Spreading the Word

Whilst all writers have their own hopes, dreams and aspirations, I think it is fairly safe to say that there are a few things which appear on all of our wishlists. Whether we are writing our first book or our fourth, we toil night and day, agonising over our creative efforts before eventually summoning the courage (after seemingly endless rounds of editing and proofing) to put our work out into the world. At that point, I think there are four things we all wish for:

  1. That readers buy the book.
  2. That readers read the book and enjoy it.
  3. That readers rate/review the book on Amazon, Goodreads etc.
  4. That readers tell a friend, family member, colleague or other acquaintance about the book.

I don’t think I’m going out on a limb to say that these four wishes are important to any author writing in any genre, whether they are traditionally published, crowdfunded, or self-publishing. For the indie author, those last two wishes are particularly vital. Most indies, myself included, don’t have vast marketing machines behind them, or enormous budgets with which to procure such resources. Most indies rely on the internet, on social media, on reviews, on shares and ratings and that great old-fashioned thing, word of mouth, to maintain their book’s profile far beyond that initial burst of sales which comes with release day.

Why am I talking about this? Well, today I decided that I would write a post which plays my part in this. I am a writer but I am also a reader too, and over the past few years I have read some truly wonderful books by independent authors. Today I thought I would turn the spotlight on to them, tell you a little about their work and where you can find it. It’s all part of spreading the word!

K.J Farnham

K.J Farnham writes women’s fiction and contemporary romance. Her work includes her Click Date Repeat series and her most recent release, A Case of Serendipity. K.J has also written a YA novel, Don’t Call Me Kit Kat. I’m an avid reader of K.J’s work and have reviewed a number of her books on my blog (see here, here and here). If you like light, funny and enjoyable reads which will make you smile and lift your spirits, K.J’s romance novels are probably for you.

Find out more about K.J here.

 

Hillary DeVisser

Hillary DeVisser writes women’s fiction and romance. Her Coal Country series, which includes the books Fishing Hole, Copper Creek and Poets Pass, follows the fortunes of family and friends in a small mining town in Southern Illinois, where lives are not simple and there is always a good dose of suspense to be found. I read these books consecutively and just couldn’t put them down. If you like heartfelt, romantic reads which will have you clutching your chest at times, DeVisser’s books are probably for you.

Find out more about Hillary here.

 

Fiona MacBain

Fiona MacBain writes in the thriller, suspense and crime genres. Her books are one of my more recent discoveries, in fact it was only last week that I reviewed her second novel, Glasdrum, a crime thriller set in the Scottish Highlands (you can read my review here). In the past couple of days I finished reading Fiona’s first novel, the pacy women in jeopardy thriller Daughter, Disappeared set in Tunisia (review for this one is still to come). Both novels are gripping, exciting reads with unpredictable plots, and intriguing, challenging and at times downright grisly characters. If you like absorbing thrillers which you can’t put down, Fiona’s books could well be for you.

Find out more about Fiona here.

 

Campbell Hart

Campbell Hart writes crime fiction and noir, and has more recently released collections of ghost stories. His Arbogast trilogy, comprised of the novels Wilderness, The Nationalist and Referendum are crime novels set in central Scotland all featuring his gritty and completely unforgettable protagonist, DI John Arbogast. Campbell’s Arbogast books were one of my first forays into reading crime fiction and discovering that I did indeed enjoy the genre. The plots were framed within the context of recent memorable events in Scotland, from the freezing winter of 2010 through to the eve of the Scottish Independence Referendum in 2014, making them immediately relevant and relatable. If you like well-constructed and engaging crime fiction, Campbell’s books might well be for you.

Find out more about Campbell here.

 

Marissa Campbell

Marissa Campbell writes historical fiction and contemporary romance. Her first novel Avelynn was published by St Martin’s Griffin and she has since gone on to self-publish a second novel in the series, Avelynn: The Edge of Faith, as well as a contemporary romance novel. The Avelynn books are epic adventures of magic, faith and survival in the dangerous and superstitious world of ninth century England and Wales. This wasn’t a period I was particularly familiar with before picking up these books, but Marissa’s spell-binding prose and memorable characters really brought it to life for me. If you like gripping historical fiction with a touch of the otherworldly, Marissa’s books are probably for you.

Find out more about Marissa here.

So, over to you! Tell me and your friends about your favourite indies by commenting here, or sharing this post and commenting on your own social media channels with the hashtag #SpreadTheWord

 

Book Review: A Case of Serendipity by K J Farnham

Ruth Bateman is at her wit’s end. If Bucky’s Beans doesn’t stop spamming her phone with discount codes for frou-frou java concoctions, she’s going to flip. After multiple failed attempts to unsubscribe, Ruth takes to the company’s Facebook page to vent her frustration over the never-ending texts.

