Tag Archives: ebooks

“I like work: it fascinates me. I can sit and look at it for hours.”

I’ve had an interesting, fun and varied year of proofreading and editing, as well as starting a new job working in libraries, and another writing for a publisher. I’ve been busy, but having a ridiculously good time. Below I’ve collected what I’ve worked on as Eve Proofreads in 2014. Each of these projects has been such a joy to work on. I’m very lucky so many extraordinarily talented authors have let me read their work. I urge you to have a look through and purchase any that take your fancy; they are all well worth reading. The title quote is from Jerome K. Jerome, who’s pretty good too.

SlashI really loved proofreading Evan Kingston’s Slash Serial.

Slash is a metafictional erotic thriller / comedic murder mystery / romantic slasher, originally published in seven parts. Alexis Bledsoe, star of TV’s #1 family drama, is certain coming out the closet will kill her career, so she turns to erotic fan fiction about herself as her only sexual outlet. But when the stories turn sinister and begin to match real-life murders on the set of her show, she struggles to discover their author’s true identity while trying to keep her own a secret.

Originally published in seven parts, you can download the whole thing here or get the beautiful handmade set here.

Night BusLondon EyesFrances M Thompson hired me for a few of her short stories, published as Night Bus and in the London Eyes collection.

Written by Guardian Top London Blogger Frances M. Thompson, London Eyes is a compilation of thought-provoking contemporary fiction inspired by the sights, sounds and souls of the world’s most popular, and some say greatest, city. Find out how and why one young woman uses the busy streets of the City of London to disappear in An Invisible Girl. In Angel you begin to understand the lengths some people go to to avoid loneliness in London. 

Night Bus is a gentle and thought-provoking short story about dreams, love and the strange things that happen when you get the night bus in London.
Tilde O’Hara is an English woman with Irish parents and a Swedish name.
Tilde O’Hara lives in London with two cats who don’t like her very much.
Tilde O’Hara has a job she loves, a gay best friend she loves and a maisonette she loves, albeit really a bed-sit.
One night Tilde O’Hara meets an old woman on the number 94 bus and everything changes.

Here’s where you can find them.

Bewitching Luke

I really enjoy a bit of YA fantasy. The first book I worked on this year was Ava Smith’s Bewitching Luke. Here’s the synopsis:

Seventeen year old Freya Cook is a witch. She is able to cast spells and tell the future. She is shunned by everyone in the tiny village she lives in and doesn’t have a friend in the world. One day, salvation presents itself in the form of Luke Jones – who just happens to move in next door.

Start reading it on Wattpad.

DemonsI also worked on Joe Clay’s Demons of the Jungle, a darker paranormal fantasy:

Debra and Patricia were in the fight of their lives. The jungle became a prison, filled with nightmares and mysterious happenings. The un-explainable events drove Debra and Patricia to the realization they were part of a much bigger scheme. The demons were planning on taking over humanity and they were to be the mothers of the offspring.

Download it here, and look forward to Joe Clay’s upcoming novel that I also spent time on this year.

The Changing RoomI proofread and helped with the author Q & A and book club questions for The Changing Room by Jane Turley.

“Today, I am in the changing room of my life and tomorrow, win or lose, I’ll move forward a stronger and wiser woman.”

Sandy Lovett’s confused mother and chaotic life are having an effect on her waistline. She knows she needs to change her life but doesn’t know how until she buys a risqué dress which sets in motion a sequence of life-changing events. After years as a mother, carer and full-time employee, Sandy quits her job and places her mother in a care home, and life seems on the up. But disaster is never far away for the hapless Sandy as her mother’s obsessions continue to wreak havoc and her husband’s business begins to fail. Short of cash and needing a flexible job, Sandy joins a sex-chat service. At The Beaver Club Sandy discovers a talent for selling telephone sex – a skill she later regrets when she meets unscrupulous local politician and prospective MP, Trewin Thackeray. The Changing Room is a comedy-drama for all those whose glass is half-full. Preferably with gin and a big fat cherry!

Download it here or get the paperback.

SantaI also worked on Jane Turley’s short story collection A Modern Life, which I hear is Santa’s new favourite book.

