The Edge of Dark by Pamela Hartshorne #BookReview

the_edge_of_dark

The Edge of Dark is mysterious time slip novel that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very last page. The novel is centred around the enigmatic Elizabethan home, Holmwood House, in York in the 1500s and present day.

In the 21st century Holmwood House is being meticulously restored to its former glory by the pompous Sir Adrian, whose family is descended from the home’s original owner. The story begins when he hires London based Events Director, Roz Acclam from London, to oversee the grand opening and future events.

Roz has no memories of her tragic childhood history in York and jumps at the chance to work at such a beautiful historic home, despite her Aunt’s warnings to stay away from the area. She has been having relationship problems and thinks some time apart from her partner is just what she needs.

Things start to get strange as soon as Roz arrives in York. She begins to have vivid dreams about Jane, who lived at Holmswood House in the 1500s. At first Roz thought she was having some kind of adverse reaction to being back in York, but she eventually comes to believe that Jane is real and has been trying to send her an important message.

But what is Jane really trying to tell her? Will the dark forces of Holmswood House claim another victim? And what really happened to Roz’s family when she was a child?

The answers to these questions and more are skilfully revealed, and I was certainly surprised by the climatic ending. Pamela Hartshorne has mastered the art of the time slip novel and I’m looking forward to reading more of her work.

Details

Title: The Edge of Dark

Author: Pamela Hartshorne

Published: January 27th 2015 by PAN MacMillan Adult (first published November 1st 2014)

ISBN: 1447278534 (ISBN13: 9781447278535)

Genre: Historical Fiction, Time Slip

Source: Library

Rating: 5/5 stars

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Goodreads

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How You Might Be Able To Turn Your Self-Published Novel Into A Best-Seller

The Martian
The Martian by Andy Weir                

The newest space film to hit the cinemas, The Martian, which is directed by Ridley Scott and stars Matt Damon, seems like any other run of the mill Hollywood blockbuster at first glance. I was very surprised to read in the Sydney Morning Herald that The Martian started out as a humble blog, became a self-published novel, and gained a publishing and film deal in the space of 18 months.

It sounds like an impossible dream for most self-published authors, doesn’t it? Well, it maybe it is, but it’s not all doom and gloom. There are still ways for authors to make a comfortable living from their writing and the easiest way to go about it may result in a hit, just like The Martian.

Kevin Kelly argues that anyone who produces works of art only needs 1000 True Fans to make a living. The actual number of fans required for each artist is different, but the basic idea is that if you have enough True Fans who will buy every book that you ever publish and champion everything that you ever do you can still make a decent salary from writing without becoming a best-seller.

So, how do you find True Fans? By communicating with them! When Andy Weir first began writing The Martian he had around 3000 fans on his personal blog. Since Weir is a self-confessed space nerd and wrote about scientific space stuff his blog attracted other space nerds. Some of his fans helped with the scientific facts which helped make the novel as accurate as possible. A lot of Weir’s fans said they wanted to read The Martian on Kindle rather than online, so he published it on Amazon for them. In turn, they purchased the book and told everyone how much they enjoyed it. This buzz around the novel, which was initiated by Weir’s True Fans, helped it to become a best-seller on Amazon and attracted the attention of Random House and Fox. In other words, Weir found his True Fans and gave them what they wanted.

By connecting with his True Fans Andy Weir became a millionaire. Your True Fans will only be a small percentage of your actual fan base, but they are the people who you should focus the majority of your online and social media efforts on. These are the people who will honestly tell what was great or how you can make improvements. They will provide you with endless encouragement and support while singing your praises to everyone they know. Your True Fans will do everything in their power to make your latest novel a best-seller, but until then, connecting with them will inspire you to keep on writing and provide you with a comfortable living. Make sure you remember to make time for them.

Editing to add that the first step to writing a best-seller is to write a very good book and to focus on your writing as your number one priority. That’s always step one as the very clever author, Terry Tyler, pointed out. Then you can focus on social media and marketing.

This post was originally posted as a page. I have decided to edit and repost Self-Publishing Talk as standard blog posts.

So, Why Should You Be Interested in Self-Publishing?

