story.  I’ve managed to keep it from becoming too battered but it’s condition does show that it’s been loved.

 

Which book will you leave to the generations below you and why?

I’m an avid collector of old books and I’ve been working on my collection for a very long time.  I have my favorites but it’s really hard to choose just one.  What I would leave future generations is my collection of Edna Ferber first editions.  While not in anywhere near mint condition, Edna Ferber has become a hard-to-find author.  I would hate to see her novels fade into distant memory.  Her strong female characters have influenced some of my own female characters and novels like So Big and Giant should be up there with required high school reading such as Of Mice and Men.

Thank you so much for sharing your Inherited Books with me, Carrie. I must admit, I’d never heard of Edna Ferber. I’ll look out for her books now!

 It was lovely to see you. Do come visit again soon!

Carrie’s book Revelations and  is available to buy on Amazon

If you would like to do a guest post about your favourite books, please email me on rhodabaxter@gmail.com.

Inheritance Books: Carrie Lynn Barker

This a new feature on my blog where guest authors and readers will tell me about the books they love. The idea is based on Inheritance Tracks from Saturday Live on Radio 4. Today, I’m talking to my fellow Uncial author, Carrie Lynn Barker.

Hello Carrie. Welcome to my blog. Tell me a bit about yourself. 

I love to write and I’ve been doing it all my life. The first novel I read was Black Beauty.  I was five.  My first novel was published in 2010.  My series that started with Revelations will reach three novels this November, when Exodus is released through Eternal Press.  Revelations also was nominated in the Best Paranormal Fiction category at EPICon 2012.  I’ve been married for nearly 10 years to my filmmaker and writer husband, Brandon Barker.  Our indy feature, Wicked Bad made the festival circuit a few years ago, winning a few awards along the way. Being married to a writer when you’re a writer yourself can sometimes be hard but we’ve made it work for 10 years and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Which book have you inherited from the generation above you?

So I didn’t so much as inherit this book as steal it from my mother when she wasn’t looking just because it is so cool.  It’s a 1946 illustrated copy of Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass.  I remember Mom reading it to me when I was a kid and it always stuck in my mind as one of the most beautiful books. First chance I got, I took off with it.  It’s frayed on the edges, faded and a dirty but it still is an amazing copy of an amazing story.  I’ve managed to keep it from becoming too battered but it’s condition does show that it’s been loved.

 

Which book will you leave to the generations below you and why?

I’m an avid collector of old books and I’ve been working on my collection for a very long time.  I have my favorites but it’s really hard to choose just one.  What I would leave future generations is my collection of Edna Ferber first editions.  While not in anywhere near mint condition, Edna Ferber has become a hard-to-find author.  I would hate to see her novels fade into distant memory.  Her strong female characters have influenced some of my own female characters and novels like So Big and Giant should be up there with required high school reading such as Of Mice and Men.

Thank you so much for sharing your Inherited Books with me, Carrie. I must admit, I’d never heard of Edna Ferber. I’ll look out for her books now!

 It was lovely to see you. Do come visit again soon!

Carrie’s book Revelations and  is available to buy on Amazon

If you would like to do a guest post about your favourite books, please email me on rhodabaxter@gmail.com.