*Tamworth Literary Festival 2018*

#tamworth #litfest #booksignings #poetry #storytelling #comedy #music #romance #crime #ThrillerNovels #storytelling #ChildrensBooks #history #steampunk #fantasy

Tamworth LitFest Comes to Town

I am THRILLLED to once again be involved in the Tamworth Literary Festival, which comes to town between Friday 2nd – Saturday 10th March. Over 20 authors, poets and storytellers will be coming to this part of Staffordshire, from a huge variety of genres: history, romance, thriller, crime, fantasy, steampunk, books for children and more. Live poetry, a storytelling evening, a comedy night and music also feature on the programme, as well a film maker and author book signings.

We’d love to welcome you to the town and the festival. There is a charge for some events, but others are free. You can book tickets in advance or pay on the door subject to availablilty.

The opening night ,on March 2nd, St Editha’s Church welcomes Professor Martin Carver from York University. Professor Carver’s talk, entitled ‘Aethelflaed and the Origins of Stafford’ will take place at 7.30pm and it will assess the archaeological evidence for Stafford’s Anglo-Saxon fortifications built at the behest of Aethelflaeda to defend Mercia against the Danes. Tickets priced at £7.50 can be booked through Eventbrite.

The following day, Saturday 3rd March, there is a free drop in Festival Open Day at Tamworth Town Hall featuring authors Jon Hartless, Trish Moran, Anthony Poulton Smith, Carmen Capuano, Sharon Rose, musician and artist Rachel Mayfield and Papercraft Heroes. You will be able to chat to authors and if you wish purchase signed copies of their books.

On Monday 5th March there will be a Poetry Night at Bolehall Manor, compered by Mal Dewhirst, the original Poet Laureate for Staffordshire, who will be welcoming poets from Tamworth and beyond. Entrance for those who would like to read and for audience members is free.

On Tuesday 6th March the Market Vaults will host a Storytelling Night (free entry) and there will be authors and storytellers including local writers, New Street Authors and Solihull Writers, including Lee Benson and Dennis Zaslona .

Wednesday 7th March will see a Romance and Women’s Fiction panel in St Editha’s Church, featuring bestselling authors Christie Barlow and Phillipa Ashley, Erin Green and Dawn Bolton. Tickets are £6 per person and are available on Eventbrite.

The Globe Inn is the venue for a Crime and Thriller panel on Thursday 8th March, featuring bestselling author Rob Sinclair, AA Abbott, Darren Young and Jayne Harris, a presenter and film maker. Tickets are £6 per person and are available on Eventbrite.

On Friday 9th March there will be a Comedy Night with Dudley born poet, humourist and singer Rob Barratt, Tickets £7 or £10 to include fish and chip supper and can be purchased from Eventbrite.

On Saturday March 10th Tamworth library will host storytelling sessions by Karen Argent from Malvern based Letterpress. The drop-in sessions, designed for children aged 7 and under, are free to attend and take place at 11.00am and again at midday.

At 1pm children’s author Lindsey Bailey will be reading an excerpt from her book ‘The Cape of Courage.’ This will be followed by a mini creative writing activity suitable for ages 3-8, after which there will be an opportunity to purchase signed copies of the author’s book. The session is free to attend but please book in advance at Tamworth Library to secure a place.

We also need your help – some of the children’s book characters have escaped their books and are hiding around the library. We need children and their families to help us find them. This will take place between 9am and 4pm on 10th March – find all the book characters and receive a chocolatey piece of treasure.

A Poetry as Therapy Workshop, facilitated by Sharon Rose, will also take place at the library from 11.15am-12.15pm.

Information boards detailing the events and activities available during the Tamworth Literary Festival week will be on display in the library foyer from February 26th. There is also time to enter the LitFest’s Writing Competition, open to applicnts worldwide, which seeks short stories and poems on any theme (closing date 31st March 2018). The competition is open to all ages (free entry for those below school age).

Details of events and the writing competition are available on Tamworth LitFest’s Facebook page  and/or website  and tickets are available on Eventbrite at the links above or by emailing tamlitfest@gmail.com

About Tamworth LitFest

The Tamworth LitFest was set up in 2015 to provide literary inspired events for the benefit of the public. It promotes local and wider community participation in literary inspired events and activities that aim to be as fully inclusive as possible.