Source: Maria Elena https://www.flickr.com/photos/melenita/9689712379
Source: Maria Elena https://www.flickr.com/photos/melenita/9689712379

The publishing industry has shifted from a one-sided form of communication that was dictated by the mainstream media to one where almost anybody can participate. Book culture is now a participatory culture and this means that anybody who reads, writes, or publishes books is experiencing these changes in some form.

 Changes to reading books

The two biggest changes are obviously E-books and online book retailers like Amazon. With E-readers we now have the technology to store an almost infinite amount of books and we can take them with us anywhere we go. Online book retailers allow us to purchase almost any book we like with the click of one button and are able to deliver it to our devices instantly. Readers will never have to worry about running out of books again!

Along with an increase in the choice of books comes the problem of deciding which books to read. The rise of book blogs and ratings platforms such as Goodreads solves the issue of choice by allowing readers to take advantage of the Collective Intelligence of all members to help them decide whether a book is worth reading.

Now readers are also able to participate in the conversation about the books they read. Any time that you ‘like’, ‘tweet’, review, or post about a book you are adding to the story around it. Instead of a Read Only Culture book culture is now a Read/Write Culture.

Changes to writing books

Self-publishing has made it much easier for authors to get their books out there. Writers now have much more control over their books and a greater share of their book sales but now have to take care of things such as marketing, copyright laws, cover designs, editing and proof-reading. I cannot stress how vital professional editing and proof-reading are for self-publishers! Betty Sargent explains why all self-published authors need a good editor at Publisher’s Weekly, a fantastic resource for authors.

There is now also the expectation that authors need to have an online presence and actively engage with their readers. How active you choose to be on social media is a personal choice but it is worth pointing out that even well-established best sellers such as Stephen King, J.K Rowling, and Anne M. Martin are active on Twitter.

 Changes to publishing books

The increase of self-publishing has led to more competition for traditional publishing houses, but there are also some benefits. Publishing, marketing, and distribution costs are much lower now than they were previously and the Internet has opened up opportunities for publishers to reach a global market. There is also a lot more opportunities for professional editors and proof-readers to work on a freelance basis.

This is just a short list of the recent changes to book culture which have been brought about by Digitization and Convergence. I aim to use Self-Publishing Talk as a forum to discuss these changes in the context of my Internet Communications studies and hopefully offer some useful advice and thought provoking ideas for authors, readers and publishers.

This post was originally posted as a page. I have decided to edit and repost Self-Publishing Talk as standard blog posts.

 

So, Why Am I So Interested In Self-Publishing?

Source: Maria Elena https://www.flickr.com/photos/melenita/9689712379
Source: Maria Elena https://www.flickr.com/photos/melenita/9689712379

Before I began my book blog I didn’t know much about the self-publishing industry at all. When I first began my great love affair with books, reading such classics as The Babysitter’s Club  and Sweet Valley High, there was only one way to read them. This meant that I never had enough new books because I got through them before my parents were prepared to take me to the shops or library for a new one.

While I was growing up, though, the world was starting change. Throughout my teens and twenties the world was rapidly becoming more and more digitized each year until the point that we’re at right now, in 2015, where almost any form of entertainment that you can possibly imagine, including books, is available online.

I am now a student of Internet Communications and over the course of my studies we talk a lot about the effects that digitization and also convergence have had on many different industries. A very clever man called Henry Jenkins describes what convergence means best, so I will let him explain it to you.

By convergence, I mean the flow of content across multiple media platforms, the cooperation between multiple media industries, and the migratory behavior of media audiences who would go almost anywhere in search of the kinds of entertainment experiences they wanted. Convergence is a word that manages to describe technological, industrial, cultural, and social changes, depending on who’s speaking and what they think they are talking about. In the world of media convergence, every important story gets told, every brand gets sold, every consumer gets courted across multiple media platforms. Right now, convergence culture is getting defined top-down by decisions being made in corporate boardrooms and bottom-up by decisions made in teenagers’ bedrooms. It is shaped by the desires of media conglomerates to expand their empires across multiple platforms and by the desires of consumers to have the media they want where they want it, when they want it, and in the format they want…. – See more at: http://henryjenkins.org/2006/06/welcome_to_convergence_culture.html#sthash.Mc0bZbpa.dpuf

I’ve read many interesting and informative articles and participated in many lectures about the effects of digitization and convergence on the television, film, and gaming industries, but there really isn’t much out there about the publishing industry. And when self-publishing gets mentioned, most people’s impression is that all self-published novels are terrible, full of typos and unprofessional, a legacy from when the only option for self-publishing was through a Vanity Press.

