Posts Tagged Carole Matthews

Milton Keynes Short Story Competition

Ever been to Milton Keynes? It’s famous for its concrete cows and the urban myth that it was named after the two economists Milton Friedman and Maynard Keynes. The town’s name actually came from the old village of Milton Keynes which was in the centre of the area designated for development as a ‘new town’ in 1967.

2017 is Milton Keynes’ 50th birthday and, to help the town celebrate its half-centenary, a short story competition has been organised. Hooray!

The competition is asking for stories in any genre but they must be set in Milton Keynes. Maximum number of words is 1050 and the closing date is 21st April 2017.
£100 goes to the winner, £50 to second place and £25 to third place. Fifty of the best stories will be selected for publication in a limited edition anthology.
Entry is FREE and judges include local Milton Keynes authors Carole Matthews, Karen Guyler and Scott Dorward.

Full information is available on Carole Matthew’s website.

And, by the way, Milton Keynes gets a brief mention in my psychological thriller Bedsit Three

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Kindle Countdown Deals 2 & ‘A Place to Call Home’

You may remember that a couple of weeks ago I promoted my non-fiction e-book A Writer on Writing – Advice to Make You a Success using the new KDP Select sales tool – Kindle Countdown Deals. A Writer On WritingIt was reduced from £1.99 to 99p for 7 days.

I thought I’d let you know how I got on.

During the promotion period I sold 20 copies in the UK but 1 was later refunded (Kindle books can be refunded if the request is made within 7 days of the original purchase – Amazon then automatically remove the book from your device). I sold 3 copies in the US where the discount was also running and 1 copy in Australia at full price (Kindle Countdown Deals only apply to the US and the UK).

In the week after the promotion period I sold 2 copies in the UK at full price and received 1 new review. I sold none anywhere else.

So I won’t be booking that Caribbean cruise just yet but I might manage to treat myself to a Salted Caramel Latte in Costa (I’m rather partial to them when they appear on the Christmas menu!).

But, all things considered, I’m fairly happy with the result because I didn’t spend much time promoting the Deal apart from here and on a couple of forums and a lot of the people I reached in this way would probably already have the book from earlier, free, promotions. Also, thanks to those people that gave me a shout-out!

It’s definitely a tool I’d consider using again sometime in the future. Psychologically, it feels better than giving books away for free but I think the free promo still has it’s place for cheaper books and as a method of giving a new book an initial ‘lift’.

On another subject, I’ve just finished reading my advance copy of Carole Matthews new book – ‘A Place to Call Home’. The story brings together 4 injured souls who are all hurting in different ways. Over the course of a summer they bond together and help each other to heal. It’s an easy to read, ‘feel good’ novel – just the thing if you’re fed up of these long dark days of winter. It will be published on Jan 9th 2014 but is available for Amazon pre-order now in hardback and e-book format.

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Sally Quilford’s Birthday Giveaways Plus a Catch-up

I’m just back from walking the Cleveland Way (109 miles in 10 gloriously sunny days) and am now chasing my tail trying to catch up on everything! Sally Jenkins, Cleveland Way

Just before I left I had an acceptance from My Weekly. It was for a story I subbed in October 2011 – so never think your story has fallen into a black hole if you get no response!

Also, those lovely people at Readers’ Favourite  have reviewed my non-fiction book A Writer on Writing – Advice to Make You A Success. They’ve given it a whopping 5 stars (and I promise, no money changed hands!). Read the review here.

Finally, today is Sally Quilford’s 50th birthday and there are lots of exciting things happening on her blog, including e-book giveaways and a massive prize draw. I’ve joined in the fun and one of Sally’s giveaways is my e-book, Maxine’s Story – The Museum of Fractured Lives. It’s free for today only (11th August) and you can get it directly via Amazon or why not pop over to Sally’s blog and check out all the other goodies too? Her prize draw closes on Friday 16th August but many of the e-book freebies are only valid today.

By the way, if you’re looking for an escapist easy read, take a look at Carole Matthews’ new book, Calling Mrs Christmas. I received a review copy via Carole’s newsletter and it was perfect holiday reading. It took me from the misery of a suicide attempt in a young offenders’ institution to the splendour of Lapland’s famous Ice Hotel. And it was all tied together with a little bit of love …

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Carole Matthews’ Winter Warmers

Romantic novelist Carole Matthews has produced a collection of 3 short stories available for free (possibly for a limited time only!) download. The collection is called ‘Winter Warmers’ and is available from Amazon here.

It will be published on the 26th November but you can pre-order it now for free and it will be automatically delivered to your Kindle on the 26th.

Enjoy!

 

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Author Portraits

Most books carry a photograph of the author. But have you noticed that the picture is not just any old mug shot – it is often posed to suggest the type of work that the particular writer produces?

For example, in the front of my copy of the chick-lit novel It’s a Kind of Magic by Carole Matthews, Carole is smiling in a sisterly kind of way. But in the crime novel The Mephisto Club by Tess Gerritsen, Tess’s face is much more sombre. The difference between the two women’s photos on their websites is even more pronounced and suited to the mood of their books.

I hadn’t thought about any of this until I read a short piece by Bidisha in the Guardian.   Bidisha’s piece was prompted by a new picture that’s come to light of Jane Austen but it got me thinking about my own ‘publicity’ photo which I email off to editors when requested and it also appears on this blog.

The picture was taken around three years ago and I wondered if it needed updating. In the intervening time I’ve added a few more grey hairs and produced another wrinkle or two – so should I be honest about my ageing or stick with the younger me?

Bidisha says that’s she’s been told, “…it’s good to look more haggard (in a picture) than you actually are, so that when people meet you they are pleasantly surprised.” 

I’m not sure that I totally agree with that statement but I don’t want to hide behind a false image so I got my other half to take a few head and shoulder shots of me in the garden.

Have a look at them and let me know whether I should switch to one of the new photos, stick with the old one – or maybe try again when I’ve had my hair done and got my best frock on!

Sally Jenkins - Writer

Picture A

 
 
 
 
 
 
  
 
 
Sally Jenkins - Writer

Picture B

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sally Jenkins

Picture C

 
 
 
 
 

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