Chill with a Book Awards for Indie Authors

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Honoured with Chill's Award: The Silent Quarry by Cheryl Rees-Price


The Silent Quarry by Cheryl Rees-Price has been honoured

with a 
Chill with a Book AWARD



In 1987 a quiet Welsh village was devastated by a brutal attack on two schoolgirls, Bethan Hopkins and Gwen Collier. Only Gwen survived, with horrific injuries and no memory of the attack. The killer was never caught.

Now, nearly thirty years later, Gwen has gone missing and DI Winter Meadows is assigned to the case. Charismatic and intuitive, he has an uncanny gift for finding the truth. But in this small and close-knit community, the past is never far away, and those who have secrets will go to any lengths to keep them. Tensions run high as old feelings and accusations are stirred. And DI Meadows has to battle his own demons as he uncovers a truth he wished had stayed in the past …

The Silent Quarry is the first in the DI Winter Meadows series by Cheryl Rees-Price.

 The Silent Quarry by Cheryl  Rees-Price was read and evaluated by Chill's readers against a five point criteria

1.       Were the characters strong and engaging?
2.       Was the book well written?
3.       Did the plot have you turning the page to find out what happened next?
4.       Was the ending satisfying?
5.       Have you told your friends about it?



Tuesday, 29 November 2016

AWARD Winning Author: Deborah Carr Tells The Story Behind Broken Faces



Chill with a Book Award honouree, Deborah Carr talks about the story behind Broken Faces



Like any other author the hardest part of writing a book is finding ways to introduce it to readers and one of those ways is by your book being given an award. I was therefore delighted and very proud to discover that Broken Faces, my WW1 romance, had been given a Chill with a Book Award and to have a beautiful badge to add to my cover as a bonus!

I first thought of writing a book set in the Edwardian period after having lunch at a Romantic Novelist’s Association conference. I was sitting between two authors I admired and asked them how they came up with the ideas for their brilliant books. One told me she thinks of something she’s interested in and knows little about and then researches it as the background of a book. That sounded like a good plan to me and I’ve used that idea for every book since – I also write contemporary romances for Accent Press as Georgina Troy.



So, what to research for the plotline of Broken Faces? I’d already written a book – not yet published - after researching the WW2 Guinea Club – pilots who’d been badly burnt and had been treated by New Zealand plastic surgeon, Sir Archie McIndoe. But I wanted to write a book set in the Edwardian era and when I discovered that Sir Archie McIndoe’s cousin, Sir Harold Gillies, an otolaryngologist specialising in plastic surgery, who performed pioneering surgery on soldiers with horrific facial injuries fighting in WW1, I was transfixed and knew that my story had to be about one of these men.

My paternal great-grandfather was in the Lancers and I rode/owned horses for many years, so with my love of horses it was easy to make him a cavalryman. I also like using Jersey in my books and so Freddie Chevalier, a handsome farmer’s son from Jersey, was born. My first husband’s family have a beautiful estate in Shropshire, so Freddie’s best friend, Charles Baldwyn, was heir to an estate… you’ve guessed it, in Shropshire. I then decided I wanted to have Freddie falling secretly in love with Charles’s American fiancée, but also have Charles’s younger sister, Lexi in love with Freddie. He adores her but only sees her as ‘little Lexi’ and so, determined not to be left behind, Lexi persuades her parents to let her join the VADs.

The book has betrayal, fairly graphic battle scenes, unrequited love, and four characters who at the beginning of the book think that their privilege lives will always be golden. It is the story of two young men in love with the same woman and of thousands of broken men who returned from the Front in WW1 with masks over their faces to hide the irreparable damage. These men were expected to live a “normal” life. Broken Faces spans the 1914-18 war and is ultimately a story of how love can triumph over adversity in the most unexpected of ways.


I have other stories to tell behind this book but I’ll keep those for another day. I based Lexi on my paternal grandmother, Mary, who was very beautiful and am working on a novella, Beautiful Faces, which is the prequel to Freddie and Lexi’s story and hope it will be published in January/February 2017.

Friday, 25 November 2016

Honoured with Chill's AWARD: Killer's Countdown by Wendy H Jones


Killer's Countdown by Wendy H Jones has been honoured

with a 
Chill with a Book AWARD


"Twists and Turns to the Very Last Page!" Mandy baker Johnson

Dead Women. A Ruthless Killer. A Detective with something to prove. Newly promoted Detective Inspector Shona McKenzie struggles to cope with her new job, the respect of her colleagues, and the need to solve the hardest case of her life. Will she succeed?