I may have even believed the same thing myself if I wasn’t lucky enough to have stumbled upon so many fabulous self-published authors this year! I have to admit that some of the self-published novels that I’ve read have been pretty terrible, but this is the case in any participatory culture. Just because everybody is able to be an author doesn’t mean that everybody should be an author, but I have also discovered an increasing amount of absolutely amazing self-published authors who go to an incredible amount of effort to publish their books. In fact, two of my favourite books that I’ve read this year, Kings and Queens by Terry Tyler  and Concealment  by Rose Edmunds, are self-published.

So, I’m going to use Self-Publishing Talk as a space to discuss my thoughts on digitization and convergence and the ways that writing, distributing and consuming books are changing. I’d love to hear your thoughts and you can check out my latest book reviews, including some great self-published novels, on the main blog page.

This post was originally posted as a page. I have decided to edit and repost Self-Publishing Talk as standard blog posts.

 

Self-Publishing Talk

jadeThis section is dedicated to discuss the self-publishing industry. Digitization and Convergence have had an enormous impact on the entertainment industries, but most of the academic research is focused on the television, film, and gaming industries. As an avid reader, book blogger, and student of Internet Communications, I am fascinated by the ways that the production, distribution, and consumption of books are changing and the current state of the self-publishing industry. Self-Publishing Talk is an outlet to combine three of my greatest passions in the one place.

This post was originally posted as a page. I have decided to edit and repost Self-Publishing Talk as standard blog posts.

 

A New Hashtag Day for Book Bloggers: #TuesdayBookBlog

Attention all book bloggers and authors. Rosie Amber’s Book Review Team are introducing a brand new hashtag day, #TuesdayBookBlog, beginning today, Tuesday, November 3rd.

You can read all about it on Rosie’s blog:

https://rosieamber.wordpress.com/2015/10/28/announcing-a-new-bloggers-bookreview-hashtag-for-twitter-tuesdaybookblog/

And below are the main guidelines to stick to when posting.

Img Source: Terry Tyler Twitter: https://twitter.com/TerryTyler4/status/661497707085889537
Img Source: Twitter

Since I have so many interesting books on my TBR list I’ve compiled a list of a few books that are coming up soon on Scatterbooker for my very first #TuesdayBookBlog post:

The House of York by Terry Tyler

Img Source: Terry Tyler
Img Source: Terry Tyler

Description:

The House of York ~ a contemporary family drama, spanning the years 1993 – 2014.

Widowed single mum, Lisa Grey, and wealthy businessman, Elias York, are young and madly in love.  A recipe for happiness?  But Lisa is marrying into a complicated family.  Her new sister-in-law doesn’t want to know her.   Middle brother Gabriel’s marriage suffers under a cloud of infidelity and gambling debts, while the youngest, Richard, keeps his dark secrets well hidden—and his wife suffers in silence.

Lisa and her mother are bonded by their powerful intuition, but dare not voice their fears about York Towers—or certain members of the family….

Love and loss, abduction, incestuous desires and murderous intent form the basis of this compelling saga in which horrors float just beneath the surface, to bring forth a shocking outcome.

History lovers may be interested to know that The House of York is loosely based on events during the era of the Wars of the Roses.

Goodreads

Amazon UK

Amazon US

The Edge of Dark by Pamela Hartshorne

Img Source: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23311224-the-edge-of-dark?from_search=true&search_version=service
Img Source: Goodreads

Jane believes in keeping her promises, but a deathbed vow sets her on a twisting path of deceit and joy that takes her from the dark secrets of Holmwood House in York to the sign of the golden lily in London’s Mincing Lane. Getting what you want, Jane discovers, comes at a price. For the child that she longed for, the child she promised to love and to keep safe, turns out to be a darker spirit than she could ever have imagined.
Over four centuries later, Roz Acclam remembers nothing of the fire that killed her family – or of the brother who set it. Trying on a beautiful Elizabethan necklace found in the newly restored Holmwood House triggers disturbing memories of the past at last – but the past Roz remembers is not her own . . .
A dark and twisted tale from Pamela Harshorne, author of The Memory of Midnight and Time’s Echo, and a perfect read for fans of Kate Mosse and Barbara Erskine.