A Modern Life is collection of contemporary short stories for time-pressed readers. A reflection on the challenges of living in the 21st century, A Modern Life covers a multitude of topics including marriage, murder, child abduction, climate change and war. It also features Jane Turley’s distinctive slapstick-comedy tales and a chapter of her début comedy, The Changing Room.

Buy the ebook or the paperback.

200 Shorter StoriesIt was great fun working on 200 Shorter Stories by C. H. Aaberry.

Two hundred tales of two hundred letters and spaces.
Plots, worlds and character refined to their essence.
Sci-fi, whimsy, fantasy, horror, thriller and more.
Short stories unlike any you’ve read before.

Get it from Amazon or Smashwords.

ZoI also edited C. H. Aalberry’s new novel Zo and the Impossible Gardens.

Zo woke up in the Impossible Gardens with no memory of how he got there and no way to escape. He is alone, and the night skies are full of stars and moons he does not recognize. Whatever brought Zo to the Gardens leaves him puzzles to solve, rewarding his efforts with strange animals from Earth and beyond. Zo loves adventure, but will he ever get to go home?
This is the story of Zo and the Impossible Gardens.

 

Available here.

SnowburnI proofread E. J. Frost’s sexy sci-fi novel, Snowburn.

Hale Hauser is a Company killer. Perfectly engineered, highly trained, superbly effective. But when ordered to assassinate his own kind, Hale rebels, and the Company buries him in a hole so deep that no one has ever escaped.

After escaping, Hale hides on Kuseros, a backwater Colony on the Deep Frontier. He begins a new life as Sandringham Snow, pilot and smuggler. Hired by Kez, a local runner, to retrieve a box of black-market glands, Hale follows her through the maze of strange loyalties and twisted customs of Kuseros’ underground gangs. In payment, he takes the one thing only a woman can give him, and discovers the one thing his new life is missing.

But Kez has a secret, which will threaten them both. To protect her, Hale must unleash the monster. Can he control the killer inside long enough to discover the truth before it destroys them? Or will he lose everything just as he’s found it?

Buy it here.

Lorenzo's CauseI actually met Stephen R. Harrison in real life after proofreading his debut novel Lorenzo’s Cause. He’s a delight and so is the book.

When Adam Drysdale’s self-inflicted misery drives him to take his own life, his only wish is for oblivion. He soon realises that his wish has not been granted when he finds himself returned to the world as a spirit. But he is no ordinary spirit, because he has the extraordinary ability to possess and control other living creatures.

And so begins Adam’s remarkable journey to uncover the reason behind his existence. It will involve cats and dogs, unwitting pensioners, some shady individuals, a psychotic gang leader and a highly unusual nightclub doorman. His journey will eventually lead him to the heart of why humans exist, and with it what the afterlife has in store for him.

 Lorenzo’s Cause is a humorous, sad, and at times harrowing story, which reflects on the human condition as it twists and turns its way to some novel concepts of what lies beyond.

The ebook and paperback can be purchased on Amazon.

Journey into SpaceSteve Turnbull employed me to edit steampunk space adventure Journey Into Space, 1874.

When the Royal Navy send their first crew into the Void, the first part of the expedition goes off without a hitch. But when the three-man crew discover their assumption that they are the first men in the Void is false, their journey becomes a desperate fight for survival in the harshest environment in the universe: The Void.

Available here. I’m currently working on the next Maliha Anderson mystery, so I strongly recommend you catch up with the first three here.

Johnny Don't March promo 1 copyI’ve just sent back Timothy Hurley‘s extraordinary novel about a soldier coming home, Johnny Don’t March. Look out for that in January.

 

There are a couple of other great titles I got to read this year which aren’t out yet, including Drae Box‘s fantasy adventure The Royal Gift, get a sneak peek here, and the new novel from Buzz Malone(If you haven’t read Silence of Centerville yet, do.)

To every author mentioned here, thank you so much for hiring me this year and for letting me read the products of your brilliant imaginations. You’re all fantastic!

What have you been doing this year? I hope it’s been a good one.

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a happy and productive 2015!