A killer stalks the streets of Dundee, Scotland. Shona,having recently returned to Scotland, relies on the local knowledge of Sgt Peter Johnston and the rest of her team to help her track down the killer. However, this is no ordinary killer. Shona needs to use every trick in and out of the book to bring them to justice. The final revelation will shock you to the core.

If you like books by Val McDermid, Ian Rankin, Alex Gray, Stuart MacBride, Lin Anderson, Kathy Reich, James Patterson, Tess Gerritsen, or Karin Slaughter, then you will love this book.

 Killer's Countdown by Wendy H Jones was read and evaluated by Chill's readers against the five point criteria below

1.       Were the characters strong and engaging?
2.       Was the book well written?
3.       Did the plot have you turning the page to find out what happened next?
4.       Was the ending satisfying?
5.       Have you told your friends about it?



Thursday, 24 November 2016

AWARD Winning Read, Echoes of Time on Special Offer!



For a short time only, from 24th – 27th November, Echoes of Time will be on promotion at only 99p/99c on Amazon kindle. 



 ‘A powerful family drama packed full of mystery and intrigue. A stunningly good read.’ A ‘Wishing Shelf’ Book Review Betrayal, injustice and revenge echo down the years…

1940. Olive marries farmer Bill Falla. The Germans occupy Guernsey. All too soon Olive realises she’s made a mistake. Her life changes when she meets Wolfgang, a German officer- but there’s a price to pay. . . 2010. Natalie Ogier returns to Guernsey to escape an abusive relationship – only to be plagued by odd happenings in her beautiful cottage on the site of a derelict and secluded farm.

Disturbing dreams, disembodied voices and uncanny visions from the past. She becomes increasingly ill at ease as someone else’s past catches up with her own… Her only immediate neighbour, Stuart, is the grandson of the original owners, Bill and Olive. Thrown together in a bid to find out what really happened to Olive, can they each survive the repercussions of the past and move on?

An AWARD winning read



Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Honoured with Chill's AWARD: Lost in Static by Christina Philippou


Lost in Static by Christina Philippou has been honoured

with a 
Chill with a Book AWARD


Sometimes growing up is seeing someone else's side of the story. Four stories. One truth. Whom do you believe? 

Callum has a family secret. Yasmine wants to know it. Juliette thinks nobody knows hers. All Ruby wants is to reinvent herself. 

They are brought together by circumstance, torn apart by misunderstanding. As new relationships are forged and confidences are broken, each person's version of events is coloured by their background, beliefs and prejudices. And so the ingredients are in place for a year shaped by lust, betrayal, and violence... 

Lost in Static is the gripping debut from author Christina Philippou. Whom will you trust?


Lost in Static by Christina Philippou  was read and evaluated by Chill's readers against the five point criteria below

1.       Were the characters strong and engaging?
2.       Was the book well written?
3.       Did the plot have you turning the page to find out what happened next?
4.       Was the ending satisfying?
5.       Have you told your friends about it?



Friday, 18 November 2016

AWARD Winning Author: Catherine Kullmann talks to Chill with a Book

 Hello Catherine, great you could take time out to visit Chill’s HQ, make yourself comfortable and tell us all about you.


The facts in a nutshell: I was born and brought up in Dublin and moved to Germany on my marriage in 1973. My husband and I returned to Ireland in 1999. We have three sons and two grandchildren. Before my marriage, I was an Administrative Officer at the Department of Finance in Dublin. I later worked as Attaché at the Irish Embassy in Bonn and, following a twelve-year stint as a full-time mother, joined the New Zealand Embassy in Bonn, where I was Administration Officer. I took early retirement from my position as Director of Administration and Human Resources at a large Dublin law firm in 2009.

How would you describe yourself?

This is the hardest question of all to answer so I sought help from my closest family and friends. It was an interesting exercise and I was both humbled and flattered by the replies which included:
·       A modern woman with  impeccable research and writing skills, articulate, logical, good at phrasing even complicated ideas
·       Determined, strong-minded, a leader, organised and organising, energetic, goal-oriented, scarily efficient
·       An ideal friend and companion with a wicked sense of humour,
·       Never without a book (or several as the bookshelves in her home will tell you) and loves historical books - both fiction and non-fiction.
·       Enjoys all the 'good things ' of life e.g. food, travel, music, theatre while keeping her feet firmly on the ground.

And how would you describe your books?