Contact Us

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*Cover Reveal* Heath, Cliffs & Wandering Hearts by Laura Barnard

From The Debt & the Doormat series’ best-selling author, LAURA BARNARD, comes a new YA romantic comedy, Heath, Cliffs & Wandering Hearts. Due to be released this weekend, here is the fabulous cover and description! 🙂

heath-cliffs-wandering-hearts

Blurb:

Life for sixteen year old Savannah Franks has just been turned upside down. Her Mum’s business has failed and they’re forced to move into a maisonette in the rough end of town.

She doesn’t want anyone to know her dire situation, not even her besties. So when the rest of the money for the school ski trip is due she can’t be seen not to attend. Everyone is going! She just needs to find a job. Add that to the list of getting a boyfriend and losing her pathetic virginity.

But working every spare hour in a job she hates on top of school work and mounting secrets doesn’t prove easy. Soon she’s keeping so many she’s not even sure herself what’s true and what’s not.

The only person she can lean on to tell the truth is her best friend Heath.

Only…did he get hot recently? That won’t make things awkward between them…right?

Author info



Laura Barnard lives in Hertfordshire, UK and writes romantic comedy or ‘chick lit’ as its so often described. In her spare time she enjoys drinking her body weight in tea, indulging in cupcakes the size of her face and drooling over hunks like Jamie Dornan, Ryan Gosling and Leo Dicaprio.

She enjoys wearing yoga pants and reading fitness magazines while sitting on the sofa eating chocolate. She’s a real fan of the power nap and of course READING!

She writes not to get rich or famous, but because she LOVES writing. Even if one person tells her they enjoyed her book it makes the midnight typing worth it!

heath-cliffs-wandering-hearts-front-and-back-with-blurb

 

 

**Blog Tour & REVIEW** Sex Hell: A Love Story by Joe Canzano

sexhell 2 banner

Digital_Cover_ILLUS_2Title: Sex Hell

Author: Joe Canzano

Genre: Comic fantasy/paranormal, humour, romance

Date of release: April 1st 2016

Released by: Happy Joe Control

Length: 318 pages

Blurb: When Debbie de La Fontaine tries to spice up her love life by supernaturally tampering with her sex life, she is cursed to spend every future encounter in a magical place called “Sex Hell,” where the sex is ludicrous and amazing–but the romance is scarce.

Her only chance for escape is through the stingy clues supplied by a laughing demon, and the only way to obtain the clues is by returning to Sex Hell again and again to have outrageous sexcapades with the man she most wants to avoid–or does she?

Sex Hell is an absurd comic fantasy about the confusion of relationships. How is love related to sex, and how is sex related to love–and do love and sex need to be related at all?

*This book contains profanity and adult situations

Buy Links: Amazon US & Amazon UK

REVIEW **** (4 star rating)

Has Debbie found the one, the love of her life, in boyfriend Mike? Although they work well together outside the bedroom, if truth be told she’d much rather eat popcorn, and read and write her novel than get it on with him! Is there something wrong with her? Or, are they just not compatible?

Sex Hell begins as I would expect a contemporary romance to. However, the story takes a special turn when Velva turns up. After overhearing Debbie express her concerns to her colleague and best friend, Cynthia, in a diner Velva decides to offer Debbie a deal: in exchange for some years from Debbie’s life, Velva promises super, hot sex for Debbie. Not only is this a preposterous idea that Debbie initially turns down, it is also tempting after more time spent trying to avoid sex with Mike, and with a little negotiation.

“I’ve got a desire to be younger, okay? And you’ve got a desire to have better sex. And for a small price, I can fix your problem. All I want is a little bit of your youth. Gimme about ten or twenty years; lets call it fifteen. In exchange for that, I’ll fix your sex life. No more awkward fumbling around. No more faking orgasms – oh! oh! oh! And no more having to do anything you don’t want to do. Hell, you can just eat snack food all night and read a book, and he’ll be happy as a pig in a pie store. And you won’t have to die alone.” – Velva

With many enlightened moments, there is a great sense of fun in Sex Hell. The dialogue is brilliant, and the whole story is a fast-paced, exciting read. Debbie’s personal thoughts are often comical and full of humour, despite her sex life concerns.

A love triangle develops early on as the one Debbie finds herself with in Sex Hell is musician, Juan. Juan plays guitar in bars and has had relations with many women. Although, there doesn’t seem to have been anyone special in his recent past. That said, he is a hot lover, and boy does Debbie know it! With feelings of guilt after, and wanting to build on her relationship with Mike, she finds it increasingly more difficult returning to Sex Hell and having many sexcapades with Juan.