When attorney, Henry Mancuso, stumbles upon Ruth’s complaint, he has no idea that a simple Facebook scroll is going to change his life. Now, he has to get Ruth to agree to a class action lawsuit when she’s just looking for some peace on her mobile device—not a drawn-out case against a coffeehouse giant.

As Ruth and Henry battle the legal waters, a friendship full of fun and spontaneity blooms. But could something more be brewing between these two and this coffeehouse case?

In short, I absolutely adored this book and found it very difficult to put it down once I started reading. A Case of Serendipity is a contemporary light romance novel which focuses on Ruth, a quirky divorcee and Henry, a workaholic lawyer, who are thrown together by fate after Ruth becomes the lead plaintiff in a case against Bucky’s Beans Coffeehouse.

The novel is a first person narrative and each chapter alternates between either Ruth or Henry’s point of view. This choice of narrative works well and gives the reader the opportunity to really get to know both of these characters who, thanks to Farnham’s flawless style and effortless descriptions, are extremely well drawn. Farnham has a real gift for creating likable characters, the sort of characters who make you want to go along with them for the ride, who make you want to root for them. Ruth and Henry are no exception and by the end of the novel I struggled to decide which I found more endearing; off-beat Ruth with her wild hair and appreciation of life’s simple pleasures, or Henry with his neatness, seriousness and intensity.

The story itself is absolutely delightful – without giving too much away, this is a real ‘feel good’ novel, a genuine light romance about two people who seem to complement each other so perfectly that you can’t imagine them not ending up together. Whether they do or whether they don’t…well, you’ll just have to read it to find out.

If you like romance without erotica, well-rounded, likable characters and uplifting plots then this book is for you. Highly recommended – five stars.

A Case of Serendipity is Farnham’s fourth novel, and will be released on 20th March. It is available for Kindle pre-order at the special price of 99p on Amazon UK.

Book Review: Click Date Repeat Again by K J Farnham

Click Date Repeat Again Cover

Click Date Repeat Again is the second novel in the series by K J Farnham. It can be read and enjoyed as a novel in its own right; however, as a huge fan of Click Date Repeat I would recommend reading that one first as it hugely enhances the reader’s enjoyment of the second story.

In Click Date Repeat Again we meet Jess Mason, a twenty-something who has just come out of a bad relationship and who has a pretty poor track record with the opposite sex. Her friend, Chloe, who we met and got to know in the first book, has bought Jess a subscription to a dating website. Sceptical but nonetheless keen to break the habit of a lifetime and find a nice guy, Jess jumps feet first into the world of online dating, with some unexpected and amusing results!

In short, I absolutely adored this book. Stylistically it is flawless, and the story flows at a perfect pace. I found myself completely absorbed and unable to put it down, desperate to know whether Jess was going to get her happy ending. Farnham does an amazing job in creating some memorable characters: Jess is complex, a little vulnerable and hugely sympathetic, and I found myself really cheering her on towards the end, hoping that she was going to end up in the arms of one guy in particular. If you want to know which guy and whether she does….well, you’ll just have to read it to find out.

Five stars. An amazing read; highly recommended for fans of women’s fiction, contemporary fiction and romance.

Available at: Amazon / Createspace

Book Review: Don’t Call Me Kit Kat by KJ Farnham

Don't Call Me Kit Kat Cover

I absolutely adored this novel. Normally it takes me at least a couple of weeks to read a book, so the fact that I read this in less than two days says it all really! From the first couple of chapters I was hooked, wanting to know how things were going to turn out for Katie – I just couldn’t put it down. Farnham is a very skilled story-teller, with the ability to show you a lot about a character in just a few lines. As a result, Katie is a well-developed, likeable, interesting, and sympathetic character, as are many of her friends.

I don’t want to give too much away about the story, but in terms of the themes of the novel, Farnham does a very capable job of addressing some tough issues in a considered, sensitive and thought-provoking manner. She allows the reader to get inside Katie’s head as she grapples with number of difficult emotional issues; conflict with (and between) her parents, social anxiety and isolation, her eating disorder and ultimately, her depression. When Katie eventually hits rock bottom, I felt as though I was on that roller-coaster with her, sharing her loss of control, her complete sense of hopelessness. I was both extremely moved, and cheering for her to get back up, dust herself off, and find her happy ending. Whether she does or not…well, you will have to read the book to find out!!

A highly recommended, well-crafted novel. Five stars.