 

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Marilyn by Gloria Steinem

“When the past dies, there is mourning, but when the future dies our imaginations are compelled to carry it on.”Marilyn - Gloria Steinem

I’ve just finished the new ebook edition of this 1986 biography and I sort of miss it. I want more of it to exist, perhaps because of Steinem’s sensitive style, perhaps because mysteries which remain unanswered. More than a simple biography, this felt like a thesis on why things fell apart for Marilyn Monroe, or Norma Jeane. Steinem’s starting point is the sad young life of Norma Jeane: abuse, foster homes, her mother’s mental health issues. Steinem hypothesises how these experiences coloured Marilyn’s adult choices including her career and unsuccessful marriages. It is an intelligent study of fragility and celebrity.

Talking of intelligence, one of the most interesting aspects of the book was learning the depth of Marilyn and her love of reading and her natural intellectual curiosity.

“Her searches after knowledge were arbitrary and without context. It was as if she were shining a small flashlight of curiosity into the dark room of the world.”

She never finished high school as she was forced into an early marriage and always regretted her lack of education. She studied acting with great drive and devotion, striving to be better and brighter in every aspect of her life. She wanted children, but medical complications made that impossible. My heart broke with the description of her sitting alone on a park bench, disguised so that she could watch the children play.

The most profound moments of the book are when Marilyn’s own words are used. This includes passages from her unfinished autobiography and an interview conducted just weeks before her death. She cared little for money and turned down the offer of an older male friend to marry her so that she would inherit his fortune.

Marilyn_Monroe_by_George_Barris_1962‘Because she was sometimes forced to give in, to sell herself partially, she was all the more fearful of being bought totally.“What have you got to lose?” asked a friend who was urging the marriage to Hyde.
“Myself,” Marilyn said.’

Marilyn Monroe felt to Norma Jeane like a fictional construct: a person separate from herself that she often referred to in the third person and ‘turned on and off’ by doing the walk or adopting the mannerisms. This means that a lot of what she said is contradictory, unreliable, and probably not the truth. Steinem has done a thoughtful job of sifting through the claims and looking for evidence to piece together her life story. What is interesting about the book is that it critiques other biographies and seeks to get as close to the truth as possible, while recognising its limitations. Steinem used it to make wider points too, about the social construction of femininity, fame and psychoanalysis, with varying levels of success. There were pictures too: poignant, beautiful pictures.

I found it fascinating and deeply memorable. My ever-patient loved one listened to me recount the entire life story and then proceed to evaluate the book for a whole car journey. Be delighted, my dear readers, that I provide you with the condensed version!

Many thanks to NetGalley and  Open Road Integrated Media for the copy.

Have you read it? What did you think? I haven’t read a huge amount of biographies: do you have any recommendations? Do let me know in the comments!

As always, liking and sharing is hugely appreciated.

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International Women’s Day

To celebrate Women’s Day, you can have my ebook about inspirational women for free!

This uplifting illustrated collection warmly celebrates inspirational women from comedians to global campaigners. Entertaining descriptions of remarkable and ground-breaking achievements explain how these women have made particularly significant contributions. Admirable personal qualities form the theme of each biographical chapter: strong, inventive, cooperative, genuine and determined.

Download it now! Please share with anyone who might be interested! Thanks!

The Brilliant Women Collection

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Silver Spooned by Thomas Clark

I don’t love Louise Mensch. In fact, if my life was a superhero comic, I’m pretty sure she would be my nemesis. Consequently, it silver spooneddelighted me that Clark’s first chapter derides her fallacious assertions. The book is a study in political falsehoods, focusing on the justification of current economic policy in the UK. It is an up to date, well researched account of problems with the government’s policies and proposals and the spin that supports them. Moreover, it provides a general explanation of the various forms of fallacious reasoning and deconstructs them with intelligence and skill.

Although the economic examples are UK-centric, the principles apply globally, and there is much to be learnt about British politics through reading this. It is up to the moment, analytic and angry in a way that stays just the right side of vitriolic. The logic is sound and the writing flows easily. The introduction was less smooth, but as soon as Clark was into his main content his confident style came through. Also, I learnt a great deal about the bedroom tax that enlivened dinner conversation this evening.