The laughing demon, in monkey Carl, who just happens to be watching her sexcapades does seem to offer advice on how to end Velva’s spell. However, the reader is never too sure on who’s side he is on, and whether he is sending Debbie and Juan on a wild goose chase. To make matters worse, Mike and Cynthia are on their tail, and there are moments when they look a little too cosy.

There’s just no telling if the spell will ever be lifted, and just who Debbie wants to be with. What will become of Velva and the demon? What will become of Debbie? This fantasy adventure ends with plenty of paranormal action and will leave the reader on a high with its comical undercurrent. Definitely a read to perk you up and put a smile on your face!

Reviewed by Caroline Barker

Author Bio:

Joe Canzano_800x600colorJoe Canzano is a writer and musician who lives in New Jersey, U.S.A. He likes loud guitars and food that screams. His wacky debut novel, “Magno Girl,” received a fair amount of love and hate—because that’s the kind of reaction his writing gets. For more information about Joe, please visit www.happyjoe.net.

Links

Website: http://www.happyjoe.net

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/happyjoecanzano/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/happyjoecanzano

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/12965170.Joe_Canzano

Amazon Author Page: http://amazon.com/author/joecanzano

**Release Blitz & Review** Porn Money & Wannabe Mummy (The Debt & the Doormat #3) by Laura Barnard

Release Blitz

Porn Money and Wannabe Mummy 

Release date: 23rd March 

Hosted by Two Ordinary Girls and their Books 

 
 Porn Money & Wannabe Mommy2
 
What is it about turning thirty that sends rational women into a tailspin?
 
Suddenly going from having all the time in the world, to cringing at the ticking of her biological clock, Poppy is drowning under the strain of trying to get pregnant.
 
With a dad in the throes of a mid-life crisis, a crazy mother-in-law and time racing towards Lilly’s wedding, will she be able to cope with it all…and give Ryan the baby they so desperately want?
 
Finally able to inherit her dad’s porn money, Jazz can’t wait to be rich! She can buy a house in Chelsea, go out partying with her old mates and start living how she deserves.
 
But with Ollie, Jemima and Meryl each clawing at their own little piece of her happiness, will she have to leave behind those closest to her in exchange for it?

The real question is, can Poppy and Jazz rescue their own lives before everything gets ruined, or will their own stubbornness destroy the lives they’ve created?

Author info



Laura Barnard lives in Hertfordshire, UK and writes romantic comedy or ‘chick lit’ as its so often described. In her spare time she enjoys drinking her body weight in tea, indulging in cupcakes the size of her face and drooling over hunks like Jamie Dornan, Ryan Gosling and Leo Dicaprio.

She enjoys wearing yoga pants and reading fitness magazines while sitting on the sofa eating chocolate. She’s a real fan of the power nap and of course READING!

She writes not to get rich or famous, but because she LOVES writing. Even if one person tells her they enjoyed her book it makes the midnight typing worth it!

REVIEW ***** (5* rating)

 

A few pages into chapter 1 and I find that I have laughed out loud at least three times already! Yes, I LOVE Laura Barnard‘s humour, and her Debt & the Doormat series is the best. The story opens with Christmas day at Poppy’s parents house; it’s a large family get together where her mum, Meryl, is already sloshed at 11am! Poppy’s mum is hilarious – cringeworthy, but hilarious. It’s a great opening from the onset.

 

The Debt & the Doormat series continues in a fun and natural way as we meet our favourite characters a little further on in their lives; Poppy is now married to Ryan and trying desperately for a baby, whilst Jazz is living with Ollie at his and Poppy’s parent’s house with their little Jemima. Whilst the pressure is on for Poppy, with no sign of a baby, the story is set up for some embarrassing doctors visits, all the while she is trying to keep it a secret from her family, which proves difficult when it’s rubbed in their face when super-bitch, sorry, sister-in-law, Grace is pregnant. Oh… and Ryan’s ex, Nicole! And, then there is Jazz, Poppy’s BFF, who inherits her father’s money of £20 million. Yes, £20 million!!! Of course, Jazz can throw her money around, party, go crazy, but will it be at the expense of her loved ones? It’s a great read for fans of the series to continue reading the antics of this crazy bunch, but it also can be read as a stand-alone for new fans.

 

With so many characters in the series, it amazes me how I remember them all, but they all have their own traits, and the storyline incorporates them all so well, with many sub-story lines happening with each of them. The art of Laura Barnard‘s writing lies where she draws all of these stories together; they generally connect with either Poppy, the ‘doormat’, taking pity on them and helping as many people out as possible, despite her own stresses, or with Jazz acting selfishly and pushing people away, with a lack of consideration of their feelings.