My books are historical fiction, not fictionalised history. While real people may have walk-on parts e.g. Lord Byron and Colonel Colborne in The Murmur of Masks, the characters and their stories are fiction. The main story arc is romantic, but as well as dealing with their own problems characters must also cope with external events and the constraints imposed by society. I am particularly interested in what happens after the first happy end—how life goes on around the protagonists and sometimes catches up with them.

Why write historical fiction?

So often the past determines the present. I am fascinated by people and in particular why they behave as they do. I also love a good story, particularly when characters come alive in a book. But then come the ‘whys’ and ‘what ifs’. Fiction allows me to answer those questions.

I have always enjoyed writing, I love the fall of words, the shaping of an expressive phrase, the satisfaction when a sentence conveys my meaning exactly. I enjoy plotting and revel in the challenge of evoking a historic era for characters who behave authentically in their period while making their actions and decisions plausible and sympathetic to a modern reader. In addition, I am fanatical about language, especially using the right language as it would have been used during the period about which I am writing. But rewarding as all this craft is, there is nothing to match the moment when a book takes flight, when your characters suddenly determine the route of their journey.

The Murmur of Masks is set in England between 1803 and 1815. Why did you choose that period?
The first quarter of the nineteenth century was one of the most significant periods of European and American history whose events still resonate after two hundred years. The Act of Union between Great Britain and Ireland of 1800, the Anglo-American war of 1812 and the final defeat of Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815 all still shape our modern world. But the aristocracy-led society that drove these events was already under attack from those who saw the need for social and political reform, while the industrial revolution saw the beginning of the transfer of wealth to non-nobility and gentry. It is the beginning of our modern society.

You describe a society which afforded women little or no rights. Do you find it difficult to get into the mind-set of two hundred years ago?

The world of my girlhood was in many ways nearer to that of 1814 than that of 2014. The Ireland of the nineteen-fifties and sixties was a society with an extremely rigid moral climate; divorce was illegal as were all types of contraception. Respectability was all. Virginity in women was highly prized and ‘fallen’ girls were sent away to have their babies secretly and then give them up for adoption. Generally women did not work after they were married and most large employers terminated a woman’s employment on her marriage. Despite this, marriage was regarded as the best ‘career’ for a woman. Unless they had to leave home to work or study elsewhere, unmarried sons and daughters still tended to live with their parents.

But despite all these constraints, I think women were as strong then as they are now. They lived and loved and died, made the best lives they could for themselves. They may have had to make hard choices and live with the consequences, but so do women today.As far as going back to the past is concerned, Dublin has a wonderful Georgian core. I went to school on one Georgian square and later managed four houses on another and the memory of those long flights of stairs with their returns and return rooms, the sash-windows, the basements and coal-holes under the pavement stays with me as much as the straight lines of Yeats’s ‘grey, eighteenth-century houses’.

I also remember the drudgery of wash-day; the cold in a house that was heated only by open fires, the tang and reek of smoke in the air from all those fires; horse-drawn carts, even in the Dublin streets, with sparrows pecking at the oats spilled from the nose-bag; the meat-safe that hung outside on a north-facing wall before the advent of our first fridge. Everything was delivered from coal to groceries, with invoices sent at the end of the month when my mother did her accounts.

Neighbours who had lived side by side for decades addressed each other as Mrs and Mr So-and so, men raised their hats to salute a passing woman of their acquaintance and were meticulous about walking on the outside of the pavement when escorting her. At dances a girl could only dance if she was invited to by a man who might later ask if he could ‘see her home’, but only as far as the front door.

My husband and I wrote letters to each other for three years before we married and when I moved to Germany, letters were still the usual way of communicating with home as international trunk calls were so expensive. A phone call meant bad news. Airfares were also very dear and there was one seven-year period when our children were young that I did not travel back to Ireland at all.

Tell us about your research

I haunt antique shops, second-hand book shops, book fairs etc. and have built up a considerable research and reference library as well as a collection of prints and engravings. We tend not to think of that period in pictorial terms, or perhaps only of architectural prints, but in fact there was a roaring trade in hand-coloured engravings, lithographs etc. that covered everything from fashion to the most scurrilous gossip of the day. The internet is a wonderful facility and I have an ever-growing file of historical facts and trivia. I love visiting old towns and cities and period houses—it is important to remember the overlap of eras as well. I draw on all this to create a sense of time and place. I blog about historical facts and trivia relating to the extended Regency period on   http://catherinekullmann.com/my-scrap-album/

The Murmur of Masks is your first book. What next?

The Murmur of Masks is the first in a loose series of books set between 1800 and 1825, with the bulk of the action taking place between 1812 and 1825. By a loose series, I mean one where different characters take the lead in each book but we meet some people again and again. Each book will also be stand-alone and it will not be necessary to read them in sequence but overall I hope they will present an authentic picture of the period. The next, Perception & Illusion, will be published in 2017.