This book has a clear and vehement political standpoint, which brings me to my reservation about the text. I did a dissertation about the way language is employed in political spin; I am already interested and on side. There is something in the tone of this book, however, that may mean that the people who could benefit from it most would find it too abrasive. In a sense I am concerned Clark may be preaching to the choir,  though perhaps to some agnostics too. Even so, the choir will be for better informed for reading this text.

It is currently free on Smashwords and well worth having a look at.

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Free on Amazon: The Origami Dragon and Other Tales and Wish by C.H. Aalberry

It’s no secret that I enjoy the writing of C. H Aalberry. You can read my review of his YA fantasy novel Wish here.  Now is a brilliant time to download Wish or his wonderful book of short stories The Origami Dragon and Other Tales – they are currently absolutely free on Kindle! Origami

WishThe Origami Dragon is really rather special- darker than Wish in some ways, the intelligent mix of compelling characterisation, fantasy and science fiction is original and engaging. From tiny elephants to inter-stellar travel, the collection has surprising twists and charming moments. The author has a gift for intriguing anti-heroes and bringing the dark and fantastical to life. There’s also a clever intertwining intertextuality throughout.

Get yourself some quality, entertaining literature while it’s free! Also,  look out for stunning use of spelling, grammar and punctuation in both. Come for the plot, stay for the syntax!

Read another review of Wish from the estimable Adam P Reviews. His overview is simply excellent!

Read C. H Aalberry’s advice for writers struggling with writer’s block.

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Writer’s Block

A guest post by the fantastic author, C.H. Aalberry

My best ideas never seem to make it down onto paper. I walk home with my head full of pictures and witty dialogues, but as soon as I sit down to capture them, they evaporate. Getting ideas onto paper is hard, and that blank sheet can be intimidating. There may be rare times when words pour out faster than you can get them down, but what about the times when you sit in front of your computer and can’t think of what to do next? 

Don’t misunderestimate your own potential: if George can make it to the Whitehouse, you can write a novel.

Don’t misunderestimate your own potential: if George can make it to the White House, you can write a novel.

Writer’s block. It affects all writers eventually, particularly during first drafts. Writing is an act of creation that is easily derailed. So, what can be done to solve this dilemma? Here are eight tips I use when I get stuck:

1)      Start somewhere, start anywhere. Write what comes easiest. It doesn’t have to be the next chapter or even the next paragraph in the story, because as long as you are writing you are making progress. If you have any ideas floating around that you know you want to include, nail them down and put them in order later. I write a few key chapters first, which gives me some idea of where the story is going. Maybe start with a description of a character or a place: it may not be included in the final product, but it could start you off.

 2)      Don’t panic if it’s not perfect. You write a few lines. They are rubbish. You want to give up. Don’t. The point of a first draft is that you are creating the raw material for your second draft, so don’t worry if it seems rough.

I bet that even the Bard had poor writing days, and he turned out OK.

I bet that even the Bard had poor writing days, and he turned out OK.

3)      Change the scene. Try writing at your local library or cafe. A change of location can nudge you into action. Load everything onto an online drop box and you can carry on from wherever you are in the world (except for North Korea).

4)      Talk it out. I find talking about my work out loud helps me work out a direction and a few key phrases to get me started. No one to talk to? No worries! Talk aloud to yourself- all the creative types does it (note: best avoid mixing this step with step 3).

 5)      Put some pressure on. Tell your pal or your partner or your parrot that you will have five hundred words written by the end of the day… it’s an incentive to get started because if you don’t that parrot will judge you forever. 

Parrots: beautiful, but surprisingly judgemental.

Parrots: beautiful, but surprisingly judgemental

 6)      Take some pressure off. Go for a walk. It may not help your writing, but at least you’ll be getting some exercise. Also, inspiration is more likely to strike when you are relaxed, so get out there and smell the roses.

7)      Still struggling? Get inspired. If you are spending hours in front of your computer but not producing anything then it’s time for a break! Think of it as sharpening the axe. Go to an art gallery. Look at pictures of wildlife on the internet. Learn a little something about the world. Read a short story or two (shameless plug: ‘The Origami Dragon And Other Tales’ is full of short stories guaranteed* to inspire you). Sometimes all it takes is a change of mood.

