*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.

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~*~ BLOG TOUR ~*~ Nights Embrace (Others of Seattle: Book 1), by Brandy L. Rivers

Adult Paranormal Romance

 Today we are featuring Brandy L. River’s super new release, NIGHTS EMBRACE, the first book in the OTHERS OF SEATTLE series, an exciting Adult Paranormal Romance. Read on for a synopsis, excerpt and trailer, find out about the author and enter her giveaway to win some great swag packs and gift cards. Tina 🙂

Nights Embrace - Tour Banner

 Title – Nights Embrace
Series – Others of Seattle: Book 1
Author – Brandy L Rivers
Genre – Adult Paranormal Romance
Publication Date – April 2nd 2014
Length (Pages/# Words) – about 95k
Publisher – Brandy L Rivers
Cover Artist – Brandy L Rivers

Book Cover

BOOK SYNOPSIS 

It all started with a song.
Roxana Nights was late to another gig, thanks to her first love, and drummer. It’s been years since she left Jordan, but he won’t let her go. Then she hears a voice that pulls her under a spell and changes her whole world.
Trevor Malone just moved to Seattle with his band. Music is his only passion, until he lays eyes on Roxana. He’s never felt anything as strong as the pull to her. Now he needs to find a way to introduce her to his world.
There’s only one problem. A rival clan won’t rest until they’ve taken Trevor’s down. Unwilling to let old grudges die, they target Roxy. Trevor will do anything to keep her safe.
Roxy will find that the world she writes is closer to reality than she ever imagined. She’ll also learn that not all monsters are evil, though some are ruthless.
Will love stay strong when the past comes out? Can they survive the centuries old vendetta?

Full Wrap

 

TOUR-BUYTBRLINK

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ADD TO YOUR GOODREADS TBR LIST

TOUR-EXCERPTShe slipped past him, and onto the wings of the stage. Her gaze fell on Mr. Voice who was tall, dark and smokin’ hot.
Holy shit, I want to lick him.
Scuffed combat boots were laced up over black leather pants that clung to muscular thighs, and his black shirt molded to the most impressive set of abs she had ever seen. Roxy wanted to trace the ridges with her fingertips.
He turned, his voice dropping low as his eyes locked on hers. His words enveloped her. “… you’re the only one.”
Her heart paused a beat before slamming into her chest at a rapid pace. His full mouth lifted into a grin that spoke of confidence as he held her full attention. Entranced, she fell deep into his eyes and the world stopped.
Until a drumstick hit him in the head. He looked over his shoulder and shrugged sheepishly at his drummer before turning back to launch into the next verse.
Mikey gently shook her shoulder. “Hey, Rox, come on. We have to warm up.”
Her head bobbed in a nod at her brother, but she didn’t look over. She muttered, “Yeah, give me a minute,” or longer.
As if he heard, Mr. Voice glanced over and winked at her before the next song started. “Blinded by beauty, falling at first sight, head over heels…” There was raw passion in his voice, and she couldn’t help wishing he was singing about her.

TOUR-MEETAUTHOR

 Author Photo

AUTHOR BIO
My name is Brandy L Rivers. I’m a wife and mother of three with an overactive imagination. I’ve been obsessed with monsters and magic for pretty much ever. I decided to write the stories that keep me awake at night.

FOLLOW THE AUTHOR HERE
Amazon Author Page | Website/Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | Pinterest | Tumblr | Networked Blogs | Bloglovin | Goodreads | Shelfari

Giveaway

2 – signed copies of Nights Embrace with swag packs (US Only)

2 – $10 dollar Amazon Giftcards (International)

5 – eBook copies of Nights Embrace with Swag Packs (International)

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY HERE

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Drummer Girl by Bridget Tyler

16691515[1]-001Fast and Frenetic Coming of Age Story for Ages 14+

A Reader’s Review was lucky to be sent two proof copies of this forthcoming release, to provide an honest review. The book is scheduled for publication this coming May. Both Caroline and I have reviewed the book, outlining our different opinions and perspectives on the story for our readers to compare.

Tina’s Review (scroll down for Caroline’s review which follows on from this).

Drummer Girl by Bridget Tyler is a fast and frenetic coming of age novel that will appeal to many readers. It centres on a girl band Crush, who wins a competition to go to Los Angeles, with the opportunity to make it big on the music scene.

The book opens with a bang, on the aftermath of a shocking murder. It then rewinds to eight months earlier, to St Gabriel’s Sixth Form, London, where we witness a disparate group of girls come together, at the suggestion of fellow pupil, Harper McKenzie, to form a band. Their aim, in which they are successful, is to win Project Next, a television talent show with the dream prize of going to LA to win the final heat of the competition at the end of the summer and secure their rock and roll future.

It soon becomes clear however, that Harper’s main motivation for creating the band and winning Project Next, is the desire to be reunited with bad boy Rafe Jackson, who lives in LA and whose father Peter is involved in the competition. This creates a fair amount of friction from the start and plays a key role in the development of the plot. The girls face a world of limousines, designer clothes, personal stylists, parties and temptations they have never experienced before. They must also strive to ensure that their ability to make music remains at the forefront of their minds, when struggling with a host of competing issues, including drug addiction, body image, alcohol, sex and the trials of young love. There are also a number of secrets kept by some of the characters, which combine with a series of events which lead to the dire consequences at the conclusion of the book.