What did being honoured with a  Chill with a Book Award mean to you?

Chill with a Book’s criteria seem so simple but go straight to the core of what a good novel is about and for me, as a debut, indie author, it was most satisfying to learn that The Murmur of Masks meets these high standards and was honoured with an award. I am also very appreciative of the promotion opportunities offered by this award.  Thank you.

Catherine Kullmann
Historical Fiction for the Heart and for the Head



Out now: The Murmur of Masks
https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01IVY3GCU/

Thursday, 17 November 2016

AWARD Winning Author: Veronica McGivney Talks to Chill with a Book


Her debut novel, Aftermath of Murder was recently honoured with a Chill with a Book Award, Veronica (Vee) McGivney calls into Chill’s HQ to share a little about herself.

I grew up on the isle of Wight and afterwards lived and worked in Exeter, Paris, Angouleme ( south west France), North London,  Nairobi (Kenya) and Brighton where I still live.



 I have always enjoyed writing but only turned to writing fiction in recent years after a long period producing academic books and articles. I find writing fiction liberating and immensely satisfying, although it has to compete for time with my other great love, painting.

 In the last few years I have completed several novels and a number of short stories. My debut novel  'Aftermath of a Murder' was published in November 2015, and a second, 'Inheritors of the New Kingdom', in November 2016. I also write short stories and have been shortlisted for two British short story awards.

I don't favour any single genre. I write about anything that interests or preoccupies me at the time. 'Aftermath' and 'Inheritors' are both very different in subject and scope, as are all my short stories.



Receiving a Chill with a Book award for 'Aftermath' was both an honour and a great pleasure. It is also helpful as the greatest difficulty any independent writer faces is to promote their own work. Writing is the easy bit!

Friday, 11 November 2016

Honoured with Chill's AWARD: The Murmur of Masks by Catherine Kullmann


The Murmur of Masks by Catherine Kullmann has been honoured

with a 
Chill with a Book AWARD



Love and Heartbreak in Regency England.

When England’s war with France resumes in 1803, eighteen-year-old Olivia Frobisher’s father and brother, both naval officers, are ‘somewhere at sea’. Her mother’s sudden death leaves her alone and vulnerable and she accepts the offer of a marriage of convenience from an older man, unaware that his secrets will preclude love ever growing between them. Ten years later, and trapped in a loveless marriage, she has retreated behind a cool, aloof façade, but still longs for love, ‘just once to deny the lark and claim it nightingale’. Fate offers her a second chance, but with war once more approaching following the escape of Napoleon from Elba, will her dreams of happiness be snatched away for a second time? 

Has Olivia the courage to win the final battle—dare she trust her own heart?

The Murmur of Masks by Catherine Kullmann  was read and evaluated by Chill's readers against the five point criteria below

1.       Were the characters strong and engaging?
2.       Was the book well written?
3.       Did the plot have you turning the page to find out what happened next?
4.       Was the ending satisfying?
5.       Have you told your friends about it?



Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Honoured with Chill's AWARD: We've Come To Take You Home by Susan Gandar


We've Come to Take You Home by Susan Gandar has been honoured

with a 
Chill with a Book AWARD


Samantha Foster and Jessica Brown are destined to meet. But one lives in the 20th century, the other in the 21st...

It is April 1916 and thousands of men have left home to fight in the war to end all wars. Jessica Brown's father is about to be one of these men. A year later, he is still alive, but Jess has to steal to keep her family from starving. And then a telegram arrives - her father has been killed in action. 

Four generations later, Sam Foster's father is admitted to hospital with a suspected brain haemorrhage. A nurse asks if she would like to take her father’s hand. Sam refuses. All she wants is to get out of this place, stuck between the world of the living and the world of the dead, a place with no hope and no future, as quickly as possible. 

As Sam's father's condition worsens, her dreams become more frequent - and more frightening. She realises that what she is experiencing is not a dream, but someone else's living nightmare... 

We've Come to Take You Home is an emotionally-charged story of a friendship forged 100 years apart. 


We've Come To Take You Home was read and evaluated by Chill's readers against the five point criteria below

1.       Were the characters strong and engaging?
2.       Was the book well written?
3.       Did the plot have you turning the page to find out what happened next?
4.       Was the ending satisfying?
5.       Have you told your friends about it?