Goodreads

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Future Perfect by Katrina Mountfort

Img Source: Goodreads
Img Source: Goodreads

The Blueprint trilogy takes us to a future in which men and women are almost identical, and personal relationships are forbidden. Following a bio-terrorist attack, the population now lives within comfortable Citidomes. MindValues advocate acceptance and non-attachment. The BodyPerfect cult encourages a tall thin androgynous appearance, and looks are everything. This first book, Future Perfect, tells the story of Caia, an intelligent and highly educated young woman. In spite of severe governmental and societal strictures, Caia finds herself becoming attracted to her co-worker, Mac, a rebel whose questioning of their so-called utopian society both adds to his allure and encourages her own questioning of the status quo. As Mac introduces her to illegal and subversive information she is drawn into a forbidden, dangerous world, becoming alienated from her other co-workers and resmates, the companions with whom she shares her residence. In a society where every thought and action are controlled, informers are everywhere; whom can she trust? When she and Mac are sent on an outdoor research mission, Caia’s life changes irreversibly. A dark undercurrent runs through this story; the enforcement of conformity through fear, the fostering of distorted and damaging attitudes towards forbidden love, manipulation of appearance and even the definition of beauty, will appeal to both an adult and young adult audience.

Goodreads

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Fetish by Tara Moss

Img Source: Goodreads
Img Source: Goodreads

Description:

Mak is young, beautiful- and in grave danger. An international fashion model, she arrived in Australia on assignment, only to find her best friend brutally murdered, the latest victim of a serial killer with a very deadly fetish. Before she knows it, Mak herself is caught up in the hunt for the killer and trapped in a twisted game of cat-and-mouse. Who can you trust and where can you turn when you are the dark obsession of a sadistic psychopath?

Tara Moss began modeling at fifteen and worked as a top model around the world for the years before becoming a full-time crime novelist.

Goodreads

Amazon UK

Amazon US

The Brontë Plot by Katherine Reay

Img Source: Goodreads
Img Source: Goodreads

Description:

Lucy Alling makes a living selling rare books, often taking suspicious measures to reach her goals. When her unorthodox methods are discovered, Lucy’s secret ruins her relationship with her boss and her boyfriend James—leaving Lucy in a heap of hurt, and trouble. Something has to change; she has to change.

In a sudden turn of events, James’s wealthy grandmother Helen hires Lucy as a consultant for a London literary and antiques excursion. Lucy reluctantly agrees and soon discovers Helen holds secrets of her own. In fact, Helen understands Lucy’s predicament better than anyone else.

As the two travel across England, Lucy benefits from Helen’s wisdom, as Helen confronts the ghosts of her own past. Everything comes to a head at Haworth, home of the Brontë sisters, where Lucy is reminded of the sisters’ beloved heroines, who, with tenacity and resolution, endured—even in the midst of change.

Now Lucy must go back into her past in order to move forward. And while it may hold mistakes and regrets, she will prevail—if only she can step into the life that’s been waiting for her all along.

Goodreads

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Blonde Eskimo by Kristen Hunt

Img Source: Goodreads
Img Source: Goodreads

Description:

Part Viking, part Eskimo, Neiva Ellis knew her family’s ancestral home, the island of Spirit, Alaska, held a secret. A mystery so sensitive everyone, including her beloved grandmother, was keeping it from her. When Neiva is sent to stay on the island while her parents tour Europe she sets out on a mission to uncover the truth, but she was not prepared for what laid ahead.

On the night of her seventeenth birthday, the Eskimo rite of passage, Neiva is mysteriously catapulted into another world full of mystical creatures, ancient traditions, and a masked stranger who awakens feelings deep within her heart. Along with her best friends Nate, Viv and Breezy, she uncovers the truth behind the town of Spirit and about her own heritage.

When an evil force threatens those closest to her, Neiva will stop at nothing to defend her family and friends. Eskimo traditions and legends become real as two worlds merge together to fight a force so ancient and evil it could destroy not only Spirit but the rest of humanity.

Goodreads

Amazon US

Amazon UK