 

Porn Money & Wannabe Mummy is a wild, fast-paced ride with many twists and turns that will keep you guessing the outcome at every turn. It is the height of chick-lit fun, and I have always placed it next to Bridget Jones and Miranda. Therefore, if you are fans of these, you will also LOVE this series.

 

Aside from the chaos and the characters, another aspect I love about Porn Money & Wannabe Mummy is just how contemporary it is, e.g. there are references to how schools treat kids, and a fun mention of The Walking Dead! There are also some new characters to welcome; one being Aunt Beryl’s new fellow, Simon, who will leave you in stitches, and then there’s Rupert who is only briefly mentioned but I wouldn’t mind hearing more from him! This really is a gem of a series and shouldn’t be missed!

 

A copy of Porn Money & Wannabe Mummy was provided by the author in return for a fair and honest review.

 

Reviewed by Caroline Barker

 

The series also includes The Debt & the Doormat and it’s sequel, The Baby and the Bride. Both books have been reviewed on this blog, and both received a brilliant 5* from us on Goodreads and Amazon! The Debt & the Doormat was one of my Top Reads of 2013! Check our reviews by clicking on the links below:-

the-debt-the-doormat_1The Debt & the Doormat

This first book is FREE on Amazon UK and Amazon US. Go grab a copy now!

The+Baby+%26+the+Bride_2The Baby & the Bride (incl. interview with Laura Barnard)

You can find The Baby & the Bride on Amazon UK and Amazon US for a small price.

You an also check out her subsequent releases, Tequila & Tea Bags, Dopey Women, and the festive short read, Sex, Snow & Mistletoe.

Tequila & Tea Bags

This stand-alone is available at AMAZON UK and AMAZON US for a small price.

Available at Amazon UK and Amazon US

 

Festive short available at Amazon UK and Amazon US

*Cover Reveal* Porn Money & Wannabe Mummy by Laura Barnard (The Debt & the Doormat series #3)

❥¸.•´*¨`*•✿ COVER REVEAL ❥¸.•´*¨`*•✿

 

Check out the gorgeous cover for Laura Barnard‘s new romantic comedy book Porn Money & Wannabe Mummy!  It’s the third instalment of The Debt & the Doormat series, but can be read as a standalone.  Pre-order links below:

UK – http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01CO08HW6

US –  http://amzn.com/B01CO08HW6

Porn Money & Wannabe Mommy

The series also includes The Debt & the Doormat and it’s sequel, The Baby and the Bride. Both books have been reviewed on this blog, and both received a brilliant 5* from us on Goodreads and Amazon! The Debt & the Doormat was one of my Top Reads of 2013! Check our reviews by clicking on the links below:-

the-debt-the-doormat_1The Debt & the Doormat

This first book is FREE on Amazon UK and Amazon US. Go grab a copy now!

The+Baby+%26+the+Bride_2The Baby & the Bride (incl. interview with Laura Barnard)

You can also find The Baby & the Bride on Amazon UK and Amazon US for a small price.

Contact info:

Laura would love you to check out her Facebook page at www.facebook.com/laurabarnardbooks and while you’re visiting please give her a ‘like’!

Laura also has her own website at www.laurabarnardbooks.co.uk and is available on Twitter: @BarnardLaura

 

**Release-day Review** Winging It (short story) by Christine S. Feldman

Released today is a fantastic, short read by Christine S. Feldman (Heavenly Bites novellas)! If you’re looking for a quirky, fun read to put a smile on your face and make you laugh out loud, then you’ll love Winging It. It is certainly a memorable read!

Winging ItTitle: Winging It

Author: Christine S. Feldman

Genre: Comedy/humour, contemporary romance

Date released: May 20th, 2015

Length: 63 pages

Blurb: Up until now, straitlaced Simon Kirkendale has done an admirable job of keeping his high society mother’s demands for grandbabies at bay, but lately she’s kicked things into high gear. So he isn’t too disappointed to delay her latest matchmaking attempt when a pretty stranger hops into the backseat of his car en route to one of his mother’s dinner parties and tells him to drive. A car-jacking? Nope. More like a bird on the run, but this particular bird happens to be a parrot who has slipped its cage, and Simon’s new acquaintance desperately needs to get it back before she loses sight of it altogether.

Ever the nice guy—and okay, maybe also a little intrigued by the colorful Miss Juleen Pruitt’s sudden appearance in his car—Simon hits the gas pedal and obliges only to find himself unwittingly dragged into a wild goose chase around town for a bird who seems to be determined to either get itself killed or the two people trying to catch it. Simon’s money is on the latter.