Monday, 7 November 2016

New Cover for Satchfield Hall



Today, I am excited to reveal the new cover for Satchfield Hall.  I felt it needed a new look to reflect the emotional story told in those pages. Produced by Cathy Helms at Avalon Graphics, I love it. What do you think?

Blurb

Celia Bryant-Smythe could never have imagined the high price she would have to pay for her one mistake.

As her father, Henry Bryant-Smythe learns of her indiscretion, he not only deals with it, but stamps on it with a resounding thud that will ricochet through the years. He cares nothing for the consequences of his actions that will bring heartbreak, pain and loss.

Set between 1943 and 1986, Satchfield Hall is a sweeping saga of deep love, evil lies and ruthless power.



Available in Kindle and paperback




Saturday, 5 November 2016

Honoured with Chill's AWARD: A Spell in Provence by Marie Laval


A Spell in Provence by Marie Laval has been honoured

with a 
Chill with a Book AWARD


Passion and mystery in the hills of Provence when an ancient spell weaves its dark magic.

After losing her job in England, Amy Carter uses her redundancy payment to start a new life in France, turning Bellefontaine, an overgrown Provençal farmhouse, into a successful hotel. Though she has big plans for her new home, none of them involves falling in love — least of all with Fabien Coste, the handsome but arrogant owner of the nearby château. 

As romance blossoms in the beautiful Provençal countryside, disturbing events at the farmhouse hint at a dark mystery — a destructive, centuries-old attachment between the ladies of Bellefontaine and the ducs de Coste. As Amy struggles to unravel the mystery, she begins to wonder if it may not just be her heart at risk, but her life too.

A Spell in Provence was read and evaluated by Chill's readers against the five point criteria below

1.       Were the characters strong and engaging?
2.       Was the book well written?
3.       Did the plot have you turning the page to find out what happened next?
4.       Was the ending satisfying?
5.       Have you told your friends about it?



Friday, 4 November 2016

Reviewed: The Wendy House by Pauline Barclay



Two new five star reviews appeared on Amazon this week for The Wendy House by Pauline Barclay

"The Wendy House is a compelling story that tells the touching story of the horrors of abuse and the deep emotional scars it leaves behind. The author writes and captures the true feelings and emotions of the trauma the victim is going through and how it effects the whole family dynamics, with the shock waves and secrets of the feelings of fear and repercussions of speaking up.

A very difficult and taboo subject to write about in a novel, some readers may find its content upsetting, but the author handles the difficult scenes in a gentle, honest and respectful way. The book really makes you become involved with the leading character, it is gripping and you want to reach in among the pages and offer help and understanding. 'Tell someone', you feel yourself saying. I have read all of author Pauline Barclay's books and they are all very good and excellent reads, but this is her best work to date."




"A disturbing and moving read that looks at paedophile abuse in a painfully believable way. The Wendy House of the title is a child’s play thing, lovingly created, but its purpose is to entrap and corrupt. There is no snatching and abduction of children, but the slow, cunning grooming of a victim that leaves her emotionally and intellectually shattered, a disappointment to the parents who never suspect, for one moment, what is going on, and who, unwittingly, become virtual accomplices of the abuser. Nicola’s helpless, guilt-ridden torments as a child lead on to turmoil in adulthood until she finally decides to speak out. Only then can the guilt be directed where it is deserved.

A very good read that pulls no punches."

Available in Kindle and paperback


Pauline's Links
Instagram @paulinebarclay




Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Honoured with Chill's AWARD: Fly or Fall by Gilli Allan


Fly or Fall by Gilli Allan has been honoured

with a 
Chill with a Book AWARD




Will the allure of the unknown ever overcome the fear of stepping away from solid ground?

Wife and mother, Nell, fears change, but it is forced upon her by her manipulative husband, Trevor. Finding herself in a new world of flirtation and casual infidelity, her principles are undermined and she’s tempted. Should she emulate the behaviour of her new friends or stick with the safe and familiar?

But everything Nell has accepted at face value has a dark side. Everyone - even her nearest and dearest - has been lying. She’s even deceived herself. The presentiment of disaster, first felt as a tremor at the start of the story, rumbles into a full blown earthquake. When the dust settles, nothing is as it previously seemed. And when an unlikely love blossoms from the wreckage of her life, she fears it is doomed.

The future, for the woman who feared change, is irrevocably altered. But has she been broken, or has she transformed herself?

Fly or Fall was read and evaluated by Chill's readers against the five point criteria below

1.       Were the characters strong and engaging?
2.       Was the book well written?
3.       Did the plot have you turning the page to find out what happened next?
4.       Was the ending satisfying?
5.       Have you told your friends about it?