Lucy, the drummer in the band, is the central character, although we also get to know the trials, hopes and dreams of her four friends, Harper, the lead singer, Toni, the bass player, Robyn on guitar and Iza on piano. The personalities of the girls vary, but all have their own personal demons to battle with whilst they are on the cusp of adulthood. Lucy, the most grounded of them all, strives to keep the band together and prevent it from self-destructing in the face of the mounting pressures of making it big in Hollywood. The friendship between Lucy and Harper, which has its ups and downs,  is one of the main themes of the plot.

There are a number of supporting characters, such as Rafe, Harper’s love interest, and others, including Jason, the band’s manager, Alexander, the band’s music producer and Tomas, who deals drugs. A romance between one of the secondary characters, Skye and the minor character Cesar pulled at my heartstrings a great deal.

When I picked up this novel I did not expect to enjoy it as much as I did, simply because I am not a big fan of celebrity culture and TV talent shows. However, the focus is very much on the characterisations and the evolving plot; the trappings of wealth and celebrity culture serve to bring the issues facing the central characters into sharper focus. Also Bridget Tyler writes in such a way that I was quickly drawn into the world she creates. I developed a great deal of empathy for the young women and the other characters she portrays, in what I found to be an emotional and entertaining read.

The author is a screenwriter and I think this comes across in her writing in a positive way as it swiftly draws you into key scenes which highlight the world the girls find themselves in and the group dynamics at play. Every scene counts and the novel could quite easily be made into a film or TV series. Such is the richness of the tale, there is plenty of scope for the author to pen further novels, based on the characters in Drummer Girl. I do hope that she writes a follow up, if only to expand on a burgeoning romance for Lucy, which is introduced at the conclusion. Whilst I would recommend this novel primarily for teenagers or young adults, I feel that adults too would also enjoy it as it deals with universal issues that affect people of all ages in an exciting and engaging plot that keeps you guessing.

Reviewed by Tina Williams, A Reader’s Review Blog

Review below by Caroline Barker, A Reader’s Review Blog

Teenage girls, music, competitions, friendships, romances, alcohol, drugs and a whole load of other trouble is what ‘Drummer Girl’ is from beginning to end. I can see this being a really popular novel, especially for those between the ages of 14 and 18. It is a coming of age story where the characters want popularity, success and romance. However, they all soon discover that life has its fair share of danger and there are some adult themes covered, such as drugs, alcohol and young girls being taken advantage of.

Lucy, Harper, Toni, Robyn and Iza are Crush. The band enters a contest, Project Next, similar to that as The X Factor, and after winning the semi-finals in London they are given the chance to go to Hollywood for the summer to compete in the final. This alone causes family rifts and after reaching L.A. there is a great deal of pressure for the girls to not only work hard, but to party hard too.

Lucy Gosling, the ‘Drummer Girl’, is a nice character. At the age of 17 she is doing well at school with ambition to go further at Oxford. However, joining Crush and entering Project Next with her school friends is a dream come true. She is a clever, sensible teenager that craves fun and excitement with the hope of fame and success. Her only real problem is her best friend, Harper McKenzie.

Harper is an American girl – the other members of Crush are from London – and she can think very highly of herself and will do almost anything to get what she wants. She is the lead singer of the band. There is some history between Lucy and Harper as Harper and her ex-boyfriend, Rafe, caused a great deal of trouble for Lucy. Trouble that Lucy’s parents could not forgive Harper for. I found Harper to be a very irritating character and I could not warm to her at all.

Lucy begins to get suspicious of Harper’s reasons for forming a band and competing as when they arrive in Hollywood they soon meet up with Rafe and his new girlfriend, Skye. Is Harper still in love with Rafe? Is this the only reason why Harper set up Crush? Will more trouble lie ahead?

The introduction of the story begins with Harper’s body floating in a swimming pool surrounded by her blood. We then go back to the previous eight months that lead up to her death and begin with the band forming and competing in Project Next.

During the beginning chapters of ‘Drummer Girl’ I found the story to be unfolding quite slowly, and with Harper being so annoying I found it difficult to carry on reading. However, I did persevere and once the band reached L.A. I found that the story quickened it’s pace and the reader was introduced to more characters and a darker plot. I then needed to carry on reading to find out what had happened to Harper and to follow the girls’ adventure throughout the Project Next contest.

I have mixed emotions about this novel. On the one hand, if reading this book as a young teenager I think this book is a good read with friendship troubles, romance and the dream of becoming a rock star. You are just beginning to understand the dangers in life and this book is an introduction to some of them.

However on the other hand, from an adults point of view, there are moments when I feel that some issues are too adult for it’s audience but written in an almost nonchalant way. For example, when Harper’s body is dead in the swimming pool, at the beginning of the novel, Lucy is looking at the colour of her blood and thinking that Harper would have liked that colour nail varnish! I thought a teenage girl would freak at the image of her best friend’s body, lying lifeless in front of her. I also feel that more thought has gone into keeping the atmosphere of this book light. If this is the case, then maybe the drugs, alcohol and other adult themes shouldn’t be mentioned.

On the whole, ‘Drummer Girl’ is a good Hollywood Dream story, aimed mostly at teenage girls, with some fun characters and is a light-hearted read with some darker topics woven in. It can be likened to High School Musical, mixed with The X-Factor with the added bonus of real adventure and great ordeals. For fans of the novel, it would definitely be interesting to follow Lucy to the next stage of her life as she is a great role model and character.

Thanks to Templar Publishing for providing A Reader’s Review with Bridget Tyler’s novel, ‘Drummer Girl’ in return for an honest and fair review.

Reviewed by Caroline Barker

Cover art by Will Steele

Templar Publishing Website