But it turns out that a little disruption and chaos in his life might just be what Simon needs most—especially if it comes in the form of Juleen.

If he can just manage to survive meeting her…

REVIEW

Christine S. Feldman’s ‘Winging It’ is everything it is cracked up to be. A short contemporary that leaves the reader smiling after providing fun, quirkiness, and excitement, not to mention the romance! I found myself laughing at certain scenes between the main characters, Simon and Juleen, as the author tells of their escapades in trying to capture Juleen’s grandfather’s parrot, Frankie!

This fast-paced, light-hearted story is extremely refreshing and original. The reader will love the unpredictable run of events as Simon and Juleen try to chase down Frankie in Simon’s car after Juleen jumps in and asks unknown Simon to put his foot down, and then later on foot as they race through a park after a bird in flight.

It is due to Simon’s chivalry and good-mannered upbringing that he goes along with Juleen and tries to help once he finds out the exact true nature of her ‘carjacking’. Only, after being bored with his mother’s vision of what his future bride should be like, he becomes fascinated with Juleen, and her quirkiness. After all, she is interesting and has some energy about her that is different.

Juleen is the chaos in the ever-so-organised life of Simon. His routine leans on the tedious side of the fence, whilst Juleen appears wild and free spirited. Opposites attract in this exciting, little read. And Simon can’t help but be drawn to her.

However, in the back of his mind he knows that his mother is expecting him to turn up for dinner and hoping to entertain a blind date with a woman of her choosing. His good manners and courtesy, not to mention the guilt trip his mother plays on him, all add up and make him feel obliged to meet this latest blind date. Will he be amazed and fall for his date, or is Juleen still playing on his mind?

If you’re looking for an uplifting, laugh-out-loud fast read Winging It is definitely for you! It really stands out from many other rom-com reads in a very punchy and vibrant way. And, it will leave you wanting more!

An ARC copy was provided by the author for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

Winging It by Christine S. Feldman is available at Amazon UK and Amazon US.

You can find our review of Christine S. Feldman’s festive novella Pastels & Jingle Bells (a Heavenly Bites novella #1) on our blog by clicking on the title. We will also be reviewing the author’s All’s Fair in Love and Weddings very soon too!

Reviewed by Caroline Barker

*Book Tour* The Naked Storyteller by Laura Michelle Thomas

naked storyteller banner revised

NakedStorytellerCoverTitle: The Naked Storyteller

Author: Laura Michelle Thomas

Genre: Fiction, Contemporary Romance, Comedy

Book Description:

Harry Tyke is a flabby, divorced grade-six teacher on the verge of a monumental mid-life crisis when he unexpectedly ends up in a storytelling workshop taught by a creative, free-thinking teacher-turned-storyteller named Olga. The workshop awakens Harry’s long dead romantic side and hurls him into stories from his past, including his decision to give up on his dream of being a novelist to please his parents, a decision this classroom-weary teacher can no longer live with as he sags into his fifties.

Questioning contemporary ideas of what makes a happy and productive life in an increasingly digital world, this romantic comedy––set in Vancouver, Canada––will have you cheering for this unlikely leading man from start to finish.

About the Author:

Laura Michelle Thomas Naked Storyteller authorLAURA MICHELLE THOMAS is an author with an opinion on just about everything she thinks is wrong with contemporary life in North America (which, in her opinion, is just about everything). Harry Tyke, the 52-year-old protagonist of The Naked Storyteller, is who Laura might be if she wasn’t the author of her own life and had a beard. When she’s not writing and telling her family to buzz off and let her work, she’s runs a very busy website through which she fosters the development of young writers around the world through free annual writing contests, young writers conferences and other inspirational stuff. With the assistance of her team of junior bloggers, editors and artists, Laura has the privilege of being publisher and senior editor of an international e-zine for young writers called jaBlog! To find out what novel project Laura is working on now, please visit her website (www.laurathomascommunications.com) and click on “Novels by Laura Michelle Thomas.”

Social Media Links:

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LauraThomasComm

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7329741.Laura_Michelle_Thomas

Purchase Links:

(iTunes) https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-naked-storyteller/id909123422?mt=11

(Kindle Amazon.ca) http://www.amazon.ca/Naked-Storyteller-Laura-Michelle-Thomas-ebook/dp/B00MO0DF9W

(Kindle Amazon.com) http://www.amazon.com/Naked-Storyteller-Laura-Michelle-Thomas-ebook/dp/B00MO0DF9W