8)      Persist! Persistence is a key ingredient to writing, so keep calm and keep writing. After all, slow progress is still progress.

I hope that helps. If you have any ideas about beating writer’s block, post them in the comments, I would love to see them. Finally, remember that writer’s block is normal, but don’t let it stop you from doing what you love!

*I lie; there are no guarantees when it comes to inspiration. But the book does contain a story about tiny elephants.

C. H. Aalberry is the author of the fantasy novel ‘Wish’ and ‘The Origami Dragon And Other Tales’, a collection of short stories. 

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All I Want for Christmas is…The Best Literary-themed Gifts!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! The perfect time for giving and receiving reading and writing paraphernalia. Hopefully, you’ll all be buying my proofreading and editing Christmas Vouchers here for the talented writer in your life, but in case there’s still some room in your stockings, here’s my suggested list for Santa.

Brilliant  falling bookend, creating that wonderful sense of trepidation before you’ve even picked up a new thriller.

bookend

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I Capture the Castle tea towel. Reminding us that sometimes lovelier things than scrubbing broccoli molecules out of a sieve can take place in a kitchen sink.

i-capture-the-castle-teatowel-3368-p[ekm]249x249[ekm]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hairpins– because everything about you should scream well-read. Even your hairdo. hairpins2__55935.1308856435.420.420

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Puns and Shakespeare- these are a few of my favourite things (sung with glee like Julie Andrews). The bard himself would definitely have been proud to wear this if t-shirts had been invented instead of the blouses and bloomers they wore back then. To buy or not to buy- that is the question.

william_shakespeare_will_power_womens_dark_tshir

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next, something seasonal, but not saccharine: a cool but creepy print, inspired by Charles Dickens’ ghost of Christmas yet to come. I could very easily have written a whole post on pictures from Society 6, but I have to restrict the time I spend on that website- it’s a maze of glory that I don’t have the wall space to accommodate.

A christmas carol

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Writers, just for a change, bring your stories to life in a different way. Sometimes it’s nice to see something physically – visually – expressed; it’s all great story-telling! Also, Christmas is all about quality animation- The Snowman is a personal highlight. That + Labyrinth= Bowie’s greatest moments. I’m willing to try anything that kids look that happy doing! Four thumbs up! animate

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The gift that keeps on giving- a Persephone Books subscription! Who doesn’t love getting post that isn’t bills or circulars? Quality literature through the post every month- what could be better?

book-a-month

 

 

 

 

Alternatively, *awkward plug warning* you could by my cheap and cheery ebook at Smashwords or Amazon. It’s got pictures and everything!

The Brilliant Women Collection

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The Idealist

The Idealist

Jean Lopez’s historical novel is so compelling that I read it in one sitting. Based on historical fact, it tells the fascinating story of a young, idealistic lawyer, José Antonio, who became a fascist political leader at a tumultuous moment in Spanish history: the Civil War. It cleverly explores the relationship between personal charm and authoritarianism. His character is by far the most enthralling and best written in the book; I was less invested in the invented people. Lively dialogue and a constant sense of purpose and deep emotion kept me interested until the end. Short chapters allow the violence and drama to build at credible pace.

 The quality of writing is very high. The author smoothly adopts her characters’ perspectives to give their rich and varied impressions on people and events. For example, we see José Antonio through the eyes of several others, including his aunt:

‘But of course all of José Antonio’s girlfriends had been beautiful. Tía Ma would have been surprised indeed if they had not been so. He reminded her of a little boy collecting butterflies.’

The author has clearly done a vast amount of research; the authenticity of detail makes it an informative portrait of a time. However, the first part has a great deal of factual exposition to the extent that passages felt like they were written in a different style (closer to that of historical non-fiction). This amount of information is perhaps beneficial as it grounds the reader in the veracity of the occurrences, but I would have preferred the literary voice to be more closely maintained. Additionally, I found the epilogue to be too long; I have always been taught that epilogues should be brief. From a proofreader’s perspective, I couldn’t help but notice a few rogue punctuation marks. These flaws are minor and should not prevent anyone from enjoying a seriously impressive and accomplished work that deserves to be widely read. I want a whole collection of Jean Lopez texts to teach me about world history through her original and absorbing prose.

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